Avery Johnson to visit Penn tomorrow

— via NY Daily News

— via NY Daily News

Avery Johnson, a former NBA coach and ESPN analyst, will be speaking Monday night at Penn as part of a discussion on "The Business of Basketball."

The event is being put together by the Undergraduate Sports Business Club, Black Wharton and MUSE, the undergraduate marketing club.

Johnson, who was fired by the Brooklyn Nets late last year, spent the two years before his most recent coaching gig working for ESPN. He began his coaching career as an assistant for the Dallas Mavericks in 2004 before being hired as head coach the following season until 2008, which included a stint as head coach of the All-Star Game in 2006. His daughter, Christianne, is a sophomore at Penn.

The former NBA player, who jumped between different professional teams from 1988 to 2004, though he spent the majority of his career on the San Antonio Spurs, will be taking part in the discussion beginning at 6 p.m. in Huntsman Hall.

Game 28: Harvard – The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Good Bad & Ugly


What a difference a night makes. After fizzling away Friday night against Dartmouth, the Quakers were back with a vengeance, getting the underdog victory over Harvard, 75-72. In a league of upsets, a truly dominant team has yet to emerge, though the Crimson had come into the weekend looking like the cream of the crop of the Ivy League, before being swept by Princeton and Penn. In front of a crowded Palestra, despite it being spring break, the Quakers avenged a loss in Cambridge from earlier this season, and just like the second matchup against the Crimson last year, came away with the win.

THE GOOD: The freshmen

The rookie Quakers — Darien Nelson-Henry and Tony Hicks in particular — controlled the court tonight and led Penn to its win. Nelson-Henry brought in 18 points on the night on an 8-for-13 performance from the field, which was in addition to 11 rebounds — three of which were offensive — and three steals. Hicks, who led the Red and Blue in scoring, went 9-for-17 to rake in 24 points for the Quakers as well as three steals, four boards and a team-high five assists.

THE ALSO GOOD: The Quakers’ defensive effort

Though the Crimson went on a run in the second, Penn kept Harvard to 26.1 percent shooting in the first half. Though four Harvard players scored double-digits, including a 20-point performance — 10 of which came from the free throw line — from sophomore forward Wesley Saunders, the usual executers were kept to low shooting percentages. Sophomore center Kenyatta Smith was limited to 2-for-7 shooting, senior guard Christian Webster went 5-for-14 and freshman guard Siyani Chambers was kept to 1-for-5 in his 40 minutes of play.

THE BAD: Fouling

The most memorable of the fouls was junior forward Dau Jok’s unnecessary last-second foul as Chambers was bringing down the ball to finish off the first half. But this was just one of many. The Quakers quickly went over the limit in both frames. In the first half, Penn made it to the bonus with seven minutes and 25 seconds left, reaching 12 in the frame, while in the second it reached this point with nine minutes and 59 seconds left after jumping to six quick fouls beforehand and 13 total in the second half. It seemed as though there was constant whistling coming from the referees. The Crimson raked in 24 points on 33 opportunities at the charity stripe.

THE UGLY: Three-point coverage down the stretch

Though the Quakers maintained the lead throughout the game, a win started to look questionable as Harvard started making shot after shot from beyond the arc. The Crimson went 8-for-11 from three in the second half, after just going 2-for-10 in the previous stanza. The Crimson were notching almost every opportunity for a trey during this frame, with junior guard Laurent Rivard leading the way, going 4-for-4 from beyond the arc during the second half. In the final five minutes and 41 seconds, the Crimson brought in 15 points from three-point shooting, including notching two in the final 13 seconds. Harvard actually outscored Penn, 46-37, in the second half but the Quakers had built up a big enough cushion in the first to maintain the lead until the final buzzer.

Sudden change of plans for former Penn football prospect

While recruits for the Class of 2017 begin the process of formally announcing their college decisions, one Florida high school senior will no longer be able to do so.

According to an article in the Tampa Bay Times, a few days before Plant High School quarterback Aaron Banks was going to orally commit to Penn, his offer was taken away.

Though at the moment Penn football coach Al Bagnoli and the athletics department have declined to comment on the issue, Plant coach Robert Weiner said he will never have his players go to Penn during Bagnoli's tenure.

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior played for a Plant team that went 10-2 on the season and is ranked No. 325 nationally and No. 21 in the state of Florida.  The quarterback completed 57 percent of his passes in a season that included 1,442 passing yards and 12 touchdown passes.

In the postseason, he was named most valuable offensive player in the Hillsborough County All-Star Game.

However, there is still much information missing about the reasoning behind such a situation, though Ivy League regulations and qualifications may be behind it.

However, Weiner — who said that nothing like this has ever happened to one of his players — believes the removal of the offer was made due to a decision to go with another quarterback for this recruiting class.

Game 18: Temple — The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Good Bad & Ugly
Penn was not able to close out the final Big 5 matchup in the way it had hoped in a 76-69 loss to Temple. The Quakers (3-15) jumped to an early lead, which got up to nine points in the second half at the Liacouras Center. But midway through the frame, the Owls went on a 27-12 run, allowing them to take the lead and clinch the victory.

THE GOOD: PLP. Sophomore guard Patrick Lucas-Perry was on fire for the Quakers Wednesday night. When he was on the court, he made himself noticed. Going 3-for-3 from beyond the arc during the first half in addition to netting three free-throws for 12 first-half points. For his 27 minutes on the night, he went 4-for-5, making another trey in the second. Temple coach Fran Dunphy was disappointed that the Owls had trouble containing Penn's "best jump shooter."

THE BAD: Coverage on Wyatt late in the second. Looking at Khalif Wyatt's five first-half points, you might wonder why Penn was unable to pull away with the win on such tight coverage of Temple's main man. But midway through the second, the senior forward exploded, and the Quakers couldn't answer as he notched 21 second-half points for a total of 26. After sinking a three-pointer five minutes into the frame, the Red and Blue just could not stop him, especially after he scored nine straight points for the Owls in less than two minutes midway through the half.

THE UGLY: 27-12 second-half Temple run. The Quakers just couldn't keep up with the Owls after the shift in Wyatt's game and a set of threes from graduate student guard T.J. DiLeo in addition to a ten-point second-half performance from sophomore forward Anthony Lee completely turned the tide of the game. The Red and Blue got up to a nine-point lead, but just started to run out of exhaust on the defensive end, as the Owls took the lead and ultimately the 'W'.

Liveblog: Penn vs. Temple

Follow along as Penn (3-14, 0-3 Big 5) takes on Temple (12-5, 1-0) in the Quakers' final Big 5 contest of the season, live from the Liacouras Center:


Behind Enemy Lines: Temple’s Fran Dunphy

Picture 37

Alvin Loke | DP File Photo

The Quakers (3-14, 0-3 Big 5) will be taking on Temple (12-5, 1-0) Wednesday night in their final Big 5 contest of the season. Though this is Fran Dunphy’s seventh year as coach of Penn's Big 5 foe, this will be the first time he takes on former player Ira Bowman, who has latched onto fellow Dunphy alum Jerome Allen as an assistant coach. Both squads have faced a lot of a changes in the past year, but the Owls have continued to dominate. I spoke with Temple coach Fran Dunphy about this familiar matchup and what his plans are heading into this local game.

After your first year as coach of Penn, you lost your top three scorers and struggled the next year.  Do you think the situation faced by Coach Allen has any parallels to what you inherited when you took the Penn job in 1989?

Dunphy: I hadn’t given it a lot of thought, but as I go down Penn’s roster and I see the young guys that they have and the hope for the future that they have, I think Jerome and everybody at Penn should feel very encouraged. I think that they are on their way to building a terrific basketball program and I think the future is very bright.

After 7 years, do you still get any special feeling when you play Penn?

Dunphy: You can’t be somewhere for as long as I was — and in this case the University of Pennsylvania — and not feel a special affinity for the place and the program and everything that it is about. Of course, then you add to it a guy that played for me and who I learned so much from as a person and as a player, so that’s a very special feeling for me. And then of course now you have on staff Ira Bowman, who also played for me. They were two great guys to coach and they have become two great friends as well.

I have tremendous memories of my days at Penn. I was the luckiest guy in America then and I am just as lucky now to have an opportunity to coach another team in the city of Philadelphia, so I feel very fortunate.

We just saw a sold-out Big 5 game at the Palestra between St. Joe's and Penn. Though now some of the games have moved to campus sites, do you ever wish that the Big 5 went back to playing all of the games there?

Dunphy: Well that’s certainly how I grew up and how it was when I was a player at La Salle for three years as well.  All of the games were in the Palestra, so that’s what college basketball in Philadelphia was all about. Certainly the Palestra was college basketball’s arena. But now, times have changed, and we have all had to adapt to it. We have a very nice arena on campus. For us to go back to the Palestra to play all of our Big 5 games would be difficult for our university and athletic department at this point. Yet, I think the purist in all of us appreciates everything that went on back in the day. Would it be great to go back and do that again? Sure it would, maybe on a one year occasion or something like that if we could interrupt things. A number of years ago we tried to have all six teams play in the Palestra on a given day as a celebration of sorts, but there were too many other complications or things that got in the way to allow that to happen again.

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Turn Back the Clock: Nov. 28, 1994

The Quakers comeback to grab overtime victory over Lehigh, 82-79
November 28, 1994

Though Penn had some trouble at Lehigh last week, back in 1994, a win against the Mountain Hawks — then the Engineers — was supposed to be a gimme for the Red and Blue.

For the majority of the game, the Quakers looked extremely beatable. The shots weren’t falling and they were having trouble with free throws and rebounding as well.

In the first half, the Red and Blue went 0-for-12 from beyond the arc while Lehigh grabbed 21 defensive rebounds. The only Penn player with more than four points in the first half was Eric Moore.

With Lehigh sinking the majority of its shots, the Engineers took a 36-29 lead into the locker room.

Even as the Red and Blue went on a run early in the second, the Engineers kept chugging along, building up a lead of 15 points before the Quakers finally woke up.

The Penn team that the fans were searching for in vain all night long finally emerged in the final minutes of regulation and overtime.

Matt Maloney tied the game with just over four minutes to play and though the teams went back and forth, Lehigh still led, 70-69, with less than a minute on the clock.

With 48 seconds remaining in regulation, Jerome Allen sank two free throws to put the Quakers up by one. But Lehigh quickly came back with a three-pointer from Rashawne Glenn. On the ensuing possession, Allen nailed a jumper off a pass from Maloney with five seconds to go, sending the Quakers to overtime.

In the extra session, Allen led the team to victory, adding seven points and finishing with a total of 22.

After the game, Allen said the Quakers fought through adversity to get the win.

“Character is made through adversity and it really brought out the best in us,” he said. “From this point on, I hope all our opponents bring out the best in us.”

The win marked the first of the year for the Quakers, who ultimately finished with a 22-6 record and unblemished 14-0 Ivy League title. They lost, however, in the first round of the NCAA tournament to Alabama.

Battle of 33rd Street

After a one-year hiatus, the Battle of 33rd Street is back Saturday afternoon, as Penn takes on Drexel. The last time the two teams played was in November 2010. The West Philly rivalry returns with the hopes to pack the Palestra. To get the hype up, "Dac Pack films" — the Dac Pack being Drexel's equivalent of the Red and Blue Crew — made a promotional video with the two student groups along with Drexel and Penn Athletics. The Quaker vs. Mario rivalry is seen below along with students from the respective schools.

Turn Back the Clock: Nov. 15, 2003

The Quakers halt a Crimson comeback, 32-24
November 15, 2003

There’s been quite the trend in years past of vying for the Ivy League championship against Harvard. For the second year in a row, Penn clinched the Ivy title outright in a close matchup at Harvard Stadium, one game before finishing the season undefeated in the league.

But the Crimson wouldn’t let a win come too easy for the Quakers, who jumped out to an early lead.

The Red and Blue reached a 22-point advantage, 22-0, before Harvard came charging back.

To commence the game, Penn QB Mike Mitchell found tight end Brian Adams five plays in for an 11-yard touchdown, putting the Quakers up by seven.

This scoring streak continued for Penn. In the following scoring drive, and in the first play for that matter, Mitchell passed the ball 44 yards to wide receiver Dan Castles for the second Quakers touchdown, putting them up 14-0.

And it was still the first quarter.

Another pass from Mitchell to fullback Kevin DeSmedt a couple minutes later for a seven-yard touchdown followed by a two-point conversion put the Quakers at what seemed to be a huge advantage.

The Crimson answered with a 65-yard drive for a touchdown, which the Red and Blue matched in the second half with a 91-yard drive, running into the endzone.

The second half was big for Harvard, who scored on a safety followed by a touchdown on a 5-yard pass. The Quakers answered yet again, countering with a field goal.

In the final minutes, Harvard fumbled the ball but managed to get it back in time to drive down the field for the eight-point touchdown play. Penn began their drive, but ended up needing to punt with less than a minute to play.

Within the final minute, Harvard made it 71 yards down the field. But in the final moments of the game, six yards from potentially putting together a game tying play, Penn linebacker Steve Lhotak tackled Harvard QB Matt Fratto, ending the game and securing the title for the Quakers.

From the other side of the Ivy title

The DP wasn't the only publication today with Penn on the cover page. The Harvard Crimson featured the injured Billy Ragone celebrating after the Quakers won and got at least a share of the title Saturday afternoon. Below is the top portion of the front page of today's Crimson: