Quakers Set to Host Big 12 Foe Colorado

Game Notes in PDF Format

PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team began the season with a few injuries that left a lot of question marks about the starting lineup. There were certain spots you could fill with a pen -- Ibrahim Jaaber was going to be at a guard spot, for example, and so was Eric Osmundson. Steve Danley was certain to be under the basket. However, with injuries to the other two probable starters (David Whitehurst and Mark Zoller), the opener was regarded with eagerness as fans waited to see who would step up.

GAME 3 -- Penn (2-0) vs. Colorado (2-1)
Tuesday, Nov. 29 * 8:30 p.m. EST
The Palestra (8,722)
Radio/Internet: WXPN Radio and www.pennathletics.com (Brian Seltzer, PBP; Vince Curran, analyst)

Enter...Brian Grandieri?

A relative unknown, Grandieri sat out last season after suffering an injury prior to his arrival at Penn last summer. He has come back; in fact, judging from his performance Saturday against Drexel, he has come all the way back.

Grandieri drained 12 points and collected five steals, matching Jaaber’s season high to date. What really popped out, though, was his rebound total -- 15. Not bad for a guard listed at 6-foot-4, 190 pounds. He had 10 boards by halftime, putting a buzz in the crowd. Who was this guy?

His emergence has been a welcome sight for head coach Fran Dunphy. The Quakers knew they had a starting five that could compete with anyone; what was questionable was their depth. Grandieri and freshman Tommy McMahon have quickly established that they are capable of playing major minutes, and with Whitehurst and Zoller rounding into form and the experience of senior Friedrich Ebede, Penn has a nice rotation of eight early in the season.

That rotation -- and the emergence of others -- will come in handy this week. Penn hosts three teams in five days, beginning with Big 12 Conference foe Colorado Tuesday night. The Buffs come to The Palestra with a 2-1 record, and a host of NBA scouts will be in the house to get a glimpse of sophomore guard Richard Roby (17.7 ppg).

Following tonight’s game, the Quakers are home in back-to-back games Friday and Saturday night -- and yes, they know it’s not January or February and the Ivy League campaign. Penn will host Navy Friday afternoon at 5 p.m., on the eve of the Army-Navy football game, and then meet Temple Saturday as part of the Big 5 Classic.

The Fun Fact

A 2-0 start seems fairly innocuous, until you realize that Penn has only done so one other time under 17-year head coach Fran Dunphy (1996-97). The Quakers have NEVER started 3-0 under Dunphy -- in fact, the last time it happened was 1981-82.

The Series with Colorado

•This represents just the second meeting betweenPenn and Coloradoin men’s basketball.

• The Buffs won the first meeting, 80-57, on Jan. 4, 2003 in Boulder.

• Penn is 3-9 all-time against teams from the Big 12 Conference, including a 2-5 mark during the Dunphy era.
Colorado0-1 (0-1 under Dunphy)
Iowa State1-0 (1-0)
Kansas0-3 (0-3)
Kansas State0-1
Nebraska1-0 (1-0)
Oklahoma State0-2 (0-1)
Texas Tech1-0

• Penn’s last win against a Big 12 team came Nov. 24, 2001 (84-77 over Iowa State at the Las Vegas Invitational).

• After Saturday’s win, Penn improved to 2-0 for just the second time under Dunphy (the other time was 1996-97. The last time the Quakers started 3-0 was 1981-82.

Download: MBK Notes 03 (Colorado).pdf