4. Brown Bears (‘16-’17 record: 17-13, 7-7 Ivy; tied for fourth; Ivy Tournament semifinalist; lost in second Round of WBI)
Coach Sarah Behn (fourth season; 19th season overall)
Captains: Megan Reilly (senior guard) and Erika Steeves (junior forward)
Key Returning Players:
Justine Gaziano (sophomore guard) – 22 starts, 16.5 ppg, 47.5 percent field-goal percentage, 80 percent free-throw percentage, 35 made three-pointers
Shayna Mehta (junior guard) – 30 starts, 15.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 39.2 percent three-point percentage, 62 made three-pointers, 58 steals
Abby O’Keefe (Guard) – five starts, 17.7 mpg, 4.6 ppg, 19 made three-pointers
McKenna Dale (guard) – Connecticut Gatorade POY; 1,792 points, 747 rebounds, 264 steals, 162 blocks in career
Dominique Leonidas (Guard) – first team all-state (Ga.); 1,000-plus career points
IHO Brown schedule breakdown here
Gaziano and Mehta were both in the top five in scoring and named members of the All-Ivy second team. In her rookie season, Gaziano was in the top 10 of five offensive categories, while Mehta, the 2015-16 Ivy League Rookie of the Year, was in the top 15 for eight offensive and defensive statistics. Steeves, the league’s top total rebounder, was in the conference’s top 15 for six offensive and defensive categories. Will was in the top 10 for five statistics.
8. Dartmouth Big Green (‘16-’17 record: 8-19 overall, 3-11 Ivy; tied for seventh)
Coach Belle Koclanes (fifth season)
Captains: Andi Norman (senior forward) and Emily Slagle (senior guard)
Key Returning Players:
Kate Letkewicz (senior guard) – 23 starts, 34.6 mpg, 11.2 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 51 three-pointers made
Isalys Quinones (junior forward) – 21 starts, 27.2 mpg, 9.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.6 steals per game
Fannie Szabo (guard/forward) – 20 starts, 29.9 mpg, 10.6 ppg, 2.0 apg
Amber Mixon (point guard) – 21 starts, 21.5 mpg, 2.0 apg
Anna Luce (forward) – AP Washington State Co-POY; 1,700-plus career points
Elle Louie (guard) – 1,000 + points, 700 rebounds, 400 steals, 300 assists and 100 blocks in career
IHO Dartmouth schedule breakdown here
The Big Green return three players who started 20-plus games last season (Letkewicz, Quinones, Olivia Smith), and one who started 13 games (Norman). Letkewicz was an Honorable Mention All-Ivy selection the last two seasons. She was top 15 in the league for points and total rebounds, while being in the top five for three-point field-goal percentage (41 percent), three-pointers made, and defensive rebounds (6.1 per game). Quinones, who played for the Puerto Rican national team this summer, was top 15 in the conference in total rebounds, offensive rebounds, steals, free throw percentage and field goal percentage. Norman was in the top 10 for three-point field-goal percentage and three-pointers made.
Ivy Hoops Online’s George Clark (Toothless Tiger) catches up with Princeton coach Mitch Henderson, who in an in-depth interview reflects on the Tigers’ two pivotal turning points amid their undefeated Ivy 2016-17 campaign, explains why Princeton has enjoyed success in tight late-game situations the past couple of seasons, weighs in on why he’s still in favor of the Ivy League Tournament, previews the team’s incoming freshmen and makes a case for an eventual #2bidivy breakthrough:
This is part 2 of IHO’s 2017-18 Ivy League team-by-team season preview. Read part 1 here.
Columbia’s season went south quickly after a 4-2 start in Ivy play, as the Lions fell out of conference tournament contention with a 1-7 finish in Ancient Eight action. What could push Columbia even farther south this season is the loss of Luke Petrsasek, who is was as versatile as players come. Petrasek ranked in the league’s top 10 in scoring, field goal percentage, free throw percentage, steals and blocks. So that’ll be hard to replace, especially since Columbia was so pedestrian in effective field-goal percentage at both ends of the floor in 2016-17.
This is part 1 of IHO’s 2017-18 Ivy League team-by-team season preview. Read part 2 here.
The rise of the Ivy League is projected to continue.
The Ancient Eight is slated by KenPom as the 13th-best conference in Division I this season, just seven years after it placed 26th. That’s a quantum leap, a product of the league’s bolstered recruiting in that time frame. The Ivy hoops status quo now consists of top-25 recruiting classes, Nike Skills Academy members and expectations of NCAA Tournament success.
There’s a three-way cluster between Harvard, Princeton and Yale projected to top the league. In the Ivy Preseason Media Poll, Yale received the most first-place votes (eight) but Harvard garnered the most points overall. Without a clear conference favorite, it’s quite likely that the regular season champion will not also be the conference tournament winner, with Bart Torvik’s Ivy Tourney Simulator tabbing Penn as the favorite in an Ivy tourney as a No. 4 seed.
At the end of the 2016-17 season, the Ivy League ended up as the nation’s eighth-best conference, according to the RPI. The Penn Quakers went 13-1 to take the regular season title by four games over Princeton. The Tigers ended up one game ahead of third-place Harvard. Brown defeated Cornell in Ithaca on the last night of the season to force a tie for fourth-place, and the Bears claimed the last spot in the inaugural Ivy Tournament on the strength of a season sweep of the Big Red. In the semifinal round of Ivy Madness, Penn defeated Brown 71-60 and Princeton beat the Crimson 68-47. The next afternoon, the Red & Blue completed a season sweep of the Tigers, 75-49, to earn the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Last season, Harvard lost to Yale in heartbreaking fashion in the first round of the inaugural Ivy League Tournament. The Crimson graduated Siyani Chambers and Zena Edosomwan, both of whom made indelible impacts on the program. Honestly, it’s hard to imagine a successful Harvard season without Siyani Chambers. And yet, the Crimson comes into the 2017-18 season as the preseason favorite, according to the Ivy Preseason Media Poll. While the poll predicted an incredibly close race between Harvard and familiar foes Yale and Princeton, the sentiment of the voters is clear: No one expects Harvard to take a step back this year. Here are the details on how Harvard hopes to turn high expectations on paper into actual success on the court:
Yale’s Blue Madness scrimmage on Thursday night was a fun and loose affair for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams. Unlike the Cornell Red-White Scrimmage earlier in the week, there was little chance for anyone to get injured.
After introductions of both squads, the two teams held a three-point shooting contest, with Blake Reynolds defeating Jen Berkowitz in the finals. In the slam dunk contest, Trey Phills captured his second team title, defeating Jordan Bruner in the finals with a 360-degree jam.