Ivy 60 for 60: Tony Price

Tony Price celebrates Penn’s Final Four berth after the Quakers defeated St. John’s, 64-62, in the East Region final in Greensboro, N.C. (University of Pennsylvania)

Following our countdown of the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s men’s basketball history this summer, Ivy Hoops Online is delighted to continue celebrating the 60th anniversary of modern Ivy League basketball by honoring the top 60 players in Ivy hoops history (in no particular order). For the next entry in our Ivy 60 for 60 series, we cover one of the greatest players in Penn basketball history:

It is impossible for me to think of the ’79 Final Four Team and not think of Tony Price first. If a team could have a soul, a heartbeat or a center of gravity, it was Mr. Price. I don’t mean to disparage any of the other amazing players from that most magical of Quaker squads, but Tony Price was perhaps the most clutch player I think I have ever seen. When the game was on the line, he just refused to lose.

A high-school All-American from Taft High School in the South Bronx, Tony Price was no stranger to hitting the game-winning shot. In the 12th grade, down one point with three seconds left, Tony hit the winning jumper to give Taft its second New York City Championship. In the 1970s, New York basketball was everything, and Tony was named the Best Schoolboy Player in Gotham.

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Ivy 60 for 60: Bobby Morse

Bobby Morse averaged 16.4 points per game during his three seasons with Penn, in which the Quakers went 78-6. (Penn Athletics)

Following our countdown of the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s men’s basketball history this summer, Ivy Hoops Online is delighted to continue celebrating the 60th anniversary of modern Ivy League basketball by honoring the top 60 players in Ivy hoops history (in no particular order). For the next entry in our Ivy 60 for 60 series, we focus on Bobby Morse, one of the greatest players in Penn basketball history…

Penn’s 6-foot-8 Bobby Morse was known in Philly parlance as “Larry Bird before there was a Larry Bird.”. With floppy blond hair and a classic but deadly rainbow jump shot, he was possibly the original “stretch four,” even though he played before the adoption of the three-point line. Morse was a key member of the 1971 Quakers, the best team in Ivy League history. He teamed with Corky Calhoun, Dave Wohl, and Steve Bilsky to start the season 29-0 and achieve a No. 3 national ranking. In the NCAA Tournament, Penn reached the Elite 8 before losing 90-47 to hometown rival Villanova – a team that they had beaten just a few weeks earlier to win the Big 5 title – and missing an opportunity to play against UCLA in the Final Four. While this loss would haunt the Penn program for “what might have been,” Morse and Calhoun bounced back to lead the ’72 Quakers to another No. 3 national ranking and Sweet 16 appearance. No other team in Ivy League history has come even close to accomplishing what Morse and his teammates accomplished between 1970 and 1972 (possible exception – the ’65-’67 Princeton Tigers featuring Gary Walters, Chris Thomforde, Ed Hummer, Joe Heiser and John Haarlow … with a 1965 assist from Dollar Bill Bradley).

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Penn basketball leaving turbulence behind

 

See if you can find Steve Donahue in this picture. Rest assured, he hates two-point jumpers just as much 33,000 feet up in the air as he does on 33rd Street.

“Hey AQ, where have you been?” The question has arisen this season from many emails and tweets.  First, for those of you who have missed my pithy, yet pedantic,and occasionally puerile persiflage (800 Math, 790 Verbal), my apologies, and no, I have not retired. Instead, I have merely taken a step back to observe the rapid reshaping of the Ivy hoops landscape. Overall, this brief offseason has been arguably more tumultuous than the season itself. Yale captures the league outright for the first time in 54 years and then bags a tournament win over Baylor. Princeton does their “I got this. Oops, no I don’t!” routine in the NIT. Kyle Smith, after winning the CIT, triumphantly leaves Columbia (“Thank you and good night!”) as perhaps the torchbearer of a strange, new breed of Lions coach — a winning one. (I am hoping that they lose the secret formula for this perverse brand of eugenics, no doubt developed in some arcane lab on the Morningside Heights campus, before that institution actually gets used to victory.) Paul Cormier, after two straight ROYs, abruptly gets canned in Hanover which only proves that you can never go home again especially if that home is in New Hampshire, on the Dartmouth campus and you’re hired as its basketball coach. And Bill Courtney, well…even the muskrats at the bottom of the gorge could see that one coming.

So what about my beloved Quakers?

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Ivy 60 for 60: Matt Maloney

Matt Maloney posted 12 points and 10 assists in Penn's 90-80 win over Nebraska in the first round of the 1994 NCAA Tournament.
Matt Maloney posted 12 points and 10 assists in Penn’s 90-80 win over Nebraska in the first round of the 1994 NCAA Tournament.

Following our countdown of the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s men’s basketball history this summer, Ivy Hoops Online is delighted to continue celebrating the 60th anniversary of modern Ivy League basketball by honoring the top 60 players in Ivy hoops history (in no particular order). For the next entry in our Ivy 60 for 60 series, we focus on Matt Maloney, one of the greatest players in Penn basketball history… 

Before the Ivy League had Linsanity, it had Matt Maloney.

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No. 10 Penn falls to No. 7 Washington, 65-53

No. 10 Penn fell to No. 7 Washington in the first round of the NCAA women’s tournament Saturday at the Xfinity Center in College Park, Md., 65-53, ending a Penn season that gave the Quakers a program record for career wins.

Penn (24-5, 13-1 Ivy) led Washington (23-10, 11-7 Pac-12) 13-7 after the first quarter and 25-24 at halftime, giving the Huskies problems with its 2-3 zone. Washington shot just 3-for-18 in the first quarter, as Penn showed off its scoring defense which ranks eighth in the country.

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Two-bid Ivy: No. 10 Penn vs. No. 7 Washington, No. 11 Princeton vs. No. 6 West Virginia

#2bidivy got in just under the wire.

For the first time ever, the Ivy League got two NCAA Tournament bids, league champion Penn and at-large Princeton, in the final season without a conference tournament to determine the league’s NCAA Tournament representative.

Penn received the automatic bid after defeating Princeton at Jadwin Gym, 62-60, completing a season sweep of the Tigers. The Quakers were rewarded with their highest seed in school history, a No. 10 seed pitting them against No. 7 Washington. The Quakers (24-4) and Huskies (22-10) will square off on Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Xfinity Center in College Park, Md. A first-round Penn win would set the Quakers up with No. 2 Maryland on the Terrapins’ home court. Then-No. 1 Maryland ousted Princeton from the tournament in the second round of last season’s tournament, ending the Tigers’ undefeated season.

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Penn-Princeton Tuesday roundup

Penn 62, Princeton 60 (Women)

Where to begin? With another storybook ending for the Quakers on Princeton’s home floor, and some delightful deja vu for coach Mike McLaughlin’s Red and Blue.

Two years after upsetting Princeton in stunning fashion with an outright Ivy League championship on the line at Jadwin Gym, 80-64, the Quakers toppled the Tigers again in the same scenario, clinching their second Ivy title in three seasons as Jadwin guests. Penn’s win followed another two-point victory over Princeton this season, a 50-48 overtime triumph at the Palestra.

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Penn basketball fans living in hope again

Hope is a powerful thing.  There is the hope for that coveted job, that special girl/boy or, at one time in high school, hopes that the school of our dreams would take us. Hope is especially important this season in Ivy hoops, just ask Columbia, Yale and Princeton.  For Penn fans when it comes to Quaker basketball, there have been hopes of the quixotic variety since 2007. Each year since then, however, our optimism has often been punctured by the harsh realism of what we all knew would eventually transpire nonetheless – that is, until now.

The Quakers, as young and undermanned as they are, once again “looked good” this past weekend as they split the back-to-back with Brown and Yale.  Sure, they lost to a better team, but just like last week on the road at Columbia, they hung in there for a solid half of basketball against a more experienced and deeper squad.

Not good enough, you say?

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Hey look, Penn’s an upper-tier team again (for this week at least)

During Rex Ryan’s final season with the New York Jets in 2014, there was often so much chaos on the field I remember TV color analyst Cris Collingsworth lamenting that he often had “no idea what the Jets were doing.” For the past few years, I could say the same thing about the Quakers: the fouls, the turnovers, the fistfights, the lack of spirit and, of course, the confinement sentencings. After this weekend’s games, it appears Steve Donahue appears to have at least restored our dignity.

Read moreHey look, Penn’s an upper-tier team again (for this week at least)

Columbia’s defense carries Lions past Penn

Tonight’s game between Columbia and Princeton is pretty much going to determine which one-loss team will be in the best position to challenge Yale the rest of the way. (Both teams have home games remaining against the Bulldogs.)

That the Lions are even in this position at all is due to the performance of their interior defense.

No, seriously.

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