Ivy news roundup – March 31, 2017

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.

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“A signature win” for Yale basketball

Yale's victory over UConn marks a signature win on the Elis' resume. (yalebulldogs.com)
Yale’s victory over UConn marks a signature win on the Elis’ resume. (yalebulldogs.com)

Yale had a Montague, but UConn had no Capulet to defend. And as such, Yale defeated UConn, 45-44, at Gampel Pavilion, in a stunner to most of the 9,538 in attendance.

Jack Montague hit a three-pointer from the left corner with 1.7 remaining on the clock to give Yale the win. Montague was 50-95 in threes entering the game but had not made one against the Huskies. The Elis were only 3-for-21 from three for the game.

If there was any doubt about how good, tough and athletic Yale is, it was answered by the middle of the first half, when the Elis held a 22-9 lead over the defending national champions.

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Talent isn’t everything for Penn basketball

Several years ago, Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun was asked what the single-most important ingredient is to build a winning college basketball program. His response was immediate and succinct: “Talent. You cannot win without it no matter how good a coach you are.”

Does Penn have talent? It appears so, but it is far too early judge the freshman class based on only two games. I will say that overall they look eager, athletic and, as a group, promising. As for the veterans, Tony Hicks’s ability is undeniable. However, during his tenure at Penn he has become the Carmelo Anthony of the Quakers – shoot first and ask questions later. Darien Nelson-Henry is talented as well but still looks very much like a work in progress, flashes of brilliance interspersed with long stretches of underachievement. Unfortunately, he is more often the “Big Donkey” than the mighty “Big Hyphen” who can single-handedly dominate games. The rest of the veterans – Louis, Jones, Howard and Lewis – can also play but frequently look lost in “the system.”

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