When Penn played Columbia two weeks ago, the Quakers were coming off three consecutive OT losses and a middle-of-the night trip from Ithaca to New York City. Columbia won, 75-62.
Tonight’s game at the Palestra will be a much fairer test. That said, Columbia (14-10, 5-5 Ivy) is good and very well coached. I saw them in the season opener at La Salle and was impressed.
Penn (11-12, 5-4) could have gone very south after the Columbia loss, but the Quakers went on the road to sweep Yale and Brown last weekend.
Now, they have Columbia and Cornell (tomorrow) at home after getting swept by those teams on the road. This should be different. If the Quakers want to finish strong in their last five games, a sweep is just about mandatory.
Penn plays at Harvard and Dartmouth next weekend before coming home to play Princeton in the final game of the regular season.
Win tonight and Penn will double last season’s victory total. With four double-figure scorers (Zack Rosen, Jack Eggleston, Tyler Bernardini and Miles Cartwright), Penn is very difficult to guard. They have a variety of ways to score and, along with Temple, run the best-designed offense in the city. If their defense ever catches up to the offense and they get a get a few more athletes in the program, they will be all the way back.