Ivy hoops roundup – July 17, 2019


  • Ben Baskin of Sports Illustrated published a longform article Thursday on former Penn head coach Jerome Allen and his part in a recruitment scandal that saw the Ivy great accept money from a parent to place an unqualified student-athlete onto the school’s recruited athlete list.  The author wrote his article, which is available online and in the print edition, “with the aid of court transcripts and exhibits, financial records, news reports and interviews with three dozen of his friends, classmates, teachers, coaches, players, mentors and coworkers, many speaking anonymously for fear of personal and professional ramifications.”
    The article provided the following new information: During his playing career, Allen faced a series of civil suits over unpaid debts—$5,000 owed to a car-leasing company, $13,000 to a bank, $6,700 to a landlord.
    – While Allen was coaching Penn, the school sued him for nearly $25,000 for failing to pay off two decades of accrued interest on a loan he had taken out as a student-Allen failed to pay $48,535 in federal income taxes, leading to an IRS lien in 2013.
    – Allen’s older son was often flown to Miami by the recruit’s father where he stayed at the father’s estate.  The coach’s daughter interned at one of the father’s medical facilities.
    – Former Penn Deputy Athletic Director Alanna Shanahan testified about the department’s lack of oversight of the coach’s recruitment list, telling the court that “I have to have basically total trust [in the coach].” (According to the Daily Pennsylvanian, Shanahan’s duties included personal oversight of the men’s and women’s basketball programs.  The 1996 Penn graduate and former captain of the school’s lacrosse team became the Director of Athletics for Johns Hopkins University in the summer of 2016.  In March 2017, HoopDirt.com reported that then-Quaker assistant, and fellow 1996 Penn grad, Ira Bowman was rumored to be in consideration for the vacant Blue Jay head coaching position.)
    -Allen brought four unnamed Penn players, ones “who had rough backgrounds similar to his own,” to Miami. These athletes stayed at the father’s mansion and practiced with the recruit.  (It is unclear if these players went down to Florida on more than one occasion.)
    – In court testimony, Allen admitted that one Penn assistant coach questioned him on his trip to Miami and an acquaintance in Los Angeles said he knew Allen received a pair of Air Jordans from the student’s father.  In addition, a Houston AAU coach, Martin Fox, offered Allen $100,000 to help get another kid into Penn, but he declined.
    – While it had been earlier reported that Allen implicated Bowman in the bribery scheme, the article went into more detail.  Allen reportedly told the court that, after he was fired by Penn in the spring of 2015, he set up a separate account and transferred money to Bowman whenever the student’s father sent a monthly payment to the former coach.
    After Ivy Hoops Online reached out to Penn Athletics for comment, a representative stated that the department was aware of the article but had no comment.
    Ivy Hoops Online contacted Auburn Athletics to find out if they had any statement about the reported information about Bowman, who has been an assistant coach under Bruce Pearl for the last year.  A representative directed IHO to two departmental statements from March 13 and June 1, regarding the beginning and completion of their earlier investigation of Bowman’s involvement.
  • Columbia junior Gabe Stefanini, a second team All-Ivy selection in 2018-2019, is playing with Italy in the FIBA U-20 European Championship from July 13-21 in Tel Aviv.  The team went 2-1 in Group B with a win against Ukraine and losses to Israel and Serbia.  The Italians will face Turkey in the Round of 16 on Wednesday.
    After the group stage, Stefanini is leading the tournament in scoring with 21 points per game.  He is shooting 42% overall with 25% (6-for-24) from two and 62% (13-for-21), as well as 80% (12-for-15) from the free throw line.  The Bologna native also is averaging 5.3 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in 27.3 minutes per game.
  • Princeton senior Bella Alarie continues her play with USA Basketball’s 3×3 women’s team. Although the U.S. was not entered in the events in Poitiers (France) and Lignano (Italy), the team came in fourth in the competition in Ekaterinburg (Russia) on July 9th and 10th.  Alarie averaged 3.4 points in her five games and led the tournament with six blocks.
    After playing in three of the first five tournaments, Team USA finds itself with 175 points, good enough for fifth place out of 19 teams.  The group returns to action in Voiron (France) on August 1st and 2nd.
  • Tough news for the Penn men, as junior Jelani Williams suffered an ACL tear in his right knee and will most likely miss the entire 2019-20 season.  This tear, the second in his right knee and third overall, occurred about three weeks ago, as he was working out at the Penn gym doing individual workouts.  His injuries have caused Williams to miss all but the team’s play in Italy in May 2018.
    With Williams expected to start at the point for the Quakers, Steve Donahue believes the job will now go to a rookie from Valley Stream, N.Y.  “Jordan Dingle [goes] up to the front of the line for now,” Donahue told Jonathan Tannenwald of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I think he’s a bona fide [point guard].”  Fortunately for Dingle, Donahue’s system where everyone is expected to play multiple positions, won’t require him to be the sole floor general and distributor.
    On the positive side for the Red & Blue, Tannenwald reported that Ryan Betley is fully healthy from his ruptured patellar tendon in his right knee, which was injured in the first five minutes of the season opener at George Mason.   That same day, Jon Rothstein tweeted that Betley, the team’s leading scorer and a second team All-Ivy member in 2017-18, has been cleared for all basketball related activities.
  • Cornell men’s head coach Brian Earl announced that Clay Wilson has joined the team as an assistant coach.  Wilson played for Princeton from 2011 to 2015 when Earl was an assistant coach.  He replaces Donovan Williams, who had worked with Earl at Cornell and Princeton since 2015.
    Wilson, a native of Tulsa, Okla., averaged 4.6 points and 13.7 minutes over 87 appearances for Princeton.  In his senior season, he was presented with the Bob Rock Sixth Man of the Year award.  After graduating in 2015, he played professionally in Germany, New Zealand and Estonia.  This will be his first college coaching position.
  • Harvard women’s head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith announced the hiring of Lindsay Werner as an assistant coach. Werner, a 2019 graduate from Merrimack College, finished her career with 1120 points and a school-record 190 made three pointers.
    The Groton, Mass. native takes over for Megan Straumann, who had been with the Crimson for the last two seasons.  Ivy Hoops Online reached out to Harvard Athletics, inquiring about Straumann’s next coaching position, but the department has yet to comment.
  • The Harvard and Yale men’s teams were both honored with a 2018-19 Team Academic Excellence Award by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).  To earn this distinction, a team has to have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better.  Both teams have received this award in each of its six years of existence.
  • The Yale men’s team announced its two-person incoming first-year class:
    EJ Jarvis PF (Maret School; Washington, D.C.), August Mahoney G (Albany Academy; Saratoga Springs, N.Y.)
  • The Yale women’s team announced its three-person incoming first-year class:
    Klara Astrom G (Pinewood School; Menlo Park, Calif.), Jenna Clark G (Thomas Jefferson High School; Pittsburgh), Ayla Elam F (Choate Rosemary Hall; Woodside, Calif.)
  • Yale coach James Jones talked to the Stamford Advocate about the father of New Haven’s Tremont Waters, who was found dead of an apparent suicide last Thursday.  Waters, a star at Notre Dame High School in New Haven, led LSU to a defeat of Yale in the first round of this year’s NCAA Tournament.  He was recently drafted by the Boston Celtics with the 51st pick and signed a two-way contract with the team last week.
    The four-star point guard was recruited by Jones for the fall of 2017 and was in Waters final six schools.
    According to the coach, he and the senior Waters had “about 50” conversations during the recruitment process. “He was an extremely dedicated father who put his son and family before himself. It’s a sad situation. You look at a lot of people who did what he did in believing in his son, and he really got him to where he is, to great heights,” Jones told the paper. “Obviously, Tremont deserves a lot of the credit for that. But I don’t think Tremont gets to where he is now without his father.”
  • Former Cornell assistant coach David Metzendorf has been hired by Juwan Howard to be the University of Michigan’s video analyst.  For the last three seasons, Metzendorf had been working on the staff of former Princeton coach Bill Carmody at Holy Cross as director of basketball operations and assistant coach.
    The Ann Arbor native went to Ithaca College from 2009 to 2013 and spent three of those years working on Bill Courtney’s Big Red staff.  After graduation, Metzendorf stayed on East Hill, working as special assistant to the head coach, assistant coach and recruiting coordinator between 2013 and 2016.
  • Former Princeton point guard T. J. Bray has signed a two-year contract to play for Bayern Munich of the German Basketball League.  The Wisconsin native played for the Tigers from 2010 to 2014, earning second team All-Ivy in his junior year and a unanimous first team All-Ivy selection in his senior season. He finished his career with 1,024 points and 374 assists, fourth-most in program history.
    Bray, who last year played for league runner-up Rasta Vechta, was named to the league’s first team and came in second in the Bundesliga MVP race.  He will now partner with former Columbia Lion Maodo Lo who will be in the second year of his two-year contract with the defending league champions.
    Another former Ivy hoopster, Yale and Baylor graduate Makai Mason, recently signed a two-year deal with ALBA Berlin.

1 thought on “Ivy hoops roundup – July 17, 2019”

  1. Now, we can understand why Allen needed the $. I won’t throw the first stone. He was a great player whose life is now in shambles. I hope that he can still turn around his life and help others who find themselves in desperate straits as a result of early in life bad decisions. I hope that the fans that he so excited as a player will not follow Penn’s example of distancing itself when he is most in need. If, in fact, Ivy schools are clubs, now is the time they should band together to assist fallen members.


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