The biggest story of the off-season was Miye Oni being selected in June’s NBA Draft. The Yale junior and reigning Ivy Player of the Year decided to leave school early and leave his name in the draft. Despite falling to the late second round, a perilous spot to making an NBA roster, Oni impressed in the Summer League and earned a guaranteed contract with the Utah Jazz. He is playing just as well in the pre-season and looks to be a real steal for the Jazz.
Some Ivy updates before heading into Final Four weekends in Tampa and Minneapolis:
With teams a few short weeks away from actual games, here is a collection of off-season stories to catch up on before the start of the 2018-2019 season.
We caught up with Yale women’s basketball coach Allison Guth, who is embarking on her fourth season helming the Bulldogs and fresh off a recent contract extension through the 2023-24 season.
Ivy Hoops Online: Not many teams have an opportunity to win their last game of the season. Yale did last year, winning the WBI. What was that experience like?
Allison Guth: Anytime your team can experience a “one and done” tournament setting is a benefit to the growth of your program. Having your back against the wall and needing to get the “W” to advance proves a mental toughness and fortitude. Our team was able to grow as a result of winning one in a row four times to earn a postseason championship.
IHO: You did suffer some major graduation losses. Can you assess how that impacts the team?
1. Princeton (3-2)
Win – at Davidson, 63-57
Loss – vs. No. 24 Villanova, 62-59
The Tigers traveled down to North Carolina, on Saturday, and earned a six-point win over Davidson. With the score tied at 48 after three quarters, Bella Alarie scored eight of the team’s next 10 points as Princeton opened up an eight-point lead with over five minutes to play. The Wildcats were twice able to get within three points in the last 75 seconds, but could not get any closer. Alarie pitched in 21 points and 11 rebounds for her third double-double in a row, while rookies Carlie Littlefield and Abby Meyers combined for 24 points (6-for-10 from three) and six steals. For her effort, Meyers was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week. But Princeton couldn’t quite avenge its WNIT loss last season to Villanova on Wednesday, falling to the Wildcats again despite a career-high 29 points from Alarie and an 11-4 run to start the game.
Next Game: 12/2 vs Delaware
Editor’s note: Yale junior guard Gabby Nelson is a from Hurst, Tex. Nelson played in a homecoming game for her as the Elis upset TCU on the road 82-72 last Monday, starting her first game ever for the Elis and posting a career scoring high with six points. (Yale is off to a 3-1 start this season.) Nelson agreed to reflect on the trip out west this past week for Ivy Hoops Online’s Richard Kent.
This past week, Yale Women’s Basketball traveled to play two fierce Big 12 opponents: Kansas and TCU. This trip served as an opportunity to bring three players back home and to play very high-level basketball.
We started off the six-day trip flying into Kansas City and going directly to the men’s game against South Dakota State. The atmosphere in Allen Fieldhouse was something I have never experienced firsthand. Even though the women’s game did not receive as much attention, it was still a once in a lifetime experience to play on such an iconic court. As for the game against Kansas, we wish we had another shot at them. We were the better team, but small mistakes and mental errors down the stretch were our undoing. Kansas did not beat us; we beat ourselves. Despite the disappointing loss, I think it was a learning experience that will help us throughout the season.
The Kansas trip was also special because it gave us the opportunity to bring home the one and only Jessica Steffen. We had the opportunity to hang out with her wonderful friends and family. The love and pride everyone had for Jessica and her accomplishments speaks volumes about her character and dedication that she brings every day.