On Saturday, Penn men’s basketball opened Penn Athletics' triple-header with a 99-40 victory over Penn State Brandywine (0-2), and as the scoreline reflects, the Quakers (2-2) dominated from the very beginning. 15 players scored for the Red and Blue, with freshman forward Jarrod Simmons and senior guard Darnell Foreman leading the way with 16 and 14 points respectively.
Jarrod Simmons has a bright future with the Red and Blue
Coming into the day, freshman forward Jarrod Simmons was still looking for his first points in a Penn uniform. After missing his first two shot attempts of the game, Simmons entered the scoring column for the first time as a Quaker with 6:03 left in the first half when he converted two free throws.
After notching these first points, Simmons didn’t take long to add to his total. He scored again on Penn’s next possession, and then he scored again. And again. And again. And again. By the time he was subbed out with a little over two minutes in the first half, Simmons had made five field goal attempts in a row and had scored 14 of the Red and Blue’s last 15 points.
Perhaps what was most impressive about Simmons’ scoring spree was that he got his points in a variety of ways. On one play, Simmons beat the entire defense down the floor to finish a fast break with a one-handed flush, and then, just two possessions later, he faced up from the top of the key to swish a jumper from behind the arc.
Penn’s shooting gives AJ Brodeur the support he needs
If you just looked at the box scores from Penn’s four games this season, you might be wondering if something was going on with sophomore forward AJ Brodeur. After scoring 14 points per game his rookie season, Brodeur was barely averaging 10 heading into Saturday, and he only scored two points in his 15 minutes against PSU Brandywine.
If anything, though, the dip in Brodeur’s scoring just indicates how much the rest of Penn’s roster has improved. Opposing defenses are still focusing just as much attention on Brodeur — if not more — but instead of forcing up shots against double-teams, Brodeur is helping to find the team’s shooters for open looks. Against PSU Brandywine, the Quakers knocked down 15 shots from distance, and the team is averaging an astounding 30 three-point attempts per game.
If the Red and Blue can continue to knock down threes at a high rate, things should only open up more in the paint for Brodeur as the season drags on. Brodeur has struggled a bit with his own shots from the three-point line, but there’s no reason to think that he won’t be able to continue his dominant post play from last year if he starts to get some more room to operate.
Other tidbits from Penn’s blowout victory
The game marked PSU-Brandywine’s first-ever game against an NCAA Division I opponent. The last time the Nittany Lions played in the Palestra was in 2005, when they fell to Penn’s junior varsity basketball team.
In addition to Simmons, sophomores Jakub Mijakowski and Zack Kaminsky also scored the first points of their Penn careers. Mijakowski tallied his first points on a transition three and ended the game with eight points. Kaminsky hit the second of two free throws to finish the game with one point. Senior Sam Jones got on the board for the first time this season and finished with eight points including two triples.
The 59-point margin of victory is the largest in school history. The previous record was 51 points when the Quakers defeated defeated Cornell 87-36 in 1974. Penn’s 99 points were the most the Quakers have scored since 2006.
All comments eligible for publication in Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. publications.