As Ivy League basketball emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, new opportunities abound for new and returning Ivy players, coaches and even windows:
The slew of top-flight talent leaving the Ivy League just keep gets bigger.
Together again as Tar Heels
Princeton women’s senior guard Carlie Littlefield delivered the news on Twitter Monday that she’ll be reuniting with Courtney Banghart, the coach she played for at Princeton as a rookie and sophomore, at North Carolina. An Economics major at Princeton, Littlefield will play at UNC as a graduate transfer and earn a Master of Business Administration degree there.
Ivy Hoops Online announces the next entry in Ivy 60 for 60, our series running through 60 of the greatest players in Ivy League men’s basketball history after a hiatus to continue celebrating six decades of modern Ivy League basketball. An Ivy 60 for 60 for Ivy women’s basketball will follow.
One of the few Ivy League basketball standouts known more for their professional basketball exploits, Jeremy Lin is also one of its most grateful.
Lin has given Ivy hoops fans a lot to be grateful for too.
- Ben Baskin of Sports Illustrated published a longform article Thursday on former Penn head coach Jerome Allen and his part in a recruitment scandal that saw the Ivy great accept money from a parent to place an unqualified student-athlete onto the school’s recruited athlete list. The author wrote his article, which is available online and in the print edition, “with the aid of court transcripts and exhibits, financial records, news reports and interviews with three dozen of his friends, classmates, teachers, coaches, players, mentors and coworkers, many speaking anonymously for fear of personal and professional ramifications.”
The article provided the following new information: During his playing career, Allen faced a series of civil suits over unpaid debts—$5,000 owed to a car-leasing company, $13,000 to a bank, $6,700 to a landlord.
– While Allen was coaching Penn, the school sued him for nearly $25,000 for failing to pay off two decades of accrued interest on a loan he had taken out as a student
- The Brown men’s team officially hired Cooper Handelsman as an assistant coach and Sam Hershberger as its Director of Basketball Operations. The Handelsman hiring was first reported at HoopDirt.com and later noted in IHO’s June 6 roundup.
Handelsman was a point guard for Kenyon College (2011-2015), before spending the 2015-2016 season as Lehigh’s video coordinator. He has been with the Hoop Group since the end of that season, and has been Director of Hoop Group Elite for the last two and half years. Hershberger, a four year member of the Elon basketball team (2012-2016) spent 2017-2019 as a student manager at the University of Florida while he obtained his Master’s in Applied Physiology and applied Kinesiology.
- Addie Micir is headed for Lehigh, which announced Wednesday that Micir is leaving Princeton to join the Mountain Hawks’ coaching staff as an associate head coach. Micir was an assistant under Courtney Banghart at Princeton last season following five seasons as an assistant at Dartmouth. Micir was 2011 Ivy Player of the Year at Princeton, earning her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Princeton in 2011 and her master’s degree in Liberal Studies from Dartmouth in 2018. Micir’s departure from Princeton was announced two days after new Princeton head coach Carla Berube’s introductory press conference. Berube will have to hire an all new assistant coaching staff after the recent departures of assistant coach Carrie Moore and director of basketball operations Jessica Imhof with Banghart to North Carolina and assistant coach Cinnamon Lister to UC Irvine.
- Brown’s Mike Martin will be joining USA Basketball as an assistant coach for the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru from July 31 through August 4. Martin, the 2019 Ivy League Coach of the Year, and Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard will work under the head coaching leadership of Providence College’s Ed Cooley.
The team will practice at the Ruane Development Center on the Providence College campus from July 21 through July 26 before they head off to Peru. The US will be in Pool A against the Virgin Islands on July 31, followed by games against Venezuela on August 1 and Puerto Rico on August 2. The medal round play will be held on August 3-4.
- Bella Alarie, the 2017 and 2018 Ivy League Player of the Year, will be a part of USA Basketball’s Pan American team on the women’s side. While she’s waiting for that tournament, she continues her work on USA Basketball’s 3×3 team. This past weekend, her team came in third place in the 3×3 event in Turin, Italy. They went 2-1 in group play, defeating the Czech Republic and Canada, but losing to France. The Stars & Stripes defeating Mongolia in the quarterfinals before losing to the hosts, 16-12.
After two tournaments, Alarie is sixth in scoring with 35 points, and her team finds themselves in second place overall with 115 points, 35 points behind France. The US will next head to Poitiers, France (July 5-6), Ekaterinburg, Russia (July 9-10) and Lignano, Italy (July 13-14).
- Following a 11-plus week paid suspension, Auburn University reinstated former Penn assistant coach Ira Bowman to his similar position on Saturday afternoon. The 1996 Ivy League Player of the Year was suspended by Auburn just before the SEC Tournament, after former Penn coach Jerome Allen testified that Bowman was involved in a scheme resulting in bribes by Florida businessman Philip Esformes to get his son, Morris Esformes, on the basketball roster for the fall of 2015.
Sam Blum of AL.com wrote that an Auburn athletics spokesman confirmed the news but did not have the results of the school’s investigation or information regarding the reasoning for Bowman’s reinstatement. AL.com has filed an open records request to obtain this information. Bowman returned to his reported $250,000 a year job, just in time to help with one of the biggest recruiting weekends in program history.
Kevin Bonner, Penn’s senior associate athletic director, governance and administration, did not respond to an email from IHO regarding the reinstatement, the Auburn investigation or any Penn investigation of Bowman.
- Cornell’s Matt Morgan was the male recipient of the Charles H. Moore Outstanding Senior Varsity Athlete Award at the school’s annual senior athletics banquet. The two-time first team All-Ivy guard ended his career with 2,333 points, the most in program history and second best in Ivy League history, trailing only Hall of Famer Bill Bradley of Princeton (2,503).
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.
Even after five straight Ivy titles and two NCAA Tournament wins, leading this year’s Harvard team to another title would probably be the greatest accomplishment of Tommy Amaker’s career. It’s not that Harvard doesn’t have talent – but other teams may have much more proven talent. Here are my thoughts about the ‘15-’16 Harvard basketball team, taking into account the players’ performances on October 16 at Crimson Madness (the season’s kickoff practice and scrimmage at Lavietes Pavilion, which is open to the public) and how last season unfolded.