Kyle Smith gives thanks for Isaac Cohen after Columbia beats Wofford

NEW YORK – Two minutes into Columbia’s final game before a brief Thanksgiving break, coach Kyle Smith’s face was redder than cranberry sauce. His team had turned it over on four straight possessions to start the game, the Lions couldn’t stop Wofford from stuffing the ball through the net and were generally playing like turkeys.

So Smith went to his bench and called upon junior forward Jeff Coby and sophomore guard Nate Hickman, the duo that helped turn the game from an 11-3 deficit into a 70-59 win for the Lions at Levien. Hickman hit a three-pointer on his first touch to get the crowd back into the game, and then it was time for the Isaac Cohen/Jeff Coby show. On three straight possessions, the Cohen to Coby combination resulted in layups for the big man and the Lions were back in it. Cohen said he just wanted to be aggressive early in the game, and noticed that Wofford was playing off him which presumably helped open up passing lanes for the senior swingman.

Read moreKyle Smith gives thanks for Isaac Cohen after Columbia beats Wofford

Three takeaways from Columbia’s 88-61 win over Lehigh

Facing a Lehigh team that was the preseason Patriot League favorite, Columbia (2-2) turned in what was by far its best performance of the season in an 88-61 win. The Lions imposed their will at their own end of the floor, so much so that C.J. Davis’ three-pointer just to the right of the key felt like a dagger, even though it only gave them a 22-12 lead.

Here’s what we learned from Columbia’s win:

Read moreThree takeaways from Columbia’s 88-61 win over Lehigh

How Northwestern squeaked by Columbia, 83-80, in OT

Columbia raced out to a 17-5 lead at Northwestern and led 74-68 as late as the 2:18 mark. So how did the Lions lose?

Maodo Lo’s foul trouble

Lo picked up his second foul with 8:10 left in the first half and his fourth foul with 11:31 left in the game. He never fouled out, he spent much of the second half limited defensively by his inability to stay aggressive, a huge loss since he had three steals in the game’s first 12:36 and the Wildcats had trouble with his on-the-ball pressure. Lo playing just 26 minutes – four fewer than any other starter and at least 12 fewer than starters besides Isaac Cohen – meant Columbia’s defense was that much more exposed for longer stretches than usual.

Read moreHow Northwestern squeaked by Columbia, 83-80, in OT

Instant analysis: Kansas State outlasts Columbia, 81-71

Playing in its first game against a Division I opponent, Columbia (1-1) hung around for a while against Kansas State (2-0), but faded down the stretch and fell, 81-71.

On one hand, the Lions did a good job handling the environment inherent to playing a Power Five conference team on the road. Their half-court offense generated a solid number of in-close looks. On the other end of the floor, Kyle Smith switched things up a bit midway through the game, installing a 1-3-1 zone that the Wildcats really struggled to overcome.

Read moreInstant analysis: Kansas State outlasts Columbia, 81-71

A Far Too Comprehensive and Ridiculous Columbia Season Preview, Part 3

Best Case Scenario

By Miles Johnson

In November in the year of our Lord 2016, students, alums and fresh-faced future Lions will pack into Levien Gymnasium. As fans of all ages watch Kendall Jackson rack up triple-doubles, or Jeff Coby slam home put-back dunks, or even a transformed Chris McComber knock down 30-foot threes—as a wistful Cory Osetkowski watches from afar—one can notice Kyle Smith pace nervously on the sidelines. Then, a strange calm takes hold, and he tilts his head up toward the rafters and smiles.

“2015-16 NCAA National Champions – Columbia Lions.”

Read moreA Far Too Comprehensive and Ridiculous Columbia Season Preview, Part 3

A Far Too Comprehensive and Ridiculous Columbia Season Preview, Part 2

Rookie Watch

By Peter Andrews

On paper, there isn’t much room for Columbia’s seven-man freshman class to make a difference. With a veteran rotation that goes 11-deep, it may be a “wait-and-see” year for the class of 2019. One name, though, stands out from the rest. And that name is Dirk Junior.Okay, that’s not his actual name. However, it is the official Ivy Hoops Online ™ (must credit @pfandrews and @simmonsclass) nickname for Lukas Meisner, Columbia’s newest German import.

Read moreA Far Too Comprehensive and Ridiculous Columbia Season Preview, Part 2

A Far Too Comprehensive and Ridiculous Columbia Season Preview, Part 1

Player to Watch

By Peter Andrews

Here are some sentences that I have written about Maodo Lo in the past year. (No two are from the same article.)

“On Friday night, Maodo Lo showed his class. It’s Maodo Lo’s world, and we’re just living in it … This game should serve as Maodo Lo’s coming-out party for a national audience … Every time the ball left his fingertips, the swoosh seemed a mere inevitability … He remains as cool as a cucumber … No Ivy guard can match Lo’s blazing quickness, and when combined with his dribbling skills he is a nightmare to defend … Don’t worry, Columbia fans: The greatest basketball player of all time isn’t graduating just yet.”

Read moreA Far Too Comprehensive and Ridiculous Columbia Season Preview, Part 1

Columbia Season Preview – Is This Finally “The Year”?

Last year was supposed to be “the year” for Columbia, which hasn’t won an Ivy title since 1968.

Then star forward Alex Rosenberg broke his foot two weeks before the start of the season and withdrew from school — thanks to the Ivy League’s arcane player eligibility rules. A new star emerged in guard Maodo Lo, but the Lions collapsed at the end of the season, losing their final four games and any shot at competing in the postseason.

Read moreColumbia Season Preview – Is This Finally “The Year”?