Three takeaways from Penn men’s strong performance in home win over Colgate

Junior guard Clark Slajchert exploded for a career-high 33 points on 13-for-18 shooting Saturday at the Palestra, lifting Penn past Colgate. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

Penn turned in its best performance of the season on Saturday, and it paid off in the form of its first win over an opponent in the KenPom top 100 since a February 2020 triumph over Yale.

The Quakers used elite scoring performances from guards Clark Slajchert and Jordan Dingle to earn an 81-69 win over Colgate at the Palestra. The contest marked an unhappy homecoming for Raiders head coach Matt Langel and assistant coaches Camryn Crocker and Trey Montgomery, all of whom had played or coached for Penn.

Colgate, which had beaten Syracuse on the road by 12 earlier in the season, entered Saturday ranked 98th in KenPom.

Now 4-4, the Quakers have won three straight contests.

What can Penn fans take away from a particularly satisfying win?

Read more

Takeaways after Penn men notch first win of season at Drexel

Senior swingman Lucas Monroe snared 11 rebounds at Drexel Tuesday night, 10 of them on the defensive end. Defensive boards and turnovers sprang a strong transition game for Penn in a 64-59 win over their 33rd Street neighbors. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

After an 0-3 start, Penn is off the schneid.

The Quakers used a solid defensive performance to build a 15-point lead over Drexel early in the second half, and after wobbling a bit, made enough plays down the stretch to seal a 64-59 win over their next-door neighbors Tuesday night.

Read more

What we learned about Penn men in 92-85 defeat at Missouri

Penn junior guard Clark Slajchert’s aggression paid off at Missouri Friday night, propelling him to a team-high 21 points on 7-for-13 shooting from the field and 55% of the Quakers’ free-throw points and attempts. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

Playing on the road against an SEC opponent for the third consecutive season, Penn went toe-to-toe with Missouri on Friday night at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, but ultimately fell short, 92-85.

The game’s defining sequence came with 5:49 to go in the second half and the Tigers up one, 70-69. Missouri’s best forward, Kobe Brown, got the ball at the left of the free throw circle and unsuccessfully attempted to back down Penn center Max Lorca-Lloyd.

As three Quakers surrounded Brown, the Tigers senior stumbled backwards in the lane. Instead of calling Brown for a travel, the officials signaled for a held ball with the possession arrow favoring Missouri.

The Tigers took advantage of the break, as Nick Honor hit a killer pull-up three-pointer over George Smith in the dying seconds of the shot clock to extend the Missouri lead to four. Penn would get no closer than four points down for the rest of the night.

What did we learn about the Quakers in a solid showing against an opponent ranked 50th in KenPom heading into the game?

Read more

2022-23 IHO Men’s Preseason Poll

Only five points separated the top three teams in the Ivy League Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll, and our final tabulation was even tighter. Just three points separated the team atop IHO contributors’ preseason poll.

Yale gets the slight nod here, with our contributors trusting James Jones to lead the Bulldogs to their fifth Ivy League title in an eight-season span in a bid to represent the conference in the NCAA Tournament for a third straight time. Penn, the Ivy League preseason poll’s top team above Princeton by a single point, also finished a single point above Princeton in our standings. Our contributors saw potential for success in a roster that returns most of the key players from last year’s squad that placed third in the Ivy standings. We’ve got Princeton pegged to finish third, aided in their quest to repeat as Ivy League champions by returning 2021-22 Ivy Player of the Year Tosan Evbuomwan but losing significant backcourt production from last year’s conference title team.

Harvard was the clear No. 4 finisher in our poll, a showing that would improve upon the disappointing sixth-place result that locked the Crimson out of the Ivy League Tournament on its home floor last season. We have Cornell ranked slightly ahead of Brown as the Big Red look to build on last season’s overachieving Ivy League Tournament berth and the Bears look to bounce back from an underachieving sixth-place finish (tied with Harvard) a season ago. Columbia and Dartmouth tied in our voting tally at the bottom of the standings as both programs look to secure their first Ivy League Tournament appearances.

Read more

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.

Read more

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:

Read more

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

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more