One down, two to go before Dayton heads out west to take on Saint Mary’s. Penn comes to the Arena tomorrow, and it’s always weird to cheer against an Ivy League squad. It’s such a weird dichotomy. On one hand you have Dayton, with players that won’t go on to do much after they leave the university. The four years they spend in college will likely be the highlight of their lives. Then you have a school like Penn, a team comprised of kids very much looking towards the future. For them, college basketball will simply be a fond memory they can discuss with their buddies at the yacht club. I don’t know what you should do with this information.
You probably don’t remember Steve Donahue, but he’s now plying his trade on the Quaker sideline. After four tumultuous years at Boston College, Donahue (who previously coached at Cornell) returned to the Ivy League with little fanfare. Donahue went 24-32 in his first two seasons at Penn, yet did just enough to qualify for the inaugural Ivy League tournament last year — apparently this instilled confidence. The Quakers return four starters from a 13-15 squad and were picked to finish fourth in the conference preseason poll.
The most shocking aspect of this Penn team is their woeful foul shooting. The Quakers are only connecting on 60.1% of their attempts from the charity stripe, which is the last thing you’d expect from a team that preaches the…fundamentals. Penn defends the three-point line well and prioritizes crashing the offensive boards. Donahue’s team plays at a more rapid pace than you’d expect from an Ivy League squad (because of the, you know, focus on the “fundamentals”), with an average possession of seventeen seconds.
Penn is 7-4 on the season, with a blowout loss to Villanova and a double-overtime defeat to fellow A10’rs LaSalle.
Future bond trader, and starting shooting guard, Ryan Bentley is the team’s leading scorer and a durn good rebounder for a 6’5″ white dude. Bentley (15.0 ppg/5.5 rpg) has a maddening haircut and certainly enjoys the comfort of the three-point arc. Darnell Foreman (10.0 ppg/4.6 rpg/3.8 apg) made his mama so proud when he accepted a scholarship to UPenn. Now he’s a senior, the squad’s starting point-guard and is extremely well spoken.
Starting sophomore forward A.J. Brodeur (11.3 ppg/6.3 rpg) has overactive sebaceous glands and spends most of his time expounding on the virtues of bitcoin. Brody (I assume they call him Brody) was a second-team All-Ivy selection as a freshman after leading the Quakers in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots. Max Rothschild (8.7 ppg/6.8 rpg) — who I assume is a direct descendant of the family controls the world’s wealth and financial institutions — is a 6’8″ junior that camps out around the rim, where he gobbles up boards and layups. You can’t give this Zionist motherfucker easy buckets. Antonio Woods (7.4 ppg/3.2 rpg/2.9 apg) rounds out the Penn starting lineup, he’s a brother from Cincinnati who, as a sophomore, qualified for a Notre Dame redshirt (when you get kicked out of school for cheating but somehow end up right back in school the next season).
The bench is led by Caleb Wood, Jackson Donahue and Eddie Scott. Wood (8.8 ppg/50% 3fg) is the team’s best three-point shooter and, according to my extensive research, might be the worst defender in the nation. He looks like a farmer chasing the wayward stranger that just fucked his bosomy daughter (after being warned not to!!) in the barn. Donahue (5.1 ppg/33% 3fg) is not related to the head coach, but you really have to wonder. 77% of his shot attempts come from behind the three-point line. Scott (3.7 ppg/3.0 rpg) is a solid defender and rebounder, supposedly.
Lastly, if newcomer Tommy Johnston enters the game I hope UD busts his ass wide open. Donahue really needs to improve his recruiting.
- Ask someone to name the eight schools in the Ivy League, I’ll wait. I can almost guarantee that they will fail to recall Dartmouth (in my experience Brown is commonly omitted as well). I don’t know what it is about Dartmouth
- Penn has its own version of Discover Arts in regards to the basketball team. The smart kids on the roster seem to be enrolled in the Wharton School of Business (shoutout to DJT!) and the dummies get penned into the College of Arts and Sciences. Penn is crafty because they don’t specify what major each player enrolled in the Arts and Sciences is pursuing. You can leave that to your imagination.
- What’s the deal with Xeyrius Williams, Grant?? The American people deserve to know! Back spasms? You jest.
Dayton is coming off a resounding win over the mighty Golden Eagles of Tennessee Tech. The momentum is clearly on the side of the Red and Blue. A good rule of thumb for predicting college basketball games — if you don’t think any of the players on one team could conceivably play for the other (even if that team happens to have John Crosby on scholarship), it’s pretty clear who has the advantage. This three-game stretch that began with Tennessee Tech and ends with Georgia State was intended to get Dayton some easy wins and develop chemistry. Clearly, you have to like Dayton’s chances against Penn. Flyers get their second win in a row, 67-59.
Tom Blackburn is a proud U. o' D. alum. He loses faith in humanity one day at a time, but not in you, you seem like you are all kinds of alright. Charter member of the T-Man fanclub.