2017-18 Ivy League team-by-team season preview, part 1

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.

Read more2017-18 Ivy League team-by-team season preview, part 1

Ivy news roundup – March 24, 2017

Brase’s next move

Former Princeton forward Hans Brase will be a graduate transfer, according to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports and FanRag Sports.  Brase was a first-team All-Ivy selection in 2014-15 before missing the following season with a torn right ACL.  He came back this year and played five games before another season-ending injury to his right knee on November 29.

Daugherty walks away

Bill Koch of the Providence Journal confirmed that sophomore Corey Daugherty has decided to leave the Brown basketball program but stay enrolled at the university.  Daugherty, who played in 16 games last year and 29 games this season, was one of the first players off the bench for Mike Martin the last two years.  The Barrington, R.I. native averaged 19.6 minutes and 4.2 points a game, while posting a 1.9 assist-to-turnover ratio.

A new Big Red commit

Read moreIvy news roundup – March 24, 2017

Ivy Tuesday roundup

New Hampshire 88, Brown 77

This could have been a really solid win against a KenPom No. 165 team for Brown, but it didn’t happen because its defense hasn’t gelled around two-time Ivy Defensive Player of the Year Cedric Kuakumensah yet. New Hampshire shot 54 percent from the floor and got to the line 34 times, making more free throws (28) than Brown made field goals (26). Freshman forward Travis Fuller fouled out in just 10 minutes and the Bears racked up 23 fouls on the night. On offense, the Bears play fast and loose, and  tonight, junior guard JR Hobbie stepped up with 12 points on 3-for-8 shooting from beyond the arc in 25 minutes off the bench. But just because Brown has a strong bench full of sharpshooters (now including freshman guard Corey Daugherty) and a defensive anchor doesn’t mean it has ample defensive discipline to make a run at the top half of the Ivy League.

Columbia 70, Wofford 59

This was a weird game for the Lions, and yet it revealed them to have one of the most complete offensive attacks the league has seen in some time. In the first half, senior forward Alex Rosenberg and senior guard Maodo Lo struggled offensively, with junior forward Jeff Coby leading all Lion scorers early into the next stanza – more than Lo and Rosenberg combined at that point. The Lions’ best ball distributor wasn’t Lo but senior guard Isaac Cohen, who notched nine assists. For more on Cohen’s crucial performance, check out Sam Tydings’ story on Columbia’s wonderfully weird win over Wofford.

A double OT thriller, trouble with triples and an Eli home run: A crazy week already

Yale – With Princeton missing Hans Brase for the 2015-16 season due to injury and Columbia’s defense still struggling to make an impact, Yale has to be considered the favorite to win the Ivy League title at this early point. The comfort sophomore guard Makai Mason has displayed in running this offense is perhaps the biggest reason why. Mason posted 21 points and five assists in 36 minutes in Yale’s 99-77 home win over Sacred Heart Monday, a game in which pretty much everything came together for the Elis. Yale notched 16 offensive rebounds, scored 27 second-chance points to Sacred Heart’s 10 and took 17 more shots than SHU as a result. The Bulldogs also enjoyed 24 bench points and shot 52.9 percent (9-for-17) from three.

A lot of Ivies can shoot the ball from deep and have offensive depth. None can hit the boards like the Bulldogs can, especially on the offensive end, and that will pay dividends for them come conference play. Yale proved in its season opener that it can win without reigning Ivy Player of the Year Justin Sears.

Read moreA double OT thriller, trouble with triples and an Eli home run: A crazy week already

Brown Season Preview – Get Out and Run

Coach Mike Martin enters his fourth season at the helm for the Bears, looking to improve on last season’s 4-10 Ivy record. With Martin’s early recruits coming of age and the addition of some under-the-radar talent, there’s reason for optimism in Providence.

First and foremost, this is Cedric Kuakumensah’s team, as the imposing senior center and captain looks to build upon the greatest defensive reputation in the league. Outside of Kuakumensah, the Bears will look to replace the contributions of reliable big man, Rafael Maia, and they’ll look to a young cast to do so. Watch out for Travis Fuller, the 6-9 freshman from Encinitas, Calif.  The early returns are positive on Fuller, as the skilled big man looks to fill Maia’s void in the frontcourt.

Read moreBrown Season Preview – Get Out and Run

Haiku Corner – Brown season preview edition

Welcome to Haiku Corner, where we analyze what to look for with each Ivy squad this upcoming season, three lines at a time (with supporting links to boot):

King Kuakumensah

But who else inside now?

Must shore up the paint

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Rhythm from Blackmon

But don’t sleep on Daugherty

Or roster hiccups

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Brothers on the wing

Brothers on the greenery

Brothers in big arms