Ivy hoops roundup – June 6, 2019

  • Following a 11-plus week paid suspension, Auburn University reinstated former Penn assistant coach Ira Bowman to his similar position on Saturday afternoon.  The 1996 Ivy League Player of the Year was suspended by Auburn just before the SEC Tournament, after former Penn coach Jerome Allen testified that Bowman was involved in a scheme resulting in bribes by Florida businessman Philip Esformes to get his son, Morris Esformes, on the basketball roster for the fall of 2015.
    Sam Blum of AL.com wrote that an Auburn athletics spokesman confirmed the news but did not have the results of the school’s investigation or information regarding the reasoning for Bowman’s reinstatement.  AL.com has filed an open records request to obtain this information.  Bowman returned to his reported $250,000 a year job, just in time to help with one of the biggest recruiting weekends in program history.
    Kevin Bonner, Penn’s senior associate athletic director, governance and administration, did not respond to an email from IHO regarding the reinstatement, the Auburn investigation or any Penn investigation of Bowman.

  • Marlon Sears was formally hired as the Columbia men’s basketball associate head coach on Friday.  Sears, who has been the head coach at Division III Montclair State (NJ) the last four years, was an assistant coach on Bill Courtney’s Cornell staff from 2010-2015 and an assistant under Joe Jones at Columbia for the 2009-2010 season.
  • Princeton’s Bella Alarie was picked to represent the United States at the inaugural FIBA 3×3 Women’s Series stop from May 31-June 1 in Chendgu, China.  Alarie was joined on the team by Charli Collier (Texas), Aleah Goodman (Oregon State) and Christyn Williams (Connecticut).  Team USA was to be joined in the eight team field by Australia, France, Japan, Mongolia, Netherlands, Ukraine and the host China.
    Alarie’s team went 1-2 in the preliminary round against France, Australia and Montgolia on Friday May 31st. The Netherlands defeated Team USA, 17-14 in overtime, in Saturday’s quarterfinals.  The loss left the USA in sixth place.  FIBA will be hosting 8-12 events in the 3×3 series between this May and September as nations get ready for the first-ever 3×3 Olympic event at the 2020 Tokyo Summer games.
  • Alarie was also named Best Female Athlete by the Daily Princetonian.  The men’s 67-66 upset win at then-number 17 Arizona State was selected Best Game in the paper’s End of Year Awards.  Meanwhile, over at the Harvard Crimson, Noah Kirkwood was chosen as the school’s male Rookie of the Year.
  • In anticipation of the June 20th NBA Draft, it has been reported that Yale’s Miye Oni has worked out for the Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic and Charlotte Hornets.  Most experts have the reigning Ivy League Player of the Year predicted as a mid-to-late second round pick (#44 to Atlanta at NBA Draft Room, #54 to Philly at Tankathon, #57 to New Orleans at NBADraft.net).  Cornell’s Matt Morgan, the number two scorer in Ivy League history, reportedly has worked out for the Hornets and the Washington Wizards.  Princeton’s Myles Stephens was to visit the Wizards on Wednesday.
  • The Crimson started a series of senior perspectives from 48 graduating athletes with Robbie Feinberg of the men’s basketball team.  Feinberg, who was not given an offer by Tommy Amaker, turned down a spot from another school to try and get accepted to Harvard as a regular student.  After being accepted in December of 2014, he contacted Amaker and was told that he could join the team as a preferred walk-on.  Feinberg, the older brother of Yale first-year Michael Feinberg, may have played only 28 minutes over his four years, but he was a valuable asset to the team as the bench captain and a member of the practice squad’s “scout team”.
    Another member of the “scout team,” Balsar Dragovic, was mentioned in the Crimson after he turned in his senior thesis, “The Role of Authority in Scientific Knowledge Production: The Case of Milutin Milanković and the Astronomical Theory of Climate Change”.  Dragovic appeared in 14 games, starting two, over his four years, but he may be most remembered for his part in Zena Edosomwan’s slam dunk in the 2015 Crimson Madness.
  • Yale senior Trey Phills was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) 2019 Give Back Team, which recognizes 10 men’s student-athletes from across the nation for their outstanding community service efforts.  Phills was earlier given the school’s Ford Student-Athlete Community Outreach Award
    Princeton senior Sydney Jordan was chosen as a recipient of the university’s Art Lane Award, which goes to undergraduate student-athletes in recognition of her or his selfless contribution to sport and society.  In February, Jordan was named a co-winner of the the university’s 2019 Moses Taylor Pyne Honor Prize, the highest general distinction conferred on an undergraduate.
  • Columbia rising seniors Jake Killingsworth and Patrick Tape have been chosen for the 11-member USA East Coast team that will compete in Greece from June 12-14.  The team, which includes players from North Carolina, Notre Dame, Iowa and Syracuse, will practice at Columbia’s Levien Gym on June 9-10 before heading to Greece.  While there, they will take on the Greek National Team and professional club teams from Greece and the Philippines.
    Last year, Columbia’s Mike Smith was selected to USA East Coast, which was coached by Hall of Famer Larry Brown during their training camp in Levien.
  • Following Bryce Aiken’s withdrawal from the upcoming NBA Draft, the Harvard men head into the 2019-2020 season with huge expectations.  Not only does Busting Bracket predict the Crimson to be the Ivy League favorites, but Jon Rothstein has the team at #23 and Jeff Goodman lists them at #24 in the nation.  Harvard fans will have to hope that the team is healthy and Tommy Amaker figures out his rotation early.
  • Writing of Aiken, Mid-Major Madness notes that his withdrawal from the NBA Draft will have a (mid) major impact on the 2019-2020 season and NCAA.com’s Andy Katz has him listed as the #18 contender for the 2020 Bob Cousy Award, which goes to the nation’s premier point guard.
  • Penn men’s basketball announced its five-member Class of 2023:
    Jonah Charles G (Rutgers Prep, NJ), Jordan Dingle G (Blair Academy; home – Valley Stream, NY),  Max Lorca-Lloyd C (Northfield Mount Hermon; home – Melbourne, FL), Max Martz F (Upper Arlington, OH), Lucas Monroe G (Abington Senior H.S., PA)
    The Daily Pennsylvanian and Philadelphia Inquirer have writeups on the new recruits.
  • NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved moving the 3-point line to the international basketball distance of 22 feet, 1¾ inches from the present 20 feet, 9 inches in Division 1 men’s basketball for the 2019-2020 season.  The new rule, which was used during the 2018 and 2019 NIT, is designed to make the lane more available for dribble drive penetration, improve offensive spacing and decrease the increasing reliance on the three pointer.
    After the rule change was proposed, Andy Katz found that many coaches supported the move.  However, the author failed to include any mid-major coaches or teams below #115 in the 2019 KenPom rankings.
    FWIW, the Ivy men had the following 3 point stats in 2018-2019:
    Brown – Offense: 33.8 percent 3-pt shooting (#206), 40.8 percent 3-pt rate (#118); Defense: 30.0 percent 3-pt shooting (#17), 41.2 percent 3-pt rate (#274)
    Columbia – Offense:  35.4 percent 3-pt shooting (#115), 36.7 percent 3-pt rate (#227); Defense: 35.7 percent 3-pt shooting (#258), 40.9 percent 3-pt rate (#260)
    Cornell – Offense:  32.9 percent 3-pt shooting (#246), 42.4 percent 3-pt rate (#86); Defense: 33.7 percent 3-pt shooting (#128), 34.6 percent 3-pt rate (#44)
    Dartmouth – Offense:  35.6 percent 3-pt shooting (#105), 40.0 percent 3-pt rate (#139); Defense: 33.1 percent 3-pt shooting (#96), 33.8 percent 3-pt rate (#31)
    Harvard – Offense:  36.1 percent 3-pt shooting (#87), 42.1 percent 3-pt rate (#91); Defense: 34.2 percent 3-pt shooting (#160), 38.5 percent 3-pt rate (#181)
    Penn – Offense:  34.7 percent 3-pt shooting (#155), 44.3 percent 3-pt rate (#43); Defense: 33.3 percent 3-pt shooting (#103), 32.5 percent 3-pt rate (#13)
    Princeton – Offense:  30.3 percent 3-pt shooting (#338), 40.5 percent 3-pt rate (#125); Defense: 32.5 percent 3-pt shooting (#71), 36.3 percent 3-pt rate (#97)
    Yale – Offense:  36.5 percent 3-pt shooting (#72), 35.3 percent 3-pt rate (#263); Defense: 31.0 percent 3-pt shooting (#27), 37.8 percent 3-pt rate (#156)
  • 2015 Ivy Player of the Year Blake Dietrick of Princeton, who was the last player waived by the Atlanta Dream entering the 2019 WNBA season, was signed by the Seattle Storm on Wednesday. This is Dietrick’s second tour with the Storm, following her two games in 2016.  The defending champs are 3-2 on the season, as they try to deal with the definite season-ending loss to league MVP Breanna Stewart and possible season-ending loss to Sue Bird.
    Dietrick was signed following the release of Anriel Howard, the 24th overall pick in the recent WNBA Draft.  The waiving of Howard, as well as Dallas’ Megan Gustafson, the #17 overall pick and college basketball’s 2019 national player of the year, shows the overall strength of the league and the challenges of making it as a rookie.
  • Dartmouth women’s assistant coach Taja Edwards, who focused primarily on recruiting for coach Belle Koclanes, has moved back to her home state of California.  Edwards played at Fresno State (2007-2011), assisted at Cal State Fullerton (2013-2014), and assisted at USC (2014-2017) before heading to Hanover in 2017.  According to Dartmouth Athletics, Edwards has joined the staff at Loyola Marymount.
  • After Tyler Simms left Mike Martin’s staff in April to become the new head coach at Clark University, Brown has been looking for a new assistant.  According to a report in Hoopdirt.com, the Bears have tapped Cooper Handelsman to join Martin’s staff.
    Handelsman (no relation to Alex P. Keaton’s best friend on Family Ties, Irwin “Skippy” Handelman) was a point guard for Kenyon College (2011-2015), before spending the 2015-2016 season as Lehigh’s video coordinator.  He has been with the Hoop Group since the end of that season, and has been Director of Hoop Group Elite for the last two and half years.
  • Hoopdirt.com also reported that former Yale (2014-2017) and Dartmouth (2013-2014) assistant coach Anthony Goins will replace assistant coach Steve Smith at Clemson.  After leaving Yale, Goins has spent the last two years on Baker Dunleavy’s staff at Quinnipiac.
  • Former Cornell student Max Ginsberg (2014-2018) was named the director of basketball operations at Holy Cross.  This will be Ginsberg’s second season on former Princeton coach Bill Carmody’s staff, after spending the 2018-2019 season as the team’s volunteer video coordinator.  He spent his first three years on East Hill as the Big Red’s head student manager, before moving up the assistant to the director of basketball operations in his senior year.
    Ginsberg is the second member of the Big Red on Carmody’s staff.  David Metzendorf was on Bill Courtney’s staff, where he started as the special assistant to the head coach in 2013-2014 and was later promoted to assistant coach for his last two seasons at Cornell.
  • Minnesota Vikings COO Kevin Warren has been chosen as Jim Delany’s successor as Big Ten commissioner.  Warren, who will begin his new job in June 2020, started his athletic career playing for Penn hoops.  He averaged four minutes, 1.4 points and 0.4 rebounds per game over 22 contests as a first-year guard for Bob Weinhauer’s 1981-1982 Ivy champs (17-10, 12-2 Ivy).
    Warren was joined on that team by Ivy League Player of the Year Paul Little, as well as senior guard (and future Iowa coach) Fran “White Magic” McCaffery and first-year guard (and future Attorney General of the District of Columbia) Karl Racine.  Weinhauer would leave West Philadelphia after that season to take over at Arizona State, and former Quaker Craig Littlepage (1969-1973) would leave his job as Terry Holland’s assistant at Virginia to take over at the Palestra.
    The Phoenix native appeared in only two games for a total of four minutes in his 1982-1983 sophomore year, before transferring back home to Grand Canyon University.  In his two years playing for the Antelopes, Warren averaged 20.0 points per game and finished with 1,118 total points.  He was twice named NAIA All-District VII and Academic All-America, as well as CoSida All-America second team in 1985-1986.  Warren was named to the GCU Hall of Fame in 2012.
  • Luke Benz of the Yale Undergraduate Sports Analytics Group (YUSAG) and creator of the vitally important Ivy League Tiebreaker App, has turned in his senior thesis and is now writing at Mid-Major Madness.  While his first post center on the Mountain West and ShotTracker, he promises a good amount of Ivy hoops coverage.  Benz now joins former NYC Buckets founder John Templon at Mid-Major Madness, to provide valuable insight to fans of the Ancient Eight.
  • Eli Lasky of Tiebreak.com profiles some of the smartest (male) athletes in professional sports and two former Ivy League cagers made the list.  Princeton’s Bill Bradley topped the list, while Harvard’s Jeremy Lin comes in at number 16 on this incredibly subjective list.  If Mr. Lasky wants to post an article on the smartest female athletes, IHO suggests Dartmouth’s Gail Koziara Boudreaux, Yale’s Lisa Brummel, or Harvard’s Hana Peljto Cluff.

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