Penn, Princeton Set to Renew Rivalry

Penn vs. Princeton

Tuesday, Feb. 13 * 7 p.m.
The Palestra * Philadelphia
WXPN (88.5 FM) / (Brian Seltzer, Vince Curran)
TV: CN8 (Scott Graham, Rob Kennedy)

Penn Game Notes in PDF Format

PHILADELPHIA - One team is 5-1 in the Ivy League; the other is 1-5. No matter. You can throw the records out when the Ivy League’s signature programs get together on the hardwood, as they do tonight at The Palestra to renew one of the best rivalries in college basketball.

Two-time defending champion Penn is back atop the Ivy League standings after Saturday night, when the Quakers defeated Harvard and Yale fell to Cornell by a point in Ithaca, N.Y. There is still a long way to go, however, starting tonight with Princeton coming to The Palestra.

Under third-year head coach Joe Scott, the Tigers have struggled in conference play. However, any Penn player knows better than to overlook their rival -- this year’s edition can just point back to last year’s regular-season finale, when the Tigers eked out a 60-59 win in overtime. In fact, Penn’s four-year seniors (Steve Danley, Ibrahim Jaaber, Mark Zoller) have seen three OT games with Princeton in their careers.

Tonight’s game represents the midway point not just of the 14-game Ivy League schedule; it is also the middle of a five-game Ivy League homestand for Penn, all taking place in an eight-day span.

Penn Picked to Win
Penn was a near-unanimous pick to win the Ivy League title for the third year in a row and the fifth time in the last six years by a preseason poll of Ivy League media outlets. The Quakers received 15 of the 16 first-place votes in the preseason poll. (see page 5 for more details)

Ivy Domination
Penn began the 2003-04 Ivy League season with a pair of losses at Yale and Brown. Since then, the Quakers have gone 40-6 in league play (21-2 at home, 19-4 on the road). Beyond that, all but two of the six losses could have gone either way. They were: 78-74 to Brown (2/20/04); 76-70 in OT to Princeton (3/9/04); 78-60 at Yale (2/19/05); 59-57 at Columbia (2/17/06); 60-59 in OT at Princeton (3/7/06); and 77-68 at Yale (2/3/07).

Ivy Domination, Palestra Style
Penn has won 16 straight Ivy League home games -- going 7-0 each of the last two seasons, then beating Dartmouth and Harvard this past weekend -- as well as 19 of 20 and 33 of 35 in conference play at home. In fact, the Quakers are a staggering 97-9 at The Palestra against the Ancient Eight since losing their Ivy League home opener in 1991-92. In that span, the Quakers are 9-5 against Princeton and 88-4 against the rest of the league.

Surveying the Opponent
• Tonight’s meeting between Penn and Princeton is the 215th in men’s basketball; the Quakers lead the series, 117-97.

• These teams split last season, with Penn winning 60-41 here at The Palestra and Princeton winning 60-59 in overtime at Jadwin Gym.

• Penn and Princeton have gone to overtime in one of their two meetings each of the last three years—last year at Jadwin, and the two years before that here at The Palestra.

• A classic rivalry? A good gauge can be used by the 17-year Fran Dunphy coaching era at Penn. During his tenure, five games went to overtime. But you may be surprised to know that just nine of the other 30 games were decided by single digits, and the average margin of victory during the Dunphy era was 11.6 points.

• A dominant rivalry? That is a better gauge. Since 1989, Penn or Princeton has won at least a share of every Ivy title, and they have both earned the League’s NCAA Tournament bid nine times during that stretch. Only Yale managed to work its way into the mix during that time, tying both the Quakers and Tigers in a three-way tie in 2001 (Penn emerged from that scrum to gain the NCAA bid).

• Perhaps more amazing, Penn or Princeton has been crowned champion 45 of the last 48 years of Ivy League competition in men’s basketball.

Tough Schedule!
• Penn began the Ivy League season with four road games, but are now in a span of playing seven of nine Ivy games at home (including five in an eight-day span from Feb. 9-17).

Scheduling Tough!
• The seven non-conference teams to beat Penn this year -- UTEP, Syracuse, Villanova, Fordham, Seton Hall, No. 5 North Carolina and Saint Joseph’s -- entered the week with a combined record of 108-61 (.639 win percentage). All have winning records.

Veteran Leadership
• Ibrahim Jaaber has started all 80 games played by Penn the last three seasons, while Steve Danley has started 78 of the 79 games he has played in that span (he came off the bench for Senior Night in 2004-05, and missed a game to injury in 2005-06). Mark Zoller has 85 career starts.

When Penn Has Won (14)...
• Penn has averaged 78.2 points per game and had a margin of victory of 15.6.

• Penn has shot 49.2 percent from the field (391 of 795), while opponents have shot 40.8 percent from the field (314 of 770).

• Penn has shot 40.9 percent from three-point land (96 of 235), while opponents have shot 35.9 percent from beyond the arc (84 of 234).

• Penn has outrebounded its opponents, 485-477.

• Penn has had 264 assists (18.9 per game) on 391 baskets, a .675 ratio.

• Penn has averaged 12.7 turnovers per game, had a 1.48 assist/turnover ratio (264/178), and compiled a +4.79 turnover margin on its opponents.

• Penn has 137 steals, an average of 9.8 per game.

When Penn Has Lost (8)...
• Penn has averaged 70.8 points per game -- skewed greatly by its 89-point performance against Villanova and its 85 points at Seton Hall -- and had a margin of defeat of 14.2.

• Penn has shot 46.7 percent from the field (209 of 448), while opponents have shot 50.0 percent from the field (234 of 468).

• Penn has shot 31.9 percent from three-point land (52 of 163), while opponents have shot 40.7 percent from beyond the arc (66 of 162).

• Penn has been outrebounded by its opponents, 280-254.

• Penn has had 139 assists (17.4 per game) on 209 baskets, a .665 ratio.

• Penn has averaged 17.6 turnovers per game, had a 0.99 assist/turnover ratio (139/141), and suffered a -3.38 turnover margin against its opponents.

• Penn has 56 steals, an average of 7.0 per game.

Download: 0607 Notes 23 (Princeton).pdf