As we enter the July 4th holiday weekend, we at Ivy Hoops Online wanted to round up some postseason updates:
Portal – Out
The biggest news of the Ivy League offseason was the sudden departure of reigning Ivy League Player of the Year Jordan Dingle from Penn to St. John’s. According to Seth Davis, reporting for The Athletic, the nation’s second-leasding scorer who put his name in the 2023 NBA Draft “was greeted with skepticism from pro scouts and executives who said they needed to see how he would fare against better competition.”
Dingle, who was finishing his junior year at Penn, placed his name in the transfer portal on April 28 and chose St. John’s over UCLA, Oregon, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma State and Florida State on May 12. The New York Post reported that the choice was influenced by the chance for the Valley Stream, N.Y. native to play close to home at Madison Square Garden and be coached by Rick Pitino. The Hall of Famer and newly announced head coach of the Johnnies showed Dingle how he could improve his assist-to-turnover ratio and improve players around him, while being the cornerstone of the program’s immediate rebuild.
While the early February news that All-Ivy center Camilla Emsbo would transfer to Duke as a graduate transfer was a big deal, it may have been topped by this summer’s announcements that three All-Ivy members would be heading across the country to play for USC. Columbia’s Kaitlyn Davis, Penn’s Kayla Padilla and Harvard’s McKenzie Forbes will join forces and play for Trojans’ head coach Lindsay Gottlieb, a former Brown player and student-assistant coach from 1995 to 1999.
The three, along with incoming first-year guard Juju Watkins, the nation’s top recruit, will look to compete for a conference title and a deep NCAA Tournament run in the program’s final year as a member of the Pac-12.
In addition to Davis, two other graduates from Columbia’s Ivy League title team have new homes for next season. 2022-23 Second Team All-Ivy guard Jaida Patrick will head to the University of Miami and starting forward Hannah Pratt will go to Tulane. Patrick, who began her career at Duke, joins a Hurricane team that lost to the Lions in November but rebounded from that defeat to make it to the Elite Eight in this year’s NCAA Tournament. Pratt, meanwhile, will join her brother, who plays quarterback for the Green Wave football team.
Also leaving the Ancient Eight …
Brown: Perry Cowan is going to Manhattan and Paxson Wojcik is heading to preseason Top 20 UNC. The Second-Team All-Ivy guard reportedly received interest from Kansas, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Notre Dame, Stanford, and Butler before becoming a Tar Heel. The Charleston, S.C. native, who began his career at Loyola Chicago, returns to Chapel Hill, where his father was an assistant coach from 2000 to 2003.
In non-grad transfer news, D.C. native Page Greenburg, who played her first year at Brown, returns to the DMV to attend George Mason.
Columbia: After playing just 18 games over four years with the Lions due to two knee injuries, the cancelled 2020-21 season, three bouts of COVID-19 during 2021-22 and caring for a family member who suffered a stroke, Eddie Turner III will go to Montana State. The Seattle native will be able to play for two years for the nearby Pacific Northwest school.
Cornell: Second-Team All-Ivy guard Greg Dolan will head to Loyola Chicago.
On the women’s side, New Jersey native Shannon Mulroy will head back to the Garden State and play for Seton Hall, while San Jose native Ania McNicholas will go to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Dartmouth: 2023 All-Ivy second-teamer Dame Adelekun is partnering with Dolan at Loyola Chicago, while Cam Krystkowiak heads for Rick Pitino-less Iona.
Harvard: First-team All-Ivy forward Chris Ledlum will take his all-around talents to Tennessee, a preseason top-10 team. The Brooklyn native reportedly received interest from a huge number of high-major programs, including Michigan State, Gonzaga, UCLA, Michigan, Virginia, Maryland and St. John’s.
Luka Sakota will be making the short trip to Northeastern. Idan Tretout will join Krystkowiak at Iona.
Penn: Lucas Monroe makes the shortest transfer, moving a couple of blocks north on 33rd Street to Drexel, and Max Lorca Lloyd heads to UMBC.
From Mike McLaughlin’s squad, Mandy McGurk will head north to Fordham and Faye Parker will travel south to Richmond.
Princeton: Following this year’s magical Sweet 16 run, Ryan Langborg heads to Northwestern and the Big Ten, Keeshawn Kellman heads to Florida Gulf Coast and Jacob O’Connell travels to Merrimack.
Garrett Johnson arrived at Princeton in 2021, but a rare benign tumor in his left hip forced him off the court. After several surgeries and rounds of chemotherapy, the tumor shrunk, and he was cleared to resume basketball activities. The Oakton, Va. native, who has four years of eligibility remaining, has transferred to George Washington for 2023-24.
Yale: Second-Team All-Ivy forward EJ Jarvis will head to the University of Florida, while Matthue Cotton, a starter on the 2023 Ivy tournament championship team who sat out 2022-2023 with an injury, will be heading to the University of Hawaii.
Portal – In
While it is a definitely an unbalanced situation, there is at least some incoming talent for the Ancient Eight …
On the women’s side, the 2023 Ivy co-champion Lions will welcome two transfers, junior Cecelia Collins from Bucknell and sophomore Ava Sciolla from Maryland.
So far, the Dartmouth women have not brought in any new players, but Doreen Ariik, Allie Harland and Clare Meyer removed their names from the portal following the hiring of new coach Linda Cimino. Time will tell if any of the three return to the Big Green program. Anna Nelson is the one remaining Dartmouth player in the portal.
The Harvard women, a 2023 Ivy League Tournament finalist and WNIT Great Eight participant, brings in junior Mona Zaric from Indiana.
While Penn lost big man Max Lorca-Lloyd to graduation and Jordan Dingle to St. John’s, Steve Donahue and company will welcome 6′ 10″ center Johnnie Walter from Cal State Northridge.
First-Team All-Ivy guard Abbey Hsu from Columbia was named to the 2023 USA Women’s AmeriCup Team, which will be competing in León, Mexico from July 1-9. Hsu, who broke the single-season Ivy League three-point record for the second consecutive year, attended the opening tryout in Colorado Springs in May and then was one of the final four selections after practicing there in June.
Hsu, who was second in the nation to Caitlyn Clark in made three-pointers per game in 2022-23, will be the main outside threat for an all-star team that features NCAA champion Angel Reese from LSU, former number one recruit Lauren Betts from UCLA, and Deja Kelly from UNC.
Mr. Towns Goes to Washington
Former Harvard standout and 2018 Ivy Player of the Year Seth Towns is transferring to Howard for the 2023-24 season. The Columbus, Ohio native, who injured his knee with eight minutes to go in the 2018 Ivy tournament final against Penn, missed his last two years at Harvard and transferred to Ohio State. While seeing action in 25 games during the 2020-21 season, he missed the next two years with a back injury.
Towns, who will be 26 by the start of the season, may have two years of eligibility left, if the NCAA allows him one more year due to his participation in the COVID-19 impacted 2020-21 year. He will be playing at Howard for Kenny Blakeney, a former Harvard and Columbia assistant coach, who has picked up several Ivy grad transfers since becoming the Bison’s head coach.
When talking to the Columbus Dispatch about his time away from the game, Towns revealed how his time away from the game has changed his perspective.
“I think I have restructured my relationship with basketball,” Towns told the paper. “It is much healthier now. I’m not saying I put my entire identity into basketball, but man, it was hard, because that’s kind of the only professional aspiration I’ve had. Everything else was kind of subsidiary to that. Now I think I’ve released myself from the need to play at whatever level.”
Pistons poppin’, ain’t no stoppin’ for Tosan Evbuomwan
After showcasing his talents during the Tigers’ Sweet 16 run, Princeton’s Tosan Evbuomwan continued his impressive run at the NBA G League Elite Camp and was selected to take part in the NBA Draft combine. While there was hope that the forward from Great Britain would get picked in the second round, he went undrafted. Fortunately, he was quickly signed to a one-year minimum NBA salary contract by the Detroit Pistons and will join the team during the NBA Summer League.
Cimino sets staff and high expectations
New Dartmouth women’s basketball head coach Linda Cimino hired three new staff members, assistant coach/recruiting coordinator Robert Isme, assistant coach Kerri Reaves and director of operations Hayley Moore. Isme spent the last two seasons with Cimino at St. Francis (Brooklyn), Reeves is the former head coach at Central Connecticut State and Moore spent the last year as a graduate assistant at Marshall.
In a recent interview with The Next’s Jenn Hatfield, Cimino discussed the quick hiring process, her experiences rebuilding programs and her newfound appreciation of Dartmouth history. While aware of the challenges ahead of her and the program, she is setting high goals for a team that was a combined 5-49 and 2-26 in league play over the last two years, telling The Next, “In three years, I want to be a top-four program competing for Ivy League championships.”
Shibles gets a new gig at an old place
Meanwhile, former Dartmouth women’s coach Adrienne Shibles has been hired as associate athletic director at Bates College, her alma mater. The role, which begins Monday, will provide strategic leadership and fundraising for the department, as well as vision in the design, implementation and assessment of student-athlete growth, with a focus on leadership development, academic success, health and well-being, and equity and inclusion. Hopefully, she’ll find time to watch her daughter, who will be a sophomore on the women’s basketball team.
Head coaching power couple
After now-Dartmouth assistant Kerri Reaves was let go at Central Connecticut State, the Blue Devils replaced her with Way Veney, wife of Yale head coach Dalila Eshe. Veney, a former 14-year assistant and associate head coach at Temple, and Eshe told Maggie Vanoni of CT Insider they don’t intend to schedule any games against each other for a while so Veney can settle in.
Update (July 2):
The Mystics go from Benzanity to Meyersanity
2022 Ivy League Player of the Year Abby Meyers went from Princeton to the University of Maryland as a graduate transfer in 2022-2023, leading the Terrapins to its first Elite Eight appearance since 2015. The Second-Team All-Big Ten was selected 11th overall in the WNBA Draft by the Dallas Wings, the same organization that selected former Princeton great Bella Alarie fifth in 2020. Meyers saw minimal action during the preseason and was waived by the team prior to the start of the regular season.
With several players injured or finishing other professional commitments, the Washington Mystics signed Meyers to a hardship contract on June 20.
In her first four games with the Mystics, Meyers is averaging 1.5 points and 6.3 minutes per game.
A year ago, the Mystics signed former first-team All-Ivy guard Katie Benzan from Harvard, who also had an All-Big Ten graduate transfer career at the University of Maryland, to a replacement contract. Benzan was released after playing five games for Washington (5.2 ppg, 9.6 mpg) and ended up working for the Utah Jazz.
With several All-Ivy players heading to high majors next years, Ivy hoops fans should be on the lookout for Mystics general manager Mike Thibault to place a call to Davis, Emsbo, Forbes, Padilla or Patrick next June…