Season in Review: Brown Bears

Sean McGonagill dropped 39 points on 15-19 shooting against Columbia on February 4th, 2011 at the Pizzitola Center. (Photo Credit: brownbears.com)

This is the third piece in a series looking back at how each Ivy League squad fared during the 2010-11 season. The Brown Bears ended the year at 11-17 (4-10), finishing seventh in the conference.

Tucker Halpern clutched both sides of the plastic receptacle, head buried, stomach violently convulsing, while 1,532 people curiously looked on. A bad meal in Ithaca, besides being a great band name, was the culprit that had sent him fleeing off the foul line on this night, the last night of the season, at Levien Gymnasium on the campus of Columbia. Several sick teammates looked on in their sweats from the bench, as the Bears were only able to dress eight players on this night. Columbia won the game in a rout, but the mass food poisoning was merely the final straw in a season that had once held serious promise. Injuries, missed opportunities, and finally bad meat did in the Bears during the 2010-2011 campaign, though some reasons for optimism can certainly be parsed from the wreckage of an otherwise forgettable 11-17 year.

The Bears opened last season on an encouraging note by knocking off Atlantic-10 foe, Fordham, in the Bronx. In fact, after getting blown out by in-state rival, URI, Brown won their next two games to move to 3-1 for the first time since the 2000-2001 season when the Bears went on to reach the NIT. The rest of the non-conference slate was filled with inconsistent performances as the young squad tried to put it all together. A couple of times they did, including an impressive road win at Maine against a Black Bears team that ended up finishing tied for third in the America East. All in all though, there were ominous signs early in the season as the team had trouble competing on the boards and in the paint. Remember, this was a young team adjusting to life in the post-Mullery era. The only upperclassmen who logged significant playing time all season were Peter Sullivan, who put the team on his remarkably broad shoulders too many times to count, Adrian Williams, the speedy shooter off the bench, and Garrett Leffelman, the streaky sniper who never really found the mark in his senior season.

So when freshman Dockery Walker came off the bench and provided some much-needed energy against American, it was a sign that the younger generation was ready to step up. Given the chance to play serious minutes for the first time, Walker made it count, pulling down 13 rebounds and adding 10 points for his first double-double in the loss. He followed that performace up with another double-double in a rout of Lyndon St.

One month later, it was Sean McGonagill’s turn to lead the youth movement. The freshman had been running the show admirably at the point guard position all year, garnering a Rookie of the Week award early in the season, but no one could have predicted what happened on February 4th, 2011 against Columbia. Two days earlier, McGonagill’s season looked like it may be in jeopardy after a violent collision in practice resulted in broken teeth and a destroyed lip, requiring surgery the next day. He was fitted for a mask, Rip Hamilton-style, on Friday morning, and marched onto the court Friday night against Columbia.

In what had to be the individual highlight of the season for the Bears, McGonagill put on a performance for the ages, setting or tying several Pizzitola Center records with a 39-point effort on 15-19 shooting. McGonagill scored a whopping 28 of those points in the second half, re-defining the phrase “in the zone,” and eventually leading Brown to a 87-79 triumph, their first of the conference season.

A week later, it looked like the Bears had started to turn the corner. They wiped their feet on chronic doormat Dartmouth, 75-66, and waltzed into Boston like the British taking Bunker Hill, outscoring Harvard 53-31 in the first half, shocking the home crowd at Lavietes into silence behind 63 percent shooting from the field. Alas, the Crimson defended their home court admirably in the second half of this battle, holding the Bears to 13 points in the first 15 minutes of the second half and rattling off 46 of their own in that span to turn the game on its head and ride into the night with a comfortable eight point victory.

In the third conference game of the season, team captain Peter Sullivan had suffered a gruesome shoulder dislocation, which caused him to miss five games. Without Sullivan, the team missed his strength on the glass and lacked his unparalleled ability to slash to the rim and get to the free throw line. When he returned in mid-February, the Bears were on the verge of falling into the basement with Dartmouth. Instead, after a tough loss at home to Penn, Brown came out and stuck it to the league-leading Tigers, riding Sullivan’s magical night at the line (16-16) to a 75-65 win,  and dealing Princeton their first loss of the conference season. Overall, Sullivan dropped in 26 and added 8 boards for the Bears, who were starting to look like one of the best bad Ivy League teams ever.

The next weekend, the Bears played host to Harvard again. Certainly, one had to think the Crimson would have their guard up this time and play hard from the opening tip. But no, it was the Bears who again dominated the first half en route to a 41-30 lead at the break behind 15 points on 6-7 shooting from Tucker Halpern. Certainly, one had to think the Bears would be able to protect a double-digit lead after blowing one only two weeks earlier to the same team. But no, like the Empire, the Crimson struck back again, even quicker this time, regaining the lead after only eight minutes in the second half. Halpern tried to rally the troops for one more comeback, knocking down a late trey to cut the deficit to two, but his career-high 29 points were wasted in the end as Harvard held on for another comeback victory.

The Bears’ final two weeks were highlighted by Adrian Williams’ monster 26-point Senior Night performance, in which Brown dropped a century on the lowly Big Green, and the aforementioned food poisoning incident.

Surely, the Bears are anxious to turn the page on last season and put the program in the hands of a capable young team that has shown a few halves of brilliance. Now if they can just put it all together for a full 40 minutes and pack bag lunches for the Ithaca trip, they should be all right.

Season in Review: Yale Bulldogs

Yale fans rushed the court when the Bulldogs knocked off league leader and archrival, Harvard, on Senior Night last year. (Photo Credit: Yale Daily News)

This is the second piece in a series looking back at how each Ivy League squad fared during the 2010-11 season. The Yale Bulldogs ended the year at 15-13 (8-6), finishing third in the conference.

The Yale Bulldogs entered the 2010-2011 campaign with some serious question marks needing to be answered, as they lost their leading scorer Alex Zampier as well as 6’ 10” center Paul Nelson to graduation. To make matters worse, starting forward Mike Sands withdrew from school for personal reasons the day before the season, leaving serious doubt about how this team would be able to compete down low.  Some younger players were going to need to step up for this team to finish in the top half of the Ancient Eight.

Almost immediately, Yale made headlines in the non-conference season. After starting the season with a loss to Quinnipiac, the Bulldogs put up a scrappy effort in a narrow 58-55 defeat against Big East foe, Providence. In their next game, Yale continued the Ivy League’s dominance over the ACC’s Boston College thanks to a breakout performance from sophomore guard Austin Morgan, who exploded for 25 points, including six 3-pointers, to key the upset road win for Yale. In non-league play against other major conference opponents, Yale lost games to Stanford from the Pac-10 (now Pac-12) and Illinois from the Big-10.

The Bulldogs started out Ivy play with two wins over Brown, but quickly had their chances at competing for the Ivy title effectively end the next weekend, getting swept by Princeton and Penn on the road.  Both were competitive games, but they left Yale two games behind Princeton and Harvard, and since the Ancient Eight does not employ a conference tournament, the Bulldogs were all but eliminated from league title consideration. As the league quickly became a race for 3rd, the Bulldogs won three of their next four before getting swept again by Penn and Princeton, as they remained clumped with multiple teams in the league’s second tier, while Harvard and Princeton sprinted away from the pack.

The rest of Yale’s conference season was not without multiple barnburners. The Elis lost to Penn in New Haven on a Zack Rosen jump shot with just two seconds left. A week later though, in their most complete effort of the year, the Bulldogs upset Harvard on Senior Night, 70-69, erasing a six point deficit in the final six minutes to pull out an emotional one point win at John J. Lee.  In the season’s final weekend, the Bulldogs had a twelve point lead late against Columbia, but Brian Barbour caught fire, scoring thirteen points in the last four minutes to key a Lions run and send the game into overtime.  The Bulldogs pushed back though, and pulled out the 87-81 victory after two bonus periods. Amazingly, not until the final game of the year, a thirteen point loss to Cornell, did the Bulldogs play a league game decided by double digits.

Austin Morgan was one of a handful of nice surprises for the Bulldogs last year. Other major contributors included junior Reggie Willhite, who worked his way into the starting lineup and averaged nearly ten points per game after rarely seeing the floor his previous two years.  Freshman Jeremiah Kreisberg started for much of the year at center, helping replace some of the frontcourt minutes vacated by the loss of Sands and Nelson.  Kreisberg averaged 7.2 points per game and ripped down 4.5 boards per game.

However, the biggest impact came from Greg Mangano, a first-team All Ivy selection whose play last year earned him Lindy’s preseason pick for the 2011-12 Ivy Player of the Year. Mangano was a force all season on the glass, averaging 10.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game. He kicked off the conference slate with a monster 23 and 17 in Providence and followed it up with a 17 point, 12 rebound, 7 block masterpiece in leading the Bulldogs to two early season victories. After declaring for the NBA draft in the offseason (and then retracting his name), Mangano was selected for the U.S. World University Games team, playing with some of college basketball’s big names, including Syracuse’s Scoop Jardine, Kentucky’s Darius Miller and current Purdue coach Matt Painter. Mangano was the only Ivy League player selected for the squad.

Mangano, Morgan, Kreisberg and Co. helped the Bulldogs finish alone in 3rd place at 8-6, having swept Brown, Columbia, and Dartmouth, split with Harvard and Cornell, and been swept by Princeton and Penn. The Bulldogs went 1-3 against co-champions Princeton and Harvard, losing the three games by a combined fourteen points and stunning Harvard on Senior Night in New Haven, dealing their archrivals their second loss and forcing them to have to beat Princeton twice to make the NCAA tournament.

Ivy League POY Keith Wright among Wooden Award Preseason Top 50

 

Harvard's Keith Wright was honored as a Wooden Award Preseason nominee. (Photo Credit: gocrimson.com)

Reigning Ivy League Player of the Year Keith Wright added another honor to his resume on Monday when he was included on the Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 list. The Wooden Award is given to the nation’s most outstanding basketball player who also maintains a minimum 2.0 GPA and demonstrates strength of character both on and off the court.

Wright acknowledged the recognition in a tweet earlier today, “Truly honored & blessed to be on such a prestigious list w/ so many talented players. Wouldn’t be there without my teammates & the man above.” He was the only Ivy League player to make the list.

Looking ahead, the Preseason Top 50 list will be whittled down to 20 student-athletes by college basketball media members around midseason. Those voters will mark their ballots, and choose the Top 10, who will then be named to the Wooden All-American team during the weekend of the Elite Eight in March.

2010-11 Season in Review: Princeton Tigers

Doug Davis nails a last-second shot to win the Ivy League playoff for the Princeton Tigers.

 

This is the first in a series looking back at how each Ivy League squad fared during the 2010-11 season. The Princeton Tigers finished the year at 25-7 (12-2), winning a share of the Ivy League title and the NCAA bid that was awarded to the winner of the Ivy League playoff.

The Princeton Tigers’ 2010-2011 season was defined by a single shot. You all know the story by now – Doug Davis, 2.8 seconds on the clock, Princeton down by 1 against Harvard in the Ivy League playoff game to decide who gets to go to the NCAA tournament. Davis cuts left, catches the inbound pass, drives right, pump fakes, ducks under the flailing Harvard defender, elevates, and swishes the jumper. The crowd goes wild, the Tigers go to the tournament, and Davis becomes a minor celebrity (buoyed, at least somewhat, by the whole “Teach Me How To Dougie” craze, which was still a big deal back then).

We’ll get to the shot, I promise. But first we need to figure out how Princeton got there in the first place. Because while his buzzer beater made him the hero, Davis never would have had the chance if it weren’t for a pair of seniors – guard Dan Mavraides and forward Kareem Maddox – a sophomore gunslinger – forward Ian Hummer – and head coach Sydney Johnson (recently departed for the apparently greener pastures of Fairfield University). They were the ones who brought the Tigers out charging to start the season, willed them to the Ivy League playoff, and got the ball into Davis’s hands.

Princeton made something of a statement in its first game of the season, an overtime win against cross-town rival Rutgers. Over the past decade or so, the Scarlet Knights had grown accustomed to shellacking the Tigers to kick off the year, but Mavraides was having none of it this time around. The senior came out firing, shooting 6-10 from beyond the arch to lead all scorers with 26 points.

But the Tigers fell quickly back to atoledo earth, getting humbled at the CBE Classic. The team got blown out by Duke, then the number one team in the country, finishing 1-3 for the tournament. But something important happened during the third game of the tournament, the lone win over Bucknell – a decision that perhaps defined Princeton’s entire season.

Kareem Maddox was coming off a solid, if unspectacular, junior season as a reserve forward. He started the first three games of the year and put up middling numbers, playing decent but uninspiring basketball. But against Bucknell, Johnson sat Maddox for the first few minutes of the game, then brought him in as an early sub. Maddox played most of the remaining game, staying on the court far longer than the true “starter,” sophomore center Brendan Connolly. Maddox wouldn’t start another game for the rest of the year until senior night, his final home game at the end nederlandsegokken online casino of the season.

But something about the unorthodox strategy worked for Maddox. In his first game after the CBE tournament, Maddox came off the bench and absolutely dominated, going off for 30 points, 10 boards, and three blocks in an overtime win against Siena at home. A few games later, Maddox, still coming off the bench, scored 31 points in a double overtime win against Tulsa. The Tigers won eight straight before losing to then-19th ranked Central Florida.

After the loss to UCF, Princeton reeled off 10 straight wins and went 7-0 to start Ivy League play, beating every other team in the league. Sophomore forward

Ian Hummer emerged as one of the top scoring threats for the Tigers; the underclassman scored 25 and grabbed 12 rebounds against Columbia. Maddox continued to play out of his mind and established himself as the premier defensive big man in the league, with five blocks in Princeton’s overtime win against Penn.

The Tigers started to play sloppy basketball at the end of the season, losing to Brown by 10 points before getting blown out by Harvard in Cambridge. Princeton dug itself into a hole during the last game of the season, having to come back from down eight in the second half against Penn to tie with Harvard for the Ivy League championship and force a playoff game to decide who got to go dancin’.

Harvard hadn’t been to the NCAA tournament since 1946. And Princeton was only one game removed from the smack down administered by Harvard in their final regular season matchup. Each team had won at home that season, and the game was played at Yale, the neutral site between the two schools. Princeton kept it close enough for one last shot. And Doug Davis took care of the rest.

The NCAA tournament was a victory lap for the Tigers. They had already won; the rest was just gravy. Of course, no one remembered to tell that to the players, who did their best to imitate Sydney Johnson’s epic upset over UCLA in 1996.  It took a last second runner by Brandon Knight (held scoreless to that point!) to put Final Four-bound Kentucky over Princeton in the first round. But Princeton fans didn’t care. They had their season. They had their shot. And they didn’t need anything else.

Maddox, who only started four games all year, was a unanimous First Team All-Ivy selection and was voted Defensive Player of the Year, finishing his season with 52 blocks. Mavraides and Hummer were both voted Second Team All-Ivy.

And Doug Davis, who had been voted Honorable Mention his freshman year and Second Team his sophomore season, didn’t garner any league honors. Instead, he became immortal, a legend permanently ensconced in Princeton basketball lore. The shot of Davis sitting on the floor of the Yale gym, arms raised and two fingers held up on each hand because he knows the ball is going in, is the definitive image of the season. The record books may call Princeton Co-Champions, but last season, Princeton won.

Over-Unders on Season Projections

I recently read a great statistical preview of the upcoming season on . Definitely check it out for an interesting read. Essentially, using some Pomeroy-level formulas, which I am going to take at face-value, the mastermind behind T14GT generated some very intriguing numbers and projections based on player-level and team-level statistics from past seasons. The resulting formulas generated the following projected win totals for 2011-2012:

“1. Harvard – 12.0
2. Yale – 8.5
3. Princeton – 8.4
4. Penn – 6.8
5. Cornell – 6.3
6. Columbia – 5.6
7. Brown – 5.5
8. Dartmouth – 2.8″

My initial reaction to these standings is that the order seems to generally fall in line with how I see this season proceeding. Nevertheless, I wanted to chime in with some quick thoughts on the projections and where I see things playing out differently since it”s tough to quantify the impact that a great recruiting class or a departing coach might have on a team. I”ll take the above projections to be each team”s season win total over/under and go team-by-team with my picks.

Harvard- 12.0 wins (IHO says: right on) Harvard is everyone”s runaway favorite and rightfully so, given that they return everyone and add the league”s best recruiting class. Not much to argue with there.

Yale- 8.5 wins (IHO says: over) This Yale team is set to turn some heads this year. I was excited to see the projections backing up what I”ve seen on the court; this team may be the only squad capable of taking down the Crimson this year. We saw last year how evenly these teams matched up and how seriously they take the rivalry in two classic battles. Both home teams narrowly prevailed in “10-“11 and we can expect the same type of thrilling contests this year, as Yale has added some serious height in their incoming freshman class (6″11″ Will Childs-Klein, 6″7″ Matt Townsend, and 6″ 7” name-of-the-year candidate Armani Cotton) to back up Mangano and Kreisberg. This year though, if we”re lucky, the winner of The (Basketball) Game may also determine the league champion.

Princeton- 8.4 wins (IHO says: under) Princeton clocks in with between 8 and 9 wins in this projection, good for third in the league, I don”t see them putting it all together that quickly. Losing Mavraides and Maddox is a big blow for the defending champs, but losing a head coach is devastating. It takes more than a summer for a head coach to lay down his system, and I just can”t see the Tigers responding this quickly with a top 2 or 3 finish. Not saying it”s impossible, but in a league that relies heavily on good coaching and scheming, it would be a remarkable accomplishment for Princeton to compete for a league title again this year. I have them landing in the middle of the pack with a .500 record.

Penn- 6.8 wins (IHO says: over) Penn is a team with a void to fill with the departure of Jack Eggleston. Despite that, the trio of Miles Cartwright, Zack Rosen, and Tyler Bernardini will see how far they can lead this year”s Penn team. Those three players combine to make up as good a backcourt as you”ll find in the Ivy League this year, but they can”t do it alone. It”ll be very interesting to see how quickly Penn can bring their front-court up to speed. The Quakers might be able to get away with their lack of depth on the offensive end, but established big men like Mangano and Wright are surely licking their chops looking at the freshmen and bench players they”ll be matched up with against Penn. Still, IHO thinks the terrific trio of guards will be enough to take down the bottom half of the league and steal a game or two against the big boys.

Cornell-  6.3 wins (IHO says: under)  Chris Wroblewski put the Big Red on his back last year, shooting the lights out and leading Cornell to a respectable finish in the middle of the pack, one year removed from the team”s legendary Sweet 16 run. Consider that Cornell had an unbelievable 13 players make at least one start last year, and you”ll realize that this is a team that is still figuring out its identity. We know they can shoot the ball, but there are too many question marks to think they can contend with the top echelon this year. IHO wants to see how the Big Red freshman class fares in non-conference play before committing to a number, but for now, we think Cornell has a lot to prove.

Columbia- 5.6 wins (IHO says: under) As is often the case in this league, the lack of an effective big man presence inside will leave Columbia relying on their guard play. Last year, Noruwa Agho proved himself as one of the league”s most explosive scorers–though T14GT recently put forth a compelling argument that he may be the . Brian Barbour”s quickness on the ball will be helpful and his 2:1 assist to turnover ratio is impressive, but it won”t result in many points unless the Lions have added a few knockdown shooters. Last year, Columbia finished dead last in 2-point shooting and 3-point shooting. Besides that, over 72% of their shots last year came from Agho, Ampim and Brian Grimes. Agho found a way to score–albeit by putting up a lot of shots, but Ampim and Grimes clocked in far below average on KenPom”s Offensive Efficiency index. It”s simple: the Lions will need to find a way to get better shots and knock them down if they want to improve upon last year”s finish.

Brown- 5.5 wins (IHO says: over) It might surprise some people, but there”s a lot to be excited about in Providence. The Bears return Rookie of the Year point guard Sean McGonagill who will most likely start alongside transfer Steve Albrecht, who sat out last year after an impressive freshman campaign at Toledo. The Bears also return Tucker Halpern on the wing who showed signs of brilliance last year, including a 29 point performance in a near-upset of Harvard last year. Dockery Walker returns from a great freshman campaign in which he proved he was capable of being a much-needed inside presence, an energy guy, and a monster on the defensive boards. With the addition of a solid freshman class, including Brazilian center 6″9″ Rafael Maia, the Bears have the ability to make the jump into the top half for the first time since the days of Mullery.

Dartmouth- 2.8 wins (IHO says: under) The Big Green have only won two games in the past two years, and they didn”t have a single player average double figures in points per game. That being said, they return Jabari Trotter who shot the ball over 40% from deep last season, as well as R.J. Griffin who put up 20 against Harvard last season. The Big Green will be counting on a solid class of freshmen to step in and contribute immediately if they want to be competitive in the league this year. Their top priority this offseason should be holding onto the ball–Dartmouth doesn”t return a single player with an assist-to-turnover ratio over 1.

Mangano goes for 8 and 8 in blowout of Mexico

In only 14 minutes, Yale senior big man, Greg Mangano, grabbed eight boards and added eight points on 4-8 shooting in the Americans” 108-67 victory over Mexico in their opening contest of the World University Games in Shenzhen, China. Four of his eight rebounds came on the offensive glass, as the US stretched a six-point halftime lead to a rout, outscoring the Mexicans 65-30 in the second half. USA and Purdue Coach Matt Painter praised the bench in his post-game comments, crediting the Imponerende! Craps pa nettet giver dig ligesom sa mange andre spil en r?kke fordele i forhold til de ”virkelige” er. team”s depth for their second half dominance, “When [Mexico] had to sub, I thought our depth really wore them out because there’s not a lot of difference when we sub. We tried to keep things balanced with the starting five, then the next five, then Ray McCallum and (Greg) Mangano, I thought both those guys did a great job of coming in and giving us some energy. I thought it was a total team effort. That’s something that’s really going to help us, especially in pool play, is using all those guys.” Mangano will next represent the Ivy League when the USA take on Hungary on August 14 at 3:30PM local time in Shenzhen.

 

2011-2012 Season

As the upcoming Ivy League season approaches, the make-up of the league looks to be unlike anything we’ve seen in years. Last season concluded with Doug Davis’ leaner sending the Tigers back to the tournament in one of the most exciting finishes to a conference season in the history of the Ancient Eight, but that Princeton team that was mobbed by its fans on the neutral floor in New Haven has been shaken up quite a bit since then. Meanwhile, Harvard returns as the prohibitive favorite, with a chip on its shoulder after a hollow share of the league title left them on the outside looking in on Selection Sunday. The Crimson return everyone from their record-setting squad. Dark horses include young squads looking to make the jump in Philadelphia and Providence, as well as a dangerous Yale team led by USA Basketball’s World University Games selection, Greg Mangano. Cornell’s sharpshooters also finished last season on a strong note and hope to carry that momentum into 2011, as they try to quickly rebuild back into a title contender.

In a few weeks, teams will gather in their respective empty, sweltering gymnasiums to restart the long and arduous journey to March. Over the course of the next two months, we will be assessing each team’s chances at winning the 14-game tournament better known as the Ivy League championship. We’ll break it down by position and analyze the newcomers. We’ll check out the non-conference schedules and get reports from the campuses. At the end of the summer, we’ll be putting it all together in the form of season previews and predictions. There’s a lot to look forward to around here, so be sure to check back soon.

Who to Watch in the Class of 2015

Harvard”s Steve Moundou-Missi may have a shot at Rookie of the Year if he can find a way to see enough of the court playing behind Kyle Casey and Keith Wright. (Photo Credit: gocrimson.com)

The Ivy League has changed substantially in the past five years. Ancient 8 teams are beating BCS schools in non-conference play, and two years ago, Cornell went to a Sweet 16. Last year, Princeton continued to help support the idea that Ivy Leaguers can play with the big boys when they almost beat Kentucky in the first round. The reason for this change is that Ivy League recruiting has improved drastically over the past five years. Big time players are now looking at Ivy League schools as legitimate Division-I options. As the director of the National All-Academic Camp, I get a chance to see many of these players each summer and I have noticed that the Ivy League prospects have improved every year over the past 5 years. We are seeing better athletes and more complete players each year who have grades and SAT scores to match.

Here is the breakdown of the Ivy League’s 2015 recruiting classes.

Brown

Head Coach: Jesse Agel

Incoming Players: Rafael Maia 6’9” (Maine Central Institute), Christian Gore 6’2” (El Paso, TX), Joe Sharkey 6’2” (Northfield Mount Hermon), Taylor Wright 6’5” (Episcopal Academy), Longji Yiljep 6’5” (Westwon, PA), Jon Schmidt 6″7″ (Friends School, MD)

Recruiting Grade: A-

Analysis: Agel scored a major recruit during his first two years in Tucker Halpern (Class of 2013) and Sean McGonagill (Class of 2014). I’m picking Rafael Maia as the hands-down favorite for Rookie of the Year in the Ivy League. The 6’9” Brazilian is a BIG TIME presence on the defensive end and a freak athlete. Maia is an ACC/Big East level talent who will be one of the most talented shot blockers and rebounders the Ivy League has ever seen. Joe Sharkey will add backcourt stability, which the Bears need desperately. Sharkey is a high IQ, pass-first point guard who makes all the right plays. Taylor Wright, the son of Villanova coach Jay Wright, will be a nice addition. He averaged over 17 ppg last year and has a reputation of being able to stretch the defense. Christian Gore is a 2 star recruit form El Paso who should also help provide backcourt depth.

 

Columbia

Head Coach: Kyle Smith

Incoming Players: Samer Ozeir 6’8” (Novi, MI), Alex Rosenberg 6’7” (Peddie

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School, NJ), Noah Springwater 6’3” (University HS, San Francisco), Skylar Scrivano 6’9” (Peddie School, NJ), Cory Osetkowski 6″10″ (Canyon Crest HS, CA), Darius Stevens 6″6″ (La Lumiere HS, IN)

Recruiting Grade: C

Analysis: There wasn’t a lot of pop in this 2015 class for Coach Smith, but he’s got a solid group of role players nonetheless. Scrivano and Rosenberg will

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add front court depth. Scrivano has a reputation for being a terrific shot blocker, which should help the Lions in the paint.

 

Cornell

Head Coach: Bill Courtney

Incoming Players: Galal Cancer 6’2” (Christian Brothers Academy), Dave LaMore 6’9” (Dexter HS, MI), Devin Cherry 6’3” (Meriden, MS), Shonn Miller 6″7″ (St. Ignatius HS, OH), Nenad Tomic 6″7″ (North Royalton HS, OH), Deion Giddens 6″9″ (Willow Canyon HS, AZ)

Recruiting Grade: B

Analysis: Galal Cancer will prove to be a major score online casino for Cornell, as he was a recruiting steal for the Big Red. Cancer who played at Christian Brothers Academy and for the Nike sponsored AAU club, Albany City Rocks, will be a prolific scorer in the Ivy League. He is also great in transition, which will be perfect for Coach Courtney’s style of play. LaMore will add a great post presence and will likely be a starter at some point during his career. Devin Cherry was an intriguing get for Courtney as he is from Mississippi, which is not heavily recruited by his league foes. Cherry will be an athletic hybrid perimeter player who will need to add muscle to his 170 lb. frame in order to be a major presence in the Ivy League.

Edit: Dave LaMore”s name was misspelled in a previously posted version of this article.

 

Dartmouth

Head Coach: Paul Cormier

Incoming Players: John Golden 6’6” (Northfield Mount Hermon), Will McConnell 6’6” (Atherton, CA), Kirill Savolainen 6’5” (VA Episcopal), Mack McKearney 6’2” (Okemos, MI), Gabas Maldunas 6’8” (Holderness School), Jvonte Brooks 6’6” (Northfield)

Recruiting Grade: B

Analysis: Cormier and his staff did a great job overall in this class. They added depth and pulled the trigger on a few players early, who will all be great additions. One such player is John Golden, who many Ivy and Patriot League schools wish they had offered earlier. Golden is a big guard who can really stretch the floor with his shooting range and is a fearless competitor. His prep schoool teammate at Northfield Mount Hermon, Jvonte Brooks, is a tremendous athlete who will need to continue to develop his skills to be an impact player. Maldunas is an interesting player as he is a big, skilled 4-man who is deceptively athletic. McConnell will add length and depth at the small forward position. If he gets tougher, he will be a very good player for the Big Green. There are no stars in this group, but an overall great collection.

 

Harvard

Head Coach: Tommy Amaker

Incoming Players: Max Hooper 6’5” (Brewster Academy), Corbin Miller 6’2” (Brighton, UT), Steve Moundou-Missi 6’6” (Montverde Academy), Alex Nesbitt 6’7” (Univ of Chicago Laboratory HS), Wesley Saunders 6’5” (Winward Academy), Kenyatta Smith 6’8” (Flintridge Prep), Jonas Travis 6″6″ (De La Salle, MN)

Recruiting Class: A

Analysis: It looks like Amaker has struck gold again here with his 2015 class. In my opinion, he has had the best or second best recruiting class every year since he arrived in Cambridge. Steve Moundou-Missi is my dark horse pick for Rookie of the Year. The only thing holding him back is that he’s playing behind All-League players Kyle Casey and Keith Wright. Moundou-Missi is a monster athlete who will be a rebounding machine for the Crimson. Kenyatta Smith turned down offers from the Pac-10 and Big 10 to attend Harvard. His size and skill will help the Crimson’s already imposing interior. Max Hooper is a prolific sniper who will keep defenses honest and not allow for double teams. Wesley Saunders is another dynamic get, who will add a great scoring punch for the Crimson.

 

Pennsylvania

Head Coach: Jerome Allen

Incoming Players: Henry Brooks 6’8” (Miller Grove, GA), Simeon Espirit 6’6” (England), Keelan Carnes (Ireland), Cam Crocker 6’3” (Cypress, CA), Greg Louis 6’7” (Dwyer, FL), Patrick Lucas-Perry 5″11″ (Flint Powers HS, MI)

Recruiting Class: A-

Analysis: Penn has done a great job adding the front court depth they needed in 2015. Henry Brooks has a chance to be special and will be a difference maker for the Quakers over the next four years. Espirit and Carnes were prep teamates at Barking Abbey College in the UK. I have not seen either, but am told they will surprise many Ivy League fans this year with their ability. Lewis will challenge for time on an already talented Quaker team. Allen put together a great group here that will help keep the Quakers contenders for years to come.

Edit: Cam Crocker was erroneously referred to as Penn sophomore Cam Gunter in a previously posted version of this article.

Princeton

Head Coach: Mitch Henderson

Incoming Players: Brian Fabrizius 6’11” (Kimball Union Academy), Bobby Garbade 6’10” (Seton Catholic), Denton Koon 6’7” (Liberty HS, MO), Clay Wilson 6’4” (Lincoln Christian, OK)

Recruiting Class: B

Analysis: Princeton filled some needs in 2015, but

didn’t add much star power. Luckily, the defending Ivy League Champs and first year head coach Mitch Henderson may not have to this year. Bobby Garbade was a 15 ppg, 11 rpg post in high school and is a very solid passer. His game will fit nicely with the Princeton system. Fabrizius, the other post, will add size, but will most likely not be a part of the rotation next year. Koon was his school’s validictorian, an all-state performer in high school, and has the ability to score in a variety of fashions. Clay Wilson is a prototypical Princeton guard who has some size and an uncanny ability to shoot the three and find the open man.

 

Yale

Head Coach: James Jones

Incoming Players: Will Childs-Klein 6’11” (Ladue HS, MO), Armani Cotton 6’7” (Northfield Mount Hermon), Javier Duren 6’4” (Oakville HS, MO), Brandon Sherrod 6’6” (Choate Rosemary Hall), Matt Townsend 6’7” (Horace Greeley)

Recruiting Class: A-

Analysis: This is a great class for James Jones. Brandon Sherrod will prove to be one of the best posts the Ivy League has ever seen. He is undersized, but strong as an ox and he knows how to score. Armani Cotton will add athleticism to the Bulldogs’ perimeter game. Cotton can attack the rim and shoot the three ball with the best of them. Childs-Klein will compliment Sherrod on the interior as a true center who can take up space and finish around the rim.

 

Greg Kristof is the Director of Hoop Mountain (www.hoopmountain.com), where he runs recruiting and exposure camps and tournaments for high school basketball players all over the country. He sees many of the players who move on to the Ivy League at the Hoop Mountain All-Academic Camp each summer.

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