With questions still surrounding Penn’s guards, it might be time to start looking to the Quakers’ front court to lead the team next season.
What can Penn basketball do to get better? One answer is to keep having recruiting classes like the Quakers’ Class of 2017.
In this week’s roundtable discussion, our editors ask who should be Penn basketball’s starting point guard in 2013-14.
Harvard’s upset over New Mexico will surely force Ivy administrators to find new ways to increase the league’s visibility, as well as generating additional revenue for the league as well.
Perhaps what best illustrates Penn’s lack of success this season is the way it failed to stack up to its rivals within the Big 5.
The ending to Jerome Allen’s tale is yet to be written, but he and Fran Dunphy deserve comparison, if for no other reason than because Dunphy’s success represents the lofty expectations of the program.
Every Saturday morning, the Palestra gives guys like Scott Kegler a chance to mean a lot to both friends and strangers alike, while losing themselves in basketball.
It’s Penn’s defense first and foremost that can elevate the Quakers back to Ivy contender status next season.
Over the course of these 31 games, many words have been spent on the Quakers’ ability to stay energized. But the Red and Blue, Hicks in particular, fed off of the Palestra crowd against Princeton.
While conventional wisdom holds that the Quakers will make leaps and bounds with more experience in 2013-14, the reality is that nothing is guaranteed.
It was a true battle on the court in the Quakers’ season finale against rival Princeton, but it all fell apart in the final minutes, as the Tigers came away with the victory.
To get revenge, Penn (9-21, 6-7 Ivy) will have to flip the script of its last dance with Princeton (16-11, 9-4), a 65-53 defeat for the Quakers at Jadwin Gym on Jan. 12 that was more decisive than its final score suggests.
For Penn basketball, this Ivy season has truly been the best of times and the worst of times and a win against Princeton would provide much-needed team momentum throughout the offseason.
Next season will decide once and for all whether this team full of underclassmen has what it takes for long-term Ivy success. But the glimpses of brilliance Penn has shown from time to time in 2012-13 have been too few and far between to suggest that this team isn’t still a youthful bunch with everything to prove.
Yale’s suffocating defense in the second half gave the Quakers fits, and the Bulldogs took advantage, turning a one point deficit at half time into a 14-point victory, defeating the Quakers, 79-65.
As flashy and important to the Quakers’ success as Hicks and Nelson-Henry have proven to be over the last two weekends, until junior Miles Cartwright graduates, he is the leader of this team. Without question.
Penn bested Brown, 66-64, on the strength of another stellar showing from Cartwright, who notched 25 points on 8-for-12 shooting from the field.
See what Penn coach Jerome Allen and top scorers Tony Hicks and Darien Nelson-Henry had to say after the victory over Harvard.
One thing Saturday’s win against Harvard doesn’t change is the fact that there are still more questions about this young Penn team than there are answers.
The Quakers (8-20, 5-6 Ivy) entered their matchup against the Crimson (17-9, 9-3) having suffered two bad losses in a row against traditional Ivy bottom-dwellers Columbia and Dartmouth. But their effort against first-place Harvard would be a different story.