The mystique of Philadelphia college basketball has been well-documented – with the Palestra being named the nation’s most “Hallowed Hall” in a December 2014 NCAA.com feature – and that allure makes it quite difficult for local figures to stay away.
For Penn men’s basketball, consider Joe Mihalich Jr. the latest victim.
Cliched or not, practice makes perfect. Just ask Marie Stephan.
From the start of the 2014-2015 season, the sophomore has won 25 regular season matches without dropping a single one.
When Wesley Saunders’ final three-point attempt clanked out last March in the first round of the NCAA tournament the Crimson spotlight immediately shifted to Siyani Chambers.
It was early March when Jake Silpe, in the midst of his second semester as a senior in high school, received some very unexpected news.
Jerome Allen, the University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball head coach, had just been fired, with several games still left to play on the Quakers’ schedule.
Allen had recruited Silpe to Penn, and once he signed his letter of intent, Silpe was fully under the assumption Allen would be his coach for his college basketball career.
On an overcast afternoon in November, the lines between student and student-athlete blurred on the turf of Franklin Field.
It was time to bring in the big guns.
In the face of lagging student interest and attendance, Penn Athletics began a process of reorganization last summer that ended with Roger Reina coming back into the fold as senior associate athletic director for external affairs after nine years away.