It may not be the NCAA Tournament, it may not be the NIT, and it may not even be the CBI, but the Quakers will have another shot at postseason play tomorrow night against College House intramural champions, the Stouffer Mayers, in the first round of the Penn Rec Invitational.
“It’s nice to still be playing this late,” senior Zack Rosen said. “We have an opportunity to continue the season and compete for a championship.”
The Mayers (8-1, 1-0 City 6) captured the College House title a few weeks ago and it is unclear whether each of their six total players will be free to play tomorrow night. Sources say their backup small forward has a physics exam the following day and both members of the starting frontcourt could potentially be in the midst of a CHABS (chest-abs) workout at Pottruck when tip-off time rolls around.
For the Quakers, however, it’s business as usual.
“Game 7, NBA Finals. That’s how we’re approaching this one,” Rosen said.
According to an article on Hamptonroads.com, Penn will pay approximately $35 to host the first-round game, the cost of providing pizza for the Mayers postgame.
Though many thought the Quakers’ 63-53, second-round loss to Butler on March 19 in the CBI was the season-ender, the PRI offers Penn yet another chance to head into the offseason with momentum.
Another round of postseason play also means more experience for the underclassmen on Penn’s roster. They will face opponents they have never seen play. In fact, no film exists of the Mayers, save for a few grainy YouTube videos of junior guard Mayer Stouffer dunking on 8-foot hoops when he was 16 years old.
The well-connected Rosen, however, has put together a pretty comprehensive scouting report for the Mayers.
“Well, they run a traditional, intramural-style offense,” he said. “They do a great job of consistently playing one-on-one basketball, and their complete lack of rhythm offensively really makes them hard to account for.”
And despite the Mayers’ six-game winning streak, Penn head coach Jerome Allen is keeping the focus on his team.
“We’re going to play the game and we’re going to prepare to win,” he said. “It’s not a new season, it’s not a pick-up game … ok, it is a pick-up game, but we’re going to prepare the same way we prepared all season long.”
Penn is favored to win by 93 points.