Guest Column: History says Quakers will rise back to top
But only one team can replace the Big Red atop the Ivy League standings this year, and the Quakers are on their way to reclaiming their rightful spot.
We could go on and on about why, but to simplify things, we’re going to break it down in three ways: past, present and future.
The past: 122-100. That’s our all-time record. If it weren’t for a little mistake Penn made named Glen Miller, you guys would still be in the double digits, nowhere near the Quakers’ excellence. Let’s bring up a couple poignant examples from the annals of history.
Jan. 12, 1906. Penn 40, Princeton 5. Five points. That’s, like, two baskets. What happened here? Was the peach basket unforgiving that day or were you just that bad? Was this a Penn-Princeton football game?
The Tigers pride themselves on defense, a scheme that so far this season has held opponents to 64.6 points per game this season (second to Harvard, we might add). But a 35-point deficit? That’s the vaunted Quakers "D."
Fast forward 90 years. In the mid-1990s, Penn’s current coach Jerome Allen owned Princeton's coach Sydney Johnson, mano-a-mano.
Jan. 28, 1995. Allen and the Penn backcourt held Princeton guards to a whopping zero points for an entire half, and Princeton finished with more turnovers than baskets.
Sydney Johnson never once beat Jerome Allen in the two years they overlapped. And now, 16 years later, Johnson wouldn’t even talk to our reporters about getting schooled time and time again.
The present: Penn is back "On The Prowl." After one of the worst seasons in history, the Quakers’ tenacious rise to Ivy League contender has been swift and splendid.
Zack Rosen remains unchecked in beastliness and somehow has the ability to rewind the game-clock so his shots always fall before the buzzer. His co-captain, senior Jack Eggleston, is fifth in the nation in three-point shooting percentage. The last time Princeton broke fifth in the nation in anything, it was in Vineyard Vines purchases.
And if you want to know who’s hot right now — at this very moment — look no further than Tyler Bernardini.
In his last nine games, the swingman is averaging 18 points per game. Heck, Friday night he scored 21 while blowing chunks in a courtside trashcan because he had the flu. Chew on that.
The future: How about a cup of "Mizzo" soup? That’s right, we’re talking about Penn’s freshman phenomenon Miles Cartwright. Like Miley Cyrus, he can’t be tamed. The kid is simply unbelievable.
Meanwhile, the future of the Tigers is in the hands of a kid named T.J. Bray, who’s name sounds like it belongs, not on a Princeton roster, but in a ’90s teen sitcom. (Sorry about Kelly Kapowski, T.J.)
This league ain’t big enough for the both of us, so why don’t you just hop in that little space capsule of a gym, make like a tree and get out?
Calder Silcox, Brian Kotloff, Kevin Esteves and Megan Soisson are the Sports Editors of The Daily Pennsylvanian. They can be reached at dpsports@theDP.com.
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