Men's Basketball Hosts Saint Joseph's Saturday

Penn (5-10) vs. Saint Joseph’s (9-5)
Jan. 19, 2008 * 7:30 p.m.
The Palestra (Philadelphia)
CN8 - Scott Graham, Rob Kennedy
Radio: - Brian Seltzer, Stan Pawlak

Penn Game Notes (PDF)

Saint Joseph's Notes (PDF)

PHILADELPHIA - The Quakers remain in Big 5 action Saturday night, hosting Saint Joseph’s in the annual Hall of Fame matchup at The Palestra.

For the second year in a row, Penn will go uninterrupted through La Salle, Saint Joseph’s and Temple (Wednesday). These games will be the Quakers’ last non-Ivy contests; believe it or not, Penn will not play an Ivy League game until February, the first time that has happened.

Quaker Notemeal
• Penn has had 11 different players reach double figures in scoring in at least one game already this year, including four freshmen.

• Senior Brian Grandieri, a second-team All-Ivy pick a year ago, is the only Penn player to start all 15 games this season; overall, head coach Glen Miller has started 11 different players and used nine different starting lineups.

• Junior Cameron Lewis has scored 34 points (13 at Miami, 15 vs. NJIT, 6 vs. La Salle) and grabbed 21 rebounds (6, 9, 6) in the last three games; prior to that, he had 23 points and 29 boards for his entire collegiate career. Lewis also doubled his collegiate steal total with five against NJIT.

• Another player who hit his career high in scoring in consecutive games recently is freshman Conor Turley, who had eight points against the University of Miami and then nine against NJIT; Tuesday against La Salle, he knocked down his first collegiate three-point shot.

• Freshman Tyler Bernardini led all scorers with 20 points in Tuesday night’s game against La Salle; it was his fourth 20-point outing in Penn’s last eight games.

• Junior Aron Cohen returned to the starting lineup for the fifth time in the last six games vs. the Explorers, and dished out a career-high six assists to go with four points and four rebounds; in Penn’s last two games, he has recorded 11 assists with only one turnover.

• After missing three games with an injury, senior Michael Kach saw his first action since Dec. 20 Tuesday vs. La Salle; he had four points and four rebounds in 10 minutes of action.

• Freshman Harrison Gaines sat out Tuesday’s game with La Salle after re-aggravating a hamstring injury in practice; his status for Saturday night is questionable.

The Series With Saint Joseph’s
• Saturday’s meeting between Penn and Saint Joseph’s is the 77th between these intracity rivals, with the Hawks holding a 43-33 advantage in the series including two-straight wins.

• Last year, the Hawks escaped The Palestra with an 84-74 win, pulling away down the stretch after the Quakers had gotten to within five points (77-72) with less than two minutes to play.

• For the second year in a row, Penn is playing three Big 5 games in a row, something the Quakers had done just three other times in the first 50 years of the round-robin city series (1969-70, 1980-81, 2004-05).

• Looking at the schedule even closer, this run marks just the third time Penn has played three Big 5 games within a 10-day span (and, again, the second season in a row). The other came in 1970, when the Quakers played Temple (Jan. 21), Saint Joseph’s (Jan. 24) and La Salle (Jan. 27) within the span of a week. Penn won all three of those games.

• Penn enters this week with an all-time record of 111-143 against the other Big 5 schools, including losses to Villanova (87-61) and La Salle (62-58) earlier this season.
La Salle38-23
Saint Joseph’s33-43

• Penn is 106-123 all-time against teams the currently comprise the Atlantic 10. Following tonight’s game, the Quakers remain in A-10 action with Temple on Wednesday.

2007-08 Honors
Tyler Bernardini (#3)
Ivy League Rookie of the Week (12/24)
Ivy League Rookie of the Week (12/10)
Ivy League Rookie of the Week (12/3)
Jack Eggleston (#24)
Ivy League Rookie of the Week (11/19)
Harrison Gaines (#22)
Co-Ivy League Rookie of the Week (11/26)

*NOTE: the Ivy Rookie of the Week honor has been given just one other time this season after Penn has played, on Jan. 7 (it was won by Princeton’s Kareem Maddox). The rookie honor awarded on Jan. 14 came after a week when Penn did not play, and no honor was given Dec. 17, also after a week when Penn did not play.

The Starter Situation
Penn head coach Glen Miller has been anything but settled on his starting lineup this year; to date, 11 different players have started at least one game, and Miller has gone with eight different starting lineups through 14 games.

The most recent change came Tuesday night, when Miller replaced junior Kevin Egee in the lineup with classmate Aron Cohen. It marked Cohen’s fifth start in the last six games at the point guard spot, after freshman Harrison Gaines had started seven in a row there.

The only Penn player to start all 15 games this season is senior Brian Grandieri. After him, freshman Tyler Bernardini has started each of the last 13 contests, and freshman Jack Eggleston has started 13 of 15 games.

Among the other players who are possible to get a starting nod tonight, sophomore Justin Reilly has seven starts; and sophomore Andreas Schreiber and junior Cameron Lewis have five starts apiece (in Lewis’ case, that includes each of the last three games).

A Bad Break (Literally!)
• Sophomore Darren Smith, one of just two returning starters for this year’s team, was lost for the season after he fractured his patella (right knee) in the first half of the season opener against Drexel.

• Smith’s injury is actually the second this season to knock the Quakers for a loop; prior to the season, junior Tommy McMahon had surgery which is forcing him to miss the 2007-08 season. He has been plagued by back problems during his first two seasons at Penn, but was expected to be a major contributor.

Notes From La Salle
• Penn lost for the first time this season when shooting a better field-goal percentage than its opponent; the Quakers were 5-0 in such games prior to this, and 23-3 overall in the Glen Miller coaching era.

• For the first time this season, Penn lost a game when holding the lead at halftime.

• Penn also set a high in the Miller era with nine blocked shots, led by sophomore Justin Reilly who had four.

• Freshman Tyler Bernardini scored 20 points to lead all scorers; it was his fourth time reaching 20 points in Penn’s last eight contests.

• Junior Aron Cohen dished out a career-high six assists, without committing a turnover.

• After missing three games to injury, senior Michael Kach played 10 minutes and had four points and four rebounds.

• For the third time in four games, Penn played without freshman Harrison Gaines due to injury.

Notes From NJIT
• Penn shot 51.0 percent from the field, the third time in five games the Quakers made at least half of their field-goal attempts in a game.

• After giving out just 15 assists combined in two games in Florida, the Penn players dished out 22 assists against the Highlanders.

• Penn took 40 foul shots in the game, two shy of the season high set against Navy. By comparison, NJIT took just 16 free throws.

• Senior Brian Grandieri finished with 22 points, just one shy of the career high he set last year vs. Saint Joseph’s and tied earlier this season against Drexel; it was Grandieri’s fourth time reaching 20 points this season.

• In addition to setting new career marks for points (15) and rebounds (9) for the second game in a row, junior Cameron Lewis doubled his steal total for his collegiate career with five.

• Another player who hit a career mark in points for the second game in a row was freshman Conor Turley, with nine.

• After missing both of Penn’s games in Florida, freshman Harrison Gaines returned to game action and led Penn with eight assists.

Download: 08MBBNotes-Penn.pdf