Observations from Ivy Madness

Princeton enjoyed the largest contingent of fans at Lavietes Pavilion throughout Ivy Madness. (photo by Erica Denhoff)

From the notebook of IHO writer Richard Kent on the scene at Ivy Madness: 

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Ivy 60 for 60: Steve Bilsky & Dave Wohl

Steve Bilsky (10) helmed the offense for the greatest team in Ivy League history .., 
… and Dave Wohl was a primary scorer in that offense. (Photos: Bob Immerman)

Ivy Hoops Online announces the next entry in Ivy 60 for 60, our series running through 60 of the greatest players in Ivy League men’s basketball history after a hiatus to continue celebrating six decades of modern Ivy League basketball. An Ivy 60 for 60 for Ivy women’s basketball will follow.

In May of 1967, a cryptic but prescient one-paragraph article was to be found hidden away in the the nether regions of the Philadelphia Inquirer sports section. It stated that Steve Bilsky, Dave Wohl and Jim Wolf were about to become the core components of the 1967-68 Digger Phelps-recruited Penn freshman squad which could possibly be the “best freshman team in the country.”

In 1967, this meant a great deal.

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Enough already with the ‘new Ivy League’ narrative

The Yale Bulldogs terrific showing in this year’s NCAA Tournament has inspired a new national narrative. As a Wall Street Journal headline put it, “The Ivy League finally merits your respect.”

But as someone who has been following Ivy League basketball for more than forty years, the story that’s being promoted in certain circles is revisionist history that just makes me want to scream.

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Ivy 60 for 60: Brian Taylor

Brian Taylor '73 averaged 24.3 points and 6.0 rebounds in 51 contests for the Tigers.
Brian Taylor ’73 averaged 24.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per game in 51 contests for the Tigers. (Princeton Alumni Weekly)

Following our countdown of the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s men’s basketball history this summer, Ivy Hoops Online is delighted to continue celebrating the 60th anniversary of modern Ivy League basketball by honoring the top 60 players in Ivy hoops history (in no particular order). We’re further delighted to have Paul Hutter, author of The Golden Age of Ivy League Basketball: From Bill Bradley to Penn’s Final Four, 1964-1979, into the site’s fold to contribute recollections, along with several other staff writers, of the greatest players in the history of a great league. 

Brian Taylor, Princeton ’73: 6′ 2″ Brian Taylor was a McDonald’s-level high school All-American who not only went on to star at Princeton, but also establish himself as an outstanding professional. At Princeton, he was a two-time All-American before going to the ABA’s New York Nets after his junior year. He averaged 23.5 points per game as a sophomore and 25 points per game as a junior as the Tigers achieved a No. 14 national ranking..During this pre-ABA/NBA merger period, he was the subject of an intense bidding war between the Nets and the Seattle SuperSonics (now the Oklahoma City Thunder, somewhat fitting as his game was very Russell Westbrook-esque). He was the 1973 ABA Rookie of the Year as Julius Erving’s teammate as well as a two-time ABA All-Star on a three-time championship team.

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