If you missed the Ivy League’s own men’s All-Ivy awards, you can find them here. As selected by Ivy Hoops Online’s contributors, here are the IHO 2017-18 Men’s All-Ivy Awards:

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Matt Morgan, Cornell (Sr., G – Concord, N.C.)

In his senior campaign, Morgan cemented his place as one of the greatest scorers in Ivy League history, placing second on the all-time scoring list and extending his double-figures scoring streak to 80 games. Morgan carried the offensive load for an overachieving Cornell squad, easily leading the Ivy League in scoring for the fourth time at 22.1 points per game. ranking in the top five in conference play, per KenPom, in usage rate, effective field-goal percentage, true shooting percentage, assist rate, free throw rate and two-point field-goal percentage. Morgan was no defensive slouch either, ranking fifth in the league in steals and serving as a cog in a much-improved Big Red defense.

But you can throw out all the stats, because Morgan was just fun to watch. Morgan’s domination in wins versus Harvard and at Dartmouth, Towson, NJIT and Binghamton (scoring at least 31 points in each game) were further proof of his shooting greatness, and there was simply no Ivy player more valuable to his team than Morgan, whose loss to graduation will be greatly felt by Ivy hoops fans next season.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Noah Kirkwood, Harvard (Fr. G – Ottawa)

IHO’s unanimous pick for Rookie of the Year established himself as a scoring threat early, averaging 19.5 points per game in December wins over George Washington and Mercer and scoring in double figures in seven Ivy games. Kirkwood is an adept passer and rebounder who can draw fouls and extend defenses with his shooting, listed as a guard but in reality serving as a forward who can play at the four or three. Kirkwood has increasingly surpassed 30 minutes per game in conference play, doing so in six of the past eight contests as he plays a bigger role.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Myles Stephens, Princeton (Sr., G – Lawrenceville, N.J.)

The Tigers would not have even sniffed the Ivy League Tournament if not for their defense, (Princeton ranks first in conference play in adjusted defensive efficiency, according to KenPom.) Anchoring that defense has been Stephens, who won Ivy Defensive Player of the Year honors as a sophomore. Stephens took on the challenge of guarding opposing teams’ most explosive scorers and kept Princeton in games it otherwise would not have hung around in, setting the tone defensively in two pivotal wins over Penn. Stephens excelled in containing Matt Morgan (just 28 points in two games versus Princeton, prompting Princeton coach Mitch Henderson to name Stephens as the reason for Morgan’s limited offensive output in those contests).

Honorable Mention: Obi Okolie, Brown (Sr., G – Ajax, Ont.) 

The Ivy League’s choice for Defensive Player of the Year, Okolie likewise took on opposing teams’ best scorers and led a rejuvenated defense with the league’s best scoring defense and adjusted defensive efficiency on the season. Like Stephens, Okolie led his team in minutes, and Brown coach Mike Martin detailed Okolie’s value as a defender in an interview on Inside Ivy Hoops earlier this season.

Honorable Mention: Steven Julian, Cornell (Sr., F – Louisville, Ky.) 

Julian led a much improved Big Red defense, leading the league in steal percentage and ranking fifth in block percentage in conference play. Julian notched either three steals or three blocks in 12 games, including nine Ivy contests. Cornell coach Brian Earl explained Julian’s impact on defense in an interview on Inside Ivy Hoops earlier this season.

Honorable Mention: Trey Phills, Yale (Sr., Charlotte, N.C.)

Phills has long been a defensive standout for Yale, and he was again a defensive stalwart this season, contributing greatly to a Yale squad that achieved the best defensive two-point and three-point percentages in Ivy play.

Honorable Mention: Justin Bassey, Harvard (Jr., G – Denver)

Harvard coach Tommy Amaker’s team MVP has again fortified a stingy Crimson defense with his on-the-ball guarding and rebounding at that end of the floor.

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER OF THE YEAR 

Richmond Aririguzoh, Princeton (Jr., C – Ewing, N.J.)

Aririguzoh’s quantum leap forward as a junior has been one of the league’s most fantastic stories this season. After playing 10-plus minutes in just 13 games in his first two years at Princeton, Aririguzoh broke out in 2018-19, scoring with great efficiency (second in the league in field-goal percentage), leading the conference in offensive rebounding and guarding the post impactfully well, as Princeton associate head coach Brett MacConnell noted in an interview with Ivy Hoops Online last weekend. Aririguzoh led the league in Ivy play in effective field-goal percentage, true shooting percentage and offensive rebounding percentage and was the KenPom game MVP in four of Princeton’s most important wins in qualifying for the Ivy League Tournament despite anemic outside shooting: two wins over Penn, an overtime victory at Cornell and the first of two one-point wins over Dartmouth.

COACH OF THE YEAR*

Brian Earl, Cornell 

Cornell got to 7-7 in Ivy play (and fifth in the league, per tiebreakers) despite lacking much offensive firepower beyond Matt Morgan after Stone Gettings transferred following last season. Still, the Big Red got by with an opportunistic, strengthened defense befitting of Earl’s reputation as a defensive specialist. Cornell’s 15-15 overall record marks the team’s highest number of wins and first non-losing regular season since the Big Red’s Sweet 16 run in 2010.

Mike Martin, Brown 

Martin led Brown to its highest win total (19, prior to its forthcoming but as of yet unspecified postseason appearance) in program history, just missing out on Bruno’s first ever appearance in the Ivy League men’s tournament. The Bears enjoyed huge improvement on the defensive end of the floor, boasting the league’s best adjusted defensive efficiency on the season a season after placing in the league’s bottom tier in that category. The Bears defeated Harvard for the first time in a decade, swept Princeton and notched significant nonconference victories over San Diego State and Stony Brook, as Martin got standout performances from players ranging from George Mawanda-Kalema to Brandon Anderson off the bench in Ivy play.

*There were two Coaches of the Year due to a tie in voting.

GAME OF THE YEAR

Harvard 98, Columbia 96 (3OT)

Since the Ivy League ranked first among all 32 Division I conferences in games decided by three or fewer points or in overtime for the second straight season, IHO has introduced a new “Game of the Year” category. The first game to get this honor on the men’s side was near unanimous: a triple-overtime win on Feb. 8 for the Crimson over the Lions at Lavietes Pavilion that featured an off-balance buzzer-beating three-pointer from Gabe Stefanini in Bryce Aiken’s to force overtime, a deep bank-shot three Stefanini in overtime, and a buzzer-beating scoop-shot three to force double overtime from Aiken, who scored a career-high 44 points.

FIRST-TEAM ALL-IVY

Matt Morgan, Cornell (Sr., G – Concord, N.C.)

Miye Oni, Yale (Jr., G – Porter Ranch, Calif.)

The Ivy League’s own Player of the Year just missed out on the same honor from IHO, finishing one point behind Morgan in our closest ever race for the award. Oni is the quintessential stat sheet-stuffer, ranking in the league’s top 10 in points, rebounds, assists, free-throw percentage, three-point percentage, made three-pointers, blocks and assist-to-turnover ratio. Oni can score from anywhere, is a deft ball distributor and forces turnovers at the other end of the floor, one of the league’s most electrifying talents again as a junior.

AJ Brodeur, Penn (Jr., F – Northborough, Mass.)

IHO’s Player of the Year last season and KenPom’s highest-rated player in the Ivy League this season, Brodeur boasts a motor that remains unsurpassed throughout the Ivy, anchoring both Penn’s offense and defense. Brodeur notched a whopping nine KenPom game MVP awards during the regular season, including four in the final three weekends of the Ivy slate to lift Penn to a third straight Ivy League Tournament appearance. Brodeur is a remarkably consistent scorer, rebounder and shot-blocker, but he passes as good as any guard in the league, posting the highest assist rate league-wide in conference play and finishing second in assists behind Gabe Stefanini, hurting teams who double-team and triple-team him.

Bryce Aiken, Harvard (Jr., G – Randolph, N.J.)

Aiken didn’t play until Jan. 21 due to injury, but he made up for lost time, scoring north of 20 points in seven of the last 10 games of the season and earning KenPom game MVP honors in six of them. Aiken’s clutch pulled Harvard through repeatedly down the stretch, from the aforementioned 44-point, buzzer-beating standout performance versus Columbia to 36 more points in Harvard’s overtime win at Columbia that clinched a share of the Ivy League title. Aiken hit two three-pointers in the final minute to force overtime at the Palestra in an eventual win over Penn and outscored Princeton 20-19 himself in the final eight minutes and change at Jadwin Gym for a successful Crimson rally. In conference play, Aiken led the league in scoring and three-point percentage, transforming a Harvard squad that didn’t seem destined for another Ivy title run before his return to game action.

Gabe Stefanini, Columbia (So., G – Bologna, Italy)

One of the league’s most exciting players, Stefanini stepped up in Mike Smith’s absence due to injury to become a reliable scorer and ball distributor as a sophomore. Stefanini ranked sixth league-wide in scoring, rebounding and free-throw percentage and first in assists.

SECOND-TEAM ALL-IVY 

Myles Stephens, Princeton (Sr., G – Lawrenceville, N.J.)

Stephens is of course more than just a defensive stalwart, an efficient scorer who got into double figures in all but three Ivy games, leading the Tigers in minutes because of his leadership at both ends of the floor.

Richmond Aririguzoh, Princeton (Jr., C – Ewing, N.J.)

Chris Knight, Dartmouth (So., F – Madison, Wis.)

Knight had the highest individual usage rate among all Ivy players in conference play, proof of what he meant to the Big Green this season. A generous passer and tenacious rim protector, Knight has established himself as one of the conference’s most versatile talents.

Alex Copeland, Yale (Sr., G – Los Angeles)

A league All-Ivy first-team selection, Copeland continued to be one of the league’s best mid-range shooters as a senior, ranking fifth in the league in scoring and assists and third in field-goal percentage, also ranking fifth in steals, again showing himself to be an opportunistic backcourt defender.

Desmond Cambridge, Brown (So., G – Nashville, Tenn.)

Cambridge struggled in Ivy play, missing 52 of his first 62 shots in league action. But Cambridge was instrumental in powering the Bears to their highest single-season win total ever, posting five consecutive KenPom game MVP performances in five straight nonconference wins in late December and early January, also breaking out of his shooting doldrums with a 30-point, four-block, three-steal outing in Brown’s first win over Harvard in a decade on Feb. 22. Cambridge is an energetic defender and shot-blocking presence, an indispensable force in a program that this season has suggested is on the rise.

ALL-IVY HONORABLE MENTIONS

Obi Okolie, Brown (Sr., G – Ajax, Ont.)

In addition to his defensive efforts, Okolie ranked 13th in the league in scoring and three-pointers made, scoring in double figures in all but one league game and picking up the scoring slack as Cambridge struggled in that department.

Jordan Bruner, Yale (Jr., F – Columbia, S.C.)

One of the league’s best at crashing the boards and dishing the ball, Bruner led the league in defensive rebounding.

Tamenang Choh, Brown (So., F – Lowell, Mass.)  

Choh led the league in overall rebounding and finished tied for fifth in assists and steals, a truly dynamic talent who can do a little and a lot of everything. Seeing what Choh can do as an upperclassman should be fun.

Patrick Tape, Columbia (Jr., F – Charlotte, N.C.)

Tape was a force inside for the Lions, getting substantially better over the course of his junior campaign. Tape finished third in the conference in field-goal percentage, first in block percentage and second in effective field-goal percentage and true shooting percentage.

Brendan Barry, Dartmouth (Jr., G – Fair Haven, N.J.)

Barry’s long been known around the league for his stellar three-point shooting, but he was much more of a scoring threat inside the arc as a junior, taking an even more assertive role while continuing to distribute the ball effectively for an improved offensive attack. Barry led the league in minutes played as well as assist-to-turnover ratio and three-point percentage.

Devon Goodman, Penn (Jr., G – Laverock, Pa.)

Goodman saved some of his best for last in the regular season, registering 14 steals in the final four games and a game-high 20 points in Penn’s Ivy League Tournament play-in win over Brown. Goodman led the conference in minutes played in league play, the ultimate team sparkplug who can score in bunches and force momentum-changing turnovers.

Leave a Comment