The Dow Jones Industrial Average and NASDAQ were looking up at the end of last week, but more importantly, it’s a good time to be bullish about Ivy League basketball. There’s going to be an actual Ivy hoops season this year, and we’re here to herald its return together. Here’s how Ivy Hoops Online contributors feel about some of the storylines within that greater, happy story as the 2021-22 campaign approaches.
The Ivy League conference schedules were released last month, but official releases of the Ivies’ nonconference slates have been trickling in and reveal that after the season that wasn’t, the Ancient Eight aren’t shying away from trekking throughout the country for out-of-conference competition. Meanwhile, the coaching carousel continues:
As COVID-19 numbers increase from early summer lows and masking recommendations return for the start of another pandemic academic calendar, the Ivy League gave fans a bit of positive news on Thursday with the release of the 2022 conference schedule. After skipping the entire 2020-21 season due to safety concerns, the Ancient Eight curtain is set to rise on January 2 with eight games – a mere 666 days after the last league games on March 7, 2020.
Former Ivy standouts’ Olympic exploits
Olympic action in Tokyo featured an Ivy-on-Ivy matchup Wednesday when Maodo Lo helped lead Germany to a 99-92 victory over Miye Oni’s Nigerian squad in Group B play at Saitama Super Arena. The 2016 Columbia graduate and the Lions men’s third-all-time leading scorer led the Germans with nine assists and added 13 points in 28 minutes.
The NCAA’s new, long awaited policy of allowing players to use their name, image and likeness for commercial profit extends to the Ivy League, which says it has adjusted rules to allow players to take part in NIL activity.
Former Columbia Lions Tai Bibbs and Randy Brumant quickly signed a deal to advertise for GCDC, a Washington, D.C. grilled cheese bar, per Dafter having transferred from Morningside Heights to Howard to join former Columbia assistant coach Kenny Blakeney.
After spending the last two years at Mercer University as a graduate assistant, former Dartmouth star Cy Lippold will be returning to the Ancient Eight as an assistant coach at Columbia.
The Bronx native, who was IHO’s Most Improved Player in 2017-2018 and Honorable Mention in 2018-2019, will be assisting with development of the guards as well as scouting, team strategy, recruiting operations and analytics, according to Columbia Athletics.
“We are thrilled to welcome Cy to the Columbia women’s basketball family,” coach Megan Griffith said. “Her strong background in leadership development and firsthand experience as an Ivy student-athlete are unmatched. I am confident she will make an immediate impact on our program.”
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.
As this Ivy non-season progresses, we thought it’d make sense for us to do an Ivy Hoops Online contributors’ roundtable looking ahead to next season, assuming there is one:
The Ivy League on Friday announced an initiative including all 16 men’s and women’s basketball programs expressing commitment to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Called “Ivy Promise,” the initiative comes with a message from the 16 women’s and men’s basketball head coaches:
We have heard our student-athletes’ and communities’ call to action. The anger, disappointment and hurt felt across our country in recent weeks has been eye-opening and inspired important conversations in our communities. This is how we will stand together to proceed forward on the path of making progress for humanity. This is our promise.The Ivy Promise represents the Ivy League basketball coaches’ commitment to the Black Lives Matter movement. While individually our platforms are influential, combined our platforms can be a catalyst for change. We are committed to achieving reform. We will stand against inequality and discrimination until all people are afforded the same opportunities in wages, healthcare, housing, education, and criminal justice. Together we will stand for justice, educate the people, and support our communities.Our initial action items as a league are as follows:
- As the Head Coaches of Ivy League Basketball, we will use our status and privilege to be vocal advocates for equality for all.
- When possible, our programs will buy from local black and minority owned businesses to help uplift our communities economically and decrease the wealth gap.
- Our coaches and student-athletes will not only participate in All Vote No Play on November 3, but also use our voting power in local and state elections because that is where topics like criminal justice reform begin.
- We will use our games on MLK Day and during Black History Month in February to avidly celebrate Black history and Black excellence.
- Each Ivy League basketball team will donate to and volunteer with the local organizations that are working to address the specific needs of our community.
This is just the beginning.