Game Preview: Princeton at Penn

A big game from Ian Hummer will be the key to a must-win game for Princeton

at the Palestra on Monday night. (Photo Credit:

Normally, a Penn-Princeton athletic contest is a sort of coy celebration of the temperamental, are-they-aren't-they rivalry — Penn says definitely yes while Princeton plays hard to get and pretends to be “rivals” with Yale and Harvard instead. But Monday night's basketball game transcends the usual warmed-over faux-rivalry storyline in favor of Ivy League basketball relevance. After Harvard's Friday night destruction of Yale, Penn is now one of two undefeated teams left in the Ivy League, while Princeton needs this one to realistically remain in the title chase.

That means that when all is said and done Tuesday morning, the topography of the league will have shifted dramatically. If Penn can take care of business at home, the Quakers will enjoy a two-way tie for first place and will have dropped Princeton into the Ivy League's bottom half. On the flip side, Princeton has a chance to blow the league wide open and admit a new member to the growing club of one-loss teams.

Last year Princeton swept the season series, winning an OT thriller at home and handily defeating Penn at the Palestra. But will this year be different for these two squads? Let's take a look!

Keys to the Game

The Quakers are coming off a very impressive home win against St. Joe's after doing what Princeton couldn't — taking care of both Cornell and Columbia on the road. Zach Rosen and Tyler Bernardini are having outrageous seasons and libras horoscope – GEMINI : It?s difficult for both of them to manage their passions. both have proved themselves as deadly shooters from anywhere on the court (Rosen: .472/.419/.897, Bernardini: .466/.429/.786). The pair of guards are averaging 34 of the team's 67.9 points per game. But Princeton's defense, especially on the perimeter, will present a much stiffer challenge than the previous Ivy League match ups. The Quakers can't be content with contested pull up jumpers — Rosen has to be a creator To sign up for health either use our guide to finding your states marketplace or simply use the healthcare. with dribble penetration while at the same time taking better care of the ball than he did online casino against St Joe's (six TOs in that game).

The big question for the Tigers will be how they respond to their two week hiatus, thrown into the hostile environment of the Palestra. Ian Hummer figures to be the key player for Princeton in this matchup. The star forward has yet to show up in a big way in either of the Ivy League contests so far for the Tigers, turning the ball over five times against Cornell and seeing only 25 minutes of court time against Columbia due to foul trouble. That doesn't bode well for the Tigers, especially considering that Hummer carried the team through much of the early Ivy League action last year. But this game could be a good opportunity for Hummer to get back on track — the Quakers are a relatively small squad, which means that Hummer will have a chance to play inside and slash to the basket against a smaller defender. If he can do that effectively and put up a vintage performance, Princeton's got a shot.


The game essentially boils down to Princeton's defense against the Penn offense — can the Tigers' long, rangy guards upset the shooting of the Quakers enough to put Penn out of rhythm at home? My guess is that Rosen & Co. will be too much for Princeton, vaulting Penn into the Ivy League stratosphere and effectively ending Princeton's season before it ever really got started.


7 thoughts on “Game Preview: Princeton at Penn

  1. “My guess is that Rosen & Co. will be too much for Princeton, vaulting Penn into the Ivy League stratosphere and effectively ending Princeton’s season before it ever really got started.”

    The old reverse-jinx! It worked against Columbia, I guess.

  2. The first paragraph of this otherwise cogent analysis mystifies me. “Coy celebration”…”faux rivalry”??? In most seasons both teams understood that winning the Ivy crown required beating its nearest geographical foe, often in a playoff at Lehigh. Ask Carril if he’d rather win at Yale or at the Palestra. One year he recruited the brother of one of the really great Penn players so he wouldn’t have to defend a Krug for four more years! While the specter of Harvard looms over the Palestra, nothing can diminish the intensity of these two teams going at it. The Ivy League can claim no better rivalry than Penn-Princeton. That said, if Penn holds serve the race comes down to two teams. A Tiger upset might actually improve Harvard’s prospects. For that to happen Doug Davis will have to get hot and stay hot, something Tiger fans have seen many times, but not lately and not yet in Philadelphia.

  3. I agree. The “faux” comment is the ignorance of a Princeton man on full display. (It’s to be expected.)

  4. Call it ignorance if you must, Mr. Quaker, and invoke the great name of Carril as you may, Mr. Clark. But know that the claim of “faux rivalry,” questionable adjectival choice aside, was just your poor scribe’s humble attempt to capture the overwhelming air of apathy in Central Jersey when it comes to the Princeton-Penn rivalry. For a relative neophyte like myself, the rivalry exists only in the stories and excitement generated by alumni and those experienced watchers of Ivy League basketball. But there’s hardly a whit of it among current students at Princeton, and it feels disingenuous to try to carry the banner of rivalry on historical evidence alone when the facts on the ground simply don’t support the assertion that Princeton-Penn is the premier rivalry in Ivy League hoops. But hope springs eternal, and here’s hoping tonight’s game reenergizes this once-great rivalry.

  5. Let’s not denigrate the basketball battle of the P’s by calling it a “faux rivalry.” Not only is it a genuine rivalry, it’s the Ivy League’s best rivalry — ever, in any sport.

    And while many of the games at Jadwin have been classics, the acoustics and the proxity of all 8,722 fans in a full house make the Southern bookend of the rivalry special.

    When the championship and the NCAA bid would come down to the final Tuesday of the regular season in a raucous and steamy Palestra (which for much of the past five decades was dependably predictable), this was by a comfortable margin *THE SINGLE* best spectator event that the Ivy League could offer.

    May she regain the full majesty of her glorious past.

  6. Limited to its intended context, Princeton in 2012, your reporting may be accurate, if depressing. But rivalries belong to the entire university communities, of which aged alumni are very much a part. Among the historical tributes posted in the cooridors of the Palestra is a collage from the Penn-Princeton series. Gazing upon it, again, last night brought disingenuous tears to my eyes. Today, I can acknowledge, however grudgingly, the artistry displayed by Zack Rosen and the contribution he has made to the history of this rivalry. We should probably have, at another time and in another forum, a discussion of the need for Princeton to reassess its committment to the sport going forward in the face of the obvious tipping of the scales toward Cambridge. Perhaps student apathy is a reflection of the institution’s attitude.

    • Oh my youthful Gaffney, your myopia is exceeded only by your atrocious grammar. Rivalries are by definition built upon historical context. Remember, in life there are only three important moments: marriage, childbirth and Penn Princeton basketball. (Perhaps I should get out more.) Hopefully, during your sentence at Old Nassau you will one day be fortunate enough to experience something remotely as meaningful. (Besides the protracted esophageal burn of 30 year old Scotch.)

      Be well my son

      BTW, it’s Dr. Quaker.

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