Ivy 60 for 60: Matt Morgan

Matt Morgan finished second on the all-time Ivy scoring list. (Cornell University Athletics)

Ivy Hoops Online announces the next entry in Ivy 60 for 60, our series running through 60 of the greatest players in Ivy League men’s basketball history after a hiatus to continue celebrating six decades of modern Ivy League basketball. An Ivy 60 for 60 for Ivy women’s basketball will follow.

Scoring 2,333 points, Matt Morgan had not only one of the most historic careers in Ivy League history but all of NCAA history. His sheer dominance as a member of the Cornell Big Red greatly contributed to the continuing rise of Ivy League Basketball over the last four years.

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Princeton falters at Payne Whitney … again

Mitch Henderson fell to 2-6 all-time against Yale as Princeton's head coach Friday night in New Haven.
Mitch Henderson fell to 2-6 all-time against Yale as Princeton’s head coach Friday night in New Haven.

The Princeton brand took another body blow last night in New Haven, rekindling memories of the shocking collapse two seasons ago. At that time, the Tigers entered the final full weekend of the year needing a sweep to clinch another Ivy title or just one win to force a playoff with eventual winner Harvard. A shocking upset Friday night at Yale, followed by a listless walk-through at Brown the next night, sent the Tigers home with its season in tatters. That team voted to stay home in the postseason, turning down overtures from the CBI and CIT.

The stakes were not nearly as high this year as the Tigers embarked on the annual dogsled trip to New Haven and Providence. The young Tigers were aiming to leave a calling card at Payne Whitney, showing coach James Jones and the Bulldogs what they might have to face in the years to come.

If, in fact, that is what happened, you could not blame Jones if he let loose with a few guffaws after the dud Mitch Henderson lobbed his way.

Read morePrinceton falters at Payne Whitney … again

Shot selection keeps holding the Big Red back

This is Shonn Miller doing the opposite of hoisting a three. (ithacajournal.com)
This is Shonn Miller doing the opposite of hoisting a three. (ithacajournal.com)

We are a little more than halfway through the Ivy slate and Cornell is just as up as it is down.  12-12 on the season and 4-4 in conference.   Satisfied?  Disappointed?  I don’t think you’ll find a Big Red fan in too much anguish. To suffer over a team bouncing back from its lowest win total in school history and fewest wins in league play since the 1970-71 campaign would be unreasonable, but who said sports fans have to be reasonable?  We’re a fickle group, easily frustrated and often disillusioned.

This is why when a team picked to finish dead last finds itself in the top half of the standings past the midway point of play, we can’t help but ask ourselves, why not more?

Read moreShot selection keeps holding the Big Red back

2014-15 Ivy conference play preview

Noah Savage (@yoitsthesav), comedian, broadcaster and color commentator for the Princeton men’s basketball team, previews the conference slate and how the Ivies stack up halfway through the first full Ivy weekend of 2014-15:

The men’s Ivy League basketball teams are already half way through their schedule and you haven’t paid any attention at all. But don’t worry. There’s still time to catch up since the preconference schedule is almost completely irrelevant in the Ivy League where the regular season champion receives a bid to the NCAA tournament.  Now that we’re still just halfway through the first full Ivy weekend of the season, here’s a quick cheat sheet for each team – plus a few of my own predictions – to help you catch up:

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What's your Ivy team's New Year's resolution?

New YearIt’s New Year’s Eve, and that means New Year’s resolutions abound. If the Ivies could have one doable New Year’s resolution each, here’s what they would be, along with the likelihood of each team making good on that resolution (Ivy power rankings included).

8. Penn (3-7)Get the freshmen substantially more minutes

Sam Jones is averaging 6.1 points in just 15.1 minutes per game so far this season and has proven himself to be the kind of sharpshooting threat Penn has been missing for a long time, shooting an eye-popping 45.9 percent from beyond the arc. Yet Jones logged just 10 minutes at La Salle last night. He must be in coach Jerome Allen’s doghouse, but he has to play more regardless.

Meanwhile, now that Mike Auger’s back from a foot injury, he has to play more too. He’s just seventh on the team in minutes per game despite being second in rebounds and third in points per contest. Freshman guard Antonio Woods is actually logging more minutes than anybody due to junior guard Tony Hicks’ chronic foul trouble, but he’s just one of many frosh that will have to pick up the slack if Penn is to make a run at the top half of the conference.

Read moreWhat's your Ivy team's New Year's resolution?

IHO Awards of the Week – Dec. 1

The week that was in Ivy roundball, power rankings included:

8. Penn (0-5)

Sigh. More on Penn here, but suffice it to say that the Quakers’ loss to Wagner made their tangible improvements against Lafayette and Temple look like a mirage.

7. Dartmouth (1-3)

Meh. The Big Green let a four-point lead with 7:04 left slip away at home to New Hampshire, which trumped Dartmouth, 65-63, via a game-winning bucket by Daniel Dion with four seconds left. Dartmouth beat IPFW, 68-67, earlier in the week but entered the New Hampshire game with the lowest-scoring offense in the conference and second to last in turnover margin. This offense just isn’t very good and somebody besides Alex Mitola needs to step up as a consistent weapon. Prior to New Hampshire, Connor Boehm was shooting just 43.8 percent from the field, and his scoring was down to 6.7 points per game from 10.9 last season. Boehm was the Big Green’s leading scorer against the Wildcats and will have to be even more impactful going forward for this offense to lift itself up.

Read moreIHO Awards of the Week – Dec. 1

IHO Awards of the Week – Nov. 24

Here’s the week that was for Ivy hoops, featuring updated power rankings and thoughts on Cornell’s advances and blown chances, Princeton’s shocking defeat against a team still getting used to Division I and much more:

PLAYER OF THE WEEKYale forward Justin Sears – IHO’s preseason pick for Ivy Player of the Year gets the nod here because his team reeled off four victories this past week, in no small part due to Sears’s performance. He did little against Newbury Monday but led all scorers in a win over Illinois-Chicago and turned in 17 points, 11 boards, four assists and two blocks the following night in a win over Illinois State. Sears was part of a winning ensemble performance at Kent State on Sunday as well.

ROOKIE OF THE WEEKPenn forward Mike Auger – No Quaker logged more minutes against Rider than Auger, who notched 10 points and eight rebounds on 5-for-7 shooting from the field in just his second game at the collegiate level. He only got better against Lafayette Saturday night, posting 18 points and nine rebounds on 7-for-10 shooting in just 14 minutes. What the numbers don’t show is the chemistry Auger has already established with Tony Hicks.

SURPRISE OF THE WEEK – Incarnate Word? Really?

Read moreIHO Awards of the Week – Nov. 24

A Cornell comeback within a Cornell comeback

After Colgate’s Damon Sherman-Newsome scored the first eight points of the game against Cornell, the Big Red looked a lot like the 2-26 Big Red of 2013-14: sluggish and ineffective. Later, a 23-6 Big Red deficit had them looking like a carbon copy of that 2013-14 squad.

Then Devin Cherry kicked his game into high gear, turning in a career performance and almost single-handedly turning the game around for Cornell. Cherry finished with 21 points, five assists, four boards and three steals while shooting an efficient 8-for-15 from the floor. He scored 20 of Cornell’s first 49 points and made sure the Big Red didn’t fade completely in the first half. He played with passion and he was consistently rewarded for it.

To put Cornell’s win into proper perspective, the Big Red lost to Colgate by 23 last year. Cornell is making sure we all know this is not last year.

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Cornell Season Preview – “They’re Bad,” But How Bad?

It’s that time of the year. The leaves are changing colors, the Jets’ season is hopelessly lost, and gym floors everywhere are echoing with the sound of squeaking feet and whistles that have been missing for way too long. It’s the season of previews, where the optimists shine and everyone still has a chance.

Everyone except for Cornell, at least if you ask assistant coaches around the league.

“They’re bad. Pretty simply put, they’re bad.”

“Cornell is in trouble.”

“[I] just don’t see them winning many more games than last year.”

These are among the flattering remarks anonymous Ivy League assistant coaches dispensed about the Big Red in City of Basketball Love‘s “Coaches’ Thoughts” Ivy season preview. The media wasn’t any more impressed as the Big Red were projected to finish last in the preseason media poll by an overwhelming margin.

I get it. Coming off of a 2-26 season with only one Division I win, it’s hard not to automatically slot Cornell at the bottom of the pack. The climb up from the bottom is never as swift as the fall from the top and the Red haven’t done anything to prove that they are more capable than a season ago.

Read moreCornell Season Preview – “They’re Bad,” But How Bad?

Weekend's Winners

Harvard and Columbia both swept their weekends and did some rewriting of the history books.
Harvard and Columbia both swept their weekends and did some rewriting of the history books.

Two teams gained ground in the standings this weekend with historic sweeps. Harvard opened up a one game lead on second-place Yale after bulldozing Penn at the Palestra and earning its first victory since 1989 at Jadwin. Meanwhile, Columbia swept an Ivy weekend for the first time in five years and moved into a tie for third, edging Brown on Friday and stopping Yale on national TV on Sunday. Let”s take a look at the weekend”s big winners.

Read moreWeekend's Winners