Penn (5-12, 0-0) vs. Harvard (6-12, 1-1)
Feb. 1, 2008 * 7 p.m.
Penn vs. Dartmouth (8-8, 1-1)
Feb. 2, 2008 * 7 p.m.
The Palestra (Philadelphia)
WPEN (950 AM) - Friday
WXPN (88.5 FM) - Saturday
PennAthletics.com - Brian Seltzer, Vince Curran
Penn Game Notes (PDF)
Harvard Game Notes (PDF)
PHILADELPHIA - The “preseason” is in the past, and it is nothing but Ivy League play going forward for the Penn men’s basketball team. The Quakers -- who have played just seven games since December 8 -- will play all 14 Ancient Eight games between Friday and March 11. The first weekend of play begins at The Palestra, with Harvard coming in Friday night headlined by first-year head coach Tommy Amaker. On Saturday, the Quakers entertain Dartmouth.
Around the League
While Penn and Princeton are opening up Ivy League play this weekend, the other six schools have played out their travel-partner, home-and-home games. Cornell (2-0) got a leg up with a sweep of Columbia (0-2), defeating the Lions 70-64 in Ithaca and then handling them 72-54 in New York City. Yale (1-1) and Brown (1-1) split their series, although the Bears nearly gained the sweep -- the first meeting, in New Haven, needed overtime before the Bulldogs pulled out the 66-63 decision. Brown avenged that loss with a 77-68 win a week later. As for Dartmouth and Harvard, their series feature an outrageous turn in fortunes: just six days after losing to the Crimson, 82-56, the Big Green turned around and plastered them with a 73-56 decision, a 43-point swing.
The Series Records
Friday’s meeting between Penn and Harvard is the 153rd; the Quakers lead the series, 125-27, and have won 11 in a row over the Crimson (by an average of 17.9 points).
Penn has won 15 in a row at home over Harvard, with the average margin of victory during that stretch being 16.9 points.
Saturday’s meeting between Penn and Dartmouth is the 194th; the Quakers lead the series, 139-54, and have won 21 in a row (by an average of 17.9 points).
Penn has won 10 in a row over the Big Green here at The Palestra, by an average margin of victory of 19.1 points; only one game during that stretch has been decided by fewer than 12 points, a 54-46 Penn win during the 2000-01 season.
Penn has hosted Dartmouth and Harvard on the same weekend 50 times since the start of Ivy League play, collecting 42 sweeps (including 10 in a row) and eight splits; the Quakers have never been swept at home by these teams. Of the eight splits, Harvard has gotten the win five times and Dartmouth the win three times; on two occasions Penn’s loss came on Friday, and six times it came on Saturday.
It’s a Small, Small World...
So how can you connect the Harvard and Dartmouth head coaches? Pretty easily, actually. Harvard head coach Tommy Amaker came to the Crimson from the University of Michigan. The Wolverines then hired John Beilein as its new head coach, and he brought Jerry Dunn -- twin brother of Dartmouth coach Terry Dunn -- on board as his associate head coach. (local hoop fans might recall Jerry Dunn as the former head coach at Penn State)
Penn has won each of the last three Ivy League titles -- going 38-4 in that span -- as well five of the last six championships, seven of the last nine, and 11 of the last 15.
Penn is 181-29 (.861) against the Ivy League since the start of the 1992-93 season, including five undefeated campaigns.
Penn enters this weekend having won 21-straight Ivy League home games; it is the fourth-longest streak in program history. The Quaker record for consecutive Ivy League home wins is 46; the first win came Jan. 7, 1977 against Dartmouth, and the streak was ended on Feb. 22, 1983 with a 60-49 loss to Princeton.
Penn is 102-9 vs. Ivy opponents at The Palestra since losing the 1991-92 Ivy home opener to Princeton; during that time, the Quakers are 10-5 against the Tigers, and a staggering 92-4 against the rest of the Ancient Eight.
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 the Quakers have had nine different starting lineups in 17 games.
The most recent change came in the January 19 loss to Saint Joseph’s, when Miller replaced junior Aron Cohen in the lineup with classmate Kevin Egee. Egee also started at the point against Temple on January 23, marking the third time in the last four games that has happened.
The only Penn player to start all 17 games this season is senior Brian Grandieri. After him, freshman Tyler Bernardini has started each of the last 15 contests, and freshman Jack Eggleston has started 15 of 17 games.
Among the other players who are possible to get a starting nod tonight, freshman Harrison Gaines and sophomore Justin Reilly have seven starts apiece; junior Cameron Lewis has seven starts (including each of the last five games); Cohen has six starts (including five of the last eight games); and sophomore Andreas Schreiber has five starts.
Senior Michael Kach started the first two games this season, but none since.
Breaking It Down...
So where is the scoring coming from in 2007-08? Here is a breakdown comparing the starters to the bench, and breaking the points down by class:
Total Points ... 1,113
Starters ... 758 (68.1 percent)
Bench ... 355 (31.9)
Freshmen ... 482 (43.3 percent)
Sophomores ... 177 (15.9)
Juniors ... 147 (13.2)
Seniors ... 307 (27.6)
Did You Notice?
Penn has had seven different players lead the way in scoring in a game at least once this season; the seventh came January 19 against Saint Joseph’s, when Kevin Egee scored a team-high nine points. The others to have led the way in a game are Brian Grandieri, Tyler Bernardini, Andreas Schreiber, Michael Kach, Remy Cofield and Cameron Lewis.
Notes From Temple
Freshman Jack Eggleston scored a career-high 15 points -- his third time reaching double figures this season -- and also tied for team-high honors with six rebounds.
Schreiber had his second double-figure scoring game of the season, with 12 points, and tied Eggleston in the rebound category.
Bernardini scored all of his team-leading 16 points in the second half; he also had four assists and two rebounds in the contest.
Egee knocked down two of his three three-point attempts in the game; after starting the year 2-of-18 from beyond the arc, he is now 5-of-8 in the last two games.
Egee and Grandieri had three steals apiece.
Freshman Harrison Gaines played for just the second time in the last six games, and in 10 minutes of action he scored seven points and had an assist and a steal.
Penn committed just 11 turnovers, just one shy of its season low set against Elon.
Notes From Saint Joseph’s
The 40-point loss was the worst defeat Penn has suffered in Philadelphia Big 5 history.
Penn tied a team high for three-point shots attempted in the Glen Miller coaching era (27) but had a program low for foul shot attempts in the Miller era (6).
Egee got the start at point guard for the second time in three games, and led Penn with nine points on three three-point baskets.
Schreiber established new career highs with six rebounds and three assists.
Freshman Dan Monckton played a season-high 15 minutes and came up with three points, two rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots.
Also This Weekend...
It is a big weekend in Providence and New Haven, as preseason favorites collide early on. Friday night, Cornell is at Brown and Columbia is at Yale. Saturday night, the Big Red is in New Haven to take on the Bulldogs, while the Lions are in Providence to take on the Bears. Tip time for all four of those games is 7 p.m.