AJ Brodeur: A Penn great for all time

AJ Brodeur is Penn men’s basketball’s all-time leading scorer and shotblocker and only player ever to record a triple-double, accomplishing all three in Penn’s win over Columbia Saturday night. Brodeur led the Ivy League in assists per game (5.2) in the regular season despite being a forward. Penn has had a record of 72-47 (.605) in the four years that Brodeur has been a starter. In the previous four seasons, Penn went 37-78 (.322). | Photo by Erica Denhoff

Years ago, back in the black and white, pre-digital ether, I attended my first Penn basketball game on a chilly, late fall evening. The Cathedral, an edifice I didn’t even know existed until I was nestled wide-eyed within its cavernous nave, was steamy and the burgeoning Big 5 crowd, restless, loud and profane. In my hand was a game program with Penn’s All Time Leaders featured prominently across its center portion.

Naturally, my eyes drifted to the sexiest stat of all: all-time scoring leader. It was Ernie Beck, 1951-1953, 1,827 points. “Ernie Beck.” That name sounded old. It conjured up mental images of the colorless, antediluvian days of a two-handed set shot sailing through the air before orderly rows of spectators wearing suits and ties. As my attention quickly returned to the spectacle before me, I recall thinking, “That record may never be broken.” I was right — until now.

AJ Brodeur will most likely be remembered for finally eclipsing this lofty personal milestone for a school with a long and proud basketball tradition, but what he really did over his four years wearing the Red & Blue was something much greater — he saved the program.

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Penn men cruise over Columbia to take No. 4 seed in Ivy Madness as AJ Brodeur makes history

Penn senior forward AJ Brodeur set three program records in his final game at the Palestra as the Quakers easily dispatched Columbia, 85-65, on a historic night at the Palestra to earn the No. 4 seed in the Ivy League Tournament.

The Red & Blue (16-11, 8-6 Ivy) nabbed their fourth straight Ivy League Tournament berth, knocking Brown (also 8-6 in Ivy play) on the strength of a Brodeur triple-double: 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Penn split the season series with Brown but held the second tiebreaker, a better record against league top seed Yale.

Brodeur’s triple-double was the first in program history, a feat that followed two more records from the Northborough, Mass. native.

With the game well in hand in the second half, the focus became whether Brodeur would pass Ernie Beck ’53 to become the all-time leading scorer.

Read morePenn men cruise over Columbia to take No. 4 seed in Ivy Madness as AJ Brodeur makes history

Penn bests Yale at the Palestra

No one has ever pretended that the Princeton-Penn road trip is an easy one. Not even for the Ivy League leader.
Yale fell victim to a noisy and boisterous Palestra and too much AJ Brodeur and Eddie Scott, as the Quakers upset the Elis, 69-61, Saturday night.

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