Penn’s defense: After allowing Harvard to shoot 52.3 percent last night, it is hard to imagine that the Quakers couldn’t improve on the defensive end. Additionally, they move from the Ivy League’s highest scoring offense in Harvard to the lowest scoring offense in Dartmouth, making it much easier for the Red and Blue. Expect Penn to hold down the fort defensively as it tries to get a split this weekend.
Miles Cartwright: In the Quakers’ two conference victories this season, Cartwright has been their one constant. The junior guard has put up 50 combined points in Penn’s victories over Columbia and Brown. If the Quakers want to compete with the Big Green, they will need Cartwright to have another strong performance Saturday night. While he may not put up 25 points against Dartmouth, his steadying presence would go a long way towards a Red and Blue win.
Patrick Lucas-Perry: Lucas-Perry has been one of Penn’s biggest weapons during conference play. In his last four games, Lucas-Perry has averaged 9.3 points per game, while hitting 10 shots from beyond the arc during that span. While the Big Green has their own 5-foot-11 guard who can knock down threes in Alex Mitola, Lucas-Perry has the ability to outshine Dartmouth’s guards, who rank last in the Ivy League in three-point percentage.
Quakers on the boards: Despite Henry Brooks fouling out last night, the Red and Blue were able to get 17 offensive boards and get a surprising contribution of nine rebounds from Cameron Gunter. That being said, they were facing what was essentially a four-guard offense with Harvard and will now face Dartmouth, who has three of the top-10 rebounders in the Ancient Eight. It will be a much tougher test of Penn’s big men Saturday night, especially with Darien Nelson-Henry still dealing with his recent injury.
Attendance: Last night, the game had major Ivy League implications as Harvard looked to keep pace with Princeton atop the Ivy League. But tonight’s matchup pits two of the bottom three teams in the Ivy League, with Dartmouth and Penn having the worst overall records of any team in the Ancient Eight. Despite the fact that Harvard’s Lavietes Pavillion hosted a weak crowd last night and holds just 95 more seats than Dartmouth’s Leede Arena, the Crimson still outpace the Big Green with two times as many people attending their home games. Look for a much smaller crowd to attend this one.
Penn’s bench scoring: The Quakers had 33 of their 54 points come from their bench players last night and it is tough to expect a similar performance. Even in their 23-point blowout win against Brown last weekend, they only have twenty points come from the bench. Part of the large output on the bench was from Darien Nelson-Henry, who could either move into the starting lineup – where he was two weeks ago – or could receive less minutes after coach Jerome Allen blasted Nelson-Henry's defense in post-game interviews. Either way, the Quakers will likely see fewer points from their bench and larger offensive production from their starting five.