NCAA Basketball

College Basketball Preview: Penn vs. Kentucky

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What a win on Friday. Simply put, the Wildcats out-talented the Cardinals. That is it. Their upper echelon players are just more talented than that of Louisville and it showed. But, now the Cats must come down to earth and take care of a fundamentally sound Pennsylvania squad prior to starting SEC play.

The Quakers are coming off of a extremely rough 2009-2010 season that saw them start 0-10, lose 14 of their first 15 and finish with a 6-22 overall clip. The losing season was the third strait for Penn, a program that was accustomed to finishing at the top of the Ivy League year in and year out. From 1999 to 2007, they won seven Ivy League crowns (’99, ’00, ’02, ’03, ’05, ’06, ’07).

They enter Monday’s tilt at Rupp with a 5-5 record and have yet to record an impressive win. They haven’t had any common opponents with Kentucky, but they did lose to Drexel, who handed Louisville their first loss of the season, 77-56. They have faced two Top-25 opponents so far this season, losing at Pittsburgh, 82-58, and losing to Villanova at the Palestra, 65-53.

The Quakers are averaging 63.8 points-per-game, which ranks 248th, and they are also one of the worst rebounding teams in the country. Of the 347 schools that play D-I basketball, the Quakers rank 344th with just 27.6 rebounds-per-game. Expect the Wildcats to have their way on the glass.

Offensively, they are led by junior guard Zack Rosen (6-1, 175). Rosen leads the Quakers in scoring with 16.7 points-per-game, assists with 4.3, threes with 24 made, and in three-point shooting percentage with a 44-percent clip. He has scored in double figures in every game this season and just two games ago against Delaware he scored a season-high 30 points.

Also expect senior forward Jack Eggleston (6-8, 215) and freshman guard Miles Cartwright (6-3, 170) to contribute for the Quakers. Eggleston is second on the team in scoring with 13.2 points and leads the team in rebounds with 7.7, while Cartwright is averaging 11.5 points. Both are threats from beyond the arc as Eggleston has knocked down 11 threes, shooting 41-percent, and Cartwright has connected on 14, shooting 34-percent.

Like most Ivy League schools, the Quakers do not have the talent to match up with Kentucky. So they are going to attempt to come into Rupp and slow the game down and play fundamentally sound basketball. They will run complete sets on the offensive end and then zone up the Wildcats on defense.

If the Cats come to play, it won’t work. Then it’s time for Georgia and SEC play. It should be fun.

Kentucky 84, Penn 59