Although the Owls couldn’t pull off their home opener, it was a different case on Saturday at the Palestra. Big 5 basketball match up’s are arguably the most anticipated games on the schedule. But this year, the fans did not have to wait as the Owls took on the U Penn Quakers for their opening game of the season at the cathedral of college basketball. Head Coach Fran Dunphy said after the game “This is an unbelievable arena, I don’t think any place gets as loud as this, I thought it was fantastic so it’s a great win for us, great help to our program, we were playing some pretty good basketball.”
Coming into the game versus Penn, there were many unknown factors for the Owls. After losing 5 veteran seniors, it was hard to tell how the team would rebuild. But once they hit the court, it was evident that the new team is learning more and more each and every day.
“I think we came out and played pretty well, we did a lot of good things sometimes and we did a lot of bad things sometimes. It’s gonna be a work in progress, a new bunch of guys and we’re just building pieces as we go and working hard every day in practice. So I think over time we’re gonna gel more and more and grow as a unit,” said Junior Guard Will Cummings.
Not only did the leaders step up, but rookie freshman Josh Brown and Mark Williams proved why they deserve their minutes off the bench.
“I like Josh Brown a lot,” said Dunphy, “he had a great drive to the basket, and Mark Williams is very good-both those guys, one thing they do is they compete, so I’m really very pleased with them.”
Will Cummings added that “they did what we asked them to do, play poised and play under control and just do all the little things and the right things to help us get the victory and that’s what they did tonight.”
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