Reason for hope: A look ahead to 2022-23 for Penn men’s basketball

Penn men’s basketball is set to return nearly every significant rotation player from this season in 2022-23, led by Jordan Dingle.  (photo by Erica Denhoff)

I spent the first few minutes after Penn’s 67-61 loss to Yale in the Ivy Madness semifinals at Lavietes Pavilion mourning.

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No. 2 Yale men push past No. 3 Penn, 67-61, to advance to Ivy League Tournament final

Webster’s defines “toughness” as the quality of being strong and not easily broken. The word and the definition define Yale men’s basketball.
Yale exhibited toughness throughout in defeating Penn, 67-61, to advance to the Ivy League championship game tomorrow at noon against Princeton, a winner in dramatic fashion over Cornell.
Both games were played at Harvard’s Lavietes Pavilion before 1,250 fans.
Yale held a 32-29 lead at the half off 50% shooting. The lead widened to 44-35 before Penn went on an extended run to take a 56-55 lead. After a timeout, the characteristic Yale toughness was apparent in a 7-1 run.
Penn cut the deficit to one, but a dominant Yale defense and a key bucket from Bez Mbeng closed out the win.
“It was another really good college basketball game,” Yale coach James Jones said. “We fought very hard.”
“We just couldn’t put the ball in the basket,” coach Steve Donahue said. “We had our open shots, I thought. It didn’t go in today.”
Penn shot 23-for-58 (39.7%) from the field and 11-for-33 (33.3%) when subtracting the shot output of sophomore guard Jordan Dingle, who notched a game-high 28 points on 12-for-25 shooting.
“Very disappointed that I couldn’t get it done this year with this group of guys,” Dingle said.
Azar Swain led Yale with 25 points on 9-for-15 shooting, including a 5-for-8 outing from three-point range. Captain Jalen Gabbidon was held to nine points, as Penn and Jelani Williams keyed on him. Gabbidon had a total of 53 points in the two earlier meetings between the teams. Swain had shot just 8-for-25 from the field in the teams’ previous two meetings, which they split.
“Azar’s been our guy, obviously, all year, but he was extremely efficient tonight,” Jones said.
Matt Knowling added 10 points for the Bulldogs with an efficient 5-for-9 shooting from the field.
Rookie forward/center Nick Spinoso scored 14 points on 5-for-8 shooting for Penn in just 22 minutes.
Yale committed only seven turnovers.
The Bulldogs improved to 18-11, and Penn finished its season at 12-16.
In attendance for the win were former Yale greats Butch Graves, 16-year NBA veteran Chris Dudley and Steve Leondis, who was recognized during the game and got to see a memorable win for their alma mater.

Ivy Madness reporter’s notebook: Days 1 & 2

Ivy Madness became Ivy Gladness for Princeton women’s basketball after its 72-67 Ivy League Tournament semifinal win over Harvard at Lavietes Pavilion. (photo by Erica Denhoff)

“As we battle in the WBCA (Women’s Basketball Coaches Association), they’re always talking about “create this environment.”  Any time I talk equity with anyone, they always say there’s more pressure on a man because the gyms are full, and the bands are playing.  The opposite is true.  It’s much easier to play in a (packed) venue like this.  It’s very, very hard for women all over the country and play in empty gyms without bands, fighting their schools for support to get the bands there and to get the cheerleaders there.  There’s been huge growth at Harvard, but there’s such a long way to go.  It’s really wonderful for the athletes to play in this kind of venue and it’s fun to watch as well.” – soon-to-be retiring Harvard women’s coach Kathy Delaney-Smith, talking about the boisterous atmosphere during her team’s 72-67 loss to No. 1 seed Princeton

Some random thoughts after two great days at the 2022 Ivy League Tournament:

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Ivy League Tournament: Men’s semifinals preview

 

“The expectations (for winning) are always there, they just felt even heavier this year (due to the pandemic).  There should be several asterisks next to it (being at the Ivy League Tournament) and that’s true of all the teams.” – Princeton coach Mitch Henderson

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Princeton men claim outright Ivy title by pummeling Penn

Princeton junior forward and Ivy Player of the Year candidate Tosan Evbuomwan notched 23 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in 32 minutes in Princeton’s win over Penn Saturday night. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

Princeton and Penn closed out the regular season at The Palestra this evening in the only Ivy matchup involving teams that will play next weekend in the Ivy League Tournament.

Since the field was set prior to this weekend, the games had no impact on the seeding for the tourney. But the way the Tigers manhandled their traditional rival on its homecourt in a 93-70 shellacking must have been as unsettling for the Quakers as it was exhilarating for the Tigers.

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It’s unanimous: Clark Slajchert’s heroics elate Penn men and crush Brown

 

Even before the last-minute dramatics that resulted in a stunning road 88-87 win for the Red & Blue, everything about Saturday night’s game between Penn (12-13, 9-3 Ivy) and Brown (12-15, 4-8) was set up to made it a classic Ivy League showdown.

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Penn men pull off a C-suite sweep to remain in second place

Sophomore guard Jordan Dingle averaged 21 points and 4.5 rebounds per game in the team’s wins at Columbia and Cornell this weekend. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

Facing a typical foul-heavy Ivy Saturday night game and a boisterous crowd in Newman Arena, the Penn men survived a furious rally to defeat Cornell, 73-68. Adding the hard-fought victory to Friday’s more comfortable 81-66 win at Columbia, the Quakers have now won four games in a row and remain in sole possession of second place.

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Five thoughts about the Ivy League men’s race

Yale is well-positioned to live up to the Ivy League Preseason Media Poll’s prediction that it would finish atop the league standings, in no small part due to Ivy scoring leader Azar Swain. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

As we near the halfway mark of the 2022 Ivy League season, here are five thoughts about the state of the race for the men’s league title:

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Penn men survive early knockdown to take round one at Harvard, 78-74

Penn sophomore guard Jordan Dingle rang up 31 points on 9-for-16 shooting in a win at Harvard Friday, becoming the first player in program history with back-to-back games scoring 30 points or more in Ivy play. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

Down 12-2, starting power forward Michael Moshkovitz off the court with two quick fouls and a boisterous sellout Lavietes Pavilion crowd on top of them, things looked bleak for the Penn men as they made it to their bench for the first media timeout in Friday night’s nationally televised game at Harvard.

Fortunately, Steve Donahue settled his team and the Quakers bounced back for an important 78-74 road victory that has the Red & Blue at 5-2 (8-12 overall) halfway through the Ivy League schedule.

Tommy Amaker’s Crimson, meanwhile, left the court with their third loss in five league contests (10-7 overall).

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Princeton men building early momentum toward Ivy title as dominance over Penn persists

Mitch Henderson’s dominance over the Penn Quakers continues. Since 2012, Princeton, after yesterday’s satisfying 74-64 triumph at Jadwin, is 15-4 against its most bitter rival.

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