PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team has played just two games in the last month, and both followed a similar pattern -- the Quakers stayed with their opponent for about 10 minutes, but could not keep up after that on the way to losses by a double-digit margin. The Red and Blue hope to end that skid Saturday night, opening Ivy League play at archrival Princeton.
GAME 11 – PENN (3-7, 0-0) at PRINCETON (6-9, 0-0)
Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015 * 5 p.m.
Princeton, N.J. (Jadwin Gym)
*The biggest rivalry in the Ivy League, these teams are meeting for the 231st time with Penn leading the series 124-106.
*Princeton has held the upper hand the last several years, winning four of the last five and nine of the last 11 matchups.
*These teams split last year’s meetings, with Penn winning 77-74 at The Palestra and Princeton holding court at home two months later, 70-65. Darien Nelson-Henry scored a combined 35 points in last year’s games, while Tony Hicks had 18 in the first game.
Excluding the last few years, these two programs have been the flagships for the Ivy League for literally decades. Consider these notes...
*Penn and/or Princeton won every Ivy League title from 1989-2007 (Penn 9 outright, Princeton 8 outright, 2 shared with each other).
*From 1959-2007, Penn and/or Princeton won at least a share of the Ivy League title all but three years (Cornell won the title outright in 1988, Brown did it in 1986, and Yale did it in 1962).
*In 2008, ESPN.com rated the most prestigious college basketball programs of all time; Penn came in 34th, while Princeton was 40th.
*In 2005, The Sporting News rated the greatest college basketball programs of all time; Penn came in 16th, while Princeton was 19th.
The Tigers have won three of their last four games, and are 5-1 at Jadwin Gym this season. Most recently, Princeton defeated Norfolk State on Tuesday, 71-61, as Spencer Weisz scored 19 points and Hans Brase added eight points and 12 rebounds. Weisz leads the Tigers in scoring (13.0 points per game), while Brase is averaging 12.3 points and 7.7 rebounds per contest and Steven Cook has a double-digit scoring average (10.5 ppg).
Did You Know...
The head coaches for this game, Jerome Allen and Mitch Henderson, also played against each other in this rivalry as players? That was in 1994-95, when Allen was a senior at Penn and Henderson was a freshman at Princeton. The Quakers won both of those games, part of their Ivy-record 48-game win streak that ran from 1992-96. (Allen and Henderson are also two of three Ivy coaches who currently oversee their alma mater; the third is Brown's Mike Martin.)
The Youth Getting Experience
Penn’s six newcomers have played 828 of the team’s 2,025 minutes this season (40.9 percent); as high as that percentage is, it would likely be even higher if not for Mike Auger’s injury, which has caused him to miss six of the Quakers’ 10 games so far this season.
The Quaker Notemeal of Note
*Penn has had four different freshmen win the Ivy League’s Rookie of the Week honor already this season, and they did it in a five-week span (Antonio Woods, Nov. 17; Mike Auger, Nov. 24; Darnell Foreman, Dec. 8; Sam Jones, Dec. 15); according to the Ivy League’s basketball media guide, no team has had four different players earn the award in the same season (dating back to 1984-85).
*Prior to its loss at Vanderbilt on December 22, Penn had won three in a row for the first time since the Quakers won seven in a row near the end of the 2011-12 season.
*In addition, Penn had won three non-conference games in a row for the first time since winning four such games near the start of the 2006-07 season.
*Penn led for all but 2:01 during its three-game win streak, and did not trailed in its last 109:17 of game action during the streak.
*Penn has outrebounded seven of its 10 opponents this season; the Quakers’ +14 rebound margin against Marist on December 9 was a season high.
Notemeal at La Salle
*Penn shot 26-of-50 from the field, the fourth time the Quakers have been above 50 percent this season.
*Penn was 4-of-9 on three-point shots, the third time in four games the Quakers were above 40 percent from beyond the arc (after not meeting that mark in any of their first six games).
*Penn had a season-high 10 steals in the game.
*Freshman Mike Auger played for the first time since November 22, after missing six games to injury; he scored nine points and was 4-of-4 from the field in 23 minutes.
*Senior Greg Louis set new career highs in assists (3) and steals (3).
*Freshman Antonio Woods tied a season/career high with four assists.
*Sophomore Matt Howard set a career high with four steals.