Quakers In New York State of Mind This Weekend

Penn Game Notes for Ivy Weekend #4 in PDF Format

PHILADELPHIA -- “Some folks like to get away/take a holiday from the neighborhood...”

No doubt a number of Philadelphians have been singing that line from Billy Joel’s classic anthem “New York State of Mind” this week -- the Piano Man is in the City of Brotherly Love for five shows.

The members of the University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team are probably not part of that group -- the guys are a little young to know that tune -- but they will be getting away from their University City neighborhood this weekend. The catch is that it is business, not holiday, and rather than leaving New York they are entering it -- the Quakers hit the road for the second-straight weekend, this time making the jaunt to the Ivy League’s Empire State representatives, Columbia and Cornell.

Penn was unanimously picked to win the Ivy League prior to the 2005-06 campaign, and at the halfway point of the conference season the Quakers have lived up to the hype with an emphatic 7-0 record. How emphatic? Consider this...

• Penn’s average margin of victory in Ivy play is 23.1.
• Penn’s closest game was a 13-point win (81-68 at Harvard last Saturday).
• Penn has trailed a total of 45 seconds out of 140 second-half minutes, and that was the first 45 second of the second half vs. Yale in a game the Quakers won by 22.
• In every game except Tuesday’s 19-point win over Princeton, Penn held a lead above 20 points at some juncture.

As a result, the Quakers enter the weekend with a two-game lead on the rest of the field. As you might expect, though, head coach Fran Dunphy is not taking things for granted. Though the Quakers have had success on this trip in recent years, it is still a bear -- especially the second night, after the long drive from New York City to Ithaca. And this weekend starts a tough second half of the conference season for Penn, as the Quakers play five of their last seven Ivy games on the road.

The Series with Columbia
• Friday night’s meeting between Penn and Columbia is the 209th between these Ivy rivals; the Quakers have won the last eight in a row and lead the series 129-79.

• Penn head coach Fran Dunphy boasts a 28-5 all-time record over Columbia.

• Earlier this season, Penn defeated Columbia, 87-55, at The Palestra in Philadelphia.

The Series with Cornell
• Saturday night’s meeting between Penn and Cornell is the 206th between these Ivy rivals; the Quakers have won the last 15 in a row and lead the series 139-66.

• Penn head coach Fran Dunphy boasts a 29-4 all-time record over Cornell.

• Earlier this season, Penn defeated Cornell, 84-44, at The Palestra in Philadelphia.

•In the Dunphy era, Penn has swept this road trip 10 times (including each of the last four years), been swept once (in 1991), and split it five times.

I Know You!
Saturday night, for the sixth-straight year, Dunphy will match wits with a man who knows him pretty well -- Cornell Head Coach Steve Donahue. Donahue served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator under Dunphy for 10 years. During his tenure as a Quaker assistant, he was instrumental in the Quakers winning six Ivy League titles, advancing to the NCAA Tournament five times and earning national recognition with a top 25 ranking. A new face on Donahue’s staff might also be a familiar one to Penn fans. Nat Graham lettered twice at Penn, and was part of two undefeated Ivy League teams.

The Goods on Penn...
• Fran Dunphy is 163-26 (.862 win percentage) against the Ivy League since the beginning of the 1992-93 season.

• Since starting the 2003-04 Ivy campaign with two losses, Penn is 30-3 against the Ancient Eight including a 13-1 road record.

• Penn enters tonight’s game 7-0 in the Ivy League for the seventh time under Dunphy, and the second year in a row; on five of the previous six times, the Quakers ended the conference season undefeated.

• Penn entered the week 15th nationally in steals per game (9.9), 30th in scoring margin (+9.8), 33rd in scoring defense (61.1 ppg allowed), and tied for 41st in fewest turnovers per game (13.0).

• Penn leads the Ivy League in seven categories overall, and eight categories when Ivy League-only games are considered (see graphic on page 2 for more info).

• Penn has won 12 of its last 14 games, with five of the wins coming on the road (Hawaii, BYU-Hawaii, The Citadel, Dartmouth, Harvard), the seven home wins coming by an average of 24.3 points, and 10 of the victories coming by double figures.

• Penn’s average margin of victory in its last nine wins is 23.7 points.

• Penn has committed fewer turnovers than its opponent in 14 of the last 15 games -- including four games where the margin was more than 10 -- compiling a +6.73 turnover margin in that stretch; the one time it did not happen was last Friday at Dartmouth, when Penn had 19 turnovers and the Big Green had 18.

• Penn has had 10 or more steals in nine of the last 14 games, and nine thefts in three others during that stretch; in the last 14 games, the Quakers are averaging 10.2 steals.

Download: MBK Notes 22-23 (@C-C).pdf