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

Ivy hoops community shows support for Seth Towns, racial justice

Seth Towns on the sideline for a Harvard men’s basketball game during his senior campaign, which he missed due to injury | Photo by Erica Denhoff

Just a day after graduating from Harvard, former Ivy Player of the Year Seth Towns was detained and subsequently released by police Friday in his hometown of Columbus after he protested nonviolently in response to the death of unarmed black people at the hands of police officers across America.

The protest in Columbus was one of many sparked by the video record of the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis while three other officers stood nearby Monday.

Seth Towns addressed the incident on Twitter Saturday afternoon, noting that he was as proud of his nonviolent protest in downtown Columbus to cry out against the deaths of Floyd and Breonna Taylor, an emergency medical technician fatally shot in her home by police in March.

Read moreIvy hoops community shows support for Seth Towns, racial justice

Brown chooses pursuit of championships over opportunity in dropping 11 varsity programs

Bruno has fewer varsity sports teams to root for after the university decided to approve a net loss of nine varsity athletic programs in an effort to garner more wins and championships among the programs that remain. | Photo by Erica Denhoff

What is the purpose of collegiate athletics? Is it to win? Or is it to provide as much opportunity to compete as possible?

Brown endorsed the former interpretation with its announcement Thursday that it is dropping 11 varsity programs starting with the 2020-21 academic calendar.

Browns is eliminating varsity men’s and women’s fencing, men’s and women’s golf, women’s skiing, men’s and women’s squash, women’s equestrian as well as men’s track, field and cross country while bumping club coed and women’s sailing up to the varsity level.

Read moreBrown chooses pursuit of championships over opportunity in dropping 11 varsity programs

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