Ivy hoops roundup – Commitments amid uncertainty

Despite the uncertainty that has come with COVID-19, Ivy hoops figures are still making plenty of moves.

Dunphy steps up again 

In case you missed it, Temple named former Penn coach Fran Dunphy acting athletic director effective July 1 last week, 15 months after his 30-year head coaching career ended at Temple, which opted to hand over the coaching reins to assistant Aaron McKie and have Dunphy step aside after the 2018-19 season. Dunphy will succeed Patrick Kraft, who will be departing Temple to become Boston College’s athletic director on July 1. (Penn athletic director M. Grace Calhoun was also reportedly under consideration for the BC job, per the Boston Herald.) Dunphy is not expected to be a candidate for the athletic director’s job, but that could change, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, which reported that Temple hoped to have an athletic director named within 90 days.

Dunphy, 71, led Penn to 10 Ivy League championships in his 17 seasons at the helm from 1989 to 2006. The Inquirer noted that he has taught a course called Management, Theory and Practice: From the Locker Room to the Board Room with associate professor Lynne Anderson for more than a decade.

Suddenly Dunphy will have to take on the challenge of leading Temple Athletics while staring down the prospect of no athletics for a long while.

“Somebody showed some confidence in me and I said, ‘OK, I’ll do it,’” Dunphy said per the Delaware County Daily Times. “There’s probably going to be some days when I smack myself in the forehead and say, ‘Look, what are you doing?’ I was getting used to my life the way it was. But I don’t want to get used to anything. I want as many challenges as possible. And I want people to ask me to do things because I think it is great to help others.”

Harvard men’s Class of 2024 announced

The Crimson announced their four-player Class of 2024, including forwards from Nigeria and Canada and guards from Arizona and Illinois. The class consists of:

  • Justice Ajogbor, a 6-foot-10 forward from Benin City, Nigeria who helped Christ School in Arden, N.C. to three conference championships
  • Josh Hemmings, a 6-foot-9 forward from Toronto who played for Team Canada in 2018 and was among the top 25 power forwards in ESPN’s rankings in 2019-20 as he finished his prep career at The Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville Township, N.J.
  • Evan Nelson, a 6-foot-2 guard from Tucson, Ariz. who was a three-time first-team 4A all-Kino Region and first-team all-state selection
  • Samuel Silverstein, a 6-foot-6 guard from Glencoe, Ill. who graduated from New Trier High in Winnetka, Illinois before spending 2019-20 at Northfield Mount Hermon School in Gill, Mass., an Ivy pipeline 

Brown men’s Class of 2024 announced 

The Bears announced their five incoming rookies and one junior college transfer:

  • Tyler Brown, a 6-foot guard from Wichita, Kan. who was an All-Jayhawk Conference selection and is a junior college transfer from Hutchinson Community College
  • Felix Kloman, a 6-foot-5 guard from Ipswich, Mass. who was EIL League MVP
  • Kimo Ferrari, a 6-foot guard from San Diego who was a two-time first-team San Diego All-County selection
  • Prince Moses, a 6-foot-7 forward from Slidell, La. who attended Northfield Mount Hermon, where he broke the program record for rebounds in a season with 317
  • Malachi Ndur, a 6-foot-8 forward from St. Thomas, Ontario who played for the Canadian Youth National Team and whose father Rumun Ndur played in in the NHL from 1996 to 2009 with the New York Rangers, Buffalo Sabres and Atlanta Thrashers
  • Zachary Taylor, a 6-foot-2 guard from Austin, Texas who averaged 12.4 points per game at – you guessed it – Northfield Mount Hermon

The Choh show continues 

In other Bruno news, Tamenang Choh will return to Brown for his senior season, having withdrawn his name for the NBA Draft last week. Choh purposely delayed his decision to come back hoping to score a late workout with NBA teams slowly emerging from quarantine, according to the Providence Journal. A routine stat sheet-stuffer, Choh averaged 13.2 points, 8.1 rebounds (third in the conference) and 3.3 assists per game (fifth) as a junior.

Sears leaves Columbia  

Columbia men’s assistant coach Marlon Sears was recently named the new head coach at Amherst (Division III) after one season as an assistant under Jim Engles in Morningside Heights. Sears was previously an assistant at Columbia under Joe Jones in the 2009-10 season and was Cornell’s top assistant and recruiting coordinator from 2010 to 2015.

More Barclays play 

The Princeton men will play Army at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in a neutral-site game on Dec. 13 as part of a series also including Penn State vs. Florida, Purdue vs. West Virginia, and Stanford vs. Georgia Tech. Barclays Center was the site of a thrilling comeback win for the Tigers over Iona in December as Princeton came back from a 16-point second-half deficit to win in overtime, 90-86.

Another OT redux 

The Yale men is slated to host Stony Brook this upcoming season as part of a multi-year series, Jon Rothstein reported on Twitter. Yale opened its 2019-20 season with a 74-69 overtime win at Stony Brook.

Rhode Island awaits

The Brown men’s best win last season was an 85-75 home win over Rhode Island, per KenPom. The Bears will get their annual shot at the Rams again in the 2020-21 season on Dec. 22, per Rhode Island’s official release of its upcoming schedule. Bill Koch of the Providence Journal reported on Twitter that a Rhode Island road game at Harvard has been moved to 2021-22, which would complete a home-and-home series that started in 2018-19. Rhode Island beat visiting Harvard, 76-74, in Nov. 2018.

High hopes for Harvard commit 

Niles Notre Dame (Ill.) standout Louis Lesmond, which 247Sports has ranked the 87th best player in his high school Class of 2021, committed to Harvard last weekend. The native Frenchman chose Harvard over Dayton, DePaul, Illinois, Loyola Chicago, Marquette, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Santa Clara, Wisconsin, Xavier and Indiana, according to Journal & Topics.

“When Harvard wasn’t initially recruiting me, I did only think about conferences like the Big East, Big Ten and Big 12,” Lesmond told the Chicago Sun-Times. “But when Harvard shows interest, you can’t ignore it. The Harvard name carries a lot of weight. I also looked at the big picture after basketball, the best opportunities for me after basketball. I get the best of both worlds at Harvard.”

Peters picks Princeton

In another greater Chicago boon for the Ivy League, Evanston Township High School standout Blake Peters recently chose Princeton over Dartmouth, Lehigh, Loyola-Maryland, UIC and Wisconsin-Milwaukee, per The Evanstonian. “It was 50/50, I would say; 50% academics, 50% basketball,” Peters told the Evanstonian. “I know I want to go to a place that’s going to prepare me to hopefully grow me into a position where I can change the world in whatever I do. I have a lot of big goals, I’m ambitious, and the people I’ll meet at Princeton and the opportunities I’ll have, it really attracted me to the program.”

Tommy Amaker: 360 Mentor

Harvard Athletics announced Wednesday that Harvard men’s coach Tommy Amaker will speak at 360 Mentoring, a free, virtual coaching town hall to be held Wed., July 1, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on CoachTube.com. The event is being put on by George Washington men’s basketball head coach Jamion Christian and his coaching staff, and George Washington announced it will feature a variety of hour-long panels, giving participants the opportunity to hear from leaders in higher education, including prominent Black coaches, sport administrators, and representatives from search firms, plus other industry experts. The list of confirmed speakers also includes former Columbia and current Boston University men’s coach Joe Jones, brother of Yale men’s coach James Jones.

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