Penn v. Harvard postgame presser

After Penn's 75-72 victory over Harvard Saturday night, coach Jerome Allen spoke about the sense of desperation and urgency he saw in his team. Top scorers Tony Hicks and Darien Nelson-Henry talk about their performances and what it meant to play in a big-game atmosphere in a packed and energized Palestra.

4 thoughts on “Penn v. Harvard postgame presser

  1. it was tough leaving the Palestra Saturday night without a feeling of optimism about this team/program. and tough reconciling how this group played saturday night versus most of season. but i'd say this to worried skeptics, a category into which I was falling myself.

    Tony Hicks, Jamal Lewis, Darien Nelson-Henry--three freshman, all can really play. This says something about the Allen regime's recruiting skills.

    We know Hicks can score, and score seriously. That's huge. Lewis is just a gamer, who may never be a serious scorer or play-maker; but he'll make big plays, like the huge, hustle, athletic steal that sealed the game, and bring big intangibles to the court. And Nelson-Henry showed how efficiently he can handle tight, crisp passes and go strong and efficiently to the hoop. He finished fantastically, and rebounded with mobility and authority.

    Henry Brooks can shoot, too. He released the ball quickly, needing no time, and he didn't even need a rim in the game. Every one of his shots hit nothing but net. Again, credit to the Allen regime for landing Brooks, who will be key going forward.

    Crocker offers nothing whatsoever...Jamal Lewis should be getting all his minutes.

    Greg Louis is really talented. Now let's see if he can develop into the player one imagines he could be.

    Gunter absolutely mystifies me--he seems to me to be one of the better athletes the program has had in years, yet his development has been inexplicably slow. Why?

    Penn led this game from the opening tip to the buzzer.

    Cartwright was the spiritual leader even as he shot poorly and committed several bad turnovers. But he was clearly the team's leader; his intensity and heart were inspirational. He wanted the game badly, and he nailed some key free throws.

    This team is young; it has some talented kids on it. It is as athletic as teams of the past, and if two or three of the incoming recruits are the equals of Hicks and Lewis, capable of contributing as freshman, there is real reason to be optimistic that in a year or two Penn will be challenging for an Ivy championship.

    Hicks, Lewis, G. Lewis, Brooks, Nelson-Henry...add a couple good new recruits each year, throw in a healthy Dougherty...this team is much better than its record.

  2. I think Steve Becker nailed it with his last statement: this team is much better than its record. The question is why. I personally believe it has a lot to do with the team's coaching. Allen appears to be an excellent recruiter and a very poor in-game coach. We need a new guy drawing up the x's and o's and helping guys develop, while we let Jerome do the recruiting. Still feeling optimistic about next year though. Would love to beat Princeton to close the year out strong.

  3. Considering Jerome had to replace his entire coaching staff (late in the game at that) I'm willing to overlook this season, especially after last season, and we'll see what next year brings with the addition of Bagtas and more importantly, Howard. I think the jury is very much still out at this point.

    As far as your player write up, outside of that steal and some hot shooting the first month of the season I can't quite understand why you'd heap praise on Jamal and completely dismiss Crocker, but hopefully those aren't the players we need to worry about next year.

    Please also remember that in addition to Doc, they also lost Rennard and Harrell, who most certainly would have gotten minutes. Steve was never healthy, but when healthy he has the ability to knock down a 3. Outside of PLP and Tony of late, this is something that they are SORELY lacking. In almost every game they have won this season they shot the 3-ball well. If only someone can turn into Jeff Schiffner over the summer.

    As far as Gunter, just because you're athletic doesn't mean you have basketball skill. Sadly, similar to another Cameron we recently had and other big men reaches of the past, it just never clicked. He still can provide some much needed defense and if he works on his free throws he has an ability to get to the line and help a little more on offense next year.

    I don't know what to think of Louis at this point...

    But all in all, after a horrible Friday, Saturday was MUCH needed. A win like that, another one or two next weekend and a close game against Princeton and we have some real summer excitement.

  4. There are many concerns about Allen's role as a tactician, in-game strategist, and most importantly, his ability to modify to the pace of a game

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