Ivy hoops roundup – April 10, 2022

Cannady completing a comeback

Devin Cannady is nearing the end of a 10-day contract with the Orlando Magic that has marked an extraordinary comeback from a devastating injury for the former Princeton standout.

Cannady signed the contract March 31, making the jump from the Lakeland Magic of the NBA G League, where he had been averaging 15.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 16 games and 11 starts.

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Ivy Madness reporter’s notebook: Day 3

Princeton women’s basketball’s post-Ivy League Tournament final press conference was one of several revealing pressers during Ivy Madness. (photo by Rob Browne)

 

“This is the business we’ve chosen.” – Brian Earl and Hyman Roth

“We played for, I would say, a good 15 minutes tonight, but that’s not good enough against a good program.” – Columbia head coach Megan Griffith, following the Lions defeat to top-seeded Princeton

No matter what the coaches who did not earn victories on Saturday thought, I felt there were three really good games of college basketball on display at Lavietes Pavilion, including a fantastic opener that saw Princeton escape an upset big from Cornell, 77-73.  Hopefully, West Coast fans woke up at 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning to catch it.

Here are some random thoughts and observations from the Ancient Eight’s Super Saturday:

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2021-22 IHO All-Ivy Men’s Awards

The Ivy League announced its major men’s awards Tuesday, but we know this is the moment you’ve all been waiting for: Ivy Hoops Online’s 2021-22 All-Ivy Awards, as determined by IHO’s contributors:

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Yale men best Brown as Swain shines on Senior Night

Senior guard Azar Swain shook off pre-game Senior Night anxiety to lead Yale to a 74-65 win over Brown Saturday night, registering 22 points on 8-for-15 shooting. (Photo by Erica Denhoff) 

On an emotionally charged Senior Night, Yale took care of business and defeated Brown in a Saturday night showdown, 74-65, at John J. Lee Amphitheater.

Four Yale seniors, Azar Swain, captain Jalen Gabbidon, Eze Dike and Jameel Alausa, played their last home games for the Bulldogs. Dike started after not playing this calendar year due to injury.

“I thought we played a better brand of Yale basketball,” coach James Jones said in comparing the performance to the efforts against Dartmouth and Cornell on the road last week. Jones captured his 350th career win. It was also his 191st Ivy League win, moving him ahead of former Penn coach Fran Dunphy into second place all-time in league history behind only Pete Carril.

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It’s unanimous: Clark Slajchert’s heroics elate Penn men and crush Brown

 

Even before the last-minute dramatics that resulted in a stunning road 88-87 win for the Red & Blue, everything about Saturday night’s game between Penn (12-13, 9-3 Ivy) and Brown (12-15, 4-8) was set up to made it a classic Ivy League showdown.

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Penn women beat Brown behind Lakstigala’s career night

Senior Mia Lakstigala is a dependable, versatile Penn player — a 6-footer who collects rebounds but also handles the ball and sinks threes. And she did it all well Saturday night for a career-high 21 points plus seven rebounds as the Quakers beat Brown, 67-53, in her second-to-last game at the Palestra.

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Three takeaways from the Brown men’s late triumph at Cornell

Jaylan Gainey’s putback dunk with 3.5 seconds left resulted in an 81-80 Brown win at Cornell Saturday that has huge implications for the Ivy League Tournament race.

 

Here’s what to take away from the memorable finish for Brown (12-13, 4-6 Ivy) and Cornell (13-8, 5-5):

  1. The Ivy men’s race just got more interesting

Brown now has a fighting chance in the Ivy League Tournament race, even if Cornell still has the inside track. Bruno has a 22.3% shot of making the tourney after the win, still a far cry from the Big Red’s 68.7%, according to friend of Ivy Hoops Online Luke Benz’s analysis:

 

But three of Brown’s final four games are at home, while three of Cornell’s last four contests are on the road. Since the Bears and Big Red have split their season series, the next head-to-head tiebreaker would be each team’s record against the highest seed outside the tie. Brown has matchups with all three teams above it and Cornell in the Ivy standings – Princeton and Penn next weekend at home and at Yale in the season finale.

The Big Red hold this tiebreaker by virtue of their win over Princeton, but they’ve got only one more opportunity to strengthen that tiebreaker when they host Yale on Feb. 26.

The race for the No. 4 seed could go down to the wire.

2. Jaylan Gainey comes up big again

Gainey was KenPom’s game MVP for the second contest in a row, contributing 16 points on 7-for-11 shooting and nine rebounds, including five on the offensive end. Hopefully Gainey’s game-winner attracts more attention to the terrific campaign he’s had as a senior. Gainey leads the Ivy League in field goal percentage by a wide margin (67.1% to second-place Tosan Evbuomwan’s 53.7% for Princeton) and blocks by a similarly commanding distance (two per game versus second-place Isaiah Kelly’s 0.9 for Yale).

Gainey has become more assertive offensively as Ivy play has progressed, a trend that bodes well for the stretch run. Gainey has recorded five blocks in two of Brown’s last three games against Yale, and he’ll be key in Brown’s matchup at Yale that could give the Bears a potential tiebreaker in the scrum for the Ivy tourney’s No. 4 seed.

Even though Gainey was named Ivy Defensive Player of the Year in 2019-20, his stellar play anchoring the conference’s top scoring defense doesn’t get the plaudits it should.

3. Not cleaning the defensive boards cost Cornell 

The offensive rebound leading to Gainey’s game-winning putback was Brown’s 14th offensive board of the game. Cornell managed just four. The Big Red have been outrebounded on the offensive end by a combined margin of 35-16 in their last three losses.

That’s an especially troubling trend for Cornell given that it wants to push the tempo, having the third-quickest average possession length in the country per KenPom behind only Gonzaga and St. John’s. Also in the Ivy League’s bottom half in offensive rebound percentage are Cornell’s next two opponents, Dartmouth and Harvard, giving the Big Red a better opportunity to correct this issue in next weekend’s high-stakes New England road trip.

 

Brown senior forward Ashley Ducharme makes cards in between baskets

In between hitting the hardwood, Brown senior forward Ashley Ducharme runs a handmade card company. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

If you are a college basketball fan, it’s likely you’ve heard of Connecticut Huskies freshman phenom guard Caroline Ducharme.

Ducharme inked a Name, Image, Likeness (NIL) deal with ISlide, a sandal company, for a sandal featuring the quote, “When it gets hard, think about why you started.”

“My ‘why’ is my family, specifically my older sister Ashley,” Ducharme wrote on Instagram. “It’s hard to describe the impact that she’s had on me as a player and who I am as a person. There’s no one who inspires, challenges, and supports me more than she does. Will always be my favorite teammate.”

Her sister is Brown Bears senior forward Ashley Ducharme. Ashley may be the lesser-known Ducharme sister, but she is impressive in her own right.

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Ivy women’s weekend: Saturday separation

The Ivy League’s most prolific three-point shooter, Columbia sophomore guard Abbey Hsu ranks second in the Ivy League in scoring and third in minutes and is likely to play a pivotal role in Columbia’s tilt against Princeton Saturday. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

As the calendar moves into February, we have reached the midpoint of the Ivy season.  While this weekend brings the first back-to-back games of the season, Saturday night looks to be the more pivotal evening for the women’s division.  Each game pits teams from the four tiers of the conference against one another.

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