Carla Berube: A name to remember

Carla Berube is a remarkable 29-1 (.967) in her first 30 games as the Tigers’ head coach. (Princeton Athletics)

You know all the top coaches in the women’s game. Actually, you know them all by their first names.

Geno. Kim. Tara. Dawn. Brenda. And the list goes on. Every fan of the game would come up with those names quickly.

But most would struggle to come up with another. And it belongs. Maybe not in November 2021. But it will by March 2022.

The name is Carla. Yes, Princeton’s Carla Berube.

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Ivy League women’s basketball Media Day roundup

One day after releasing the conference’s preseason poll, the Ivy League moved one step closer to normal by hosting the 2021-22 Media Day for women’s basketball Tuesday.  For the first time, the league used a Zoom format to create a stronger connection between the coaches, players and the media.

In Monday’s poll, three-time defending champion Princeton was again picked as the top team with 122 total points and 12 first-place votes.  Penn, the 2019 co-champion, was selected No. 2 with three first-place votes and 108 points. The next three teams were close, with only six points separating Columbia, Yale and Harvard.

The Lions, which earned their first Ivy League Tournament berth in 2020 before the tourney was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, moved up to third with 87 points. The Bulldogs, a third-place team in 2020, dropped to fourth at 82 points.  The Crimson, which finished fifth in 2020, received one first-place vote but missed the upper division by one point.

Cornell, the 2020 seventh-place squad, moved up to sixth for 2022 with 41 points.  Dartmouth and Brown, two teams with new coaching staffs, ended up with the last two spots, with the Big Green’s 29 points two ahead of the Bears.

Tuesday’s Media Day revealed the four tiers apparent in the preseason poll. But there could be a slight reordering near the top.

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Ivy hoops roundup – Transfers uniting and reuniting elsewhere

The slew of top-flight talent leaving the Ivy League just keep gets bigger.

Together again as Tar Heels   

Princeton women’s senior guard Carlie Littlefield delivered the news on Twitter Monday that she’ll be reuniting with Courtney Banghart, the coach she played for at Princeton as a rookie and sophomore, at North Carolina. An Economics major at Princeton, Littlefield will play at UNC as a graduate transfer and earn a Master of Business Administration degree there.

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If there would have been a 2020-21 Ivy hoops season, what would have happened?

Now’s the time of year that an Ivy League hoops slate would be revving up, and since there’s no Ivy hoops action to come this spring, here’s an IHO contributors’ roundtable pondering what might have happened in the 2020-21 Ivy season on the men’s and or women’s sides if there had been one instead of an exodus of much of the league’s top talent via the transfer portal. Behold the one-year Ivy hoops universes we created:

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Thoughts on the Ivy League canceling the 2020-21 basketball season

A crowd of 1,636 gathered at Lavietes Pavilion on March 6 to watch Harvard host Brown. Four days later, the Ivy League canceled its conference tournaments to guard against COVID-19 transmission, a move many in college basketball considered unthinkable at the time. | Erica Denhoff

The Ivy League announced Thursday evening that winter sports for the 2020-21 season were cancelled in an effort to mitigate transmission of COVID-19. Was eliminating Ivy hoops the right move? Our contributors offer their thoughts:

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How Princeton women’s basketball clawed its way to the top of the Ivy League

The 2019-20 Princeton women’s basketball team’s campaign ended all too quickly due to COVID-19, but not before demonstrating the enduring strength of the program under a new coaching staff. (Princeton Athletics)

The 2019-20 Princeton women’s basketball team was by no means a “one-hit wonder.”

It was the product of a process begun more than a dozen years ago. Successful coaches do more than win games; they build a program, an organization that can produce highly competitive teams year after year. Successful programs are designed to withstand graduations, injuries, and the inevitable clash of egos and personalities in groups of a dozen or more highly competitive and talented individuals. To achieve success in college basketball over time is incredibly difficult. To achieve credibility on the national scene with a mid-major program and no athletic scholarships defies belief. Princeton has done that.

In 1970, the 225th year of Princeton’s existence, school administrators decided to adopt the revolutionary idea of coeducation, not coincidentally, I have always believed, in the year following my graduation. One year later, varsity basketball was introduced as a women’s intercollegiate sport. The Tigers enjoyed early success, winning the first four Ivy titles following the launching of a women’s postseason tournament in 1975. (The women played a postseason tournament until 1982. In 2017, the present tournament format was adopted. The top four men’s and women’s teams compete at the same site over the same weekend to determine the league’s NCAA representatives.)

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Ivy hoops roundup – On the move

Our latest Ivy hoops roundup features the 2019-20 Academic All-Ivies and a whole lot of Ivy graduate transfers on the move:

Academic All-Ivies announced 

The Ivy League released its winter edition of the 2019-20 Academic All-Ivy list Thursday. The basketball honorees were:

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IHO 2019-20 Women’s All-Ivy Awards

Here’s what you’ve all been waiting for: the 2019-20 Ivy Hoops Online Women’s All-Ivy honorees as selected by IHO contributors, which are notably different from the selections that the Ivy League released:

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Cornell women put up good fight but fall to No. 21/No. 17 Princeton

ITHACA, N.Y. – The Cornell Big Red put up a good fight, but the Princeton Tigers pulled away in the second half for a 69-50 victory, marking their 26th win of the season.

“I’m proud of them,” said Cornell coach Dayna Smith about her team. “I’m proud of the effort we played with today. We talked about worrying about us and what we can accomplish and execute, and we did that. Princeton is a phenomenal team. They’re going to do some great things down the stretch here.”

The Big Red (10-16, 3-11 Ivy) starting five consisted of all starters, and a sixth senior, Laura Bagwell-Katalinich, came off the bench. The six seniors combined for 48 of Cornell’s 50 points, as they got the majority of the minutes.

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No. 21/No. 17 Princeton women defeat Columbia as Alarie and Littlefield make history

Princeton (AP No. 21, Coaches No. 17) pulled off another patented second-half runaway at Levien Gym Friday night and made history in the process.

The Tigers looked like they could be in for their first real fight of Ivy League play as the Lions trimmed their lead to 36-31 1:56 into the third quarter.

But Princeton outscored Columbia 19-8 the rest of the quarter en route to a 77-52 win to stay unbeaten in conference action.

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