Penn Men's Basketball Live Chat Session Archive: March 17th

Every Monday at 12:00 PM EST throughout the 2007-2008 season, the Penn Sports Network's Brian Seltzer hosts a Penn men's basketball live chat. Below is an archive of the sessions.

This interactive feature will offer Quaker fans the opprtunity to discuss the state of the program with the Red and Blue's play-by-play broadcaster, and have their questions about the club answered.

No fee or PSN subscription is required to participate, just your natural Penn pride, and appropriate Internet etiquette, of course. Simply click this link, then select the icon under the "View/Listen Speed" column on the Live Events page to join the chat room when it becomes active.

Penn Men's Basketball Live Chat-Session 10

brian seltzer:: Hey Penn Fans, and thanks for logging on to this final edition of the Penn men’s basketball live chat session here on pennathletics.com. I’ve had a blast being able to interact with everyone and discuss the Quakes on a weekly basis throughout this season. This feature is definitely one that we will continue next year. So, as we get set to recap this up-and-down 2007-2008 campaign, I think it’s good that we’ll do so on a positive note. While an outright third place Ivy League finish is certainly not the expectation, it was encouraging that the team took it upon itself to play with grit and guts their final three outings after that forgettable loss at Brown. They competed with a determination to secure a winning record in conference competition, and that really showed in the victory over Columbia. Again, while an 8-6 mark is no major accomplishment in a historical sense for this program, for this group in particular, it was a very significant step in the right direction. Alright, for one last time, let’s get this going, and fire away.
jake:washington, dc: hi brian, how much will this team make out of the third place finish?
brian seltzer:: Hey Jake-To elaborate on a point I touched upon in that opening, I think that this team will draw on their 8-6 Ivy League record by emphasizing that they finished the season on a winning note. That, more than anything else, is what they'll focus on, as they should. I spoke with Glen Miller earlier today for the interview I'll run during the final episode of the men's basketball podcast(to be released Wednesday), and it was very evident that neither he, nor his team, viewed third place as an accomplishment. If anything, they're considering it a disappointment, and motivation heading into 2008-2009. But regardless of what their final record ended up being, it was crucial for this young squad to close out the campaign in an encouraging matter and feeling good about itself, so that momentum could be carried into the off-season, and confidence could start to be built for next year. Winning their final two contests and really hanging with Cornell in their third-to-last outing doesn't erase the sting of the losses at Brown, at Harvard, Florida Gulf Coast, etc., but I think it definitely does go a long way for the confidence of this club.
Marty:Queens ny: I recommend reading steve Danley's column in todays NY Times sports section. He is very insightful. Is there any way to contact him? What career is he involved with now? Thank you Marty
brian seltzer:: Hey Marty--I did not have a chance to read Steve's piece in today's New York Times, but saw the headline e-mailed to me. I was at the Coaches vs. Cancer Annual Tip-Off Breakfast earlier, so it's on my list of material to read for today. If it's anything like his previous work for the paper, I'm sure it's awesome. I've really enjoyed his insights. As far as reaching out to him, does he list an e-mail address on the bottom of his NY Times articles? I stay in touch with Steve, saw him during Senior Night two weekends ago. He's doing very well, and he's taking part in a fellowship in Philadelphia that deals with education, I think. Back in the winter, he received the Marshall Scholarship-one of the country's most prestigious-to study for two years, and possibly a third, at any university in the United Kingdom. The Daily Pennsylvanian put out a piece on it, so I'd recommend searching for the article through their website. As for the rest of the Quaker Class of 2007, Mark Zoller's having a great time over in Spain, and Ibby Jabber's Euroleague team will be facing Jerome Allen's in a few weeks, which is pretty cool.
Ben:Campus: Which first round NCAA game are you most looking forward to?
brian seltzer:: Hey Ben--What I'm making sure I see Thursday are: Temple vs. Michigan State, Marquette vs. Kentucky, Stanford vs. Cornell, WVU vs. Arizona, Notre Dame vs. George Mason, Kansas State vs. USC. Friday I'm checking out: Indiana vs. Arkansas, Clemson vs. Villanova, Vanderbilt vs. Siena, Gonzaga vs. Davidson, Saint Joseph's vs. Oklahoma. This is all provided, of course, I have no commitments to either of my employers, and I can park myself in front of a wall of TV's at some local establishment.
Barry:Bucks County, PA: Hey Brian--On that note, what are your thoughts on the seed/match-up Cornell received?
brian seltzer:: Hi Barry--I thought that as far as seeding is concerned, it's fair. I felt that Cornell could have had an outside shot at a 13-seed given their unblemished run through the Ancient Eight, and the fact that they carry a 16-game conference winning streak into the NCAA Tournament. Regarding the match-up, if you're a 14-seed, odds are pretty good that you'll draw the second or third best team in a high-major conference, which is exactly what happened to the Big Red. The seed is far, the match-up is fair. What might not be fair is that Cornell has to fly across the country for a Thursday game. That is definitely a disadvantage to the Big Red. And also that it's the second game of the early session. But, if they arrive in Anaheim either later tonight or early tomorrow, that should give them enough time to shake off any jet lag they might be experiencing. Without knowing all that much about Stanford, Cornell's toughest test will be containing the Cardinal's Lopez twins in the front court.
Tim:Glenside, PA: Brian, Tyler Bernardini got Ivy League Rookie of the Year, which is great. If he continues to improve with the rest of the freshmen, we're not that far away from getting back to the top, are we?
brian seltzer:: Tim--I don't think the Quakes are far away from contending, and neither does Coach Miller. The performance of his rookies, also his first recruiting class, gives him this confidence, and it's justified. Tyler Bernardini enjoyed an outstanding freshman season. He finished 8th in the conference in scoring (12.9 PT), and among the top 10 in FG%, 3FG%, and FT. After being inserted into the starting lineup the third game of his career, he never looked back, posting 18 double-figure performances and 6 20+PT games after that. He is an offensive threat, and a confident one at that. As he realizes, his defense must improve, and that's on the top of his off-season to do list. Jack Eggleston was extremely steady as a forward this campaign, and his efforts exceeded Coach Miller's expectations. He has a tremendous work ethic, and I think one that the team will rally around. Harrison Gaines also came on down the stretch to finish third on the team in scoring, and he distributes the ball effectively, especially as a freshman. Nine out of the 15 weeks it was awarded, a Red and Blue rookie received Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors. That's pretty darn good for this coaching staff's first recruiting class, and only bodes well for the future. I think the Quakes are back in the hunt next year.
Lloyd:Philadelphia: Hi Brian. I heard that Brown will play in that new post-season tournament. What do you think of that?
brian seltzer:: Hey Lloyd--You are correct. The Bears will face Ohio in a "juicy" first round match-up of the Gazelle Group's new College Basketball Invitational. Perhaps even more exciting is Tulsa-Miami(OH). This should not be taken as a slight against Brown in any way, as I thought they should have been given an invite to the NIT, but this CBI Tournament is just a little too much, in my opinion. It only perpetuates an over-saturation of college basketball content. Just look at the teams participating. Can't imagine Virginia will take much pride in saying it won a share of last year's ACC regular season title, only to follow that up with a potential CBI title run. Again, I don't want that to be taken as a knock on Brown, it's a knock on the notion of a third post-season tournament. Brown played with a ton of heart this campaign, boasted two deserving first-team all-Ivy Leaguers in Mark McAndrew and Damon Huffman, and set a program record w/ 19 overall W. I'm curious as to how close they were to earning an NIT bid.
Matt:Northeast: Hey, Brian. Who in your mind improved the most this season?
brian seltzer:: Hey Matt--I think that junior guard Kevin Egee made the greatest strides. His final line for the season is 5.1 PT-37.4 FG%-34.8 3FG%-2.2 R. I know that's not eye-popping on the surface, but if you take into account the struggles he experienced to start this season, his turnaround was very impressive. He started off the season 2-18 3FG, and finished 22-51(43.1%). He scored a total of 22 PT his first 12 games, and then averaged 7.3 PT PER GAME his final 18 appearances. What clicked for Kevin? He admitted himself that he lacked confidence to begin the season, and the perhaps didn't push himself enough in the off-season. But to his credit, he devoted himself to film study and worked to regain the form he ended a promising 2006-2007 season with. If Kevin can post the type of numbers over the course of an entire year that he did once he emerged from his funk, he will definitely be an important player in this program. He and Harrison Gaines formed a very nice back court tandem towards the end of this year.
Jason:Cherry Hill: Hi Brian. How much did injuries affect the way this season went
brian seltzer:: Hey Jason--Injuries are a natural part of any sport. They happen all the time. They should not be used as an excuse for the Quakers, and Glen Miller and his team certainly are not trying to use them as an explanation for some of the bumps in the road in 2007-2008. That being said, the club is very excited to have Darren Smith returning, along with another guard Remy Cofield. I haven't had a chance to catch up with Darren since spring break, but from what he told me before, his cast was scheduled to be removed March 11th, so it should be off by now. Remy's stress fracture to his right foot (which he had operated on February 29th) requires about 4-6 weeks recovery time, so his rehab is imminent. If Tyler Bernardini and Harrison Gaines gets better, if Kevin Egee continues his steady play, and Penn has Darren and Remy rejoining the back court next year, in addition to what I've heard is a very talented freshmen class, the Red and Blue will be very deep at guard. If a second forward asserts himself to pair with Jack Eggleston on the block, I really like the team that Coach Miller and the staff is developing.
brian seltzer:: And with that, I'm already pumped for the 2008-2009 season. From what I've been hearing, the non-conference schedule should be a solid one. North Carolina's already on there, and some nice mid-majors as well. So the off-season question becomes, can the Quakers improve enough to duplicate the effort of the 2004-2005 team, which was to upend the veteran favorites (Princeton at the time) with a nucleus of promising sophomores? They have the ability, and based upon how they played Cornell, a run at the Ivy League Championship isn't out of the question. This club is motivated, and has already started its off-season workout regimen to begin preparation for next year. Thanks again for everyone who participated in this live chat session throughout the season. It was a ton of fun. A reminder that the final 2007-2008 release of the men's basketball podcast will be available on Wednesday, March 19th, complete with an extended Glen Miller interview, and my conversation with Ivy League Rookie of the Year Tyler Berandini. Talk to you in a couple months.

Penn Men's Basketball Live Chat-Session 9

brian seltzer:: Hey Penn Fans, and welcome back to our another edition of this live chat session focusing on the men’s basketball program. All in all, a pretty entertaining weekend at the Palestra. There was no shortage of excitement, or controversy for that matter, Friday against Cornell, that’s for sure. The Red and Blue displayed impressive resiliency and put themselves in position to steal a win against the Ivy League champions, despite trailing by 10 PT w/ 44 seconds left. Then, coming off a gut wrenching defeat, the Quakes overcame a second half deficit versus Columbia to clinch at least a share of third place thanks to Tyler Bernardini’s game-winning buzzer-beater. Nice way to send off the seniors in their final appearance on campus. So one contest remains in this up-and-down 2007-2008 campaign, and it should be a spirited showdown with rival Princeton. Looking forward to a strong Penn performance. Let’s get this thing going, fire away.
John:Yardley, PA: Hi Brian. I didn't have a chance to listen to watch Friday's game, but heard about the thrilling finish. How did you see it?
brian seltzer:: Hey John--It was a frantic development after Penn inbounded the ball w/ 2.7 seconds left, behind 94-92. I guess the opinion of whether it looked like Tyler Bernardini was fouled as he hoisted a desperation three attempt at the top of the key comes down to vantage point. From where I was sitting (which is first row off the floor, a little left of center court), I saw the play take place from behind, so I could only see the back of Tyler's jersey, but it appeared as if there was contact. Vince Curran, who was providing color commentary for the CN8 broadcast that night, said that at first, he thought it was a foul, but then after the benefit of three replays from different angles, he concluded that the best call the refs could have made was no call. My stance on the situation is this: how did that call (or no-call) fit within the context of the way in which the game was officiated? The refs were incredibly inconsistent, especially in the second half, and certainly blew their whistles on plays less ticky-tack than the one at the end of the game. So, I felt that given the way the game was being called, there should have been a whistle, and one of Penn's best free throw shooters should have had a chance to deliver the upset win. But, I'm also not one to get hung up on one call. Penn's inability to score for 8 minutes in the second half after going up 69-60 was definitely a bigger issue.
Chris:Springfield, PA: Brian: After having seen them twice, how would you evaluate Cornell? Do you like their tournament chances?
brian seltzer:: Hey Chris-Cornell's impressive, and they're a worthy champion, as their 14-0 mark reflects. They're the first undefeated title team since Penn in 2003. However, they're going to be in an interesting situation. They'll be playing in the opening round either 12 or 13 days after their most recent game. That's a long time. It'll be key for them to not show any signs of rust coming off the layoff. Also, and again, maybe I'm reading into this way too much, but did anyone else find it interesting that Louis Dale(the nation's best free throw shooter) missed 2 of 3 FT's down the stretch on Friday night, and Ryan Wittman(who was an 85% FT shooter) missed one as well, with the game on the line? This team has never experienced an NCAA Tournament before, and perhaps they feel a little pressure. But, what the Big Red does boast are exceptional three point shooters. They average about 9 3FGM per contest, and if they can connect consistently and frequently from the outside, then they could be dangerous. I see them as a 13 or 14 seed.
Tom:Denver: Based on recent scores -- Is Princeton improving or does their deliberate style of play make all their games look close?
brian seltzer:: Hi Tom-I absolutely think that Princeton's style lends itself to the Tigers competing in close contests. It has a way of wearing on an opponent, and also, if they're facing a team unfamiliar with the system (i.e. a young Penn team), it can make things interesting. Right now, I'm looking at Princeton's stats, and am trying to see how the Tigers faired their first time through the Ivy schedule compared to their second, and determine whether clubs had an easier time with the Orange and Black a second time around. Nothing really conclusive, except for the Harvard and Dartmouth beating Princeton after losing to them in the first match-up. Seven of the Tigers' 10 league losses are within 10 PT, so perhaps they're not as poor as their record reflects. I don't think they have the talent, though, to run up and down the floor with their opponents, and consider their system an effective means of keeping them in games.
brian seltzer:: And just a quick follow-up on that, as I'm putting together my notes for tomorrow's broadcast, it is clear that Sydney Johnson is retooling his lineup. Licoln Gunn's season entered a tailspin after the Penn game on February 12th. He came to the Palestra as the Tigers' leading scorer at 10.5 PT per game. His current average is 8.6 PT, and he didn't even receive minutes last weekend. He was indeed a healthy scratch against Columbia and Cornell, and from what I've heard, that will probably occur again tomorrow. Also, Princeton is likely without C Zach Finley, their top point producer at the moment. He sprained his ankle at practice last Thrusday, and is doubtful for tomorrow. So, in the place of Gunn and Finley respectively, two guys by the names of Jason Briggs and Zach Woolridge (his father is Orlando of NBA fame), have stepped up, and actually played well for the Tigers.
Jason:Cherry Hill, NJ: Hello again Brian. How nice was it to see the guys bounce back on Saturday?
brian seltzer:: Hey Jason, great to hear from you again, and thanks from your participation in the chat throughout the season. Saturday was huge. First, it assured the Quakes of at least a share of third place in the Ivy League standings. Based on the youth of this team, finishing in the top half of the Ancient Eight should be seen as an accomplishment, and providing a stepping stone for next season. A winning record in the league, which can come via a victory at Princeton, would offer an even greater boost. Second, Friday night was an exhausting contest for both the winner and the loser. There were dramatics late in the contest, and it was physically draining. So, that being said, that the Quakers were able to muster up just enough fight to edge Columbia is commendable. Third, youthful Penn managed to push past a veteran Lions squad that starts four seniors on a regular basis. When Columbia appeared to be on the brink of breaking the game open in the second half, the defense responded, and the offense clicked in. Lastly, the Quaker Senior Class of 2008 will always be able to say their careers on campus ended positively. Very good win for Penn on Saturday, Jason.
Andrew:Arlington, VA: Did Tyler Bernardini solidify Ivy League Rookie of the Year this weekend?
brian seltzer:: Andrew, your timing is impeccable. I just received a release from the Ivy League media relations office that Tyler has been tabbed Rookie of the Week for the 5th week this season. That means he breaks a tie with Brown's Peter Sullivan for the freshman that has received the recognition the most number of times. Also, the Red and Blue's rookies of Tyler, Jack Eggleston, and Harrison Gaines have now taken Rookie of the Week in 9 of 15 possible opportunities. Pretty good reflection on Glen Miller's first class of Quakers. But back to Tyler and Ivy Rookie of the Year, in my opinion, which does come with a bias, I think he should get it based upon this past weekend. After his very shaky showing 3/1 at Brown, in which he fouled out in 18 M with 0 PT and poor defense, I felt that he was no longer the frontrunner for the award, as he had been. Now, after he could have clinched a victory over Cornell Friday with free throws that never ensued b/c of a no-call, and his effort to follow his missed jump shot to flick in the winning shot against Columbia, he earned it. He ranks 8th in the Ivy League in scoring, 8th in FG%, 9th in FT%, and 7th in 3FG%. Those are great stats, regardless of whether you're a freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior. Also take into account his 20 PT performances against Villanova and North Carolina...He really never hit that cliched "freshman wall," and has proven himself to be a consistently dangerous offensive threat for Penn. He made a difference in outcomes for Penn, and I don't think Sullivan did that for Brown. Tyler should be the 2008 Ivy League Rookie of the Year.
Pat:North Philadelphia: Hi Brian. How did the Ivy standings shape up to your initial predictions?
brian seltzer:: Hey Pat--I think the main surprise of the season was Brown. They played tougher than any other of 7 squads, and because of that, along with solid senior leadership, overachieved with a program record 19 overall W and second place 11-3 conference record. As much as Brown exceeded expectations, that's how much Yale didn't meet them. What a disastrous campaign for the Bulldogs, who end the yyear 13-15/7-7. A ton of veteran talent, but apparently poor leadership, as James Jones did not receive from Eric Flato the type of performance that a pre-season Ivy League Player of the Year prediction warrants. Penn at third is right about where you would have hoped, same goes for Columbia at third/potentially fourth (pending the Penn-Princeton result). Harvard and Dartmouth are cellar dwelling at 3-11. The Crimson have some solid rising seniors, but what will the status of their coach be going forward given the Ivy League/NCAA investigation into his alleged recruiting violations? Princeton's just about where I would have thought. Again, it's Sydney Johnson coaching Joe Scott's players. It'll be interesting to see what type recruits the Tigers' new mentor can reel in.
Bill:Penn: As this season comes to a close, where have you noticed progress in Penn, and where do we need to improve?
brian seltzer:: Hi Bill- A couple notes on that question quickly as I wrap up this chat. Penn has improved noticeably in two key areas. As the campaign progressed, they committed fewer turnovers, and started to hit foul shots more consistently. Hopefully I've calculated these trends out correctly...Penn, in its first 20 games, averaged 18.1 TO per contest. In their last 10 games, they've trimmed that to an extremely encouraging 11.8 TO per game. That's very good. Regarding the foul shooting, Penn shot 63.6 FT% its first 15 games. In the 15 outings since, they've hit 72.7 FT! So those are the two most noticeable strides I've seen the Quakes make. As far as room for improvement goes, overall defense, especially against guards on both the perimeter and penetration. They've been outrebounded in 17 of 30 games as well. In general, a little bit more toughness, but that comes with experience, which many of these younger began to display over the course of the year. But again, 9 of 15 Ivy Rookie of the Weeks went to Penn, and all that does is provide promise.
brian seltzer:: Ok, guys, thanks for your participation in the live chat today. A reminder, no podcast this week. Look for a season-ending edition Wednesday, March 19th.

Penn Men's Basketball Live Chat-Session 8

brian seltzer:: Hey Penn Fans, and welcome back to another edition of this Penn Men’s Basketball weekly live chat session. Well, for the second straight weekend, the Quakers’ provided a promising performance on Friday, only to suffer a tough loss on the ensuing night. While the victory at Yale was impressive, it’s certainly difficult for the club to come away from their most recent trip feeling good, after dubious history was made at Brown Saturday with their most lopsided loss every in Ivy League competition. But, the Red and Blue need to put that in the rearview, and continue to focus on closing the campaign strong, and sending their seniors out in style. With that, let’s get this going. Fire away.
Harris:Doylestown, PA: Brian, did this team just not learn from its mistake of coming out slow the previous Saturday at Harvard? What's the deal?
brian seltzer:: Harris, I wish I had an answer to that question other than “I guess not,” but that appears to be the case. I’m not sure it’s the simple fact that they lost to Brown that was most disheartening. Entering that game, the Bears had proved themselves to be very worthy of the second place spot that they currently occupy in the conference. Perhaps the biggest frustration stemming from Saturday was the way in which the Quakers fell to Brown, seemingly playing themselves out of the contest early. They were down 14-0 6:08 into the outing, and didn’t deposit their first FG until the 12:39 mark of the opening stanza. It reeked of the Florida Gulf Coast game. The Quakers encountered some adversity early, were challenged offensively, watched the opposition ignite on a big run to open the game, and didn’t respond well. While the expectation was that the squad would have learned from the unsettling experiences vs. FGCU, Saint Joseph’s, and Harvard, they apparently did not. Let’s hope that this time around, the stinging feeling sticks and they come out the better for it.
Terry:Ambler: Hey Brian--How about the heart that Brian Grandieri displayed in the two games this weekend? He seems to be poised for a really strong finish to his senior season.
brian seltzer:: Hi Terry. I absolutely agree that Brian, when taking both games into account, was the most consistent and productive Quaker across the board this past weekend. Now, Saturday’s contest shouldn’t blot from memory some poised efforts from other Quakers during Friday’s game, such as that of freshman Jack Eggleston. When Brian failed to hit free throws at crucial junctures against the Bulldogs, Jack rose to the occasion. He was a perfect 10-10 FT, and nailed big ones when the score was 60-58, 65-60, and 68-63 to secure a crucial victory. But back to Brian, he shot 6-6 3FG in both games combined, delivered his second double-double of the season on Friday w/ 14 PT-10 R to go along w/ 6A and 1 TO. Then Saturday, he was the only offensive spark w/ 16 PT on 6-10 FG. It was a good weekend for him no doubt, and now over his last 6 games I believe, his field goal percentage is roughly 56%, and he’s connected on 11 of his last 21 3FG. Here's to hoping he stays sharp for his final two home games this Friday and Saturday.
brian seltzer:: ***Just as a note, our internet server is operating pretty slowly today, so apologies if it takes a few moments for my replies to appear in the chat.***
Zach:Marlton, NJ: What is it about Brown? They just have our number this year?
brian seltzer:: Hey Zach--I think a couple factors can be attributed to being swept by the Bears this year. First, in both games, the 2/15 meeting at the Palestra(a 66-61 loss) and this past Saturday's (a 75-43 defeat), the Quakers just didn't come out of the gate with enough fire. Now, the Red and Blue might be able to get away with that against certain teams, but not against a foe with the fire and grit that Brown boasts. It definitely hurt. Coach Miller, in describing his former squad before the contest on Saturday, said that Brown is skilled, senior-oriented, and strong, which are all extremely positive and favorable traits. They were magnified to the max this past Saturday, after those qualities helped the Bears squeak out a victory here 15 days earlier. It was senior night for Brown, their players, particularly Damon Huffman, acknowledged after the game that there was extra emotion facing their previous coach, and the Bears competed hard physically. They're extremely tough. It appeared to overwhelm the Quakers. While Cornell might have clinched the conference crown this season, I'm not sure if there's a program that plays with more heart or harder than Brown.
Peter:Philadelphia: Hello, Brian. Would anticipate Brennan Votel remaining in the starting line up for the forthcoming games against Cornell and Columbia?
brian seltzer:: Hey Peter. Based on Brennan only receiving 5 M of action in his first career start Saturday, I would say his chances of receiving the nod this weekend might not be that good. It's a tough break for him, because he was given an opportunity after some very encouraging outings in relief the preceding three contests. That 5-spot/center position for Penn has been a perplexing one to figure out this year. There just hasn't been any real consistency from it. There have been stretches when Cameron Lewis, Justin Reilly, Andreas Schreiber, and now Brennan have played some nice basketball, but again, there are lapses, which makes Coach Miller search for other options. I think Brennan will remain in the rotation for the final three games, but as to whether he starts, I'm not sure. And one more point, being a starter can just be a designation. If Brennan can rebound and finish 2008 with what he started at Dartmouth, and continued to do at Yale, he should feel positive heading into the off-season.
Amy:Bucks County: Brian, with this being the senior class's final home weekend, what are your impressions of the outgoing group?
brian seltzer:: Hey Amy, and thanks for the question. First and foremost, they are a tremendous group of guys. Much like last year's seniors, they're real grounded, solid people, with great heads on their shoulders. It's going to be a bummer watching them go. I'll hit on each of the three quickly. Brian Grandieri's career box line will speak for itself. The Quakers' captain overcame a difficult ACL injury as a FR to serve as sixth man for the 05-06 title team, and then emerged as a full time starter the past two campaigns. He's averaging a career best 13.1 PT and such an impressive clip of 5.8 R as a guard. He plays with incredible passion to get as much out of himself as he has being that he, by his own admission, is not the most gifted athlete. Michael Kach also battled back from adversity to return to the Red and Blue the last two years. He caught the attention of a lot of fans in just 6 games as a FR before taking a leave from the team. To his credit, and to that of his friends in the program like Brian and Mark Zoller, he re-discovered his joy for the sport, received a second chance, and has acted as a solid contributor. When it comes to Joe Gill, the first word that enters my mind is "commitment." To me, that's what the Red and Blue senior represents. Understanding that the playing time might not be there, he stuck with it for four years, knowing that even though he might not get to play, his hard work in practice would better prepare guys ahead of him on the depth chart. He's completely selfless, and it's always great to see him get in games. One of the highlights from this year no doubt was on 11/11 @ Loyola-Baltimore, when Joe finally posted his first career field goal with a vicious dunk.
Will:New York, NY: Danny Monckton looked pretty decent in the minutes that he got Saturday. What'd you think?
brian seltzer:: Hey Will- I though it was a nice night for Danny. It marked his first appearance with substantial minutes since 1/23 @ Temple, when he logged 6 M. Against Brown, he received a career high 20 M, filling in mostly for Tyler Bernardini, who was confined to the bench due to foul trouble. In that time, he pulled down a personal-best 6 R and added 5 PT, which was one shy of the career high that he had 1/2 @ Miami. You can see that he brings a lot of athleticism and energy to the court, and that's a characteristic that really has the coaching staff feeling positive about his possibilities for the future. From what I've seen in practices and shootarounds, he has a pretty decent shot as well. He endured a really rough pre-season, in which he was admitted to the hospital b/c of a virus. For any player, particularly a freshman, missing that time can be a significant setback. Then, towards the end of January, he had to go to the hospital again due to illness. So, those have been tough breaks, but it was great to see Danny bounce back and fill in effectively on Saturday.
brian seltzer:: Alright, that'll wrap up this afternoon's session. I appreciate your patience today with our website moving slowly. A reminder that Friday's broadcast begins a little bit later at 7:50 on Sports Radio 950 AM. Saturday, we return to 88.5 WXPN FM for Senior Night. Also, a new podcast is released Wednesday. If you haven't yet, you can sign up for a free subscription via iTunes. Thanks again for your time.

Penn Men's Basketball Live Chat-Session 7

brian seltzer:: Hey Penn Fans, and thanks for logging on to participate in another edition of this live chat session focusing on the men’s basketball program. Website’s moving a little slow today, so your patience is appreciated. Rough weekend for the Red and Blue. As encouraging as Friday night’s drubbing of Dartmouth was—perhaps Penn’s best performance of the season wire-to-wire—Saturday night’s defeat at Harvard was a very big blow. In suffering their fourth league loss, and with Cornell improving to 10-0 with sweeps of Yale and Brown, the Quakes (and Columbia) will be officially eliminated from the Ivy title race on Friday should the Big Red win. Cornell will clinch at least a share of the crown Friday with a victory or Brown loss. If they win Friday and Brown loses Friday, or if they sweep the weekend at Dartmouth and Harvard, then they’re the champs. Yale removed itself from contention losing in both Ithaca and Manhattan Friday and Saturday. Harvard and Princeton each have fallen 7 times in the conference, Dartmouth 8 times, so Brown is the third squad still alive at 7-3. With that latest look at the standings, let’s get this thing going. Fire away.
Scott:Haverford, PA: Hey Brian. What should we make of this Jekyll/Hyde weekend?
brian seltzer:: Hey Scott. That aspect of this past weekend is definitely what made it so disappointing. There was so much good to take away from Friday’s domination in Hanover. First and foremost, it was a road victory, the Red and Blue’s second this season, and it was much needed. In prevailing, they won consecutive games for the third time this campaign, and built upon a solid showing vs. Yale. At Dartmouth, they drilled an amazing 12-17 3FG to tie the highest total for triples in a single game under Glen Miller. They also received great production from the bench w/ 33 PT, and killed the Big Green on the boards 49-29. They played with a strong sense of urgency, getting off to good starts in the first and second halves. Then, all of that energy evaporated over the ensuing 24 hours. They dug themselves a hole from which they couldn’t escape, Harvard hammered them in the frontcourt (32 PT between Evan Harris and Brad Unger in the first half alone), and as a result, the Quakers have been pushed to the absolute brink. Had they swept this past weekend, it would have given them more life in the hunt going up against a very vulnerable Yale club Friday, and then perhaps position themselves for second place in a match-up at Brown Saturday. It was definitely disappointing to watch Saturday’s game develop, but this remains a young group, and growing pains exist.
Will:Mt. Laurel, NJ: Hello Brian. Harrison Gaines looks like he's getting more and more comfortable. What have you observed w/ his development?
brian seltzer:: Definitely positive. He had a great night Friday w/ 8 PT and a career-high 9 R. Then Saturday, he was able to give the Quakes much needed speed and aggressiveness at the guard spot, and racked up 16 PT w/ 5A and 3TO. Does he make ill-advised passes on occasion? Sure, but he also is demonstrating a consistent ability to create. On the season, he has 83A-43TO, and while I'm a terrible mathematician, I know that that's a pretty decent ratio. What was a very intriguing development was that the coaching staff stuck with a lineup of him and Kevin Egee on the floor at the same time. With Kevin continuing to play well over the past month and a half and hitting his shots (especially 3FGs) consistently, he's then freed up as a shooter with Harrison at the point.
David:Philadelphia, PA: Hi Brian. What was that story you were telling about Tyler Bernardini during Friday's broadcast? I caught the end of it, it sounded real interesting, but didn't hear the whole thing.
brian seltzer:: Hey David. The story was a very cool one about Tyler connecting with his paternal grandfather. Tyler grew up in California, with his hometown being Carlsbad(same hometown as former Quaker Eric Osmundson). His father's family is from the East Coast, and lives in Montpelier, VT. Because of the gap between the two coasts, they never were able to connect face-to-face before Friday's game. They had spoken on the phone, but never talked in person. So, his grandfather, an aunt, and a few other relatives made it up to Hanover Friday, watched Tyler put up 11 PT and 4 R, and then caught up with him after the game. A very neat story, and Tyler said their conversations went real well.
Ted:Lower Merion: Brian, would you have expected Cornell to enter the second to last Ivy weekend undefeated?
brian seltzer:: Ted, I would not have, and that's no disrespect to the Big Red. I would've anticipated the eventual league champion to have anywhere between 2-4 L pegged against them. Cornell is a great team, no question. They have tremendous talent in the back court, between Ryan Wittman, Louis Dale, and Adam Gore. They've done their part, which is play good basketball, and that's what everyone predicted. What I think the standings reflect, though, is an extremely disappointing Yale squad. I really believed they would've been a far greater challenger in the Ivy League title race, and they flat out haven't performed like a club that boasts the veteran skills that they do. At the beginning of the season, I thought they might have been able to take one from Cornell looking at the two squads on paper, but hey, that's why you play the games (apologies for the cliche).
Martin:Abington, PA: Hey, Brian. How encouraged have you been by the bench players as of late? Seems like a different one as emerged to contribute the past few games.
brian seltzer:: Martin, that's been the case, and an encouraging sign. The last 7 games, the Red and Blue reserves have combined to average about 25 PT per game, so they're getting good production there. That's also a good observation you made that a different bench player appears to be stepping up on a different night. Against Princeton, Aron Cohen connected for 14 PT, while Remy Cofield collected 11 PT. Justin Reilly, the sophomore forward, then erupted for a career-best 15 PT to go along w/ 6 R vs. Yale. At Dartmouth Friday, Brennan Votel filled in nicely with Cam Lewis not making the trip due to illness, and took advantage of 14 M for 8 PT and 3 R. But through it all over recent weeks, it's been Harrison Gaines who's been the most steady scoring option, w/ 19 PT @ Cornell, 7 PT vs. Brown, 8 PT @ Dartmouth, and most recently 16 PT @ Harvard.
Karen:West Chester, NY: Brian, what would you say is the reason for the drop off in turnovers lately?
brian seltzer:: Karen, that's a great observation. They really have been doing a better job of protecting the ball, coughing it up fewer than 15 times their past 6 contests. Speaking of the number 6, that's how many times they gave the ball over the Harvard on Saturday night. It's the second-fewest turnovers in a game during the Glen Miller era. But, as that game indicated, a high volume of missed shots that lead to opposing team's rebounds can increase their scoring opportunities, which the Crimson certainly capitalized on. Not helping the matter was that fact that Harvard shot a blazing 53.7% FG for the game, and 61.5% FG in the first half. The Quakers hoisted 81 FGA Saturday--that's a huge number--and only hit on 32 of them for 39.5% FG. So, they misfired on 49 FGAs and were outrebounded by 8. That's not an insurmountable rebounding disparity, but enough if confronted with a hot-handed club, which Harvard definitely was Saturday.
brian seltzer:: But, to answer your question, Karen, which I realized that I didn't as I went off on a tangent, I think that as the season has moved along, a group of guys that started the year unfamiliar with one another have begun to communicate more effectively, and gel.
Jeff:Wilmington, De: Brian, any word on Remy Cofield and whether or not he'll be back this season?
brian seltzer:: Hey Jeff--No word yet on his status as far as availability for the rest of the season. Still day by day, undergoing evaluations, and in wait-and-see mode. He was definitely disappointed that his foot problem sidelined him this past weekend, especially against Harvard, which was a homecoming game for him, with family, friends, and former high school teammates in attendance. He grew up in Newton, MA, went to Roxbury Latin, and even played some high school games on the Crimson's court at Lavietes Pavilion. Hopefully we'll know more about Remy's condition by Friday. Another quick note on an interesting Quaker-Crimson connection, Penn rookie forward Conor Turley played on the same travel team as Harvard's Evan Harris and Drew Housman. They all grew up out west in California.
Gary:Bucks County: Hey Brian, if you can fit this one in, outlook for this weekend?
brian seltzer:: No problem, Gary. It's going to be a grinding, grueling stretch. Yale has dropped 3 consecutive conference contests after winning 3 in a row, so they'll be looking to take advantage of their home court and stop the bleeding. Not to mention that John J. Lee Amphitheater at Payne Whitney Gym in New Haven has been a house of horrors for the Red and Blue in recent years...but the Bulldogs appear vulnerable, and perhaps they've lost their firepower. Brown, like the Quakers, will be fighting to keep Ancient Eight title hopes alive. They'll need some help, but they too will be very much up for this weekend. If Penn plays like they did this past Friday, they should be optimistic entering this weekend. If they play like they did Saturday, they'll be in trouble.
brian seltzer:: Thanks to everyone that participated today, and for bearing with our website as its running real slow this afternoon. Expect a new podcast out on Wednesday. Take care.

Penn Men's Basketball Live Chat-Session 6

brian seltzer:: Hey Penn Fans-Welcome back to another round of this weekly live chat session focusing on the men's basketball program. Well, it was a weekend of mixed results for the Quakes. A very difficult defeat to digest on Friday, a loss that really puts the Red and Blue in tenuous territory in the Ivy League title race, but they displayed nice determination in the second half of Saturday's game against Yale to establish an encouraging 4-3 mark heading into the second half of the Ancient Eight slate. Just a matter of whether this momentum can build on the road at Dartmouth Friday and Harvard Saturday. Let's get this thing rolling. Fire away.
Terry:Philadelphia, PA: Hey Brian. While it was nice to see the team comeback against Yale Saturday, how much of a concern are the slow starts to begin games and start the second half?
brian seltzer:: Hi, Terry, and thanks for the question. Slow starts in the first and second halves were definitely an issue this weekend, particularly against the Bears on Friday night. In the first 5:00 of the first and second halves, Brown combined to outscore the Quakers 27-8. That means they outdid Brown 53-39 the rest of the way, due in part to holding the Bears withouth a field goal for the final 7:51. It was a game in which they positioned themselves for an opportunity to win. Vince Curran and I discussed the urgency issue during Saturday's broadcast, especially when it seemed like Penn was about to dig itself a deep hole at the beginning of the second stanza when the Bulldogs scored six straight to start the period. But, to the Quakers' and the coaching staff's credit, they made great adjustments, revved it up a little bit, and launched out on that enormous 27-3 run that determined the outcome of the contest. As far as the ups and downs of urgency we witnessed at points over this past weekend, I think it's all a part of the growing process for this young group.
Adam :Marlton, NJ: Brian, how did Tyler Bernardini look this past weekend?
brian seltzer:: Adam, I thought that Tyler, like the entire team, ended the weekend on a very positive note. Coming into Friday's outing against Brown, Tyler and the coaching staff understood that his endurance would likely not be at the level it was before he suffered his concussion during practice on 2/4, especially because Tyler did not participate in his first full practice until the day before the game. So, while he logged 27 minutes against the Bears, he only managed 5 shots, hitting on just two of them, and also fouled out in a very physical game. That was one of the most striking aspects of Friday's contest, how physical it was. It was understandable that Tyler didn't show the form of his normal self as he was striving to find his stroke again. And boy, did he ever get in a groove on Saturday against Yale, helping to ignite the offense. He didn't score in the first half, missing his first three FGA until he hit a FT 3:13 into the second half, and that led to 18 PT more after that. I think most impressive, though, was him tying a career high 6 R vs. Yale, and playing very aggressive and without any signs of tentativeness coming off the concussion.
Charles:Chester: Hi Brian. Love your work. Of the games you have called, what has been your favorite?
brian seltzer:: Charles-The games I enjoy the most are the ones that Penn wins, and the most satisfying Penn win I've seen in three years of calling the action with Vince was on March 2, 2007 against Yale, when the Quakes absolutely obliterated Yale at home en route to their third consecutive Ivy League title. Penn and Yale have developed a nice little rivalry over the past couple years, especially given the struggles the Red and Blue have encountered at John J. Lee Ampitheater up in New Haven. But that night, the seniors, particularly Mark Zoller who had a double-double by halftime, stormed out and stomped the Bulldogs, leaving no doubt that the outgoing class would not only be able to finally experience clinching a championship outright on their home floor, but do so on their second to last home game, so they could celebrate Senior Night in style.
Tyler:Anchorage, AK: Brian, I was so excited to be able to catch the Yale game on ESPN Classic that I decided to wake up early and check in on my beloved Quakers. They looked good in the second half. Do you think this could be a turning point for them?
brian seltzer:: Tyler--The hope is that this is a turning point. This question has come up following previous Penn victories. Will there be one win that ultimately leads to a little winning streak? I think that when you take a look at what Saturday's win meant, it is different from the other 8 W in several ways. First, Saturday represented a crucial juncture of the Quakers' campaign. If they had lost, and gone 3-4 in a stretch of playing 5 of 7 games at the Palestra, that could have resulted in a big blow to their confidence. Instead, they rose to the occassion under pressure, and sit above .500 heading into the second half. Second, they posted the win convincingly. Not to say that they should have rested on their laurels ahead 61-41 with 7:51 to go, but this team could finally look up at the scoreboard down the stretch of a game, and see themselves not only with a lead, but a very comfortable one. They've had to scrape and claw for every W this year. Even the Citadel and NJIT games had their tight and tense moments. Third, we're starting to see a trend of limiting turnovers. Not to say that a handful didn't come at crucial times the past four contests, but the Quakes have now committed fewer than 15 cough ups in each of the last 4 games. So we're seeing progress in that area, and when you limit miscues, you increase your chances to win. They also bounced back at the FT line Saturday(22-26) after going only 2-6 FT the night before.
Will:New York City: Any word on Remy Cofield?
brian seltzer:: Hey Will--Not certain of Remy's status at this point in time. A foot injury sidelined him for Saturday's game against Yale. He started to experience pain around the beginning of February, and tried to fight through it. It's always a shame when injuries keep a player out, but in the case of Remy, the timing is especially difficult. He really was starting to put together an nice run, filling in with significant contributions during Tyler's absence. In the four games he played prior to Saturday, he had been averaging around 7 PT in 17 M. He had 8 PT @ Columbia, 6 PT @ Cornell, 11 PT vs. Princeton, and 2 PT vs. Brown but added a solid defensive presence in that game. He's awaiting the results of an examination, and hopefully the news is good. A great kid, who rebounded well after watching his playing time dimish through the middle portion of this season. He gave some interesting insight into his rookie year in an interview I did with him on Friday, which you can download from the "Audio Interviews" section of the men's basketball page on pennathletics.com.
Herb:Chester, PA: Hello Brian. How much of a challenge will it be for Penn to play 5 of their last 7 games on the road?
brian seltzer:: Hey, Herb--That's the unfortunate flip side to having five out of your first seven at home. Penn has struggled on the road this season, just 1-8 off campus. That lone victory came 12/8 @ Monmouth. Despite Dartmouth and Harvard each sharing 1-7 records in conference competition, this northernmost Ivy swing is going to be a great challenge. Both of Penn's outings earlier with the Crimson and Big Green were extremely close, decided by only 6 PT combined. Also, take into account the way that Harvard and Dartmouth grinded out games against Cornell this past weekend. The Crimson, in a remarkable turn of events, let an upset opportunity against the Big Red slip away in the final 0:31 seconds, losing 72-71. Then on Saturday, Dartmouth hung with the Ivy League's first place team until about the midway point of the second half, ultimately losing 73-63. The big question becomes how much did this past weekend drain Dartmouth and Harvard? My guess is that while they exerted a lot of energy, theywon't have trouble getting up for a rematch with the Red and Blue on five days' rest. This is going to be a real test for Penn to see how it can perform on the road.
Chris:Narberth: What's up, Brian? Justin Reilly had a nice night on Saturday. Could he become more involved going forward?
brian seltzer:: How are you, Chris? Justin really had an impressive effort against the Bulldogs. In 24 M off the bench, he buried a career high 15 PT and pulled down 6 boards to go along with 2 assists and 0 turnovers. While his offensive performance was great, I thought his defensive showing was ever more meaningful. In talking with Justin over the course of this season, he understands that rebounding is a part of his game that he needs to improve. He battled on the block, w/ 4 of his rebounds coming off the offensive glass. All of this against some physical frontcourt players for Yale. Here's to hoping Reilly remains on a roll.
Bill:Philly: Let's take that a step further, Brian. What about the front court as a whole, what are you observing there?
brian seltzer:: Hey Bill-I thought Penn got valuable contributions from their frontcourt on Saturday, especially compared to what we saw offensively on Friday against Brown. Versus the Bears, the Quakers got only 4 PT and 10 R out of their forwards. Then the next evening, they started feeding the low post early to get the big fellas involved, and involved they would be. Jack Eggleston, Andreas Schreiber, and Justin Reilly combined for 35 PT and 15 R. They all had very encouraging nights.
brian seltzer:: To all who participated, thanks so much for taking the time. Friday's broadcast airs on Sports Radio 950 WPEN AM at 6:50, and Saturday's carried on 88.5 FM WXPN FM at 6:45. Also a new podcast will be released this Wednesday. Again, it's always a blast hosting this, and enjoy the rest of your week.

Penn Men's Basketball Live Chat-Session 5

brian seltzer:: Hey Penn Fans: Welcome back to another edition of this weekly chat session on the men's basketball program. Well, it was a difficult weekend for the Quakers, no doubt. A disappointing loss at Columbia in which the team did not play its best, followed by an extremely spirited and encouraging effort at Cornell the next night. The Big Red played with a lot of poise, and give credit to their sophomore guard Ryan Wittman for coming up with three huge 3FG to start the second half, and another triple to spark a 10-0 run after the Red and Blue drew within 71-69 with about 4:30 minutes to go. While Cornell clearly is in control of the conference, the good news is is that there's a whole lot of season left to play, starting with a huge rivalry match up tomorrow against Princeton. Alright, let's get this going. Fire away.
Ben:Cherry Hill: ouch, where do the Quakers go from here?
brian seltzer:: hi ben--that'll be interesting to find out. despite the defeat to cornell, i think that the weekend ended on a relatively positive note, given the competitiveness the quakes displayed against the big red. we witnessed career performances from Andreas Schreiber with a monster 23 PT-9 R and Harrison Gaines w/ 19 PT and 7A to 0 TO (what an unreal ratio!). All of that took place in the absence of Penn's leading scorer Tyler Bernardini. So, if Dre and Harrison can continue that type of output, on top of what Tyler and Brian give, then the Quakes could be on the path to solving the issue of who else is going to emerge as scorers. Another interesting note is that as we were getting off the bus from Cornell Saturday, one player said to me he felt like the club had never played with as much confidence this campaign as it did against the Big Red, so if that attitude is carried forward, it can only bode well for the program.
Harry:Lower Merion: Do you have an update on Tyler's status for tomorrow night?
brian seltzer:: Hey Harry-I wish I could give you an answer more detailed than that he's "day-to-day," but that's where he currently stands. He suffered a concussion in practice a week ago, and will work his way back into the fold cautiously. Understandably, when concussions occur, they're monitored very carefully by the medical staff, as a premature return could carry serious consequences. I know he's eager to get back out there, and is progressing positively. Here's to hoping he's back soon.
brian seltzer:: Also, this news just came across. Harrison Gaines received this week's Ivy League Rookie of the Week honor. Very well deserved w/ 8 PT @ Columbia Friday and then 19 PT and again, 7A-0TO @ Cornell.
Tony:Wilmington: what do you make of Glen Miller's comments following Friday's game?
brian seltzer:: Hi Tony, and thanks for the question. I'm assuming you're referring to this one: "We'll have better days ahead. I would just say to our opponents in the Ivy League: Enjoy it; it won't last long." And you know what? I love it. If I'm a Penn fan, this is exactly what I want to hear. Is it a little bit straitforward and blunt, sure. But, he is a coach that is fiercely competitive, and has enough confidence in his recruiting ability that he'll be able to maintain the level of success this program has been fortunate enough to enjoy over the past 20 years. I don' think his words should be misconstrued as conceding this year's title race, either. I know that he, his staff, and the players all believe that if they play at the level they did Saturday at Cornell, they can remain in the hunt. Will they need help? Yes, because the Big Red are on a nice roll right now, but they definitely aren't throwing in the towel.
tom:new york, ny: Because of the way the standings are shaping up, is this a down year for the Penn-Princeton rivalry?
brian seltzer:: Tom--My lead in to tomorrow's broadcast on WPEN is going to go something like this, that regardless of records, regardless of where these squad sit in the Ivy League standings, this rivalry always has relevance. And, I really believe that. The history between these programs is steeped in too much tradition for the rivalry to have a "down" year. Maybe the intensity level won't be as high as in the mid 90's and early 00's, but it's still a match up I'm looking forward to. Also, let's not forget, this game tomorrow night has plenty of meaning. The team that falls really will be pushed to its threshold as far as margin of error is concerned for the conference championship hunt. The club that wins will gain great momentum heading into a tough weekend, but if things go well, and let's say one of these two teams ends up 5-2 once the weekend is through, they're still within striking distance. Plus, from what I've heard, this year's Tigers' team is playing with a lot more fire and heart than it has the past two years under Joe Scott. I'm sure his sideline antics will be sorely missed this season...
Matt:Philadelphia: Hi Brian. Caught the end of the broadcast on Saturday, and heard you and Vince eluding to the "positives" from the game. Can you elaborate, aside from just Schreiber and Gains?
brian seltzer:: Hey Matt. Thanks for participating. In addition to those two individual performances, here's what else Vince and I were referring to. First, Penn got punched in the got to start the second half, as Ryan Wittman(this week's Ivy League Player of the Week) socked them for three straight 3FG to open up an 11 PT lead. The more veteran, experienced Big Red then had it at a 15 PT lead with about 10:30 to go, when the Quakes charged back into to trim the deficit to 2 PT w/ 4:30 left. That showed a lot of persistence in my eyes, and a greater desire than what was exhibited against Columbia. Also, Remy Cofield started his first game, and pitched in w/ 6 PT and 5 R. This was after he scored 8 PT @ Columbia. I thought this was a very good weekend for Remy, who hadn't played in the three previous games prior to Columbia. Also against Cornell, we saw a shooting touch from this team. Let's hope it continues. Schreiber, Gaines, and Reilly all drained some mid range jumpers. The Quakes connected on 7 3FG(the most since they sunk 9 3FG 12/1 @ Villanova), and most important, they only turned the ball over 9 times--just 9 times to tie a season low. And, for just the sixth time this season, they committed fewer turnovers than their opponent.
Nathan:Willow Grove: This question might have been asked earlier, but is the rotation finally falling into place?
brian seltzer:: Nathan--I'm not sure if I would say it's set in stone, but it definitely looks like, at least over the past few games, Glen has tightened it. Against Dartmouth last Saturday, he used 9 players for just the second time this season(the other being against Monmouth). Versus Columbia, it went back up to 11, and then Saturday at Cornell, it was down to 10. So, we're not seeing Coach Miller and the staff go 12 or 13 guys deep, as was the case during the non-conference season. Again, a lot of how they determine who plays is based upon consistency displayed in practices leading up to a game, and obviously in-game performance. If someone shows signs of improvement, they're not going to hold that player out for the sake of keeping a tight rotation. Look at what Remy Cofield was able to show in Tyler's absence this past weekend. Perhaps that's something to build upon.
The Rock:Art Museum Steps: Yo, Brian! What did I tell ya? Dese guys are fighters. Ya didn't mention my guy Brian yet. Some say he's hurt. Some say he's not hurt. What's up? Yo, Penn!!
brian seltzer:: What's up, Rock? The definitely showed some nice heart on Saturday, no question. I know they want that to start translating into wins, and perhaps no one does more than Brian Grandieri. I think some of the mystery surrounding Brian and his health is that he doesn't like to talk about it, he doesn't want to make it seem like it's an excuse. He's been dealing with meniscus damage for a majority of this season. Coach Miller has stated this multiple times during pre-game interviews with either myself or Vince Curran (archived pre-game interviews are available under the "podcast/audio interviews" secion of the men's basketball page on pennathletics.com). But like Mark Zoller throughout his career, and Steve Danley a year ago w/ the herniated disc in his back, he's playing through it. During an interview I did with Brian before the season opener against Drexel(also available to download on pennathletics.com), he explained to me why he has decided not to return next year for 08-09. Part of his reasoning was that he realizes that his knees aren't in the best shape. He's throwing all of it out there this season, knowing it's going to be his last, despite whatever injuries he may have. And this approach that Brian takes is also one that other players on the team adopt as well. Guys always suffer bumps, bruises, strains, sprains and often don't disclose it because they do not want it to be viewed as an excuse.
Peter:Hartford, CT: Hey Brian. Penn grad stuck up northwards of Philly, but paying attention to the rest of the league. The team not too far from me had a pretty decent weekend. What do you make of Yale?
brian seltzer:: Hi Peter--Yale dropped Harvard by 13 PT on Friday, and then absolutely ripped apart Dartmouth 97-58 on Saturday. Seems to me like they're definitely ticked off about a 1-3 start to this season, which was an extreme disappointment. So, perhaps that sluggish opening to the conference slate was an awaking of the beast. But, with Cornell at 6-0, it might be too little to late. For teams like Yale and Columbia, which have had the same core in tact for the previous two or three seasons, this was supposed to be a year that they really could sink their teeth into the Ancient Eight race, but their respective 1-3 starts really cost them, and now is forcing them to play catch up.
Lucy:Baltimore, MD: Hi Brian. How much different is this year's Princeton team from last year's?


brian seltzer:: Hi Lucy--Well, for one, Sydney Johnson is now the head coach. He's the only 3-year captain in Princeton basketball history, and also the only Ivy League Player of the Year to win the award without averaging at least 10.0 PT. Princeton's 5-14 overall record might not reflect it, but they're playing harder than they did under Joe Scott. Noah Savage, after spending about 2 seasons in Joe Scott pergatory after winning Ivy Rookie of the Year as a FR, is back as a full time starter for the Tigers. They still don't score many points at ony 56 PT per game, and their defense doesn't allow much either at 62.5 PT. But, this is mostly a byproduct of the slow-down system they run. I would say that the biggest difference is that they now have a coach they enjoy playing for, and will respond to. Joe Scott, meanwhile, is now the head coach of Denver, and he has his team tied for first place in the Sun Belt Conference...


Mark:Philly: What do you make of Eggleston's step back this weekend after a solid Harvard-Dartmouth showing?
brian seltzer:: Hey Mark--I'm not sure if it's fair to call Eggleston's showing this past weekend a step back. There are ups and downs to any player's performance over the course of a season, and especially for that of a freshman. The best part about Jack is that he recognizes when he doesn't have his best night, and can't wait to come back stronger the next game. He was not pleased with only pulling down 2 R and committing 3 TO @ Cornell. When I reminded him that he hit a huge 3FG to make it 71-69, he just kind of brushed it off as no big deal in a way that indicated he's more aware of righting his wrongs than playing up his positives. What that inidicates to me is that in light of a very steady rookie season, he's extremely focused on improving his game, which is an awesome attitude to have.
brian seltzer:: Alright, that'll wrap up today's sesssion, which I really enjoyed. Thanks so much to all of you that participated, and continue to do so on a weekly basis. A reminder that tomorrow night's broadcast for Princeton is on Sports Radio 950 WPEN AM. We'll have an abbreviated pre-game show beginning at 7:00 PM. Expect a new episode of the podcast Wednesday or Thursday, and if you haven't already, subscribe free of charge via iTunes. Just search "Penn Basketball Weekly." Again, thanks for logging on!

Penn Men's Basketball Live Chat-Session 4

brian seltzer:: Hey Penn fans, apologies for having to reschedule the live chat for today due to technical issues with our website. I hope that by now, your heart rate has returned to its normal level after two really thrilling to open the Ivy League season. Against a veteran Harvard club and a skilled Dartmouth squad, the Quakers displayed persistence amidst late-game ties and lead changes, and also exhibited a touch of clutch en route to their wins. So, thanks to their resiliency(and one very gracious rim at the East side of the Palestra), the Red and Blue remain in control of their own destiny, with a pair of challenging road contests upcoming against Columbia and pre-season favorite Cornell. Those games should give you a good sense about where this Penn team stands. On that note, let's open up the discussion. Fire away.
Joel:Manyunk, PA: Hi Brian-How much momentum can Penn take from this past weekend?
brian seltzer:: hi joel, and thanks for your question, which is THE question entering this weekend against Columbia and Cornell. Penn can pull a lot of momentum from their tight wins over Harvard and Dartmouth. In years past, the Quakers have had an easier time with those teams, no doubt. But, the Red and Blue obviously lost a lot going into this campaign, and Harvard and Dartmouth brought back some talent. Each club was more veteran than Penn, and the fact that the Quakes hung in there and fought despite lots of ties and lead changes, and survived the ejection of two frontcourt players on Friday, speaks to the level of resiliency that this young group has. Conference wins are conference wins bottom line, and because of their grit, Penn started off the Ancient Eight slate 2-0, and that's as much as you can ask. With wins comes consistent confidence, and after that swagger, which this team will definitely benefit from.
The Rock:Art Museum Steps: Yo, Brian! Gotta like how dese guys get off da canvas. Tell 'em to keep goin. Yo, Penn!!
brian seltzer:: Yo, Rock! You're in the lead for "Best Phrased Question" (I'm not even sure if what you wrote was a question) out of the four chat sessions so far. But you hit upon a great point. It's a lot of fun to watch this group develop, come together, and hopefully continue to progress and post positive results. They're starting to display more of a determined, blue collar approach. Just keep battling. Jack Eggleston-who received his second Ivy League Rookie of the Week Award this week-in particular played w/ a lot of persistence. A career high 16 PT to go along w/ 6 R, 4 A , 2 B, and 3 S on Saturday was very impressive.
Phil:Overbrook: Hey Brian, I know it wasn't a Penn game, but I did see some Penn people in the Palestra last night, so what did you think of the Holy War? My friend Jay in Radnor is not very happy today...
brian seltzer:: Hi Phil- I was able to get down to the game last night as well, and it really wasn't much of a contest after Villanova drew within 19-18. I can understand why your friend Jay is a little bummed out. It seems like the Cats are in a complete disarray. They looked apathetic, lost, and displayed very little confidence. How about Saint Joseph's, though? I was more impressed with them than Villanova after seeing Penn play both teams, and they're really playing great hoops right now. Pat Calathes is so dangerous, and Rob Ferguson as well with his ability to step outside and hit. SJU fed off of a phenomenal crowd (the support from their student section was off the charts, as they filled the entire west side of the Palestra) and now they're the favorite for the Big 5 title. +
Margot:denver, co: How much would you say the Quakers' front court has improved over the past few weeks?
brian seltzer:: Hi Margot, and thanks for taking the time to participate from across the country. The Quakes have played better the past three games up front. Going back to the game against Temple, Penn got very nice offensive production out of Andreas Schrieber(12 PT) and Jack Eggleston(15 PT). Against Harvard, despite being down two bodies on the block after Dre and Brennan Votel's ejections (not to mention Justin Reilly's injury/foul trouble), the frontcourt managed to outrebound the Crimson by 12 boards, which was then a season high. Then the next night against Dartmouth, 42 of Penn's 68 PT came from forwards Jack Eggleston, Cam Lewis, Andreas Schreiber, and Justin Reilly. That's pretty good, not to mention that they set a new season high for rebounding margin w/ +13. They have definitely made strides in this area the past few weeks, and they'll need it against Columbia's front court, and Cornell's as well, which now has a seven footer. I should also mention that Brian Grandieri is a big part of the rebounding as well.
Jason :Cherry Hill, NJ: Hi Brian--This will probably be a question that will come up over the next couple weeks, but what are your impressions of the Ivy standings to date?
brian seltzer:: Hey Jason, and I agree with you that that question'll likely resurface several times before the season is through. Cornell is clearly living up to their billing as the pre-season favorite by starting out at 4-0. They absolutely ripped apart Yale on Saturday 66-45 after handling Brown Friday 75-64. And that was on the road. After Cornell, the standings are pretty interesting. I definitely didn't think that after combining to go 8-24 outside the conference, the Quakes and Tigers would BOTH be 2-0 entering the second weekend of Ancient Eight action. There truly is no bigger mystery than Yale. With so much talent, how they manage to begin conference play at 1-3 is beyond me. James Jones just isn't getting very much out of that group. I thought that after rocking the Bulldogs on Friday, Columbia had a chance to sweep the weekend, but they too are in a 1-3 hole after the Bears squeaked one out on Saturday. Even though they're both 1-3, it looks like Harvard and Dartmouth have improved from last year. The Big Green's Alex Barnett really looked dynamic at the Palestra on Saturday. Very smooth.
Jay:Chicago: Brian, how will the Quakers do on the road this weekend at Columbia and Cornell?
brian seltzer:: Hey Jay-I really can't wait to find out. In trying to analyze how these contests might go, I think the first factor to consider is that they're road games. Penn has really struggled away from the Palestra. They're 1-6 off campus this year. A positive to pull from that, though, is that the one road game they did win, 12/8 vs. Monmouth, was probably the most "like" Ivy League team they've played on the road. Perhaps the argument could be made that Lafayette is like an Ancient Eight program, but they seem to be playing better than most would have predicted. So, the Red and Blue need to compete with the same composure they showed at the Palestra this past weekend on the road. As for Columbia, they have a great frontcourt player in John Bauman, the third leading scorer in the league and second leading rebounder. He's joined on the block by Ben Nwachuku, who can have great nights, but then also disappear. If they can contain Baumann to a degree, that gives them a legit chance. Cornell is just stacked. Ryan Whittman and Louis Dale combine for 28 PT in the backcourt, and their transfer, the aptly named Jeff Foote, stands in at an even seven-feet tall, and he's averaging around 7.5 PT-5.5 R. He will present a challenge in the post. Especially for that game against the Big Red, the Quakers must, must, must minimize mistakes. The turnovers appeared to have gotten a little better the past few games, but then reared their ugly head down the stretch against Dartmouth, and it probably should have cost them the game.
Alex:Elkins Park, PA: What's up, Brian? Any injury updates on some of the shelved guys, like Darren Smith?
brian seltzer:: Hey, Alex. Tremendous hometown, by the way. That's where I grew up. Darren Smith, from what I've heard, will be in a leg cast for about another month and a half. Again, he broke a portion of his knee cap in the season-opener against Drexel. He's really handling the situation well. When I see him around at practice and catch up with him, he's always in solid spirits. He'd love to be helping this team right now. Tommy McMahon is around as well. Like Darren, you'll see him on the bench for games. I know it's been tough on Tommy dealing with the recurring back and hip problems that have plagued him the past few seasons. It looks like Harrison Gaines' hamstring is improving, as he's been able to log minutes in the past three games. And rookie Danny Monckton is hoping to return to practice at some point this week (possibly today, I believe) after having to spend Friday night in the hospital for illness. It was good to see him on the sidelines for Saturday's game. He also dealt with a weird virus during pre-season.
Ben:Delco: How much has Kevin Egee's turnaround effected the team?
brian seltzer:: Hi Ben-It's really been nice to see Kevin, a Ridley product, snap out of his early season funk the past couple of games. Before he broke out of it, he spent time with the coaching staff comparing footage from last year to this year, and notice he wasn't competing with that same confidence and swagger that he displayed in 2006-2007. So, he took on a more aggressive approach, and it's helped him immensely. And, I think it's rubbing off on his teammates. His three point shooting is improving, and how about his foul shots that clinched the win over Dartmouth on Saturday? He entered that game 10-23 from the foul line on the season, and then hit 7-8 vs. the Big Green, including two huge front-ends with less than 20 seconds left. Nice to see Kev turn it around.
brian seltzer:: Alright, guys. Great conversation this afternoon. Really enjoyed it, and again, thanks for bearing with the technical issues that the website has been experiencing the past couple days. To follow the Quakers this weekend, catch the radio broadcast on Sports Radio 950 WPEN AM on Friday(6:50) and 88.5 WXPN FM Saturday (6:45). A new podcast will be released tomorrow as well (it's now available on iTunes for subscription), there are audio highlights from this past weekend's broadcasts linked to the game recaps, and the interview Vince Curran and I did with ESPN's Tony Kornheiser, also a Penn parent, is posted to the "Podcast/Audio Interviews" section of the men's basketball webpage. Have a great rest of the week and weekend!

Penn Men's Basketball Live Chat-Session 3

brian seltzer:: Hey Penn Fans: Welcome back to another one of our live chat sessions. Well, the start of the most critical portion of Penn’s 2007-2008 campaign lingers just a few days away. The Quakers host Harvard and Dartmouth at the Palestra in the opening weekend of Ancient Eight action. The Crimson and Big Green are two of four Ivy teams with 1-1 conference records. So, as we look ahead to these two league games, I figure we can wrap up any loose ends with from the non-conference season, discuss how the Ivy standings are shaping up at this point, and how much momentum can the Red and Blue really muster from a strong second half performance against Temple last week Fire away.
Pam:Scranton: How are the Quaker's going to look this weekend?
brian seltzer:: Pam-great question to get this thing rolling. I'm really curious to see how the Quakes stack up against the Crimson. Tommy Amaker, the former Duke player that has also coached at Seton Hall and most recently Michigan, is a big name that Harvard hired to take over for Frank Sullivan. So far, the Crimson are a really peculiar team. They knocked off Michigan in Cambridge back in the beginning of December, and then proceeded to lose their next SEVEN games. That's right, 7 straight defeats to follow up one of the biggest victories in the program's recent history. How did they stop that skid? An 82-56 drubbing of Dartmouth in their Ivy opener. You'd think that would propel them into conference competition, but it didn't. The Big Green returned the favor 6 days later in a 43 PT swing, hammering Harvard 73-56. And, that game, which was played on January 11th, is the last time the Crimson were on the court. It'll be very intriguing to see how they come out, because Amaker has shown he can get Harvard to play well in big games, but then they suffer letdowns.
Ben :Portland, OR: Let's talk about that second half against the Owls. What should we really make of it?
brian seltzer:: Well, Ben, coming off of the Saint Joseph's loss, which was completely demoralizing, the Quakers needed to leave Temple on Wednesday night with something positive to draw upon to enter Ivy League play. Now, I hate to emphasize moral victories-because losses are losses-but Penn put together a decent 20 minutes of basketball against a superior team in the Owls. Unlike the SJU game, they didn't reflect poor body language once they got down. Instead, they started to compete with some intensity, fire, and heart that have not been on display consistently throughout the year. By doing so, they put themselves in position to hang around in the game down the stretch. I'm not saying that the second half will necessarily spark swagger--I think a couple games in a row of solid basketball can only do that--but it's definitely a step in the right direction.
Alex:philly: Can the Big Green be a sleeper
brian seltzer:: Hey Alex--As I've mentioned in this chat session and also during broadcasts, the league is wide open this year. That's no secret. Dartmouth heads to Princeton on Friday night with an 8-8 overall record. This is the first time, I believe, they've been at .500 entering the heart of the conference schedule since 1998-1999. They posted solid non-league wins at Colgate, against Vermont, New Hampshire in OT...they've now won three in a row after dropping four straight, so they could be clicking at the perfect time. They're dangerous, no doubt about it, especially with their forward Alex Barnett, who entered this past weekend leading the Ivy League in PT(16.3) and R(7.0). It'll be a tough one.
Marc :Bucks County: Hi Brian--Penn has played an awful lot of players during the non conference season. What do you see the rotation like starting the Ivies? Will it be any tighter?
brian seltzer:: Hey Marc--You raise an issue that I think is on the minds of a lot of Penn fans. At this point, to start the week, I'm not sure if I could give you a dead set rotation, because the way that the coaching staff works is that they evaluate performance on a daily basis at practice. In recent weeks, I know that Kevin Eggee has stood out, which is reflected in him starting three of the last four games, and logging a lot of minutes. Will that change now that Harrison Gaines is back on the floor, having overcome his hamstring injury? Can't say for sure. He did put up 7 PT quickly in just 10 M @ Temple. But, I think Kevin has played well the past few contests. A few too many turnovers against SJU, but his 3 PT shooting hopefully is coming around. After starting the season 2-18 from the outside, he's hit 5 of his last 8 3FG. I think you can count on Bernardini, Grandieri, and Eggleston in the starting line up. PG and that second frontcourt spot remain a wild card, especially given Andreas Schreibers' encouraging performance at Temple.
phil:CA: Brian, with the Ivy League forthcoming, who stood out durnig non-league play?
brian seltzer:: Hey Phil--and thanks for hopping on from the West Coast, where it's still a little early. Tyler Bernardini I probably put down as having the most impressive non-conference season based on his scoring ability(now a team high 12.9 PT and also team-high 27 3FG). He's had some of his best games against some of Penn's best competition, i.e. 'Nova, UNC, La Salle, also Temple. He was touted coming into his rookie year, and he's shown why, on track early for the Ivy League Rookie of the Year. But I've also been really encouraged by Jack Eggleston's play. He started off the season steady, and can produce consistently on both ends of the floor. I don't think the coaching staff was entirely sure what they'd get out of him, but he plays with hussle and is a competitor. He just had the best game of his career (15 PT-6 R) at Temple, and if the Quakes are going to contend in the Ancient Eight, they'll need him to come through as he did against the Owls.
Craig:Jenkintown, PA: How much did it hurt the team to go winless in the Big 5 this year?
brian seltzer:: Craig-The guys weren't pleased. The players and fans of basketball here in Philadelphia understand the significance of those games. There's of course the civic pride element, but for a program like Penn, it's not just to prepared them for the Ivy League, but see how they measure up to teams from stronger conferences like the Big East and A10. Wins in the Big 5 establish credibility for sure. So, they were bummed that they didn't get a win in the City Series (the last Penn team to go 0-4 in Big 5 competition was back in 2000-2001). And the coaching staff was ticked as well. They do emphasize to the team the necessity of living up to the tradition, and take it hard when they fail to reach that goal.
John:cape man, NJ: What could a 2-0 weekend do for this group?
brian seltzer:: Jon, thanks for the question. If Penn were to shoot out to that type of start to begin a third Ivy League title defense, I think it'd be huge. At the end of a conference game, wins are wins. Right now, Cornell has two of them, and no losses. The Big Red swept their series with Columbia, and are in the driver's seat early, as the Ivy League Media Poll forecasted. HOwever, Cornell has a tough weekend ahead, travelling to Yale and Brown, which this season could be the most difficult road trip in the league. The Quakers will want as much of a cushion as possible by the time they head up to Ithaca for their fourth league game on February 9th. The best way to accomplish that is to start strong this weekend.
brian seltzer:: Alright, guys and gal, thanks for your participation this week. We'll touch base next Monday and hopefully be discussing an encouraging Ivy League opening weekend for the Quakes. On Wednesday, a new podcast comes out, as well, as Glen Miller and I will look ahead to his team's Ancient Eight slate.

Penn Men's Basketball Live Chat-Session 2

brian seltzer:: Hey, Penn fans. Welcome back to round two of the PennAthletics.com men's basketball chat session. Rough weekend, to say the least. Here's to hoping the Quakes can put together a positive performance at Temple on Wednesday, and build some much needed confidence heading into Ivy League play. Well, to pick up where the previous discussion left off, "Charles/Samuel: University City" asked me to name an all-time starting five. Unfortunately, no can do with that. Just too tough, especially since I'm too young to have seen the great players from the 50's, 60's, and 70's in action. For those, I can only form opinions based on the history I read about and stats. Stats can give you a sense of their accomplishments, but as my partner for the SJU broadcast and Big 5 Hall of Famer Stan Pawlak likes to say, stats don't paint the whole picture. That being said, there are certain players whose stats are of such great a magnitude they can't be ignored. So, what I decided to do, instead of compiling a rotation of 8, and list 4 back court and front court players. I can throw in some of the older players with those from the more recent era that I actually had a chance to watch in person. Of course, these selections can be debated to no end, and I'd love to hear your picks. Here they are: Backcourt: Jerome Allen, Steve Bilsky, Michael Jordan, Matt Maloney Frontcourt: Ernie Beck, Corky Calhoun, Ugonna Onyekwe
brian seltzer:: i said 4 frontcourt players, right? of course, how could i forget to mention good old 00, vince curran...
Russell Little:Houston, Texas: What information do you have on recruiting? Do you know if the coaches are looking at anyone in Houston?
brian seltzer:: hey russ-- as far as recruiting in houston, i have no knowledge of anything specific. as i wrote last week, if what the DP and other outlets have reported are correct about the incoming players for next year, i think that penn appears to be in solid shape. when it comes to recruiting, how great a state is texas? they've really produced some solid talent in recent years. rick barnes is doing great things with the longhorns. penn sophomore justin reilly is from dallas, and i know he played against a lot of nba talent went he was playing in high school at dallas jesuit
brian seltzer:: going back to last week's conversation, i thought it was a little one-sided, which is fine. i'm happy to answer all questions that are out there, but to try and generate a little more conversation... wednesday is the final non-conference game for penn before ivy league play starts. yes, there is a lot this team needs to work on to compete in the conference, but from what you've seen in 16 games, what are some of the positives that you as fans pull?
brian seltzer:: since this is going a little slow today... i think one very clear positive is tyler bernardini. he struggled w/ just 5 PT vs. SJU on Saturday, but for him to post 20+ PT four times already is pretty impressive, especially against the likes of nova, carolina, and la salle. cam lewis presents some promise. he couldn't get it going against the hawks, but i'm intrigued to see how he stacks up against less athletic front courts in the ivy league.
jack:philadelphia: how does the team feel about going up against fran dunphy on wednesday
brian seltzer:: jack--thanks for the question. the majority of the team has a connection of some kind to fran. the seniors and juniors all played for him, while the sophomores were recruited by him. even jack eggleston, a current freshmen, was initially sought after by coach dunphy when he was still here. so, i think without question there will be extra emotion there, particularly for someone like brian grandieri, who played an influential role in the succes that dunph had his final two titles at penn. but, i don't think the emotions will reach the levels they did last year, when mark, ibby, and steve, the nucleus that dunph developed, were around. it'll be interesting to see how it goes with the game at temple this season.
Warren:New York City: Is Harrison Gaines likely for Temple?
brian seltzer:: hi warren--that's a great question. when i last spoke with coach miller, the impression i got was that harrison would need to make some pretty significant strides to be ready to go against the owls. hamstrings are especially tricky injuries, as evidenced by harrison re-tweaking it against NJIT 1/5 after sitting out the entire florida trip. he is working on it aggressively, doing some running at practice. but, right now, the issue is how much good would it do harrison's longterm health if he rested one more game, and then have an additional 8 days off before ancient eight play gets underway. it would be nice, though, to see harrison one more time before the league starts.
Marc:Bucks County: Hey Brian-Enjoy listening to the games. In Harrison's absence, how have Aron Cohen and Kevin Eggee done filling in at point guard?
brian seltzer:: thanks, marc--i think aron and kevin have done decently. even though kevin got the start against sju, aron had handled the ball solidly his previous two games, committing just 1 TO against 11A. kevin, meanwhile, logged a career high 33 minutes against the hawks on saturday, and scored a season high 9 PT, which was encouraging (he did turn the ball over 4 times, though). and if you're trying to take a positive away from the sju game, perhaps it's that kevin gaines some shooting confidence. he hit 3 3FG after coming into the night 2-18 on the year from the perimeter. that from the same player that set a penn record last season by shooting 51.3% of his 3FG on 25 or more 3FG attempts. so, the hope would be that saturday is a positive sign of things to come.
brian seltzer:: here's some nice breaking news. tyler bernardini continues to make his ivy league rookie of the year push. he was named the rookie of the week for the fourth time this season. that makes it 6 times that penn freshmen have received the honor
tom:cherry hill, nj: hey brian, what do you make of the ivy league race now that a few league games have been played?
brian seltzer:: tom, thanks for chiming in. i think it's still way too early to get a read on the race. cornell did what it was supposed to do on saturday, defeating columbia, even though they had a tough time doing so(70-64). harvard and dartmouth split, which really says more about harvard after they won the first game by 26 PT, only to lose the rematch by 17. a 43 PT swing? that's pretty wild. but the most interesting game so far has been brown at yale. i think a lot of people felt that the bears were playing the best basketball in the league heading into the conference. a win at yale would have validated that, but they couldn't come away with one, losing in OT 66-63. certainly wouldn't call it an upset, but a victory there for brown would have done a lot for the belief they built up.
Trey Hart:San Jose: You mentioned Cam Lewis earlier. Is he a mainstay for the starting lineup?
brian seltzer:: Trey--I'm not sure if you could label anyone on this team right now, aside from Brian Grandieri or Tyler Bernardini, a mainstay for the starting lineup. The consistency just hasn't been there. But Cam is certainly an intriguing player. He can do things that others can't with his size and length. He has the potential to present problems inthe post defensively with shotblocking, and you hope he can maintain his offense.

Penn Men's Basketball Live Chat-Session 1

brian seltzer::

***PLEASE READ*** Hey, Penn fans. Thanks for taking the time to check out the debut of this Penn men’s basketball chat session that I’ll be hosting every Monday at 12:00 PM EST throughout the rest of the season. It’s pretty cool that our website now has the capabilities to offer this type of feature, and I’m looking forward to taking part in the discussion/interaction that it generates. With this being the first session, I’m not sure what to expect in respect to the volume of participation. There could be a steady stream of questions, or I could end up sitting here typing to myself. I hope it’s the former, rather than the latter, situation. When answering your questions, I'll do so quickly, but also with as much depth as I can. That being said, a scenario might arise in which I fall a little bit behind. I will make every effort to tackle to each topic you bring to the table in the allotted time that we have. Also, and this is a flaw with our webhosting company, I think that when new dialogue (whether it be a question or an answer) is added to the chat window, the session resets automatically to the beginning. That means you then have to scroll down to the bottom of the window to view replies. It’s somewhat of an inconvenience. I've asked our company to investigate and work on the problem. So, with all the logistics covered, let’s open the discussion to the Quakes. Fire away.

Tom Young:Easton, Pa (now live in Denver):

Wha's the word on David Whitehurst?

brian seltzer::

Hey Tom, thanks for chiming in. All quiet on that front. I would expect the Quakers to continue through the rest of the season with the players they currently have.

Chris:Fairfax:

How do you think the Quakers will fare in the Ivy League?

brian seltzer::

Chris- One (biased) media member conspicuously voted Penn to finish first in the Ivy League this season...I do believe they have a chance, provided they stay relatively healthy, they begin to minimize mistakes, and start to play with composure on the road. Out of all the Ivy teams, I think Penn has the most challenging set of games heading into conference competition, with a run of three in a row in the Big 5. Other teams like Cornell (Alvernia) and Yale (Oberlin) can't say the same. Brown has been impressive so far. That last-second win at Army was pretty important for them a few weeks ago.

AsiaSunset:New York:

Brian - what is the latest on the injuries to Kach and Gaines?

brian seltzer::

Asia- The players injured over the previous three games are all making positive progress. Mike should be on the floor tomorrow night, so his back problems appear to be righting themselves. Harrison worked lightly through practice over the weekend after re-aggravating the hamstring that held him out at FGCU and Miami. Brennan dressed against NJIT last Saturday, but didn't participate.

Mike:Delco:

Do we have a shot v Lasalle or st joes?

brian seltzer::

Mike- La Salle is a very intriguing team. They have some exceptional individual talent. One of their guards, Darnell Harris, who absolutely lit the Quakes up last year w/ a career high 32 PT, is one of the country's premier perimeter shooters. Rodney Green is another good backcourt player for them, and in the frontcourt, they boast a freshmen named Jerrell Williams who posted a double-double against St. Bonaventure Saturday. I think the odds are better against La Salle than Saint Joe's, which seems to have found its stride.

Evan:Ardmore:

How crazy does Curran drive you?

brian seltzer::

Evan- I survive...somehow... But in all honesty, there's no one I'd rather work with. Not only is he entertaining, but a great friend. Getting to do games alongside a former Penn player, with as much passion as he has, is a ton of fun.

marty bennett:queens ny:

brian: how is the recruiting season going at this time? thank you

brian seltzer::

Hey Marty- From what I've been hearing, recruiting is going well. I can't get into specifics, but if what the DP and other outlets have been reporting is accurate, then I think Penn appears to be in good shape. What I can tell you is that the coaching staff works tirelessly to get out on the road as much as they can, and are zeroing in on some promising prospects.

AsiaSunset:New York:

Lots of concern over the quality of the PSN transmissions. Is this a shared concern and are the quality issues being addressed?

brian seltzer::

Asia- Thanks for bringing this issue up, because I've heard lately that it's a point of frustration for some of the subscribers as of late. I know that the department is aware of the problems that have surfaced as of late regarding audio quality, the choppiness of the video stream. They're doing everything in their power to right the situation. For the next PSN broadcast, the audio quality, at the very least, should be better.

Jason:Cherry Hill:

hey Brian, big fan...like listening to you and vince...outside of the palestra, which is your favorite Ivy League place to call a game?

brian seltzer::

Jason- Thanks, and while I hate to sound like a snob, only one venue in the Ivy League-and this is only my opinion-can come close to touching the Palestra in terms of ambiance, uniqueness of design, and atmosphere, and that's Payne Whitney Gym up at Yale. But, I never really enjoy going there, since that place has been a nightmare as of late for the Quakes

Jim:Groton Ct (Now Conway, SC):

This is definately a rebuilding year, but with the crop of young players you have getting quality playing time, what do you think about Penns upcoming year or two?

brian seltzer::

hey guys--hold on a sec. just had a few technical issues on the back end of the site. bear with me.

brian seltzer::

Jim- I just lost the answer I wrote to your question. I'll get back to it before we're done.

Roxie:Haddonfield:

The video from Florida was fun - are you going to do more of those? And also, any fun stories from the road this season?

brian seltzer::

Roxie- More of those videos should be coming in the next few weeks. An equipment malfunction spared all of you a video short of the Vinman and myself topless in the pool at our hotel in Miami...I'm going to see if we can get the outtakes of that up on the site.

John:Newport:

Over or under? 9 wins in the ivies for this quaker team? I really enjoy listening to you and vince, keep up the good work.

brian seltzer::

John- thanks for the kind words. we both are thrilled to have the priviledge to relay the action to you. that number for the wins, 9, is an intriguing one. i would be surprised if the eventual champion has fewer than 3 losses, i really would. if improvements are made, execution is crisper, then i think the quakers can get above 9 wins.

Ben:Austin:

Love the podcasts. When will they be on iTunes or at least subscribe-able?

brian seltzer::

ben- appreciate you checking those out, and having the patience to re-visit the website each week to download the latest episodes. i hate to sound like a broken record, but it's an issue our webcompany is dealing with. they are hoping to have a subscription option developed shortly. it would be awesome if we could get the podcast on iTunes, which is my hope for the longterm.

John:Newport:

How did you get involved with announcing the games? Also what are your plans after graduation, will you continue to do the games?

brian seltzer::

jjohn- i've actually graduated(hard to believe, and definitely a reality check). i'm extremely fortunate that penn has decided to keep me involved with the broadcasts. there is no better opportunity than to call the action for your alma matter, especially when they play about 15 games a year in the best basketball arena in the country. additionally i cover the eagles for Sports Radio 950 AM here in philly, and co-host a Monday night talk show with one of the Birds' players, Brian Dawkins.

Tom :Easton:

The Navy coached praised Penn history of "mental toughness." How's the attitude on this team?

brian seltzer::

Tom- I've been really impressed with the mental make up this year's club, especially given their youth. But, I'll start at the top, with Brian Grandieri. He has done a tremendous job leading this team. This is not to take anything away from what Mark, Ibby, and Steve did last year, but they were a trio of seniors, and could share the leadership responsibilities between them. Brian carries the bulk of that duty this year as the only senior that has played a significant role in the three Ivy League title teams. Again, that's not to take anything away from the other two seniors, Mike Kach and Joe Gill. They are unbelievably hard workers, and are extremely well respected by their teammates. Brian keeps the group loose, understands when he has to get them focused, and I think the underclassmen have responded well to him. Despite the struggles at times this year, the squad is optimistic about what lies ahead the rest of this year. They all see potential.

billy c:Philly:

How was the trip to miami?

brian seltzer::

billy- while the basketball wasn't memorable, the weather definitely was. it's a great perk of this position to be able to accompany the team on trips like the one we took to miami. good sights, good eats, south beach was a blast, and i even manageg to get a little color, which isn't saying much...

Jen:MiddleOfNowhere, Wisconsin:

I attend almost every Quakers home game, and I have to say that a highlight is seeing what jacket you wear all the time. Where do you shop?

brian seltzer::

well jen, i appreciate your fine fashion sense. the shirt/suit corner on the corner of 3rd and market in old city is an occasional destination. other than that, a good standby is jos. a. bank.

brian seltzer::

Jim, hopefully you're still around, as I'm getting back to the question you asked about quality playing time paying off for some of the underclassmen. i think that it will. if not for cam lewis' breakthrough as of late, i think a lot of fans would have taken more notice of conor turley's recent play. the freshman reserve forward set a career high w/ 8 PT @ Miami, and then a new career high w/ 9 PT vs. NJIT. he's definitely getting into more of a rhythm as his minutes increase. i think that the flashes of potential that tyler bernardini, harrison gaines, and jack eggleston have exhibited are encouraging. tyler has especially impressed with three ivy league rookie of the week awards. remy cofield continues to improve his comfort with the offense. don't forget about danny monckton. dan had a tough time in the pre-season, missing valuable practice time after spending several days in the hospital with a viral infection. he just might be one of the best all around athlete on the team. i'm encouraged by what i've seen. you just have to hope that if they hit a wall that rookies typically do, they're able to battle through it.

Chas:Weymouth, Mass.:

Brian, getting the chance to chat with the Voice of the Quakers is a real thrill. Anyway, what would you say are some realistic goals for the team as they head into these Big 5 games? Oh, and who you got going to the Super Bowl?

brian seltzer::

chas- realistic goals for this next stretch? i'm not going out on a limb here, but they need to try and get wins to build confidence heading into conference play, but while doing so, also make sure they have as many kinks ironed out as possible. they need to try and find out as much as possible about themselves with these three games remaining before the ivy league begins. i'm going with the packers in the super bowl.

Charles/Samuel:University City:

We are new to the world of Quaker hoops. If you had to name an all-time starting five, who would it be? Also, who do you think is better this season, Georgetown or Maryland?

brian seltzer::

hey guys- with this session ending at one, i'll start next monday by answering that one. definitely deserves more thought than the three minutes i have left. ***WRAP UP*** thanks so much to all of you who decided to participate this afternoon. hope you enjoyed it as much as i did, and i look forward to continuing the quaker conversation throughout the rest of the campaign. again, thanks for your time, and for the support of penn athletics.