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Pennsylvanian | GoDuke
A lot of people will look at Penn on Duke's schedule and think patsy, but
that's not the right word to apply to this program. Along with Princeton,
Penn has been highly successful in the Ivy League. Unlike Princeton,
though, Penn periodically has had significant success in the NCAAs. They
upset UNC in 1979, and have been to the Final Four.
Princeton went with Bill Bradley, but that was basically because Bradley
carried them. And by the way, Princeton is stinking it up so far this year
has been in the news for other things lately, more so than basketball, but
basketball is the school's athletic calling card. Penn, unlike Princeton,
has a secondary affiliation with the Big Five of Philadelphia and has competed
on a serious level, with excellent academics, for decades. They were
nipped a few nights ago by Temple, 50-46, and managed to beat Drexel 68-60,
something Duke certainly didn't do easily.
Temple - or John Cheney actually - has owned Penn, but Penn still could have
won this time, having gone 5-12 from the line in the closing minutes.
Still, the Penn program is admired. Coach Fran Dunphy has seen his name
pop up in various searches recently, and as an Ivy, academics are taken very
seriously. And their tradition is truly rich.
Unfortunately for Penn, they are relatively small. They play basically
an eight-man rotation, and of those eight, only three are 6-7 or taller, and the
tallest is just 6-8 (just 6-8. What a ridiculous thing to say).
Guard Ibrahim Jaaber is their leading player, averaging 20.4 ppg. The
6-8 player, Steve "Manly" Danley, averages 11.2 ppg and 7 boards.
Statistically, and talent-wise, you can't really make an argument for
Penn. But as we have learned this year, you can't base much on
presumptions. Penn will come in and compete to the best of their ability,
and, if the season so far means anything, they'll give Duke a game.