PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania has announced its men’s basketball schedule for the 2007-08 season, and it is another ambitious one for the three-time defending Ivy League champions.
“I think we have put together a tough non-conference schedule to prepare ourselves for the Ivy League season,” said Penn’s John R. Rockwell Head Coach of Men’s Basketball, Glen Miller. “We are playing North Carolina and Virginia, teams that tied for last year’s Atlantic Coast Conference title. That we get both of them at our place speaks to the winning tradition and reputation we have here at Penn, and the allure for teams to visit The Palestra.
“We have a young and inexperienced team this year,” he continued. “We have put some huge challenges in front of them early in the season, hoping that will prepare them for the rigorous Friday-Saturday schedule of the Ivy League.”
Penn will play at The Palestra 17 times this season, with the highlight undoubtedly coming Tuesday, Dec. 4 when one of the nation’s elite programs, North Carolina, visits the Quakers’ hallowed hall. The game is a return of last year’s matchup down in Chapel Hill, and will mark just UNC’s second visit to The Palestra to play the Quakers (the other came in 1948). It will also be the second time Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams has brought a team to The Palestra; in 1998-99, he brought Kansas to Philadelphia to tip off the season.
For the first time in Ivy League history, Penn will not face a conference foe until the calendar turns to February -- the first Ivy weekend takes place Feb. 1-2 with Harvard and Dartmouth at The Palestra. The Quakers will play five of their first seven conference games at home, then four in a row on the road before a final weekend at home with Cornell and Columbia (March 7-8).
Penn and Princeton will renew their bitter rivalry two more times this season, with the first game taking place at The Palestra on Tuesday, Feb. 12 and the second game being the annual regular-season finale at Princeton on Tuesday, March 11.
Penn tips off Philadelphia Big 5 play at Villanova on Saturday, Dec. 1, then for the second year in a row faces the other three in succession during the month of January -- the Quakers will host LaSalle (Jan. 15) and Saint Joseph’s (Jan. 19) before traveling to North Broad to face former head coach Fran Dunphy and his Temple team (Jan. 23). In addition, Penn jumps right into the 2007-08 campaign by renewing its neighborhood rivalry with Drexel at The Palestra on Friday, Nov. 9. It will mark the 12th straight year the Quakers and Dragons have tangled.
Penn will play four games as part of the Philly Classic, an eight-team tournament being run by The Hoop Group. The Quakers’ will open the tournament with a road game at Loyola, Md. (Nov. 11); the second game marks a homecoming of sorts, as Howard comes to the Palestra on Nov. 17 -- the Bison are coached by Gil Jackson, who was a longtime assistant with Penn under Dunphy. The Classic concludes with two four-game sets over Thanksgiving weekend at The Palestra, on Nov. 23-24. Penn will play Virginia on Friday, and an opponent to be determined on Saturday. In between the Howard and Virginia games, Penn will step out of the tournament to play The Citadel at The Palestra (Nov. 20).
Over the Christmas holiday, the Quakers will head to the Sunshine State for a pair of games. Penn meets Florida Gulf Coast for the second straight year, this time in Fort Myers, on Dec. 29, then travels across the state to meet ACC foe University of Miami on Jan. 2.
Penn is also slated for home games with Elon (Dec. 20) and New Jersey Institute of Technology (Jan. 5), and will hit the road for games at Lafayette (Nov. 28) and Monmouth (Dec. 8).
Penn returns two starters from last year’s 22-9 team, led by senior Brian Grandieri who was a second-team All-Ivy pick last year. Overall, 11 letterwinners are on the roster for 2007-08; they are joined by six newcomers.
UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA MEN’S BASKETBALL
Dates and times subject to change
Home games in ALL CAPS played at The Palestra
$ - Philly Classic (sponsored by the Hoop Group)
* - Ivy League game
# - Philadelphia Big 5 game
Day, Date ... Opponent, Time
Friday, Nov. 9 ... DREXEL, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 11 ... at Loyola (Md.) $, noon
Saturday, Nov. 17 ... HOWARD $, 5 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 20 ... THE CITADEL, 8 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 23 ... VIRGINIA $,9 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 24 ...SETONHALL/NAVY$, 7/9 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 28 ... at Lafayette, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 1 ... at Villanova #, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 4 ... NORTH CAROLINA, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 8 ... at Monmouth, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 20 ... ELON, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 29 ... at Florida Gulf Coast, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 2 ... at Miami (Fla.), 8 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 5 ... NJIT, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 15 ... LA SALLE #, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 19 ... SAINT JOSEPH’S #, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 23 ... at Temple #, 7 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 1 ... HARVARD*, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 2 ... DARTMOUTH*, 7 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 8 ... at Columbia*, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 9 ... at Cornell*, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 12 ... PRINCETON*, 7 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 15 ... BROWN*, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 16 ... YALE*, 7 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 22 ... at Dartmouth*, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 23 ... at Harvard*, 7 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 29 ... at Yale*, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 1 ... at Brown*, 6 p.m.
Friday, March 7 ... CORNELL*,8 p.m.
Saturday, March 8 ... COLUMBIA*, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, March 11 ... at Princeton*, 7 p.m.