Penn Quakers ready for Miami to visit Palestra Tuesday night

Matt Leon
December 03, 2018 - 2:46 pm
Penn freshman Bryce Washington is shooting 56 percent from three so far this season.

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The University of Pennsylvania Quakers will welcome the ACC's Miami Hurricanes to The Palestra Tuesday night.

Penn is off to a strong 6-2 start to the season despite having to deal with some significant adversity.

"Obviously, five minutes (into the season) we lose our leading scorer" to a knee injury, said Penn head coach Steve Donahue of Ryan Betley. 

"If you told me that and then after eight games we'd be 6-2, (and) I thought we played well in most of the games. Obviously, we'd love to have two of those back, the ones in the islands" — which resulted losses to Kansas State and Oregon State at the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands — "but for the most part we've defended, played well together. Now we just have to keep getting better."

The Quakers have had several players step up to help fill the void left by Betley's injury, and right near the top of that list is freshman Bryce Washington. The Southfield, Michigan native has started five of eight games this season and is averaging 7.9 points per game while shooting an impressive 56 percent from three.

"He has played with confidence," Donahue said. "He's shot the ball really well. I think he's becoming a good defender. I think he's going to be a terrific defender. A little more consistency, ball-handling, play-calling, assignments, but I think he's been a very — I wouldn't say surprise, but you never know how a kid's going to come out of the gates, and he's helped us greatly because he has come out of the gates so well."

Junior guard Devon Goodman also has stepped up in the early going, leading the team in scoring. The Germantown Academy product is pouring in 15.3 points per game while shooting a solid 37 percent from three.

The Quakers will face a Miami team on Tuesday night that is reeling a bit. The Hurricanes have lost three straight after a 5-0 start to the season. Last time out, another Ivy League team beat them, as Yale rallied from a 15-point second half deficit to beat Miami down in Florida, 77-73.

Donahue scouts the Hurricanes.

"They have good length, good athleticism," he noted. "Couple of dynamic scorers, all those things you're going to have to deal with, they shoot the ball well. They're going to test you in all of the things that we try to do — try to keep people out of the lane, limit teams to one (shot attempt), limit the threes — all those things are going to be tested."

These two teams last met on Nov. 19, 2016, with Miami grabbing a 74-62 victory in Coral Gables.

Tuesday night's game gets underway at 7 p.m.

You can follow Matt Leon on Twitter @MattLeon1060.