Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

Early Ivy League showdown looms

February 9, 2012 Columns No Comments

The stage is now set for a showdown in Philadelphia, at one of the most storied arenas in college basketball. On Friday, Harvard and Penn will battle with first place in the Ivy League on the line, set up in part by Penn bouncing back last Saturday night with a convincing 65-48 win at Brown.

Harvard will enter the weekend alone at the top with a 6-0 mark. Yale will be right behind at 5-1, while Penn is now 4-1. Princeton, thought to be the top contender behind Harvard before the season, is now 2-3 after losing at Yale on Saturday night and needs help. While one can expect the Palestra to be a great place to be on Friday night, the Quakers aren’t looking at it as anything more than the next game on the schedule.

“That represents our sixth game in the Ivy League this year,” said senior Rob Belcore, who led the Quakers with 17 points and 10 rebounds, tying career high totals in both categories.

Belcore is the stalwart up front on a team where there aren’t big concerns on the perimeter. Long a valuable role player who has never been a stat stuffer, Belcore had perhaps his best career game in going 7-10 from the field on Saturday.

“We know what we’re getting from him every night – his hard work and effort,” said forward Henry Brooks, who added 10 points. “Tonight, it prevailed on the stat sheet.”

The Quakers didn’t get a big scoring night from their perimeter trio on the stat sheet, but that’s an anomaly and this is a solid group that will lead the way. Zack Rosen is one of the best players in the league and is capping off a fine career this time around. He had five assists with no turnovers on the night, facilitating the success of players like Belcore and Brooks. Tyler Bernardini, a solid scorer on the wing, and Miles Cartwright both had quiet nights in scoring but did well in other categories.

Penn suffered a tough loss last Friday at Yale, which snapped a four-game winning streak. The Quakers had not been able to get into a good stretch of winning games prior to that, as they had a single two-game winning streak as their best stretch before winning four in a row. They have only had a single two-game and a single three-game losing streak, so it’s not as though they’ve lost games left and right. But clearly, this team has spent a lot of the season not sustaining a level of play on the bottom line.

“I think the leadership of our coaches is really preparing us in the proper way,” said Belcore. “We just have to put yesterday behind us and feel that when we don’t do what we’re taught and we don’t do what we’re told, we can lose any game to anybody on our schedule the rest of the way.”

On Saturday night, Penn took control of the game in the first half, then put away an under-manned Brown team in the second half. Brown made an early run and slowly whittled the lead into single digits by the second media timeout, but clearly ran out of gas as the Quakers stepped on the accelerator to finish the job.

That helped set the stage for Friday night. It will be the biggest game in the Ivy League thus far, although it will be far from settled after the game. It is, however, one game that can help shape the rest of the season no matter the result. Penn helped set it up by bouncing back on Saturday night and will enter playing about as well as they have all season.

Comment on this Article:







Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville

Advertisement


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – February 17, 2017

February 17, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we start with coaching news in the ACC, then go to a few recent games. A surging Big East team and an amazing rally in the Big 12 lead the discussion after that.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – February 8, 2017

February 8, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we look at a marathon game from Tuesday night, which came just days after a wild Saturday. Then we have more on the SEC and Big 12, before one of Saturday’s big games leads us into talk about smaller conferences and television coverage.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – February 3, 2017

February 3, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we look at the week two national title contenders had, as well as a surprise at the top of the Big Ten and a legendary coach returning. Along the way, we also look at a couple of bigger picture items.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 26, 2017

January 26, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we look at a wild week in college basketball that was highlighted by Tuesday night. We also talk about who will likely be the top team in the polls and look ahead to the weekend, which features one last flurry of non-conference games.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – January 20, 2017

January 20, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we touch on a number of issues affecting conferences like Conference USA, as well as a big loss for Creighton, less mystery in Arizona, and more on the ACC as we look forward to the weekend.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale preview

June 24, 2016 by

We look ahead to the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, held at a familiar location in Boston.

At the 2016 Boston Shootout, host BABC has a big day

June 8, 2016 by

Sunday was a big day for the host program at the 44th Boston Shootout

2015 Boston Back to School Showcase recap

September 18, 2015 by

The Boston Back to School Showcase gave high school teams from three states and north of the border a chance for a couple of early games. We take a look back at the day and a few who stood out.