Why Alex Rosenberg’s injury is good for Columbia’s future … and bad for his own

The Columbia Spectator reported earlier today that 2013-14 first-team All-Ivy forward Alex Rosenberg has withdrawn from school and will not compete on the men’s basketball team in 2014-15.

Rosenberg fractured his foot in practice on Oct. 24 and was expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks, meaning he was likely to miss Columbia’s nonconference slate altogether. Instead, he chose to withdraw from the school because the Ivy League does not permit medical redshirts. Ivy athletes are tasked with using their four years of eligibility in their first four years as enrolled full-time students. Fifth-year waivers do exist for Ivy athletes, but they are rare since they require athletes who apply for the waiver to prove that a fifth year of eligibility is triggered by academic and career concerns rather than athletic endeavors.

Read moreWhy Alex Rosenberg’s injury is good for Columbia’s future … and bad for his own

Yale Roster Preview – 2014-15 Edition

Optimism abounds in New Haven as the Yale Bulldogs return most major pieces from a team that advanced all the way to the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT) final last March. Let there be no mistake: led by Ivy League Player of the Year favorite Justin Sears, the 2014-15 Bulldogs have their best shot at an Ivy League title in the last decade. Despite the media’s unanimous crowning of the Bulldogs’ arch-nemesis up in Cambridge, Yale was voted second in the preseason poll and already proved last year that it can hang with the big boys in Lavietes, notching a dominant, league-rattling 74-67 victory over the Crimson in the midst of a seven-game winning streak that brought dreams of March glory to southern Connecticut. Coach James Jones has done a remarkable job of keeping Yale competitive consistently during every season he’s had at the helm, but he’s still looking for that elusive NCAA berth to hang his hat on. If it’s going to happen, it will probably be this year with his hard-working point guard Javier Duren in his senior season and the team building off the momentum of last year’s thrilling postseason run. After exploding in 2013-14, Justin Sears will get a lot of defensive attention this year, so it remains to be seen if the rest of the squad will be able to take advantage of their opportunities.

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2014-15 Penn Season Preview – Empires Crumble

Ancient QuakerNothing lasts forever.  Of what was once a powerful 500-year-old Republic, all that remains now of the Roman Empire are some weathered boulders scattered across Italy in the form of decaying monuments. And what has become of Britain’s Empire that once stretched to every continent on the planet? It has been reduced to a token naval force and an army of T-shirted, potbellied, Guinness-fueled, vomiting soccer hooligans who now invade neighboring lands in the name of “Man U” instead of Her Majesty the Queen.

Therefore it should not be a shock to Quaker fans that the era of Quaker hoops dominance is now effectively over. Having ruled admirably over the Ivy League for almost 30 years (along with Princeton—an effete and supercilious France to our noble and righteous England), the torch has now been passed to upstart Harvard. (The powerful but crass and cultureless “America” if you will in my little imperial scenario.) What was for years our birthright (at least we thought it was) is now handily out of reach for the foreseeable future.  Since our last championship in 2007, The League has been effectively turned upside down with Harvard, Columbia, Yale and, most likely, Brown at the top.  Twenty years ago, no one could ever have imagined this anymore than they could a bunch of ill-equipped colonists defeating the most powerful Domain in the history of civilization.

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Columbia Roster Preview – 2014-15 Edition

With Alex Rosenberg out indefinitely with a foot fracture, Columbia’s Ivy outlook is very much in question.On the bright side, what isn’t in question is that Columbia boasts one of the most explosive and deepest backcourts in the league. Everything about Maodo Lo is bona fide, and there’s no reason he can’t build on his breakout performance last season, when he did a little bit of everything for the Lions. Coach Kyle Smith would be wise to stop trying to go big, though. Last season, he tried pairing Luke Petrasek and Cory Osetkowski together in the frontcourt to little avail before going back to a smaller lineup embracing the guard-friendly makeup of this roster. Rosenberg or no Rosenberg, guard play will determine Columbia’s fate in 2014-15.

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Princeton 2014-15 Season Preview

The fourth year of the Mitch Henderson era opened on a high note in August when the Tigers’ skipper was declared one of the Top 10 Coaches Under 40 by Bleacher Report. Posting a winning percentage over .640 earns a lot of respect in the coaching fraternity. But Henderson’s 2013-14 mark of 21-9 fails to soothe the sting of an 8-6 Ivy mark, which left the Tigers in a third place tie. In an improving League Henderson may be hard-pressed to improve.

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Princeton Roster Preview – 2014-15 Edition

Princeton, as usual, is the conference wild card. No single star player. Several key components of last year’s CBI qualifying team gone, including T.J. Bray and Will Barrett. Few standout seniors.  And today we reported that Denton Koon is out indefinitely with a MCL injury.

And yet, Princeton enjoys significant depth and a reliable frontcourt with 2013-14 Ivy Rookie of the Year Spencer Weisz and Hans Brase coming back. This doesn’t seem to be a very athletic roster, and I’m not as high on Princeton as others, especially now that Koon is out. But let’s start with the positives first. Even though Barrett made 111 treys as a junior and senior, his long-range production won’t be missed too much because, as you’ll read below, there are plenty of young guns on this team who can make up for that kind of sharpshooting.

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Denton Koon suffers MCL injury, expected to return prior to Ivy play

Denton Koon suffered an MCL injury at practice Thursday.
Denton Koon suffered an MCL injury at practice Thursday.

A reputable source tells Ivy Hoops Online that Princeton senior forward Denton Koon suffered a MCL injury at practice on Thursday and is not expected to start the season. However, Koon is expected to be able to return prior to the start of conference play.

Koon played in just 18 games last year and was ruled out for the remainder of last season in February due to a knee injury. The knee that Koon injured at practice Thursday was not the same knee that was injured last season.

Read moreDenton Koon suffers MCL injury, expected to return prior to Ivy play

The Top 10 Nonconference Matchups for Ivies This Season

Oddly, the main theme of last month’s Ivy preseason teleconference seemed to be the value of tough nonconference scheduling. Nearly every Ivy coach talked at length about how scheduling a challenging nonconference slate made teams better. We all know that strength of schedule becomes a major factor for teams in power conferences as Selection Sunday approaches, but that doesn’t apply to the 14-game tournament that is the Ivy League. Still, we’ll likely to learn a lot about our beloved Ancient Eight when they hit the road to take on some of the nation’s most powerful programs. At the very least, nonconference play can be exciting when we least expect it. Who expected Cornell to jump out to a 14-point lead at No. 8 Syracuse last November? Who expected No. 2 Michigan State to trail Columbia by seven in the second half at the Breslin Center and the game to swing for good on back-to-back phony shot clock countdowns?

Read moreThe Top 10 Nonconference Matchups for Ivies This Season

Brown Roster Preview – 2014-15 Edition

I’m bullish on the Bears.

Yes, All-Everything Sean McGonagill is gone, and so is his ball distribution, three-point shooting, offensive potency from anywhere on the court and, well, everything! But the Bears will be better than last year because they’ll be more well-rounded in 2014-15 from inside out, the single-most underrated team in the Ivy League.

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Dartmouth Roster Preview – 2014-15 Edition

It’s hard to remember that Dartmouth exists sometimes, so consider this roster preview a reminder that the Big Green are still around. But who are they this year exactly?

Coach Paul Cormier alluded to the fact that this is a more experienced team than he has helmed in the past, and yet there are just two seniors on the entire roster. The presence of seven juniors makes up for that, though, namely co-captain Alex Mitola, who vastly improved his assist to turnover ratio as a sophomore and established himself as one of the most dangerous three-point shooters in the league. What’s most impressive is that Mitola kept improving in Ivy play even after 2012-13 All-Ivy second-teamer and fellow co-captain Gabas Maldunas tore his ACL shortly after Dartmouth entered its conference slate.  And of course, Maldunas himself can be quite the beast, averaging 11.2 points and 8.5 boards per contest before his injury, which Cormier said at the teleconference had been just cleared for contact.

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