Men's Basketball Tips Off With Howard

Game 3
Penn vs. Howard
Philly Hoop Group Classic
Nov. 17, 2007 * 5 p.m.
The Palestra (Philadelphia)
Radio: WXPN (88.5 FM) - Brian Seltzer, Vince Curran

Penn Game Notes (PDF)

PHILADELPHIA - The Penn men's basketball team has gotten off to a slow start this season, losing a pair of games last weekend. This weekend, the Quakers continue play in the Philly Hoop Group Classic with Howard University -- and a homecoming of sorts for at least one member of the Bison contingent.

With a young, relatively inexperienced squad this season, Penn figures experience some growing pains in 2007-08. Last Sunday’s game at Loyola (Md.), Penn’s first in the Philly Classic, would fall into that category.

Less than 48 hours removed from an overtime loss to Drexel that was taxing physically and emotionally, the Quakers stepped onto the floor in Baltimore against a Greyhound team befitting its name -- Loyola is picked among the favorites in the MAAC this year and boast an experienced, athletic squad that likes to get up and down the floor. The result was an 89-68 loss, tempered by the fact that Penn scored the last 10 points of the game.

Penn struggled with Loyola’s pressure in the first half, turning the ball over 14 times in falling behind by 17 at the break. In the second half, the Greyhounds kept the heat on, and blew the lead up to 30 points with more than 10 minutes to play.

In his continued quest to find the right combination of players, head coach Glen Miller spent a lot of time shuttling players in and out of the game. Out of 15 who dressed Sunday, 12 of them played in the first half -- and all of them saw at least two minutes. One of the three who did not play in the opening half, junior Kevin Egee, came on in the second stanza and played 13 minutes. So all but a few of the players can necessarily say they are not getting their opportunities.

Saturday, Penn gets back into action with Howard University as the Quakers continue play with the Philly Hoop Group Classic. This event will conclude next Friday and Saturday, when The Palestra hosts eight teams and eight games, four on Friday and four more on Saturday. Penn will close out the Friday session, playing ACC foe Virginia at approximately 9 p.m., and then based on that result will meet either Seton Hall or Navy Saturday at 7 p.m. or 9 p.m.

As an exempt tournament, each team will play four games but they will only count as two toward each team's NCAA-imposed limit of 29. The first two preliminary games are being played at campus sites, with the final Championship Round games being held at The Palestra.

Philly Hoop Group Classic Schedule
Sunday, Nov. 11
at Loyola (Md.) 89, Penn 68
at Drexel 86, Navy 70
Wednesday, Nov. 14
Robert Morris 93, at Navy77
at Virginia 92, Howard 53
Saturday, Nov. 17
Howard at Penn, 5 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 18
Robert Morris at Seton Hall, 1 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 20
Loyola (Md.) at Seton Hall, 7:30 p.m.
Drexel at Virginia, 8 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 23 (The Palestra)
Game 1 - Howard vs. Loyola (Md.), noon
Game 2- Robert Morris vs. Drexel, 2 p.m.
Game 3 - Navy vs. Seton Hall, 7 p.m.
Game 4 - Penn vs. Virginia, 9 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 24 (The Palestra)
Game 1 Loser vs. Game 2 Loser, noon
Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner, 2 p.m.
Game 3 Loser vs. Game 4 Loser, 7 p.m.
Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner, 9 p.m.

The Series With Howard
Not only is this the first meeting between Penn and Howard in men’s basketball; in fact, this is the first time the Quakers have played anyone from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC).

I Know You!
Today’s game also represents a homecoming for the Bison’s third-year head coach, Gil Jackson. Penn fans, of course, are very familiar for Jackson -- he was a longtime assistant coach for Fran Dunphy here at Penn, working with the program for 16 years and helping the Quakers win nine Ivy titles and advance to nine NCAA Tournaments. He entered the 2007-08 season with a 16-44 mark so far with the Bison.

A Bad Break (Literally!)
Never mind the results on the floor so far this season; the news is not good for the Quakers off the floor, either. Sophomore Darren Smith, one of just two returning starters for this year’s team, was lost for the season after he fractured his patella (right knee) in the first half of the Drexel game.

Notes From Loyola (Md.)
• For the second-straight game, Penn lost despite shooting more free throws than its opponent (34-30); last year, the Quakers went 16-1 in such games.

• Penn got 24 points from its starters and 44 from its bench; last year, the Quakers never had the bench players outscore the starters. (in fact, the starters accounted for 81.4 of Penn’s points all of last season)

• Sophomores Andreas Schreiber (13) and Justin Reilly (10) each had their first double-figure scoring games as collegians.

• Senior Joe Gill recorded his first collegiate field goal, and he did it in emphatic fashion -- after gaining a steal at midcourt, he drove in, dunked the ball, and was fouled on the play (he made the free throw). Gill ended the game with four points, more than he had combined in his first three seasons (3).

• All 15 players who dressed for Penn played in the game, with 12 of them seeing time in the first half. In the second half, junior Kevin Egee -- one of the three who did not see time in the opening stanza -- played 13 minutes.

Notes From Drexel
• Penn opened the season with an overtime game for just the third time in program history; the others came at the start of the 1988-89 season (a 93-91 double-OT loss to Navy) and the 1928-29 season (a 26-24 win over Saint Joseph’s).

• This game went to overtime despite the fact that, in regulation, Penn never held a lead and was tied with the Dragons only twice -- at 0-0 to start the game, and at 52-52 on a bucket in the final second of regulation.

• Penn not only used 13 players in the game, they used 13 in the first half -- and all of them played at least four minutes in that stanza.

• Penn grabbed 49 rebounds, the most by a Quaker team since Feb. 18, 2004 (51 at Brown).

• It marked the first time a Penn team under Glen Miller lost a game when holding its opponent below 45-percent shooting from the field (Drexel shot 43.4 percent); last year, the Quakers went 16-0 in such games.

• Senior Brian Grandieri hit foul trouble early (two in the first 2:01), but came back with 21 points and eight rebounds in the second half; he finished the contest with a game-high 23 points and 10 boards for his fourth career double-double. The 23 points matched a career high for Grandieri.

• Junior Aron Cohen played a career-high 31 minutes and drained four three-pointers for 12 points; that doubled his combined point total from his freshman and sophomore seasons (6).

• In his first collegiate game, freshman Jack Eggleston scored seven points and had eight boards in 33 minutes; he also hit the shot at the end of regulation that tied things up and sent the game into overtime.

• Junior Cameron Lewis got his first career start, and in 19 minutes filled the box score with four points, two rebounds, four assists, two blocked shots and two steals.

Download: 0708 Notes 3 (Howard).pdf