It wasn’t deja vu until it was.
For a while, it was another vision entirely, this 2014-15 Penn basketball team.
Who was this Darnell Foreman with the uncanny floor vision? This Sam Jones with the spot-up sharpshooting? This hustle and offensive rebounding tenacity across the board?
Penn trailed 14-5 early but got it together to build a seven-point lead with eight minutes to play at home against Delaware State, one of the worst teams in Division I last season.
And that’s when the deja vu set in. The rebounds started drying up. Jones’s shots started rimming out, giving him a 3-for-11 night from the field. Foreman continued controlling the point but not the ball as Tony Hicks took over, settling for and missing perimeter shot after perimeter shot as the second half wore on. Then Hicks airballed a three-pointer in the final minute, missing what would have been a game-winning shot as time expired and failing to successfully take the game into his own hands in overtime.
It became the Tony Hicks show, and it didn’t work. Sure, Hicks’s stat line was fantastic – 31 points, five three-pointers, five rebounds and three assists. Sure, this game could have easily went either way.
But it didn’t. It slipped away once again, this time to a no-name visitor that lost more games last season than even Penn.