Our latest Ivy hoops roundup features the 2019-20 Academic All-Ivies and a whole lot of Ivy graduate transfers on the move:
Academic All-Ivies announced
The Ivy League released its winter edition of the 2019-20 Academic All-Ivy list Thursday. The basketball honorees were:
Justine Gaziano (Sr., Sociology – Natick, Mass.)
Zach Hunsaker (Sr., Economics and Portuguese and Brazilian Studies – North Salt Lake, Utah)
Sienna Durr (So. – Enrolled at Columbia College – Grinnell, Iowa)
Laura Bagwell-Katalinich (Sr., Communications – Minneapolis)
James Foye (Sr., Economics – Hamilton, Mass.)
Paula Lenart (Sr., Engineering – Covasna, Romania)
Jeannie Boehm (Sr., Economics – Winnetka, Ill.)
Kendall Grasela (Sr., Nursing – Huntingdon Valley, Pa.)
Bella Alarie (Sr., History – Bethesda, Md.)
Richmond Aririguzoh (Sr., Ecology & Evolutionary Biology – Ewing, N.J.)
Carlie Littlefield (Jr., Economics – Waukee, Iowa)
Ellen Margaret Andrews (Jr., History – Dallas)
Jordan Bruner (Sr., African American Studies – Columbia, S.C.)
Megan Gorman (Sr., Economics – Vero Beach, Fla.)
Bruner rolls to Alabama
Yale senior forward Jordan Bruner is joining the Crimson Tide.
Bruner announced on his Instagram page Friday that he has committed to Alabama, which he chose over Baylor and Maryland.
“I have no doubt we would have shocked a lot of people in the tournament,” Bruner added in his announcement video.
Bruner averaged 10.9 points, 9.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists (fourth in the Ivy League) and 1.7 blocks (third in the league) per game as a senior. The Columbia, S.C. native missed his sophomore season due to injury but stayed enrolled at Yale, requiring him to enroll elsewhere for his final year of immediate eligibility. Bruner had previously announced plans to enter the NBA Draft but told the Yale Daily News that he is done exploring his NBA options this spring.
“Right now there is no pre-draft process,” he said, per the Yale Daily News. “There’s no workouts. There’s no such thing as testing the waters if you already know what your spot is. Those guys that are testing the waters, they’re just trying to figure out where they would go or if they would get picked up or not, but I already have a good feel for what my case would be.”
The 6-foot-9, 205-pound forward will play for Nate Oats in his second year leading Alabama, which started Oats’s first season off with a loss to Penn.
From Lion to Wolverine
Columbia senior guard Mike Smith announced his graduate transfer commitment to Michigan Friday, joining former Columbia teammate and transfer Jaron Faulds as a Wolverine.
Smith credited hearing good things from Faulds about the school and campus for his decision as well as the basketball fit in Ann Arbor.
“He lets his guards play,” Smith said of Michigan coach Juwan Howard to the Detroit Free Press. “He has an NBA style where it’s a lot of pick and rolls, and I think I’m a really good pick-and-roll player, if you watch film. I can see what’s going on before it really happens, and I think that’s really important — especially at my height.”
Smith is finishing up online classes at Columbia and doesn’t know when he’ll get to Ann Arbor, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Smith also considered Gonzaga, Arizona and Seton Hall before picking Michigan, per ESPN.
The 5-foot-11, 180-pound guard from Burr Ridge, Ill. missed most of his junior season with a torn meniscus but bounced back to lead the Ivy League in scoring as a senior at 22.8 points per game. Smith led the league in conference play in percentage of shots taken and usage rate, showing how much the team leaned on him. Smith also placed second in the league in assists and fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio.
Aiken goes home
While Smith chose Michigan over Seton Hall, Harvard senior guard Bryce Aiken did the opposite.
Aiken announced on Twitter Thursday that he would play as a graduate transfer next season at Seton Hall, which is less than 30 miles from Aiken’s hometown of Randolph, N.J.
“Creating an experience that I could share with my loved ones was something I always dreamt of,” Aiken reportedly told the Harvard Crimson prior to publicizing his decision. “There’s a sense of pride that’s been manifesting inside of me because of this decision and I am so proud of that feeling.”
Aiken played just seven games this past season due to a foot injury and will be expected to help fill the void left by 2020 NCAA All-America first-teamer guard Myles Powell.
Aiken reportedly chose Seton Hall over Michigan, Iowa State and Maryland.
The 6-foot, 175-pound guard averaged 16.8 points, 2.7 assists and 2.4 rebounds per game in 65 career contests for the Crimson, establishing himself as one of the league’s most dynamic scorers when healthy. Aiken missed 31 games his sophomore and junior seasons due to injury.
Harding off to Columbia
Bryant sophomore forward Patrick Harding is transferring to Columbia, per multiple sources. Harding averaged 4.7 points per game while contributing 8.8 rebounds per contest, third-highest in the Northeastern Conference. A native of Fairfield, Conn., Harding finished the year fourth in the nation in KenPom defensive rebounding percentage (30.4%) and 11th in offensive rebounding percentage, welcome postings for Columbia since the Lions had the fourth-worst offensive rebounding percentage in Division I and was the worst defensive rebounding Ivy last season.
Former Tigers at Air Force
Speaking of Fairfield, former Princeton player and head coach Sydney Johnson was named an assistant under fellow former Princeton head coach Joe Scott at Air Force Thursday, ending Johnson’s one-season hiatus from coaching after Fairfield let him go after seasons at the helm there in 2019.
Scott was an assistant at Princeton when Johnson played there from 1993 to 1997, and Johnson succeeded Scott as Princeton head coach in 2007. Johnson left his alma mater for Fairfield in 2011 after leading the Tigers to the NCAA Tournament. During Scott’s three-year tenure as head coach at Princeton from 2004 to 2007, Johnson was an assistant at Georgetown under Scott’s predecessor as Princeton head coach, John Thompson III.
Johnson was scouting and development coach for the 2020 Team USA AmeriCup Team last season and was a commentator for ESPN in 2019-20.
Scott was previously head coach at Air Force from 2000 to 2004, compiling a 57-83 record in that span that concluded in 2003-04 with the Falcons’ only Mountain West regular season title, first NCAA tournament appearance in 42 years and a then-school-record 22 wins.
Big Green get greener
Dartmouth women’s basketball recently announced its Class of 2024: Mia Curtis, guard from Minneapolis; Camryn Foltz, guard from Sea Bright, N.J., Rosie Jennings, forward from Newcastle, Australia; and Carrington Washburn, guard/forward from Brentwood, Tenn.