Now’s the time of year that an Ivy League hoops slate would be revving up, and since there’s no Ivy hoops action to come this spring, here’s an IHO contributors’ roundtable pondering what might have happened in the 2020-21 Ivy season on the men’s and or women’s sides if there had been one instead of an exodus of much of the league’s top talent via the transfer portal. Behold the one-year Ivy hoops universes we created:
Harvard’s Bush heads west, Haskett goes south
Two of the first three Harvard seniors to enter the transfer portal have made their graduate school decisions in November.
Jadyn Bush will be heading out west to join the University of California, Berkeley, and Rio Haskett will suit up for Hampton University. There is still no reported decision from Danilo Djuricic.
While November 5 was Election Day for statewide offices in Kentucky, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia, it was Opening Day for college basketball across the entire nation.
For the Ivies, Harvard tipped things off at noon, picking up the Ancient Eight’s first “W” of the 2019-20 campaign with a road win at Northern Illinois. Princeton’s “pretty great machine” dominated Rider to give Carla Berube her first victory as the Tigers’ head coach. Dartmouth used a balanced attack to take down neighboring Vermont.
Columbia gave Albany all it could handle, but came up just short in an overtime defeat at the SEFCU Arena. Brown, playing without its biggest offensive weapon, had several chances in the last minute but fell by one to crosstown rival Bryant.
Ivy Hoops Online’s writing staff voted on where all eight Ivy women’s and men’s basketball teams would end up for the 2019-20 season. Our projected order of finish for the women:
The calendar has not even turned to September and we have our first major development of the 2019-20 season. The Harvard Crimson broke the news that rising senior Katie Benzan, a three-time first team All-Ivy guard, has decided to step away from the program and end her Ancient Eight career.
“Katie has been a remarkable player in our program for three years,” head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith said in a statement emailed to the paper. “After much discussion with the coaching staff, she has decided to step away her senior year.”
The dean of Ivy coaches, Kathy Delaney-Smith, announced the 2019-20 schedule for the Harvard women on Wednesday. The season, her 38th at Harvard, includes 13 nonconference games with five matchups against teams that made the postseason in 2019.
Four of these teams, California, Quinnipiac, Rutgers, and Maine, made it to March Madness, while Hartford earned a spot in the WNIT.
Following the Nov. 5 season opener at Northern Illinois, the Crimson will welcome Cal to Lavietes Pavilion on the 8th. The Golden Bears, previously coached by former Brown guard and present Cleveland Cavaliers assistant coach Lindsay Gottlieb, will look for revenge after Harvard upset the then-No. 14 team, 85-79, last December.
Georgetown (18-15) 70 at Harvard (17-13) 65
The Harvard women found themselves down 14 points midway through the second quarter and 11 at the half, before rallying to take the lead with 2:45 left in regulation. Georgetown senior Dionna White would respond with a go-ahead coast-to-coast layup with 33 seconds left to put the Hoyas in the lead for good and clinched second round WNIT victory over Harvard at Lavietes Pavilion on Sunday afternoon.
Penn (23-6) 64 vs. American (22-11) 45
In a game between the regular season co-champions of the Ivy and Patriot Leagues, the Quakers dominated all facets of the game and ran away with a 64-45 victory. Penn jumped out to a 16-5 lead after one quarter and stretched it to 23 with just under a minute to go in the first half. American scored the first seven points of the third quarter to make it a 41-24 game, but that would be the closest they would get.
With the Yale men and the Princeton women winning their respective divisions on Sunday, another Ivy League Tournament is in the books. Here are a few of my personal highlights that were not found on the television or the box scores: