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Villanova Basketball Opponent Capsule: Penn Quakers

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We continue our exploration and introduction of Villanova's 2014-15 opponents. Next up, the owner's of the Big 5's home court, the University of Pennsylvania.

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Last Season: Penn has never been worse than they have in the post-Fran Dunphy-era. Last season was no different with the Quakers going 8-20 overall and just 5-9 in the Ivy League. They suffered through an awful 7-game losing streak from November 30th until finally winning against Princeton on January 11th, and lost all four of their Big 5 match-ups.

Last Meeting/All-Time Series: Villanova is 44-17 all-time against Penn and 11-3 under Jay Wright. Their last meeting was on December 4, 2013, when the Wildcats steamrolled the Quakers 77-54.

Head Coach: The nattily-dressed Jerome Allen was hired at his alma mater as an assistant coach before the 2009 season, but was promoted almost immediately, in December of that year, to interim head coach after the University fired Glen Miller. He led the Quakers to a 5th-place finish in the Ivy league that season and had the interim tag removed by the end of March. He has gone 56-85 as a head coach at Penn, and his best league finish was second-place in 2011-12. Prior to coaching, he played professionally for fourteen years after being drafted in the 1995 draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves and also appearing as a shooting guard for the Pacers, Nuggets and  from 1997 to 2009, for a number of teams in Europe.

Top Returners: Leading scorer Tony Hicks is the top returner for the Quakers this season after the junior guard averaged 14.9 ppg last season. Penn also returns Darien Nelson-Henry, a 6-11 center, who averaged 10.6 points and 5.3 rebounds.

Key Losses: PF Fran Dougherty had scored 12.7ppg and grabbed 7.3 rpg for the Quakers last season, and SG Miles Jackson-Cartwright accounted for 11.6 ppg and 3.4 apg. Cartwright scored over 1,400 points in his career for Penn and finished 13th all-time in team history. The Quakers also graduated G Steve Rennard, F Cam Gunter, and G Dau Jok. Julian Harrell, Henry Brooks and Preston Troutt also all left the team, and Tony Bagtas was expelled from campus for committing more than a dozen robberies.

Key Additions: Allen lined up a five-man recruiting class to augment his roster after his program lost nine players from last season's team. The departures leave the Quakers with a rather simplified nine-man roster that should see everyone in action on the court. The new freshmen include point guards Darnell Foreman and Antonio Woods, who will potentially be in the picture for the starting role. Also joining Penn will be power Mike Auger, Dan Dwyer, and Sam Jones. Auger is expected to have the biggest initial impact of the frontcourt recruits, at 6-7 and 225 pounds, he is a capable rebounder who can run the court and make a few shots from the perimeter as well.