Inside Ivy Hoops – Feb. 22, 2018

In the latest episode of Inside Ivy Hoops, Brett Franklin and Jill Glessner talk with Dartmouth women’s coach Belle Koclanes and Ivy Hoops Online Harvard beat writer Robert Crawford while also previewing a crucial weekend on both the men’s and women’s sides.

On the women’s side, Jill and Brett look back on Dartmouth’s pivotal comeback overtime victory at Yale, the Bulldogs’ see-saw weekend, Brown’s subpar shot selection, the current tiebreaker situation for the No. 3 and 4 seeds and more:

On the men’s side, Brett and Jill detail the current tiebreaker situation for the No. 4 seed, Cornell’s surge to the top half of the league, Matt Morgan’s efficient offensive dominance, Penn’s “next man up” mentality, Yale’s extra passes and a tough weekend for the Bears in addition to previewing the weekend’s matchups:

Robert Crawford weighs in on Harvard filling the void left by Bryce Aiken’s absence in unexpected ways, what Justin Bassey and Chris Lewis bring to the Crimson, the emergence of Christian Juzang, Tommy Amaker’s different coaching approach recently, the Lavietes factor, the versatility of Katie Benzan and more:

Belle Koclanes details Dartmouth’s halftime conversation trailing at Yale 34-18 before completing a memorable second-half comeback, who’s stepping up following the season-ending injury of Olivia Smith, the Big Green’s response to being “tanked” amid their first Ivy back-to-back last month, the development of Kate Letkewicz and more:

Thoughts on Ivy League openers – men’s basketball

Harvard 61 vs Dartmouth 51

An ugly win is still a win. Harvard fans can take comfort in that fact after the Crimson’s home win over the Big Green, a game that was very much up for grabs until Harvard pulled away with 4-for-4 three-point shooting in a 3:54 span late in the game during which Dartmouth was held scoreless, turning a 45-45 tie into a 54-45 cushion. Harvard notched the win despite Bryce Aiken missing nearly the entire game in a brief return from injury after missing the last four games with a knee injury. Harvard committed 19 turnovers, not a particularly good sign. But the Crimson were led by a career-high 12 points from Christian Juzang and 16 points on 5-for-13 shooting from Seth Towns. Harvard entered the game as one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the country but lit Dartmouth up from deep, going 12-for-25 (48 percent), easily besting Dartmouth’s paltry 5-for-19 (26.3 percent) clip.

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Thoughts on Ivy League openers – women’s basketball

Princeton 70 at Penn 55

The Princeton Tigers improve to 11-3 overall and, more importantly, 1-0 in the Ivy League, as they beat the two time defending champion Penn Quakers (6-5, 0-1 Ivy) for the first time in over 1,000 days.  The Orange & Black looked as if they would run away from the Red & Blue when they opened up a 10-point lead with 3:36 left in the first half, but Penn went on a 7-0 run to go into the break down 31-28.  

In the second half, the Tigers upped the defensive effort, frustrating the Quakers time and time again as they created another 10-point lead with 8:33 left in the fourth quarter.  Unlike the first half, Princeton would not let Penn shift the game’s momentum and cruised to a 15-point victory on their rival’s home court.

Some quick thoughts:

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Harvard season preview: Slew of sophomore studs looks to lead Crimson

Last season, Harvard lost to Yale in heartbreaking fashion in the first round of the inaugural Ivy League Tournament. The Crimson graduated Siyani Chambers and Zena Edosomwan, both of whom made indelible impacts on the program. Honestly, it’s hard to imagine a successful Harvard season without Siyani Chambers. And yet, the Crimson comes into the 2017-18 season as the preseason favorite, according to the Ivy Preseason Media Poll. While the poll predicted an incredibly close race between Harvard and familiar foes Yale and Princeton, the sentiment of the voters is clear: No one expects Harvard to take a step back this year. Here are the details on how Harvard hopes to turn high expectations on paper into actual success on the court:

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Breaking down Harvard’s 2017-18 women’s and men’s schedules

Harvard women’s basketball tries to keep upper division streak alive

The Harvard women’s basketball team released its 2017-18 schedule and hopes to build on its post-season Ivy Tournament appearance and first-round WNIT victory in 2016-17.  This will be the 36th season for legendary head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith, who is the only coach to ever guide a No. 16 seed in a victory over a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.  Smith’s teams have been in the Ivy upper division for 32 of her 35 seasons at Harvard, while placing in the top three each of the last 14 years.  With the continuation of the postseason Ivy Tournament, the odds look strong for the Crimson to return to the Palestra in early March.

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Lin’s accounts of racist behavior continue disturbing trend in Ivy sports

Former Harvard guard Jeremy Lin (2006 -10) was interviewed by his Brooklyn Nets teammate on the “Outside Shot with Randy Foye” podcast on May 10.  After discussing the early part of his basketball career, Lin was asked if he was subjected to racial slurs when playing on the road.  The NBA’s first American-born player of Chinese or Taiwanese descent stated that he suffered more racist abuse during his time in college than in the pros.

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Grading the inaugural Ivy League Tournament

After years of debating and voting on the efficacy of an Ivy League Tournament, the first one is in the books.

And it certainly has engendered much discussion amongst the Ivy faithful, given its prominence on the ESPN family of networks this past weekend (ESPNU for the semifinals and ESPN2 for the final).

From a national perspective, not so much, despite the fact that the venerable college basketball writer John Feinstein was one of the media members in attendance for the Saturday session. With that said, here is an attempt to grade the event in different categories:

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Ivy Madness: A tough path for Harvard

Two games will likely define Harvard’s season. The narrative surrounding this team — whether Harvard is back as a mainstay in the Big Dance as one of the top mid-major programs in the country, or if they were just too young — will be decided by two games. Two 40-minute games for all the marbles, because 14 is so “last year.” Like it or not, the Ivy League Tournament is here, it’s here to stay … and it’s going to be a lot of fun. Here’s what to watch for from Harvard’s perspective.

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