“I’d be lying to you if I said I knew Patrick was going to give us 15 points and five steals,” Allen said. “And if not for them, I’m not sure we would have been victorious tonight.”
“We shouldn’t have been in that situation, but when the time came, we buckled down and played as hard as we could,” said Cartwright
“It was a bit touchy,” junior forward Fran Dougherty said of Penn’s foul situation. “Usually it’s not like that, but it is what it is. We’re not going to be able to change the refs.”
“The game is simple — you have to rebound the ball, you have to defend and you can’t turn it over,” Allen said. “For the most part, I just think we didn’t play with a certain sense of desperation right from the start.”
“The only way we’re going to allow ourselves an opportunity to win is if we contain and defend,” Allen said. “We play OK in certain stretches, and then we just allow guys to come up with offensive rebounds, take the ball in the middle, put us in rotation situations, and that’s what undisciplined teams do.”
“I can give you 10 plays that Fran had that he didn’t execute,” Allen said, on Fran.
“I guess for theater … it was a good basketball game,” Penn coach Jerome Allen said. “It’s always good when it comes down to the wire.”
“Those guys are going to be good, they’ve got some good young players,” Drexel coach Bruiser Flint said. “They’re going to be back sooner than people think.”
“We have to play for each other and hold each other accountable,” junior forward Fran Dougherty said. “Right now we’re not there as a collective group.”
“It was a bad defensive play on our part. I let my emotions get the best of us, the best of me,” Allen said. “It was a judgment call. I didn’t think it merited that, but I shouldn’t even put [the referee] in that position to have him decide to make that call.”
“At the end of the day we just have to find guys that are committed to defending,” Allen said. “I’m going to continue to play guys until I find the right guys that just want to get after people and stop people from getting in the paint.”
“We have a responsibility to just guard the basketball, whoever has it,” Allen said. “To [Lehigh’s] credit, some guys stood up and made some shots. In general, we have to go and get better.”
“It’s going to come along,” Dougherty said after Tuesday’s loss to Lehigh. “It’s just a process.”
“I don’t want to say this is an ugly win or a bad win — any win in my book is a good win,” Allen said. “We have a really talented team that all like playing for one another. You have to learn how to win.”
“I have an appreciation for forward progress, and I think tonight we showed some sense of progress,” Allen said. “We are just trying to be consistent in our effort and our enthusiasm and not allowing other teams to play harder than us.”
“It wasn’t a great shooting night,” Allen said, “but we came up with a couple plays when we needed to offensively. Hopefully the guys on the team start to understand that when it’s not fancy, or it’s not entertaining — in terms of style of play or the ball going in the basket — why we still have a chance to win.”
at Penn State
“From my seat, every 50-50 ball, [Penn State] came up with it,” Allen said. “That will kind of catch up to you.”
“[Fran and Miles] didn’t do a good job of being who they are,” coach Jerome Allen said. “Fran might have missed five or six layups, and I don’t think it was a function of their great defense. It was his inability to execute. Having said that, those aren’t the reasons we lost the game.”
“Yeah, I could say we battled back from 14 to four,” coach Jerome Allen said. “But at the end of the day, as a staff, we try to prepare our guys to win basketball games.”
“We have five or six capable guards who can put it on the floor and can score consistently every night,” Cartwright said. “It’s just the ninth game into the season. We’re not panicking. We’re definitely going to get better.”
“We try to prepare our guys to win basketball games, not come close and not have a solid showing,” Allen said. “We’re not doing a good enough job of locking into [high] expectations.”
“We had a game plan and we expected to go out and execute it,” he said. “It’s team sport, so whether seven guys played or 15 guys played, I expect the guys to go out and impose their will on the opposing team.”
“Right now, we’re taking it one game at a time,” Allen said.
“I play the guys that play for Penn,” Allen said.
“We’re going to go out and play hard [against Butler],” Cartwright said. “And we’re going to go out and win this game.”
“It’s the same things. Turnovers, rebounds down the stretch, free throws, bad shots,” freshman guard Jamal Lewis said after the Wagner game. “All that stuff can be corrected, we can learn from it.”
“Anytime you play on the road in Division I basketball, there’s a couple things that you gotta make sure you cover if you expect to win: And that’s rebounding the ball and taking care of the ball,” Penn coach Jerome Allen said.
“It’s just being tough and wanting to be physical and wanting to have a sense of urgency about yourself that you just won’t surrender,” the coach said. “And that’s something that we don’t have yet.”
at La Salle
“Some things — especially the unforced turnovers — some things are just unacceptable,” coach Jerome Allen said.
“To be only down 10 at halftime with 15 turnovers was a positive for lack of a better way of saying it,” coach Jerome Allen said.
“I have to respect the game enough to not put ourselves into that position,” coach Jerome Allen said. “I don’t think we deserved to win the game today. We didn’t deserve to win today as a team.”
“Since Fran’s been out, I’ve gotten a better feel for the game. It’s prepared me more for this season,” Nelson-Henry said. “It’s a matter of comfortability.”
“The one thing Princeton does, they don’t beat themselves,” Penn coach Jerome Allen said of the Tigers. “When you have lapses on defense, they make you pay. Can’t expect to win a game on the road at the Division I level when you allow a team to shoot 49 percent from the field.”
“It might be nerves, [but] it gets a little frustrating,” freshman guard Tony Hicks said. “Maybe we’re a little too tense.”
“I didn’t think we had the right sense of urgency to win that game,” Allen said. “It comes down to doing all the little things that it takes to win on the road.”
“It starts with me,” Allen said. “I’ve got to do a better job.”
“I’m not very happy with this win,” Allen said. “To be honest, this probably should have been a 20-point win.”
“I thought [Nelson-Henry] did a pretty good job of playing through contact and not giving not only the first effort, but giving the second and the third,” Allen said. “Just being relentless and determined. I was pleased with his approach.”
vs. St. Joseph’s
“We’ve got to step up and make free throws, especially in a game where we struggle to score the ball,” Allen said. “It is something we have got to get better at.”
“You don’t want anyone else with the ball,” Temple coach Fran Dunphy said of his senior guard. “He’s so good at what he does. He’s not only a terrific scorer, but he makes plays for others.”
“It really doesn’t mean anything to me,” the Penn coach said. “We play the game to win. I coach to win. At the end of the day, we lost the game and it’s a direct function of what we did not do. That has to be our mentality.”
“We’ll regroup, we’ll respond. One thing that I can say has been consistent is that these guys give effort. They might not play the smartest of basketball at times, but they play hard. I’m just going to try and match some things with that effort and go out and see where we fall.”
“It got down late into crunch time,” Cartwright said. “I just knew that we needed something, whether it was a bucket or a pass or anything. I knew we need something down the stretch.”
“We haven’t been particularly great in these types of situations this year, but I’m really grateful to have won,” Cartwright said.
“Fran is great,” Cartwright said. “We’re going to need him to win, especially to win a championship. He’s still getting is rhythm back, trying to get his feel back, but he’s going to be great down the stretch.”
“I thought [Peck] imposed his will no matter who was guarding him,” Penn coach Jerome Allen said. “Whether it was a guard or whether it was a big.”
“I just think [what fueled the run was] a lack of focus and concentration defensively,” Allen said. “Did I think they were going to make a run? Yeah, I thought they were going to make a run. But I thought we were going to be able to have the poise to stop the run, and it just didn’t happen.”
“Down two, with the ball, under 10, coaches have different philosophies,” Allen said. “It’s [the players’] game, they got to make the play. I saw that we got in trouble so I called a timeout.”
“Right now, we’re struggling,” Penn coach Jerome Allen said. “Our inability to just, not so much play with effort and enthusiasm — but our inability to believe. A team makes a run, we go out, we get a little excited, we make a couple of shots, but when the ball is not going into the basket, that affects our concentration; that affects our effort [and] our energy.”
“We don’t have the oomph about us right now to push through adversity,” Allen said. “So teams go on runs, we automatically start thinking, we got to play not to lose instead of playing to win.”
“[Dougherty] is playing the best basketball of his college career. Would I like to have it? Absolutely,” Allen said. “But with that being said, it’s a team sport for a reason.”
“To be honest with you, we don’t have any freshmen anymore. We’re 20 games into the season,” Allen said. “Everybody’s had opportunities to play, and everybody’s played a significant amount of minutes and I just think we should be at another level.”
“I thought for the most part the guys did a good job of responding to our challenge from yesterday,” Allen said. “I thought they played hard, I thought they defended, I thought they played with a certain sense of urgency and their ability to make shots which is icing on the cake.”
“I guess they welcomed me back. I didn’t enjoy that evening,” Martin said. “They were flying all over the court. Defensively, they took us out of what we tried to get into.”
“The only thing I really want to see is forward progression,” Allen said. “And hopefully, we can use this game as a springboard to get us to believe that we can be the defensive team we can be.”
“They’re extremely young. They play four freshmen a ton of minutes,” Martin said. “And I think better days are ahead for them, for sure.”
“One, we didn’t deserve to win,” Allen said. “Two, we didn’t come out with the fire and the hunger and the determination, whether it was getting shots blocked or giving up offensive rebounds.”
“He played one end of the floor, he played offense. That’s it,” Allen said. “Defensively he had zero presence. Every time they threw the ball inside against him, they scored. He has to do a better job of playing a more complete game.
“We’ve been trying to play like that all year,” junior captain Miles Cartwright said. “We were really sharing the ball really well. We felt like we had a good week of practice and without Fran and Steve, we really have to share the ball. When the ball’s moving the way it was tonight, we’re going to have success.”
“Communication was probably the best it was all year, we were really talking,” Cartwright said. “Even when we were switching defenses, going from man to zone, I thought our communication was really at a high level, so if we can keep it like that, I think we can defend anybody.”
“The coaching staff always tell me, including teammates, for me to be aggressive, but shots were falling,” Hicks said. “I got into a groove early and then the basket just gets wide open after you make a couple shots.”
“From Sept. 15 to today, [Hicks] has been a gym rat. And it takes some time to get in a rhythm, to get the right understanding of the spacing, the angles [and] the timing,” coach Allen said. “I know he can score the ball — sometimes I just wish that he played at the right pace but despite the two technical fouls, I thought he tried to give us a spark offensively.”
“It was crazy,” Columbia coach Kyle Smith said. “We couldn’t make one [shot] but I looked at the score and was like, ‘They haven’t scored much either.’ It took them a long time to take the lid off the basket.”
“I’m not getting caught up with whether the ball goes in the basket, I’m more so concerned with his approach, with him appreciating the opportunity to play college basketball and just stay locked into our game plan,” Allen said.
On Penn’s two slow starts against the Big Green, coach Jerome Allen said, “I have no explanation.”
“There was no energy in the building from the crowd standpoint, so when that happens, we have to bring our own energy and that didn’t happen tonight.” – Cartwright
“He made plays.” – Allen
“That’s the frustrating part — I don’t know who we are. Tonight we played with a certain sense of desperation, sense of urgency, that wasn’t there last night,” Penn coach Jerome Allen said. “We’re a relatively young team, some days we’re going to look pretty good and some days we’re going to look pretty bad.
“Miles kept saying, ‘We’ve grown up’,” Hicks said. “It was a big deal for us to close a game. Normally we would be playing to not lose instead of to win. We just kept getting stops and believing — that’s all it’s about.”
“I take my hat off to [my players] because they responded,” Allen said. “But good teams are consistent in their effort and their focus — and that’s what we’re striving to do.”
“We’re understanding that we need to get in people’s face and deny the ball, that’s what we’re coming to,” Lucas-Perry said.
“If we play defense like we did in the first half of this game and late in the second half tomorrow night, I think we’ll be fine,” Cartwright said.
“We got a fairly young team,” Allen said. Some days they’re gonna look good, other days they’re gonna make you scratch your head. To our guys’ credit, [Brown] went up six late in the game and our guys stayed with it one possession at a time. That’s a sign of growth and maturity, despite what the end result was.”
“They just play harder than us,” coach Jerome Allen said. “They play hard, they get all the loose balls, they fight, they’re physical.”
“We always expect things to fall right into our lap,” Allen said.
“For about 18 minutes we played solid defense and I was pleased for the most part,” Allen said. “But in the second half, we just didn’t have the same focus or the same energy on the defensive end.”
“[We’re] youthful in terms of not having any seniors, but we’ve played 30 games,” Allen said. “I think that’s a large enough sample size to be able to grow up. The team we were on March 9 should be a lot better, a little bit more improved, than the team we were on Sept. 15.”
“Today was an important game for a number of reasons. You can pick and choose,” coach Jerome Allen said. “I try to get these guys to understand that it’s an important game because it’s the last game of the year, you want to end on a high note. Two, we’re trying to improve. Three, it’s Princeton.”
“I feel like that’s kind of been my M.O.,” Hicks said. “I die down in the second half. I think mentally I just have to stay locked into the game, stay focused and stay aggressive.”
“Miles’ six points wasn’t the reason we lost the basketball game — it was a summation of misfortunes over the course of 40 minutes, one possession at a time,” Allen said. “I think that’s how teams lose basketball games.”
“It’s not good, it’s not good,” Hicks said. “I’m ready for next year.”
Though Allen firmly stated that next season “is not a promise for anyone,” he echoed Hicks’ remarks with the lessons learned from this season and this loss.
“Failure motivates me,” Allen said. “In terms of building this program, we understand that it’s a process and it’s a journey, but you have to have some type of connection to disappointment.
“Hopefully this stings and they’ll use it in their off-season workouts and in the summertime and just stay connected to all the details we did not cover that resulted in losses and the growth and the maturity, and the experience will allow them to become better basketball players.”
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