Men's Basketball Looks to Corral the Bison

Penn vs. Bucknell

Dec. 1, 7 p.m. at The Palestra

Radio: WXPN 88.5 FM


So Happy to Be Home

The University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team is very happy to be back at the friendly confines of The Palestra. After a rough road trip the third week of November, the Quakers returned to 33rd Street to blow out their neighbors one block to the North, Drexel, 81-50, on Nov. 23. Four Quakers scored in double figures including a double-double from sophomore Mark Zoller. The Blue Bell, Pa. native came off the bench to score 22 points and pulled down 12 boards.

Last Time Out

Senior Tim Begley and sophomore Mark Zoller both scored 22 points to lead the Quakers against Drexel on Nov. 23. Zoller collected his second double-double of the season and third of his career, coming off the bench. Penn shot 58.3 percent from the field and 78.6 percent from beyond the arc including a 7-for-8 effort in the second half.

In addition to Begley and Zoller, sophomores Ibrahim Jaaber and Steve Danley added 13 and 15 points, respectively. On the defensive end, the Quakers held the Dragons to 28.6 percent from the floor and only 19.0 percent from three-point land.

Coaches Corner


Head Coach Fran Dunphy is in his 16th season at the helm of Penn basketball. Coach Dunphy is the winningest coach in Penn basketball history with 271 career victories. Dunphy has had 11 winning seasons at Penn including three-straight 17 plus-win seasons. Dunphy is the second winningest coach in the Ivy League with 166 Ancient Eight victories.


Head Coach Pat Flannery is in his 11th season at the helm of his alma mater. Flannery sports a 247-182 career record and is 152-139 with the Bison. He is second all-time at Bucknell in wins and ranks second in victories among Patriot League Coaches. Before returning to Lewisburg, Pa., Flannery led Lebanon Valley College to its first-ever National Championship in 1994. He served as the Dutchmen's head coach for five seasons. During that time he went 95-44, won an NCAA title, reached the NCAA Tournament twice and earned the 1994 Division III Coach of the Year Award.

Scouting the Bison

After jump-starting their season with a pair of games at the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at the Carrier Dome, the Bison downed Rider, 69-50, in their home opener and went 1-1 at the Cyclone Challenge in Ames, Iowa. Bucknell split its two contests in Syracuse, falling, 61-48, to defending Ivy League champ Princeton in the opening round, then bouncing back to dispatch Northern Colorado, 67-54. The Bison dominated Stephen F. Austin, 62-49, before falling to Iowa State, 62-55. Three players are averaging double-doubles for the Bison -

Kevin Bettencourt (13.3), Chris McNaughton (13.0) and Charles Lee (10.3).

The Bison Take On the Ivies

Bucknell has four Ivy League teams on its schedule in 2004-05. The Bison met up with Princeton in the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament where they lost 61-48 to the defending Ancient Eight Champions. Bucknell will also face Yale on Dec. 4 and Cornell on Dec. 18.

The Series*

Penn holds a 3-1 lead in the series, having won the last two contests. Penn won the first meeting, 30-26, in Weightman Gym on Jan. 8, 1924, but fell in the next meeting, 66-64, on Dec. 3, 1975. Penn reclaimed the series lead on Jan. 17, 1998 with a 69-62 win. Last year, Tim Begley hit five second-half three-pointers for the Red and Blue as the Quakers scored 42 points in the second stanza to claim a 58-49 victory over the Bison. Jeff Schiffner and Begley both scored in double figures, Schiffner with 11 points and Begley with 19. Eric Heil and Mark Zoller each added seven tallies, while Adam Chubb added eight. Bucknell held a 19-16 lead at the half, as both teams were plagued with poor shooting in the first half.

* Bucknell and a group of Penn students who called themselves the “Houston Club” met in 1901 with the Bison taking home the victory. The program was not a varsity program at the time and does not count in Penn’s overall record.

Against the Patriot League

Penn has dominated its Patriot League opponents in program history, holding a 144-45 advantage. The Red and Blue have winning records against six Patriot League schools and are tied with Holy Cross (3-3). Penn holds a commanding, 35-3, lead over Lafayette.

18 Straight Victories

The Quakers have won 18-straight games against the Patriot League teams with their last loss on Jan. 27, 1997 at Lafayette. Head Coach Fran Dunphy is 38-4 against Patriot League opponents and 32-2 since 1991.

Dominating the League at Home

The Red and Blue have not lost a game versus a Patriot League opponent at home in the Dunphy era. You have to go back to 1987 when Penn lost to Lehigh, 96-75, in the season opener.

The Red and Blue on Dec. 1

Penn has played in 15 games on Dec. 1, taking away a 9-6 record. The last time the Quakers played on the first of December was in 2001 at American. The Red and Blue took home a 61-51 win from our nation’s capital. Penn’s last loss on this day was in 1992, a 74-68 loss to Virginia.

Up Next...

Penn continues its three-game homestand with a Big 5 match-up against La Salle on Dec. 4. Penn is the first game of a double header with Temple and Villinova facing off in the second game. Saint Joseph’s and Drexel tip-off in the third game of the Big 5 Classic at 8 p.m. Following the Quakers contest with the Explorers, Penn heads across town for another Philadelphia match-up against Temple on Dec. 8. That game is part of a men’s/women’s double header beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Crashing the Boards

The Quakers have outrebounded their opponents 157-147 this season. Against Quinnipiac and Drexel, Penn dominated the opposition on the boards, grabbing 48 and 47 rebounds, respectively. Sophomore Mark Zoller is averaging 7.8 rebounds a game after grabbing 15 boards against Quinnipiac and 12 vs. Drexel.

Shooting the Lights Out

Three Quakers are shooting 50 percent or better from the field. Leading the way is sophomore forward Steve Danley who is shooting 57.7 percent from the floor, while seniors Tim Begley and Eric Heil and sophomore Mark Zoller are each shooting 50.0 percent.

Weekly Sweep

Sophomore Mark Zoller swept Player of the Week honors last week. The Blue Bell, Pa. native earned Penn Student-Athlete of the Week, Ivy League and Big Five Player of the Week. Zoller was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week three times as a freshman.

Snatching the Ball Away

Sophomore Ibrahim Jaaber has eight steals this season including tying a career-high against the Badgers on Nov. 20 - stealing the ball away five times. Jaaber led the Quakers in thefts last season with 32.

Beyond the Arc

The Red and Blue shot 78.6 percent from the three-point line against Drexel, breaking the program record for three point accuracy in a game. The previous record of 75 percent was set against USC on Jan. 11, 2003 when the Quakers went 15 of 20 from beyond the arc. Penn tied the record just 19 days later against Princeton, nailing 6-of-8 trifectas.

The Swat Team

Sophomores Steve Danley and Ibrahim Jaaber have combined for nine blocks this season. Danley has five to his credit, while Jaaber has four

Dishing Out

Senior Tim Begley dished out five assists against Quinnipiac, Wisconsin and Drexel to give him 15 assists on the season and 304 career helpers, which stands seventh in program history. With his dish to Steve Danley with 6:07 remaining against Drexel, the senior captain surpassed current Assistant Coach Matt Langel on the all-time list.

From the Floor

Steve Danley tied a personal best in field goals made with four against Providence and Drexel. The sophomore has continued to improve this season and leads the team in shooting percentage from the field at 57.7 percent.

Putting Time In

Freshman Michael Kach has played in all four games for the Quakers in 2004. The rookie is averaging 13.4 minutes per game and 3.5 points. He is shooting 33.3 percent from the field and 66.7 percent from the charity stripe.

Continuing His Streak

Senior Tim Begley has scored at least one three-pointer in his last 10 games, dating back to Feb. 21, 2004 against Yale. Begley had a 23-game stretch last season where he scored at least one trifecta, but Brown denied him from three-point land on Feb. 20, 2004.

Offense on the Home Court

In Penn’s two home games this season, the Quakers have scored 159 points. Six players have scored in double figures during the two home contests, with sophomore Mark Zoller averaging a double-double at The Palestra. Zoller scored 10 points and grabbed 15 rebounds against Quinnipac and added 22 points and 12 boards against Drexel.


Three Quakers scored in double-digits in the season opener. Senior Tim Begley lead all players with 22 points, while sophomores Steve Danley and Mark Zoller put up 11 points and 10 points, respectively.

Penn Tabbed Second by Media

The Quakers finished second in the 2004-05 Ivy League Media Poll. Princeton garnered the top spot with 14 of the 16 first-place votes. Penn received one first-place nod, while Brown grabbed the final one. Yale was picked to finish third followed by Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Harvard and Dartmouth.

Nationally Known

Senior Tim Begley was one of the nation’s top three-point shooters last season. The Freehold, N.J. native ranked ninth in the nation in three-point field goal percentage (45.6 percent) and 23rd in trifectas per game (3.1)

Moving Up the Charts

Begley ranks fifth all-time at Penn in three-pointers made with 190 trifectas in his career. He needs only 54 baskets from three-point land to nab the top-spot, which is held by former Quaker Matt Maloney. Begley also stands third in the Penn accolades in three pointers made in a season with 83 in 2003-04.

Ivy League Media Poll

Team Votes

Princeton (14) 125

Penn (1) 111

Yale 85

Brown (1) 83

Columbia 62

Cornell 54

Harvard 37

Dartmouth 19

A Decade Worth of Victories

For the 10th time since his tenure began, Head Coach Fran Dunphy’s team has recorded at least 17 victories in a season. The current Ivy League dean of coaches has 11 winning seasons under his belt and three straight heading into the 2004-05 campaign.

He’s No. 2

Head Coach Fran Dunphy is second all-time in the Ivy League with 273 career victories, after surpassing Cappy Cappon who recorded 250 wins in 20 seasons at Princeton. Princeton's Pete Carril, who spent 29 seasons with the Tigers, is the all-time Ivy League wins leader with 514. Dunphy is also second in all-time Ivy League wins with 156. He has amassed an overall record of 156-42 against Ivy League opponents in his 14 seasons at Penn, giving him a .788 winning percentage.

Home Sweet Home

The Red and Blue are 726-313 all-time in The Palestra. Penn has not had a loosing season at home since 1984-85 where the Quakers went 4-9. The Quakers have had 19 perfect Ivy League seasons at home and four seasons without a loss in the Palestra.

Welcome to The Palestra

The Palestra, which was built in 1927, was refurbished in 2000 and reopened amid some hoopla on Dec. 7 as “The Palestra 2000.” Known as college basketball’s most storied gymnasium, The Palestra was renovated into a type of museum of basketball history that includes players, coaches and fans from Penn, the Ivy League, local high schools, national powerhouse colleges, and of course, the Philadelphia Big 5. In an article titled, “A Museum in the Cathedral,” Sports Illustrated's Alex Wolff said “...Old friends - and the new friends The Palestra is making, like the Maryland basketball team, which strolled the halls in December on orders from Coach Gary Williams - regard the temple at 33rd and Walnut as “holier than a mere landmark.”

Download: Bucknell Notes.pdf