Penn basketball is hard at work preparing for its opener against MEAC foe Delaware State on Saturday night. Here are some notes and quotes from the Quakers’ Tuesday night practice:
Touches for all
Penn coaches have been talking all preseason about the possibility of rotating in Tony Hicks, Darnell Foreman and Antonio Woods into the point guard role, creating a committee of primary ballhandlers.
But Tuesday, it was revealed that the Quakers could make use of an old staple of coach Jerome Allen — the three-guard lineup.
“Those three guys that could play point guard are three of our better players, and we’re gonna have to find ways to have them on the floor,” assistant coach Nat Graham said. “And I think sometimes that’s going to mean all three of them are on the floor at the same time.”
In the interim
Delaware State coach Keith Walker and Allen enter Saturday’s contest sharing a curious connection — both were former assistants that shed the “interim” designation from their job titles after taking charge following a midseason firing.
Allen inherited the Red and Blue when Glen Miller was dismissed seven games into the 2009-10 season, while Walker coached Delaware State for the last 11 games of 2013-14 when longtime coach Greg Jackson was fired.
“I think our experiences are somewhat similar,” Allen said. “But I think they’re different in the sense that he had been there for a while [since 2000]. He’s been in the business for a number of years, and it’s a different school, different players, different setting, different culture, different atmosphere.
“But I’m confident that coach Walker has his guys prepared and ready to play.”
Crash the boards
One of the Red and Blue’s biggest struggles last year came in the offensive rebounding department. Penn averaged only 9.6 boards per contest on the offensive glass and lost the overall rebounding margin by a solid 3.0 boards per game.
It was no surprise that Allen had his squad devote a significant amount of time during Tuesday’s practice to offensive rebounding drills, with every available player from top to bottom on the roster getting in on the act.
The waiting game
Sophomore guard Matt Poplawski didn’t practice Tuesday night — and with good reason.
A call-up from the JV basketball team last year, Poplawski is perhaps best known as a midfielder for Penn men’s soccer.
With his fall sport still in season until the Quakers close out their season against Harvard this Saturday, it might be a little while before we see whether or not Poplawski can crack the rotation.Comments powered by Disqus
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