So Penn loses to Temple in the first Big 5 matchup of the year. Although not at all unexpected, the result was well below the 14.5-point spread that Las Vegas predicted (not to mention the 22 points that less knowledgeable pundits foresaw). Still, even though Tony Hicks fouled out with most of second half yet to play, Mike “The Moose” Auger didn’t suit up because of a fractured foot and coach Jerome Allen was forced to play his most inexperienced players for the majority of the game, I found something quite surprising — unlike the last few years, this contest was highly watchable. The Quakers didn’t dig themselves into a giant hole in the first 10 minutes. They were athletic, they hustled and they looked like there was some semblance of team basketball being played. In short, this game seemed like a step, albeit small, in the right direction.
Since the disheartening loss to Delaware State, I think there has been discernible growth for this team. Will there be pathetic, ball-crushing, face-palming blowouts ahead? Of course. Are there inherent problems with the makeup of the squad such as an overabundance of youth and a relatively small frontcourt? Absolutely. Do the Quakers still foul too much and turn the ball over at an occasionally obscene rate? Definitely. But if Auger can get back on the court by Ivy time and Jerome can finally somehow harness the athletic potential of his charges, this Quaker team should not wind up in the league basement. At this point in this painful journey with Allen, I will grudgingly accept that. Besides, we may be 0-4, but we still weren’t the ones who lost to Incarnate Word.
Stay Red and Blue my friends,