Game 4: Drexel — The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

The Palestra was rocking for Battle of 33rd Street, as the Quakers matched up against the Drexel Dragons. Though Penn led by eight with 13 minutes remaining, the Dragons charged back to win, 61-59, behind a 15-point second half performance from freshman guard Tavon Allen.

THE GOOD: Surprise! It's Fran again.
The junior forward tallied an efficient 21 points on 8-for-14 shooting to go along with 10 rebounds for his second consecutive double-double. Dougherty scored most of his points inside, often driving from the three-point line, drawing contact and finishing on short jumpers. Perhaps even more important than his offensive production, Doc was the only Quaker with more than three rebounds on the night.

THE BAD: Lots of turnovers, and not like the pastry.
Eighteen turnovers for the Red and Blue, including 11 in the second half, made the difference against Drexel. In particular, freshman center Darien Nelson-Henry struggled in the post and recorded four giveaways in just 14 minutes of playtime. An uncharacteristic six turnovers from junior guard Miles Cartwright also hurt the Quakers.

THE UGLY: Drexel fans (almost) starting a chant with Cartwright down.
Late in the second half, Cartwright drove inside and collided with a Drexel player before falling to the floor and staying down. While sports trainers attended to him, a couple of Dragons fans tried to get a chant going on the Drexel side. The chants ended when a couple of Penn fans yelled down to the Dragons' side to "have some respect." To the relief of Quaker fans, Cartwright returned to the game a few minutes later.

8 thoughts on “Game 4: Drexel — The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

  1. I am concerned about the on-court leadership this season. In addition to the scoring void left by Z Rosen, this element of the game seems to be missing.

  2. Well that goes along with identifying roles and team identity. This is what turning around a program looks like, I think they have good enough leadership but roles are still being defined. We are relying on a lot of young kids and early on its about figuring out who is ready for the bright lights. I think as we start to settle on a rotation of player who can be depended on defensively you'll see who the vocal leaders are and who leads with play. It's fun to watch unfold if you ask me (which you didn't)...

  3. I made the bonehead maneuver of driving all the way down to Philly to see game, thinking it started at 7, arriving at 6:15, and learning it was over. All I could do was laugh, the alternative reaction wouldn't have been pretty. Not even a hotel vacancy in the city for the night. So I drove two hours back home. Wish I could have seen game and commented.

    Certainly the gigantic void of leadership on the court with Zack's departure was inevitable. I think the only question was who, if anyone, whether individually (or in some sort of guard tandem) would begin to settle in, and establish some sense of coherence, structure and reliable ball distribution.

    We know by now that Cartwright is no pure point guard, nor even the reliable long-range shooter we prayed he'd turn into after some promising freshman games. He's a gutty "tweener" who's great to have on your team, but he will never settle the team down like Zack did.

    I'm a bit surprised Rennard hasn't "stepped up" more. I expected him to. I really think he has the potential to make a major leap this year. But he appears so far to have made a pretty inconsequential impact. I hope that changes.

    This is a team clearly in transition. I think the most realistic and optimistic scenario is that, over the next five or six games, there is some beginning establishment and consolidation of an "identity".

    Dougherty, meanwhile, is doing what one wishes all these guys would do year to year--potentiate their talent. What a start to the season, as he bids to make a stamp of distinction as one of Penn's finer big men in the program's history. He reminds me a bit of Zoeller except, on the positive side, he's even more athletic than Zoeller, with more "upside."

    Is Lucas injured? Where the heck has he been after that outrageously explosive seasonal debut? He looked like Chris Paul from the highlights of that game. I've missed the beat on that????

  4. Rennard is supposedly still coming back from a sports hernia operation in September. That may take a while.

  5. Just a few thoughts on some of the discussion:
    (1) Rennard: Thought rennard looked strong in his time on the court. Didn't take a lot of shots but looks much more secure and confident out there. Think he will take a step forward as the year goes on.
    (2) Turnovers: turnovers will determine the fate of Penn in the ivy league. If we cannot better protect the ball, we will be middle of the pack. If the team learns to take care of it, there is a lot of potential on the floor. In particular, Henry Brooks and the big guys need to stop turning the ball over. It seems like they get called for several offensive fouls a game. Would expect Miles' turnovers to go down as he grows into his role. Personally thought he looked like a mature, leader on the court and watching his development has been fun.
    (3) PLP: I cannot understand what Coach Allen is doing here. How do you not give PLP any minutes? Have hicks, lewis, and crocker proven themselves to be so much better? PLP looked in control and shot so well in game one. Give the kid more minutes.
    (4) Greg Lewis: thought he looked pretty good in limited action. As Fran is the only big guy doing anything, would like to see more action for Lewis as well.

  6. PLP struggled a little bit down in VA, Hicks and lewis are much better defensively. PLP will have a role but lewis and hicks haven been better. Hicks is the real deal you can't keep him off the court he isn't showing much now because he defers to miles but by the end of the december we'll really see him get comfortable and fill it up. Lewis is a natural PG he's gotten better each game... Greg louis is still learning hell be ok once he relaxes but you can see him doing a lot of thinking out there...

  7. Jamie, I don't disagree on your points. But I still think there was a role in the Drexel game for PLP to get more than 0 minutes of action. On the Greg Louis point, a thinking too hard Greg Louis is still a hell of a lot better than Cam Gunter.

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