With 921 victories and counting, Philadelphia University basketball coach Herb Magee was named Friday as a finalist for the Basketball Hall of Fame.
It was a very Philadelphia Final 12 with Magee, Cheeks and retired Villanova professor and referee Hank Nichols. Along with previous finalists Chris Mullin, Jamaal Wilkes and Tex Winter, the Philly Three are joined on the finalists list for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame by Dennis Rodman, Dick Motta, Ralph Sampson, Attles, Teresa Edwards and Tara Van Derveer.
The Class of 2011 will be announced on April 4 in Houston, the day of the national championship game at Reliant Stadium. A finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee to be elected. The 2011 honorees will be enshrined in Springfield, Mass. on Friday, Aug. 12.
When Penn opened its Ivy season by outscoring Yale, 24-6, while playing the game about as well it can be played, it was hard not to imagine the possibilities. Penn went on to win that game and the next two to get to 3-0 in the league.
The win over Brown on opening weekend was a cautionary tale. The Quakers trailed by eight points with 8 minutes left before winning in overtime. After blowing away Dartmouth, Penn has fallen way behind in every game.
They trailed Harvard by 18 and lost in two overtimes. They trailed at Princeton by 12 with barely 5 minutes left and lost in overtime, a brilliant regulation rally overshadowed by a late OT meltdown that was bizarre. They trailed at Cornell by 15 in the first half, got a nice lead in the second half and lost in overtime. They got behind at Columbia and never came back.
After playing five games in 8 days, Penn (9-12, 3-4) had a chance to regroup this week before going on the road to play Brown and then Yale this weekend. Both games will be difficult, especially with the knowledge that, with seven games to go and Princeton at 7-0, the Ivy title is almost certainly out of reach.
Penn has dramatically improved from last season, but the Quakers are not good enough to continue falling way behind in games. The rest of this season is going to be about pride as much as anything. Penn is good enough to win its share, but nothing is going to come easy.