Fans of Columbia basketball may have been concerned by the omission of Patrick Tape, a 2019 honorable mention All-Ivy power forward, from Tuesday’s Road to Ivy Madness season preview. By Thursday afternoon, they would have their suspicions increased when Stadium’s Jeff Goodman tweeted that a source informed him that Tape would leave the program, graduate this spring and seek a graduate transfer next year.
Despite being in the team photograph, Tape’s name had been removed from the 2019-20 roster.
When contacted by IHO, Coach Engles provided the following statement:
Last week, Patrick Tapé informed me that he intended to sit out this season in order to pursue graduate transfer opportunities in 2020-21. It’s obviously a tough blow to our team, but we have a resilient group and are looking forward to starting the season next week. I’d like to thank Patrick for all of his contributions to the program and wish him the best of luck in the future.
Tape joins a growing list of All-Ivy stars, including Harvard’s Katie Benzan, Cornell’s Stone Gettings, Dartmouth’s Evan Boudreaux and Penn’s Tony Hicks, who left their programs early to take their talents to hire major programs.
Last year was a breakout season for the Charlotte, N.C. native. Following a sophomore season in which he averaged 4.4 points (53.9 shooting percentage), 5.1 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 0.6 steals over 25 contests, Tape upped his numbers to 11.3 points (66.7 shooting percentage), 5.9 rebounds, `1.3 blocks and one steal in 2018-19.
The highlights of Tape’s season were a combined 32 points and 13 rebounds at Brown and Yale, which earned him his first Ivy Player of the Week award, as well as a 22-point, 12-rebound performance in a triple overtime performance at Harvard.
In the summer, Tape was selected as a member of the USA East Coast team that competed in Greece and scrimmaged against the USA Pan American squad. During the group’s 3-0 play in Greece, the big man averaged 18.7 minutes, seven points and three rebounds.
As the calendar turned to October, Coach Engles and the Lions faithful had high expectations for a team featuring Tape and 2019 second team All-Ivy shooting guard Gabe Stefanini. as well as 2018 second team All-Ivy point guard Mike Smith, who returns from a torn meniscus suffered last December. Just three days into the month, things started changing for the worse as Stefanini injured his left foot and had surgery one day later.
While there is no definite date for Stefanini’s return, there’s an outside chance that he will be back in time for the start of the conference schedule.
With Tape’s departure days before the start of the 2019-20 campaign, Columbia has endured its second October trick and is going to have to create some magic to earn its first-ever treat at Ivy Madness.