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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What's your Ivy team's New Year's resolution?

New YearIt’s New Year’s Eve, and that means New Year’s resolutions abound. If the Ivies could have one doable New Year’s resolution each, here’s what they would be, along with the likelihood of each team making good on that resolution (Ivy power rankings included).

8. Penn (3-7)Get the freshmen substantially more minutes

Sam Jones is averaging 6.1 points in just 15.1 minutes per game so far this season and has proven himself to be the kind of sharpshooting threat Penn has been missing for a long time, shooting an eye-popping 45.9 percent from beyond the arc. Yet Jones logged just 10 minutes at La Salle last night. He must be in coach Jerome Allen’s doghouse, but he has to play more regardless.

Meanwhile, now that Mike Auger’s back from a foot injury, he has to play more too. He’s just seventh on the team in minutes per game despite being second in rebounds and third in points per contest. Freshman guard Antonio Woods is actually logging more minutes than anybody due to junior guard Tony Hicks’ chronic foul trouble, but he’s just one of many frosh that will have to pick up the slack if Penn is to make a run at the top half of the conference.

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Cornell at Syracuse: Scouting report from The Juice Online

(The Juice Online)
(The Juice Online)
Last year’s season-opening Cornell-Syracuse matchup got very interesting, with the Big Red leading 36-22 in the first half and 38-32 at halftime before the Big Red faltered down the stretch to lose, 82-60. Cornell then lost 25 more games, while Syracuse started the season 25-0.
We’re lucky to have Wes Cheng, managing editor of The Juice Online, to help make sense of this year’s edition of the Big Red/Orange series:
IHO: Tell us about The Juice Online.
WC: The Juice (then called The Big Orange) was founded in 1992, one of approximately 50 independent publications devoted to the coverage of its school’s athletics programs. In 2002, it became a full-color, glossy magazine which was owned by Fox Sports. The print product ceased publication in June of 2010 and was relaunched as The Juice Online in December of 2010. In February 2012, The Juice Online partnered with SportsNet New York, the official television home of the New York Mets and New York Jets. As part of SNY.tv’s Blog Network, The Juice Online supplements SNY’s coverage of more than 125 college football and basketball games, as well as other college sports programming.
IHO: What are the major story lines with Syracuse?
WC: The last six seasons have been unprecedented successes for the program. Starting in the 2008-09 season, the Orange has averaged 29.5 wins a season, which is the best six-year stretch in program history. During that time, SU has reached the Final Four and the Elite Eight, something that has also never happened. I say all of this because Syracuse is the most vulnerable it’s been since 2008. The Orange lost its top scorer (CJ Fair), top bench player (Jerami Grant), one of its interior defenders (Baye Keita) and clutch guard (Tyler Ennis). In past years, the Orange has been able to reload on the fly, but that appears to have finally caught up to SU as they have four losses in its non-conference schedule, the most since the 2007-08 season, which is also the last time SU missed the NCAA Tournament.

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