Talking Ivy Madness with Ivy League Senior Assistant Director Trevor Rutledge-Leverenz

After holding the first two Ivy Tournaments at the University of Pennsylvania’s Palestra, it was widely assumed that the 2019 edition would move away from the league’s most famous arena. While the reviews for both events were positive from players, coaches, administrators and fans, there were some league stakeholders who had concerns. The main issues generally focused on the home court advantage for Penn, attendance problems associated with holding the tournament in the conference’s southern-most location, and the timing of the women’s semifinal match-ups.

On May 24th, a day before the start of Memorial Day Weekend, the Ivy League office announced that the third edition of Ivy Madness would be held on the campus of Yale University at the John J. Lee Amphitheater (JLA) at Payne Whitney Gymnasium. The tournament will occur on March 16th and 17th, in the middle of Yale’s two week spring recess, with the games taking place at the same times as the 2018 tournament. On Saturday, the men’s semifinals will tip-off at 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., while the women’s games will start at 6 p.m. and approximately 30 minutes following the conclusion of the previous contest. The men’s final will be held at noon on Sunday, and the women’s championships will be at 4 p.m.  All tournament games will be televised by ESPN on its family of networks.

Read more…

Brown women’s basketball to greatly expand its roster for 2018-2019

With a fourth place finish, an appearance in the inaugural Ivy Tournament, and a postseason win in the first round of the 2017 Women’s Basketball Invitational, things looked bright for the Brown women’s team heading into 2017-2018. The Bears, which did not lose a single member of the previous year’s squad, were picked fourth in the league’s preseason poll and there was talk among Ivy fans that this group could be the first since 2011-2012 to break the Harvard-Penn-Princeton stranglehold on the conference’s top three spots.

A 9-1 start, including Tournament titles at the University of Pacific and the Ocean State Tip-Off, added to the program’s confidence as it returned from finals to visit Boston University on December 22nd. Up 28 points with 3:22 remaining in the third quarter, starting three-guard Taylor Will came off the court with a knee injury and did not return to action for the rest of the year. While Brown defeated the Terriers, Howard University and Johnson & Wales to complete its non-conference scheduled with a program-best 12-1 record, the Bears aura of invincibility had been shattered.

Read more…

Remembering former student sports reporter John McNamara

Since Ivy Hoops Online is a site devoted to Ivy League basketball, it would not seem to be a place to write about Thursday’s tragic shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis. However, the location of the assault and the death of one of its employees, John McNamara, reaches close to home for many of the people that have written at IHO over the years.

Read more…

Four to join Columbia men’s basketball in 2018-2019

Heading into the last weekend of conference play in each of the last two seasons, the Columbia men’s basketball team held the advantage for the final spot in the Ivy Tournament. Sweeps on the road by Brown and Yale in 2017, as well as losses to Dartmouth and Harvard this past March, kept the Lions away from the league’s postseason both years. Coach Jim Engles, heading into his third year as head coach in Morningside Heights, will look to change his team’s fortunes in 2018-2019 as Columbia seeks its first visit to Ivy Madness.

The Lions finished last season 8-19 with a 5-9 fifth place record in the Ivy League.  In conference play, they were 5-2 at Levien Gymnasium, but winless away from home.   The bright spots for Columbia were a 16 made three pointer performance against Cornell, a 83-76 win over eventual co-champion Harvard and a 25 point win over Princeton.  The Lions averaged 76.4 points and 10 made threes a game overall, as well as 77.8 points and 9.4 made threes in the Ancient Eight.  Their opponents, however, scored 77.2 points and 10 made threes overall, while conference foes put up 78.1 points and 10.9 made threes a game.  Looking towards 2018-2019, Columbia will need to keep its offense intact, while improving its three point defense (38.4 percent in Division 1 games and 39.8 percent in Ivy League) if it wants to move into the league’s upper division.

Read more…

Cornell’s Stone Gettings to sit out 2018-19 and become graduate transfer

On Monday evening, Jeff Goodman of ESPN tweeted that Cornell junior forward Stone Gettings would graduate in December and become a graduate transfer.  Gettings, a second-team All-Ivy member in 2017-2018, will sit out the 2018-2019 season in order to save his final year of eligibility.  The Malibu, California native told the Cornell Daily Sun, “I decided to graduate early in December, save myself a ton of money, and have another year to play somewhere else”.

Gettings arrived in Ithaca in the fall of 2015, as a member of Bill Courtney’s last recruiting class.  In his first game for the Big Red, he scored 14 points and hit 4 of 6 three pointers against Georgia Tech.  For the season, he played in 28 games, averaging 2.1 points, 1.8 rebounds and 9.5 minutes a contest.  Following Courtney’s dismissal, arguably, no Cornell player benefited more from the hiring of Princeton’s Brian Earl than Gettings. As the team’s featured front court player, his sophomore numbers increased to 12.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 25.6 minutes per game in his 29 starts.

Read more…

Princeton men’s basketball goes back to work

The Tigers’ annual January reading period and their forced three-week hiatus come to an end this weekend with visits from the Yale Bulldogs and the Brown Bears to Jadwin Gym. This is a good time to assess the season to this point and offer some predictions for the remainder of the Ivy campaign.

After a 2-6 start, the Tigers rebounded nicely, winning five of the final six out-of-conference games to conclude that portion of their schedule at 7-7. Princeton was bitten by the injury bug for the third time in as many years.

Read more…

2017-18 Ivy Men’s Basketball Preseason Media Poll released, teleconference highlights

The Ivy men’s basketball preseason media poll was released Tuesday, confirming that the top of the league appears to be a three-way scrum between Harvard, Yale and Princeton at this point. Yale received the most first-place votes (eight) but Harvard garnered the most points overall, awarding the Crimson their first perch atop the media poll standings since the 2014-15 season, which was also the last time Tommy Amaker’s club was Ivy League champion. Princeton received three first-place votes, finishing just behind Yale overall.

Read more…

Another Ivy League men’s basketball 2018 recruiting update

Harvard

Mason Forbes, a two-star recruit from Folsom (CA) High School, chose to attend Harvard on Tuesday night, becoming the Crimson’s fourth member for the class of 2018.  The 6’8” 195 pound center/power forward averaged 15.0 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 3.6 blocks a game in the 2016-17 season.  According to Verbal Commits, he chose Harvard over Mt. St. Mary’s, San Diego State, San Jose State, and Cal Poly.

Forbes comes from a basketball rich family.  His grandfather, Sterling Forbes, Sr., played for Pepperdine, was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers, and joined the Harlem Globetrotters.  His father, Sterling “Smooth” Forbes, Jr., played for Southwest Texas State before playing with the Globetrotters.  His younger sister, McKenzie Forbes, is a senior at Folsom High School and an ESPN Top 40 prospect who will be attending Cal-Berkeley in the fall of 2018.  ‘

Read more…