Men's Basketball Set to Tip Off 2009-10 Season

PHILADELPHIA - It may not be the No. 1 team in the country, like a year ago, but the University of Pennsylvania men's basketball team once again is not loading up on cupcakes in the early part of the 2009-10 season opener. Instead, they face one of just two teams that can claim to have ended their season with a championship from a year ago -- Penn State won the NIT to cap off a 26-11 campaign. This is the first of an ambitious 14-game non-conference schedule for the Quakers.

GAME 1 - PENN (0-0) AT PENN STATE (0-0)
State College, Pa. (Bryce Jordan Center)
Friday, Nov. 13, 2009 * 7:30 p.m.
TV: None (game can be viewed on BigTenNetwork.com, click here for info)
Radio: WXPN, 88.5 FM (Brian Seltzer, Vince Curran)

Penn Game Notes (PDF)

Penn State Game Notes (PDF)

Penn vs. Penn State

* Pennsylvania's intrastate rivals have met 44 times, with the Quakers holding a 31-13 lead over the Nittany Lions.

* After taking a break for nearly six full years, these teams renewed their rivalry last year at The Palestra in Philadelphia -- and it wasn't close. Penn State jumped out to a 25-point lead by halftime and cruised to an 85-73 victory. Steve Pringle (25 points) and Talor Battle (24) led PSU, while Jack Eggleston had 17 points and nine rebounds for the Quakers.

* Thanks mostly to its dominance of Penn State, the Quakers boast a .500 record against Big Ten opponents, at 46-46 overall.
Illinois ... 0-6
Indiana ... 1-3
Iowa ... 1-2
Michigan ... 5-6
Michigan State ... 1-3
Northwestern ... 1-0
Ohio State ... 5-5
Penn State ... 31-13
Purdue ... 1-2
Wisconsin ... 0-6

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 enters 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 puts them behind Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas, Duke, Syracuse, Temple, St. John's, and UCLA. Notre Dame (1,651 wins) rounds 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...

* Penn returns 55.5 percent of its scoring from 2008-09, including three of its top four scorers (juniors Tyler Bernardini and Jack Eggleston, and sophomore Zack 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 senior Andreas 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.

* Junior Conor 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 Mike 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 senior Darren 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: 1 - Penn State.pdf