IHO Power Rankings – Feb. 10

1. Harvard (5-1)

Harvard’s still the class of the conference. The Crimson held Yale to 11 points in the entire first half at Payne Whitney Gym to tie Yale atop the Ivy standings at 5-1 in league play. Wesley Saunders’ career-high 33 points did Brown in in overtime the night before. Reports of the Crimson’s demise were clearly premature. Harvard hosts Columbia and Cornell at home, two more solid defensive squads that will not be easy outs at Lavietes. The thing about Harvard is that the Crimson win the close ones – they’re 8-1 in overtime games since 2010. I have a feeling that that stat will be coming into play at least one more time down the stretch.

2. Yale (5-1)

The Bulldogs responded to the biggest game for their program in quite some time by going 3-for-22 in the first half. Harvard’s defense is awesome, but the Elis were visibly a little tense in the early going too. Still, Yale is 5-1 and tied for the conference lead with its greatest rival and another shot at that rival at Lavietes, the same place Yale trumped Harvard last season. All is not lost for the Elis, but it was disconcerting to see them abandon Justin Sears in the second half.

More importantly, the Whiffenpoofs are full steam ahead.

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On the Vine – Feb. 4

Check out our archive of last night’s On the Vine podcast, in which Steven Tydings of the Daily Pennsylvanian, David Freed of the Harvard Crimson and IHO’s own George Clark (Toothless Tiger) join Peter Andrews and Mike Tony to cover the latest Ivy action. Segments include reflections on last weekend’s intense conference slate, insights into how Harvard could cool Yale’s Justin Sears down, and predictions on who will prevail in Harvard-Yale and the rest of this weekend’s matchups:

On the Vine – Jan. 29

Check out our archive of last night’s On the Vine podcast, in which Michael James (@ivybball), John Phillips and Sam Tydings join Peter Andrews and Mike Tony to cover the latest Ivy action. Segments include how to turn Harvard around, how much momentum Penn really has after beating St. Joe’s, what losing Leland King means to Brown’s program and predictions for the first full Ivy weekend slate of the season:

Leland King leaves Brown basketball … now what?

Leland King led or was tied for the team lead in points and rebounds as just a sophomore this season. (nbcsports.com)
Leland King led or was tied for the team lead in points and rebounds as just a sophomore this season. (nbcsports.com)

Brown Athletics announced today that the team’s leading scorer, sophomore forward Leland King, has decided to leave the program for personal reasons.

The news is very unexpected with Brown just two games into Ivy League play (both losses, making Brown the only Ivy with two losses thus far).

And now that King is gone, so are his 14.6 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, a huge blow for a team that has already struggled on both offense (worst assist-turnover ratio in the conference) and defense (worst scoring defense in the conference) this season.

King had missed Brown’s last two road games, including the Bears’ 69-65 loss at Yale Saturday, a game in which senior forward Rafael Maia and sophomore guards Steven Spieth and Tavon Blackmon combined for 50 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists in King’s absence.

Senior guard Zeve Sanderson left the team earlier this team as well, and highly touted freshmen Aram Martin and Matty Madigan also left the program after their freshman campaigns in 2013-14.

Ivy Hoops Online Writers/Readers’ Power Poll

After polling Ivy Hoops Online’s writers and longtime readers before the Ivy season tipped off Saturday, here’s IHO’s official power ranking:

  1. Harvard
  2. Yale
  3. Columbia
  4. Princeton
  5. Brown
  6. Cornell
  7. Dartmouth
  8. Penn

Harvard and Yale were the near unanimous picks to finish Nos. 1 and 2 respectively, although Yale did garner three No. 1 votes. Columbia obviously prevailed at No. 3 but got significant competition for that spot from Princeton. Brown never finished higher than fourth in any ranking and even fell to seventh in two rankings. A third of our poll participants selected Cornell to finish in the top half of the league while 40 percent of our participants picked the Big Red to finish in the bottom two spots, making Cornell the team with the most range in our rankings. In what is perhaps the most damning stat of all, the only four people who picked Penn to finish higher than last are Penn alums/students.

So … two-team race. Got it.

Penn collapses at Princeton, because of course it did

Jerome Allen is 0-6 all-time against Princeton at Jadwin Gym. (Matthew Holst/Getty Images)
Jerome Allen is 0-6 all-time against Princeton at Jadwin Gym. (Matthew Holst/Getty Images)

So, so, so much hasn’t changed.

When Penn amassed a 56-41 lead at arch-rival Princeton with 14:14 remaining, it seemed too good to be true.

That’s because it was.

The Quakers promptly let that lead slip away en route to a 78-74 loss, allowing Princeton to change the pace of the game into a more uptempo affair as the turnovers (17) and fouls (25) piled up for Jerome Allen’s team. Tony Hicks once again wilted down the stretch, barely catching rim on a long-range jumper as the shot clock wound down, missing a wide-open corner three and double-dribbling down with the Quakers down three in the best online casino game’s final minute.

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Ranking all eight official Ivy team websites

When is a website not just a website?

When it’s a NCAA college athletics department’s official website.

Think about it. If you’re a high school recruit checking out a college school athletics scene for the first time, that website better be easy to navigate. What is this team’s history? How do I fill out their recruiting questionnaire? Do they have summer basketball camps? Does their athletics staff know how to craft an aesthetically pleasing website? (If it’s Cornell, the answer to the latter question is no.)

And you know what? The same questions apply to Ivy hoops bloggers! Certainly, when I was a sportswriter at The Daily Pennsylvanian, I checked out the official Ivy team websites every day and got used to their quirks and designs. In fact, when Penn Athletics updated its site in 2013, it made me appreciate the work that goes into streamlining these webpages, updating the information that needs to be routinely updated for recruits, alumni, journalists and students alike.

The thing is, some Ivies have better websites than others. The Ancient Eight official men’s basketball webpages, ranked:

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