Previewing Penn-Princeton and Harvard-Dartmouth

IHO breaks down the two games comprising Saturday evening’s Ivy conference play-opening slate:

Penn at Princeton, 7 p.m.

Last season: Princeton beat Penn twice by a combined three points, and the Ps’ last meeting at Jadwin Gym on March 12 put a scare into the Tigers, who were outscored 40-23 over the final 14:52 in a 72-71 victory over the Red and Blue. Princeton committed 16 turnovers, its highest amount in Ivy play last season, and then-freshman Penn guard Tyler Hamilton came out of nowhere to provide 11 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals in 37 minutes, easily the best performance of his Penn career.

Read morePreviewing Penn-Princeton and Harvard-Dartmouth

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

It’s not easy being Big Green

After Wednesday night’s 73-58 loss to Vermont, Dartmouth finds itself at 0-7, one of four winless Division I programs.  While there were expected growing pains with the hiring of new coach David McLaughlin, few would have thought things would be as rough as it has been the first five weeks of the season.

The Green are in the bottom nationally for points scored (63.9), scoring margin (-13.2), assists (10.4), turnovers (15.9), steals (4.6), total rebounds (32.1), offensive rebounds (6.4), first half points (28.7), field goal attempts (52.7), field goals made (22.0), blocks (1.3) and blocks allowed (5.6).

Read moreIt’s not easy being Big Green

Dartmouth Season Preview – Turnover in Hanover

What happened last year: (10-18, 4-10 Ivy): Dartmouth was expected to take a step back after notching its first postseason appearance since 1959 in 2015, particularly after Gabas Maldunas’ graduation and Alex Mitola’s transfer. And the Big Green did, via a five-game skid in late January and early February, followed back-to-back overtime losses at Brown and Yale. After the season, Dartmouth Athletic Director Harry Sheehy dismissed coach Paul Cormier, who was six years into his second stint in Hanover. Cormier had gone 54-116 (.318) overall and 23-61 (.274) in his second stint in Hanover. The Big Green had gradually improved during his tenure, but Sheehy told the Dartmouth in an outstanding piece by Alexander Agadjanian that he wanted to see greater player development and recruiting, prompting him to choose a different direction for the program.

Read moreDartmouth Season Preview – Turnover in Hanover

Ivy Saturday roundup

Columbia 79, Cornell 68

Cornell’s gameplan was sound: Don’t sag in too much responding to Columbia interior attacks and try to disrupt the Lions with physicality on the perimeter. Cornell’s gameplan didn’t matter.

Columbia shot 13-for-24 (54.2 percent) from beyond the arc to pull away in the second half. A trio of Lions – Luke Petrasek, Maodo Lo and C.J. Davis – hit at least three treys, enough to make up for several bunnies missed inside and playing at a faster pace than coach Kyle Smith probably wanted. Cornell missed Robert Hatter for the second game in this series but benefited from freshman guard Matt Morgan’s 26 points on 9-for-23 shooting. For more on the game, read our Ian Wenik’s instant analysis.

Read moreIvy Saturday roundup

Dartmouth Season Preview – Is a Stingy Defense Enough?

The general consensus around the Dartmouth campus is that we are headed for a down year. The loss of our two best players, Gabas Maldunas to graduation and Alex Mitola to George Washington, does not bode well for the future of Dartmouth basketball.

That being said, the buzz around the team suggests that may not be the case. This is Malik Gill’s team now. While he has seen limited playing time in the past due to living in Alex Mitola’s shadow, he will now be the floor general and playmaker. Gill’s underrated athletic ability and quick hands will make him one of the better defenders in the Ivy League, and he will wreak havoc on D.

Read moreDartmouth Season Preview – Is a Stingy Defense Enough?

Haiku Corner – Dartmouth season preview edition

Welcome to Haiku Corner, where we analyze what to look for with each Ivy squad this upcoming season, three lines at a time (with supporting links to boot):

Miles ahead of them,
Can Big Green underclassmen
Fill the Baltic void?

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Defense a given
Dartmouth, your upset special
If Gill fits the bill

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How many of us
Wish we could break a leg
As Keggy the Keg?

Ivy Friday Roundup

Dartmouth 75, Brown 69

Wow. Just wow. Brown raced to a 14-0 lead and seemed to have the win secured with a 50-26 lead and 13:58 remaining. Not so. The Big Green finished the game on a 49-19 run, aided by three Brown technical fouls and a 17-point effort from last week’s Ivy Co-Player of the Week Malik Gill. Just a week after Brown overcame a 40-23 deficit to trump Cornell, a comeback got the best of the Bears this time around. Dartmouth, which went on a 26-2 run en route to a win at Harvard earlier this season, now awaits Yale, which had a little success of its own at Lavietes Pavilion and needs the win to clinch its first outright Ivy crown and NCAA tournament berth since 1962. Of course, a win over Yale launched the Big Green into the postseason (in this case, the CIT) for the first time since 1959, so Dartmouth has already won the drought game.

Penn 54, Columbia 46

As Penn coach Jerome Allen pointed out after the game, Columbia scored 46 in the first half against Penn a month ago en route to an 83-56 romp. Tonight, it took the Lions the entire game to reach that total. Junior guard Tony Hicks led the way for Penn, posting 19 points and eight boards, helping Penn snap a seven-game losing streak.

Princeton 66, Cornell 53

The Tigers’ 23 bench points and 15-point performance from senior guard Clay Wilson lifted Princeton past the Big Red, which shot just 37.5 percent in spite of senior forward Shonn Miller, who posted 25 points. And of course, sophomore forward Spencer Weisz notched 10 points, the 10th straight game Princeton has won when Weisz scores in double figures.

 

Ivy Saturday Roundup

Princeton 80, Brown 62

The visiting Tigers jumped out to a 12-2 advantage and never looked back, leading by 26 at one point and outplaying the Bears in every facet of the game. Steven Cook’s 15 points and seven boards set the pace for Princeton, as did 12-point efforts from Henry Caruso and Amir Bell. The Tigers are now just a game under .500 at 13-14 and still claim a distant third place in the Ivy standings. Tavon Blackmon curiously logged just five minutes despite no fouls and no obvious injuries. Nothing makes sense for Brown fans anymore.

Dartmouth 56, Cornell 45

Robert Hatter exploded for 23 points for the Big Red but the Big Green won the battle of the Bigs behind 41 combined points from Alex Mitola, Gabas Maldunas and Malik Gill off the bench. Dartmouth shot 7-for-15 from beyond the arc and wondered what Harvard found so hard about completing the Empire State sweep.

Yale 55, Penn 50

Things got real interesting in New Haven. The Quakers led for the first 37:41 of the game but couldn’t hang on late, with Justin Sears overcoming seven turnovers to notch a crucial block and three-point play in the game’s final minute. The Bulldogs get to 10-2 in Ivy play and will travel to Harvard next Friday for the game of the year. Javier Duren posted 19 points but shot just 4-for-15 from the field and was outshone by Antonio Woods, who scored 14 and added six assists in a losing effort. True to form, Jack Montague nailed two clutch threes down the stretch and finished with 11 points of his own.

Harvard 80, Columbia 70

And it’s the game of the year largely because Harvard won too, also climbing to 10-2 to keep pace with Yale atop the conference standings. Wesley Saunders posted 21 points, including 11 free throws, to lead the way for the Crimson, and Steve Moundou-Missi added 17 on 8-for-11 shooting. Host Columbia shot north of 53 percent for the second time against Harvard this season, but it came up with a second loss because the Lions just couldn’t get anyone going outside of Maodo Lo, whose 33-point, five-steal performance just wasn’t quite enough, even as the Lions cut Harvard’s lead to 48-44 with 11:54 remaining. The Lions have depth issues, but they  do have Alex Rosenberg and Grant Mullins coming back – next season.