Roundtable: Who should be Penn’s starting point guard in 2013-14?

In this week’s roundtable discussion, our editors ask who should be Penn basketball’s starting point guard in 2013-14:

Associate Sports Editor Steven Tydings: This one is tough. While Tony Bagtas told me he is going to “run the team” next year, I think this is a two-man race between Miles Cartwright and Tony Hicks. When Cartwright was running the point effectively, the team played some of its best basketball, and I’d have to think that coach Allen will give the soon-to-be senior the first opportunity to win the job.

That being said, Penn’s best player in the second half of the season was clearly Tony Hicks. His performances at Cornell and at home against Harvard showed he has the potential to be one of the next great point guards in Penn history. But at the same time, I don’t think he should be the point guard to start the year. Cartwright should be given the chance at point guard to start the year. He may not stick. And that’s why it’s important that Hicks is there.

Former Sports Editor Mike Wisniewski: Jerome Allen needs to put the guy there who runs the offense best. My guess is that guy will end up being Miles, at least in the beginning of the year. But if they start the Ivy season and begin losing games, and at that point it becomes clear to the team (because it will probably already be clear to everyone else) that Penn will not win the Ivy League, it will be time to once again look to the future, something Miles will not be a part of.

In that situation, why not give Hicks or Bagtas the bulk of the work to better develop the team for 2014-15? Realistically, Penn won’t be in it next year, but with the young crop of guys they have — if developed properly — they could be in contention the year after next.

Associate Sports Editor John Phillips: I think we’re forgetting about Cam Crocker, who started every game going down the stretch at the point. He had the highest assist to turnover ratio on the team and showed the true passing skills that Cartwright and Hicks don’t naturally have.

But the reason that he should run point over Cartwright or Hicks is really due to what Cartwright and Hicks can do when they are not running the point.

Hicks thrived when he moved without the ball, and Cartwright performed better during the season when he could ease into a contest. When he has the ball in his hands from the opening tip, he tries to do things too quickly. What started to work as the season progressed is that three-guard lineup, with Cartwright, Crocker and Hicks all out on the floor at once. If Cartwright started heating up, then he would start taking the ball up as the game went along.

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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

Cartwright gets second-team All-Ivy, Hicks gets honorable mention

Now that the 2012-13 Ivy slate is history, it's time for the honors to start rolling in.

Penn was represented by two players in the All-Ivy teams that the Ivy League announced today - Miles Cartwright and Tony Hicks.

Cartwright finished the season ranked fifth among Ivy players with 13.5 points per game. His 4.1 assists per game were good for second in Ivy play as well. The junior guard also ranked ninth in minutes per game in Ivy play at 34.0. Cartwright was one of six players to earn a second-team All-Ivy selection.

Hicks, meanwhile, earned one of five honorable mentions. The freshman guard averaged 15.3 points per contest in Ivy play - good for third in the conference. Hicks also ranked in the top 10 in Ivy games in free throw percentage and three-point field goal percentage.

Meanwhile, Princeton’s senior forward Ian Hummer was the coaches’ selection as the Ivy League Player of the Year, and Harvard freshman guard Siyani Chambers was a unanimous selection as the Ivy League Rookie of the Year.

This season marks the first time since 2008-09 that no Penn player was named first-team All-Ivy after Zack Rosen earned that honor for 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12.

 

Behind Enemy Lines: Princeton men’s basketball coach Mitch Henderson

Mitch Henderson

-via cbssports.com

I talked with Princeton men's basketball coach Mitch Henderson Monday afternoon about the Tigers' perspective heading into tonight's tilt with Princeton.

Daily Pennsylvanian: How deflating was the loss to Brown that knocked your team out of Ivy title contention?

Mitch Henderson: It’s hugely disappointing for us. We have a very simple goal around here, and that’s to play championship basketball. I think we have a group of seniors who have done a lot for our program and won a title, so it was very disappointing.

DP: Since your team was favored by many to win the conference coming into this season and even during much of the year, how would you characterize this season for your program?

MH: One weekend unfortunately is defining a large part of what we were doing, but I thought that given where we were and the personnel we were playing, I liked what we were doing. I’m proud of the team and where we are. Obviously it’s tough after a difficult loss [but] we never saw ourselves as anything other than trying to get better.

DP: Miles Cartwright scored just two points last time out against you guys on 1-for-7 shooting. How did you guys go about shutting him down in the last game?

MH: He’s a good player, I don’t know if you ever shut him down, but we did a nice job of filling the picture and helping where we needed to help. He’s a good player and I think I said after the first game that it’s going to be a very different game when we see them the next time around, and I believe that’s true.

DP: After looking more aggressive against Brown and Yale this weekend, how do you think Cartwright might try to attack your defense differently this time around?

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Three Up, Three Down: Yale Edition

Three Up Three DownComing off back-to-back wins against Harvard last Saturday and at Brown last night, the Quakers go for their third consecutive conference victory tonight when they visit Yale. Who's up and who's down as we head into Yale?

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Tony Hicks: The freshman guard has been outstanding of late, capturing two consecutive Ivy League Rookie of the Week awards. Hicks averaged 23.8 points per game in the four contests leading up to last night's matchup against Brown. While the Bears were able to limit Hicks to only five points, on 1-for-9 shooting no less, expect Hicks to bounce back nicely tonight against the Bulldogs. The freshman scored 11 points in the first meeting between Penn and Yale on Feb. 8. If Hicks wants to pick up his masterful play against the Ivy League, he will need to limit his turnovers and look for opportunities to get easy points at the free throw line.

Upsets: While the Ivy season developed as most expected it to in January and February, the madness of March has hit the Ancient Eight. On back-to-back weekends, the two teams leading the pack, Harvard and Princeton, were upset by Penn and Yale, respectively. Though the Quakers and Bulldogs have both been eliminated from contention for the Ivy League crown, both have stepped up lately to salvage big wins for their programs and play spoiler. Even though tonight's game may seem like a routine conference matchup, if the past few weeks have taught us anything, it is to expect the unexpected.

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Scouting Report: Brown Edition

Familiar Foe: A month ago, Penn picked up its second Ivy League victory against these same Brown Bears at the Palestra. Miles Cartwright led the way with a career-high 28 points, while Tony Hicks added 15 as the Quakers won 71-48 in a rout.

Since We Last Met: After the loss to Penn, Brown was struggling, as the squad had started out 2-4 in Ivy play. And it didn’t get much better soon after, as the Bears proceeded to lose two of their next three, including a close three-point loss to Cornell. But coach Martin and the Bears have turned it around, having won three straight heading into the matchup with Penn in Providence. The first two wins, which came against Dartmouth and Cornell, came by a combined 28 points, but Brown needed a little more work for a road victory against Columbia at Levien Gymnasium. After a late Lions rally tied the game at 58, the Bears inbounded near midcourt with 1.1 seconds remaining. They ran a play that looked to be designed for junior guard Sean McGonagill to get the final shot, but instead set a back screen for Tucker Halpern to hit a buzzer-beating three pointer to sink Columbia.

Leading the Charge: So if Brown is playing well, the question becomes, thanks to who? The Bears are heavily reliant on their starting five since the team only played eight players in its recent road trip to Cornell and Columbia. That starting five – McGonagill, Halpern, Rafael Maia, Cedric Kuakahmensah, and Matt Sullivan – have been the keys to Brown’s winning streak, each averaging over 25 minutes a game on the season. McGonagill, who is fourth in the Ivies in points and assists per game, has been strong in the three-game stretch, averaging 11.7 points and 3.3 assists per contest. Halpern had a game-high 22 points against Cornell and Sullivan has put up at least 16 points in each of the three wins. Maia and Kuakahmensah have been strong in the post, averaging 9.3 and 6.6 rebounds per contest, respectively.

Sizing it up:

Scoring: PENN- Neither Penn nor Brown has been particularly impressive at putting the ball in the basket this season, ranking sixth and seventh, respectively, in the Ivies in scoring offense. And while Penn put up 75 points to beat Harvard last week and has the recent offensive surge of Tony Hicks, Brown has two of the top four scorers in points per game in the Ancient Eight while also having had its own 84-point outburst against Cornell. This one is pretty even, with a slight edge to Penn based on the 71 points the Red and Blue registered in the first meeting.

Rebounding: BROWN- While Darien Nelson-Henry looked strong down low against Harvard, the Quakers now face a much better frontcourt team than the Crimson. Maia and Kuakamensah are first and second respectively in rebounds per game in the Ancient Eight, and the Bears are second in offensive rebounds. Additionally, Brown is third in rebounding margin, while Penn is dead last.

Beyond the Arc: PENN- This is a close one statistically, as the two teams are within two points of each other in three-point percentage. But the Quakers displayed in the first meeting that they can hit treys very well, going 9-for-15 from three-point range. And the Quakers have weapons off the bench to make long-range jumpers, including Dau Jok and Patrick Lucas-Perry.

Bench: PENN- Speaking of the bench, this category is all Quakers. While the Red and Blue had just nine points off the bench against Harvard, their reserves can absorb a lot more minutes than Brown’s small three-man bench. With players like Jok, Lucas-Perry and Greg Louis, the Quakers can give their starters a spell while still providing quality minutes, something Brown doesn’t always get outside of their starters.

Defense: BROWN- The Bears have only allowed their opponent to score 70 points or more three times in conference play, and have held their past three opponents to 57.7 points per game. On the other side of the court, the Quakers have struggled defensively, ranking seventh in scoring offense, while allowing Harvard to drain 10 shots from beyond the arc Saturday.

Game 27: Dartmouth – The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Good Bad & Ugly

 

 

 

 

 

After a 17-point loss to Columbia to finish last weekend, Penn looked to reverse its momentum and beat last-place Dartmouth. But tonight, the script was flipped, as the Big Green beat the Quakers for just the fourth time at the Palestra since 1959. Here is the Good but mostly Bad and Ugly from a night to forget for Penn men’s basketball:

THE GOOD: Dau Jok makes it rain

After Penn fell behind by double digits early in the second half, the team needed a spark from its inconsistent bench. And Dau Jok was just the player to provide that spark. After hitting a three in the final minute of the first half, Jok reeled off three shots from the beyond the arc to close in on Dartmouth in the final frame. While Jok didn’t lead the Quakers in scoring (that honor, once again, went to Tony Hicks, who led the team with 23 points), the junior captain went 4-for-4 from the field and was one of the few bright spots for Penn.

THE BAD: The (failed) attempt to contain Dartmouth’s freshmen

The matchup featured just one senior combined between the two teams so it was up to the underclassmen to make something happen. And opposite Tony Hicks, it was Dartmouth’s Alex Mitola who was the star of the game. With the game tied at 61 in the final 90 seconds, the freshman guard took over, hitting two free throws before getting a game-sealing And One layup that got the Dartmouth bench fired up. The Quakers once again failed to make the necessary plays to win a close game, and another factor was Big Green freshman forward Connor Boehm, who provided 15 points and six boards off the bench.

THE UGLY: The utter lack of a crowd

It is pretty hard for a 7-19 team to attract much excitement. When you add in the fact that Penn was on Spring Break and facing the even-less exciting Dartmouth, you have a perfect storm of attendance futility. Just 1867 people (officially) came to the Palestra on Friday night to see the Quakers’ latest loss. It felt like even fewer people were in attendance as even the players noticed. Miles Cartwright said, “There was no energy in the building tonight from a crowd standpoint, so when that happens, we have to bring our own energy and we didn’t do that tonight.”

Parker Jackson-Cartwright commits to Arizona

scout.com

scout.com

Miles Cartwright's younger brother, Parker Jackson-Cartwright, has found his new home for the next four years at the University of Arizona.

“As a big brother, I’m really proud. People always say that having a little brother is the closest thing to having a son," Miles said. "Me and my brother were really close and I knew how tough the recruiting process was on him mentally and emotionally. But I’m really happy for him, he’s worked really hard for this and Arizona is a great fit — Sean Miller’s a great coach. They’re going to have a lot of great players there and he’s going to have a lot of opportunities to win championships.”

As reported by ESPN, Arizona and UCLA were the two main contenders for the point guard's talents, but a late push from Gonzaga almost led Jackson-Cartwright to the great northwest. Ultimately, however, Arizona head coach Sean Miller was the deciding factor in leading him to the Copper State.

After visiting Tucson over the weekend, Jackson-Cartwright was ready to make his decision.

“Gonzaga was really right there. They got his interest right away when they offered him," Miles said. "Being on the west coast you watch a lot of WC basketball cause they’re always televised, he thought it was a real possibility but Arizona was obviously the better fit in his eyes.”

Jackson-Cartwright, who stands at 5-foot-9, has averaged 14 points, eight assists, five rebounds and two steals per game this season for Loyola High of Los Angeles.

Parker showed promise from the beginning, which is why his father Ramon pushed him into a Double Pump Skills basketball camp in Los Angeles helmed by current Penn assistant coach Scott Pera when Parker was just four years old.

ESPN has him ranked as the 30th best prospect in their rankings, and the seventh best point guard in the class of 2014.

While Arizona is not done recruiting, the Wildcats are glad to fill a pressing need at the point guard position, and Jackson-Cartwright was at the top of their wish list.

 

Game 25: Cornell – The Good, Bad & the Ugly

Good Bad & Ugly

Facing Cornell on the road at the Newman Arena in Ithaca, N.Y., the Quakers avenged a close loss from earlier this month behind freshman guard Tony Hicks’ 29-point eruption, getting the 79-71 win. Penn started out hot, jumping to a 25-13 lead, but the Big Red answered with a 30-14 run of their own to close out the first frame. Down 43-39 at the half, the Red and Blue dominated the second half, taking back the lead early on and never surrendering it again.

THE GOOD: Miles Cartwright’s well-rounded performance

The junior captain played like the leader everyone expects him to be, and he really did everything against Cornell. Cartwright racked up 15 points, nine assists, six boards and two steals. He also led the Quakers in playing time, with 34 minutes on the court. The only downside? Try 4-for-11 shooting and three turnovers. But that’s fine, because trying too hard is better than not trying at all.

THE BETTER: Tony Hicks’ season-high 29 points

Oh wait. Rather career-high, since he’s only a freshman. Hicks showed off what he’s capable of, hitting 11-for-18 from the field, which included making five of his six attempts from beyond the arc. The rookie secured Penn’s second best point total of the year — only behind Fran Dougherty’s 31-point show in a 62-53 loss against Fairfield on Nov. 12.

THE BAD: Henry Brooks fouls out … again

12 minutes. That’s exactly how much playing time Brooks got tonight, despite being in the starting lineup. The sophomore forward was subbed out after racking up two fouls in the first five minutes. He came back at the start of the second half, only to get subbed out yet again after two fouls in five minutes. When Allen finally decided to let him back in, Brooks made the most of it by turning the ball over and immediately reaching his fifth infraction of the night. Too bad for him, as his stat line of four points, three rebounds and two assists doesn’t look too bad for the short amount of time he actually spent on the court.

THE UGLY: Penn’s abysmal performance at the end of the first half

After Cartwright made two free throws that put the game 25-13 in favor of the Quakers, it looked like it would be an easy ride for Allen and co. That was before Cornell terrorized Penn for the last ten minutes of the first frame, scoring 30 points in that time period, which included 12 by guard Nolan Cressler. The Red and Blue surrendered five treys and also committed six turnovers during those ten minutes, and for a moment it looked as if it was going to turn into a blowout for the home team. That never materialized, as the Quakers kept it close and then reversed the situation in the second half, but this won’t happen against Princeton or Harvard.

Three Up, Three Down: Dartmouth Edition

Three Up Three DownThe Quakers go from Cambridge to Hanover as they face Dartmouth to finish out their weekend back-to-back. Here are some predictions for tonight's contest:

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Penn’s defense: After allowing Harvard to shoot 52.3 percent last night, it is hard to imagine that the Quakers couldn’t improve on the defensive end. Additionally, they move from the Ivy League’s highest scoring offense in Harvard to the lowest scoring offense in Dartmouth, making it much easier for the Red and Blue. Expect Penn to hold down the fort defensively as it tries to get a split this weekend.

Miles Cartwright: In the Quakers’ two conference victories this season, Cartwright has been their one constant. The junior guard has put up 50 combined points in Penn’s victories over Columbia and Brown. If the Quakers want to compete with the Big Green, they will need Cartwright to have another strong performance Saturday night. While he may not put up 25 points against Dartmouth, his steadying presence would go a long way towards a Red and Blue win.

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