Another week full of Ivy news, with none bigger than Courtney Banghart’s move from Princeton to North Carolina. The former Big Green All-Ivy guard and Tigers head coach signed a five-year contract to take over a Tar Heels program that needs a new start. Per Jeff Gravely of WRAL in Raleigh, Banghart’s contract starts at $650,000 in 2019-2020 and increases to $730,000 in 2024-2025. Athletic and academic bonuses are included that can increase the yearly salary by $10,000 to $470,000.
On Tuesday afternoon, Penn’s Dr. M. Grace Calhoun, director of athletics and recreation, held a press conference to announce that Penn Athletics secured a sponsorship with Macquarie Investment Management. The multi-faceted agreement is highlighted by the group’s presenting sponsorship of the men’s and women’s basketball teams, as well as naming rights to the Palestra’s famed court.
Calhoun refused to disclose the length and value of the deal but noted the partnership is for several years and is the largest such agreement in the history of Penn Athletics.
Typically, a presenting sponsor attaches its name to a product. With respect to the “Cathedral of Basketball”, the hardwood will now permanently be known as “Macquarie Court at the Palestra.” Calhoun noted, iin response to questions from Jonathan Tannenwald of Philly.com and reporters form the Daily Pennsylvanian, that having a corporate name linked directly with the fabled arena was not an option. However, she did admit that the school’s famed football stadium, Franklin Field, and the Penn Relays could be considered for a deal in the future.
They call him Mister Bibbs
Tai Bibbs of West Chicago High School committed to Columbia Friday following a visit to the school between March 26 and 28. The Lions had previously given Bibbs and offer before he signed to Drake. After Drake’s coach resigned, Bibbs was given his release and Columbia won out over Dartmouth, Lafayette, Fordham, Rice, Cal-Davis, Loyola, New Mexico State, Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne and Toledo. The 6′ 3″ two-star combo guard, who was named the captain of the Chicago Daily Herald DuPage All-Area Boys Basketball Team, averaged 26.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 steals a game, while connecting on 74 made three-pointers and 77 percent of his free throws. Bibbs, who follows Mike Smith to Columbia from the Land of Lincoln, is another strong addition to a Lions recruiting class that already has Jaron Faulds, Gabriele Stefanini, Randall Brumant, Myles Hanson and Jake Klores.
In time for the conclusion of Women’s History Month and the Women’s NCAA Tournament, the Human Rights Campaign discussed five LGBTQ players and coaches who have courageously chosen to be open and authentic in their sexual identity. One of these athletes is Cornell senior Nicholle Aston. The suburban Los Angeles native ended her Big Red basketball career in the top 16 in field-goal percentage, made field goals, points, total rebounds, offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds, blocks, games played and games started. More importantly, though, has been her volunteer work as Education and Advocacy Intern at Cornell’s LGBT Resource Center and President of the school’s chapter of Athlete Ally. With the support of coaches, teammates and allies, Aston has grown into a leader on and off the court, making the entire East Hill community a stronger and more accepting place.
A number of Ivy Leaguers earned postseason award recognition. Penn’s Michelle Nwokedi was named to the ECAC first team, while Cornell’s Nia Marshall and Harvard’s Katie Benzan were named to the second team. Princeton’s Steven Cook was named to the NABC District 13 first team, while fellow Tigers Spencer Weisz and Devin Cannady, as well as Harvard’s Bryce Aiken, Brown’s Steven Spieth and Dartmouth’s Evan Boudreaux were selected for the second team. Aiken was also chosen for the ECAC second team. Cook was also named to the Allstate NABC Good Works team and CoSida Academic All-America. Weisz, the men’s Ivy League Player of the Year, was chosen an Honorable Mention All-America. Tigers’ coach Mitch Henderson was selected as the NABC District 13 Coach of the Year, as well as chosen as one of 20 finalists for the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year.
Following our countdown of the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s men’s basketball history this summer, Ivy Hoops Online is delighted to continue celebrating the 60th anniversary of modern Ivy League basketball by honoring the top 60 players in Ivy hoops history throughout the season (in no particular order):
One could argue that Zack Rosen is the greatest Penn player of the modern era.
His personal achievements on the court clearly support this. He is Penn’s all-time leader in assists, games started and minute played, third all-time in points, free throw percentage and three-point shooting as well as fourth in steals. He was named Honorable Mention AP All-American in 2012, first-team All-Ivy three times (2012 unanimously) and All-Big 5 twice. Zack also has a plethora of personal awards and accolades far too numerous to mention.
We’re counting down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective. Brown is next because losing records at Jadwin were meant to be broken.
A lot of Brown supporters fell in love with the program all over again on Valentine”s Day 2003, a day that provided definitive proof that the Bears were back after years of struggling prior to coach Glen Miller taking over four years prior.
That day, Brown won at Princeton for the first time ever in 53 tries.
We’re counting down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective. Brown is next because the bandleader plays on…
Glen Miller wouldn’t have had the opportunity to turn the Penn basketball program into a still unextinguished dumpster fire if he hadn’t done a solid job in Providence.
Before Miller became Brown head coach in 1999, the Bears had enjoyed just one winning season in 23 years (the 1986 Ivy title season) and 14 total wins in the previous three seasons. Under Miller, whose previous coaching stop was at Division III Connecticut College, Brown quadrupled that achievement, reeling off four straight winning seasons from 2000-01 through 2003-04, including the school’s only NIT appearance in 2003.
As an outstanding people person who the Philadelphia Inquirer correctly noted that no one wanted to see fired as Penn head coach in March, Jerome Allen was likely to find a decent assistant coaching gig outside the confines of the Palestra.
But was anybody expecting this?
My big board for Penn’s vacant head coaching position, a mixture of what I think Penn Athletic Director Grace Calhoun’s current ranking is and what the ranking should be:
10. Louis Orr (Siena head coach 2000-01, Seton Hall head coach 2001-06, Bowling Green head coach 2007-14)
Lifetime record: 201-201 (.500)
Wanna succeed against Tommy Amaker? Hire Tommy Amaker’s successor. Louis Orr, one half of the “Bouie & Louie Show” at Syracuse in the late ‘70s, took over for Amaker at Seton Hall in 2001 when the latter left for Michigan. Orr was actually the more successful coach for the Pirates, making one NIT appearance and two NCAA appearances in five years. In 2006, he was inexplicably fired after taking the Pirates to the NCAA tournament, and they’ve never made it back since. Then again, neither has Orr, who finished 101-121 in seven years at Bowling Green. The 58-year-old Cincinnati native has no Ivy or City 6 experience, but he’s got loads of experience and would provide instant credibility on the recruiting trail, especially in New Jersey, a frequent target area for Penn recruiting. Still, he’s an outsider on nobody’s radar.
Although I feel compelled to write something about our head coach being fired, there is little I can add that hasn’t already been said elsewhere.
A stellar man of character, universally loved on campus, superb athlete and Penn hoops legend (probably the finest Ivy League player I’ve ever seen), who was to resurrect our program following the Glen Miller disaster. Objectively, the results never materialized. Why? Who knows? It is impossible to speculate. Perhaps outside of the team’s inner sanctum, no one will ever know. Regardless, I don’t think anyone would argue that he was given more than a fair chance to succeed.