Heading into the 2016-17 season, many experts predicted that the Princeton Tigers would win the Ivy League title due to its senior leadership. It was hard to bet against a team that would be starting Spencer Weisz, Steven Cook, Hans Brase, and Henry Caruso. When Brase and Caruso went down with season-ending injuries early in 2016, there was cause for concern. A slow start from starting guard Amir Bell only added to the growing worries for the Tigers. However, the arrival of Devin Cannady and Myles Stephens into the starting lineup righted the ship and had the Tigers in great position heading into the Ivy schedule. With first-team All-Ivy performances from Weisz (Ivy League Player of the Year), Cook (IHO Player of the Year), and Stephens (Ivy and IHO Defensive Player of the Year), along with strong performances from Cannady (Ivy and IHO Honorable Mention) and Bell, Princeton ran through the league with a 14-0 record, winning the regular season title by four games over Harvard.
On Sat., Mar. 5, 2016, the Cornell men’s basketball team completed its season with a 75-71 victory over the Brown Bears in what turned out to be coach Bill Courtney’s last game as head coach of the Big Red. Little did anyone at Newman Arena realize that it would be the last game for then-first year Xavier Eaglin.
One day later, Eaglin, a 6-foot-7, 205-pound 19-year-old, was arrested by the Cornell University Police Department (CUPD) on charges of rape, sexual assault and strangulation, according to the Cornell Daily Sun, which reported Tuesday that the charges were dismissed.
When Greg Friel completed his final season of organized basketball in the spring of 2003, he was named the recipient of Dartmouth basketball’s John Dilorio Award for hustle, drive and determination. Little did he know that seven years later he would be diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RMSS), leaving him without the ability to play the game he has loved his entire life.
Harvard women’s basketball tries to keep upper division streak alive
The Harvard women’s basketball team released its 2017-18 schedule and hopes to build on its post-season Ivy Tournament appearance and first-round WNIT victory in 2016-17. This will be the 36th season for legendary head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith, who is the only coach to ever guide a No. 16 seed in a victory over a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Smith’s teams have been in the Ivy upper division for 32 of her 35 seasons at Harvard, while placing in the top three each of the last 14 years. With the continuation of the postseason Ivy Tournament, the odds look strong for the Crimson to return to the Palestra in early March.
Some Wake Forest fans must have thought the Demon Deacons had Jaelin Llewellyn.
Llewellyn is a four-star ESPN recruit whose father Cordell played with Wake Forest, as well as Rhode Island.
But last month, Llewellyn chose Princeton over the likes of Wake Forest, Virginia, Purdue, Cincinnati, Florida and Ohio State, less than seven weeks after he gave an interview to Phenom Hoops Report in which he did not include Princeton in the 11 teams expressing strong interest in him (although he did include Harvard).
Dartmouth women’s basketball looks to rebound in 2017-18
In 2013-14, coach Belle Koclanes started her career at Dartmouth with two conference wins and a 5-23 overall record. By the end of the 2015-16 season, the Big Green had increased their total wins to 12 and Ivy victories to seven. With a fourth-place finish, its best since 2009, the team looked to continue its upward trend and secure a spot in the first-ever four-team Ivy Tournament by the end of 2017. Despite being picked fifth in the preseason Ivy media poll and expecting to challenge Cornell for the last spot in the post-season event, Dartmouth took a step backwards with a 3-11 (8-19 overall) last-place record in conference play.
There was a minor shock send through college basketball earlier this week, when Jaelin Llewellyn committed to Princeton for the fall of 2018. Llewelyn, a 6’2” point guard from Canada attending the Virginia Episcopal School, is a four-star recruit that chose the Tigers over Virginia, Purdue, Northwestern, Clemson, Minnesota, Stanford, Georgetown, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, George Washington, Creighton, Rhode Island, UNLV, and conference rival Harvard.
Alarie and Boehm join forces to help USA Women U-19 at World Cup
As noted in the May 21 IHO Ivy news roundup, Princeton’s Bella Alarie and Harvard’s Jeannie Boehm were selected to the USA Women’s U-19 team for the World Cup taking place in Italy from July 22 through 30. Last week, USA Basketball profiled the two as they got ready for the upcoming tournament. The rising sophomores are the first two Ivy Leaguers to be a part of the U-19 team in the 32-year history of the national squad.
Cornell has released the 2017-18 schedules for its men’s and women’s basketball teams. Coach Brian Earl will look to improve upon last season’s 8-21 (4-10 Ivy, T-6th) record for the men, while coach Danya Smith looks to avoid an expected rebuilding year from last year’s 16-11 (7-7 Ivy, T-4th) squad that just missed earning a spot in the inaugural Ivy Tournament.
Coach Earl’s first season as a head coach was a challenging one. Not only did he bring in a completely different style of basketball without any of his own recruits, but he had to confront defections and or injuries to three key members of his front court. Heading into this season, the coach will be bringing a six-member recruiting class to campus. With a second year in Earl’s more disciplined half-court systems and greater depth, the Big Red will try to move up the standings and earn a spot in the postseason Ivy Tournament.
Steven Spieth to take part in NBA Summer League
Former Brown Bear Steven Spieth, a 2016-17 first-team All-Ivy forward, has been signed to play for the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Summer League. Spieth was the leading scorer in conference play last season with 19.5 points a game. For his career, the Dallas native started 117 of his 118 games played, totaling 1,367 points, 337 assists, 447 free throws and 136 steals. The Mavericks will have its opening game on Sat., July 18 at 1:30 p.m. against the Chicago Bulls. The game will be televised on NBA-TV and streams online at NBA.com.