Coaches Martin, Allen and Amaker
Carson Fitzgerald, Coveted Prep Basketball Player
Mrs. Dorothy Fitzgerald, Carson’s Mother, an Administrative Assistant,
Mr. Leo Fitzgerald, Carson’s Father, an Insurance Salesman,
Act I Scene I
Carson Fitzgerald is a four star basketball recruit from Boca Raton, Florida. He’s a 6’5” swingman with crafty moves on the court as well as in the classroom. His perfect SAT scores, high GPA and numerous other academic awards make him an ideal candidate for an Ivy League school. A bit of a math/science oddball, Carson is oblivious to the seemingly endless parade of college coaches that appear at his door. Instead, he prefers to play with his iPad while his parents speak for him. On this night, sometime in the summer of 2013, we find the family lounging in their living room when the doorbell rings.
Door: Ding Dong
Coach Martin: Good evening, I’m Coach Mike Martin of Brown University.
Mrs. Fitzgerald: Oh, please come in and make yourself at home.
Coach Martin, wearing a rumpled blue suit he picked up at the Men’s Warehouse in a mall outside Warwick, Rhode Island, is sweating profusely in the intense Florida heat.
Once again, we were lucky enough to hear from IHO commenting veteran, The Ancient Quaker. This time, the AQ closes the door on an exciting season of Penn basketball and evaluates the state of the program going forward. We hope you have a dictionary handy. The author of this piece is not affiliated with Ivy Hoops Online, but we always welcome and encourage commenters, outside contributors, and readers to share their opinions and thoughts.
By The Ancient Quaker
I am OK. Thank you for your concern. Aside from a badly lacerated tongue and a rather embarrassing public loss of sphincter tone (both #1 and #2), I have been given the necessary intravenous anti-convulsives and all grand mal seizure activity has mercifully ceased. It feels good to be no longer foaming at the mouth and flopping on the floor like freshly landed mackerel. Although I am technically still post-ictal, I thought it only fair that I relate my feelings regarding Penn’s losing the Ivy title.
Basking in the glow of last night”s Penn victory, the shameless anti-Harvard critic, devoted Penn supporter and loyal IHO commenter The Ancient Quaker weighs in on the altered landscape of the Ivy League standings this morning. The author of this piece is not affiliated with Ivy Hoops Online, but we always welcome and encourage commenters, outside contributors, and readers to share their opinions and thoughts.
Let me begin with a retraction—the Columbia Lions are not a dangerous team after getting blown out by Brown.
Loyal followers of Ivy Hoops Online, if you need to know anything about The Ancient Quaker know this: The Ancient Quaker does not gloat. (Even though Harvard’s home winning streak has now passed in to history like so many illegal recruiting trips.) The Ancient Quaker does not revel in another team’s misfortune. (Unless of course that team resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts.) And finally, The Ancient Quaker is above all not self-righteous. (But I told you so.)
Now excuse me a moment while I climb down from my high horse.
Up at Dartmouth, Coach Cormier thinks that a big factor in terms of whether or not the Big Green will be successful this year will be the way upperclassmen react to diminished roles as the talented freshmen begin to acclimate themselves and take minutes from the older players. The Blue Ribbon preview is optimistic, but suggests that the Big Green won’t be able to compete in the top half until these incoming recruits are juniors or seniors. Still, it’s nice to see Dartmouth headed in what seems like the right direction for the first time in years.
“A lot of [the veterans] will start and get time early,” [Cormier] said. “As the freshmen get their feet under them, I think [the veterans will] have to adjust to whatever the playing time happens to be. It’s a very good chance it will be severely reduced, and they’ve got to handle whatever role they get. And if that happens, then I think we could surprise some people.””(Blue Ribbon, ESPN.com)
Out in Providence, Coach Agel is hopeful that this young Brown team will be able to get over the hump. Blue Ribbon noted that the Bears led the league in scoring with Harvard, but came in last in scoring defense. Consistency is the story for Brown because after beating Princeton and leading Harvard by double-digits in both games last year, there’s no doubt that the Bears are talented enough to compete with the league’s best. Can they improve their strength down low and bear down (pun intended) and get stops in the second halves of big games? The answer to that question will go a long way in determining where the Bears finish, as many publications have them finishing anywhere between 4th and 7th.
“If we can start getting more physical and defending, we’re going to be one of those teams that people say is a dark horse,” Agel said. “We’re making strides. We’ve just got to get over the hump in the league. We’ve played extremely well out of conference — better than Brown has ever played out of conference in a two-year period — now we’ve just got to catch a break.” (Blue Ribbon, ESPN.com)
Down in Philadelphia, Coach Allen refuses to be content with the big leap the Quakers made out of the bottom half last year. We know the Quakers will be as good as anyone at the guard spots and on the wing with Rosen, Bernardini and Cartwright, but Allen challenged his stars in the Blue Ribbon preview to improve the weak spots in their game. Of Rosen, he said, “He does a lot for us from the locker room to the court. I wish he was a much better defensive player. But having said that, you couldn’t ask for a better leader among the group.” Of Bernardini, Allen would like to see improvement on the glass. “We all know that he’s a tremendous shooter, but he has some other natural abilities. If he exhausts them this season, it will make us a better team.” Finally, of the young Cartwright, “He’s going to be asked to have more of a leadership role this year on both ends of the floor.” Of course, the big question mark for Penn is the frontcourt where they have struggled with youth and injuries. In the final analysis, Blue Ribbon rated their backcourt an “A”, their frontcourt a “C+”, and suggested that a return to the top tier was not imminent this season.
Blue Ribbon reserved the most praise, expectedly, for Harvard and, perhaps less expectedly, for Yale. The Bulldogs were given a serious shot at winning the title this year thanks to the Mangano/Kreisberg/Morgan trio that looked so dangerous at times last year. The Bulldogs haven’t truly challenged for a title since the ’06-’07 10-4 campaign led by dynamic guard Eric Flato. This time, it’ll be the big man, Mangano, who carries the load for the Elis on the quest for a championship.