After an 11-game absence, sophomore Mike Howlett has returned to the court in style. The Penn center grabbed nine boards against Cornell and leading the Quakers in scoring with 14 points against Columbia.

If the Tigers win tonight, we’re blaming it on the snow.

After all, when Penn beats Cornell and the Tigers are sitting in second place in the Ivy League — hell must be freezing over.

Yes, without even reading their column, we’re sure that the Princetonian sports editors are going to point to Saturday’s loss against Columbia as evidence of the Quakers’ poor play this year.

“Beating Cornell was a fluke,” they’ll say.

But, Tigers and Tigresses, let bygones be bygones. Just remember that our team put a stop to the Big Red, while yours couldn’t seal the deal.

All this coming after the Quakers had two glorious days of canceled class while our studious friends from across the Delaware had just one.

While Jack Eggleston was busying himself over a hot cup of cocoa, and while Zack Rosen was packing snowballs to toss at his new mentor Jerome Allen, Douglas Davis and Dan Mavraides were at practice, watching film and mentally preparing for the weekend.

And why don’t we just ask Cornell coach Steve Donahue how the Tigers’ extra practice time worked out?

So in the interest of showing you just how confident we are that the Quakers will leave the Palestra tonight with a big fat ‘W’, here are a few quick tips to pass along to ol’ Syd Johnson and his Tigers.

First off, Mike Howlett is back. And in case you missed his earth-shaking dunk Saturday, he is ready to play. We’d recommend an unprecedented quadruple-team defense should he get the rock.

And though the return of Howlett also came with the exit of Conor Turley, he’s still a big part of Penn’s strategy. With both of his hands in casts, Turley’s got some pretty powerful lobster claws. You may want to bring some rubber bands to protect yourselves (leave the melted butter at home).

Also, our new coach, Jerome Allen, will be dressed to impress. We suggest you do the same. If you don’t have a pocket square (though is there anyone left at Princeton who doesn’t?), it’s in your best interest to head on over to the pocket square store and buy one. It will come in handy for wiping those second-place tears off your second-place faces when we win. And make sure it matches your socks.

Since you’re going to be putting together a new look, why not dye your hair red like Zack Rosen? It’s the key to his success. And judging by Brendan Connolly’s measly 1.3 points per game, the Tigers could use a little more ginger in their lineup.

So now that we’ve given your team some keys for success, can you do us a favor? It’s no secret that we here in West Philly are a little short on love for our Jersey brethren. But we think there’s one thing that could really bring us together.

We can’t speak to how you act in your eating clubs (but we have a feeling that Jersey Shore provides a fairly good picture of the Princeton scene), but try to be on your best behavior tonight.

We’re expecting Denzel to be cheering on the Quakers and his freshman son Malcolm Washington. You wouldn’t behave like a bunch of wild animals in front an Oscar winner, would you? Haven’t you guys seen He Got Game?

If you can manage to contain the beasts within you, we’ve still got a lot of snow here in Philly that we’d love to share. So if you guys bring the little marshmallows, we’ve got the hot chocolate.

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