Yale men add to its deep roster to make a run at the league title

The Yale men’s basketball team finished 2016-17 third in the Ivy League regular season, but a semifinal upset of rival Harvard propelled them into a runner-up spot in the inaugural Ivy Tournament. With the expected return of 2015-16 first team All-Ivy point guard Makai Mason from a major foot injury, the Bulldogs were expected to be in the thick of last year’s race. While the team was chosen second to the Crimson by only three points in the preseason media poll, Yale actually had two more first-place votes. Unfortunately, Mason and forward Jordan Bruner both sustained injuries in the preseason that effectively kept them on the bench for the entirety of the 2017-18 campaign.

Despite those major blows and a 2-4 start to league play, coach James Jones was able to rally his Elis (16-15 overall, 9-5 Ivy) to a second consecutive third-place showing. While Yale defeated co-champion Penn by one point in New Haven on the regular season’s penultimate evening, the Quakers ended the Bulldogs season with a 80-57 victory at the Palestra in the Ivy Tournament semifinal. For 2018-19, Yale will add a class of five first-years to a squad that will return its entire starting lineup and Bruner (8.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.2 blocks and 22.4 minutes per game in ’16-’17). Even if the team cannot stay healthy, their depth allows them to be a good bet to stay in the conference’s upper division for the 19th straight season. If the coach can get his squad to avoid the injury bug (maybe skip the scrimmage against brother Joe Jones’ Boston University, where Mason and Bruner were both injured in successive seasons), a regular season and postseason title should be within their grasp.

Read moreYale men add to its deep roster to make a run at the league title

Ivy League men’s basketball 2018 recruiting update

Harvard

Noah Kirkwood, a three-star recruit from the Ottawa area, committed on Tuesday to Harvard for the fall of 2018.  The 6′ 7″ shooting guard recently graduated from nearby Ashbury College High School, and will spend a year at Northfield Mount Hermon School (Mass.) prep school before heading to Cambridge.  247Sports noted that Kirkwood had offers at Wichita State, Virginia, Texas, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, Tulane, GW, and St. Bonaventure.  Verbal Commits listed additional offers at Villanova, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, and USC.

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Ivy news roundup – Sept. 1, 2017

Oni impresses at Nike Skills Academy

Yale’s Miye Oni was one of 21 college players selected to compete at the prestigious Nike Skills Academy in late August.  Among the attendees were Grayson Allen, Trevon Duval and Marques Bolden from Duke, Nick Ward and Jaren Jackson from Michigan State, Tony Carr from Penn State, and Amir Coffey of Minnesota.  The sophomore guard, who was named a second team All-Ivy in 2016-17, certainly impressed those in attendance.  ESPN’s Jeff Goodman tweeted, “One college player who has stood out to NBA guys at the Nike Camp has been sophomore Miye Oni.  Guys love his ability to score.”

Ivy women excel in international hoops

Princeton sophomore Bella Alarie and Harvard sophomore Jeannie Boehm helped USA Basketball secure a silver medal at the recent FIBA U-19 World Cup.  Alarie, who was a late addition to the team’s tryout roster, earned a starting spot and finished the tournament averaging 7.3 points, 8.1 rebounds and 21.2 minutes a game.  Boehm averaged 3.2 rebounds and 8.8 minutes per game.  Team USA dominated the group stage and the quarterfinals.  In the semifinals against Japan, USA was up 22 at the end of the third quarter and appeared to hit a wall, allowing its opponents to get the lead down to seven by the end of the contest.  In the finals, the Americans were up six at halftime, but could not contain Russia’s two frontcourt starts, World Cup MVP Maria Vadeeva and Raisa Musina.  With the 86-82 defeat, the U.S. missed its chance to secure its seventh straight title.

Read moreIvy news roundup – Sept. 1, 2017