By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It is the start of Ivy League play for the Penn Quakers on Saturday night as they visit longtime rival Princeton.
It has been a struggle, to say the least, for Penn so far this season. They are just 2-12. But the start of Ancient 8 action allows them, in a way, to hit the reset button on the season.
“We try to tell the guys that you still have an opportunity to play for the same thing (Ivy League title) you set out for on September 15th when we first got together,” Penn head coach Jerome Allen tells KYW Newsradio. “Although I think we all would’ve loved to have been a little bit more successful, in terms of wins and losses, you’re still playing for the ultimate prize, starting with tomorrow night.”
Listen to Matt Leon’s interview with Jerome Allen:
Princeton was the preseason favorite to win the Ivy League. They bring a 6-7 record into this game.
“I think they are starting to hit their stride,” Allen says. “I think they are playing really well right now. Obviously, they do a tremendous job at defending, keeping guys out of the paint. They’re big, they’re physical, they rebound the ball well and they really try to pound it in the paint.
The Tigers are led by 6’7”, senior forward Ian Hummer and his 16.2 points per game. He tied his career high last time out with 28 points in a win at Elon. Hummer also leads the team in rebounding (6.6 a game), assists (59) and blocks (13).
The Quakers will, once again, be without their leading scorer as junior forward Fran Dougherty (15.7 points/game). He will miss his fifth straight game with mono.
These two programs have met 226 times (Penn leads the series 123-103) and Allen is looking forward to meeting #227.
“I think it’s going to be a typical Penn/Princeton game,” Allen says. “In the sense that whichever team commits to defending over the course of forty minutes will come out victorious.”
Penn and Princeton will tip-off at 6:00pm at Jadwin Gym on Saturday night.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.