Ivy League office selects all-time best women’s and men’s teams

The Ivy League did something interesting Thursday – it tweeted out its all-time best women’s and men’s teams as selected by the Ivy League office, consisting of five players each. Check out the league’s selections with thoughts after the jump…


Courtney Banghart, Dartmouth – G – 1996-2000

Diana Caramanico, Penn – F – 1997-2001

Allison Feaster, Harvard – G/F – 1994-98

Gail Koziara, Dartmouth – F – 1978-82

Niveen Rasheed, Princeton – G/F – 2009-13

Thoughts: Courtney Banghart would be on any all-time women’s coaches list too, but she’s also the greatest three-point shooter in Ivy hoops history … Diana Caramanico unquestionably belongs here and is on another level than even the other players on this shortlist, excepting Gail KoziaraCaramanico is still the all-time scoring leader and only three-time Ivy Player of the Year besides Koziara … Now Caramanico is a leading sports psychologist, but don’t expect her to help Princeton anytime soonAllison Feaster easily belongs on this list too almost on the strength of her dominant senior season alone (league record 28.5 points per game en route to a third straight league championship) … Koziara also won four straight shot put titles at Dartmouth and is now the CEO of United HealthCare from 2011 to 2014. Highly successful in every phase of her life – it doesn’t get any better than that … Rasheed simply dominated and I remember being in awe of how consistent her greatness was … Hana Pelijto, Ann Deacon, Jayne Daigle, Alyssa Baron and Donna Yaffe all deserve serious consideration on any all-time list as well.


Jerome Allen, Penn – SG – 1991-95

Bill Bradley, Princeton – PF/C – 1962-65

Jeremy Lin, Harvard – G – 2006-10

Matt Maloney, Penn – PG – 1992-95

Jim McMillian, Columbia – SF – 1967-70

Thoughts: For full disclosure, I’m working on a list of the 60 greatest Ivy men’s basketball players of all time in connection with the upcoming season marking the 60th anniversary of modern Ivy men’s hoops. I’ve missed most of those 60 years unfortunately, but I think I can make a pretty strong case for a very different top five than the Ivy League office’s. But that’s the fun of personal rankings from anybody’s perspective, and that being said, Jerome Allen was one of the most important players of all time because he was the unquestioned spark behind one of the most untouchable dynasties in conference history (42-0 in league play in his final three seasons) … Bill Bradley is Bill Bradley, and that’s all that needs to be said Jeremy Lin would only belong here if we were judging by all-time NBA careers among Ivy players … there are plenty of Crimson legends that were more dominant in their careers than the still tremendous Lin, like Joe Carrabino, Don Fleming, Dan Clemente, and of course, Wesley Saunders Maloney also might be questionable for a top five list since there are probably a handful of Quakers alone that surpass him in individual accomplishments, but his leadership and three-point shooting helped fuel Penn’s incredibly successful mid-’90s dynasty … McMillian absolutely belongs, a three-time All-American and prolific scorer and rebounder who earned his first-round selection by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1970 NBA Draft.

What do you think about the Ivy League office’s selections?

12 thoughts on “Ivy League office selects all-time best women’s and men’s teams”

  1. Best I ever saw growing up in Hanover was Jim Barton ’89; Sea Lonergan ’97 had great court sense and nose/hustle, even if numbers alone wouldn’t propel him onto anyone’s all-time lists.

    • Hey Josh, thanks for commenting! Do you recall Shaun Gee ’00 as well? I’m sure your judgment on these Dartmouth standouts is more trustworthy than mine, but I feel like Barton and Lonergan are two of the all-time Ivy greats, so thanks for recalling their careers here.

  2. Jeremy Lin over Geoff Petrie ? In addition to illustrious college career, Petrie was first round draft pick and co-rookie of the year in NBA. And if talent level is what’s being measured, another Princeton player deserves mention – Brain Taylor, early withdrawal, but best player in the league during his time , and ABA rookie of the year.

  3. Jeremy Lin on this team is a complete joke. He wasn’t even the best Ivy guard of his era (Ibby). I’ll let the Princeton guys point out all their players that are more deserving. But to put Lin ahead of e.g, Corky Calhoun, Ron Haigler, Tony Price or Ugonna Onyekwe is beyond ridiculous.

  4. Yeah, Lin was a very average as an Ivy player. There are many Penn and Princeton (vomit) players that are more deserving. Even Butch Graves at Yale (just off the top of my head) was better.

    Halo effect of Harvard at full effect.

    The AQ

  5. Jeremy Lin is deserving of many “all-time” accolades:

    (1) All-time highest professional monetary compensation of any Ivy player.
    (2) All-time greatest media attention over a brief period of time during his professional career.
    (3) Only Ivy alumnus to appear on cover of Sports Illustrated in successive weeks.
    (4) All-time best player admitted to Harvard under Frank Sullivan’s academic standards.

    In many ways, Jeremy Lin represents the end of the “old” Ivy League with the academic requirements in place before Tommy Amaker’s arrival. Today, we are in a new age. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is a matter of opinion.

    • Assuming your “rankings” are accurate I fail to see their relevance in choosing the best Ivy players in history. Compensation as a professional is perhaps the least valid indicator you have selected, although how one measures “media attention” is totally beyond my understanding. Jack Nicklaus is the 241st professional on the PGA Tour’s career money list, just ahead of Nicholas Thompson and just behind David Peoples.

      • Jack Nicklaus does not rank near the top of the PGA Tour’s all-time career money list primarily because most of his earnings came in the 1960s and 1970s, and the career money list is denominated in current dollars. Nicklaus loses because of five decades of inflation.

        Jeremy Lin ranks at the top of the Ivy League’s all-time money list because the total pie available to pay all players is so much larger now than it was back when, for example, Bill Bradley played. Dollar Bill’s pay is also diminished by five decades of inflation of course, as with Nicklaus, but even in constant 2015 dollars, Jeremy Lin makes more today than Bill Bradley did with his world champion Knicks.

        Lin is the dollar winner by any measure.

  6. You get that these are real people that Amaker has recruited. How would you like to be a current player at Harvard and read that the lowering of AI standards (It has not been proven with real data-only anecdotal-try taking that to court) is only reason you are there. Amaker is not the devil. The challenge lays in the other Ivies recruiting at that same level he is.

    • While I believe that Harvard has materially lowered academic standards materially under Amaker, I also believe that his players are still very smart guys.

      They know that the most heralded Harvard player from the Frank Sullivan era was a player who had no, that is, zero, scholarship offers coming out of high school. Walking into Lavietes Pavilion, current Harvard players see on the wall the photographs of Sullivan’s teams, almost exclusively white players who attracted similarly low levels of interest from big name teams.

      Meanwhile, the Harvard players today know that they were each recruited by multiple programs, high majors in many cases. (The exceptions to this rule are the academic boosters on the roster.) The players know that several of them were rated as nationally ranked prospects. They can also see that the squad is now almost exclusively African-American.

      You don’t think that the Harvard players are observant enough to know that *something* has changed in the transition from Sullivan to Amaker? I have more faith in Harvard basketball players than you do. These are smart people. They get the joke. Nobody’s feelings are hurt. They’re winning. They’re students at the most famous university in the world. They’re happy.


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