Our Ivy weekend roundup features a raucous rematch, some Red and Crimson splitting, a No. 4 stepping to the fore and late-game strategy deja vu.
IHO breaks down the two games comprising Saturday evening’s Ivy conference play-opening slate:
Penn at Princeton, 7 p.m.
Last season: Princeton beat Penn twice by a combined three points, and the Ps’ last meeting at Jadwin Gym on March 12 put a scare into the Tigers, who were outscored 40-23 over the final 14:52 in a 72-71 victory over the Red and Blue. Princeton committed 16 turnovers, its highest amount in Ivy play last season, and then-freshman Penn guard Tyler Hamilton came out of nowhere to provide 11 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals in 37 minutes, easily the best performance of his Penn career.
As 2016 came to a close, Dartmouth faced off against its in-state rival, New Hampshire, for the 67th time. After a frenetic last minute of action, the Big Green came away with a 63-62 victory and their first home win in the series since 2004. More importantly, Dartmouth has now won three in a row, after losing its first nine contests of the season.
After Wednesday night’s 73-58 loss to Vermont, Dartmouth finds itself at 0-7, one of four winless Division I programs. While there were expected growing pains with the hiring of new coach David McLaughlin, few would have thought things would be as rough as it has been the first five weeks of the season.
The Green are in the bottom nationally for points scored (63.9), scoring margin (-13.2), assists (10.4), turnovers (15.9), steals (4.6), total rebounds (32.1), offensive rebounds (6.4), first half points (28.7), field goal attempts (52.7), field goals made (22.0), blocks (1.3) and blocks allowed (5.6).
What happened last year: (10-18, 4-10 Ivy): Dartmouth was expected to take a step back after notching its first postseason appearance since 1959 in 2015, particularly after Gabas Maldunas’ graduation and Alex Mitola’s transfer. And the Big Green did, via a five-game skid in late January and early February, followed back-to-back overtime losses at Brown and Yale. After the season, Dartmouth Athletic Director Harry Sheehy dismissed coach Paul Cormier, who was six years into his second stint in Hanover. Cormier had gone 54-116 (.318) overall and 23-61 (.274) in his second stint in Hanover. The Big Green had gradually improved during his tenure, but Sheehy told the Dartmouth in an outstanding piece by Alexander Agadjanian that he wanted to see greater player development and recruiting, prompting him to choose a different direction for the program.
Following our countdown of the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s men’s basketball history this summer, Ivy Hoops Online is delighted to continue celebrating the 60th anniversary of modern Ivy League basketball by honoring the top 60 players in Ivy hoops history (in no particular order). For the next entry in our Ivy 60 for 60 series, we cover one of the greatest players in Princeton basketball history:
The contributions of Gary Walters to the Ivy League and to his beloved Tigers cannot be overstated. His ties to Princeton basketball began before the arrival of Pete Carril, and his professional role at the university continued for nearly two decades after Carril’s retirement.
Recruited as a point guard by Butch van Breda Kolff, Walters enjoyed great success at Reading (PA) High School playing for … you can’t make this stuff up … Pete Carril. A key player on Bill Bradley’s Final Four team in 1965, Walters led the 1966-67 Tigers to 25 wins and a top-five national ranking. No Tiger would win as many games for the next 30 years. A talented ball handler and passer, Walters is remembered as a tenacious defender, perhaps the best in the league over his career.
Dartmouth Athletics announced Monday that David McLaughlin is Dartmouth men’s basketball’s next head coach.
McLaughlin comes to Dartmouth via Northeastern, where McLaughlin was associate head coach and recruiting coordinator for the past three seasons. Northeastern made the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 24 years in 2014-15 with McLaughlin as associate head coach. The Huskies went 18-15 last season. According to Dartmouth Athletics, McLaughlin secured eight players for the classes of 2019 and 2020 from six different states, including Massachusetts, Florida and California.
In what many Ivy overlookers consider a surprising move, Dartmouth fired Paul Cormier Monday six seasons into his second stint as Dartmouth’s head coach. Cormier went 54-116 (.318) overall and 23-61 (.274) in his second stint in Hanover after going 87-95 (.478) and 47-51 (.480) in his first stint from 1984 to 1991.
Last season, Cormier led Dartmouth to its first postseason appearance since 1959, as the team went 14-14 in the regular season to earn a fourth-place Ivy finish and CIT berth. The Big Green lost to Canisius in the first round of the CIT.
It was penciled in in September as a huge game. One which would go a long way toward deciding the Ivy League Championship, again: Yale at Harvard. Then something went wrong and something else went very right.
Columbia 79, Cornell 68
Cornell’s gameplan was sound: Don’t sag in too much responding to Columbia interior attacks and try to disrupt the Lions with physicality on the perimeter. Cornell’s gameplan didn’t matter.
Columbia shot 13-for-24 (54.2 percent) from beyond the arc to pull away in the second half. A trio of Lions – Luke Petrasek, Maodo Lo and C.J. Davis – hit at least three treys, enough to make up for several bunnies missed inside and playing at a faster pace than coach Kyle Smith probably wanted. Cornell missed Robert Hatter for the second game in this series but benefited from freshman guard Matt Morgan’s 26 points on 9-for-23 shooting. For more on the game, read our Ian Wenik’s instant analysis.