PHILADELPHIA - The Penn Quakers may have a new coach, but the media has placed them in a familiar position -- as the team to beat in the 2006-07 men's basketball preseason poll. The announcement was made this afternoon by the Ivy League office.
Penn, now coached by former Brown mentor Glen Miller, was nearly a unanimous choice by the 16 media members from the eight Ivy areas. The Red and Blue garnered 15 of the first-place votes and had 127 points altogether, followed by Princeton with 105 points and the remaining first-place selection.
Penn -- which has won the League title the last two years and four of the last five -- returns two first-team All-Ivy choices from last season. Ibrahim Jaaber, a senior guard from Elizabeth, N.J., was the unanimous selection as the Ivy Player of the Year by the coaches after averaging 18.4 points and 3.4 steals per game last season. He was joined on the first team by forward Mark Zoller, who averaged 13.1 points and League-best 9.0 rebounds during Ivy play. Penn was 12-2 in League play.
Princeton returns two honorable mention selections from a year ago in center Justin Conway and forward Luke Owings. After a slow start last season, the improved dramatically, finishing the season with a 10-4 Ivy record after closing the campaign with an overtime victory over Penn.
Cornell returns last season's Rookie of the Year in guard Adam Gore. The 6-foot sophomore sharp-shooting guard not only broke the school freshman scoring record at 12.9 points a game, he sank 83 three-pointers, 21 more than any other Ivy player. Yale also returns a three-point specialist as its top scorer in junior guard Eric Flato. As a sophomore, he averaged 11.3 points and nearly three assists per game while canning 61 treys.
The Ivy basketball season kicks off tomorrow night in East Lansing, Mich. with Brown taking on Michigan State in the Coaches versus Cancer Classic. For the complete 2006-07 Ivy League basketball composite schedule, please click here.
2006-07 Preseason Poll Results
1. Penn, 127 (15 first-place votes)
2. Princeton, 105 (1)
3. Cornell, 85
4. Yale, 77
5. Columbia, 65
6. Brown, 50
7. Harvard, 36
8. Dartmouth, 31