Columbia nabs first win of season versus Binghamton, continuing its competitive start

Columbia sits 1-2 after its first three games, notching its first win of the season in the home opener against Binghamton. A tumultuous preseason saw the team lose Gabe Stefanini (foot) for several months and Patrick Tapé (intention to graduate transfer) for the season. At Wake Forest, Columbia saw a late four-point lead dissipate and disappear for the team’s second consecutive 65-63 loss. In the home opener, however, the Lions comfortably topped Binghamton 75-63 for their first tally of the season in the win column.

What’s been driving Columbia’s competitive start to the season?

Read moreColumbia nabs first win of season versus Binghamton, continuing its competitive start

The rundown on Columbia men’s basketball

A respectable .500 winning percentage in the Ivy League, buoyed overall by solid nonconference wins. A close game at Harvard in early March, in the thick of the title race. Yale, conference champions, with Harvard the runner-up and Columbia not far behind. Sound plausible?

It was more than plausible in 1901-02, the Ivy League’s first basketball season, which began shortly after Harvard topped Yale for the year’s football title (a “fitting climax to a season of surprizes,” as the Daily Princetonian put it). Only 10 years after James Naismith cast a ball into the first stationary peach basket, Columbia began its varsity intercollegiate basketball competition. The Lions are still going strong even after the addition of three “new” teams to the conference since its inception.

Going into year 119, here’s everything you need to know about the Columbia Lions men’s basketball team heading into the season.

Read moreThe rundown on Columbia men’s basketball

No treats for Columbia as Patrick Tape leaves the program on Halloween

Fans of Columbia basketball may have been concerned by the omission of Patrick Tape, a 2019 honorable mention All-Ivy power forward, from Tuesday’s Road to Ivy Madness season preview.  By Thursday afternoon, they would have their suspicions increased when Stadium’s Jeff Goodman tweeted that a source informed him that Tape would leave the program, graduate this spring and seek a graduate transfer next year.

Despite being in the team photograph, Tape’s name had been removed from the 2019-20 roster.

Read moreNo treats for Columbia as Patrick Tape leaves the program on Halloween

Ivy League men’s basketball preseason power rankings

Ivy Hoops Online’s writing staff voted on where all eight Ivy men’s and women’s basketball teams would end up for the 2019-20 season. Our projected order of finish for the men (and the women’s rankings here):

Read moreIvy League men’s basketball preseason power rankings

Columbia men’s basketball releases 2019-20 schedule

Columbia men’s basketball head coach Jim Engles announced his team’s nonconference schedule on July 31, but it would be over a month before Columbia Athletics released the remaining 14 Ivy contests.  With the schedule now complete, the Lions will look to use its 16 nonconference games as a springboard to the program’s first ever spot in the Ivy Tournament.

The highlight of the first half of the Lions schedule is an early season four-game tournament which includes a match against the defending national champions and a battle for New York supremacy.

Read moreColumbia men’s basketball releases 2019-20 schedule

Ivy hoops roundup – Aug. 16, 2019

  • Princeton Bella Alarie and the rest of her USA teammates earned the silver medal at the recent Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.  The U.S. went 4-1 overall but lost the finals to Brazil, 79-73.  This is the second silver medal for the two-time Ivy Player of the Year, as she was a member of the U-19 FIBA World Cup team in the summer of 2017.
    Alarie finished the tournament averaging 6.6 points, 21.4 minutes and 5.6 rebounds a game.  Her four total blocks and eight steals led the team.  She shot 50% from two (15-for-30) and the free throw line (3-for-6), but missed all three attempts from beyond the arc.  After losing a 62-59 heartbreaker to the U.S. in the semifinals, Puerto Rico bounced back to defeat Columbia, 66-55, in the third-place game.
    Alarie wasn’t the only Ivy Leaguer to take part in the tournament.  Recent Dartmouth grad Isalys Quinones played for bronze medalist Puerto Rico.  Quinones, a second team All-Ivy forward in 2019, started four of the team’s five games and averaged 7.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 22.4 minutes per contest.
  • In other Pan American Games action, Brown head coach Mike Martin helped lead the USA men’s team to a bronze medal after a 92-83 victory over the Dominican Republic on August 4.

Read moreIvy hoops roundup – Aug. 16, 2019

Ivy hoops roundup – July 25, 2019

  • The Dartmouth men have completed its staff for the 2019-2020 season with the hiring of Steve Ongley as an assistant coach.  Ongley spent last year on Jim Engles’ staff at Columbia, where he worked with the front court players.  Prior to that, he was an assistant for four years at Colby College, the alma mater of Big Green head coach Dave McLaughlin.
    Ongley replaces John Andrzejek, a Columbia graduate and one-time Lions student manager who joined former boss Kyle Smith’s staff at Washington State.  There has been no announcement from Columbia for its replacement of Ongley.
  • Princeton women’s coach Carla Berube finished the hiring of her new staff, with the announcement of Helen Tau as director of basketball operations.  Tau, a 2014 graduate of the University of Texas who was a walk-on in her senior year, spent 2014-2016 as a graduate assistant for the Longhorns and then worked for Georgetown as director of video operations the last two seasons.
    Tau replaces Jessica Imhof, who went to the University of North Carolina to join former Tigers coach Courtney Banghart.

    Read moreIvy hoops roundup – July 25, 2019

Ancient Eight thoughts: Ivy Friday men’s edition

Seeing it through 

Brown notched an outstanding 67-63 win at Jadwin Gym, hanging on after nearly surrendering a 60-47 lead with 2:17 left. Brandon Anderson was the best player on the floor off the bench, posting 21 points and three steals in just 28 minutes, his trips to the foul line and jumpers setting back the Tigers any time they got even a modicum of momentum. Brown’s defense shut Princeton down early and often, holding the Tigers to 0.79 points per possession and collecting a whopping 25 turnovers from the hosts.

Read moreAncient Eight thoughts: Ivy Friday men’s edition

Ancient Eight thoughts – Ivy Friday men’s edition

Eight thoughts on the men’s side:

1. Columbia was due

Columbia hadn’t won an Ivy road game since its very first under Jim Engles at Cornell on Jan. 14, 2017: 17 such games ago. The Lions were 3-8 in games decided by one possession this season, including a 72-70 loss to Penn at Levien Gym three weeks prior, and were 4-20 in games decided by six points or fewer dating back to the start of last season. So when Maka Ellis’s stunningly easy layup off an inbound pass went in with 0.4 seconds left in overtime to clinch the 79-77 win for the Lions at the Palestra, it was a long overdue coup de grâce for a program that had long been far more competitive under Engles than its win-loss column showed. Kudos to Gabe Stefanini for coming up just two rebounds shy of a triple-double (20 points, 10 assists, eight boards) and Ellis for pitching in five of his 14 points in the final 1:24 in overtime as a rookie on the road to erase Penn’s 77-72 lead at that point.

Read moreAncient Eight thoughts – Ivy Friday men’s edition

Penn men pick up first Ivy win, defeating Columbia, 72-70

MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS, N.Y. – “I thought it was a heck of a college basketball game,” announced Penn head coach Steve Donahue as he walked into the postgame press conference following his team’s 72-70 victory over Columbia.  “I thought the level of execution, in the second half in particular, was amazing.”

Penn held on despite red-hot shooting from Columbia in the second half, collecting its first win in Ivy play after Gabe Stefanini’s would-be game-tying shot for the Lions missed the mark just before the buzzer.

Read morePenn men pick up first Ivy win, defeating Columbia, 72-70