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Adam Chubb has played well at times in his first three games for the Quakers. (Jacques-Jean Tiziou/The Daily Pennsylvanian)

The possibility still remains that the Penn men's basketball team could end the month of December with a record of 5-3. But the Quakers, who are 0-3 after Tuesday's 84-81 overtime loss at Davidson, have just about as good a chance of winning each of their next five contests as I do of hitting the lottery before Penn's January 7 game at Florida International. The Quakers are about to enter a gauntlet of games in which they will face Penn State, La Salle, No. 14 Maryland, No. 9 Seton Hall and No. 15 Temple, in that order. I think the Red and Blue have a very realistic shot of pulling at least one of these games out. If they win two, it will give them a real shot in the arm. If they win three, Quakers fans will be dancing in the streets. And if they win four, Penn fans will be dancing in the streets naked, as their Quakers will have knocked off at least two top-25 teams. Nevertheless, it's very possible that the Penn Quakers -- the defending Ivy League champions and consensus favorite to repeat -- will head into January with an 0-8 record. It would be a mild surprise to me, but it wouldn't come as any shock. This is a team still looking for an identity, with an offense that is miles away from clicking. If the Quakers are 0-8 after their home game against Temple, things won't be peachy for Fran Dunphy's squad, but they won't be dire either. True, the Quakers don't look like a championship team right now, but the seeds of an Ivy three-peat are there. First, this team has a strong leader. Captain Geoff Owens, although not the most vocal guy in the world, cares very deeply about this squad, and he will try his hardest to right the ship. Tuesday night, I stood with Owens outside the Penn locker room after the loss. His frustration was written all over him, and his body language was that of an angry fisherman, furious about the one that got away. Owens was angry about the mistakes that he and his team made, angry about their effort in practice. He seemed more outwardly upset than Dunphy did. Owens is not going to be an All-American this year, but I have a sneaking suspicion that he will lead this team in a way that some don't expect him to. Second, the Quakers have loads of offensive ability that has, thus far, only made itself visible in fits and spurts. The loss of All-Ivy guards Michael Jordan and Matt Langel to graduation has definitely taken a chunk out of last year's offense, but Penn has the tools to repair itself. What it sorely lacks right now is poise with the basketball. Ugonna Onyekwe's line from Tuesday night looks pretty good on paper -- a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. But he was less than spectacular in a number of ways. From the free-throw line, he was a detriment to the Penn cause, going 5-for-11 and missing a bunch down the stretch that would have really helped. In addition, he had trouble finishing, in one instance flubbing an alley-oop, then missing a layup off of his own rebound. Don't get me wrong, Onyekwe was impressive in spurts. But he continued to show a lack of polish. When he's able to get open looks and float into the lane with the ball, he has to get in the habit of finishing. He's no longer a freshman who can take teams by surprise; he needs to convert when given the chance. Koko Archibong has been smart and effective on the offensive end thus far, but he is not yet the kind of player that can create opportunities. Penn's guard situation is good, but not terrific. Lamar Plummer had 17 points on Tuesday, but he was only 5-of-15 from the field. David Klatsky is maturing nicely, yet he will never really be the focal point of an offense. Freshman Charlie Copp played 27 quality minutes at Davidson and showed himself to be a tough, sure-shooting freshman, but a freshman just the same. Any way you look at it, these Quakers have the materials necessary for a smooth-running offense. They just have not yet put it all together in any coherent way. And it is that aptitude -- the ability to play within yourself and convert when the opportunity arises -- that gives teams like Penn the chance to upset squads like Seton Hall and Maryland. If the Quakers don't begin to put things together, they will find such upsets difficult and may wind up staring down the barrel of an 0-8 record a month from now. That would be hard on this young Penn team, but it certainly wouldn't be the end. Many of the important pieces to another Ivy championship are there -- Dunphy and his team just need to start putting together the puzzle.

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