In the latest episode of Inside Ivy Hoops, Ivy Hoops Online editor Mike Tony is joined by Dartmouth coach Belle Koclanes and IHO writer George Clark.
Mike and George sound off on the Ivy League’s announcement this week of the conference tournament rotation schedule through 2025, analyze the Princeton women’s huge win at Penn Tuesday night, look back at the past weekend of Ivy action and ahead to the penultimate weekend of league play:
On Wednesday, the Ivy League office announced that Harvard will host the 2020 Ivy League Tournaments on Sat., Mar. 14 and Sun. Mar. 15. In addition, the league also scheduled the tournament locations through the 2024-25 season, with each of the conference’s schools that haven’t already hosted getting a turn.
After holding the first two Ivy tournaments at Penn’s Palestra (seating 8,722) and scheduling this year’s event at Yale’s John J. Lee Amphitheater (2,800), the league has elected to follow a southern-central-northern pattern for future sites. After Harvard’s Lavietes Pavilion (1,636), Ivy Madness will travel down south to Princeton’s Jadwin Gymnasium (6,854) in 2021, followed by trips to Brown’s Pizzitola Sports Center (2,800) in 2022 and Cornell’s Newman Arena (4,473) in 2023. The event will move to the northern-most site at Dartmouth’s Leede Arena (2,100) in 2024, before finishing the rotation at Columbia’s Levien Gymnasium (2,700) in the spring of 2025.
The Dartmouth men’s basketball team welcomes Harvard on Saturday night for both programs’ Ivy tip-off. The Crimson have won the last four meetings and five of the last six, including both games in 2018. On Jan. 6, Harvard beat Dartmouth 61-51 at Lavietes Pavilion, while earning a 62-57 overtime victory at Leede Arena on Jan. 20.
The Big Green, picked eighth in the Ivy media preseason poll, finished the nonconference schedule at 9-7, already the most single season wins in coach David McLaughlin’s three-year tenure and the school’s best mark since going 8-4 in the 1996-97 campaign. The team is now ranked at No. 223 by KenPom, the program’s best since 2015, and look to defend their home court against the 2018 regular season co-champs and 2019 preseason Ivy favorites.
In the latest episode of Inside Ivy Hoops, Brett Franklin and Jill Glessner talk with Dartmouth women’s coach Belle Koclanes and Ivy Hoops Online Harvard beat writer Robert Crawford while also previewing a crucial weekend on both the men’s and women’s sides.
On the women’s side, Jill and Brett look back on Dartmouth’s pivotal comeback overtime victory at Yale, the Bulldogs’ see-saw weekend, Brown’s subpar shot selection, the current tiebreaker situation for the No. 3 and 4 seeds and more:
On the men’s side, Brett and Jill detail the current tiebreaker situation for the No. 4 seed, Cornell’s surge to the top half of the league, Matt Morgan’s efficient offensive dominance, Penn’s “next man up” mentality, Yale’s extra passes and a tough weekend for the Bears in addition to previewing the weekend’s matchups:
Robert Crawford weighs in on Harvard filling the void left by Bryce Aiken’s absence in unexpected ways, what Justin Bassey and Chris Lewis bring to the Crimson, the emergence of Christian Juzang, Tommy Amaker’s different coaching approach recently, the Lavietes factor, the versatility of Katie Benzan and more:
Belle Koclanes details Dartmouth’s halftime conversation trailing at Yale 34-18 before completing a memorable second-half comeback, who’s stepping up following the season-ending injury of Olivia Smith, the Big Green’s response to being “tanked” amid their first Ivy back-to-back last month, the development of Kate Letkewicz and more:
Penn ranks highest in experience in the Ivy League but still ranks just 140th nationally. Princeton (144th) and Columbia (244th) round out the Ivies in the top 250, while Cornell, Brown and Harvard are all sub-300 in experience at 306th, 334th and 335th respectively.
Some unexpected contributors carried their teams on their backs this weekend, yielding varied results.
In Harvard’s 66-51 win over Princeton Friday night, the Crimson offense flowed through sophomore guard Christian Juzang, who posted 20 points – 12 more than his career high up to that point – on 6-for-10 shooting alongside four assists. Columbia rookie guard Gabe Stefanini notched a career-high 20 points in just 27 minutes in the Lions’ wild overtime loss at Brown Saturday night, 17 of them coming in the second half or extra period. After scoring just 26 points in the previous five games, Yale freshman guard Azar Swain registered 25 this weekend, his 7-for-12 (58.3 percent) clip from deep lifting an Elis squad that had been hurting from three-point range.
It says a great deal that, in just his third season at the helm on 33rd Street, that Steve Donahue has turned Penn around to the point that it’s No. 1 in the Ivy Power Poll during league play.
Donahue’s predecessor’s predecessor’s predecessor Fran Dunphy and the Temple Owls still dealt Penn the 11th consecutive loss in the teams’ series Saturday, overcoming a 51-48 deficit with 4:02 to play at the Palestra. Penn went ice cold from deep (8-for-31, 25.8 percent) and notched just 0.81 points per possession against Temple’s stout defense.
There’s a three-way cluster between Harvard, Princeton and Yale projected to top the league. In the Ivy Preseason Media Poll, Yale received the most first-place votes (eight) but Harvard garnered the most points overall. Without a clear conference favorite, it’s quite likely that the regular season champion will not also be the conference tournament winner, with Bart Torvik’s Ivy Tourney Simulator tabbing Penn as the favorite in an Ivy tourney as a No. 4 seed.
Dartmouth women’s basketball looks to rebound in 2017-18
In 2013-14, coach Belle Koclanes started her career at Dartmouth with two conference wins and a 5-23 overall record. By the end of the 2015-16 season, the Big Green had increased their total wins to 12 and Ivy victories to seven. With a fourth-place finish, its best since 2009, the team looked to continue its upward trend and secure a spot in the first-ever four-team Ivy Tournament by the end of 2017. Despite being picked fifth in the preseason Ivy media poll and expecting to challenge Cornell for the last spot in the post-season event, Dartmouth took a step backwards with a 3-11 (8-19 overall) last-place record in conference play.