Brown men shouldn’t be too down after missing Ivy League Tournament

Brown just missed out on an Ivy League Tournament berth for the second straight year this weekend, again getting edged out by Penn for the tourney’s No. 4 seed despite an impressive road sweep of Harvard and Dartmouth. And as coach Mike Martin indicated on Twitter after the loss, letdowns like this really sting.

Read moreBrown men shouldn’t be too down after missing Ivy League Tournament

Brown takes down Columbia, 72-66, to move into second place

Brandon Anderson led four double-digit scorers as Brown pulled away late against Columbia to grab the opening game of its New York state weekend, 72-66, and secure its sixth win in its last seven games.

Bruno (13-9, 6-3 Ivy) jumped out to a 18-10 lead at the 10 minute mark, before the Lions went on a 17-3 run over the next four minutes.  The Bears knotted the game at 30, but Jack Forrest nailed a three from the left elbow and Luke Bolster hit a jumper from the free throw line to give Columbia (6-19, 1-8) a 35-30 lead at the half.

The Lions opened the second half on an 8-2 run to stretch its advantage to a game-high 11.  Tamenang Choh and Zach Hunsaker scored six points each to lead Brown on its own 12-2 run to cut the deficit to one, 45-44.

The Bears reclaimed the lead, 49-47, at the 12-minute mark, after David Mitchell blocked a Mike Smith layup and Bruno broke out on a quick Josh Howard-to-Choh-to Anderson transition layup.  Anderson hit a fadeaway jumper from the line to make it 57-50 with seven minutes left, but the Lions would not go away without a fight.

Read moreBrown takes down Columbia, 72-66, to move into second place

Cardiac Crimson suffer last-second loss at Brown

Live by the opponent’s last-second free throw, die by the opponent’s last-second free throw.

Harvard concluded a wild four-game road stretch with a 72-71 loss when Brown’s Tamenang Choh finished an “and-one” in the waning seconds, a night after Yale’s Azar Swain failed to convert a similar opportunity. On the back of Choh’s heroics and a dominant performance from Brandon Anderson, the Bears (11-8, 4-2 Ivy) picked up a crucial home win against the rival Crimson (14-7, 3-3) and proved that they can play with the best of the Ivy. The Crimson go home disappointed after four straight tight contests with surviving optimism about their ceiling but with urgent questions about their ability to finish games. The thrilling conclusion lent some excitement to a game that was otherwise difficult to watch, thanks to overzealous refereeing and occasional difficulties with clock management.

Tamenang Choh and Zach Hunsaker walk off the Pizzitola Sports Center court victorious after Choh completed a three-point play at the foul line with 0.5 seconds remaining. | Photo by Erica Denhoff

Read moreCardiac Crimson suffer last-second loss at Brown

The peculiar case of the Brown Bears

Tyrese Martin missed a free throw, Zach Hunsaker grabbed the defensive rebound and the Brown Bears dribbled it out. It was over. Brown had picked up a win over the 8-3 Rhode Island Rams of the Atlantic 10, who had only one previous loss against a nonranked team and none against a non-power five team. Brown had capped its Division I nonconference schedule with arguably its most impressive win of the season. The Bears had gotten contributions from both their star upperclassmen and their budding underclassmen.

The only nagging feeling came from this question: Why hadn’t they been playing like this all year?

Read moreThe peculiar case of the Brown Bears

Brown falls to St. John’s, 82-71, despite strong second-half effort

QUEENS, N.Y. – Brown mounted a furious comeback at St. John’s, cutting a 17-point halftime deficit to four, but the Johnnies tightened up its defense and L. J. Figueroa scored 11 points over the last eight minutes to send the Bears to its fourth loss in five games.

Read moreBrown falls to St. John’s, 82-71, despite strong second-half effort

Stony Brook crushes it from three to defeat Brown, 79-63

STONY BROOK, N.Y. – Things were so bad for Brown on Saturday night that coach Mike Martin could not be found by his own staff to make it to the postgame press conference.

The coach missed out on the media after his Bears gave up a season-high 14 three-pointers on 56% shooting in a 79-63 loss to Stony Brook.

Read moreStony Brook crushes it from three to defeat Brown, 79-63

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

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

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