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Young: Head to the mound — and stay there!

Chris Young, you must really love this time of the year — baseball season is just around the corner.

Just think, Chris. Pretty soon, you'll be out there on the mound, staring down opposing batters and then laughing as your fastball whizzes right past them.

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Maybe I'm crazy, but that sounds like a lot more fun than having Geoff Owens brutalize and embarrass you for 40 minutes. Unfortunately for you, buddy, that's exactly what's on tap for tonight.

Did you ever think about concentrating solely on baseball? It might not be a bad idea, Chris. Keep working on your pitching. Declare yourself eligible for the draft this spring.

Because this whole basketball thing is just not working out. You had your chance, Chris. Penn recruited you, but you made the wrong decision. You could have played in the Palestra, the most storied and glorious gym in all the land. You could have played for the best team in the Ivy League and gone to the NCAA Tournament four years in a row.

Instead, you chose to play for a program with the ugliest uniforms in the nation in an airplane hanger posing as a gymnasium. And you passed up a chance to play for the dean of Ivy coaches for an opportunity to spend four years under a weasel who wouldn't be able to cut it as an assistant on Dunphy's staff.

It's time to pay for that mistake, my friend. You already saw Penn win one league title. Now, you're in for three more years of watching the Quakers on TV in March.

You, meanwhile, will graduate without a single basketball championship ring on your hand. It's really sad when you think about it, Chris. And it can all be traced back to that day in high school when you decided to attend the former College of New Jersey. Dumb move, pal, dumb move.

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You'll see just how dumb tonight.

Penn-Princeton is a great rivalry, but rivalries are always more fun when both teams are at least somewhat decent. This year, it's different. As we all know, there are usually only two legitimate teams in the Ivy League each year — Penn and Princeton. It just so happens that this season there is only one.

After all, legitimate basketball teams do not lose to Yale.

I can hear the Tigers and their sorry fans crying now. Injuries, that's why you lost to Yale, right? If Mason Rocca and Spencer Gloger had played, you would have won.

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But, remember, we are talking about Yale — which did beat a healthy Princeton squad last season. Penn's entire starting five could have been injured and the Quakers would have beaten the Elis. Hell, Fran Dunphy could have put me at the point and Penn still would have won.

Like I said, legitimate basketball teams do not lose games like that. Legitimate basketball teams, however, also score more than 12 points in one half against Monmouth. Well, at least the Tigers won that game — by a whole two points.

How can a squad that can't even convincingly beat bottom-of-the-barrel Division I teams even expect to compete with the Quakers tonight?

We could examine the two teams position-by-position, but that would just be a waste of time. No matter how you look at it, Penn is simply the much better team.

Princeton might think it has a budding star in freshman Spencer Gloger. Spencer, you would have been better off sticking to your original decision to attend UCLA.

Sure, you would ride the bench — just like you would for any decent team, Penn included — but you might have actually made it to the Tournament sometime during your four years if you had become a Bruin.

Just ask your teammate Nate Walton's dad. Bill Walton will tell you what a horrible mistake you made. I'm sure Nate would have followed in his old man's footsteps if he could. Nate, however, is an unathletic stiff, and only a team like Princeton would actually give him minutes.

Now, Spencer, you are stuck in the same situation as Chris Young, ready to spend an entire career watching Penn win the Ivy League.

Grab your notebook and pencil, Spencer, and make sure to watch Michael Jordan and Matt Langel carefully. They'll show you what it takes to be a star guard in this league.

And be sure not to miss the best freshman guard in the Ivies. His name is David Klatsky.

Princeton fans might also claim that Mason Rocca will make a difference tonight. Well, Mason, good luck trying to guard Onyekwe. I'd hate to see you reaggravate that ankle injury.

Only a coach as slimy and conniving as Carmody would force a player back into action so soon after an injury. Carmody should be praying that Rocca does not injure himself further tonight.

Here's how it will happen: Onyekwe gets the ball in the low post. The athletic freshman then blows right past Rocca, hobbling injury or no hobbling injury.

You see, Ugonna is an athlete. I know athleticism is a foreign concept to Princeton hoops fans, but you'll see it tonight when Ugonna dunks over Rocca more times than Ahmed El-Nokali can turn the ball over.

There's really not much more to say. Princeton fans, you can take all the cheap shots at Penn that you want. The only important thing is that the Quakers will win easily tonight.

I guess the good news for you is that we won't take over your court and cut down your nets like we did back in March. Penn still has a few more games to win before it locks up its Tournament spot.

Which, for you Chris Young, just happens to coincide with the start of baseball season. Play ball.

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