- 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.
Harvard men’s basketball post-season banquet:
MVP – Bryce Aiken; Defensive Player of the Year – Justin Bassey
2019-2020 Captains – Seth Towns and Henry Welsh
Harvard women’s basketball post-season banquet:
Co-MVP – Katie Benzan and Madeline Raster; Defensive Player of the Year – Nani Redford; Most Improved Player – Rachel Levy
Brown women’s basketball post-season banquet:
MVP – Shayna Mehta; Most Improved Player – Haley Green
Princeton women’s basketball names Bella Alarie and Taylor Baur co-captains for the 2019-2020 season. Coach Courtney Banghart discussed the two athletes, as well as their goals of another Ivy title and a Sweet 16 run, in the season-ending episode of The Court Report.
Yale coach James Jones just missed out on the St. John’s coaching job, but he did win the 2019 Ben Jobe Award, given by CollegeInsider.com to the top minority coach in Division I basketball.
Penn senior Princess Aghayere was named one of six recipients of the President’s Engagement Prize by university President Amy Gutmann. Awarded annually, the Prizes empower Penn students to design and undertake post-graduation projects that make a positive, lasting difference in the world. Each Prize-winning project will receive $100,000, as well as a $50,000 living stipend per team member. Student recipients will spend the next year implementing their projects.
Aghayere was chosen for her work with Rebound Liberia, which uses basketball as a tool to bridge the literacy gap between men and women and as a mechanism for youth to cope with the trauma and stress of daily life in post-conflict Liberia.
In past years, the Ivy League office organized a teleconference call for the men’s basketball coaches, a few days after the preseason media poll. At those events, the coaches would talk about their teams, as well as answer questions from the Ivy League moderator and a small number of reporters. In addition, Reggie Greenwood, the league’s Coordinator of Officials, would discuss any rule changes for the upcoming season. This year, the league decided to do away with the call in favor of having roundtable conversations with the men’s and women’s coaches.
The two 30-minute videos, which were shot in New Haven on Sept. 5 (women’s coaches) and Sept. 12 (men’s coaches), focused on the general improved state of Ivy recruiting, the difficulties in scheduling nonconference games as an improved mid-major conference, the unique challenges in playing back-to-back Ivy weekends, the importance of the Ivy Tournament for late-season competitiveness, and the significance of the league’s partnership with ESPN. What fans did not hear was anything related to the specific teams and players.
Last year’s season was a mixed bag for the Crimson. The team emerged from spotty non-conference play to dominate the Ancient Eight, going 12-2 and sharing the conference title with the Quakers. Of course, Penn would go on to defeat Harvard in the conference tournament and earn the most coveted prize: a trip to March Madness.
The Quakers undoubtedly benefited from playing the conference tourney on their home floor, a built-in advantage that executive director Robin Harris has decided is worth the trade-off of hosting the Ivy League Tournament at the largest and most historic venue that the conference has to offer. However, while Crimson fans might be apt to cry foul, there is reasonable evidence that Penn was indeed the best team in the Ivy League.
Despite having ups and downs during its non-conference schedule, the Harvard men’s basketball team (18-14 overall, 12-2 Ivy) played consistently great defense (Adjusted Efficiency of 98.3; 55th in the nation). In conference action, the team was able to solidify its rotation, improve its outside shooting (three-point percentage increased from 30.0 to 42.2 percent), and weather a major injury to its leading player to win a share of the regular season title and claim the league’s top seed heading into the Ivy Tournament. A road game with co-champion Penn and an injury to the Ivy Player of the Year late in the second half may have been the only things keeping the Crimson from winning Ivy Madness. With a healthier 2018-19, Harvard will look to stay on top of the Ancient Eight and return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2015.
Noah Kirkwood, a three-star recruit from the Ottawa area, committed on Tuesday to Harvard for the fall of 2018. The 6′ 7″ shooting guard recently graduated from nearby Ashbury College High School, and will spend a year at Northfield Mount Hermon School (Mass.) prep school before heading to Cambridge. 247Sports noted that Kirkwood had offers at Wichita State, Virginia, Texas, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, Tulane, GW, and St. Bonaventure. Verbal Commits listed additional offers at Villanova, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, and USC.
Yet Another Ivy graduate transfer
Following his recent graduation from Cornell, forward David Onuorah announced his decision to transfer to UConn as a graduate transfer. Onuorah was a starter for most of his Big Red career, including this season’s opener at Binghamton. Following that first game, he was out of action due to a reported illness for the next several contests. Despite being unable to play, Onuorah was seen defeating a Southwest Air gate agent in a push-up contest on the way to the team’s November 26 game at Houston. Afterwards, there was no mention of a reason for his continued absence. He was listed on the game notes roster as late as the February 12 matchup at Penn.
Like former Cornell star Shonn Miller, who played at UConn in 2015-16, Onuorah will take his talents to Stoors. With the Huskies’ loss of three forwards and a center, Onuorah hopes to use his defensive skills to earn major minutes and, eventually, break into the Huskies’ starting lineup.
Ivy (assistant) coaching carousel continues