Penn men’s basketball finished its regular season with a dominating victory over Columbia. With the win, the Quakers have qualified for the Ivy League Tournament as the No. 4 seed and will face Yale on Saturday. Here’s what we learned from Penn’s big win:
- The Quakers making it to the postseason almost felt like an afterthought, as this game was all about AJ Brodeur. The senior forward had a night he’ll likely never forget as he broke the program record for all-time points, games played, and shots blocked.
- The shot that gave Brodeur the points record was fitting, as it encapsulated his career. The close-up layup wasn’t flashy at all, and Brodeur ran right back to the other end of the court to play defense. He didn’t celebrate or look up at the scoreboard, but just focused on helping his team win.
- Adding to his legend, Brodeur recorded the first triple-double in the program’s 123-year history, putting up 21 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. Suffice it to say, it was a historic night at the Palestra.
- In many of Penn’s recent wins, Eddie Scott has ignited the crowd with a highlight-reel dunk. That was no different on Saturday, as Devon Goodman found him for a slam late in the second half. For a player who was out of the rotation midway through the season, Scott is now a key contributor for this playoff-bound team.
- While Penn is currently focused on the Ivy Tournament, the nature of Saturday’s win allowed coach Steve Donahue to play some bench players that may give us a look into the team’s future. Players such as junior Mark Jackson and sophomore Griffin Ryan saw minutes for the first time in months, and with several seniors graduating, they may get a chance to step up next season.
- While all eyes were on Brodeur, a couple of other Quakers turned in impressive performances as well. Freshman Jordan Dingle had arguably his most efficient game of the season, going 4-for-4 on three-pointers and finishing with 16 points. Senior Devon Goodman had a night to remember on Senior Night as well. The guard played nearly the entire game and nearly crossed the 1,000 point mark. Fortunately for him, he will have a chance to do it next week.
- While Penn is the No. 4 seed and will have to face regular season champions Yale, the matchup may be better than it looks on paper. The Quakers defeated the Bulldogs at home and nearly took them down in New Haven, Conn. as well. Playing on a neutral court in Boston, the Quakers may even have the upper hand. With the Red and Blue seemingly playing its best basketball of the season, Penn is peaking at the right time.
- The Ivy Tournament presents an opportunity for Brodeur to cement his legacy. He already has the individual accolades and records. If he is able to will this team to the NCAA Tournament - it would be his second - it would certainly bolster the argument that he is the best player in Penn history.
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