Now’s the time of year that an Ivy League hoops slate would be revving up, and since there’s no Ivy hoops action to come this spring, here’s an IHO contributors’ roundtable pondering what might have happened in the 2020-21 Ivy season on the men’s and or women’s sides if there had been one instead of an exodus of much of the league’s top talent via the transfer portal. Behold the one-year Ivy hoops universes we created:
The Ivy League’s longstanding policy of only extending eligibility to student-athletes in their first four years of undergraduate enrollment, as expected, is prompting an increasingly long list of talented seniors becoming graduate transfers.
Despite the uncertainty that has come with COVID-19, Ivy hoops figures are still making plenty of moves.
Dunphy steps up again
In case you missed it, Temple named former Penn coach Fran Dunphy acting athletic director effective July 1 last week, 15 months after his 30-year head coaching career ended at Temple, which opted to hand over the coaching reins to assistant Aaron McKie and have Dunphy step aside after the 2018-19 season. Dunphy will succeed Patrick Kraft, who will be departing Temple to become Boston College’s athletic director on July 1. (Penn athletic director M. Grace Calhoun was also reportedly under consideration for the BC job, per the Boston Herald.) Dunphy is not expected to be a candidate for the athletic director’s job, but that could change, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, which reported that Temple hoped to have an athletic director named within 90 days.
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.
2nite was 1 of the hardest post game talks I’ve ever had. We had just swept a tough r
oad trip + did it with grit, toughness, and togetherness- I was so proud of our team. But then we learned the news that it wasn’t enough. Hurting for our players – I’m lucky to be their coach.
— Mike Martin (@mmartinbrown) March 8, 2020
Another wild night on the roller coaster that is Penn men’s basketball, so what else is new?
One night after losing a 10-point lead lead over the last 98 seconds at Yale, the Red & Blue faced a similar situation up nine at the 2:39 mark in a win-or-go home showdown against Brown. On this night, the Quakers would hold the line and defeat Brown, 73-68, to get back in the battle for the No. 4 seed in the Ivy League Tournament.
The Tigers claimed one of the four slots available in the Ivy League Tournament with a 71-49 thrashing of the Brown Bears in Providence last night. The key to the win was a signature defensive effort reminiscent of some of the best Tiger teams in the long and illustrious history of the program.
Princeton focused on the Bears’ formidable “Big Three” of Brandon Anderson, Zach Hunsaker and Tameneng Choh, holding the talented trio to a combined 33 points on 12-for-39 shooting from the field. No other Bear player scored more than six.
The game did not start out as a Tiger rout. Brown jumped out to a 5-0 early lead, but two Jaelin Llewellyn threes restored order after five minutes. Jerome Desrosiers and Drew Friberg came off the bench to spark a 9-0 Tiger surge giving the visitors an 18-10 lead with 10 minutes remaining in the opening period. Later, Desrosiers would feature prominently in a 13-0 Tiger run leading to a 40-28 halftime advantage.
Drew Friberg continued his hot streak in the second half. His long three at the 17:05 mark maintained the 12-point Tiger lead, but sparked a 14-0 run to put the game away. With eight minutes left and the score 56-33, Princeton coach Mitch Henderson was able to reach far down the bench.
Cornell seized a lead with 14:51 left in the first half and never looked back, beating Brown in dominating fashion, 63-45, at Newman Arena Saturday night.
After a back-and-forth first five minutes, the Big Red (6-17, 3-7 Ivy) jumped ahead by as many as 14 in the first half but went to the locker room up nine.
Cornell came back out hot, scoring the first seven in the second half. Bryan Knapp hit a jumper, Kobe Dickson converted a layup, and Terrance McBride drilled a three to push the Big Red lead to 16. They led by 20 at times in the second half but would eventually win by 18.
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.