Reminiscing with former Penn guard Scott Kegler

COURTESY OF LAUREN KEGLER | DPFormer Penn basketball three-point specialist Scott Kegler (center) has coordinated Saturday morning pickup hoops sessions at the Palestra for over a decade. Andy Baratta (left) has also coordinated the games in the past. Michael Root (right) is one of many participants in the tradition, which dates back to 1989.

COURTESY OF LAUREN KEGLER | DP
Former Penn basketball three-point specialist Scott Kegler (center) has coordinated Saturday morning pickup hoops sessions at the Palestra for over a decade. Andy Baratta (left) has also coordinated the games in the past. Michael Root (right) is one of many participants in the tradition.

I caught up with former Penn guard Scott Kegler earlier this month for a story on the long tradition of Saturday morning pickup sessions at the Palestra. 

But we also talked about the upward trajectory of Penn basketball from his freshman year of 1991-92 to his senior year of 1994-95, and how a program that had single-digit wins before the Class of '95 came on the scene won the final 43 Ivy games of Kegler's Quakers  career. Here's the '90s rise of Penn basketball as "Kegs" remembers it:

"When we showed up, the team wasn’t very good. The year before they were 9-17. It was coach Dunphy’s either second or third year, I can’t remember. And so it was intense. The team wasn’t any good, we weren’t any good. We wanted to be good, we didn’t know how or if we’d be any good. And the first year, it was just a struggle. We all were competing against each other for playing time. Our freshman class was Jerome [Allen], Eric Moore, Shawn Trice, and me. All those guys wanted to play. We were just beating each other up in practice. Jerome was playing, Shawn was playing, Eric was playing, I was playing a little bit. And we got better.

We beat Penn State that year in Hershey [87-86 2OT on Jan. 25, 1992]. It was a funny game because we won the game in regulation, we went into the locker room, we were celebrating, changing our clothes. The referees came in and said the game’s not over. Something happened, there’s still time left on the clock, you’ve gotta come back out and play. So we had to come out on the floor and play a couple of seconds to win. But that was a big win for us because it was a Big Ten team, a scholarship school and we win, let’s build on that. We were in the Ivy League hunt until we played at Yale, and Yale had this guy named Casey Cammann, and we lost and that really put us out of contention.

We lost to Princeton and we lost to Yale, so we knew we couldn’t win. We watched the game video - coach Dunphy was so mad - we watched the video all the way from New Haven to Brown. He’s slamming the overhead bins. And we practiced the next day at Brown hard. He lined us all up on the sideline, rolled the ball out on the floor and it was a game of if you could dive on the floor and get it first. We were running sprints, we won that night.

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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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Turn Back the Clock: Feb. 14, 1993

The Penn men's basketball team caps off a weekend sweep of Columbia and Cornell, remains undefeated in the conference at the halfway mark of the Ivy League season

Feb. 14, 1993

On Valentine's Day 1993, who would have thought that the Quakers were in the midst of something historic?

Entering the weekend with an undefeated record in the Ancient Eight, the Red and Blue sought to dispatch two New York teams and continue the team's march toward a conference championship.

Following a matchup between Columbia and Penn on Friday, the Quakers hosted Cornell at The Palestra on Saturday, and squeaked out a four-point victory.

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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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