Rosen Named Player of the Year in Guard-Heavy Big 5 Awards

Rosen Named Player of the Year in Guard-Heavy Big 5 Awards

Zack Rosen was announced Tuesday as the Big 5 Player of the Year, following a season in which he nearly carried the Penn Quakers to the NCAA tournament. Unfortunately for Rosen and his teammates, their underwhelming performance against Princeton in the last game of the season left them one game behind the Harvard Crimson, forcing Rosen to graduate without ever making it to the dance.
Though he came up short in that pursuit, the all-time Penn leader in assists, games started and minutes played was given plenty of respect by the Big 5, taking home the aforementioned Player of the Year honor as well as the Scholar-Athlete Award and the city scoring title.

Rosen was locked in a fight with Temple's Ramone Moore for that final honor for most of the year, before Moore's struggles to score down the stretch turned into the Owls' struggles to win.
Other players taking home individual awards are La Salle Explorers Jerrell Wright (Rookie of the Year) and Earl Pettis (Most Improved Player). On the coaching side, Temple's Fran Dunphy won the award for head man of the year for the third time in four seasons, while his Owls, who tied the Saint Joseph's Hawks for the Big 5 title, took home Team of the Year honors.
Not to overlook the final individual accolade, Villanova's Maalik Wayns finished the season with the city's best foul shooting percentage at 89 percent.
And now, a look at your first and second team All-Big 5 athletes:

First TeamZack Rosen, Penn
Ramone Moore, Temple
Maalik Wayns, Villanova
Khalif Wyatt, Temple
Langston Galloway, Saint Joseph’s

Second Team
Tyreek Duren, La Salle
Ramon Galloway, La Salle
Earl Pettis, La Salle
Carl Jones, Saint Joseph’s
C.J. Aiken, Saint Joseph’s
Juan Fernandez, Temple

A trend you may have noticed, of the 14 players honored Tuesday, only two -- Jerrell Wright and C.J. Aiken -- are not guards. Really, there's not even any small forwards in there. Not that it necessarily matters, nor that it's really surprising -- just a note worthy of mention. Also of note are the six, and not five, players on the second team.
Anyway, the actual awards will be presented to the winners at the annual Big 5 banquet an April 23 at the Liacouras Center on the campus of Temple University.
So, thoughts on the honors? Anyone left out? Likewise, anyone who shouldn't have won or been named to one of the two All-"Conference" teams?

Joel Embiid practices fully but doubtful for Friday and Saturday

Joel Embiid practices fully but doubtful for Friday and Saturday

Joel Embiid was a full participant Wednesday during the Sixers' first practice back from the All-Star break, but he's listed as doubtful for their games Friday and Saturday.

The Sixers host the Wizards Friday night (7/CSN) and face the Knicks Saturday night at Madison Square Garden (7:30/CSN).

If Embiid misses both games it would be 13 in a row and 16 of 17.

Still, it's a good sign he was able to practice in full Wednesday.

Ben Simmons, meanwhile, has a CT scan scheduled for Thursday in New York. The appointment should show whether his foot has healed enough for him to take the next step in his rehab.

Simmons did individual work at Wednesday's practice.

CSN Philly's Jessica Camerato contributed to this report.

Sarah Baicker: I don't skate like a man, just a darn good woman

Sarah Baicker: I don't skate like a man, just a darn good woman

In late December, I was invited to play in a pick-up hockey game with some other members of the local sports media community. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I was one of only two women there that day. Even now, female ice hockey players aren’t exactly common.

After the game, a reporter I’ve known a while — a guy I like a lot — said to me: “Don’t take this the wrong way, but you skate like a man.” I didn’t take it wrong, of course; he meant it as a compliment. The reporter wanted nothing more than to tell me I’d impressed him.

I thought about this exchange a lot in the days that followed. Had someone told me I played hockey like a boy when I was 15, I would have worn that description like a badge. Hell yeah, 15-year-old Sarah would have thought, I do play like a boy. I’m as tough as a boy. I’m as fierce and competitive as any boy on my team. I would have reveled in it, just as I reveled in a similar label I’d received even earlier in my adolescence: tomboy.

Yeah, I was a tomboy. I hung around with the neighborhood boys, riding bikes between each other’s houses or catching salamanders in the creek that ran through town. I loved sports, and my bedroom walls — papered with newspaper clippings and photos of Flyers players — were a far cry from the pink-tinged rooms that belonged to the girls at school. 

As much as I could, I dressed like a boy too, even once cutting the sleeves off of an oversized T-shirt before I went out to rollerblade with our next-door neighbors. My grandmother, who was visiting at the time, pulled me aside to tell me I really ought to dress more appropriately. I rolled my eyes.

I was a tomboy, and I loved the word and everything it stood for. I felt pride in my tomboyishness, believing that the things I liked — the things boys liked — were clearly better than the things stereotypically left to the girls.

I’m almost embarrassed to admit it was a conversation with a 15-year-old that changed my perspective, just a few days after my reporter friend had compared my hockey skills to those of a man. I sat down with Mo’ne Davis, the female Little League pitching phenom, for this very project. I asked her if she identified as a tomboy, and she shrugged. Not really, she said. Maybe other people wanted to define her that way, she suggested, but that wasn’t how she viewed things.

You know that record scratch sound effect they play on TV or in the movies? The one that denotes a sort of “wait … what?!” moment? That’s what happened in my head. Mo’ne Davis, the girl who played on the boys’ team and excelled, didn’t consider herself a tomboy?

Something clicked in my head after that. I’ve long identified as a feminist, and I’ve been a big supporter of girls in sports for as long as I can remember. I coach girls hockey, I’ve spoken at schools and camps about playing and working in sports as a woman. For some reason, though, it took a 15-year-old shrugging her shoulders at the label “tomboy” to take the power out of the word for me. Why does one have to be a tomboy, when one can simply be a girl who kicks ass? How had I never considered this before?

In many ways (and especially in sports) if something is male, it’s considered superior. It goes beyond just the things kids like to do, and it’s all old news. It’s also something I’m ashamed to admit I’ve bought into for practically all of my life. But no longer. How can I help change the narrative if I’m too busy playing along with it?

And if I could do it over, when that reporter approached me after our hockey game to tell me I skated like a man, I would have smiled, shook my head and said: Nah. But I skate like a darn good woman.