Penn 2006-07 vs. Princeton 2004-05


It's a comparison that Penn fans hope never becomes reality. But this basketball off-season has already been filled with three or four distractions that makes me worry about the team's chances in the upcoming season.

First there was Temple's unusually drawn-out courtship of former coach Fran Dunphy. Part of that was definitely Dunphy's true indecisiveness, but nonetheless it was almost surreal at times.

Then came the decision to hire former Brown coach Glen Miller over a man in former Quakers assistant Dave Duke, who the players seemed to support. Obviously, the players should not be picking their coach, but even Miller admitted in his introductory press conference that he had to work to win his new team over.

After a relatively quiet couple months, Penn was hit with the twin bombshells of Brown's Keenan Jeppesen's denied transfer application and David Whitehurst's apparent dismissal from Penn.

That Princeton team two years ago also came off a dominant Ivy season, hired a new coach, and had off-season personnel issues that continued for the last year. The Tigers struggled to one of the worst seasons in school history under Joe Scott, who finally has seemed to get the program under his control and going in the right direction after about a year and a half.

Penn should undoubtdedly be favored to win the Ivy title this year again. It's not worth worrying about a player that the team never had, and while Whitehurst played strong defensively, he was somewhat of a liability on the offensive end for much of last season. However, it will be on Miller and veterans Ibrahim Jaaber, Steve Danley and Mark Zoller to keep the team focused on playing and not on the distractions. And Miller certainly needs to get his team on his side if he hasn't already done it, so that this post can get laughed at in about seven months.

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