Men's Basketball Opens Big 5 Play Monday

PHILADELPHIA - Coming off a 70-55 loss at Penn State Friday night, the Penn men's basketball team has little time to lick its wounds. Even though it is only the second game, this week starts off with arguably the Quakers' toughest test of the entire 2009-10 season -- at Villanova. The Wildcats, who defeated Fairleigh Dickinson 84-61 in their season opener on Friday, were ranked fifth in the Associated Press' preseason national poll and sixth in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll.

GAME 2 - PENN (0-1) AT #5/6 VILLANOVA (1-0)
Villanova, Pa. (The Pavilion)
Monday, Nov. 16, 2009 * 7 p.m.
TV: None
Radio: WXPN, 88.5 FM (Brian Seltzer, Vince Curran)

Penn Game Notes (PDF)

Villanova Game Notes (PDF)

Penn vs. Villanova

These Philadelphia Big 5 rivals have played 56 times, with Villanova holding a 38-18 lead in the series.

The Wildcats have won six in a row in the series, including a 69-47 decision last year at The Palestra. Two years ago, here at the Pavilion, Villanova jumped out to a quick lead and rolled to an 87-61 victory. Penn's last win over the 'Cats came Dec. 10, 2002 (72-58).

Penn has played at Villanova just six times, and lost all six.

The Quakers enter the 2009-10 season with an 81-113 all-time record against the teams that currently make up the Big East Conference.
Cincinnati ... 0-1
DePaul ... 1-1
Georgetown ... 4-3
Louisville ... 0-1
Notre Dame ... 2-20
Pitt ... 7-5
Providence ... 3-6
Rutgers ... 19-4
St. John's ... 5-4
Seton Hall ... 1-2
Syracuse ... 20-27
Villanova ... 18-38
West Virginia ... 1-1

The National Stage

For the second straight year, Penn is making quite a splash with its first two games. This year, after opening up Friday with the defending NIT champions in Penn State, the Quakers travel to the Main Line region of Philadelphia and a meeting with preseason No. 5/6 Villanova. (Last year, of course, Penn opened the season at preseason consensus No. 1 (and eventual NCAA Tournament champion) North Carolina, then followed that up with a 10 a.m. tipoff time against city rival Drexel in a game that was televised on ESPN2.)

Did You Know...

Penn entered the 2009-10 season ninth among NCAA Division I programs in overall wins? According to the NCAA 2009-10 Men's Basketball Record Book, the Quakers have 1,658 which put them behind Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas, Duke, Syracuse, Temple, St. John's, and UCLA. Notre Dame (1,651 wins) rounded out the Top 10.

Penn Picked Third

Penn was picked second in the Ivy League's preseason media poll, which featured two members from all eight institutional media groups. The Quakers were picked behind Cornell, the two-time defending champion, and Princeton. The Big Red were a unanimous selection to "threepeat," as all five starters are back from last year's team that went 11-3 in conference play.
Team ... Points (First-Place Votes)
Cornell ... 128 (16)
Princeton ... 96
Penn ... 92
Harvard ... 86
Yale ... 59
Columbia ... 55
Brown ... 41
Dartmouth ... 19

Quaker Notemeal From Penn State...

Seniors Darren Smith and Andreas Schreiber, both of whom missed last year due to injury, started Friday night.

For Smith, it was his first game action since the 2007-08 season opener against Drexel, when he fractured his kneecap.

Smith played a career-high 31 minutes and had three points, three rebounds, and three assists.

Sophomore Mike Howlett had four points and a career-high five rebounds in 16 minutes.

Junior Conor Turley played a career-high 22 minutes and finished one point shy of a career best with eight.

Sophomore Zack Rosen's seven rebounds were one shy of a career high.

Junior Jack Eggleston shot 5-of-6 from the field and hit his only three-point attempt of the night.

Junior Tyler Bernardini scored Penn's first 10 points Friday night, and ended up with 12.

Preseason Notemeal...

Penn returns 55.5 percent of its scoring from 2008-09, including three of its top four scorers (juniors Bernardini and Eggleston, and sophomore Rosen).

In Eggleston and Bernardini, Penn boasts a pair of players who have seen 1,674 (Eggleston) and 1,483 (Bernardini) minutes of collegiate basketball action; Rosen, meanwhile, played a team-high 872 minutes (31.1 per game) as a freshman.

The Quakers will once again be led by Bernardini; the junior led Penn in scoring last season (13.7 ppg) and knocked down a team-high 39 three-point shots.

Bernardini finished sixth among Ivy League players in scoring last season, as well as sixth in steals per game (1.4), eighth in free throw percentage (.750), and 10th in three-pointers per game (1.6).

Bernardini led Penn in scoring 10 times last season, scored in double figures 18 times (36 such games in his career), had 20 or more points four times, and collected his first two collegiate double-doubles.

Through two seasons at Penn, Bernardini has 705 points (13.3 per-game average).

Bernardini was the 2007-08 Ivy League and Big 5 Rookie of the Year, and has earned honorable mention All-Ivy each of his first two seasons with the Quakers.

Penn also returns Rosen (8.1 ppg), who was the 2008-09 Philadelphia Big 5 Rookie of the Year.

Rosen finished last season as the Ivy League leader in overall assists per game (4.96) and assist/turnover ratio (1.99); his 139 assists were the most by a Penn freshman and eighth on the program's single-season list.

Rosen also finished second in the Ivy League in overall free-throw percentage (.826) and third in steals per game (1.5).

Only a freshman, Rosen started more games (27 of 28) than any other Penn player last season; he also led the team in scoring three times and had 13 double-figure games.

This past summer, Rosen won a gold medal on the United States Men's Open Basketball team at the 18th Maccabiah Games, which were held in Israel in July.

Eggleston averaged 9.6 points and 5.9 rebounds per game last year, starting 26 of 28 contests.

Eggleston finished fifth in the Ivy League in rebounds per game, seventh in free throw percentage (.782), ninth in blocked shots per game (0.7), and 10th in steals per game (1.2).

Eggleston led Penn in rebounding 12 times and scoring five times last year; he had 14 double-figure scoring games, giving him 22 for his career.

In two seasons at Penn, Eggleston has made 55 starts and scored 516 points.

Sophomore Rob Belcore started 14 games last season (seven Ivy contests) and averaged nearly 19 minutes per outing; he finished with double-figure points on five occasions, including three in Ivy play.

Penn hopes to be bolstered by the return of Schreiber, who started 15 games in 2007-08 -- averaging 5.5 points and 3.9 rebounds -- but missed almost all of last season with a shoulder injury.

Another player who battled injury after being a contributor in 2007-08 is senior Justin Reilly; he averaged 5.1 points and 2.2 boards in 2007-08, but played sparingly in 11 games as he spent most of last year recovering from surgery.

Turley played in 20 games last year, getting his first collegiate start against Cornell; he scored 19 points and grabbed 31 rebounds in 138 minutes, and led the Quakers in boards two times.

Sophomores Howlett and Larry Loughery were also bitten by the injury bug a year ago; Howlett saw time in 10 contests and scored 14 points, while Loughery was shut down after seven appearances (eight points, 10 rebounds).

Athletic junior Dan Monckton will look to add his contributions in 2009-10; he scored four points and snared eight boards in 12 appearances last season.

A huge wild card is Smith, who has missed the last two full seasons after fracturing his kneecap in the 2007-08 season opener. Smith started 10 games as a freshman on Penn's 2006-07 Ivy championship squad, averaging 4.2 points and putting up a pair of 17-point games.

Download: 2 - @Villanova.pdf