It’s still Princeton’s conference until another Ivy proves that it isn’t. Our contributors are united in believing that the Tigers will stay on top in 2022-23, with Megan Griffith’s ascendant Columbia program again placing second.
But there wasn’t consensus on how the rest of the top half of the league will fill out.
Penn could break back into the Ivy League Tournament after missing it for the first time last season, but we expect the Red & Blue to draw stiff competition from Harvard and Yale in their first years under new coaches.
Will #2bidivy happen in the league for only the second time in conference history? It very well could, and the bottom half of the conference is likely to be substantially stronger this season as Brown and Dartmouth return more experienced rosters under coaches that now have a year of Ivy play under their belts.
The Princeton tree continues to sprout women’s basketball coaches in the Ivy League.
Yale named Princeton assistant Dalila Eshe as the 11th head coach in program history Monday. Eshe replaces Allison Guth, now head coach at Loyola Chicago.
Former Tiger assistants are now the head coaches at Yale, Harvard (Carrie Moore) and Columbia (Megan Griffith).
And it makes sense.
The Tigers are as close to a dynasty as one might find in the corridors of the Ancient Eight. Princeton won Ivy titles in 2018, 2019 and 2022, the last three years that the title has been contested, and have gone 40-2 during that period in the Ivy.
Eshe impressed at her opening presser today at John J. Lee Amphitheater. She gave immediate kudos to Yale president Peter Salovey, an American social psychologist who Eshe could identify with as a former college psychology major. She also credited Yale athletic director Vicky Chun and deputy athletic director Ann-Marie Guglieri on a very professional search.
“It is an honor and a dream come true to accept this position,” Eshe said, adding that the Bulldogs “will pride ourselves on putting in the work to win championships.”
Eshe comes to Yale from Princeton where she spent three seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator, helping Princeton to a No. 24 national ranking and a NCAA Tournament first-round win over favored Kentucky.
The Tallahassee, Fla. native was a WNBA player with the Washington Mystics and Atlanta Dream and coached at Loyola Maryland, East Carolina and La Salle before her stop at Princeton. She knows talent when she sees it, having secured La Salle’s first-ever top 100 recruit. During her recruiting tenure at Princeton, the Tigers boasted three consecutive top-40 classes.
Eshe made it clear that she is a defense-first coach who also values the significance of a top-flight post presence like 6-foot-5 Yale junior Camilla Emsbo. Eshe knows her well, having coached her twin sister Kira at Princeton. The new Yale coach values post players who “can stretch out.”
The Florida alumna noted that in her first meeting with her new team on Tuesday night, team members urged her to help with community outreach to bolster women’s basketball attendance at Yale. Eshe also recognizes that the league has been, and can be in the future, a two-bid NCAA conference. With that in mind, Eshe wants to play a challenging yet realistic out-of-conference schedule.
Yale returns Emsbo and a large part of the squad which compiled a 16-11 record and a 9-5 mark in the Ivy this past season before falling in the Ivy League Tournament to Columbia.
Allison Guth, arguably the most successful women’s basketball coach in the history of Yale’s program, is now the new head coach at Loyola Chicago.
Guth said that her decision to leave Yale was “a personal one,” as most of the Arlington Heights, Ill. native’s family resides in the greater Chicago area. Guth herself is an Illinois native and played college basketball at Illinois.
After seven years at Yale women’s basketball’s helm, Allison Guth is headed home.
Loyola Chicago announced Friday that Guth has taken over as head coach of the Ramblers after winning 99 games and setting the single-season program win record twice during her tenure in the same role at Yale.
“As we battle in the WBCA (Women’s Basketball Coaches Association), they’re always talking about “create this environment.” Any time I talk equity with anyone, they always say there’s more pressure on a man because the gyms are full, and the bands are playing. The opposite is true. It’s much easier to play in a (packed) venue like this. It’s very, very hard for women all over the country and play in empty gyms without bands, fighting their schools for support to get the bands there and to get the cheerleaders there. There’s been huge growth at Harvard, but there’s such a long way to go. It’s really wonderful for the athletes to play in this kind of venue and it’s fun to watch as well.” – soon-to-be retiring Harvard women’s coach Kathy Delaney-Smith, talking about the boisterous atmosphere during her team’s 72-67 loss to No. 1 seed Princeton
Some random thoughts after two great days at the 2022 Ivy League Tournament:
“The expectations (for winning) are always there, they just felt even heavier this year (due to the pandemic). There should be several asterisks next to it (being at the Ivy League Tournament) and that’s true of all the teams.” – Princeton coach Mitch Henderson