While the Ivy League has many big name players, some who have even attracted the attention of the NBA and USA Basketball, there are other important athletes who will play key roles for their respective teams throughout the 2016-17 campaign. Most IHO readers are familiar with the most notable players from A(iken) to Z(immerman). With a few games in the book, IHO wanted to highlight a few of the the league’s under the radar players. Some will be helpful in the push for a spot in the Ivy Tournament, while others will be laying the foundation for future glory. All, hopefully, will make a special contribution to this season.
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.
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.
Dartmouth women’s basketball looks to rebound in 2017-18
In 2013-14, coach Belle Koclanes started her career at Dartmouth with two conference wins and a 5-23 overall record. By the end of the 2015-16 season, the Big Green had increased their total wins to 12 and Ivy victories to seven. With a fourth-place finish, its best since 2009, the team looked to continue its upward trend and secure a spot in the first-ever four-team Ivy Tournament by the end of 2017. Despite being picked fifth in the preseason Ivy media poll and expecting to challenge Cornell for the last spot in the post-season event, Dartmouth took a step backwards with a 3-11 (8-19 overall) last-place record in conference play.