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.

Penn basketball to play in NIT Season Tip-Off

For the third time in program history, the men's basketball team will compete in the NIT Season Tip-Off.

Penn will play at the John Paul Jones Arena at the University of Virginia, one of four regional sites for the tournament. The Quakers play Delaware on Monday, Nov. 12 at 9:30 p.m., following the opening game between Virginia and Fairfield. Fairfield is, of course, coached by former Princeton player and head coach Sydney Johnson.

The losers from Monday's games will play in a consolation game Tuesday at 4:30 p.m., followed by the championship game.

The winner of the South Regional will go on to play in the semifinal game at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, Nov. 21. The championship and consolation games will be held Friday, Nov. 23.

Teams that fail to advance out of regional play will participate in third- and fourth-round doubleheaders on Monday, Nov. 19 and Tuesday, Nov. 20 at the three remaining schools with the highest seeds.

The tournament is NCAA-exempt, meaning the Red and Blue will again play 31 games this season rather than 28.

Penn fans who won't be able to make it to see the Quakers in Charlottesville, Va., are in luck, as all the games will be carried on WatchESPN.

Penn-Princeton to be broadcast on ESPN3

The Ivy League announced tonight that Penn's title game against Princeton has been picked up by ESPN3. The Quakers win over Harvard two weeks ago was also broadcast on the streaming site — this will be the third game this season that ESPN3 has aired.

Also notable from the Ivy League news release are some statistics about viewership for Penn's three games broadcast by ESPN3 last season. From the league office:

The League received three late-season appearances on ESPN3 during the 2010-11 season that drew a combined 85,017 unique viewers -- 13,494 for the March 5 Princeton at Harvard game, 17,074 for the March 8 Princeton at Penn game and 54,449 for the March 12 Harvard-Princeton playoff game in New Haven, Conn.


Dana O’Neil says Quakers go all the way

Around the DP offices there's been a lot of conditional talk this week (much like the planning going on in the Ivy League office). We're well aware that Penn men's basketball has its work cut out if it wants to reclaim the Ivy title — let alone make it to the NCAA tournament. Nonetheless there's a lot of "what ifs" as we look forward to the upcoming week.

ESPN's Dana O'Neil doesn't quite see it that way. In her eyes, she doesn't see senior Zack Rosen going down easy. From her "In the Know" column:

Harvard is headed for a playoff


Why? Because Zack Rosen won't go down without a fight. The Penn senior has been absolutely sensational all season, averaging 18.5 points, 5.6 assists, 1.5 steals and 3.3 rebounds for the Quakers.

And in his four years at Penn, Rosen has never tasted the NCAA tournament, a rare drought for anyone wearing a Quakers uniform.

So I would be stunned if Penn didn't win its final three games -- at home against Brown and Yale and at rival Princeton, to force yet another one-game playoff for the Crimson.

Bold prediction? Tell us what you think.

Harvard-Penn to be broadcast on ESPN3 Saturday

Some excellent news early in the week for Ivy basketball fans: Penn's bout with Harvard on Saturday in Boston will be broadcast on ESPN3. Harvard Athletic Communications Director Kurt Svoboda lauded the decision via Twitter:

The Quakers sit one loss behind the Crimson in the Ivy standings, and are favorites to beat Dartmouth Friday, which would set up another classic Ivy showdown on Saturday, with serious title implications.

The first meeting between the two teams last weekend at the Palestra went untelevised, much to my and others' disappointment.

ESPN has gone Jeremy Lin-sane, The DP did it first

When was the last time an Ivy League graduate was the subject of six of seven segments upcoming on Sports Center? When was the last time any athlete got that treatment? Jeremy Lin, everybody:

(h/t @beyondthebets)

And in case there was any question, I was unequivocally the first person to ever make a pun off of Jeremy Lin's name. Proof:

Palestra may be ‘all that stands in the way’ of Harvard’s Ivy title hopes

ESPN's Dana O'Neil loves to bring up Philadelphia in her college basketball columns. A Penn State grad who lives in the area and used to cover Villanova for the Philadelphia Daily News, O'Neil knows Philly basketball.

After mentioning the Penn-Princeton rivalry yesterday as one of the great historic rivalries in college basketball, O'Neil's post today yet again mentions the Quakers.

In a list of 'Five Things I Think I Know,' O'Neil says that "The Palestra could be all that stands in the way of Harvard and the NCAA tourney."

Here's what she says about Friday's game against Harvard at the Palestra:

I'm sure Crimson fans are cringing right now, remembering how Harvard let its own fate slip through its grasp at the end of last season.

And yes, history could cruelly repeat itself.

But really, it all comes down to the Palestra, and here's why. The only two teams that pose a real threat to Harvard and the automatic bid are Penn and Yale, each with just one loss in the Ivy League.

If the Crimson can get past the Quakers on Friday night -- no easy task as Jerome Allen has restored order at Penn -- there are just three more road games between it and that elusive NCAA berth. Harvard is at Princeton on Saturday night and will travel to Columbia and Cornell. The Crimson would be favored to win all three.

Equally important, Yale and Penn will meet in the final game of the regular season.

At the Palestra.

Do you think the Palestra is the last real obstacle for Harvard in its search for the Ivy League title? If not, who else could pose a threat to the Crimson?

ESPN recognizes Penn-Princeton as one of the great college basketball rivalries

Penn is making another appearance in the national news as Rivalry Week continues.

Though the Quakers don't play the Tigers this week, ESPN listed the Penn-Princeton rivalry as one of the great rivalries in college basketball.

When you attend one of the schools, "a dislike for the other is handed out with your dorm key," Dana O'Neil writes.

ESPN lists eight categories, choosing "a game -- not the game, mind you, but a game, as in an example -- that encapsulates that quality."

O'Neil categorized Penn-Princeton as the 'History' rivalry, noting that in the 56 years since the Ivy League formed in 1956, Penn or Princeton has won or shared the league title 47 times.

Penn isn't the only Big 5 team mentioned. In the video at the top of the page, Andy Katz recognizes the rivalry between Villanova and St. Joe's as one that doesn't get enough attention outside Philadelphia. Katz said that the two teams play "intense, intense" games. Maybe he missed the Hawks' 74-58 domination of the Wildcats on Dec. 17.

More confirmation that Zack Rosen is really good

We've heard the platitudes of Zack Rosen's awesomeness from coach after coach after coach in post-game press conferences. "He's playing about as well as any guard in the nation," they say. It's a given at this point.

We've seen the national recognition for Rosen, in the form of a second nomination for the Bob Cousy award, announced yesterday.

Well, here's your latest daily dose of praise for Penn's point guard:

Today on twitter, CBS college basketball writer Jeff Goodman posed a question to his contemporary Doug Gottlieb at ESPN:

Gottlieb responded with his top 10. Not surprisingly, Rosen made the list. But maybe it is surprising just how high up Penn's #1 sits:

Oh, and then this happened:

So yeah, Zack Rosen (with a 'K,' for the love of your copy editors) is really good.

Penn vs. Nova will be on ESPN3


Who loves the Big 5? ESPN, apparently. The worldwide leader in sports will broadcast the Quakers' Saturday tilt with Villanova online at ESPN3.com. Perhaps after watching Penn go to overtime vs. Temple (that game was not broadcast on TV), ESPN didn't want to let another Big 5 matchup go to waste. Penn students: if you're on a Penn internet connection, this means you have access to ESPN3!