Saturday afternoon’s 64-60 loss to Bryant at Leede Arena left a bitter taste on the lips of Dartmouth as it breaks for the holidays.
And rightfully so. The Big Green (7-6) have overachieved for much of the first two months of this campaign, and if they are going to contend to compete in the Ivy League Tournament for the first time, they should be able to handle an NEC team – particularly a banged up one – at home.
Ivy Hoops Online’s writing staff voted on where all eight Ivy men’s and women’s basketball teams would end up for the 2019-20 season. Our projected order of finish for the men (and the women’s rankings here):
Dartmouth senior guard Brendan Barry is out for the 2019-20 season due to injury, according to Dartmouth Athletics.
Barry’s plans following this season have not been determined and a decision about his future won’t be made until well after the season, per Dartmouth Athletics.
Barry has been a major focal point of Dartmouth’s offense the past two seasons, ranking second on the team and 11th in the Ivy League last season at 13.2 points per game. He also was a pivotal ball distributor for the Big Green, boasting the conference’s highest assist-to-turnover ratio for the second straight season as a junior.
But Barry is perhaps most well-known for his three-point shooting and has posted one of the top two highest three-point percentages across the league in all three of his seasons at Dartmouth, shooting 44.5% for his career.
Barry also led the Ivy League last season in minutes played after finishing second in that category as a sophomore, underscoring how significant of a loss Barry’s sidelining for the 2019-20 season will be.
On Wednesday morning, coach Dave McLaughlin released the schedule for Dartmouth men’s basketball. The Big Green’s 14 Division I nonconference games, heavy on regional opponents and light on highly ranked rivals, will be highlighted by trips to Tampa to take on the defending College Basketball Invitational champion and Lowell for the inaugural River Hawk Invitational.
The Green have only five non-Ivy games at Leede Arena, but they will get to see neighboring Vermont, which is the three-time defending America East regular season champion and ranked in the Top-100 heading into this season. The team will hit the road for 10 games before league play, including the Nov. 8 opener at defending MAC champion Buffalo, which went 32-4 last year and made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
In Saturday’s regular season finale against last-place Dartmouth, Cornell’s five seniors Joel Davis, Jack Gordon, Troy Whiteside, Steven Julian, and of course Matt Morgan were honored pregame and all got the start. After Cornell got the first two points just 35 seconds in from a Steven Julian alley-oop, the Big Green went on an 11-2 run and eventually led by one at the half.
But Cornell dominated the second half, outscoring Dartmouth by 16 and winning, 66-51. Jimmy Boeheim arguably played his best game of the season, finishing with 21 points off an excellent 9-for-10 shooting from the field, and a perfect 2-for-2 from deep.
Matt Morgan couldn’t follow up his dominant 31-point performance on Friday against Harvard, finishing with just eight points and snapping his double-digit scoring streak at 80 games, good for 12th in college basketball history and an Ivy League record.
After making an impressive runner at the buzzer, Christian Juzang jogged into the Lavietes Pavilion locker room. Despite the acrobatic bucket to end the first period, Harvard still trailed, 26-25.
At press time, coach Tommy Amaker commented on what he told his team at the half. He reminded them of the magnitude of the game, later suggesting that the next 20 minutes had the potential to “define our season.”
The Harvard men arrived for their league-opening match with Dartmouth as a five-point favorite, according to KenPom. They also had former first team All-Ivy guard Bryce Aiken in uniform for the first time this season. Neither of those things mattered, in the end (and Aiken didn’t play anyway), as the Big Green used a sizzling 68 percent shooting performance to beat the Crimson, 81-63, for their first Ivy opening victory in 12 years.
The Dartmouth men’s basketball team welcomes Harvard on Saturday night for both programs’ Ivy tip-off. The Crimson have won the last four meetings and five of the last six, including both games in 2018. On Jan. 6, Harvard beat Dartmouth 61-51 at Lavietes Pavilion, while earning a 62-57 overtime victory at Leede Arena on Jan. 20.
The Big Green, picked eighth in the Ivy media preseason poll, finished the nonconference schedule at 9-7, already the most single season wins in coach David McLaughlin’s three-year tenure and the school’s best mark since going 8-4 in the 1996-97 campaign. The team is now ranked at No. 223 by KenPom, the program’s best since 2015, and look to defend their home court against the 2018 regular season co-champs and 2019 preseason Ivy favorites.