December 19, 2013 |
THE GREAT freshman class has gotten major notice, as it should. But this is also a sensational senior class. Creighton forward Doug McDermott (25.3 points) is closing on 2,500 points and has a realistic chance at 3,000, with 20 regular-season games and a minimum of two postseason games remaining. If he maintains his average, he is hitting 3,000. Syracuse forward C. J. Fair (18.1 points) is the nation's most understated really good player. He was the preseason ACC Player of the Year and has been playing right to that prediction.
December 6, 2013 |
EVERYONE knows a Villanova-Saint Joseph's basketball game doesn't need any extra anything. But just in case, the Wildcats are ranked 14th and have yet to lose. Tomorrow they'll make the short bus ride down City Avenue to Hagan Arena to face the 4-3 Hawks. The first time they played there, two seasons ago, St. Joe's won by 16. Last December the Wildcats had to rally late to barely get by at the Pavilion, their fifth win in the last six meetings and seventh in the last nine. The other St. Joe win in that stretch was a 22-pointer at the Palestra in February 2008.
November 28, 2013 |
Greg Louis rose into the air, his feet higher off the ground than at least two rows of the Palestra's maroon bleachers. Midway through the first half of Penn's 85-66 win over Niagara on Tuesday night, Louis blocked a shot by Purple Eagles guard Rayvon Harris. It was a booming rejection, one that sent the ball bounding off the Penn backboard as everyone on the Quakers' bench jumped to their feet. Coach Jerome Allen bolted from his seat and crouched low to the ground, celebrating the defensive play.
November 25, 2013 |
Penn women's basketball coach Mike McLaughlin jumped at the chance last spring to bring a top team into the Palestra to face his squad. With Notre Dame looking to get a game in coach Muffet McGraw's hometown, McLaughlin saw an opportunity to help his program grow. Despite a 76-54 loss to the fifth-ranked Irish on Saturday, McLaughlin was happy with his decision. "To bring in a top-five team in the Palestra with all the history, for Penn basketball this was awesome for us," McLaughlin said.
November 17, 2013 |
A FEW weeks ago, the sports scene in Philadelphia looked pretty grim. It appeared that none of our pro teams had any chance to make the playoffs in the foreseeable future. We are still in no danger of becoming Boston, but things have brightened somewhat. Although the Flyers are still a long shot, the play of goalie Steve Mason has given us some reason to believe it just might be possible to turn things around this season. Most fans are hoping that the Sixers won't turn out to be playoff contenders, but the play of Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young, Spencer Hawes and our dynamic rookie, Michael Carter-Williams, plus the coaching of Brett Brown, has made it hard not to root for this overachieving team.
November 15, 2013 |
IT IS MONDAY around 5 p.m. As I am driving down I-95, I begin to realize I am scheduled to wake up in about 12 hours. Only I am on my way to the Liacouras Center to see what will be the first of three games in 26 hours and who knows how many games on television during those hours when I am not writing about the three games I will be covering for the Daily News . As I get onto North Broad Street, I am trying to remember whose idea this was...
November 13, 2013 |
TEMPLE'S FIVE seniors from last season's team are playing professionally in China, Japan, Germany, Luxembourg and Ukraine. This team's only senior is Dalton Pepper. The good news is that the young Owls were good enough to earn big leads against Penn on Saturday at the Palestra and Kent State last night at the Liacouras Center. The unsurprising news is they could not hold the lead either time. It worked out in the end against the Quakers, but did not work down the stretch against the Golden Flashes.
November 11, 2013 |
Almost an hour after the game had ended, Bill Cosby was performing standup and the fans were still in their seats. Behind the creaking Palestra bleachers, Dylan Jones said it was "crazy" to be there. The freshman forward on the Penn men's basketball team had just finished playing the first game of his college career in the season opener against Temple on Saturday night. For Jones, a Houston native, it was also his first experience with the Big Five. He played four minutes in the Quakers' 78-73 loss, meaning he was subjected to jeers and read the signs rolled out by the student sections.
October 25, 2013 |
HARVARD not only won the Ivy League last season. Tommy Amaker's team upset New Mexico in the NCAA Tournament. Now, seniors Kyle Casey and Brandyn Curry, who left school last year after starting the previous season, are back to join all that young talent, including Wesley Saunders and Siyani Chambers. Harvard got all 17 votes in the preseason poll to win the league again. The Crimson really does look great on paper. So why play the season? Penn plans to play the season. Jerome Allen's team lost 22 times last season after finishing just behind Harvard the season before.
September 10, 2013 |
More than 1,000 programmers converged over the weekend at Penn for what was billed as "the biggest university hackathon in the world. " To the public, the word hack may bring up visions of Edward Snowden and digital terrorism. But in the tech world, hack is used as a synonym for build . And "hackathons" are the programmer's version of a slumber party, science fair, and Super Bowl rolled into one. The students spent 48 hours at the Palestra, working in small teams to brainstorm, design, and build an app, website, or hardware product.