The Roundtable: What Harvard’s NCAA win means for the Ivy League

Courtesy of espn.go.comSophomore All-Ivy first-team guard Wesley Saunders led the conference in scoring at 16.5 points per game.

Courtesy of espn.go.com
Sophomore All-Ivy first-team guard Wesley Saunders led the conference in scoring at 16.5 points per game.

Update: Coach Jerome Allen declined comment on Harvard's NCAA upset through Athletic Communications Director Mike Mahoney Monday.

In this edition of The Roundtable, six of our editors past and present ask what Harvard's win means for the Ancient Eight heading into the 2013-14 season, plain and simple:

Former Sports Editor Mike Wisniewski: Harvard's win is obviously good for the league. Why wouldn't it be? It's not like they ran away with the title -- the competition across the board was incredible this year, even though it was pretty certain Harvard or Princeton would end up winning it. It's a shame -- for the league, that is -- that the Crimson couldn't put in a more respectable performance against Arizona, but knocking off New Mexico was impressive enough. That would have been the upset of the tournament had Florida Gulf Coast not stolen their thunder.

Associate Sports Editor Steven Tydings: It is beneficial to the Ivy League in the sense of money since the league will get money from the victory. But it also hurts Penn in terms of image. You have a program that just six years ago was the class of the conference and getting the better players like Ibby Jaaber, Mark Zoller, Zack Rosen, etc., but is now 9-22, and hasn't won a title in six years. Now Harvard appears to be light years ahead, as they not only win a tournament game but also have a strong recruiting class and two players (likely cheaters) returning to make next year's team the favorite to run away with the conference, making it likely that Miller's final recruiting class with Cartwright/Dougherty will go without a title and leave coach Allen with little to nothing on his resume and a team full of just his players in 2014-15, for better or worse. Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Penn basketball alumni attendees announced

Penn men's basketball will hold its annual alumni game tomorrow from 4-5 p.m., before the Quakers take on Cornell at 7. More than 65 alums are slated to appear for the alumni event as a whole, and they'll also be honored throughout the game Saturday night. Recent stars such as Rob Belcore (W' 12) and Mark Zoller (C' 07) will be attendance in addition to older standouts like Keven McDonald (C' 78) and Tony Price (C' 79).

 

Greatest Quakers of the Last 50 Years

Jack Scheuer over at Philahoops is choosing the five best players from each of the City 6 schools over the past 50 years as part of an ongoing feature, and now he's gotten to Penn. Here's what he came up with:

1. Corky Calhoun

2. Ron Haigler

3. Keven McDonald

4. Jerome Allen

5. Zack Rosen

Interesting to see Matt Maloney left off, and Quaker fans who only remember the last 20 years or so will also have a soft spot for Ugonna Onyekwe, Matt Langel and Mark Zoller. Those who can remember a little further back may consider Tony Price or even Stan Pawlak as well, not to mention Mr. Bilsky himself. Who are your top five Quakers of the past 50 years?

 

Penn basketball memories: The players

We had two former Penn stars contribute their favorite hardwood moments to our collection. Andy Toole, now head coach at Robert Morris, and Mark Zoller both share stories from their time at Penn.

Your favorite Penn Basketball memory?

I have so many favoirte memories from being a basketball player at Penn it is hard to pick just one.  If I was forced I to pick, aside from all the times i just enjoyed being with my teammates, I would say the Ivy Championship game against Yale in 2002.  It was the first time the Ivy league had a three-way tie for the championship and we played Yale for the Championshipp at Lafayette College.  It was extremely gratifying because we came off a sub par year the year before.  We had a great pre conference season, going undefeated in the Big 5 as well as beating Georgia Tech and Iowa St.  Then we started Ivy play and three of our first five games.

Everyone was skeptical of our chance to win the league and we rattled off 10 straight wins to finish the season including that win vs Yale.  Going into the game there was just no way they were going to beat us, we had such a focus and belief in our teams ability.  Koko Archibong and Ugonna Onyekwe got us off to a great start and Yale could never recover.  Once again the Quakers were going to the NCAA tournament!

-Andy Toole, College '03

I have so many terrific memories going through Penn, but I would have to say my favorite memory(ies) was making the NCAA Tournament. In my opinion it is the greatest event in all of sports. The Selection Sunday festivities are unlike no other experience I've ever had, it is the culmination of all your hard work coming to fruition. It makes all the time in effort going into the season all worth it.

-Mark Zoller, College '07

Jack Eggleston approaches a milestone

Preseason, when Jack Eggleston was named a captain of the Quakers' basketball team, he humbly noted how he didn't yet belong among the great list of names that also claimed that title.

Not for long.

Entering tonight's Big 5 kickoff with Villanova, Eggleston sits just 17 points shy of 1000 career points, a feat only 34 other Quakers have accomplished in program history — most recently, Mark Zoller, oddly enough against 'Nova at the Palestra. Averaging 14.9 points per game, Eggleston is due to either hit the mark with a big game tonight, or pass it early when Penn travels to Delaware on Dec. 22.

I'm sure he'd love it to be in front of the home crowd tonight.