Eshe lays roots down at Yale as Princeton women’s coaching tree grows

Dalila Eshe takes over a Yale women’s basketball program that reached new heights under Allison Guth but is looking to to supplant Princeton as the conference’s premier program. Eshe is the latest Ivy head coach to come from Princeton. (Yale Athletics)

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 leaves behind strong legacy of winning, big shoes to fill for Yale women’s basketball

Allison Guth went 99-74 over seven years as Yale’s head coach, leading the Bulldogs to a program-record 19 wins in 2017-18 and 2019-20 and the 2018 WBI championship. (Ivy League Digital Network)

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.

Read more

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:

Read more

“We’re not done”: Columbia throttle Yale in Ivy League Tournament women’s semifinal

Columbia junior forward Hannah Pratt and the Lions savored their Ivy League Tournament semifinal romp over Yale at Lavietes Pavilion Friday. (photo by Erica Denhoff)
The time-honored expression that it is difficult to beat a team three times in a season was debunked by Columbia Friday night in the second Ivy League Tournament semifinal at Lavietes Pavilion.
The high-flying Lions completed the season sweep with a 67-38 wire-to-wire win.
“I hope you all enjoyed watching Columbia play today,” Columbia coach Megan Griffith said to open the Lions’ postgame press conference. “We’re not done.”

Read more

Ivy League Tournament: Women’s semifinals preview

 

“Is there even a clock in March?” – Yale head coach Allison Guth in response to a question about the possibility of playing two games against higher seeds in 26 hours

Read more

2021-22 IHO All-Ivy Women’s Awards

The Ivy League announced its major women’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:

Read more

Yale women defeat Penn to close in on slot in Ivy League Tournament

The Yale women started hot at the Palestra, racing to a 17-2 lead, and never trailed in beating Penn, 68-58, on Friday night.

This was pretty much a must-win for the Quakers (9-13, 4-6 Ivy) in their fight for a slot in Ivy Madness, where Yale (14-9, 7-4) would join Princeton, Columbia and Harvard.

Read more

Columbia women outlast Yale, 65-57

Abbey Hsu played all 40 minutes in Columbia’s win over Yale Saturday, posting 18 points and six rebounds. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

It was a big game for both teams, but it was arguably even bigger for Yale.

The inconsistent Bulldogs sat at 6-3 and Columbia at 7-1 in Ivy play entering Saturday’s fray. Yale very much wanted to separate from Harvard and avoid the Columbia season sweep.

Read more

Harvard women best Yale in pivotal meeting in Ivy League Tournament race

First-year guard Harmoni Turner tied a career scoring high with 25 points in Harvard’s win over Yale Saturday. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

In a game that had the feel of a battle for third place in the Ivy League and a chance to avoid Princeton in the first round of the conference tournament, Harvard outlasted Yale, 65-59.

Read more

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.

Read more