Ivy news roundup – June 23, 2017

Yale’s Miye Oni breaks down the NBA’s No. 1 Pick

The NBA Draft took place on Thursday, and Washington’s Markelle Fultz was taken as the first pick . by the Philadelphia 76ers. Before the Celtics traded away the pick to Philadelphia, WEEI in New England contacted Yale’s Miye Oni to discuss Fultz and the Bulldogs’ opening night victory over the Huskies. Fultz ended the game with 30 points, seven rebounds and six assists, while Oni completed his first contest with 24 points, six rebounds and three assists.

According to Oni, “It’s how smooth and how easy he (Fultz) scores.  I didn’t really notice that when I was playing. Then I look at the game after like wow, he just glided to the basket and finished. I think he’ll be really successful in an open floor NBA game, more even so than college, because his game will translate really well. He has a long wingspan defensively, and he can use that offensively, also. He has a tight handle and long arms, so he kind of moves a lot with his dribble. That smoothness to his game will help him a lot.”

When asked to describe why Fultz has a low-key demeanor on the court, the second-team All-Ivy guard told WEEI’s John Tomase, “I think it’s because of how he came up in the basketball world.  He started on JV, blew up a little bit late, so he didn’t have that typical hype-since-eighth-grade type of thing. I think that will actually benefit him, because it will motivate him to keep working and keep getting better, because he didn’t have the NBA scouts at his 10th grade games like a lot of No. 1 overall picks have. I think that’s why he’s not like that. He doesn’t have that ego in him, which is a good thing for him, because that also brings players down a lot of times. I just think that’s his personality. He’s a laid-back guy. A lot of people try to knock him for it, I don’t think it’s a big deal at all. It’s just not typical.”

Brown’s Erika Steeves visits China to study professional and amateur basketball

Rising junior and team captain Erika Steeves has had a busy summer. In May, she attended Canada Basketball’s Women’s National Team Program Assessment Camp looking to secure a spot on the national team as it attempts to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.  Although she missed out on being selected for the national team, she did earn the opportunity to visit China as a Royce Sport and Society Fellow, exploring the intentional and unintentional development of a uniquely American product on Chinese professional and amateur basketball.  She also will be looking at potential opportunities and challenges for this emerging market during a time of unsettled relationships between the U.S. and China.

Brown’s Royce Fellowship began in 1996 to assist undergraduates as they carry out independent projects of their own design in locations across the United States and around the world.  In 2007, the Sport and Society Fellowship was introduced for undergraduates who have a record of excellence in academics and sport, supporting these student-athletes to embark on innovative research or applied projects, exploring the intersection of sport and human rights within a particular context.

Steeves’ 23-day trip visiting Shanghai, Hangzhou, Jinan and Beijing has begun.  She is writing a blog about her experiences, and her comments can be accessed through the Brown women’s basketball website or directly through her “Creating a market for sports in China”  site.

Incoming first-year chooses Carolina blue over Dartmouth green

Walker Miller, a 6’10” center, has decided to decommit from Dartmouth and attend the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, where he will be a walk-on with the men’s basketball team.  Miller is from Greensboro, but attended the New Hampton School in New Hampshire for the last two years.  Two seasons ago, he was coached at New Hampton by present Big Green assistant coach Pete Hutchins. According to a May press release from Dartmouth, Miller averaged 5.6 rebounds, and 7.5 points on 60 percent shooting.

Despite his appreciation for Dartmouth’s academic reputation, and his strong connection with coach Hutchings, the allure of playing for his favorite program and a Hall of Fame coach proved to be too strong.  Additionally, Miller’s brother, Wes, is the head coach of nearby UNC-Greensboro and played for the Tar Heel.  During his three seasons, he won a national championship in 2005 and made it to the Elite Eight in 2006-07.

Miller was expected to get immediate and significant playing time in the front court, with the graduations of Wesley Dickinson and Ike Ngwudo, as well as the graduate transfer of Cole Harrison.  Now, Second-Team All-Ivy Evan Boudreaux will only have two rising sophomores, Ian Carter and Will Emery, who averaged less than 8 minutes of game time each, and two first-years, Chris Knight and Andrease Jackson, to help out in the front-court.

More Ivy assistant coaching news

In May, Dartmouth head coach Belle Koclanes announced the hiring of Taja Edwards as an Assistant Coach.  For the last five years, Edwards has been an assistant coach at Southern Cal (2014-17), Cal State Fullerton (2013-14), and Mississippi (2012-13).  She will look to build upon her experiences at USC, where she was responsible for player development, mentoring and recruiting.

Jeffrey Kirpas, the operations coordinator for Brown women’s basketball, has been promoted to an assistant coach.  A graduate of Holy Cross, Kirpas has previously worked for the Crusaders, as the student director of operations for the women’s basketball team, and Rhode Island, as the team’s video coordinator.

Two Ivy Leaguers selected for USA Basketball in upcoming World Maccabiah Games

Recently graduated guard JoJo Fallas of Cornell and rising junior Robbie Feinberg of Harvard have been selected for the USA Open Men’s Basketball Team for the 20th World Maccabiah games that will take place from July 4-18 in Israel.  Fallas played in 100 games for the Big Red in his career, and started 23 contests this past season.  He hit 87 three pointers at a 36% rate during his four years in East Hill.  Feinberg has had limited playing time in his first two seasons with the Crimson.  Both players were also part of the USA Team that earned a silver medal at the European Maccabi Games in 2015.  

The twelve member team, which will be coached by former Oklahoma State guard and current CBS Sports analyst Doug Gottlieb, will be part of a 1,100-plus squad representing the USA.  The Games will have more than 10,000 Jewish athletes from 80 countries competing in 43 sports, making it the 3rd largest sporting event in the world.

Former Bulldog appointed to Yale Board of  Trustees

Emmett Rice, CEO and founder of Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT), a national non-profit that helps underrepresented minority college students and professionals become leaders in the business world, was named a Successor Trustee by Yale President Peter Salovey.  Rice grew up in Washington, D.C., before graduating with honors from Yale and earning an MBA at Harvard.  While at Yale, Rice was a member of the men’s basketball team from 1984-88.  

For his career, Rice played 92 games for the Elis, averaging 6.0 points a game and shooting 46 percent.  In the 1985-86 and 1986-87 seasons, Rice was the recipient of the team’s Dick Derby Award for Scholarship and Athletic Ability.  For the 1987-88 campaign, he was given the George McReynolds Award as the team’s best defensive player.

For former Brown Bear, here’s hoping the third time’s the Charm

Leland King arrived at Brown for the 2013-14 season and ended up as the team’s second-leading scorer with 9.6 points a game.  At the start of the 2014-15 campaign, Sports Illustrated named him one of five sophomores to have a breakout season.  Over the first 17 games of that season, King averaged 14.6 points and 7.8 rebounds a game, while shooting 47 percent from the field.  Afterwards, King abruptly left the Brown program.  He eventually transferred to Nevada.

After sitting out the 2015-2016 season, King was a key player off the bench for the Wolfpack, averaging 3.7 points, 2.6 rebounds and 10.1 minutes per game for the Mountain West champions.  While initially considering returning for his senior year, King graduated the university in May and looked to play his last season as a graduate transfer. On Monday, it was announced that King has decided to spend his last season at UC Santa Barbara. According to a comment that King made to Chris Murray of the Reno Gazette Journal, “I just want to go somewhere I will have the opportunity to play a lot and help the team out.

Penn women get 2018 commit

On Monday, Mia Lakstigala of Naperville Central High School in Illinois announced that she has chosen to play for the Penn women’s basketball team starting in the fall of 2018.  This past season, she was named the Co-MVP of the DuPage Valley Conference, averaging 19.8 points and 5.1 assists a game. According to an evaluation at ESPN, the 5’10” combo-guard is a sleeper prospect who can execute in the half court game, handle pressure, and attack under control in transition.

Lakstigala decided on Penn over Arizona, Washington, Yale, Bucknell, Saint Louis, Duquesne, Northern Illinois and Marist.  While playing for Coach McLaughlin was an important reason for her decision, she also wanted to attend Wharton.  According to the Daily Herald article, the women’s team has one slot available at the school’s business program, and Lakstigala was able to secure that spot.



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