Penn men’s basketball’s trip to Cambridge was supposed to be the beginning of the Ivy League resurgence. Coming off a big win at La Salle, Quaker fans — and coach Steve Donahue — were hoping the momentum would continue. It did, just for about 15 minutes. Then came the collapse.
While the Quakers weren’t exactly favorites against perennial Ivy powerhouse Harvard, the 69-59 loss was disappointing, especially considering the early double-digit lead. That being said, the most important part of basketball is the way teams finish games, and tonight the Quakers collapsed a quarter of the way in. Tonight’s player ratings reflect that.
Darnell Foreman, G – 6.5/10
Foreman followed up an inconsistent performance at La Salle with a decided improvement. He certainly seems to have his coach’s trust, playing 34 minutes on the first end of a back-to back. With so much playing time, the junior point guard managed 11 points on a night where his teammates simply couldn’t get anything going outside of the first 10 or 15 minutes. However, while he was certainly not the only culprit, he had turnover problems for the second straight game, which is certainly a troubling trend.
Caleb Wood, G – 5/10
The junior transfer posted seven points in only 18 minutes of game time. It was a frustrating night for Penn and the trend continues here. Wood did nothing to stand out in any way, and was often replaced by Tyler Hamilton and Devon Goodman off the bench. He finished the game 2-for-6 from the field, including a disappointing 1-for-5 from beyond the arc.
Ryan Betley, G – 4.5/10
The freshman can be a game changer when he’s hot, but tonight was not his night. Instead, the Downingtown, Pa. native scored a grand total of two points, despite getting the start and playing 26 big minutes. Surprisingly, his biggest contribution on the stat sheet was on the glass, securing seven rebounds to tie for the team lead. His contributions off the stat sheet help, but the hype that surrounded him after his break-out last week has died down considerably.
Matt Howard, G – 8/10
The senior was Penn’s best player tonight, posting a team-high 14 points. He was one of only a few Quakers who shot the ball well against Harvard’s lanky defenders. He also tied for the team lead in rebounds with Betley. Howard struggled at the charity stripe, shooting a tick over 50 percent, but that’s a statistical nitpick in what was largely a well-played game.
AJ Brodeur, F – 4/10
Despite playing 34 minutes, last week’s Ivy League Rookie of the Week was invisible. After demolishing La Salle to the tune of a superhuman 35 points, the big man managed an incredibly human seven. Brodeur was the main culprit of Penn’s turnover problem, giving the ball away six times, double the amount of field goals he converted. A player who takes so many shots close to the basket needs to do better than 3-for-10 from the floor. His free-throw shooting left something to be desired, especially in important moments down the stretch, when Penn had a chance to crawl back into it. Brodeur already has a big hand in Penn’s fate, both this season and in the future, but the Quakers need him to produce more like the star he was last week.
Tyler Hamilton – 4.5/10
The sophomore guard has inspired Donahue to increase his playing time recently, culminating in tonight’s 20-minute performance. In fact, Hamilton played more minutes than the starter he often replaced. Hamilton’s presence on the court brings an element of speed that is largely missing from much of the Quaker lineup, but his contributions off the bench tonight were minimal: he scored four points to go along with his two turnovers.
Devon Goodman – 4.5/10
The freshman played very little point guard, but still created three assists in 16 minutes of gam time. Those three assists were matched by his three turnovers. In what was a theme for the Quakers, he didn’t shoot particularly well, didn’t score much, and turned the ball over way more than usual. Credit Harvard’s backcourt with stifling defense.
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