Undoubtedly the best sign from Wednesday's encouraging victory over Delaware was the continued emergence of the Quakers’ dynamic duo in the backcourt.
Zack Rosen and Miles Cartwright combined for an extremely efficient 50 points, including 38 of Penn’s 52 in a second-half explosion.
“[Rosen] pretty much had his way with us, he and Miles Cartwright,” said a resigned Delaware coach Monte Ross. “Any time you have two guys that score 50, that’s pretty good.”
Taken by themselves, either player’s performance was impressive. But together, the two are shaping up to be a tandem that can take the Ivy League by storm.
It’s hard enough to stop Rosen when he decides to turn up the aggressiveness. That was the biggest difference in his style last year when he led the Ivies in scoring. And that’s what keyed his huge second half last night. It wasn’t just Jerome Allen’s halftime message, but also Rosen’s killer instinct and competitiveness.
Once Delaware sharpshooter Jawan Carter started catching fire (four consecutive threes early in the second half), Rosen noticeably picked up the intensity, driving hard possession after possession to keep the game from getting out of hand.
It was like he remembered Carter’s 35-point outburst last year and said to himself, 'This ain’t happening again. I’m better than this guy, and I’m going to prove it.'
After each of Carter’s first two threes, Rosen took it right to the rim. Before that, he had not attempted a shot in over six minutes going back to the first half.
“We were telling him, he passed up some layups and some pull-ups, so we were telling him just to keep going at it,” Cartwright said.
Getting his first start of the season, Cartwright was one of the main beneficiaries of Rosen’s performance.
“Zack demands a lot of attention, so the help usually shifts over to him when he has the ball,” he said. “I was just cashing in, trying to be as aggressive as possible.”
We have seen it a few times this season, and never more conspicuously than last night, that when both of these guys are on court and attacking the rim, the Penn offense is at its best. They need to remember that lesson from this game and maintain that same level of aggressiveness the rest of the season.
“It’s a lot easier to shoot the ball in the paint than it is out on the perimeter,” Allen said. “Any time you play inside-out I think you’ll be most effective. I just told the guys, try to attack the basket.”
If Allen can continue to inspire the Quakers to play inside-out, they might just be able to turn this league upside-down.
NOAH ROSENSTEIN is a senior political science major from Hollywood, Fla., and is Online Managing Editor and former Sports Editor of The Daily Pennsylvanian. His e-mail address is rosenstein@theDP.com.Comments powered by Disqus
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