This iteration of the Quakers is probably the best squad the program has had in a decade. They play with intensity, energy, and athleticism. They've got fluid ball movement, three point sharpshooters, and two big men who pass as well as they score. They've got a great starting five, but they also have a deep and talented bench.
The much anticipated – and once delayed – Ivy League season opener stalled out the gate as neither team seemed able to land a punch: the first points came almost three minutes into the game. Once that was out of the way, the two archrivals treated those in attendance with one of the most exciting regular season games in recent memory: a 76-70 Penn win over defending conference champion Princeton.
The Rockets shot a season high 64.3 percent from beyond the arc, marching to an 85-73 victory over the Quakers. The loss snaps the Quakers (9-5) four-game winning streak, dating back to December 4.
In Penn’s first home game in 39 days — and first game at all in 18 days — the Red and Blue showed absolutely no signs of rust against non-conference foe Delaware State. Boosted by an incredible 51.9 percent effort from three-point range, the Quakers set the school record for margin of victory against a Division I opponent, blowing out the Hornets, 105-52, for their fourth straight win.
Both Penn men’s basketball and women’s basketball saw their seasons end in agonizing fashions last March, but neither of those final games should take away from thrilling 2017s for both teams.
After earning his first Ivy League Player of the Week award of the season two weeks ago by putting in a 55-minute effort at Monmouth, the sophomore guard won his second this week after totaling 41 points across three games.
After playing the most minutes of any men’s basketball team in the country in November, the schedule quiets down considerably in December. After dispatching Dayton at their home court on Saturday, the Quakers won’t return to action until December 27. That is a gap of 17 days without a game.
At 8-4, Penn is off to its best start since the 2002-03 season, when the Fran Dunphy-led Quakers finished undefeated in Ivy League play. That’s notable in itself, but what’s even more impressive is that the Red and Blue have been doing nearly all of their damage away from the Palestra.
With various teams engaging in some instant classic battles, the Quakers have given fans a wild range of emotions throughout the calendar year, with the lone constant being thorough entertainment across the board.
Perhaps what was most impressive about Jones’ play, though, was just how efficient his scoring was. Jones finished the week with almost as many points (27) as minutes (31), and in each of Penn’s last two games, his scoring total exceeded his total minutes played.
Penn men’s basketball capped off its 8-game stretch away from home with a 78-70 victory over Dayton. The Quakers outplayed the Flyers for most of the contest, as Dayton led for only one minute and 55 seconds throughout the entire game.
In the last game before a two-week break, Penn men’s basketball overpowered Dayton on the road in an emphatic 78-70 win. The Quakers (8-4) outshot the Flyers (4-5) from every area of the court, most notably from beyond the arc.
The last time Penn men’s basketball started a season with a 7-4 record from its first 11 games, the team went 14-0 in the Ivy League and made it to the NCAA Tournament. That was 15 years ago.
Playing away from the Palestra for the seventh straight game, Penn survived a streaky shooting night to defeat Lafayette 73-68 and earn its second victory in three nights.
Penn used an absolutely dominant stretch at the end of the first half and beginning of the second half to erase a slow start and build an insurmountable lead en route to an 81-68 victory over Howard.
Penn men's basketball sits at No. 92 in the latest national Rating Percentage Index (RPI) rankings, which came out on Monday. RPI seeks to compare the nation's many teams by taking into account the massive variety in strength of schedule when looking at wins and losses.
Most major basketball programs play somewhere between 28 and 31 games. Historically, Penn and the rest of the Ivy League play fewer to allow the players time off for winter break and finals. This year, Penn will play 30 games, which means they have to fit the same amount of games as major programs in a smaller amount of time. The result: a packed first month before the break.
Now in his sixth season as an assistant, Bowman is men’s basketball’s longest tenured coach. Originally an assistant under Jerome Allen, the former player’s main task is to coach defensive schemes and rotations for the Quakers.
Penn men’s basketball came ready to play, but in the end, the nation's No. 4 team was just too good.
After five games in eight days, including an epic four-overtime win over Monmouth on Saturday night, Penn men’s basketball hits the road again. This time the ride will be easier, but the opponent will be anything but.