Penn Faces La Salle in Big 5 Classic on Dec. 4

Penn vs. La Salle

Saturday, Dec. 4, 2004

1 p.m.

Television -Comcast SportsNet

Radio - ESPN 920 AM

Internet - www.pennathletics.com

Two In-a-Row

The Red and Blue have won two-straight games for the first time this season and are 3-0 at The Palestra. Penn defeated Bucknell, 65-52, on Dec. 1 to improve to 3-2 overall. This is the Quakers’ last contest in a three-game homestand before Penn hits the road (Broad Street that is) to take on Temple on Dec. 8.

Last Time Out

Sophomores Ibrahim Jaaber and Steve Danley both scored in double figures to lead the Quakers past Bucknell, 65-52. Jaaber scored 14 points, including 6-for-7 from the charity stripe, recorded a career-high seven steals and dished out two assists. Danley added 10 points for his fourth game in double figures in 2004-05. Penn went on a 10-0 run in the opening minutes of the game and eventually extended its lead to as many as 21 points in the first half.

Coaches Corner

Penn

Head Coach Fran Dunphy is in his 16th season at the helm of Penn basketball. Coach Dunphy is the winningest coach in Penn basketball history with 273 career victories. Dunphy has had 11 winning seasons at Penn including three-straight 17 plus-win seasons. Dunphy is the second winningest coach in the Ivy League with 166 Ancient Eight victories.

La Salle

John Giannini took over the head coaching postion at La Salle in August of 2004. Giannini is coming off an impressive eight-year run at the University of Maine where he built the Black Bears into a perennial force in the America East Conference. During his tenure, Giannini compiled the best record of any coach in UMaine history by going 125-111 with a pair of 20-win seasons, five trips to the America East semi-finals or better, and appearances in the AEC’s championship game two of the last three seasons.

Scouting the Explorers

La Salle sports a 1-2 record heading into today’s game. The Explorers collected their first win under Head Coach John Giannini against Southern California on Nov. 30. Led by junior Steve Smith’s career-high 27 points, the Explorers cruised to a 72-61 victory. Smith is averaging 23.7 points per game and 9.3 rebound this season. Jermaine Thomas is the only other Explorer in double figures with 13.3 ppg. La Salle lost its first two games to James Madison, 59-50, and Hofstra, 79-69.

The Series

The Quakers hold a 35-22 lead in the all-time series with the Explorers. Head Coach Fran Dunphy sports an 11-4 mark against his alma mater. Penn has won 11 of the last 13 meetings against La Salle including three-straight victories.

Against the Big Five

Entering the 2004-05 campaign, the Quakers have a 102-132 mark against Big 5 opponents. In official Big 5 games, the Red and Blue are 72-109. Penn has won five Philadelphia Big 5 titles and shared the honor eight times.

Versus the Atlantic 10
Penn is 95-110 in games against schools from the Atlantic 10 conference. This is the first of three meetings against A10 schools this season. Penn met the same three schools last year - La Salle, Saint Joseph’s and Temple recording a 1-2 record.

Happy 50th Birthday!
The formation of the Big 5 was announced on November 23, 1954 at Houston Hall on the University of Pennsylvania campus. The first Big 5 game was played on December 14, 1955 between Saint Joseph's and Villanova at The Palestra.

In Big Five Classic Game

Today is the fourth Big 5 Classic for the Philadelphia rivals. Penn is 1-2 in Big 5 Classic games. This is the first meeting between the Quakers and the Explorers in the events history. Last year Penn played Saint Joseph’s, falling 67-59. It was the second meeting between the two teams in the Classic. Penn’s other Big 5 Classic game was against Temple.

The Red and Blue on Dec. 4

Penn has played 16 times on the fourth of December, winning nine of those contests. The last time the Quakers played on this date was in 1999 when they lost to Penn State, 59-56. The Red and Blue’s last victory on this day was in 1993 against Fairleigh Dickinson University. Penn defeated the Devils, 62-47.

Up Next ...

Penn heads across town for another Philadelphia Big 5 and Altantic 10 match-up against Temple on Dec. 8. That game is part of a men’s/women’s double header beginning at 5:30 p.m. The men’s basketball team will have the remainder of the fall semester off before the Quakers take on Big 5 rival Villanova on New Year’s Eve at 4 p.m.

Quite the Steal

Led by sophomore Ibrahim Jaaber’s career-high seven steals, the Red and Blue snatched away 14 balls against Bucknell on Dec. 1. The last time the Quakers accomplished that feat was against Harvard on Feb. 15, 2002. Five different Quakers got their hands in the pot including sophomore Steve Danley (three), senior Tim Begley (two), senior Eric Osmundson (one) and sophomore Ryan Pettinella (one).

Crashing the Boards

The Quakers are 3-0 this season when they have out-rebounded their opponents. Overall, Penn has beaten its opposition on the boards, grabbing 185 rebounds to their opponents 170 (avg. 37 rpg). Leading the Red and Blue on the boards is sophomore Mark Zoller who his averaging 7.4 rpg. Classmate Steve Danley follows at 5.4 boards per game.

Snapping a Slump

Senior Eric Osmundson snapped his scoring draught, nailing a career-high two treys against Bucknell of Dec. 1. Osmundson was unable to score a field goal against No. 20 Wisconsin, and was held scoreless against Drexel. Osmundson finished the night against the Bison with a career-high eight points.

Shooting the Lights Out

Two Quakers are shooting 50 percent or better from the field. Leading the way is sophomore forward Steve Danley who is shooting 52.9 percent from the floor, while senior Eric Heil is shooting 50.0 percent.

On The Line

Senior Eric Osmundson and junior Friedrich Ebede are perfect from the charity stripe this season. Osmundson is 2-for-2, while Ebede is 3-for-3. Several other Quakers are shooting well from the foul line this season as well. Sophomore Ibrahim Jaaber and freshman Michael Kach are shooting 76.9 percent and 75 percent, respectively.

Snatching the Ball Away

Sophomore Ibrahim Jaaber has 15 steals this season including a career-high seven against the Bison on Dec. 1. Jaaber led the Quakers in thefts last season with 32.

Beyond the Arc

The Red and Blue shot 78.6 percent from the three-point line against Drexel, breaking the program record for three point accuracy in a game. The previous record of 75 percent was set against USC on Jan. 11, 2003 when the Quakers went 15 of 20 from beyond the arc. Penn tied the record just 19 days later against Princeton, nailing 6-of-8 trifectas.

The Swat Team

Sophomores Steve Danley and Ibrahim Jaaber have combined for 10 blocks this season. Danley has six to his credit, while Jaaber has four.

Dishing Out

Senior Tim Begley dished out a season-high seven helpers against Bucknell on Dec. 1 for a total of 22 assists thus far. He stands seventh in program history and needs only seven more helpers to pass Bobby Willis, who averaged 3.87 and handed out 317 assists from 1977-79.

From the Floor

Steve Danley tied a personal best in field goals made with four against Providence and Drexel. The sophomore has continued to improve this season and leads the team in shooting percentage from the field at 52.9 percent.

Putting Time In

Freshman Michael Kach has played in all five games for the Quakers in 2004. The rookie is averaging 13.4 minutes per game and has scored at least two points in every contest. He is averaging 3.5 points per game on 33.3 percent shooting from the field and 66.7 percent from the charity stripe. His 75 percent average from the free-throw line is second best on the team.

Continuing His Streak

Senior Tim Begley has scored at least one three-pointer in his last 11 games, dating back to Feb. 21, 2004 against Yale. Begley had a 23-game stretch last season where he scored at least one trifecta, but Brown denied him from three-point land on Feb. 20, 2004.

What a Difference a Year Makes

Sophomore Steve Danley leads the Quakers with six blocked shots this season. Last seaoson the Germantown, Md. native batted away nine shots in 27 appearances on the court. Danley has also found his shot as she has scored 55 points in five games this season, after tallying 69 points in 27 games in 2003-04.

Offense on the Home Court

In Penn’s two home games this season, the Quakers have scored 224 points. Six players have scored in double figures during the two home contests, with sophomore Mark Zoller recording two double-doubles at The Palestra. Zoller scored 10 points and grabbed 15 rebounds against Quinnipac and added 22 points and 12 boards against Drexel.

Double-Digits

Speaking of double figures, several Quakers have recorded multi double-digit contests. Sophomore Steve Danley has recorded four double-digit games, while senior Tim Begley has three, sophomores Ibrahim Jaaber and Mark Zoller have two each and senior Jan Fikiel has one.

Penn Tabbed Second by Media

The Quakers finished second in the 2004-05 Ivy League Media Poll. Princeton garnered the top spot with 14 of the 16 first-place votes. Penn received one first-place nod, while Brown grabbed the final one. Yale was picked to finish third followed by Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Harvard and Dartmouth.

Ivy League Media Poll

Team Votes

Princeton (14) 125

Penn (1) 111

Yale 85

Brown (1) 83

Columbia 62

Cornell 54

Harvard 37

Dartmouth 19

Nationally Known

Senior Tim Begley was one of the nation’s top three-point shooters last season. The Freehold, N.J. native ranked ninth in the nation in three-point field goal percentage (45.6 percent) and 23rd in trifectas per game (3.1)

Moving Up the Charts

Begley ranks fifth all-time at Penn in three-pointers made with 192 trifectas in his career. He needs only 52 baskets from three-point land to nab the top-spot, which is held by former Quaker Matt Maloney. Begley also stands third in the Penn accolades in three pointers made in a season with 83 in 2003-04.

A Decade Worth of Victories

For the 10th time since his tenure began, Head Coach Fran Dunphy’s team has recorded at least 17 victories in a season. The current Ivy League dean of coaches has 11 winning seasons under his belt and three straight heading into the 2004-05 campaign.

He’s No. 2

Head Coach Fran Dunphy is second all-time in the Ivy League with 274 career victories, after surpassing Cappy Cappon who recorded 250 wins in 20 seasons at Princeton. Princeton's Pete Carril, who spent 29 seasons with the Tigers, is the all-time Ivy League wins leader with 514. Dunphy is also second in all-time Ivy League wins with 156. He has amassed an overall record of 156-42 against Ivy League opponents in his 14 seasons at Penn, giving him a .788 winning percentage.

Home Sweet Home

The Red and Blue are 725-313 all-time in The Palestra. Penn has not had a loosing season at home since 1984-85 where the Quakers went 4-9. The Quakers have had 19 perfect Ivy League seasons at home and four seasons without a loss in The Palestra.

Welcome to The Palestra

The Palestra, which was built in 1927, was refurbished in 2000 and reopened amid some hoopla on Dec. 7 as “The Palestra 2000.” Known as college basketball’s most storied gymnasium, The Palestra was renovated into a type of museum of basketball history that includes players, coaches and fans from Penn, the Ivy League, local high schools, national powerhouse colleges, and of course, the Philadelphia Big 5. In an article titled, “A Museum in the Cathedral,” Sports Illustrated's Alex Wolff said “...Old friends - and the new friends The Palestra is making, like the Maryland basketball team, which strolled the halls in December on orders from Coach Gary Williams - regard the temple at 33rd and Walnut as “holier than a mere landmark.”

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