The University of Pennsylvania (also known as Penn) is a co-educational, private, nonsectarian research university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. According to the university, it is America's first university and is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States. Penn is also a member of the Ivy League and is one of the "Colonial Colleges".
Penn basketball is steeped in tradition. Penn's 1920 and 1921 squads were given the title of mythical national champions by the Helms Foundation. Penn made its only (and the Ivy League's second) Final Four appearance in 1979, where the Quakers lost to the Magic Johnson-led Michigan State Spartans in Salt Lake City. (Dartmouth twice finished second in the tournament in the 1940s, but that was before the beginning of formal Ivy League play). Penn is also is one of the teams in the Philadelphia Big 5, along with La Salle, Saint Joseph's, Temple and Villanova.
Penn's home court, the Palestra, is an arena used for Big Five contests as well as high-school sporting events. The Palestra has hosted more NCAA Division I Men's Tournament basketball games than any other facility. In 2007, the Men's Basketball team won their third consecutive Ivy League title, then lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Texas A&M.
Penn's starting five on March 20, 1897, were named Milligan, DeLoffre, Hedges, Stewart and Marggraff. Playing only five men per side was an innovation; seven or nine per side had been the norm. It became increasingly clear, however, that the court was too crowded, so five became the new standard.
The Penn Quaker five played against the Yale Bulldog five in a variant of the original game. Basketball, invented by Dr. James Naismith in 1891 at the YMCA Training School in Massachusetts, at first allowed for three to 40 players on a team, depending upon available floor space. The new game was described by The New York Times at that time as "a substitute for football without its rough features."
That meeting was made possible in part because of former Penn Provost Edgar Fahs Smith, whose statue on Smith Walk has temporarily been put in storage during the construction of the IAST building. As chairman of the University Athletic Committee in 1896-97, Smith supported the organization of the basketball team and approved its request to play Yale in that first season. Quaker basketball is one of his enduring legacies.
As reported in The Pennsylvanian two days later, Yale won that game 32-10. "Being, as it was, an entirely new game to Pennsylvania, its introduction was looked upon with some suspicion, and great difficulty was experienced in obtaining good material or suitable conveniences for practice," read an editorial in that day's Pennsylvanian. "Very little support was given by the students, but persistence and hard work resulted in the development of a very fair team."
- 2006-2007 Overall Record: 22-9
(12-2 home/9-4 away/1-3 neutral)
- 2006-2007 Ivy League Record/Finish: 13-1/1st
- 2005-2006 Ivy League Record/Finish: 12-2/1st
- Starters Returning/Lost: 2/3
- Ivy League Honorees Returning/Lost: 1/2
- Head Coach: Glen Miller (Connecticut '86)
- Record at Penn/Years: 22-9/1
- Career Record: 210-166
- Basketball Office Phone: 215.898.0280
- Assistant Coaches:
- Mike Martin (Brown '04)
- Chris Sparks (Southern Maine '99)
- Perry Bromwell (Penn '87)
- Director of Basketball Operations: Julie Greger
- Athletic Trainer: Phil “Sam” Samko