Greatest Quakers of the Last 50 Years

Jack Scheuer over at Philahoops is choosing the five best players from each of the City 6 schools over the past 50 years as part of an ongoing feature, and now he's gotten to Penn. Here's what he came up with:

1. Corky Calhoun

2. Ron Haigler

3. Keven McDonald

4. Jerome Allen

5. Zack Rosen

Interesting to see Matt Maloney left off, and Quaker fans who only remember the last 20 years or so will also have a soft spot for Ugonna Onyekwe, Matt Langel and Mark Zoller. Those who can remember a little further back may consider Tony Price or even Stan Pawlak as well, not to mention Mr. Bilsky himself. Who are your top five Quakers of the past 50 years?


49 thoughts on “Greatest Quakers of the Last 50 Years

  1. Mike Tony -- Thank you for sharing. Excellent contribution. Jack surely knows his stuff and has some wonderful perspectives.

    List seems fairly accurate.

    Bilsky shoudlnt make the list because of the quality of his teammates from that era. Very good player, but not Top 5.

    Allen clearly deserves it. Maloney was tremendous but not sure if he can steal a spot from the other five listed.

    And if you want to bring up those in the last 20 years, we must include Michael Jordan and of course, Ibrahim Jabber. As I have stated before, Jabber might be one of the greatest people ever to play for Penn -- what he did on the court was second only to his wonderful and kind nature off the court.

  2. Bobby Morse, arguably the greatest shooter ever from 4-point range! (The late Coach Dick Harter said something similar.)

    It's certainly a shame to omit Matt Maloney, but there are others as well. If we were to retire Penn BB Hall of Famers' jerseys, current player uniform #s would begin somewhere between 23 and 27.

  3. It'd be difficult to make the argument that anyone missing from the list deserves a spot ahead of one of these five. FOJL is right to highlight Ibby Jaaber, who in my opinion would be ahead of Zoller.

    Given how the season's going thus far, this sort of list brings a new meaning to "fantasy basketball." I can dream...

  4. Taking nothing away from Zack Rosen, Ibby Jaaber was a far more dominating player. While his supporting cast (Zoller, Osmundson, Danley, Grandieri) and coach were superior to Rosen's, Jaaber was the principal reason Penn won three consecutive titles during his tenure. Twice Ivy POY and Big 5 POY (up against at least 5 pros on Villanova and Temple) speaks for itself.

    Tough call between him and Onyekwe for most exciting Penn player of the past 12 years.

  5. I'd agree that Jaaber was more exciting than Rosen, but I wouldn't say more dominant. Of course, this is because Rosen often had to be out of necessity, but he also did indeed come through when needed. I don't recall offhand Jaaber having to completely take over a game -- his class simply had some good teams. In hindsight, would Ibby's teams have been better if Zack were there instead? How would the last for years have looked with Ibby instead of Zack?

  6. I have a soft spot in my heart for Bobby Morse. I remember the very long twos he made in the NCAA game against Duquesne. The Nelson twins just couldn't believe that the guy they were guarding could hit baskets from way out there.

  7. Wonderful discussion and contributions !

    Morse probably deserves to be there - -but the question would be which player to remove?

    Talking about these great Penn legends is much more enjoyable than discussing losses to Delaware, Fairfield, Drexel, Forhdam, and Lehigh. And it is better than seeing the spin from people like Gensler, Chip Ayers, Chrystie, and the non-objective lapdog puppet shill named Tannenwald

  8. Maloney doesn't even deserve consideration. He's not even in the conversation.

    Ibby is one of the all-timers, a case could be made for him. I agree that Onyekwe also deserves consideration.

    But no one on the list, no one in Penn basketball history, had the "Bob Cousy" effect that Zack Rosen had. Rosen was the only player to truly make everyone around consistently, appreciably better.

    Zack was THAT good.

    Tony Price was pretty damned great. If I'm Tony, I'm not pleased.

    And Phil Hankinson was no slouch.

  9. To those advising deep breaths and the like whenever objective criticism is offered re the current program, the above exchange illustrates why many of us are concerned. Not so long ago this once not great program is not only not keeping up with its heritage, but also not with its Ivy peers.

    As for the 5 greatest Penn BBers, not only are there arguments as to which ones, we'll have arguments if the list is expanded to 10, 15, and 20. That's how great this program has been, and how far down from that perch it has been permitted to fall!

  10. No question in my mind that Corky C. was the best player in the past 50 years.

    Tony Price HAS to be on my Top 5 list - he almost single-handedly led his team to the Final Four in 1979. Sorry, Zack.

    Personal note: in 1969-70, I was in C J Burnett's PoliSci class with Corky. A nicer, more humble human being you will never meet. You would never have known that he was such a star, unless you saw him on the court, where he was an absolute beast. It was a privilege to watch him play.

  11. As per usual, Ernie NAILED it with his contribution at 1607hr.

    Perhaps these are best words we have seen in quite some time

    "To those advising deep breaths and the like whenever objective criticism is offered re the current program, the above exchange illustrates why many of us are concerned. Not so long ago this once not great program is not only not keeping up with its heritage, but also not with its Ivy peers."

    Bravo to the eloquence of Ernie

  12. FOJL - Thank you. Would you join me in nominating Ted's homage to Corky is one of the sweetest examples of the power and value of great sports programs to a university?

  13. Ernie,
    Upon re-reading your 4 PM post, the 2nd sentence in the first paragraph is interesting...

  14. Ted - My error in failing to delete the "not" when I rewrote that sentence. It should read "Not so long ago this once great..." Actually it's a testament to how generally understood that greatness had been, that it took your keen eye to spot that error.

    BTW - Your pull with Ms. Soisson per her above reply to you is impressive. If you think the idea merit worthy, please consider asking her to have the Buzz or other DP space establish a blog that allows its readers to create conversation topics.

    For example, I'm interested in discussing with you, Penn Grad, FOJL et al (including DP staff) an FB topic: How is it that this year's Ivy champs had fewer players named to the All Ivy team than the 2nd place team, no finalist for POY, and no player receiving post-season playing invitations?

    PS I await your review of "Three and Out."

  15. Ernie,

    I'm confused by your 9:57 post. Is that "BTW" about Ms. Soisson directed to me? If so, I'm not seeing anything from her in this series of comments, so I don't know what you are referring to. I do like your idea about the blog though.

    Sorry but I haven't gotten to read Three and Out yet - but I will!

  16. in response to Steve Becker, in what way did Zack make everyone around him better? i love zack, but very few of the other guys around him did develop. tyler never grew into the player he showed the potential to be, mike howlett never grew into anything, and he didnt seem to make miles or any of the younger guys better. earlier in his career, the teams were even worse and guys didn't get better. rob belcore is the one example of a guy that got better but i think that was a testament to how hard rob worked that offseason to improve his game and dedicate himself to basketball.

    we all love zack but I'm confused as to how he made everyone so much better?

  17. Tony Price was my favorite player as a high schooler in '79. I believe he had the highest PPG in the '79 NCAA tourney. Can anyone confirm?

  18. Ted - It was directed to you. She addressed your "random observations" post after the Villanova game.

  19. Re Ted's Corky story -- This is what we must have. Fine people off the court, who are just as important and dynamic on the court. Ibrahim was clearly in this "elite" category as well. Jerome Allen THE PLAYER was almost at this level- although he was a little shy off the court.

    Ernie and Ted are spot on in this regard.

    As a tangent, the Penn Athletics "PR Spin Control" types like to play up Jok along these lines. While his humanitarian efforts are tremendous, he sadly is a marginal player in the grand scheme of things. On some levels, his story might be better served if he didnt play MBB. Trying to combine the two angles really only works if the kid contributes as a player. Despite some mild recent success, his career is basically highly uneventful.


  20. FOJL - As you know the list of great Penn student-athletes and overall great human beings extends beyond BB. FB. Track, Crew, Wrestling - the list goes on - all have had highly accomplished student-athletes who enriched campus life with their presence and contributions. A couple have approached, but Corky has to rank #1. (Ibby and Zack are certainly included among those greats.)

    I believe the Penn campus is similarly enhanced by Dau Jok's presence, and in my memory no player has ever cheered and rallied his teammates from the bench as he has. It's a pleasure to see.

    I'm glad he is at Penn, on the BB team, a tri-captain, and if he can contributes some 3s along the way, it will be an added bonus. It is also fair to say the Penn over-hype establishment did him a great disservice. Regrettably, they have too few subjects and occasions genuinely deserving and worthy of their hype skills.

  21. If you want a guy who made everyone else better, it is Tim Begley, who led the freshmen class of Ibby (who did not become a starter until late in the season) to a title after being a freshman starter with the Ugonna team. Indeed, I believe Penn would have defeated Oklahoma State in the NCAA's had he not gotten injured in that game. The only guy I think is close in terms of his making everyone else better was Booney Salters. His starting role was the difference between just missing the Final 4 in '78 and making it the next year. And in his senior year, with all freshmen and sophs, he singlehandedly led Penn to an NCAA victory. I'd probably put Michael Jordan ahead of Rosen in that regard, too. If the issue is who made everyone else better, Begley-Salters and Jordan would be the tops on my list. I think Rosen should be hailed as taking his game to the greatest improvement over 4 years, starting as a turnover prone guy who flat out couldn't shoot to one of the greatest single-season clutch shooting performances I have ever seen. When Bernardini went down, he took over and just missed winning a title.

  22. Bagnoli Fan - Amen! Glad you mentioned Tim Begley, who may be the most under-rated/appreciated POY Penn star. Start your own category for ranking and discussion.

    As others have contributed personal notes re Penn BB stars, mine is having arranged a summer internship for Booney with our firm. This was the summer after his heroic shot heard around the BB world, and during his interview I was impressed by his eagerness and modesty. The team enjoyed his presence and participation, and the fact that he could be reliably depended on to show up!

    I'll wager with odds that there are numerous other heart-warming Penn student-athlete stories that we never get to hear.

  23. Bagnoli Fan--are u kidding me? Zack Rosen doesn't go down as the player who, historically, had the biggest impact in terms of "making the guys around him better?"

    Come now.

    As good as Jerome was, he did not consistently make those around him "better." Ibby was never a pure point guard, and never consistently made those around him better.

    Booney Salters is a great reference. I agree with you that Salters made an impact in this sense. But nothing compared to Rosen, ditto for Bobby Willis, who had serious talent, was a lefty, a pure point, and a better athlete than Zack. But even Willis didn't raise the level of his teammates like Zack did, and Willis, of course, had infinitely more talented teammates.

    Can you imagine Zack running that Final Four squad? Think it would have lost to Michigan State by 40? I don't think so.

    That run to the final 4, incidentally, was not Tony Price- driven alone. Tim Smith, Salters, Willis, even the flat-footed Matt White made timely contributions along the way.

  24. That's what makes this kind of debate fun, Steve. As you may have read, I gave Rosen props for having improved his game more than anyone I have ever seen over a 4 year career. His season last year was unbelievable. Yet still, 3 of his 4 seasons were among the worst in Penn history. Even last year, who did he make much better. Doc is playing much better this year after he graduated, and Miles is about the same, if not a little more productive (while a bit disappointing so far). Essentially, after Bernardini's injury, the team was Zach creating primarily for himself. I love the kid, but he didn't take Brooks, Howlett, or anyone else on that team to another level---except for himself. In contrast, Begley was integral to Penn going from an awful season to a great one in '02 and then he took a team of young guys to a completely unexpected title. Booney also took a great but somewhat underachieving team to a Final Four and then a bunch of freshman to an unexpected title and an NCAA win. Sorry, but I don't think anyone in Penn history since the early '70s stands up to those two in the sense of making the other players better. My opinion, of course, and it is no slight to Rosen, who was incredible last year.

  25. Bagnoli Fan--I respect your post...I loved Booney Salters and I like the "props" you are giving him; i think, as you probably do, that he's been grossly under-appreciated over the years. Plus, talk about a "class" human being--none come classier than he. A really superb human being.

    That said, I confess to remaining a bit stunned by your assertions that Zack had several of the worst years in Penn history? My friend, are you kidding me? Do we need to mobilize an "alumni intervention" here?

    On one hand you credit him for having made some of the greatest improvement in the program's history, then illogically state that three of those years were among the most abysmal in the program's history? I'm confused.

    Take Zack off the Penn teams of the last several years and they'd have been lucky to win three or four Ivy League games each year. Lucky. He was so valuable to the team it was ridiculous, more valuable than any player has EVER been to a Penn team. Look at what Rosen's departure has left? A team in utter shambles, to this point.

    Dougherty has profited from experience and a more featured role in the offense. He is "developing" promisingly, just as you'd expect a break-out advance from a talented junior? He was showing signs last year as well, and was the recipient of countless, incredible feeds from Zack all year, some of which (like the rest of the team), he wasn't ready to handle.

    Miles? Miles is what he Solid, but limited. That is his upside. It's less than we hoped. That is not Zack's fault.

    Belcore couldn't shoot to save his life. Left wide open from three, he was a 20% shooter or worse. Bernadini was the ultimate pretender. A master magician couldn't pull the kinds of "disappearing acts" Bernadini perpetrated time and again.

    You are right that Zack needed to do a LOT on his own last season with a woeful shooting team, an absolutely woeful offensive team, where no one--no one but he, an erratic Bernadini, a "crap-shoot" Miles, and a tentatively emerging Steve Rennard--could even be construed as potential outside scoring threats. He had NOTHING in the way of weapons to work with, unlike, say, Booney Salters, who for several of his four years, had actual weapons beside him.

    To suggest that when Zack was on the floor he wasn't in absolute, often sublime command of the team, from his sophomore through senior seasons--true, his offensive game evolved dramatically and impressively during this stretch, as you credit--but Bagnoli Fan, to suggest that, from rather early on, he wasn't displaying a rare command of the floor which I'd suggest no one in the program's history has ever come close to duplicating, is, I suggest, to have been rather "blind?"

    I watched all these guys play and some were more athletically talented than Zack, but none (apart from Booney) came even close to his leadership impact, and his orchestral command of the floor.

    I say one last time: he HAD to shoot a lot. No one could shoot!!! That remains a problem for THIS team, and countless recent Penn teams. No one can shoot!!!
    (Other than Dougherty, and a still very tentative, but talented, Rennard.)

  26. @ Ernie N.,

    Thanks for letting me know about Megan S's response to me on one of the previous posts. I have since responded in turn to her, and included your request on behalf of all of us "old geezers" who regularly contribute to the Buzz, etc.

  27. Some other under-rated and oft-forgotten players who made their teams better and who were very good - not top 5 or 10 of course, but very talented players - Kenny Hall, Fran McCaffrey and Andy Toole. Ira Bowman comes to mind, also.

    Steve Becker,
    Much as we all love Zack, I think you go a little overboard with him - it's as though you go into "rapture" when you talk about him. If he were as good as you seem to be saying, he would be starting in the NBA right now. You were very dismissive of Matt Maloney, who actually started for an NBA finalist team one year.
    Different era of course, but do I still think the '79 team would have lost by 40 to Michigan State with Zack at the point? (actually, they only lost by 34). Answer = Yes, I do. The main reason the Quakes got as far as they did in the tournament that year was that their 2 guards (Willis & Salters) were quicker than the guards on all of the other 4 teams they defeated (Iona, NC, Syracuse & St. John's). Then they came up agianst none other than Magic Johnson & MSU, who were cruising to the title, and it was all over. Zack would have been just as overwhelmed, if not more so, than Bobby W. or "Booney," as he isn't as quick as they were. Even if he was, it wouldn't have mattered, no one was going to stop MSU that year.

    Zack was a great player, and a great person, and he had some really crappy supporting casts (which in fact may have made him look even better, because he had to do so much), but he came up short in a few too many games and critical situations for me to place him among the top 5 players of all time at Penn. Top 10? Probably.

    Again, I'm not demeaning him (or you) in any way - I respect your opinions and obvious BB knowledge, but I think a little more objectivity is needed here with regard to Zack, and what he actually accomplished. His career numbers are great, but note that Corky Calhoun, who is the consensus choice as "The Greatest," probably does not lead in ANY all time Penn career statistical categories. All he did was consistently play great, night after night, in EVERY aspect of the game, and produce some of the greatest clutch moments and performances that Quaker fans will ever see. Yes, he had a great team with him, but he also made them all better too, in his amazingly quiet way. And in my mind that is the difference - he always came through when the game was on the line, whereas Zack did not (at least not often enough for me).

    But, as "Bagnoli Fan" pointed out, this is what makes these discussions great (and fun).

    Go Quakers!

  28. Ted - It is neither contradiction nor fickleness to say I agree with both your and Steve Becker's views re Zack Rosen. Not trying to be cute, but I believe he was arguably Penn's greatest warrior. His work ethic and will to make each game competitive, culminating in taking last year's team (I agree with your description of the supporting cast, sadly) to a 20 win season and a run at the title was awesome!

    It would have been understandable if he showed regret vis his Penn decision, but he never did, and played with magnificent heart. Arguably Penn's greatest worrier!

    PS Old geezer indeed!

  29. There is no question I would put Zack in the top 5 of "Greatest Warrior," which is another category altogether (aside to Steve: My reference to worst years in Penn history was not to Zack individually, but the team). In that category, I would place Booney, Michael Jordan, Pierce, Toole and Zack. Those guys really hated to lose---no one more than Pierce, whose attitude reminds me of another Pierce still playing in the NBA.

  30. Ted, I view your post as extremely well-argued. Perhaps it's simply a case that you are RIGHT on many points. I am very guard-oriented in general, I must admit, and salivate to see a Penn guard succeed on the NBA level.

    Maloney's stint with Houston was quite remarkable and quite aberrational. He just wasn't that good, not nearly as good as Jerome Allen, whose NBA career was even less distinguished. Maloney had an almost "Jeremy Lin"-light stretch with Houston. I stress the "light." But Maloney was an extraordinarily limited athlete. And he shot us out of an NCAA game all by himself. Don't get me wrong: he was good, real good, at Penn, but his NBA flirtation was more remarkable for its improbability than anything else.

    I still maintain that Zack was the greatest "floor leader" in Penn history, notwithstanding all the other excellent point you make. Your comments about Willis/Salters is apt--ie, their quickness was in fact a distinguishing quality of their tandem, and both were intelligent players.

    Ibby Jaaber, of course, was special...regrettably he just was neither sufficient "point" nor "shooting" guard, his greatest limitation. He was too much a "tweener," but man he was so "disruptive."

    Paul Little was a terrific talent and probably the program's biggest "underachiever." He is one of the program's greater talents, easily...he never came close to potentiating that talent, for reasons I will never understand.

    I was a big Kenny Hall fan. He was strong, could take it really strong to the hoop; he had a really nice set-shot delivery, but wasn't really a jump-shooter, which limited him.

    Great post, Ted.

    And Bagnoli Fan, same....great last post. Sorry misconstruing one of your points.

    Still, fellas...I maintain this on Zack--best floor leader in the team's history.

  31. 1) I hereby place this series of posts in nomination as a candidate for inclusion in "Top 5 Buzz Discussions of All Time."

    2) Steve Becker,
    Thanks as always, for the great response and respectful rejoinders. I have no problem in saying that in the history of Penn BB, there has been no better floor leader than Zack, and leave it at that. And as far as my "All Warrior Team," Zack would be the starting point guard. Everything you said about Matt Maloney was absolutely correct also, including his pro career. I don't think we can knock him though, for happening to be at the right place at the right time, and taking advantage of the opportunity, however briefly it lasted.

    3) Ernie,
    Sorry for the "Geezer" reference. I'll speak for myself next time, in that context.

    4) A few more "Warriors":
    George Noon
    Eric Moore
    Bruce Lefkowitz
    Paul Little
    Karl Racine

  32. P.S. Steve Becker,
    Re Paul Little, I think that nagging injuries may have hampered him throughout his career - perhaps that is why he under-achieved? We could use some "under-achievers" like him on this current team! (I'm not saying that he didn't under achieve, but imagine if played up to what appeared to be his true potential - he still was pretty darn good) - I think Penn won 2 titles during his 4 years.

  33. Love the reference to Eric Moore and Karl Racine. Moore was a "glue guy" -- loved by his teammates and contributed valuable minutes.

    Racine is the type of guy that this current group clearly needs. He was high energy and high effort. Both ends of the court. Was told he was once offered top level scholarships but chose Penn for academics.

    Good dialogue here! Well done Men!

  34. Ted, i second your proposal! Great thread! And as the inimitable FOJL would say, "Thank you for your contributions," which have been fantastic.

    You may be right about Paul Little and injuries...I do recollect he was injury-prone or had a chronic issue at some point. I wouldn't, however, personally place Little on anyone's "all-warrior" team. He seemed to me to be pretty erratic in terms of how "warrior-like" his mentality was. He could "dial it in" at times, notwithstanding injury issues. I wouldn't go so far as to say he had an attitude problem, but I can recall the sense that something was going on with him. He never struck me as possessing anything close to an assassin's mentality.

    In general, I wouldn't characterize guys who greatly fail to max-out their potential (as in Little's case) as "warriors." But you are right: he was an "engine" on some good teams. Athletic, smart, great passer, streaky shooter with limited range, unfortunately, on his jumper.

    Portland drafted him in the 6th round, with Jack Ramsey as coach. Little actually had a very good summer league with them, he somewhat distinguished himself, but back then 6th round draft picks had no chance whatsoever.

    Ira Bowman, incidentally, saw some NBA action. I watched a game where he stripped Michael Jordan at half-court and took it in for a layup.

    I also watched Jerome Allen make a start for the Pacers against the Knicks, at the Garden, where he found himself the recipient of a feed that left him a wide-open corridor to the hoop, with Patrick Ewing trailing well behind; and he just MISSED the jam--literally lacked the hops to finish it. Very embarrassing and, to some extent, symbolic of Jerome's snake-bitten NBA career (although I saw him look great in his rookie year at Minnesota against the Nets, when he actually had a head coach, temporarily, who believed in him).

    Think about it--that Penn squad saw THREE guys see NBA action: Allen, Maloney and Bowman. How unlikely is that? Will that ever occur again????

  35. Steven Becker

    Thank you for the kind words and your wonderful contribution.

    Your question was:
    Think about it--that Penn squad saw THREE guys see NBA action: Allen, Maloney and Bowman. How unlikely is that? Will that ever occur again????

    Given the current state of affairs with the program, as well as the larger context of no scholarships + intense recruiting, I have very little confidence that we will see this ever again in our lifetimes.

    Penn MBB is not Kansas, Duke, Kentucky, or Chapel Hill.

    We need to keep that in the proper perspective.

    For now, lets get a damn win!


  36. My ambition for Penn BB is more realistic: Ivy Champs! But even this more modest goal looks increasingly out of reach.

  37. All,
    Hang in there guys, better days are coming. Not like the 70's perhaps, but right now I'll settle for the mid 90's, when the Allens, Maloneys and Bowmans were roaming the campus (and later, the NBA!), and like Ernie said, "Ivy Champs."

    Steve B.,
    I knew that someone (most likely you) would quite understandably question my oxymoronic categorization of the under-achieving Paul Little as a "warrior." I am most happy to explain:
    During Little's 4 years at Penn, for various reasons I was unable to get to the Palestra as often as normally did, so I only saw him play "in person" a few times. But every time I did go, Paul did appear to be fighting pretty fiercely (despite his not ever shooting particularly well, which, as you astutely pointed out, was a weakness with him).
    Two games in particular stand out - one was a loss to Villanova in his 1st or 2nd year, where Paul fought particularly hard to the end; the other was at the end of his career, where he hobbled around on an injured leg (which, in retrospect, may have been a bad idea) desperately trying to keep Penn in the Ivy title race. Penn did win the game, but they still ended up losing the championship to Princeton by one game, in what was one of the more disappointing seasons in my memory (1982-83).
    OK Steve, after re-thinking this, I'll put an asterisk next to his name, and will place him on Penn's "All Warrior Taxi Squad." Yes, he was somewhat of a disappointment, but to me the good outweighed the bad with him; I'd still wouldn't mind having him on the team today.

    Once again, great discussion and contributions from everyone! Thanks.

  38. Ted - I hope you are right re better days coming, and also that Ms. Soisson and the DP hearken to the new blog suggestion. I'm also happy to endorse this as one of the top 5 all-time greatest posts. But not to be a grinch, it's becoming all too common that we regularly have to go back to "those thrilling days of yesteryear" for Penn sports highs.

    Here's an important point that's rarely discussed: Whenever a spotlight or critique is leveled at a Penn team - most frequently BB, the sport of choice at Penn - invariably an anonymous defender of the status quo argues how much better we are doing vis the recent past. In BB's case JA's team vis the Miller train wreck, as though it was a binary discussion.

    In fact it should be a multivariate discussion, and should include what our Ivy competitors have been doing during the same period. No need to mention Harvard, but take Columbia, that used to be an automatic W in all sports but fencing. Last year's game in NYC was a nail-biter, and based on comparative scores, they may be ahead of us.

    What's even more shocking to me is to see their m-squash team, a club sport as recently as 2 years ago, is ranked ahead of Penn, which is now in level 2 not level 1. Their crew and swimming teams, which risked drowning during races, outrank us, as do their cross country teams. Let's see about tennis and wrestling.

    Other Ivies, particularly Dartmouth, have also renewed their commitments to sports. In particular, their former President Dr. Kim was an outspoken supporter in word and deed in multiple sports. They hired the former Williams AD, one of the most (if not the most) successful D-III sports programs.

    To those counseling "better days are coming" (respectfully, you included), the onus is on all of you to explain why in tangible terms rather than simple hope. Perhaps better days will come in NYC, when we toast Penn's victory over Columbia with Palestra wine.

  39. Ernie,
    I was referring only to BB when I postulated that "better days are coming." I can't speak to the other sports.
    True, it's in large part a "gut" feeling, but it is truly what I believe. Jerome APPEARS to have things on the right track (yes, even with the 2-7 record so far). He's brought in some good looking freshmen recruits. Let's see what happens over the next 2 Ivy seasons - that's what I'M willing to give JA, as the resident "Patience Counselor" here. If I'm wrong, then it's "Mea Maxima Culpa" on me.

    I am really hoping to get to NYC for the Columbia game. Can't guarantee it yet, as there is a new grandchild expected to arrive right around that time. Will do my best to get there and drink some "Palestra" with you.

    Go Quakers!

  40. Ted - I did understand you to be speaking of BB, and I was putting BB within the context of other Penn sports and vis Ivy competitors. Yes, JA has brought in some attractive recruits; and yes, he has us on the right track.; but to where? Ivy respectability? Ivy competitiveness? Ivy championships?

    The bar for all Penn sports is being set lower; why not for BB? Yes, JA has brought in some recruits with potential, which as an article of faith I'll accept But so has Columbia and Harvard, both of whom have freshman candidates for ROY. Is the JA BB program designed to compete with them + Princeton et al, or to prevail and win championships per the heritage discussed on this thread?

    To argue for Ivy championships requires the JA program to leapfrog our Ivy competitors' efforts (and commitments). I've seen little if any evidence this happening. Have I missed any evidence of leapfrogging the competition?

    PS Congratulations re the new grandchild! Penn '33?

  41. Ernie,
    Thanks. Guess it would be Class of '35 for the G/C? I will definitely be an official "geezer" by then.

    As for JA and the BB, the proof will be "in the pudding" as they say. And I'm talking in terms of Ivy championships, 95-100% victories over equal or lesser non-league programs (such as Lafayette, Delaware, Wagner, etc), and real competitiveness (this would include at least a decent W/L record against tougher non-league opponents, such as Villanova, Temple, etc. These are my expectatons within the next 2-3 years; I'm not settling for "competitiveness within the Ivies." If they are are not met, then I will readily acknowledge that your skepticism about the program was correct, and we will then I suppose have a different conversation - i.e., who is to blame, and where to go from there, and, worst case scenario, is it even worth caring about anymore. I sincerely hope that the latter scenario does not occur.

  42. P.S. Ernie,
    I also agree with you that it is somewhat sad that lately, we have to go back to the "good old days" to discuss exciting moments in Penn BB. While it is fun to reminisce like that, will Penn BB fans 50 years from now (hopefully, there will still be some) have anybody to put on THEIR "greatest" lists, post Zack Rosen? Let's hope in the coming weeks we are talking about what great players Tony Hicks, Jamal Lewis, Darien Nelson-Henry, et al, are turning out to be.

  43. I've created a standard point system based on Ivy League honors, scoring, and NBA career or draft status which has yielded the following top 5 players (regardless of positions) over the last 50 years. These are the results, and I think they're pretty accurate:

    First 5: Ron Haigler, Keven McDonald, Perry Bromwell, Jerome Allen, Matt Maloney
    Second 5: Ugonna Onyekwe, Ibrahim Jaaber, Tony Price, Paul Little, Zach Rosen
    Third 5: Michael Jordan, Ira Bowman, Jeff Neuman, Phil Hankinson, Corky Calhoun and Stan Pawlak (Tie)
    Fourth 5: Tim Begley, James Salters, Dave Wohl, Bob Morse, John Engles
    Fifth 5: Matt White, Bruce Lefkowitz, Bob Bigelow, Bobby Willis, Mark Zoller

  44. I left out Walt Frazier Jr....he gets slotted in below White and tied with Bigelow above Willis, Zoller, and Lefkowitz. Lefkowitz is also tied with Paul Romanczuk.

  45. @Eric Schripper - Props for your efforts to devise a data-driven basis for ranking the Penn greats. That said, any criteria that doesn't have Corky Calhoun at least in the top tier, and I'd argue Bobby Morse and Dave Whol higher than fourth tier, is highly debatable - which in itself could be fun, given Penn BB's current circumstances.

  46. Not enough props to Jeff Neuman. He was so far ahead of his time it is not funny. On the fast break he could split two defenders like a magician, dribbling between his legs and hitting Stan Pawlak with a perfect lead pass. His ball handling skills were unmatched during his time and I have yet to see his equal among more recent point guards such as Jaaber, Rosen and Maloney.

  47. @Charles Schwartz - Absolutely! From Day 1 of his Freshman year, when he led the Freshman team to almost knocking off the Varsity, Jeff was electric, and easily one of our most exciting players ever. He also arrived during the Big 5 golden age of guards - Walli Jones, Steve Courtin, et al, - and Jeff Neuman held his own with all of them.

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