Penn 68, UCF 67 quotes & notes

Penn Coach Steve Donahue – “I thought it was an extremely hard-fought game. I haven’t watched UCF play the first four games. I thought they made some great adjustments in guarding us and making it really hard for us to run a continuity offense and turned us over 22 times. That being said, I thought we persevered when we had to and executed when we had to win the game.” (on shooting 50% but out rebounded in a disjointed game) “It was. I think Johnny [Dawkins’] game plan was they got a lot of size, physically, take Penn to the basket, and throw it up and get it, which was successful. I thought on the offense end of it, I was disappointed. But they got their hands in passing lanes, they were jumping around; things they really hadn’t done in their first four games and I thought it messed us up. We got really good shots most of the second half. I thought that was the difference. (On being a historically better 3-pt shooting team, but not tonight) “I think the first couple games this came up because we’ve had a really good shooting game our last game. We have career 38%-42% 3-pt shooters. I think now we’re coming back to the mean a little bit. Teams don’t let us shoot open shots. I think for the most part we’ve been inconsistent at length this season. We’re probably the only team in the country who’s only played one home game. And we still have two to three more till we play another home game; that affects your shooting as well. For the most part I’ve been pretty happy with our offense. It’s just been inconsistent from the line as you mentioned.” (On AJ Brodeur versus UCF Forward Collin Smith) “Well that’s what he does. You guys get to see him once or twice a year, but he’s done that for four years. He’s just an incredible basketball player on both sides of the ball. He competes. I sensed they were going to allow him to shoot the ball from three tonight. People do that, and he takes advantage of that. He doesn’t shoot a lot of them, but he’s a very good standstill 3-pt shooter, passer, rebounder, competitor; just does it as much as any kid in my opinion in the country and makes us a good team so we can compete against Alabama, Providence, and UCF. If we don’t have him, I don’t think we can.” (On winning the first game of the tournament and making it to the semifinals) “It’s great. We fly out here, and for us and these guys, we promote this tournament in recruiting and talk about. It’s something that we really want to show well, and then to win the game for these guys is hopefully memories. This is different for us. At the same time, I don’t think we had to take a backseat to anybody, but we just don’t get these many opportunities at it. (On the bad weather in California) “No, it’s actually colder here than in Philly. We had a heck of a ride. We had a delayed flight for 7 hours and got in at 2:30am in the morning. But it’s a really well-run tournament, high level teams, in a unique neutral site environment, great for college basketball, and great for us to take on Power 5 conferences on neutral sites.” (On watching the last possession for UCF) “You know what happens all the time now, since they’ve reviewed it? Whoever gets the ball hit out of their hands, it always looks like it’s off the guy who comes and hits it out. But it always ends up, if you slow-mo it, off the fingertip because he hit it through your hand, so I knew it was going to be changed. I thought we guarded that shot or deflected it. Give the kid credit he made it. I thought we guarded it well. We did not do a good job handling the pressure to get the ball in cleanly. Bit give UCF credit.

UCF Coach Johnny Dawkins – “The whole team really laid it out on the line. They made one more play than we made at the end of the day. They executed well, the showed a lot of poise, and experience. I could see the difference with some of things they did, especially in the second half. But I was proud of our guys considering that we didn’t have a great shooting night; we still gave ourselves a chance to be in a game like this and have a chance to win.” (being down by 6 and getting back to having a chance) “We have a lot of experience in that over these last five games. We’ve been in that situation in every game we’ve played this year, so it was nothing new to our players to understand that there’s a lot of game, and a lot of time left, and we just need to play one possession at a time. We’ve talked about that ever since Prairie View. It’s now the fifth game and we’re going through the same thing. Our guys understand what to do in those situations because we’ve coached in them the last five games. (On better rebounding and less turnovers, but Penn making more points inside) “Absolutely, I’ve watched them and that’s who they are. The young man [AJ] Brodeur, I think he’s one of the best bigs in the country. He’s very efficient, versatile, can step outside, and he can go around the basket and play; he’s a tough cover for anyone. I think a lot of things flow through him, and that allowed those guys to play off of him, and they had success.

Wooden Chips
• The one-point game was just the sixth time ever that a Wooden Legacy game was decided by one point, but was the second one in three games to open the 2019 event.
• Central Florida had two players get double-doubles in the same game… this marked the ninth time in Wooden Legacy history that a team had at least two double-doubles in the same contest, and the second straight Wooden Legacy game that has happened… in last year’s tournament, there were just two double-doubles in the 12 games.
• Both teams made 24 field goals, but Penn took 27 fewer shots than UCF did (47 compared to 74).
• Penn took the series lead at 2-1… UCF won the first ever meeting by three points in 2008.

Penn (4-2)
• Penn made its last seven shots, ending the game 24-47 (.511)… the Quakers have now won 16 straight and 31 of the past 32 games when shooting at least 50% FG.
• Penn finished the game with just three offensive rebounds, one more than the all-time fewest in a Wooden Legacy game.
• AJ Brodeur led the team with 23 points, extending his streak to 71 straight games scoring in double figures… this was the 80th career game for Brodeur scoring 10+ points and 22nd scoring 20+… he has now moved into 10th place all-time in career scoring at Penn (1,478).
• Ryan Betley logged his fourth career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds… all three of his previous ones came in the 2017 calendar year.

UCF (3-2)
• This game marked the fourth time in five games this season a UCF game has been decided by four or less points (3-1 in those).
• UCF was held to 24-74 shooting (.324), and the Knights have now lost 15 of the 16 games they have had that low a shooting percentage since the start of the 2010-11 season.
• Central Florida grabbed 22 offensive rebounds (the most in a Wooden Legacy game since at least 2010)… the last time the Knights had that many offensive rebounds was versus Houston on 1/11/12 (23 offensive rebounds).
• Collin Smith notched a double-double with 22 points and 12 rebounds, the fifth of his career and fourth with UCF.
• Dazon Ingram also recorded a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds, his sixth career double-double (Alabama was 5-0 when he had 10+ rebounds).
• Since the start of the 2010-11 season, UCF was 15-0 before today when two Knights get a double-double in the same game.
• Dre Fuller Jr. had just one steal in his first four collegiate games, but nabbed five steals tonight, one shy of the Wooden Legacy record.