Ivy Power Rankings: Dec. 12, 2016

Well, a Penn grad has finally ascended to the highest office in the land. Although most would argue that this is indeed our rightful place in the world order, our man in the White House is not quite what we, or anyone with a liberal arts education, expected. The Ivy hoops season is also a bit of a surprise (yawn), in that no one expected it to be this bad. There’s a frontrunner that keeps blowing late leads despite their aura of inevitability and too many blah contenders looking to get their act together by January.

For the first time in years, there appears to be no dominant team among the Eight.  The favorites, HYP, have all had their early problems and the bottom half of the league is as bad, if not somewhat worse, than anticipated.

So without further ado, I give The AQ’s Special Post-Election Ivy Power Rankings. “It’s going to be yuge!!”

Read moreIvy Power Rankings: Dec. 12, 2016

Ivy Power Rankings – Nov. 21, 2016

1. Yale (2-1)

Who outside of New Haven expected Yale to have this kind of start when then-Ivy Player of the Year candidate Makai Mason was declared out for this season with a foot injury?

And who expected Yale to gel so quickly after Ivy Rookie of the Year candidate Jordan Bruner reportedly suffered an ACL sprain earlier this month?

Read moreIvy Power Rankings – Nov. 21, 2016

Columbia’s 2016-17 best-case scenario

Columbia’s run to the CIT title, including a semifinal win over NJIT and Jim Engles, felt like catharsis for a class that had seen its fair share of ups and downs.

Now it’s November and the leaders behind that run are gone: Kyle Smith to San Francisco, Maodo Lo and Alex Rosenberg to overseas contracts, Grant Mullins to Cal, and Isaac Cohen to the working world. So if everyone hits their 99th percentile performance in Morningside Heights this season, what can we expect? A group whose most experienced players are bigs and a coach who promises to run at a breakneck pace (at least compared to Kyle Smith’s) is a recipe for either the greatest incarnation of Seven Seconds or Less ever, or at least the most hilarious one. We do not know what Columbia’s lineup will look like. We do not know which freshmen will be able to contribute starting Friday at Stony Brook. What we do know is if everything goes according to plan, Columbia is going to win the Ivy title in the most ridiculous way possible.

Read moreColumbia’s 2016-17 best-case scenario

Columbia Season Preview – Watermarks and Engles

What happened last year (25-10, 10-4): Columbia was expected to vie for last year’s Ivy title with Yale and Princeton, but an overtime loss at home to Princeton midseason relegated Columbia to a lower tier within the conference and a CIT appearance. Columbia made the most of the CIT, though, winning the tournament and sending off the four that roared – Isaac Cohen, Maodo Lo, Grant Mullins and Alex Rosenberg as champions. Then Kyle Smith subsequently left to coach at San Francisco, and Jim Engles from NJIT was tapped to succeed him.

What’s new: With the four that roared gone, senior forward Luke Petrasek will likely be asked to shoulder much more of the offensive burden than he did a year ago, but more on that later.

Read moreColumbia Season Preview – Watermarks and Engles

Q&A interview with Columbia coach Jim Engles

 

Jim Engles comes back to Columbia to helm the program after five years as an assistant there from 2003-08. (USA Today Sports)
Jim Engles has come back to Columbia to helm the program after five years as an assistant there from 2003 to 2008. (USA Today Sports)

IHO’s Sam Tydings caught up with first-year Columbia head coach Jim Engles, who took over the Lions’ program in April after eight years as head coach at NJIT, ironically after Columbia defeated NJIT en route to the 2016 CIT title. Engles discussed 2016-17 team leaders, what pace he wants the Lions to play at and why he’s not talking about winning with his players at the moment:

Read moreQ&A interview with Columbia coach Jim Engles

Jim Engles stresses continuity in his introduction as Columbia’s new head coach

 

Photo from byianwenik
Columbia Athletic Director Peter Pilling (left) and Jim Engles share responsibility for the future of Columbia basketball now, in addition to an actual basketball. (Ian Wenik)

NEW YORK — Jim Engles is a unicorn amongst college coaches.

He’s not much of a screamer during games.

He’s never too up or too down in press conferences (just watch the presser after the biggest win of his career, NJIT’s 72-70 win over Michigan in 2014, for proof).

Rarest of all, Engles has never had to move out of the tri-state area during his career, enabling his children to grow up in one home.

That kind of stability is what the Columbia basketball program desperately needs as it enters a period of tremendous transition. Maodo Lo, Alex Rosenberg, Grant Mullins and Isaac Cohen will all be gone, which means that Engles will be forced to replace roughly half of the team’s regular rotation (and its best player) right out of the gate. Oh, and there’s that newfangled conference tournament thing starting next year, too.

Read moreJim Engles stresses continuity in his introduction as Columbia’s new head coach

Jim Engles hired as Columbia’s new coach

Jim Engles comes back to Columbia to helm the program after five years as an assistant there from 2003-08.  (USA Today Sports)
Jim Engles comes back to Columbia to helm the program after five years as an assistant there from 2003-08. (USA Today Sports)

Jim Engles was announced as Columbia’s new head coach Sunday by Columbia Athletics, succeeding Kyle Smith in the position. Engles previously served as an assistant coach from 2003-08 under then-head coach Joe Jones and compiled a 100-88 record in eight seasons as head coach at NJIT, which had only competed for two years in Division I prior to Engles’ taking over.

Engles led the Highlanders to the CIT semifinals each of the past two seasons, including an 80-65 loss to Columbia in the semifinals at Levien Gym in his final game as NJIT’s coach as the Lions went on to win the CIT championship.

Engles is a 1990 graduate of Dickinson College. As Columbia Athletics notes, his uncle John was a high school All-American who went on to play at Penn under Chuck Daly from 1973-76. Engles served as an assistant at Rider from 1997-2003 and at Wagner from 1990-97.