Ivy hoops roundup – May 4, 2019

Another week full of Ivy news, with none bigger than Courtney Banghart’s move from Princeton to North Carolina.  The former Big Green All-Ivy guard and Tigers head coach signed a five-year contract to take over a Tar Heels program that needs a new start.  Per Jeff Gravely of WRAL in Raleigh, Banghart’s contract starts at $650,000 in 2019-2020 and increases to $730,000 in 2024-2025.  Athletic and academic bonuses are included that can increase the yearly salary by $10,000 to $470,000.

Banghart was not the only Ivy coach with a change of address.  According to HBCU Gameday, Columbia assistant coach (and former Harvard assistant) Kenny Blakeney will be named head coach at Howard University.  The same report noted that former Princeton player and head coach (and Georgetown head coach) John Thompson III was the school’s first choice, but he was not interested.  Blakeney, who was on the Lions’ staff for one season, had been with the Crimson from 2008-2012.  In 2010, Harvard was hit with a secondary recruiting violation due to “improper recruiting assistance” Blakeney gave in 2007 to members of the Harvard coaching staff after meeting with two potential recruits.

Dartmouth’s Pete Hutchins was promoted from assistant coach to associate head coach on March 19 after three years in Hanover.  Forty-six days later, Hutchins left the Big Green to join the George Mason staff as an assistant coach.  Hutchins will be reunited with Patriots head coach Dave Paulsen, who had Hutchins on his staff at Williams College in 2006-2007.

Sam Blum of AL.com has an update on former Penn assistant coach (and 1995-96 Ivy Player of the Year) Ira Bowman, who remains on suspension from his assistant coaching role at Auburn.  After Penn head coach Jerome Allen resigned from his position in 2015, Bowman was alleged to have taken over a bribery scheme that started between Allen and Florida businessman Philip Esformes to get Esformes’ son into the school as a recruited basketball player.  According to AL.com, Bowman, who has been paid $33,000 during the first seven weeks of his suspension, is only on a guaranteed contract through April 30, 2019 and his total contract runs until April 30, 2020.  On a related note, Blum reported that director of basketball operations Chad Prewett was elevated to assistant coach on Tuesday to take over Bowman’s duties during his suspension.

Cornell’s Matt Morgan sat down with Donna Ditota of Syracuse.com to update fans on what he has been doing since the end of the 2018-2019 season and how he is getting ready for June’s NBA Draft.

Speaking of the NBA Draft … Yale’s Miye Oni told Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog that he has been given an invite to the NBA Draft Combine May 15-19 in Chicago.  ESPN’s most recent Mock Draft has Oni going to the Philadelphia 76ers late in the second round with the 54th pick.  David Borges of the Middletown Press reached out to a Eastern Conference scout, who also sees Oni going in the final 10 picks in the second round.  Since players in that position do not get guarantee money and few get a guarantee contract, the unnamed scout recommends that Oni return to Yale for his senior season.

Columbia’s Sienna Durr was named the 2018-19 All-Met Women’s Division I Rookie of the Year by the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association (MBWA). The MBWA chooses its awards from 21 college and university programs in the New York City area.  Durr, the Ivy League Rookie of the Year and a second team All-Ivy, is the first player in program history to win this award and the second Lion in three years to earn one of the MBWA’s major awards.  Camille Zimmerman, fourth all-time in Ivy League scoring, was named Player of the Year in 2016-17.  In addition to the MBWA award, Durr was named a finalist for Columbia’s Female Rookie of the Year.

Princeton’s two-time Ivy Player of the Year Bella Alarie was one of 12 athletes invited to participate in USA Basketball’s National 3 on 3 National Championship in Las Vegas Friday and Saturday. Her “Defend” team went 3-0 Friday.

Alarie and Penn’s Eleah Parker were selected as two of 36 collegiate players (and two of six players from non-power five conferences) invited by USA Basketball to compete for a spot with the 2019 U.S. Pan American Games women’s basketball team.  They will look to make the 12-member team, when they attend the May 16-20 trial at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.  If selected, they will compete in the women’s basketball tournament August 6-10 in Lima, Peru.

Parker, who was the Big 5 Player of the Year, as well as a first team All-Ivy and Ivy Defensive Player of the Year, added another award when she was named the Daily Pennsylvanian’s Best Female Athlete.  Even with the outstanding performance by the undisputed Ivy championship men’s lacrosse team, the Quaker cagers dominated the DP school-wide awards.  First team All-Ivy forward AJ Brodeur was named Best Male Athlete, Dev Goodman was named Male Breakthrough Athlete, Princess Aghayere was named Female Breakthrough Athlete and women’s head coach Mike McLaughlin was named Best Coach.  The men’s 78-75 victory over then-No. 17 Villanova on December 11 was named Best Upset and the team’s undefeated Big Five title was selected as Best Moment.

The DP also caught up with the Penn men’s seniors to find out about their post-graduation plans –  Max Rothschild and Antonio Woods will look to play professional ball overseas, Jake Silpe will go into the world of investment banking after playing in the Maccabi Games this summer, Jackson Donahue will try to catch on as a graduate assistant coach, while Tyler Hamilton and Collin McManus have entered the graduate transfer portal for their last year of eligibility.

Brown coach Sarah Behn announced that rising seniors Justine Gaziano and Haley Green, as well as rising junior Dominique Leonidas, have been selected tri-captains for the 2019-2020 season. Gaziano is a three time all-Ivy team member and has scored 1,388 in her career.  Green has been named the team’s Most Improved Player for the last two seasons.  Leonidas missed most of this year due to injury, but was named the program’s Coaches’ Award winner in her first year.

Cornell’s Division of Alumni Affairs and Development sent out an article about women’s captain Samantha Clement from early March.  The article highlights how the memory of Clement’s best friend has inspired the soon-to-be Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR) graduate on and off the court throughout the last several years.

Former Dartmouth sophomore forward Adrease Jackson has chosen to transfer Northern Arizona.  Jackson’s decision was much simpler than former Brown sophomore guard Desmond Cambridge.  The 2018 Ivy Rookie of the Year, tweeted on Saturday afternoon that he would make his transfer choice between Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech on Monday night at 8:00 pm.  By late Wednesday, there was still no word of his decision.  Early Thursday evening, Cambridge made a surprise announcement on twitter stating that he would be reopening his recruitment due to “unforeseen circumstances”.

Former Princeton first-team forward Leslie Robinson has earned an invite to the Chicago Sky training camp.  Robinson, the daughter of former Ivy Player of the Year Craig Robinson, was drafted by the New York Liberty in the second round of last year’s WNBA Draft.  After being cut in training camp, she went off to Germany to play for the Krofdorf Knights. In 20 games, Robinson averaged 22 points, 12.6 rebounds and 2.5 steals and shot 54.4% from the field.  She will now compete against 17 other players to capture one of the team’s 12 opening day spots.

The NCAA recognized more than 1,300 programs from 321 schools for academic excellence after they scored in the top 10% of their sports in the most recent Academic Progress Rate (APR) results.  The Ivy League was the top-scoring conference in both number of teams and percentage of teams honored.  Among the listed top programs were the women’s teams at Brown, Dartmouth, Penn and Yale, as well as the Yale men.  The Dartmouth women’s team is one of 73 programs that has been earned the Public Recognition Award in all 14 years of its existence.

Harvard women’s head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith was given the Women’s Professional Achievement Award by the Harvard College Women’s Center.  According to Harvard Athletics, the award “is given annually to a woman who has demonstrated exceptional leadership and distinguished herself in her profession, in public service or in the arts.”  This award was the latest in a milestone year, which saw Delaney-Smith earn her 600th victory and have her coaching position endowed by as The Friends of Harvard Women’s Basketball Head Coach.

The Maine Press Herald reports on incoming Harvard wing Gracie Martin, who suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament and partial meniscus tear five seconds into the SMAA girls’ basketball senior all-star game in early March.   The author notes that Martin has had successful surgery and is now in the early stages of her physical and emotional rehabilitation.

Joseph Kamm, a sports writer for the Yale Daily News, as well as a broadcaster of Bulldogs men’s and women’s basketball at WYBC radio, was one of five juniors selected for the F. Wilder Bellamy Jr. Memorial Prize.  The award is awarded to a junior man or woman who best exemplifies personal integrity, loyalty to friends, and high-spiritedness in athletics, academics, and social life.

Muliufi “Mufi” Hannemann, a member of the Harvard basketball team from 1974-1976, led his Team Aloha to its second consecutive championship title at the Elite Is Earned Spring Invitational held April 26-28 in Walnut Creek, California.  Hanneman was freshman class president at Harvard who eventually became a two-term mayor of Honolulu (2004-2012).  After his graduation, he began coaching women’s basketball when he was a Fulbright Scholar studying, playing and coaching basketball in New Zealand.

Scott Waterman, Director of Basketball Operations at Dartmouth (2016-2017) was named head coach of the Academy of Art in San Francisco.

In a leadup to Penn’s May 3rd Hall of Fame ceremony, Penn Athletics profiles former hoopster, Assistant Dean of Admissions, Athletic Director and Executive Director of the Big Five Paul “Herky” Rubincam.  Rubincam had one season as a letter winner (1958-1959), but his greatest accomplishment on the hardwood was his promotion of assistant coach Fran Dunphy to the top spot in 1989.  The department also profiled Jewel Clark, who played for the Quakers from 2000 through 2004.  She was a part of the Red & Blue’s first two Ivy champions in 2001 and 2004.  She was a three-time first-team All-Ivy and All-Big 5 member, winning the 2003-2004 Ivy League and Big 5 Player of the Year awards.  Clark is third on the team’s all-time scoring list with 1,743 career points and ranks in the top five in program history in rebounds (933) and steals (204).  This will be the second Hall of Fame award for Clark, who was named to the Big Five Hall of Fame in 2011.

While Ivy basketball venues have hosted its fair share of athletic events, graduations, concerts, comedy shows and political rallies over the years, its likely that there has never be an opera….until now.  From May 5-12, Boston Lyric Opera will be performing “The Handmaid’s Tale” at Harvard’s Lavietes Pavilion. The opera, by composer Poul Ruders and librettist Paul Bentley, is based on Margaret Atwood’s novel and directed by Anne Bogart.  The director felt that the Crimson’s home court fit the show perfectly.  As she told the Boston Herald, “It’s the second oldest gym in the country and is remarkably like the Red Center.”  (The BLO is offering 50 free student tickets and $25 tickets for teachers, professors and other educators, according to Broadwayworld.com)

Former Penn and Brown men’s head coach Glen Miller is being sued by former UConn head coach Kevin Ollie for slander.  Ollie is accusing Miller, his former associate head coach, of falsely telling NCAA investigators that Ollie paid the mother of a former athlete $30,000 for her son to attend the university.  Ollie is joined in the lawsuit by Stephanie Garrett, the mother of former Cornell forward Shonn Miller (no relation), who joined the Huskies as a graduate transfer in 2015-2016.  Ollie claims that the his former associate coach told false information to the NCAA to get back at Ollie for firing him at the end of the 2016-2017 season.

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