All season long, it’s been the Zack Rosen and Tyler Bernardini show.
When the two seniors don’t play well, it spells disaster for the Quakers.
Followers of the team have emphasized the need for other players to step up and have big games, and thus far, those performances have been few and far between.
But this weekend, as the Quakers split their road trip at Yale and Brown, other players finally made themselves known.
In fact, Rosen didn’t even take a shot against Brown until there were 19 seconds left in the first half. He took just eight total shots on the night.
Senior Rob Belcore, who has certainly been impressive in the past, had two strong games. He put up 11 points and nine rebounds against Yale, just to top it the next night with 17 and 10, respectively, for his second double-double of the season.
“I thought Rob was tremendous this weekend,” coach Jerome Allen said after the win at Brown. “I thought he was fantastic [against Yale], and [Saturday night] he said he was just going to continue to be who he is — just being one of our seniors — and we can rely on his leadership.”
Freshman Henry Brooks continued to show his development, as he was assigned the tough task of guarding Yale senior Greg Mangano Friday night. Most of Brooks’ minutes came in the first half, where he put much of his effort toward playing strong defense against the Bulldogs’ star center.
Against the Bears, Brooks put up 10 points, good for third on the team, and grabbed four rebounds.
“Tonight was a great team effort,” Brooks said Saturday. “Coming off the loss last night, we knew we had to come out strong, ready to fight … Everybody came to play, actually. There wasn’t one singled-out person.”
Sophomore Steve Rennard played 22 minutes off the bench against Brown, scoring six points on two three-pointers and adding three steals.
Allen said his team has a long way to go, but he was happy not having to rely solely on Rosen and Bernardini.
“Rob made some shots … and Steve Rennard made a couple shots, and I think that that helps just in terms of the culture overall,” Allen said.
It was hard to be positive after Friday’s loss. The Quakers shot an abysmal 38.6 percent, with Rosen and Bernardini going a combined 10-for-32 from the floor. But after the win over Brown, there is hope for the future, both for this season and for the Quakers moving forward after this year’s seniors graduate.
The Red and Blue did not anticipate a loss to Yale to start the weekend, but with the Quakers sitting at 4-1 in the Ancient Eight, there is still a long way to go in the race for the Ivy title, and they know they must continue to improve.
“We haven’t done anything spectacular yet,” Belcore said. “We’re 4-1 in the league, which isn’t good enough for first place right now. And that’s our goal: to be first place. So really, we’re not overinflated in how we’re approaching anything.”
Though there is a lot of work to be done before the Quakers can claim first place, this weekend’s performances — from a variety of players — bode well for the team moving forward. Despite the loss, there are still a lot of minutes left to be played.
ALYSSA KRESS is a junior communications major from Abington, Pa., and is Sports Editor of The Daily Pennsylvanian. She can be contacted at kress@theDP.com.