Penn at Lafayette
Nov. 28, 2007 * 7 p.m.
Kirby Sports Center (Easton, Pa.)
TV: RCN4 (Lafayette Sports Network)
Radio: WPEN (950 AM) - Brian Seltzer, Vince Curran
Penn Game Notes
Lafayette Game Notes
PHILADELPHIA - Having won two of their last three games, the youthful Quakers are making strides every time they take the floor. Penn has proved it can beat the military schools, with wins over The Citadel and Navy. Wednesday night, they return to civilian life, taking on another Patriot League team in Lafayette.
Penn is certainly not entering the 2007-08 season quietly -- with a young, inexperienced roster, the Quakers are playing seven games in the month of November, and still another on the first day of December (that game is Saturday at Villanova).
Penn has played five of its first six games at The Palestra, unusual for an Ivy League team; Wednesday night’s game marks just the Quakers’ second road trip this season. Head coach Glen Miller has to be hoping this trip turns out a little better than the first one, when Loyola (Md.) held a 30-point lead midway through the second half en route to an 89-68 victory on November 11. The final margin was 21 only because Penn scored the game’s last 10 points.
Penn has had nine different players reach double figures in scoring in at least one game already this year, including four freshmen.
Senior Brian Grandieri, a second-team All-Ivy pick a year ago, is the only Penn player to start all six games this season; overall, Miller has started 10 different players.
Grandieri has led Penn in scoring and rebounding four times each out of six games this season; he has scored in double figures in five of the Quakers’ six games.
Freshman Tyler Bernardini has scored in double figures each of the last three games (15.3 ppg); he had 18 against The Citadel, 13 vs. Virginia, and 15 against Navy.
His classmate and roommate, Harrison Gaines, has dished out 22 assists in the last three games; he had 12 -- one shy of the Penn school record -- in the Quakers’ win over The Citadel. (by the way, the record of 13 assists has been set twice, most recently by Tim Begley the last time Penn came to Easton, on Jan. 18, 2005)
Gaines also has scored 12 points in each of the last two games.
Freshman Jack Eggleston has only one game in double figures, but has scored at least seven points in all six games this season; he was last week’s Ivy League Rookie of the Week.
The Series With Lafayette
This will bethe 41st meeting between Penn and Lafayette in men’s basketball; the Quakers have dominated the series, with a 37-3 lead. However, all three of the Leopards’ wins have come in Easton.
Penn has won eight in a row in the series, most recently a 105-73 decision at The Palestra in Philadelphia on Jan. 16, 2006; that game marks the last time Penn scored 100 points in a game.
This is the first time Penn has played Lafayette since Glen Miller became head coach of the Quakers.
Penn is 156-45 all-time against the schools that currently make up the Patriot League, with a winning record against all but one of them.
To say that the Quakers have had success against Patriot League teams would be an understatement; in fact, they have won 23-straight games against the Patriots, with the last loss coming January 27, 1997 (coincidentally, it happened right here at Lafayette). Taking it even further, since Penn played Navy on Dec. 4, 1992, the Quakers have gone a combined 34-1 against the Patriot League.
I Know You!
Penn basketball fans might remember Lafayette head coach Fran O’Hanlon as an assistant coach with the Quakers; he worked under Fran Dunphy from 1989-95 before making the move to Lafayette.
Ivy League Honors
Freshman Harrison Gaines became the second Penn player in two weeks to earn Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors (he shared it with Peter Sullivan of Brown). Gaines scored 11.0 points per game, grabbed 3.3 rebounds per contest, and dished out 22 assists in three games last week, helping Penn go 2-1. He had 12 assistsone shy of the school recordin Penn’s win over The Citadel, against just two turnovers. Against Virginia (where he was matched up with the Cavaliers’ All-America guard, Sean Singletary), Gaines had eight more assists as well as his first double-figure scoring game as a collegian with 12 points. He capped the week with another 12-point effort in the win over Navy, and snared seven rebounds.
Jack Eggleston (#24)
Ivy League Rookie of the Week (11/19)
Harrison Gaines (#22)
Co-Ivy League Rookie of the Week (11/26)
Settling on Starters
Penn head coach Glen Miller has started 10 different players through six games this season, but seems to be settling on a starting five; against Navy, for the third-straight game, he went with senior Brian Grandieri, sophomore Andreas Schreiber, and freshmen Tyler Bernardini, Jack Eggleston and Harrison Gaines.
A Bad Break (Literally!)
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 season opener against Drexel.
Smith’s injury is actually the second this season to knock the Quakers for a loop; prior to the season, junior Tommy McMahon had surgery which is forcing him to miss the 2007-08 season. He has been plagued by back problems during his first two seasons at Penn, but was expected to be a major contributor.
Notes From Navy
Penn and Navy had six ties and eight lead changes; prior to this game, the Quakers had seen just one lead change through their first five games (when Howard overcame Penn midway through the first half).
It marked the first time this season Penn overcame a halftime deficit to win a game.
Penn took 42 foul shots, one day after taking 40 against Virginia.
Penn put four players in double figures for the third game in a row: Brian Grandieri (18), Tyler Bernardini (15), Harrison Gaines (12) and Justin Reilly (10).
Notes From Virginia
Penn allowed 100 points to an opponent for just the second time in the Glen Miller era; the other time was also against an ACC school, when North Carolina dropped 102 on the Quakers last season.
The last time Penn allowed an opponent to score 100 points in The Palestra was Feb. 10, 1990, when Harvard beat the Quakers, 105-97.
The game pitted Miller against UVA head coach Dave Leitao; they were assistant coaches together under Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun at UConn from 1986-87 to 1992-93.
Freshman Remy Cofield -- who did not score a point in Penn’s first four contests -- scored a game-high 20 points off the bench; it marked the most points by a Penn freshman since Mark Zoller scored 24 against Brown on Feb. 20, 2004. (that Brown team, of course, was coached by current Penn mentor Glen Miller)
Gaines had his first double-figure scoring game as a collegian, with 12 points.
Notes From The Citadel
Penn reached the 90-point mark for the fourth time in the Glen Miller era; the Quakers are 4-0 in those games.
Penn shot season-high percentages from the field (.579), beyond the arc (.474) and at the free-throw line (.818).
Penn had 30 assists on its 33 baskets, its best assist total in a game since the Quakers had 31 against Florida Gulf Coast almost exactly a year ago (11/18).
Senior Michael Kach scored 19 points, a career high (previously 14 last year at Harvard).
Bernardini (18) and freshman Jack Eggleston (13) had their first collegiate double-figure scoring games.
Gaines finished with 12 assists, one shy of the school record and just the ninth time a Penn player has reached that mark in program history. He had just two turnovers in the contest.