The Penn Quakers come down from their ivory towers in the Ivy League to challenge the Kentucky Wildcats to a basketball contest in Rupp Arena Monday evening in the last out of conference game for the Wildcats.
Here is a comparison of the two seasons so far:
Penn has lost to virtually every top 100 RPI team they've played with the exception of the Davidson Wildcats, which was contested in Penn's home arena. Penn is coming off an upset loss on the road to the Marist Red Foxes.
After the jump, we'll take a look at personnel.
Here is a look at the personnel changes of Penn over the last year:
|Brian Fitzpatrick||6-7||225||Freshman||Minor reserve|
|Carson Sullivan||6-3||190||Freshman||Minor reserve|
|Drew Godwin||6-2||180||Senior||Rarely played|
|Justin Reilly||6-8||230||Senior||Minor reserve|
|Malcolm Washington||5-9||165||Freshman||Minor reserve|
|Sean Mullan||6-6||220||Freshman||Rarely played|
|Tommy Eggleston||6-5||175||Freshman||Rarely played|
|Cameron Gunter||6-8||190||Freshman||Rarely plays|
|Casey James||6-4||195||Freshman||Rarely plays|
|Dau Jok||6-4||180||Freshman||Rarely plays|
|Fran Dougherty||6-8||230||Freshman||Major reserve|
|Marin Kukoc||6-7||195||Freshman||Son of NBA star Toni Kucoc, out with undisclosed injury|
|Steve Rennard||6-2||175||Freshman||Minor reserve|
|Andreas Schreiber||6-9||245||Senior||Injured last season|
|Dan Monckton||6-6||205||Senior||Season-ending knee surgery, starter last year|
|Darren Smith||6-4||200||Senior||Minor reserve|
|Jack Eggleston||6-8||215||Senior||Starter, 2nd leading scorer 41% 3pt shooter, leading rebounder|
|Larry Loughery||6-6||210||Junior||Injured last season and has not yet played|
|Mike Howlett||6-9||215||Junior||Minor reserve|
|Rob Belcore||6-6||215||Junior||Has not played due to migraines|
|Zach Gordon||6-6||215||Senior||Rarely plays|
|Zach Rosen||6-1||175||Junior||Starter, leading scorer, leading 3-point shooter.|
Penn returns the vast majority of their players from last year, and they are an improved team. Unfortunately, some key injuries and health issues have held them back from a much better season, and that doesn't look likely to change against Kentucky.
The Factors for this game look like this:
Penn is a good shooting team, but not particularly dangerous from 3-point range, although 3-pointers are responsible for about half their scoring, so they do shoot a lot from outside. The Quakers are a poor offensive rebounding team averaging 25% OR and turn the ball over quite a bit, but they do get to the line a lot.
This is another game that Kentucky should have no problem with. The quakers aren't particularly big and are definitely not particularly athletic or skilled. As you usually find in Ivy League teams, the Quakers can shoot the basketball when they are left open, so Kentucky cannot take them for granted for this reason. Any team who can make a bunch of threes can pull an upset, and as the Cornell Big Red showed last year, the Ivy League can produce some quality teams.
But this year's Quakers team is too injured and too inexperienced to seriously threaten Kentucky if the Wildcats come to play. Penn has no answer at all for Terrence Jones or Brandon Knight, and just staying in front of the Kentucky players will be very difficult for the smaller, slower Quakers. In addition, DeAndre Liggins is likely to wind up on Zach Rosen, and that spells trouble for the star junior guard.
Penn prefers a deliberate tempo, but as was saw against Louisville, that's really no problem for Kentucky. What may be a problem for Penn is if Kentucky decides to speed up the game, which they well may. If so, and the Quakers can't stop them, this game could get out of hand in a hurry.
In the end, this looks like another game where the stars will have to align perfectly for the Wildcats to lose, but we said virtually the same thing about Gardner-Webb back in 2007. This wouldn't be quite as big an upset as that, but it would be comparable.
The Quakers did play a pretty good game against the Villanova Wildcats, covering the spread and keeping the game in doubt until less than one minute remained. But against the Pittsburgh Panthers, a team roughly comparable to Kentucky in skill and athleticism, the Quakers were statistically dead with more than nine minutes left in the second half.