Coming off a season-opening loss to Temple in a Saturday night nail-biter, Penn looks to rebound against a Monmouth team that came back to defeat Hofstra over the weekend. The Red and Blue will look to notch their first victory of the season in West Long Branch, N.J., when they take on the Hawks. We identify who’ll be up and who’ll be down after the Quakers and Hawks are done battling Tuesday night.
Lack of Monmouth leaders: In the 2013-2014 season, Monmouth will be desperate for leader on a squad devoid of seniors. In an interview before the season, coach King Rice admitted that there would be growing pains for a team that has eight freshmen on the team. Penn’s roster of seasoned veterans can use their experience as a relatively unchanged unit to exploit the young blue hawks. After big first games from Tony Hicks and Darien Nelson-Henry, the Quakers will continue to rely on their team chemistry to gain the upper hand on opponents.
Quakers offensive efficiency: Saturday’s tilt against Temple was the debut for Penn’s new offensive fastbreak approach. The Red and Blue’s mindset of creating turnovers and fastbreaks should work well against an inexperienced Hawks squad. The less experienced Hawks will likely present plenty of takeaways for a Penn team that loves to run. The Red and Blue’s offensive scheme will get another chance to play their style of basketball against the Hawks.
Penn’s interior presence: After being dominated on the boards against Temple, Penn will face a relatively undersized Monmouth team. With the size advantage in their favor, the Red and Blue will look to reverse their fortune from last time where they were dominated on the boards by the Owls. Rebounding will be a major key if Penn wants to come away with the victory. Whoever can dominate on the boards will have more chances to run and dictate the offensive tempo. In order to improve on their 35 rebound performance on Saturday, the Quaker big men must make their presence known in the paint early and often. If Darien Nelson-Henry can get going early, Monmouth’s frontcourt could be in for a long night.
Penn needs bench scoring: After a lackluster performance from the bench Saturday night, the Quakers need to see more from their supporting cast if they want to contend in the Ivy League. A whopping six points was all the Red and Blue could muster against Temple. With only four points in 26 minutes, the focus will be on junior forward Henry Brooks to step up for the bench at Monmouth.
Free throws: Penn’s season-opening loss to Temple was hindered by a poor performance at the charity stripe. The Quakers missed six out of their 16 free throw attempts in the matchup, including three straight misses by freshman guard Matt Howard. First-game jitters might be to blame, but there will be no excuses after Tuesday’s tilt in West Long Branch, N.J. Penn will have to convert going forward from the line if it wants to win the close games.
Monmouth doesn’t lose home openers under King Rice … at least not yet: Rice has led his Hawks to home-opening wins in each of his first two seasons. While young, Monmouth has capitalized on their lack of established leaders early on to distribute the wealth offensively. With five different players scoring in double figures against the Pride, the Hawks will pose a multifaceted scoring threat to the Quakers. Out in full force for their first home game, the Monmouth Mob will pile into the MAC in droves to do their best to send the Quakers to 0-2.Comments powered by Disqus
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