Ivy news roundup – Apr. 23, 2017


Marketing hoops in China

Sophomore forward Erika Steeves was named one of five Brown student-athletes who earned a Royce Fellowship, which will support Steeves as she works with the NBA, the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), and Chinese sport officials to study the growing market for amateur and professional basketball in China.


Columbia women to go south of the border in November

The Columbia women’s basketball team has been invited to participate in the 2017 Cancun Challenge at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya in the Yucatan Peninsula.  In the 10-team tournament, they will be in the 4 team Mayan Division along with Arizona State, Green Bay and 2016 national runner-up Mississippi State.  Each of these teams had 20-plus victories in their 2016-17 seasons.  While the schedule for the November 23-25 Challenge does not come out until June, the four teams in last year’s Mayan Division played three games in three days against each of the teams in the group.  So, the Lions should get their chance to beat the team that ended UConn’s 111-game winning streak.


Morgan declares for NBA Draft

Jeff Goodman of ESPN reported Sunday that sophomore guard Matt Morgan will test the waters without an agent for the NBA Draft. The absence of an agent means Morgan remains eligible to return to the team for the 2017-18 season. Morgan led the Ivy League in scoring in each of his first two seasons at Cornell, and he told the Cornell Daily Sun that the move amounts to “more putting my name on the radar in case next year or the year after that I decide to do this again.”

Meet the newest No. 1 fan of Big Red hoops

On April 17th, Martha Pollack began her job as Cornell’s 14th President.  When a writer for the Cornell Chronicle asked what activities the President and her spouse were interested in attending in Ithaca, she stated “We both love music, especially classical and jazz, so we hope to attend the Cornell Concert Series and some of the student performances, and we’re basketball fans, so look for us at some of the men’s and women’s basketball games.”

President Pollack, the former Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Michigan, is no stranger to the Ivy League, since she finished her undergraduate degree in Linguistics at Dartmouth in 1979, as well as completing her M.S.E and Ph.D in Computer and Informational Science at Penn in 1986.  While we at IHO look forward to seeing Cornell’s First Couple at the games next season, we don’t want her to get her tenure off on the wrong foot by angering the Lynah Faithful.  So, we are sending this reminder to the Pollacks that the top 5 sports on East Hill are hockey, hockey, hockey, hockey and wrestling.

We hardly knew “@BigLeagueChu_”

Chukuka Emili, a 6′ 7″ Power Forward from New Mexico Military Academy who committed to Cornell as a JUCO transfer in March, has decided not to join the Big Red and reopen his recruitment.


A Kiwi lands in Hanover

Isaac Letoa, a 6’1″ point guard from New Zealand, has committed to play for Dartmouth in the fall.  The 18 year old was a member of the Junior Tall Blacks that defeated Australia for the first time in the Oceania Championships to earn a berth in the FIBA Junior World Cup this July.  Letoa, who will be attending the Thayer School of Engineering, claims that other Ivies had approached him. He looked at the rosters and researched the coaches before realizing that the Big Green was the best fit.

According to SKYCITY Breakers Assistant Coach Mike Fitchett, “Isaac has great defensive ability, plays with intensity and has a terrific work ethic.  He has the capacity to stay in front of quick ball handlers and demonstrates great commitment on defence which you don’t see from a lot of young players. He also has the ability to penetrate at the offensive end and his perimeter shooting is improving.”  

After receiving news of the Aucklander’s arrival, coach David McLaughlin said ““We are thrilled to have Isaac become a member of our program and Dartmouth Family.  He embodies so much of what we look for when evaluating: A love for the game, a winning and competitive approach every time he is on the court, high basketball acumen, and a work ethic where he truly wants to get better each day. Isaac is a young man of very high character who we feel will have an immediate impact on our team and within the Dartmouth community.”


Crimson look back and forward at April banquets

At recent banquets celebrating the 2016-2017 season, Harvard announced its most valuable players as senior Siyani Chambers and first-year Bryce Aiken for the men’s team and first-year Katie Benzan for the women’s squad.  In addition, junior forward Chris Egi was named captain of the men’s 2017-18 team, while junior Kirby Porter and sophomore Madeline Raster were named co-captain for next year’s team.

Harvard men to appear in Wooden Legacy Tournament

The Harvard men’s team has accepted an invitation to take part in the Wooden Legacy Tournament on November 23, 24 and 26.  The first two days of competition will take place on the campus of Cal State Fullerton, while the last day’s action will occur at the Honda Center in Anaheim.  All of the contests should be televised by the ESPN family of networks. The Crimson will be making its first appearance in the 8-team 12-game bracketed tournament.  The other teams include Cal State Fullerton, DePaul, Georgia, St. Joseph’s, Saint Mary’s, San Diego State, and Washington State.

At least his mom likes Harvard more than Duke

Over at The Undefeated, Marc Spears profiles Wendell Carter, Jr and his parents.  The article touches on Carter’s recruitment process.  ESPN’s #3 ranked player in the country had a final list that included Duke, Georgia Tech and Harvard.  While Wendell ended up choosing the Blue Devils, his mother wanted her son to join the Crimson.

“I’m a different person. I actually like going to school. I like doing my homework. I saw it as a situation where I could do something different, change the game,” Carter Jr. said of Harvard. “It’s a great academic school. God forbid something happen to me physically. … Just saying I was interested in Harvard. People were noticing me so much more.

“That was the main reason I considered it, and I had a good relationship with the coaching staff. I knew a couple of kids that go there, so I saw it as a great possibility. … [My mom] still wears the Harvard sweaters around the house. She goes out in it. She loves Duke, but I can say she likes Harvard more.”


Penn to host 2022 NCAA East Regional (at incorrect venue)

Penn was selected to host the 2022 East Regional at the Wells Fargo Center on March 25 and 27, 2022.  This is the first time that Penn has been named a host since 1957.  While Penn’s on-campus arena, The Palestra, has hosted more NCAA Tournament games than any other venue, its limited size appears to be too small for the NCAA.  Maybe the selection committee should have asked Michigan State’s Tom Izzo or Penn State’s Pat Chambers to weigh in on the choice.

Fran Dunphy profiled prior to induction into Penn Athletics Hall of Fame

With the Penn Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony approaching on May 6, Dave Zeitlin interviewed former Penn and present Temple head coach Fran Dunphy.  Dunphy, a former player at La Salle, began his time in West Philly as an assistant to Tom Schneider. Following Schneider’s resignation, Dunphy took over the Quakers program.  After enduring losing records in his first two seasons, the fortunes of the coach and the program changed with a three-year contract extension from then-athletic director Paul Rubincam and the arrival of fellow Hall of Fame inductee Jerome Allen.  Over the next 15 seasons, Dunphy would guide Penn to 10 Ivy League titles, nine NCAA Tournament appearances, and one NCAA Tournament victory.

Jaaber honored with Big 5 Hall of Fame induction

Two-time Ivy League Player of the Year (2005-06, 2006-07) and one-time Big 5 Player of the Year (2006-07) Ibrahim Jaaber was inducted into the Philly Big 5 Hall of Fame this week.  One of Penn’s all-time greats may be its most spiritual.  After his speech, fellow Hall of Famer and Villanova legend George Raveling said, “It kept running through my mind that you represent everything good about sports.  And I hope you’ll continue to use your wisdom, your influence, to make the game better, to make the world better. As a 79-year-old-man, soon to be 80 in June, I want to tell you that if I come back in the next life, I want to be like you.”

At the ceremony, Penn senior Michelle Nwokedi, the Ivy League Player of the Year, was honored as a member of the women’s Big 5 First-Team and senior Sydney Stipanovich, last year’s Ivy League Player of the Year, was named a member of the Big 5 Second-Team.  Also, senior Matt Howard and first-year AJ Brodeur were named to the Big 5 Second-Team.


Caruso and Brase make moves for 2017-18

Henry Caruso, a First-Team All-Ivy player in 2015-16, officially signed with Santa Clara last week.  Caruso injured his toe early in the 2016-2017 season and was given a medical redshirt for that year.  He will go back home and play at his father’s alma mater.  Said Bronco’s coach Herb Sendek, “We are thrilled to have Henry on board for next season.  Before suffering a season-ending injury, he distinguished himself as an outstanding player at Princeton. We welcome his toughness, savvy, versatile skill set and winning ways to our team.”

Hans Brase, a First-Team All-Ivy player in 2014-15, is looking at multiple schools for his Graduate Transfer season. Brase missed the 2015-16 season due to a torn right ACL and this season due to a separate right knee injury. There are reports that the 6′ 9″ forward has visited Richmond.  He has a scheduled visit at Nebraska this week and is on Georgia Tech’s radar.  Richmond’s head coach is former Tiger Chris Mooney and its assistant coach, Marcus Jenkins, formerly coached at Princeton during Brase’s time there.

Tiger coaches continue to receive honors

Men’s basketball coach Mitch Henderson was selected to join the board of the Coaches vs Cancer organization, a joint effort between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).  Henderson will join former Penn and present Temple head coach Fran Dunphy and former Penn assistant coach and present Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery.

USA Basketball named Princeton women’s basketball coach Courtney Banghart as an assistant coach to Louisville’s Jeff Walz for the inaugural U-23 Four Nations Tournament to be held in Tokyo this August.  Michelle Clark-Heard, head coach at Western Kentucky and a former assistant at Louisville, is also on staff. Said Jennifer Rizzotti, chair of USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee, “We are looking for coaches to lead the next generation and Jeff, Courtney and Michelle are three of the most successful and well-respected coaches in our business. We are happy to entrust our group of U23 athletes to this well-deserving trio.” Banghart told USA Basketball, “What a tremendous honor it is to serve USA basketball in a coaching capacity.  It’s always been a dream of mine to coach the sport at the highest level and to do so while representing our country. I’m eager and ready to give USA basketball and all associated with it, my very best.”

First-year assistant coach Skye Ettin was named an NABC 30-Under 30 Honoree. Ettin was one of 15 Division I coaches selected and the only one from the Ivy League. Said head coach Mitch Henderson, “Skye makes others around him better.  He cares deeply about the team and how he in turn can help in the development of each player in our program. I’m very pleased that he is receiving national recognition for his dedication to making Princeton basketball the best it can be.”

Tigers to open season at Butler

It has been announced that the Tigers will travel to Indianapolis to take on Butler on Sun., Nov. 12 .  This will be the team’s fourth visit to historic Hinkle Fieldhouse and its first since 2013.  This past season, the Bulldogs ended the regular season 2nd in the Big East and lost in the Sweet Sixteen to eventual national champion North Carolina.


Badgers, Bulldogs … Bulldogs, Badgers

According to Jon Rothstein at FanRag Sports, the Wisconsin Badgers will host Yale in the 2017-18 season.

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