Archives > Historical Features > Exhibits

UNIVERSITY HISTORY

PHILADELPHIA BIG 5
In the News: 1956-1957

 

From the Daily Pennsylvanian, December 17, 1956:

 

Slump-Ridden Quakers Face Owls in City Court Opener

 

A slump-ridden Pennsylvania basketball team, which inaugurated Ivy League action on two fronts over the weekend, will have the dubious honor of being involved in another opener at the Palestra tonight.

The Quakers, losers of their last three, get the second annual City Series competition under way against a tall and talented Temple quintet that has been beaten only by Kentucky. LaSalle and Indiana meet in the first game of what should prove to be one of the most interesting doubleheaders of the young season.

New Lineup Penn coach Jack McCloskey has decided on a new starting lineup. Dick Csenesitz will jump center, with John Mangan and Howie Gathright at the forward posts and Gerry Nensel and Al DeLucia at the guard slots.

McCloskey has indicated he is working on some new defenses, designed especially with Temple’s backcourt wizard, Guy Rodger’s in mind. If the Quaker mentor does come up with something effective, it will be quite an accomplishment, since Temple’s “big guy” (no pun intended) has proved a thorn in the side of every Owl opponent to date.

Easy Victories Despite the loss of Hal Lear, Fred Cohen, and Hal Reinfeld, the NCAA Eastern champion Owls have been whooping it up down again under coach Harry Litwack. They romped to easy victories over Gettysburg and Muhlenberg before dropping a 73-58 decision to the Wildcats from Lexington, but rebounded from this loss in fine style with a victory over Princeton last Wednesday.

Rodgers, the six-foot backcourt genius who may be destined for All-American honors in his junior year, is Litwack’s pride and joy. Rodgers has averaged a shade over 22 points in the Owls’ four contests to date, and he took almost personal charge in the triumph over the Tigers, with 22 markers, 10 assists, and, amazingly enough, nine rebounds. He also contributed 27 points in a losing cause against Kentucky.

Backing up Rodgers will be three other juniors and a newcomer. Six foot, seven inch sophomore Pete Gross and 6”6 Dan Fleming provide the Owls with plenty of rebounding strength against the “midget” Penn five, but neither Templar has done much scoring yet. However, junior Jay Norman has been helpful from the floor. He posted an exceptional 70 percent field goal accuracy in tallying 17 points in Temple’s last contest. Mel Brodsky, the other starting guard, threw in 12 markers against the Tigers.