It's understandable if Penn fans are a little surley, as the Quakers have gotten off to a 1-5 start, including last night's Big Five loss to Villanova at the Palestra.
Wins will come for Penn, especially once the Ivy League starts play, which usually happens in like April or something. What I'd like for Quaker fans to do is keep their eye on freshman point guard Zack Rosen. The 6-1, 175-pounder first caught my eye while I was making the rounds watching summer league games for a story. Rosen shined in those games, with his good ball-handling, ability to get to the basket and his terrific decision-making. I also saw him during summer workouts at La Salle, with a slew of other Big 5 players. Again, I felt myself watching the lefty during most of the workouts, impressed with what I mentioned above but also with that Philly point guard attitude.
His numbers this year won't impress...yet. He has made just 8-of-36 field goals (22 percent), including 4-of-25 from beyond the arc. But if you look closer at his numbers, you see why I think his future is so bright.
Rosen has 35 assists to just 9 turnovers. He has also grabbed 11 steals and grabs 3.5 rebounds a game. Those numbers show what a good nose he has for the ball and what a smart player he is. He is struggling mightly with his shot. But to me, it seems to be more about a lack of confidence than anything else. He can score, but that's not his primary duty.
Sometimes it takes time for freshman to get comfortable with the college game, especially ones who have to handle the ball so much and play so many minutes. But I think it will come for Rosen. Once he stops pressing so much with his shot and the confidence builds, Penn fans will have a real preview of what should be a great four-year career.