Ivy hoops coaches pledge formal support for Black Lives Matter, detail accountability measures

The Ivy League on Friday announced an initiative including all 16 men’s and women’s basketball programs expressing commitment to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Called “Ivy Promise,” the initiative comes with a message from the 16 women’s and men’s basketball head coaches:

We have heard our student-athletes’ and communities’ call to action. The anger, disappointment and hurt felt across our country in recent weeks has been eye-opening and inspired important conversations in our communities. This is how we will stand together to proceed forward on the path of making progress for humanity. This is our promise.The Ivy Promise represents the Ivy League basketball coaches’ commitment to the Black Lives Matter movement. While individually our platforms are influential, combined our platforms can be a catalyst for change. We are committed to achieving reform. We will stand against inequality and discrimination until all people are afforded the same opportunities in wages, healthcare, housing, education, and criminal justice. Together we will stand for justice, educate the people, and support our communities.Our initial action items as a league are as follows:

  • As the Head Coaches of Ivy League Basketball, we will use our status and privilege to be vocal advocates for equality for all.
  • When possible, our programs will buy from local black and minority owned businesses to help uplift our communities economically and decrease the wealth gap.
  • Our coaches and student-athletes will not only participate in All Vote No Play on November 3, but also use our voting power in local and state elections because that is where topics like criminal justice reform begin.
  • We will use our games on MLK Day and during Black History Month in February to avidly celebrate Black history and Black excellence.
  • Each Ivy League basketball team will donate to and volunteer with the local organizations that are working to address the specific needs of our community.

This is just the beginning.

Read moreIvy hoops coaches pledge formal support for Black Lives Matter, detail accountability measures

IHO 2019-20 Women’s All-Ivy Awards

Here’s what you’ve all been waiting for: the 2019-20 Ivy Hoops Online Women’s All-Ivy honorees as selected by IHO contributors, which are notably different from the selections that the Ivy League released:

Read moreIHO 2019-20 Women’s All-Ivy Awards

Fallout continues over decision to cancel the Ivy League Tournament

Things have not calmed down after Tuesday afternoon’s bombshell announcement from the Ivy League and its eight presidents that this weekend’s Ivy League Tournaments were canceled, making the league the first conference to cancel tournament play.

The conference likes to refer to its tournament as Ivy Madness.  To paraphrase Harvard senior Seth Towns, the 2018 Player of the Year, it’s more like Ivy Mayhem.

Read moreFallout continues over decision to cancel the Ivy League Tournament

Penn women shut down Columbia, 51-36

So what really mattered in Saturday’s Penn-Columbia women’s game?
Well, winning meant something, and Penn did that quite comfortably, 51-36, at Columbia.
But both teams were already locked into the Ivy League Tournament next weekend; only the seeding would be affected, and the loss makes Columbia (17-10, 8-6 Ivy) the No. 4 seed with the job nobody really wanted, facing Princeton in the first game Friday. Penn (20-7, 10-4) will be the No. 2 seed and face Yale. Columbia also was looking for a measure of revenge for a tight overtime loss in Philadelphia. Two top contenders for Ivy Rookie of the Year had a chance to show their stuff. And Janiya Clemmons, the Lions’ sole senior, had a sendoff in her last home game for Senior Day.

Read morePenn women shut down Columbia, 51-36

Columbia women win fifth straight, make big push toward Ivy Madness

Columbia rode its stingy second half defense, Abbey Hsu’s hot fourth quarter shooting and its deep bench to beat Harvard, 62-57, notching its fifth straight win and moving within a game of its first-ever birth in the Ivy Tournament.

Harvard (14-10, 5-6 Ivy) entered Friday night’s contest on a three-game losing streak, including an 89-64 defeat at Columbia (16-8, 7-4) two weeks ago. The Crimson hoped a return to Lavietes Pavilion, where the team was 8-2 on the season, would help turn the tide and return team back to the league’s upper division.

Read moreColumbia women win fifth straight, make big push toward Ivy Madness

Ivy League coaching carousel

After three years without any head coaching changes, things changed in a big way at the end of April.  Princeton’s Courtney Banghart left after 12 seasons and seven Ivy titles to rebuild the program at the University of North Carolina. The Tigers search lasted a month, ending with the hiring of former UConn guard and long-time Tufts head coach Carla Berube.

On the men’s side, the conference almost lost James Jones to St. John’s, but the Yale coach finished as the Red Storm’s runner-up.  Weeks later, Jones signed an extension that will keep him in New Haven until the end of the 2025-2026 campaign.  In May, Brown’s Mike Martin was reported to be at Holy Cross interviewing for the Crusaders job, but a probable extension kept him in Providence.

Several Ivy assistants made the jump to head coaching positions with Columbia’s (and former Harvard’s) Kenny Blakeney heading to Howard, Penn’s Bernadette Laukaitis returning to Holy Family, Brown’s Tyler Simms going to Clark, and Brown’s Sara Binkhorst moving to Wheaton.

In the off-season’s strangest coaching news, Dartmouth promoted assistant coach Pete Hutchins to associate head coach on March 19th, only to see him jump to an assistant coaching position at George Mason on May 2nd.

The complete list of changes, from 2018-2019 to 2019-2020, for all 16 Ivy teams are noted below.

Read moreIvy League coaching carousel

Columbia women’s basketball releases 2019-20 schedule

The Columbia women’s basketball nonconference schedule was released on July 30 and the league potion of the schedule was finalized on Monday morning.  Coach Megan Griffith’s Lions have a 13 game pre-Ivy schedule featuring seven home contests and four games against NCAA Tournament teams.

After starting the season on the road at Albany and opening up the home slate against St. Joseph’s, Columbia faces three straight NCAA teams in an eight day period.  First up is Fordham on November 10. The Atlantic 10 champion Rams were 25-9 last season, including a 68-49 victory over the Lions.

Five days later, the Light Blue travel to upstate New York to take on defending MAC champion Buffalo.  Two years ago, Felisha Legette-Jack’s Bulls, visited Levien Gymansium and escaped with a buzzer-beating 65-63 win.  Buffalo would eventually go on to the Sweet 16 that season.  The Lions close the streak at NEC champion Robert Morris on November 17.

Read moreColumbia women’s basketball releases 2019-20 schedule

Ivy hoops roundup – May 21, 2019

  • Courtney Banghart made her first assistant coaching decision on Tuesday, bringing former Princeton assistant coach Carrie Moore to Chapel Hill.  In addition to being an assistant at North Carolina, Moore will also assume the role of recruiting coordinator.  She worked for Banghart as the Tigers’ Director of Basketball Operations from 2008 – 2010 and an assistant from 2016-2019.  From 2010-2015, Moore served as an assistant at Creighton.
    “She has been a critical teammate with all parts of the Princeton program, and brings talent, compassion, enthusiasm, hard work, knowledge, and authentic care for others to her everyday,” Banghart told North Carolina Athletics.  “She is a difference maker and simply put, I’m better when having her by my side.”

    Read moreIvy hoops roundup – May 21, 2019

Looking at Princeton’s potential head coaching candidates to succeed Courtney Banghart

Prior the arrival of Courtney Banghart in 2007, the Princeton women’s team had zero Ivy League titles.

Twelve years later, the Tigers have seven Ivy championships, eight NCAA Tournament appearances, two trips to the WNIT and two Ivy Tournament titles.  With Banghart’s departure to UNC Tuesday, Princeton athletic director Mollie Marcoux Samaan has an incredibly important hire to make.  If she chooses correctly, the Tigers may continue to hang onto their place atop the Ancient Eight.  If not, the Orange & Black run the risk of dropping into the second division, fighting for spots in the Ivy and NCAA Tournaments on an annual basis.

While Princeton Athletics has noted that a nationwide search has begun, there have been no specific names mentioned.  Who might Marcoux Samaan consider for the chance to add to the legacy that Banghart left behind?

Read moreLooking at Princeton’s potential head coaching candidates to succeed Courtney Banghart

Courtney Banghart named coach at North Carolina, ending dominant run at Princeton

Courtney Banghart compiled a 254-103 (.711) overall record and 137-31 Ivy record (.816) in 12 seasons at Princeton while winning 89 more games than any other coach in program history. She now heads to North Carolina. (UNC Athletics)

Courtney Banghart took over as head coach at Princeton in 2007 aged just 29 with only four years as an assistant coach at her alma mater Dartmouth.

She leaves Princeton with 254 career victories and seven Ivy League championships, leading Princeton to its first ever NCAA Tournament appearance and then seven more en route to notching more than 36% of the program’s wins in its 48-year history herself.

North Carolina named Banghart its head coach Tuesday, seeing her as the key to a refreshing program restart after the messy exit of predecessor Sylvia Hatchell, who resigned earlier this month after 33 years at the helm in Chapel Hill, including a national championship in 1994, following an independent investigation finding that she made racially insensitive remarks to her players and pressured some to play through injury.

In its announcement of the Banghart hire, North Carolina Athletics led off by touting Banghart’s leadership credentials.

Read moreCourtney Banghart named coach at North Carolina, ending dominant run at Princeton