Men's Basketball Set to Host Temple

Penn vs. Temple
Wednesday, Jan.24*8 p.m. *The Palestra* Philadelphia
WXPN (88.5 FM) / (Brian Seltzer, Vince Curran)
TV: CN8 (Jon Gurevitch, Rob Kennedy)

Penn Game Notes in PDF Format

PHILADELPHIA - It is nearly here -- the day that everyone has been dreading.

Fran Dunphy, who led the Penn men’s basketball program for 17 years and brought 10 Ivy titles and nine NCAA Tournament appearances to the program, makes his first return to The Palestra to face his old team in his new job as Temple’s head coach. Against that backdrop, Wednesday night figures to be one of the most emotional in the 51-year history of the Philadelphia Big 5.

Dunphy, of course, made history when he left one Big 5 school to take over another -- and he brought his entire staff of Dave Duke, Matt Langel, Shawn Trice and Jeff Wilson with him to North Broad Street. Given that Langel and Trice once wore the Red and Blue, in addition to coaching, Quaker fans may have a difficult time watching all of them operate from the visitors’ bench.

Of course, while Penn’s current players may have all been recruited by Dunphy, the change to Glen Miller has not meant a dip in success. The Quakers (10-6) enter tonight’s game -- their first at The Palestra since December 21 -- with a four-game winning streak, all on the road. The highlight camelast Thursday in anincredible, 93-92 Big 5 victory at La Salle. How incredible, you ask? There were 15 lead changes and five ties in the game’s final 11:26, and from the time the score was tied at 63-63 the teams went a combined 21-of-30 from the field (70 percent) and committed only two turnovers. Only one field goal was missed in the final four minutes.

The heroes in the La Salle win? There were many. Ibrahim Jaaber seemed to get the Quakers points when they needed them, either scoring himself (he had 27 points) or dishing off for buckets (he had nine assists). He was named Ivy League Co-Player of the Week on Monday. Mark Zoller matched Jaaber by scoring 16 second-half points and had 28 overall. Brian Grandieri scored 18 points, including the final foul shot that provided the margin of victory. And how about Darren Smith? After missing the last three games, he played 18 second-half minutes and scored eight points.

All Big 5, All The Time: Penn is playing three Big 5 games in a row, something the Quakers have done just three other times in the 51-year history of the round-robin city series (1969-70, 1980-81, 2004-05). Looking at the schedule even closer, this run marks just the second time Penn has played three Big 5 games within a 10-day span. In 1970, the Quakers played Temple (Jan. 21), Saint Joseph’s (Jan. 24) and La Salle (Jan. 27) within the span of a week. Penn won all three of those games.

Surveying the Opponent
• Wednesday’s meeting between Penn and Temple is the 61st between these intracity rivals, with the Owls holding a 37-18 advantage including wins each of the last three years (FYI, Temple’s series record says 39-21, because they count five games from the turn of the 20th century that Penn does not).

• Last year, the Owls came to The Palestra and escaped with a 50-46 victory. Dustin Salisbery scored 21 points to offset Ibby Jaaber’s 17 points.

• Penn enters this week with an all-time record of 107-137 against the other Big 5 schools, including a loss to Villanova (99-89) and a win at La Salle (93-92) earlier this season.
La Salle38-22
Saint Joseph’s33-42

• Penn is 102-118 all-time against teams from the Atlantic 10, including a 77-60 loss to Fordham at The Palestra on December 9 and last week’s 93-92 win at La Salle. Following tonight, the Quakers remain in A-10 action with Saint Joseph’s Saturday.
G. Washington0-1
La Salle38-22
Rhode Island1-1
St. Bonaventure2-1
Saint Joseph’s33-42
Saint Louis0-1

• If Penn fans want, they can take solace in this fact heading into the game: Fran Dunphy is 3-14 as a head coach in the series.

Scheduling Tough!
• The six teams to have beaten Penn this year—UTEP, Syracuse, Villanova, Fordham, Seton Hall and No. 4 North Carolina—had a combined record of 79-33 (.705 win percentage) entering the week.

Home Court Advantage?
• Penn is playing at home for the first time since December 21, a span of 34 days. However, Penn will play seven of its nine games between tonight and February 17 here at The Palestra (including a brutal stretch of five Ivy League games in an eight-day span from February 9-17).

Veteran Leadership
• No wonder they are captains! Ibrahim Jaaber has started all 74 games played by Penn the last two-plus years, while Steve Danley has started 72 of the 73 games he has played in that span (he sat for Senior Night in 2004-05, and missed a game to injury in 2005-06). Mark Zoller has 79 career starts.

Download: 0607 Notes 17 (Temple).pdf