Ivy hoops roundup – July 17, 2019

 

  • Ben Baskin of Sports Illustrated published a longform article Thursday on former Penn head coach Jerome Allen and his part in a recruitment scandal that saw the Ivy great accept money from a parent to place an unqualified student-athlete onto the school’s recruited athlete list.  The author wrote his article, which is available online and in the print edition, “with the aid of court transcripts and exhibits, financial records, news reports and interviews with three dozen of his friends, classmates, teachers, coaches, players, mentors and coworkers, many speaking anonymously for fear of personal and professional ramifications.”
    The article provided the following new information: During his playing career, Allen faced a series of civil suits over unpaid debts—$5,000 owed to a car-leasing company, $13,000 to a bank, $6,700 to a landlord.
    – While Allen was coaching Penn, the school sued him for nearly $25,000 for failing to pay off two decades of accrued interest on a loan he had taken out as a student

    Read moreIvy hoops roundup – July 17, 2019

Previewing Dartmouth-Harvard & Princeton-Penn

IHO breaks down the two games comprising Saturday afternoon’s Ivy conference play-opening slate:

Dartmouth at Harvard, 2:00 p.m.

Last season: The Big Green ended an 11-game losing streak with a surreal 26-2 second-half run en route to a 70-61 win, shocking the Crimson at Lavietes. Alex Mitola, who is no longer with the Big Green, led the way with 18 points, but Malik Gill sparked Dartmouth off the bench with nine points, six assists, four rebounds and three steals in just 25 minutes. Harvard’s Wesley Saunders and Siyani Chambers combined for 26 points on 7-for-20 shooting from the field, and the Crimson committed 18 turnovers.

Read morePreviewing Dartmouth-Harvard & Princeton-Penn

Reading the Ivy tea leaves – Princeton roundup

T.J. Bray, Princeton basketball ’14: I’m excited to see how the guys continue to grow this year, especially the junior class. With Hans (Brase) being the double-double threat that he is every night, I want to see how Spencer (Weisz), Steve (Cook), and Henry (Caruso) continue to expand their games in new ways. There’s always more nuances you can pick up in the Princeton offense and I think all three will have added something over the summer. I’m also looking forward to seeing how the team comes together defensively. This team has the ability to play hard and smart on that end for 40 minutes at a time. If they can do that consistently, there’s no telling where this team can go.

Clay Wilson, Princeton basketball ’15: I would say I’m most excited to see how the incoming freshmen fit into the equation. We have a lot of talent back from last year and the incoming freshmen were all really impressive on their visits so I’m looking forward to seeing which guys can step in right away and help. I’m also looking forward to see how Hans’s game has improved. He had a good summer here in Germany and I think he could potentially be in the running for Ivy League Player of the Year if he continues to play more inside like he did towards the end of last season. Everyone knows he can shoot the three ball, but I think he is most effective when he is in attack mode and inside the arc. It’s gonna be interesting to see who gets playing time because a lot of guys deserve to play, but there is so much talent and only so many minutes to be had.

Read moreReading the Ivy tea leaves – Princeton roundup

How Princeton poured it on at the Palestra

Mitch Henderson improved to 74-46 (.617) as Princeton's head coach with the Tigers' regular season-closing win over Penn. (goprincetontigers.com)
Mitch Henderson improved to 74-46 (.617) as Princeton’s head coach with the Tigers’ regular season-closing win over Penn. (goprincetontigers.com)

Last night’s swan song for Jerome Allen did not follow the script his legion of admirers hoped to see. The ousted coach surely went out the door with class, appearing on the bench in his Penn letter sweater, evoking memories of his heroic exploits on the court, a dramatic statement of loyalty and roots.

The standing ovation, a spontaneous reaction to his introduction as head coach for the final time, while surely not unexpected, provoked an emotional response. Allen sat hunched over while the applause cascaded over him, self-consciously fiddling with his left ankle, gathering himself.

His boss, new Penn Athletic Director Grace Calhoun, sat across the court from the team bench, occupying a prominent seat on press row, very much in charge. I sat in Calhoun’s seat for the women’s game, courtesy of her. She did oust me for the men’s game, but it was better for her to be visible.

Read moreHow Princeton poured it on at the Palestra

The Chairman’s big night at Jadwin … and the Tigers’ big win

The theme for Saturday night’s visit by the Columbia Lions to Jadwin Gym was “HISTORY.”

The Tiger faithful gathered to celebrate history, honoring at halftime the 50th Anniversary of the 1965 Final Four team, captained by the incomparable Bill Bradley. Sensing the significance of the occasion, Columbia’s Maodo “The Chairman” Lo determined to make a little history of his own. More on that below.

The 1965 Tigers reached the Final Four in an Eastern Regional matchup facing the Providence Friars at their place. The night before the final, the Friars celebrated their win in the semis by cutting down the nets in what remains the most egregious example of early chicken counting in this writer’s memory. (The back-slapping of James Jones and his staff in the last minute at Harvard Friday night is a recent contender.) Stung by the snub, the Tigers thrashed the Friars, 109-69. A request for the previous evening’s nets was declined.

Read moreThe Chairman’s big night at Jadwin … and the Tigers’ big win

Ivy Friday Roundup

Dartmouth 75, Brown 69

Wow. Just wow. Brown raced to a 14-0 lead and seemed to have the win secured with a 50-26 lead and 13:58 remaining. Not so. The Big Green finished the game on a 49-19 run, aided by three Brown technical fouls and a 17-point effort from last week’s Ivy Co-Player of the Week Malik Gill. Just a week after Brown overcame a 40-23 deficit to trump Cornell, a comeback got the best of the Bears this time around. Dartmouth, which went on a 26-2 run en route to a win at Harvard earlier this season, now awaits Yale, which had a little success of its own at Lavietes Pavilion and needs the win to clinch its first outright Ivy crown and NCAA tournament berth since 1962. Of course, a win over Yale launched the Big Green into the postseason (in this case, the CIT) for the first time since 1959, so Dartmouth has already won the drought game.

Penn 54, Columbia 46

As Penn coach Jerome Allen pointed out after the game, Columbia scored 46 in the first half against Penn a month ago en route to an 83-56 romp. Tonight, it took the Lions the entire game to reach that total. Junior guard Tony Hicks led the way for Penn, posting 19 points and eight boards, helping Penn snap a seven-game losing streak.

Princeton 66, Cornell 53

The Tigers’ 23 bench points and 15-point performance from senior guard Clay Wilson lifted Princeton past the Big Red, which shot just 37.5 percent in spite of senior forward Shonn Miller, who posted 25 points. And of course, sophomore forward Spencer Weisz notched 10 points, the 10th straight game Princeton has won when Weisz scores in double figures.

 

Ivy Friday Roundup

Cornell 57, Harvard 49

Well, then. The Big Red raced to a 22-21 halftime lead and out-Crimsoned the Crimson in the second half, pulling away with stout defense and efficient shooting. Shonn Miller fired on all cylinders to the tune of 24 points, 15 boards and three blocks. In a season in which Miller has consistently struggled beyond the arc, a pair of Miller treys midway through the second stanza signaled this wasn’t Harvard’s night. The Big Red’s win snaps their nine-game losing streak against Harvard as well as the Crimson’s 12-game win streak in Ivy road games, dropping Harvard to 4-7 at home this season. Most importantly, the loss drops the Crimson to 9-2 in Ivy play.

Yale 81, Princeton 60

The Justin Sears Show (feat. Javier Duren) overpowered Princeton’s ensemble performance down the stretch and the Bulldogs ended the game on a 42-13 run to tie Harvard atop the league standings at 9-2. Sears notched 12 rebounds and 28 points, giving him 53 in two wins over Princeton this season. Princeton was randomly led in scoring this evening by Steven Cook (12) and Clay Wilson (11), marking the first time that pair led the Tigers in scoring since Mitch Henderson’s squad trumped Stony Brook in December.

Brown 75, Penn 69

Brown completed its second consecutive season sweep of Penn thanks to a 21-point, 6-for-9 shooting (all beyond the arc) performance from J.R. Hobbie, who shredded Penn’s perimeter defense for a second time this season after having also scored 21 at Penn earlier this month, both season highs. Penn’s Tony Hicks returned from a two-game suspension for poor sportsmanship in a loss to Brown and in his failed attempt to exact revenge on the Bears notched 23 points, five rebounds and four steals. Penn has now lost six straight.

Dartmouth 84, Columbia 71

Dartmouth pulled off a season sweep of its own against the Lions, pulling away in the second half on the strength of Alex Mitola’s 18 points and five other players in double figures. The Big Green shot 60 percent from the floor while Columbia made only nine of 34 three-point attempts, knocking Columbia down to 5-6 and a tie with Cornell for fourth place in Ivy play.

Ivy Saturday Roundup

Brown 57 Cornell 56

Cornell’s proven it can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory better than anyone. The Big Red fell to 0-5 in games decided by three points or fewer in devastating fashion, blowing a 40-23 second-half lead and falling following Cedric Kuakumensah’s game-winning shot with two seconds left. Minus Shonn Miller, the Big Red managed to shoot sub-30 percent against the conference’s worst defense. Cornell’s offense is broken, but credit to Brown for coming back in the second half of the second game of a back-to-back.

Harvard 63 Princeton 55

Wesley Saunders and his 23-point, nine-rebound, four-steal, three-assist performance proved to be too much for Princeton, which finished with just one player – Clay Wilson – in double figures. The Tigers led 33-21 with 3:56 left in the first half, but Harvard embarked on a gradual comeback with characteristically solid defense, forcing 19 Princeton turnovers. The Crimson took first place in the conference at 9-1 after…

Columbia 56 Yale 50

Yale couldn’t get much going offensively against the Lions, falling to 8-2 in Ivy play. Justin Sears was stifled early and often, notching just seven points on the night for the Elis. Columbia finally hung on in a high-profile matchup thanks to Maodo Lo, who posted 18 points and six rebounds. As Sears goes, so goes Yale, and tonight, it went down.

Dartmouth 67 Penn 62

A see-saw game in Hanover finished with the hosts on top. Alex Mitola was shut down by the Quakers at the Palestra earlier this season, but he rebounded with an 18-point performance tonight. Penn shut down Miles Wright, who scored just 2 after scoring at least 16 in his previous five games, but it wasn’t enough. Dartmouth got two bench efforts in double-figures from Tommy Carpenter and Connor Boehm. Penn now occupies sole possession of last place in the Ivy League.

Ivy Friday Roundup

Not a lot of intrigue or drama tonight. The higher-ranked Ivies held serve, and here’s how they did it:

Yale 62, Cornell 51

This one seemed over a couple of light years before it actually ended, in no small part due to Cornell’s continued inability to shoot the basketball. The Big Red finished with a 32 percent clip from the field. Despite committing 16 turnovers, Yale was never in danger falling off. Senior guard Javier Duren led the way with 13 points and eight rebounds (all of which came in the first half), making him the second guard in six days to post eight rebounds in the first half against the Big Red after Harvard’s Saunders did it Saturday. The Bulldogs became the second Ivy to get to 8-1 in the conference play just after…

Harvard 69, Penn 46

With Tony Hicks suspended and matching up against the perennial conference champion that beat them by 25 on their home court last month, the Quakers didn’t seem to have much of a chance. They fought admirably, led by freshman guard Antonio Woods’ 12 points and four assists. Still, Harvard had this one all the way. Harvard’s Boston Three Party of Wesley Saunders, Siyani Chambers and Steve Moundou-Missi combined to shoot 15-for-20 and lock up the Crimson’s fourth straight win over Penn.

Princeton 63, Dartmouth 56

The Tigers outscored the Big Green by 12 in the second half to pull out the win in Hanover and stay within two games of Harvard and Yale in the Ivy race. Pushing Princeton over the top was senior guard Clay Wilson, who scored in double figures for the first time in nine games with 11 points on 3-for-6 shooting from downtown. (Just kidding, there’s no downtown in Hanover!)

Columbia 76, Brown 59

This game was never really a game. Columbia led 48-28 at halftime and the Bears, which continue to struggle mightily on defense and never got within 14 again. Maodo Lo posted 24 points en route to a total of 33, canning only three fewer field goals than Brown’s entire roster.

Penn lost more than Princeton won, but the Tigers will take it

Henry Caruso notched a career-high 23 points to lead the Tigers past Penn. (goprincetontigers.com)
Henry Caruso notched a career-high 23 points to lead the Tigers past Penn. (goprincetontigers.com)

Last night’s renewal of the storied rivalry between the Tigers and Quakers was, in some respects, typical of the more memorable contests in a series which contains more than 200 editions. We saw an intense physical battle in which most every shot was bitterly contested and we saw one team overcome a huge second-half deficit to achieve an improbable win. But this game was lost by Penn, not won by the Tigers.

To the chagrin of the partisans of both squads this game established beyond much, if any, lingering doubt that neither belongs among the league’s elite quintets. I am sure that Mitch Henderson and his staff enjoyed the come-from-behind win over the Quakers for only a little while before the sobering reality of the game hit home. The Tigers struggled at home to beat a team whose lone “quality” win came at the expense of Navy. The Quakers managed to squander a late 15-point lead by some of the sloppiest play since Dartmouth threw away a seven-point lead in the last two minutes of regulation at Harvard last year resulting in an overtime loss.

Read morePenn lost more than Princeton won, but the Tigers will take it