Penn comes first for Yale this weekend

Last year, Yale trumped Penn easily at the Palestra, 75-48, with Makai Mason leading the way off the bench with 14 points. The series finished much closer in New Haven, with the game not decided until the final minute. Yale won, 55-50, partially due to a 32-24 rebounding advantage and 9-for-10 free throw shooting from now graduated Javier Duren.

This year, Yale is far and away the better team. Yale’s one true weakness, backcourt depth, is also a huge weakness for Penn after Tony Hicks left the program in October and Antonio Woods was declared academically ineligible earlier this month. Darien Nelson-Henry is a capable center, averaging 12.3 points and 8.6 rebounds per game, and he can give either Justin Sears or Brandon Sherrod fits. But then who guards the other Eli big?

Penn’s only hope for a victory is Sam Jones heating up from beyond the arc, but Jones is shooting 5-for-31, 16.1 percent, from three in the past five games. Mason and Nick Victor are paying their best ball of the season and Sherrod, reigning Ivy Player of the Week, has been dominating the boards in all venues, averaging 8.4 rebounds per contest in his last eight games. Meanwhile, Victor is shooting 51.9 percent from the floor.

Prediction: The Bulldogs will extend their winning streak to seven games with a not so close win over Penn, but also with the ever present thought of Princeton on their collective minds.

3 thoughts on “Penn comes first for Yale this weekend

  1. As long as Yale doesn’t get caught looking ahead to Princeton and turn this into a big trap game, it shouldn’t be close. Penn, I think, is worse than Brown since they don’t have the level of post play that Cedric brings to the table, and really their best guy is Jackson Donahue who is an inconsistent freshman. Yale romped over Brown so I think it gets even better for the league favorites.

    Yale 85, Penn 56

    • Brown and Penn have fairly similar stats, so it should be a close game.

      Jackson Donahue has gone from a deep bench spot in the beginning of the year, to a starter and major offensive threat for Penn. In the first 11 games of the season, Donahue scored 18 points. In the last four games, he has scored 70 points (18 against Villanova, 17 vs Binghamton, 16 vs Princeton, and 19 against St. Joe’s). While he may not be the ROY, he has shown great growth throughout this season.

      I agree that Cedric will be the best post player on the court. However, Nelson-Henry should be able to do a respectable job on him defensively. On offense, Penn does more passing on the perimeter than dribble penetration, so they should be able to avoid Kuakumensah’s great shot blocking skills. As a result, I think (hope) Penn will get their first league win.

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