After an offseason full of turnover, Penn’s basketball teams have work to do in their respective quests for an Ivy League title.
The conference recently released its annual preseason polls for both men’s and women’s basketball, as voted on by members of the media. Women’s basketball placed fourth in the rankings with 77 points, while men’s basketball ranked fifth, receiving 68 points.
In the women’s poll, Princeton took first with 128 total points and all 16 first place votes. Last season, the Tigers advanced to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA tournament before being eliminated by Utah. It was also Princeton who eliminated Penn in the first round of last year’s Ivy League tournament.
On the men’s side, Yale was ranked first with 124 points and 14 of 16 first place votes. The Bulldogs earned last year’s regular season title before falling to Princeton in the conference championship game. The Tigers – who also advanced to the Sweet Sixteen of the men’s tournament – took second in the men’s poll with 110 points and two first place votes.
The Red and Blue will enter the season looking to replace many of their largest contributors from a season ago. Both the men's and women's teams lost their leading scorers to the transfer portal, with Kayla Padilla heading to USC and Jordan Dingle moving to St. John’s. Padilla is the program’s all-time leader in three-pointers, while Dingle was the 2023 Ivy League Player of the Year and finished second in all of NCAA Division I in points per game. The men’s team will also miss starters Lucas Monroe, gone to Drexel, and Max Martz, who took a medical retirement this offseason.
Last season, the men’s team was picked first in the preseason poll, but ultimately failed to earn a conference title or NCAA Tournament berth. While that shortcoming may still be a painful memory, it also serves as a salient reminder for the Quakers– that nothing matters until the ball tips off.