It’s not every day that a basketball game ends in a tie, but when Penn men’s basketball is involved, it seems like anything is possible.
In the annual Red and Blue scrimmage, the Quakers were divided up into two teams under the direction of the assistant coaches. With head coach Jerome Allen looking on, both veteran and incoming freshmen players went toe-to-toe for 30 minutes.
After two halves, the Red and Blue teams were deadlocked at 42. Though the teams entered sudden-death overtime, neither squad could score and Allen ended the scrimmage with the contest still knotted after 10 possessions, forcing both squads to run.
“No one really stood out, it wasn’t like there was any stellar play,” Allen said. “Both teams had some very good possessions, but I can’t say that I’m really surprised or encouraged by what I saw.”
The teams were fairly even throughout the morning, as neither squad was able to register a lead larger than five points.
Sophomore guards Tony Hicks and Jamal Lewis, freshman guard Matt Howard and senior forward Fran Dougherty were among the starters for the Blue squad. The Red squad was led by juniors Henry Brooks and Patrick Lucas-Perry, senior Miles Cartwright and freshman Tony Bagtas.
“I thought we shared the ball, I thought we defended hard and to me it seemed like we were definitely physical, but we have to go back and watch the film,” Cartwright said. “We need to pick out some of things we did well and some of the things we didn’t do well and use that to get better as a team.”
Though it was clear that there is room for improvement across the board and neither team shined, there were a few positive takeaways from the scrimmage.
Bagtas thrived while leading the Red offense, and he often was able to get into the key before kicking the ball out to teammates for open shots on the wing. Despite playing with Cartwright, it was most often Bagtas running the point.
“It was exciting,” Bagtas said. “It felt really exciting to be on the court for the first time in a game situation with all the lights on in a big, historic arena. I loved it.”
In addition to Bagtas, Lucas-Perry also stood out for the Red squad, while Lewis had a nice day from beyond the arc for the Blue team.
Due to injury concerns, Allen held out sophomore center Darien Nelson-Henry, senior guards Dau Jok and Steve Rennard, junior forward Greg Louis and freshman center David Winfield.
Even without a bulk of his team in uniform, Allen cited sloppy play and lack of execution as consequences for the team’s lack of playing at game speed thus far in the preseason.
“I think that all the guys played hard and they competed,” Allen said. “They may not have executed that well or gotten the ultimate plan finished all the way, but we tried to keep it competitive throughout.
“It was okay, it was fair, but we’ve gotta keep working.”
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