Team preview: Penn
Blue Ribbon Yearbook previews the 2006-07 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.
(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)
When Glen Miller assumed his first Division I head coaching position, at Brown in 1999, he inherited a squad snoozing in the Ivy doghouse alongside the Bulldogs of Yale. The Bears had gone 4-22 overall and 2-12 in the Ivy League the year before; two victories over Yale kept Brown from being completely collared in Frank "Happy" Dobbs' last year as coach.
Mr. Miller, welcome to the penthouse. After seven seasons of resurgence and ebb in Providence, Miller was hired by the University of Pennsylvania last June to succeed new Temple taskmaster Fran Dunphy. All Dunphy did in 17 years in West Philadelphia is win 10 Ivy crowns and advance to nine NCAA Tournaments, including last year's dance. And Dunphy didn't clean out the cupboards on his way out, unless one considers the reigning Ivy League Player of the Year, the Quakers' top rebounder and the team's best assist man table scraps.
As golden as his new position appears, Miller is trying to curb his enthusiasm.
"I'm going to have the same approach whether we're involved in a program we're rebuilding or a championship program," he said.
Invoking the ever-popular phrase, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," Miller envisions a 2006-07 Penn squad that performs and attacks much like its recent predecessors, especially because four of the top five scoring Quakers return from a season ago.
"There's a lot of similarities between what coach Dunphy ran offensively and how he played defensively, and what we have been doing over my coaching career," Miller said. "I don't think it's going to be a difficult transition. I want to make things as simple as possible.
"I want to get the returning players, especially the veterans, the seniors, as comfortable as possible as quickly as possible."