Ivy hoops roundup – May 13, 2019

Former Penn and Temple coach Fran Dunphy was honored for the impact he made throughout his coaching career during a ceremony at City Hall in Philadelphia Monday, four days after he received an honorary degree as Temple University graduated its 132nd class last week.

Mickey Crowley, long-time NCAA basketball referee and former Ivy League Coordinator of Officials for men’s basketball, died on May 5 at the age of 85.  Crowley played for the All-Army baseball team from 1954-1957 and the Yankees minor league system in the early 1960s before turning his attention to basketball.  He was the assistant executive director of officiating for high school athletics for more than 20 years in Nassau County (Long Island) before becoming an NCAA referee.  He officiated in 21 straight NCAA Tournaments, including the 1989 and 1991 championships.  Crowley eventually became the head of officiating for the Ivy, Patriot and A-10 Leagues, retiring from the Ancient Eight in 2009.

“Mickey was a well-respected fixture in college basketball officiating thanks to his engaging personality, devotion to the integrity of the game and knowledge of the rules,” Ivy League Executive Director Robin Harris said. “The Ivy League is deeply saddened to hear of his passing and we extends our sympathies to his wife Pat and entire family.”

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Harvard men’s basketball brings in another strong recruiting class

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.

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Harvard season preview: Slew of sophomore studs looks to lead Crimson

Last season, Harvard lost to Yale in heartbreaking fashion in the first round of the inaugural Ivy League Tournament. The Crimson graduated Siyani Chambers and Zena Edosomwan, both of whom made indelible impacts on the program. Honestly, it’s hard to imagine a successful Harvard season without Siyani Chambers. And yet, the Crimson comes into the 2017-18 season as the preseason favorite, according to the Ivy Preseason Media Poll. While the poll predicted an incredibly close race between Harvard and familiar foes Yale and Princeton, the sentiment of the voters is clear: No one expects Harvard to take a step back this year. Here are the details on how Harvard hopes to turn high expectations on paper into actual success on the court:

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Harvard Season Preview – Crimson in clover

When Harvard lost six out of its first seven games against Division I opponents last season, you could hear them. When Harvard started out Ivy play 2-7, you could hear them. When Harvard finished the season 14-16 with a 6-8 record in the Ivy League, you could really hear them.

The murmurs.

Maybe you even started hearing them last August when it was announced that Siyani Chambers had torn his ACL, and that he would miss the entire 2015-16 season. Or maybe they became audible on Jan. 18, 2015, when Harvard landed Chris Lewis, the first of seven recruits who, on paper, comprise the best recruiting class on paper in Ivy League history. Or maybe they started five years ago when current Harvard senior Zena Edosomwan became the first ever top-100 recruit to commit to an Ivy League school.

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Ivy Power Rankings – Mar. 1, 2016

1. Princeton (20-5, 10-1 Ivy)

It’s Princeton’s versatility that gives the Tigers a better chance to win in a potential NCAA Tournament berth than Yale, or indeed, most mid-majors. What matters most in an Ivy playoff is that Princeton’s offense matches up well with Yale’s defense, complete with multiple sharpshooters and slashers that can use the Elis’ size advantage against them.

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Ivy Saturday roundup

Princeton 74, Cornell 60

A day after starting with a 12-0 deficit at Penn, Cornell reeled off a game-opening 11-4 run at Jadwin, maintaining a lead for most of the first 12 minutes and trailing 37-34 at halftime before the Tigers very gradually took control. Matt Morgan got in on the scoring action as Robert Hatter receded in the second half. There’s no such thing as “the usual suspects” for Princeton, but tonight it was Amir Bell and Spencer Weisz leading the Tigers with 16 points, and Devin Cannady shooting 6-for-7 from deep, including 3-for-3 from long range. (Ask Columbia about that.) Meanwhile, Henry Caruso notched just two points on 0-for-4 shooting, though he did add seven rebounds, three assists and a steal.

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A lost weekend, a lost season for Cornell?

The last several weekends have been difficult for the Cornell basketball program.  Although losses to Princeton and Yale were expected, it was hoped that there would be more competition against the top tier, along with one or two victories against Brown and Penn.  Unfortunately, the Tigers and Bulldogs together averaged 30-point wins, while the Bears and Quakers were able to withstand Cornell’s pressure and emerged victorious.  In the midst of a four-game losing streak, it was thought that the Ithaca arrival of Dartmouth and Harvard, two teams that were defeated on the road by the Big Red a few weeks ago, would provide the opportunity for Cornell to get back in the win column.

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Ivy Saturday roundup

Harvard 76, Cornell 74

This will surely be remembered as the weekend that ensured Bill Courtney’s exit as Cornell’s head coach after six years of no postseason tournament appearances, following him taking over a program fresh off a Sweet 16 run in 2010. On Friday night, Cornell came out flat and struggled mightily for long stretches in a home 78-66 loss to Dartmouth, a game that the Big Red had to have after being on the wrong end of back-to-back weekend sweeps. Then this game happened.

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Ivy Friday roundup

Yale 86, Columbia 72

Yale outlasted Princeton last Saturday by getting and staying hot, as its starters shot 54.9 percent from the floor and 61.1 percent from three-point range. Against also 4-0 Columbia, Yale asserted its place as the top team in the conference by getting even hotter, shooting 62.2 percent from the floor and 55.6 percent from beyond the arc. The Lions relied on active hands to notch 11 steals and force 17 turnovers, applying impressive pressure early in the game, but it never mattered. Yale hit what it wanted to hit, scoring 86 points on just 39 field goal attempts. (For comparison, Cornell scored six fewer points tonight on 76 field goal attempts, but we’ll get to that later.)

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Ivy Friday roundup

Princeton 83, Brown 59

After losing to Yale 90-66 Saturday night, Brown lost its second straight Ivy game by 24 points. This time, it was because Brown turnovers led to a greater number of opportunities for the Tigers, who outstole the Bears, 13-3. (Five steals came from Steven Cook alone.) As a result, the Tigers attempted 21 more shots than the Bears and were never seriously threatened. Cedric Kuakumensah registered seven blocks and eight rebounds but did not score, with Steven Spieth picking up the slack to the tune of 24 points on 7-for-7 shooting, but with five of Brown’s 20 turnovers. True to form, eight Tigers scored at least six points, led by Spencer Weisz’s 16 and Henry Caruso’s 13. Princeton’s got all the momentum it could ask for going into a monumental game at Yale Saturday night.

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