Ivy hoops roundup – May 29, 2019

  • Cornell’s Matt Morgan was the male recipient of the Charles H. Moore Outstanding Senior Varsity Athlete Award at the school’s annual senior athletics banquet.  The two-time first team All-Ivy guard ended his career with 2,333 points, the most in program history and second best in Ivy League history, trailing only Hall of Famer Bill Bradley of Princeton (2,503).
  • Dartmouth’s James Foye received the Class of 1948 Scholar-Athlete Award, which goes to a male and female member of the junior class, who have combined outstandinayg performance in athletics and significant achievement in academics.  Foye, an economics major with a 3.96 GPA, went from 0 starts, 10.6 minutes per game and 1.5 points per game in his sophmore season to 30 starts, 29.5 minutes per game and 10.8 points per game this past year.  He was named to the Google Cloud Academic All-America Second Team honors, the first for a Dartmouth men’s basketball player in 22 years.
  • Myles Stephens was named a finalist for Princeton’s William Winston Roper Trophy, given annually to the school’s top senior male athlete.  Stephens finished his career tenth in points (1,346) and rebounds (561).  He was named first team All-Ivy in his sophomore and senior years, while earning a second-team nod in his junior season.  In the 2016-2017 season that saw the Tigers go undefeated in league play and win the first-ever postseason tournament, Stephens was named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year and the Ivy Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player
  • Bryce Aiken has decided to remove his name from the 2019 NBA Draft and return to Harvard for his senior year.  Aiken, a 2019 first team All-Ivy and 2017 Ivy League Rookie of the Year, returned from a year-long injury in January and led the Crimson with 22.2 points per game.  His 44 point effort against Columbia on February 8th was the second-most in program history and included an ESPN top play as he double-clutched a game tying three to send the game into a second overtime
  • Princeton director of public affairs and women’s basketball program supporter Karen Jezierny was named the winner of the university’s Marvin Bressler Award. Per a Princeton Athletics press release, the award goes to a member of the Princeton family who, through heartfelt support of the university’s student-athletes and coaches, best embodies a belief in the lifelong lessons taught by competition and athletics as a complement to the overall educational mission.
  • According to Hoopdirt.com, Columbia is reportedly hiring Montclair State University head coach Marlon Sears to replace Kenny Blakeney as assistant coach.  Sears spent at year at Morningside Heights as an assistant under Joe Jones in 2009-2010, before moving onto Bill Courtney’s staff at Cornell from 2010-2015.  In his role as recruiting coordinator and assistant with the Big Red, Sears recruited All-Ivy stars Matt Morgan and Shonn Miller.  Sears is 59-46 at Montclair State, including a 35-19 mark over the last two seasons.
  • The Brown women’s team announced its five-person Class of 2023:
    Myla Cox G (Petal High School, MS), Fiona Finn F (The Rivers School, MA), Lexi Love G (Bishop O’Dowd High School, CA), Sydney Rosant G (Sequoyah High School, GA), Dani Short F (North Catholic High School, PA)
  • Blake Dietrick, the 2015 Ivy League Player of the Year, was the last player waived from the Atlanta Dream.  After playing in six games for three different WNBA teams in 2016, Dietrick played in 26 games for the Dream in 2018.  At Princeton, Dietrick was a first team All-Ivy in her junior and senior seasons, as well as an honorable mention AP All-America in 2014-2015.
  • Penn’s Michael Wang will be playing for his native China in the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup, from June 29-July 7 in Crete.  After his national team missed the 2017 tournament, Wang averaged 20.0 points, 13 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.3 steals in helping his team to a third place finish that qualified China for this year’s World Cup.  His team have a difficult draw in Group D, which includes France, Puerto Rico and European U18 champions Serbia.
    Despite being hampered by a knee injury in the second half of his rookie campaign, Wang averaged 8.5 points and 3.6 rebounds per game with 26 appearances and nine starts.  He had 14 or more points against George Mason, Kansas State, Miami (FL), La Salle, Villanova, New Mexico and Cornell.  The 6′ 10″ forward showed a deft touch from three, hitting 15 of 34 (41.1 percent) from beyond the arc in those seven games.
  • Per Jeff Goodman of Stadium.com, recent Penn grad Tyler Hamilton has chosen to play for William & Mary as a grad transfer.  Hamilton, who played in six games this past season after missing the entire 2017-2018 campaign, will be the second Ivy League grad transfer in the last three seasons for the Tribe.  Dartmouth’s Cole Harrison played at William & Mary in 2017-2018, averaging 2.3 points and 1.5 rebounds per game.
  • Kareem Maddox (Princeton 2011 graduate) has been selected as one of four players to represent USA Basketball at the 2019 FIBA World Cup Tournament, June 18-23, in Amsterdam.  The team, which consists of Maddox, his Ariel Slow & Steady teammate Robbie Hummel (Purdue), Canyon Barry (Florida) and Briante Weber (VCU) will try to capture USA’s first gold medal against 19 other countries.
    The USA will start preliminary play against four-time defending champion Serbia (10:55 am EDT) and Turkey (2:30 pm EDT) on June 19.  On June 21, preliminary action will conclude against South Korea (10:55 a.m.) and the host Netherlands (1:30 p.m. EDT).  The top two teams will then advance to the June 22 quarterfinals.
    Maddox has played in 59 games in official 3×3 competition, which is the most of his new teammates.  As of May 14, he was ranked No. 49 in the world and seventh in the USA.  His Ariel Slow & Steady team, which includes fellow Tiger alum Dan Mavraides, recently won its third straight 3×3 National Tournament.
  • Toronto Raptor reserve Jeremy Lin will be the first Harvard hoopster to suit up for an NBA Finals on Thursday night.  The three time All-Ivy guard (2006-2010) will be the first Ancient Eight player in the championship since Yale’s Chris Dudley played for the Knicks in 1999.
  • In an op-ed at Inside Higher Ed, Jim Jump, a college admission counselor and basketball coach at the St. Christopher’s School in Richmond (VA) as well as a former women’s college basketball coach and past president of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), sees the Jerome Allen bribery scandal as one of the reasons why colleges should consider ending preferential admissions for athletes.
  • Speaking of the Jerome Allen scandal….
    Morris Esformes, whose father bribed the then-head coach to place the student on Penn’s Fall 2015 recruited athlete list, participated in the graduation ceremony for The Wharton School on May 19. Allen, a member of the Penn Athletics and Big 5 Hall of Fame, is still employed as an assistant coach for the Boston Celtics.  He is still awaiting sentencing for pleading guilty to the bribes in October.
    Ira Bowman, who was alleged to have taken over the bribery scheme that started between Allen and Esformes’ father after Allen resigned as Penn’s head coach in the spring of 2015, is still suspended from his assistant coaching duties at Auburn.
    In April, Philip Esformes, a South Florida health care facility owner, was found guilty for his role in the largest health care fraud scheme ever charged by the Justice Department, involving over $1.3 billion in fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid for services that were not provided, were not medically necessary or were procured through the payment of kickbacks.  On May 17, Law360 reported that Esformes was seeking a new trial since he claims that the prosecution violated his rights.
    CNN revealed on May 14 that Laura Janke, a former assistant women’s soccer coach at USC, had helped Philip Esformes’ daughter gain entrance to that university under false athletic accomplishments. Esformes was not charged in connection with the recent Operation Varsity Blues admission scandal.
    This past February, Penn Athletic Director Grace Calhoun told the Daily Pennsylvanian that she could not comment on the department’s internal investigation into the Allen-Esformes scandal while waiting for Allen to testify against Philip Esformes.  With both Allen’s testimony and Morris Esformes’ undergraduate career complete, the department has still not announced its findings.  Kevin Bonner, Penn’s Associate Athletic Director for Administration and Strategic Communications, declined to respond to an inquiry from IHO regarding the status of the investigation and its projected release date.



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