Game Nine Liveblog — Penn hoops vs. Villanova

The Quakers kick off the Big 5 schedule tonight at the Palestra with Villanova. The Wildcats are 0-2 in the Big 5 and also have a loss to Columbia this season. Tonight's game is on NBC Sports Network, but follow along our liveblog and join the conversation!

5 thoughts on “Game Nine Liveblog — Penn hoops vs. Villanova

  1. By game's end it was easy to conclude this Penn team is less than the sum of its parts. Possibilities are there, but currently their play is akin to Brownian motion. This was a winnable game, and it was hard to believe we were playing the real Villanova. This year they are very mediocre.

    The following is passed on without comment: Penn had narrowed Villanova's lead but it was widening again, and we were fouling left and right. One of the TV broadcasters observed that Penn was playing man-to-man defense as it was not in Jerome Allen's DNA to play zone. Columbia, he pointed out, had used the zone against Villanova and had won going away.

    On first look none of the Ivies look dominant, so one could extrapolate that we'll be competitive. Harvard stayed close with UConn Friday evening also using a lineup of underclassmen led by an impressive freshman and proven sophomore. What is extraordinary is that their big man Kenyatta Smith did not suit up, nor for very much this or last season. Their two senior co-captains are ineligible this year; but will return next, along with a very highly ranked recruit taking a prep school year to make his grades. They, rather than Princeton should be ranked favorites going into Ivy League play.

    BTW - Another no-show at UConn was their Associate Head Coach Glen Miller.

  2. Some random observations:

    Darien Nelson-Henry has real potential. Needs to work on his defense, as all freshmen do, but I like his footwork on offense. He could be the big man we have always needed.

    Miles makes a lot of good plays, but also makes too many mistakes at critical times.

    Dau Jok looks much bigger and stronger this year. Not a great talent, but he plays with a lot of hustle and he can shoot the ball when open. He should provide some valuable minutes in the Ivy games. I see now why Jerome kept him on the team.

    Why did Tony Hicks only get 10 or 11 minutes of playing time? Was it his defense? He's certainly better than Cam Crocker, who was terrible tonight.

    Dougherty has to find a way to score more than 2 points, or there will be a lot more losses. Steve Rennard should just stick to shooting the open threes - no more attempts to drive the basket, please Steve.

    When did Henry Brooks become a foul waiting to happen? I don't remember that being the case last year.

    Greg Louis looked OK. Jamal Lewis still looks a little out of control, but should be fine eventually.

    Agree with Ernie - the parts are there, but they just aren't meshing yet. This was a winnable game; but critical mistakes at critical times, poor foul shooting by some (except Cartwright), and the ever-present inability to rebound cost the Quakers the game. Villanova stinks this year. The refereeing was awful, in that they wouldn't let the teams play, but they called it bad both ways; it only made the game all the more frustrating, for Penn fans.

  3. Ted — to address some of your questions/comments:

    I agree re Darien. I think he has the biggest learning curve of all the freshmen because he has NEVER been asked to play defense (other than stand there and block shots, as he told me) until he came to Penn. He's taking it in stride and I've seen improvement in each game.

    Dau isn't much bigger/stronger than he was last year (or at least the change from freshman to sophomore was bigger than that of sophomore to junior year) but he's definitely being more productive on the court -- and given more opportunities -- than he ever has which I think is why you're seeing that he's bigger and stronger.

    I can almost guarantee you that Tony's limited playing time comes from the defensive end.

  4. Megan,

    A belated thank you for your response. I never would have seen it, but for the sharp eyes of one of my fellow contributors, who I assume noticed the new ticker number appearing in the "balloon." I had moved on to the newer stories by then, figuring by then that there would be no response to my "random thoughts." I appreciate your enlightening me on Dau Jok's (non-changed) physique and Tony Hicks' lack of defense, etc. Now I know that at least one person felt it worthy of a response, and I thank you.

    On another note, on behalf of all of my fellow "old geezers" who contribute regularly to this forum (I won't name them, they know who they are, and by now, you probably do too), I was wondering if the Buzz or other DP space would consider establishing a blog that would allow its readers to create conversational topics on Penn FB and BB (and all other Penn sports,as well)?

    Thanks for considering this, and thanks again for kindly responding to my musings. Keep up the great work you do at the DP and the Buzz! You are a talented writer!

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