Ivy hoops roundup – On the move

Our latest Ivy hoops roundup features the 2019-20 Academic All-Ivies and a whole lot of Ivy graduate transfers on the move:

Academic All-Ivies announced 

The Ivy League released its winter edition of the 2019-20 Academic All-Ivy list Thursday. The basketball honorees were:

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Seth Towns commits to Ohio State as graduate transfer

Seth Towns is taking his talents back to Columbus.

The former Harvard forward and 2017-18 Ivy League Player of the Year announced Saturday night that he was committing to Ohio State as a graduate transfer.

A Columbus native, Towns noted his gratitude for his time with Harvard basketball, which consisted of two seasons in which he averaged 14.2 points and five rebounds. The 6-foot-7, 215-pound standout earned Ivy POY honors as a sophomore before suffering an injury down the stretch of the 2018 Ivy League Tournament final, an eventual loss to Penn at the Palestra.

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Fallout continues over decision to cancel the Ivy League Tournament

Things have not calmed down after Tuesday afternoon’s bombshell announcement from the Ivy League and its eight presidents that this weekend’s Ivy League Tournaments were canceled, making the league the first conference to cancel tournament play.

The conference likes to refer to its tournament as Ivy Madness.  To paraphrase Harvard senior Seth Towns, the 2018 Player of the Year, it’s more like Ivy Mayhem.

Read moreFallout continues over decision to cancel the Ivy League Tournament

Ivy League cancels men’s and women’s conference tournaments

The Ivy League announced Tuesday that it has canceled the men’s and women’s conference basketball tournaments slated to be held at Harvard’s Lavietes Pavilion Friday through Sunday in response to coronavirus concerns, declaring the Princeton women and Yale men, the Ivy League regular season champions, the automatic qualifiers to the NCAA tournaments.

“We understand and share the disappointment with student-athletes, coaches and fans who will not be able to participate in these tournaments,” Ivy League Executive Director Robin Harris said. “Regrettably, the information and recommendations presented to us from public health authorities and medical professionals have convinced us that this is the most prudent decision.”

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Report: Bryce Aiken to become graduate transfer

Bryce Aiken will pursue graduate transfer opportunities, 247Sports reported Saturday.

The news is no shock but indicates that Aiken is looking to use what is left of his college eligibility rather than starting a professional career.

Aiken played only seven games this season due to a foot injury that happened on Dec. 21, missing the final 18 games of the regular season. Aiken is expected to get a medical redshirt for this past season and will graduate from Harvard in the spring, according to 247Sports.

The Ivy League does not grants redshirts or allow graduate students to play athletics.

Aiken averaged 16.8 points, 2.7 assists and 2.4 rebounds per game in 65 career contests for the Crimson, establishing himself as one of the league’s most dynamic scorers when healthy. Aiken missed 31 games his sophomore and junior seasons due to injury.

 

Harvard men struggle at home in loss to Brown as Bears stay in Ivy League Tournament contention

After a six-game winning streak gave Harvard a fighting chance to seize the top seed in the Ivy League Tournament from arch-rival Yale, the Crimson men fell to Brown, 64-55, at home Friday night and locked themselves into a matchup with Princeton. The Bears, who are wrapping up an impressive season but failed to vault into the top tier of the league, completed a season sweep of Harvard on the strength of 20 points from Zach Hunsaker and a solid defensive effort. On Senior Night, Harvard was as usual led by Chris Lewis, who had 13 points on 6-for-7 shooting, but sorely missed the steady hand of injured guard Christian Juzang. The usually reliable Noah Kirkwood struggled from the floor, shooting only 4-for-13 with no assists, and freshman guard Idan Tretout was not able to pick up the backcourt slack after having been thrust into action.

Chris Lewis of Harvard is defended by Brown’s Zach Hunsaker and Jaylan Gainey during the Bears’ 64-55 win over the Crimson at Lavietes Pavilion Friday night. Brown held Harvard to 0.81 points per possession, and Harvard’s offense often looked discombobulated, committing 15 turnovers. | Photo by Erica Denhoff

Read moreHarvard men struggle at home in loss to Brown as Bears stay in Ivy League Tournament contention

The Ivy League Tournament’s X-factor: The coronavirus

Heading into the final weekend of the regular season, six of the eight slots in next week’s Ivy Madness have been set.  One thing that is not as secure are the final plans of the tournaments, due to the increasing public health threat form the novel coronavirus.

As the scope of the disease increases in numbers and locations throughout the United States, governments, corporations, schools, houses of worship and hospitals are among the many groups that have had to figure out how to perform normal actions while providing proper levels of safety and protection.

Add college basketball to that list.

Read moreThe Ivy League Tournament’s X-factor: The coronavirus

Harvard men take sole possession of second place with win over Cornell

ITHACA, N.Y. – Despite the absence of Christian Juzang due to injury, Harvard pulled out a 67-58 win over Cornell, putting the Crimson in sole possession of second place in the Ivy standings.

“They’re an impressive group,” Cornell coach Brian Earl said. “I won’t miss some of their seniors on their team. They’re grown men.”

The first half was super streaky, although relatively close. Harvard (20-7, 9-3 Ivy) opened up on a 6-0 run, followed by an 8-0 run from Bryan Knapp for the Big Red (6-19, 3-9).

“My teammates [are] looking for me,” Knapp said. “I had five, then Terrance [McBride] was like, ‘I’m getting you the ball,’ and he drove, kicked it to me.”

Read moreHarvard men take sole possession of second place with win over Cornell

Columbia women win fifth straight, make big push toward Ivy Madness

Columbia rode its stingy second half defense, Abbey Hsu’s hot fourth quarter shooting and its deep bench to beat Harvard, 62-57, notching its fifth straight win and moving within a game of its first-ever birth in the Ivy Tournament.

Harvard (14-10, 5-6 Ivy) entered Friday night’s contest on a three-game losing streak, including an 89-64 defeat at Columbia (16-8, 7-4) two weeks ago. The Crimson hoped a return to Lavietes Pavilion, where the team was 8-2 on the season, would help turn the tide and return team back to the league’s upper division.

Read moreColumbia women win fifth straight, make big push toward Ivy Madness