Annual alumni game ends in tie

In a shockingly close finish on Saturday afternoon, the Penn alumni game ended in a tie, 67-67

The Red and Blue teams were tied at 65 in the final minute when Tim Krug (C' 96) made a shot to put the Blue team up two. The Red team quickly responded with a two of their own from Brian Grandieri (C' 08).

So with the game tied in the final seconds, Krug drew a foul and went to the line for two free throws. Unfortunately, he succumbed to pressure, missing both free throws, including an air ball on his first attempt. He made up for it on defense with a steal to preserve the tie.

“Historically, I’ve been a poor free throw shooter,” Krug said. “Being out of shape and at the foul line at the end of the game, being a bad free throw shooter, isn’t the best place to be.”

The Blue team (0-0-1) led for much of the contest thanks to some strong jump shooting early from multiple players, including Joe Gill (C' 08), who hit two early three pointers.

With the team behind early, the Red team (0-0-1) resorted to the worst of basketball’s vices: cherry-picking. Penn coach Jerome Allen and Stan Greene (C' 78) failed to get back on defense in order to get the glory of an easy layup on the other end.

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Move over Pats, Quakers are setting the real records

Sorry, Andrew, one post illustrating what happened last night is not enough.

Penn's six points, 5.9 percent shooting and one field goal in the first half were all the worst by any Division I basketball team in the shot clock era. Even the 30-point total was Penn's worst in 40 years. Here are a few stats that I found must supplement the last post:

  • Penn had 16 turnovers and 12 missed shots before scoring a single point
  • 10 players attempted a three pointer for Penn, seven of which didn't make one
  • Nine players had multiple turnovers, five (Brian Grandieri, Jack Eggleston, Tyler Bernardini, Justin Reilly and Andreas Schreiber) had four or more
  • The five starters (Grandieri, Eggleston, Bernardini, Reilly and Cohen) had eight more turnovers (21) then points (13)
  • The starters had an assist-to-turnover ratio of 0.095
  • Six players had more turnovers than points
  • Schreiber (2-for-5) and Bernardini (2-for-9) were the only players to make more than one basket

I could go on, but I don't want to see grown men crying before New Years. Here are some quotes from Penn head coach Glen Miller after the game:

"That's probably the worst performance that any of my teams have ever had -- and I've been a head coach for a long time. I'm very disappointed."

"We were just very lethargic and unsure of ourselves. We certainly didn't handle the five days we had off. We're a much better team than that."

"I want to give [the Eagles] credit. I think they're a better basketball team than their record [4-9] and I think that will come through when they get in league play."

Since it's a new year coming up soon, Penn fans can look on the bright side:

  • Penn's 36 rebounds equaled FGCU's total
  • Joe Gill, playing in the first half for (I believe) the first time in his career had a wonderful game, hitting his only shot attempt, scoring four points, and dishing out one assist to no turnovers in seven minutes
  • None of this matters until the Ivy League

MBB win at FGCU won’t be easy; Jaaber tearing it up in Athens

Florida Gulf Coast is in its first season as a Division I team, hasn't beaten anyone better than Bethune-Cookman and is 3-9.

But the Eagles are playing at home.

At Alico Arena FGCU is 1-2, where it beat Maryland Eastern Shore and lost to Drexel and No. 16 Butler.

The win was obviously a rare one, while the losses were to a pair of good teams, certainly better than Penn. In both games, the Eagles had an early second-half lead, tied it up later on, but lost in the end. Against Drexel, the Dragons went on an 18-0 run to seal it up, and Butler used 14-of-15 shooting from the free-throw line to slam the door shut in the 78-66 victory.

Some overdue notes from the Elon game:

Joe Gill and Dan Monckton sat out the games with injuries, though I believe neither one is serious.

Ibrahim Jaaber, Stephen Danley and Ugonna Onyekwe were all in attendance for the Quakers' fourth victory of the season. Onyekwe was on crutches and had just tore his meniscus. He also looked really skinny. If any of you watched him play for Penn he was a beast, a punishing but talented forward who could finish around the basket. He could have lost the weight in order to take some pressure off of his knee, but he may just be adjusting himself to the European game.

Jaaber, on the other hand, is tearing it up in Greece's top league. Playing for Egaleo, Jaaber dropped 40 points in a win over Olympiakos (and former Temple guard Lynn Greer), as Egaleo dealt its opponents their first loss of the season. He also hit the game-winning free throw two games later to bring his team's record to 6-3.

In all, Jaaber is averaging 21.7 points per game (a team-high) on 55 percent shooting, 4.7 assists per game, 4.7 rebounds, 2.2 steals and only 2.7 turnovers. (Full Egaleo stats can be seen here).

Some other former NCAA stars in the Greek league include Duke's William Avery, Louisville's Larry O'Bannon, UNC's Reyshawn Terry, Pitt's Levon Kendall, MSU's Mateen Cleaves and former NBA journeyman Mamadou N'Diaye.