In a parallel Ivy League season, one where Princeton didn”t drop an early game to Cornell and Zack Rosen didn”t use the Tigers as a backdrop against which to cement his early candidacy for Ivy League POY, Saturday night”s Brown-Princeton matchup in Providence would have all the signs of a classic trap game. After all, Brown”s been deceptively good at home this season (5-6 in Providence, 1-6 on the road) and the Bears are coming off an impressive (for them) 1-1 week that saw Andrew McCarthy named Ivy League Player of the Week after rejecting a school record 7 shots against Dartmouth and holding his own against the staunch Crimson front line. And with heavyweight Yale looming, perhaps Princeton”s focus might waver against depleted Brown and give the Bears a window of upset opportunity.
Welcome to the fifth IHO Power Poll (based on games through 01/30/12). Please note that these rankings are based off of our best guesses of how the Ivy League picture will sort itself out. We always love to hear your gripes and whines in the comments below.
1. Harvard (4-0), (18-2)- Harvard settled the score from last season in a shockingly decisive victory over Yale on Friday night. The Crimson’s suffocating defense (and numerous unforced errors on the Elis’ part) limited the Bulldogs to just 35 points, the lowest scoring output for an Ivy team since December 2007 (Princeton at Evansville). Harvard followed up that performance with a wire-to-wire victory at Brown to complete the road sweep and move to 4-0 in conference play. Offensively, the Crimson found production from a variety of places over the weekend. Sharpshooter Laurent Rivard went off for 18 points on Friday, and the next evening Kyle Casey led the way with 20 points. Freshman Steve Moundou-Missi, who continues to be a rock off the bench, chipped in 10 points and five rebounds against Yale and six points and 10 rebounds
against Brown en route to winning his first Ivy League Rookie of the Week award (the third different freshman to win the honor for Harvard). The title race is now decidedly stacked in the Crimson’s favor. Harvard has six of its next eight games in the friendly confines of Lavietes Pavilion, where it’s currently riding a 23-game winning streak, while attrition among the challengers begins in earnest next week when Princeton and Penn visit Yale. -C. River Banks
Normally, a Penn-Princeton athletic contest is a sort of coy celebration of the temperamental, are-they-aren't-they rivalry — Penn says definitely yes while Princeton plays hard to get and pretends to be “rivals” with Yale and Harvard instead. But Monday night's basketball game transcends the usual warmed-over faux-rivalry storyline in favor of Ivy League basketball relevance. After Harvard's Friday night destruction of Yale, Penn is now one of two undefeated teams left in the Ivy League, while Princeton needs this one to realistically remain in the title chase.
That means that when all is said and done Tuesday morning, the topography of the league will have shifted dramatically. If Penn can take care of business at home, the Quakers will enjoy a two-way tie for first place and will have dropped Princeton into the Ivy League's bottom half. On the flip side, Princeton has a chance to blow the league wide open and admit a new member to the growing club of one-loss teams.
Last year Princeton swept the season series, winning an OT thriller at home and handily defeating Penn at the Palestra. But will this year be different for these two squads? Let's take a look!
Welcome to the fourth IHO Power Poll (based on games through 01/23/12). Please note that these rankings are based off of our best guesses of how the Ivy League picture will sort itself out. We always love to hear your gripes and whines in the comments below.
1. Harvard (2-0), (16-2)- Harvard’s 54-38 win in Hanover, which moved the Crimson into a tie for first place, might not have been the most impressive performance of the week, but it did nothing to dispel the notion that Harvard is still the team to beat. The starting five managed a paltry 22 points against the Big Green, but what could have been a dire situation on the road was actually a comfortable blowout thanks to the bench’s performance. Freshman Steve Moundou-Missi continued his excellent play of late with nine points and four rebounds, and guards Corbin Miller and Christian Webster—both returning from injury—chipped in 13 and eight points on a combined eight of 10 shooting (five of seven from deep). The Crimson’s relatively light stretch comes to an end next weekend, as the stage is set for a clash of undefeated squads at Payne Whitney Gymnasium, the site of two crushing losses for Harvard a season ago. –C. River Banks
It's no secret around here that we love us some KenPom statistics. Being that we've got over half of a season of data, I thought it was time to check in with Pomeroy's Offensive Ratings to see who the most efficient players in the Ivy League are this season.
First off, let's look at the big-time players who are used in at least 20% of their team's possessions and play at least 40% of their team's minutes.
Ivy basketball is back. Travel partners Cornell/Columbia and Penn/Princeton kicked off the first true Ivy League basketball weekend of the 2011-2012 season. The Big Red had its hands full as Princeton and Penn made the trek to Newman Arena. Cornell has been a dominant home team this season, but had to face the Ps with Newman Nation noticeably absent.
Welcome to the third IHO Power Poll (based on games through 01/15/12). Please note that these rankings are based off of our best guesses of how the Ivy League picture will sort itself out. We always love to hear your gripes and whines in the comments below.
By any conventional metric, Columbia’s chance to compete in the Ivy League this year should have come to a quick and inglorious end on Nov. 14, when senior star Noruwa Agho tore the patellar tendon in his knee in the second half of a loss to Furman. Agho was the Lions’ squad, the All-Ivy player whose transcendent play kept the middling Columbia squad from being embarrassed too badly by the Ivy League opposition. Without him, they’d be nothing…right?
Princeton travels to Ithaca to take on the Red in the Ivy opener for both squads. The Tigers enter league play having won eight of their last 10, while Cornell comes in having dropped five of six.
A Year Ago
Last season the Tigers swept the Red, taking a two-point victory home from Newman Arena and winning in decisive fashion amidst a northeastern snowstorm in Princeton, NJ. In Ithaca, then-senior Kareem Maddox was the difference, scoring 23 points, including a bucket with 10 seconds left, to ice the victory. Mark Coury and Drew Ferry both missed chances to tie for the Red down the stretch. The second matchup was close for 29 minutes before a 23-7 run gave the Tigers an 18-point win. Ian Hummer led Princeton with 20 points and 9 rebounds in the home victory.
Welcome to the second IHO Power Poll (based on games through 01/08/12). Please note that these rankings are based off of our best guesses of how the Ivy League picture will sort itself out. We always love to hear your gripes and whines in the comments below.
1. Harvard (13-2), (1-0)- Harvard is still the class of the league, even though the Crimson have cooled off a bit since the rousing New Year's comeback victory over St. Joe's. A loss to lowly Fordham and 32 minutes of uninspiring ball against Dartmouth has brought this squad back to the pack a bit. A willingness to rely on the three when Casey and Wright are denied the ball in a zone has proved dangerous for the Cantabs, who surely will be confronted with more of the same going forward. The Fordham loss could be good for Harvard though, as any expectations of running through the league unscathed are a bit far-fetched. The league is deeper than ESPN and other major media sources have been letting on and with the Friday-Saturday grind of the season, players will inevitably get dinged up and legs will get tired. Harvard should still win the league, but chances are they'll be doing it with two or three losses in a conference where everyone is gunning for them.