Report: League officials makes changes to the Ivy Tournament

As the college basketball world gets ready to tip off on Tuesday night, the Ivy League has its eyes on its end-of-year tournament.

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jonathan Tannenwald reported late Monday morning that the conference has decided to move each of the women’s events up one day making Ivy Madness a four-day event.

Prior to the 2018 Ivy Tournament, the Harvard Magazine’s David Tannenwald wrote “A Gendered Schedule”, a piece that described the frustration that a number of Ivy women’s basketball coaches had with the schedule from the inaugural tournament in 2017.  That year, the women’s semifinals were played in the late morning and evening, book-ending the men’s semifinals. Despite the conference’s best intentions, the coaches and their teams felt like second-class citizens in an event that was supposed to reflect equality.

Read moreReport: League officials makes changes to the Ivy Tournament

“We really own that bullseye”: Princeton looks for second three-peat in seven years

Shortly after Princeton’s season ended with an 82-77 defeat in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Kentucky, Tigers head coach Courtney Banghart recounted how her newly elected captains, Bella Alarie and Taylor Baur, informed her that they desperately wanted to get their team to the Sweet 16.  With the new season less than a week away, the Orange & Black still look to aim high.

“After that game, we talked a lot about what the future holds for our team.  We want to make history,” Alarie said at the Tigers’ Media Day on Monday afternoon. “We have high expectations for ourselves, but we know we can reach them.”

Read more“We really own that bullseye”: Princeton looks for second three-peat in seven years

No treats for Columbia as Patrick Tape leaves the program on Halloween

Fans of Columbia basketball may have been concerned by the omission of Patrick Tape, a 2019 honorable mention All-Ivy power forward, from Tuesday’s Road to Ivy Madness season preview.  By Thursday afternoon, they would have their suspicions increased when Stadium’s Jeff Goodman tweeted that a source informed him that Tape would leave the program, graduate this spring and seek a graduate transfer next year.

Despite being in the team photograph, Tape’s name had been removed from the 2019-20 roster.

Read moreNo treats for Columbia as Patrick Tape leaves the program on Halloween

Harvard’s Katie Benzan commits to Texas for 2020-21 season

It appears that Katie Benzan will be trading in her crimson for burnt orange next season.

The three time first team All-Ivy guard, who announced she would forgo her senior season in late August, informed the Harvard Crimson newspaper that she verbally committed to the University of Texas at Austin for a graduate transfer year in 2020-21.  She will formally sign a National Letter of Intent in the upcoming early signing period that runs from November 13 through 20.

Read moreHarvard’s Katie Benzan commits to Texas for 2020-21 season

Myles Stephens, Kyle Castlin and Trey Phills picked in NBA G League Draft

Add three more Ivy grads to the NBA G League.

Princeton’s Myles Stephens was the first to go off the board with the number 10 pick in the 2nd round of Saturday’s G League Draft by the Long Island Nets.  Columbia’s Kyle Castlin, who completed a graduate transfer year at Xavier, was chosen with the 17th pick of the 2nd round by the Salt Lake City Stars.  Yale’s Trey Phills went to the Windy City Bulls with 18th pick in the fourth and final round.

Read moreMyles Stephens, Kyle Castlin and Trey Phills picked in NBA G League Draft

Morgan and Cannady sign NBA contracts, set to start season in G League

Days before the start of the regular season, former Ivy League stars Matt Morgan and Devin Cannady were each offered an NBA contract.  Cannady was signed by the Brooklyn Nets last Tuesday and Morgan inked his deal with the defending champion Toronto Raptors on Thursday.  Both guards were waived by their parent clubs and will start the year in the NBA’s G-League.

Morgan finished his four years at Cornell as the Ivy League’s second leading scorer with 2,333 points, trailing only Princeton’s Bill Bradley (2,503).  In addition to total points, the Concord, North Carolina native left the Big Red as the program’s leader in scoring average (20.5 ppg), made field goals (743), attempted field goals (1,580) and made free throws (513).  He was second in made three-pointers (334), third in minutes played (3,705), fourth in free-throw percentage (.834) and eighth in assists (296).

For his career, Morgan was a four time All-Ivy selection, with first team accolades in his junior and senior seasons.

Read moreMorgan and Cannady sign NBA contracts, set to start season in G League

Penn needs to go public with the results and reforms of its admissions investigation

It has been 15 months since news broke about former men’s basketball head coach Jerome Allen receiving bribes from Florida businessman Philip Esformes to place Esformes’s son, Morris Esformes, onto the recruited athlete list for the entering Fall 2015 class.  The information, which was revealed as federal authorities were investigating the elder Esformes for healthcare fraud, led to bribery charges against Allen.  Since that time, Allen and Philip Esformes were found guilty and sentenced for their crimes, while the younger Esformes graduated from Penn’s Wharton School.

In March, Yale was caught up in the national Operation Varsity Blues admission scandal, when its former women’s soccer head coach Rudy Meredith was alleged to have taken bribes to place students on his recruited athlete list.  Meredith plead guilty to his actions and is awaiting sentencing.  Of the two recruited students, one was admitted for the fall of 2018 and had her acceptance rescinded.

Looking at the responses to these scandals by the two Ivy League institutions, one has been open and one has been far from forthcoming.

Read morePenn needs to go public with the results and reforms of its admissions investigation

Columbia University Marching Band reinstated, not allowed to perform on field

Nearly a month after it was banned from playing at all athletic events, the Columbia University Marching Band was permitted to perform at athletic events again Friday and did so at Columbia’s Homecoming game versus Penn Saturday, per the Columbia Spectator.

The university had prohibited the Columbia University Marching Band (CUMB) from performing at athletic events after it had lost all university funding, not meeting deadlines to become a recognized student group.’

Read moreColumbia University Marching Band reinstated, not allowed to perform on field

Ivy League player carousel

The biggest story of the off-season was Miye Oni being selected in June’s NBA Draft.  The Yale junior and reigning Ivy Player of the Year decided to leave school early and leave his name in the draft.  Despite falling to the late second round, a perilous spot to making an NBA roster, Oni impressed in the Summer League and earned a guaranteed contract with the Utah Jazz.  He is playing just as well in the pre-season and looks to be a real steal for the Jazz.

Read moreIvy League player carousel