Ivy post-Thanksgiving (just Columbia, unfortunately) roundup

Fairfield 82, Columbia 81 (OT)

Two threes from senior guard Grant Mullins in the final 2:19 allowed the Lions to force overtime, but to no avail. Threes ruled all night for the Lions, with 41 of their 69 field goal attempts coming from beyond the arc against Fairfield’s zone. They can shoot 1,000 threes and it won’t matter if their defense doesn’t improve. Columbia fouls resulted in 8-for-8 free throw shooting from the Stags in the second half, and former Princeton coach Sydney Johnson’s crew shot 46.7 percent for the game, 9.6 percent greater than the Lions. Now let’s just skip to the real defensive meltdown:

Longwood 70, Columbia 69

Senior forward Alex Rosenberg, who has looked like a sieve on defense for much of his Columbia career, allowed a game-winning layup to freshman forward Chris Shields with six seconds remaining, and the Lancers, a No. 294 KenPom team, completed the upset with a shocking clip of 1.21 points per possession. The Lions are an unusually small squad full of one-way personnel, whether it’s Rosenberg, Mullins or senior forward Petrasek. On defense, the size isn’t there, the defense isn’t there, and the rebounding comes from Mullins and fellow senior guard Isaac Cohen, who combined for nearly 38 percent of Columbia’s entire rebounding production tonight by themselves. The problem is there’s very little defensive upside  here. The culprits are mostly seniors who give too much offensive value to be shelved. Junior center Conor Voss isn’t likely to become a menacing defensive presence, even at 7-1 and 260 pounds, and he’s never going to be a lasting option at the other end of the floor either. Perhaps Columbia would be best served by leaning more on the 1-3-1 zone it has flashed at times this season, accentuating the strong defense the Lions have gotten from Cohen and senior guard Maodo Lo. Columbia ranks 345th in the nation in adjusted tempo, and it might be well served by picking up the pace a little more to take pressure off its defense and give its playmakers more opportunities, especially since the Lions rank 305th in the country in defensive effective field goal percentage, 317th in three-point percentage and 314th in block percentage.

For more on Columbia’s defensive struggles, check out Ian Wenik’s story coming up tomorrow.

3 thoughts on “Ivy post-Thanksgiving (just Columbia, unfortunately) roundup”

  1. Had Isaac Cohen not been injured for the last couple minutes of the Longwood game, Columbia might have won, by defending better and getting more rebounds. It’s important to keep in mind that in previous years Princeton has had poor non- conference play and have gotten their act together to do well in the conference season. I think the Lions will show an ability to do this as well. Remember that Maodo Lo and Alex Rosenberg have had on average about one good half a game and their is no reason they cannot or will not play full good games going forward. Also Lo has not driven that much and when he does it will open up the outside even more.The Lions will end up having a great season and that does not even take into account the upside of C.J. Davis.

    • The Lions should have beaten Northwestern, Fairfield & last night- Longwood. Daniel is right on. No interior defense, no offensive rebounding and seemingly a tired Lo (how many times did he lose the ball?) There is no fire in this team. Mullins is a blessing. If you watched Yale-Duke on TV the other night realize that their inside men will kill us.
      I had so much hope for this season and it seems to be going down the drain. Wake up Lions.

  2. The Lions just don’t seem to want to win as much as their last two opponents did.

    It is upsetting that I can see the defeat coming when there are still 15 minutes left in the game. Last night was a
    prototype of a Lion’s lose.

    Kyle Smith really needs to shake things up for the Lions to have a greater than
    fifty percent ivy season.


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