In a huge boost for Dartmouth, reports emerged Monday that Brendan Barry will return to the Big Green rather than play elsewhere as a graduate transfer.
Jeff Borzello of ESPN reported that Barry would take off the final quarter of this academic year and graduate next spring, allowing him to play a fourth year for the Big Green, who missed his ball distribution and three-point shooting last season.
As a junior in 2018-19, Barry led the Ivy League in three-point percentage (44.1%), assist-to-turnover ratio (2.2) and minutes per game (35.5), averaging 13 points and 3.2 assists per contest.
Without Barry in 2019-20, the Big Green’s three-point shooting percentage plummeted to 31.1% (285th nationally) from 35.6% (105th nationally) the season before.
The calendar has not even turned to September and we have our first major development of the 2019-20 season. The Harvard Crimson broke the news that rising senior Katie Benzan, a three-time first team All-Ivy guard, has decided to step away from the program and end her Ancient Eight career.
“Katie has been a remarkable player in our program for three years,” head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith said in a statement emailed to the paper. “After much discussion with the coaching staff, she has decided to step away her senior year.”
The move is a huge blow to Dartmouth, as Boudreaux as a sophomore last year ranked second in the Ivy League in scoring, first in rebounding and second in minutes played.
Boudreaux’s announcement came a day before Dartmouth’s season-opening 78-77 loss at Quinnipiac, and two years after former Dartmouth standout Alex Mitola opted to become a graduate transfer rather than play his final season in Hanover, eventually choosing George Washington.
Miles Wright, Brendan Barry, Guilien Smith and Taylor Johnson will be tasked with picking up the slack for the Big Green in 2017-18.
Last week, Andrew Slater of 247 Sports reported that Yale rising senior Makai Mason will attend Baylor University in the fall of 2018 as a graduate transfer. The 2015-16 first-team All-Ivy guard missed all of last season due to a foot injury suffered in a preseason scrimmage against Boston University. Mason, who was recently named the Yale captain for the upcoming season, averaged 16.0 points, 3.8 assists, and 32.7 minutes of playing time per game in his sophomore campaign.
Mason declared for the 2016 NBA Draft, but withdrew his name a few days after the combine. Since he did not choose an agent, he returned to Yale and retained his last two years of eligibility. After his first-semester injury, Mason decided to continue his studies at Yale instead of taking a leave of absence, as opposed to Alex Rosenberg at Columbia or Siyani Chambers at Harvard. By staying in school, Mason will earn his degree in the spring of 2018 and retain one year of athletic eligibility. Since the Ivy League does not allow graduate students to participate, he is free to play his last season at any institution the following season. That freedom has been exercised over the last few years by Cornell’s Shonn Miller (Connecticut), Penn’s Tony Hicks (Louisville), Harvard’s Patrick Steeves (George Washington), Dartmouth’s Alex Mitola (George Washington) and Brown’s Rafael Maia (Pittsburgh). Recently, two graduating All-Ivy Princeton players, Hans Brase (Iowa State) and Henry Caruso (Santa Clara), have added their names to this ever-growing list.
Princeton senior guard Henry Caruso will become a graduate transfer next season, Jeff Goodman of ESPN reported Wednesday.
Caruso was reported out for the year last week with a toe injury, making him the second Tiger this week to be declared out for this season.
Caruso was a first-team All-Ivy selection as a junior last season, leading the Tigers in scoring and rebounding at 15.0 points and 6.2 rebounds per game and shooting at a 52.7 percent clip. Caruso contributed 9.5 points and 4.3 boards per contest in eight games this season.
The San Mateo, Calif. native joins a long list of Ivy graduate transfers in recent years, including Columbia’s Grant Mullins, Dartmouth’s Alex Mitola, Brown’s Rafael Maia and Princeton’s own Denton Koon.
What happened last year: (10-18, 4-10 Ivy): Dartmouth was expected to take a step back after notching its first postseason appearance since 1959 in 2015, particularly after Gabas Maldunas’ graduation and Alex Mitola’s transfer. And the Big Green did, via a five-game skid in late January and early February, followed back-to-back overtime losses at Brown and Yale. After the season, Dartmouth Athletic Director Harry Sheehy dismissed coach Paul Cormier, who was six years into his second stint in Hanover. Cormier had gone 54-116 (.318) overall and 23-61 (.274) in his second stint in Hanover. The Big Green had gradually improved during his tenure, but Sheehy told the Dartmouth in an outstanding piece by Alexander Agadjanian that he wanted to see greater player development and recruiting, prompting him to choose a different direction for the program.
The general consensus around the Dartmouth campus is that we are headed for a down year. The loss of our two best players, Gabas Maldunas to graduation and Alex Mitola to George Washington, does not bode well for the future of Dartmouth basketball.
That being said, the buzz around the team suggests that may not be the case. This is Malik Gill’s team now. While he has seen limited playing time in the past due to living in Alex Mitola’s shadow, he will now be the floor general and playmaker. Gill’s underrated athletic ability and quick hands will make him one of the better defenders in the Ivy League, and he will wreak havoc on D.
The past five years have been incredible for the Ivy League. Two forever memorable Ivy playoff games, two NCAA Tournament wins, nine top 100 KenPom finishes and a clear uptick in athleticism throughout the conference.
But who have been the greatest players in the league in that timespan? A countdown, with the caveat that only players who played at least two seasons from 2010-15 were considered.
It’s been an awfully busy offseason for transfers throughout the Ivy League. Shonn Miller is off to Storrs. Rafael Maia is pining for Pittsburgh, Alex Mitola is set for D.C. and Denton Koon is headed to Hempstead.
But which Ivy transfer is going to have the biggest impact on their team in 2015-16?