The 2018-19 Ivy League Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll was released Tuesday, revealing a predicted order of finish and results that are rather interesting, if also mostly expected.
If realized, the projected order of finish will result in yet another Ivy title under coach Tommy Amaker.
Harvard topped the poll after having claimed a share of its first Ivy crown since 2015 but losing in the Ivy Tournament final to co-champion Penn in Steve Donahue’s third season at the helm. Penn finished second in this year’s preseason poll, which projects Yale to place third for a 19th straight top-four finish under coach James Jones.
Penn got five first-place votes, seven fewer than Harvard, whose junior class is expected to deliver for the Crimson this season – if two of its members, 2017 Ivy Rookie of the Year Bryce Aiken (who missed most of last year with a knee injury) and 2018 Ivy Player of the Year Seth Towns (who suffered a knee injury in the Ivy Tournament final), can get back to full strength.
Yale got one first-place vote and gets back dynamic forward Jordan Bruner from a torn meniscus injury that kept him sidelined last season.
That’s the thing – an awful lot of talent is returning. As the Ivy League eagerly noted in its press release announcing the preseason media poll, the Ivy League, which returns 12 of its top 15 scorers from a season ago, including the entire 2018 All-Ivy first team and six out of the seven members of the second team. That is pretty promising stuff.
But as always, the poll is also potential bulletin board fodder for the teams at its bottom. Dartmouth has been projected to finish last in the league again by an uncomfortable margin, which is interesting given that the Big Green had a solid defense in Ivy play last season and had an unusually unlucky series of close losses early in the 2018 conference slate while returning most of its major contributors from last season (minus Taylor Johnson and Miles Wright).
And Columbia is projected to finish seventh, despite returning much of the league’s most statistically potent offense from a season ago.
The 2018-19 women’s basketball preseason poll will be released Wednesday at 10 a.m.
2018-19 IVY LEAGUE MEN’S BASKETBALL PRESEASON MEDIA POLL
PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
First-place votes in parentheses