Float like a butterfly, live by the three

penn-butterfly

Maturation.

It comes in many forms.  Caterpillar to chrysalis to beautiful butterfly: Whether it’s an insect, person, business, or athletic team, it is a necessary transformation for survival. No entity on the planet is exempt: evolve or perish.

This will be a curiously critical year for Quaker Basketball because it will show whether Steve Donahue, with his first true recruiting class, can be competitive in the increasingly upwardly mobile Ivy League. Evidence of institutional growth, something that consistently eluded Jerome Allen’s teams and consequently vexed and frustrated the Penn fan base, will soon be on full display as the season progresses. True, the Quakers will be a young squad (11 of the 19 players will be either freshmen or sophomores), but that should not significantly mask whether they will be able to take that next crucial step back toward Ivy hoops relevance. Of course, there will be growing pains but I, unlike the perpetually lugubrious Penn Basketball message boards, am unusually sanguine about this team.

Read moreFloat like a butterfly, live by the three

Penn all-time moment No. 5: Hiring Fran Dunphy

We’re counting down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective. Penn is next because (shameless Penn plug alert) Wet Hot American Summer: First Day at Camp, starring Penn alumna Elizabeth Banks, is out on Netflix on July 31. 

Three years after the giddy Final Four run of 1979, Bob Weinhauer made the jump to the Pac-8, thus creating a decade long victory vacuum for the Quakers. Craig Littlepage, who basically made a career out of saying he recruited Ralph Sampson to Virginia, was 40-39, while his successor Tom Schneider went a mere 51-54.

Read morePenn all-time moment No. 5: Hiring Fran Dunphy