Yale women’s basketball names former Princeton assistant Dalila Eshe its new head coach

Dalila Eshe is the new head coach for Yale women’s basketball after three years as an assistant coach at Princeton. (Yale Athletics)

The Dalila Eshe era has begun in New Haven.

Yale Athletics named Eshe head coach of Yale women’s basketball Monday, 17 days after Loyola Chicago announced that Allison Guth was leaving Yale to take over there.

Eshe comes from Princeton, where she was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for three seasons under Carla Berube.

Eshe will be introduced at a press conference Wednesday at 11:30 a.m., inside John J. Lee Amphitheater, Yale Athletics announced.

Guth had won 99 games in six seasons, during which the Bulldogs set the single-season program win record twice during her tenure at Yale.

Now it’s up to Eshe, a former WNBA Draft pick, to build on that success.

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Carrie Moore returns to the Ivy League as Harvard’s new women’s basketball coach

Carrie Moore comes to Harvard after two stints at Princeton as assistant coach (2016-19) and director of basketball operations (2008-10) that yielded three Ivy League championships. (Harvard Athletics)

Carrie Moore, a long-time Princeton assistant for Courtney Banghart, was named the fourth coach in the history of Harvard women’s basketball on Tuesday afternoon.  The Western Michigan and Detroit Country Day alum takes over for legendary coach Kathy Delaney-Smith, who presided over the Crimson team for the last 40 years.

“I am so incredibly humbled and excited to be the next head women’s basketball coach at Harvard University,” Moore told Harvard Athletics. “A very special thank you to Coach Kathy Delaney-Smith for building such a tremendous foundation here and for your long history of fighting for women. Congratulations on your retirement. I am absolutely thrilled to lead these incredible young women and move this program forward.”

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Ivy men’s and women’s hoops postseason roundup

Princeton women’s basketball celebrates its Ivy League Tournament title and automatic NCAA Tournament berth Saturday at Lavietes Pavilion. Princeton will face Kentucky for a second straight time in the NCAA Tournament. (photo by Erica Denhoff)

Men’s

NCAA Tournament – No. 14 Yale (19-9, 11-3 Ivy) vs. No. 3 Purdue (27-7, 14-6 Big Ten), Fri., 2 p.m. EST (TBS) 

Yale’s third NCAA Tournament appearance in five opportunities begins in Milwaukee, where the Bulldogs will take on Purdue in the East Region. Yale was assigned the No. 56 overall seed in the tournament, resulting in this matchup at Fiserv Forum.

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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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Dartmouth names Adrienne Shibles new women’s basketball coach

Adrienne Shibles takes over at Dartmouth after winning more than 80% of her games over a 13-year span at Bowdoin. (Bowdoin Athletics)

Well, Ivy Hoops Online asked and Dartmouth answered.

After a nearly 10-week search, interim Director of Athletics Peter Roby hired Adrienne Shibles away from Bowdoin to become the fifth head coach in Dartmouth women’s basketball history. Shibles’s hiring makes her the second “Little Ivies” head coach to make the jump to the “Big Ivies” in the last three years.

(Shibles also becomes the second important Ivy League hire from Bowdoin in the last three months, after Penn selected Whitney Soule as its new Vice Provost and Dean of Admissions.)

“I’m excited to welcome Adrienne and her family to our Dartmouth community,” Roby said in a Dartmouth Athletics press release. “She is a proven winner with a commitment to empowering young women to reach their full potential in every way. She is well respected throughout college basketball and will provide our women’s basketball program with dynamic leadership for many years to come.”

Shibles leaves the Polar Bears after a highly successful 13-year tenure (2008-2021) with a record of 281-67 (80.7%) and 11 NCAA Tournament appearances.  Her teams made it to the Sweet Sixteen eight times, including five of the last six competitive seasons, and the Final Four twice.  The 2019-20 team looked primed for a run to its third straight Final Four, entering the NCAA Tournament with a 27-2 mark, but the tournament was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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What’s up with the Dartmouth women’s basketball search?

After leading the Big Green for the last eight years, head coach Belle Koclanes announced she was stepping down to become president of a nonprofit organization in Delaware.  While Koclanes’s last day was officially March 31, interim AD Peter Roby has actually been on the clock since the statement was released on February 24 – 68 days ago.

To put things into an Ancient Eight perspective, it took 29 days for Princeton to hire Carla Berube after Courtney Banghart left for North Carolina and 28 days for Brown to replace the departed Sarah Behn with Monique LeBlanc.  Looking at this year’s national coaching carousel, the Big Green now find themselves with the longest coaching search in the nation.

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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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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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Bella Alarie looking ahead to bright future with Dallas Wings

New Dallas Wing Bella Alarie looked ahead to her future in the WNBA in an interview with Ivy Hoops Online. (WNBA)

Ivy Hoops Online caught up with all-time Princeton great and new Dallas Wing Bella Alarie to see how she’s been doing since she became a WNBA draftee last week.

She may be turning pro, but she’s still got her senior thesis to finish.

“I am getting there,” Alarie said. “But I admit the week of the draft was distracting. Now that I have a little breather I can finish it up. It’s due in a few days and I’m going to make it.”

Alarie played primarily in the post as a college player. She sees herself as a stretch four, and the Wings staff agrees.

“I played guard as a teenager and didn’t reach my full height until I got to Princeton,” Alarie said. “I was very comfortable handling the ball and running the floor. The Wings expect me to shoot threes and play at a fast pace. I am really looking forward to the whole thing.”

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Pre-WNBA Draft buzz for Princeton’s Bella Alarie

Three-time Ivy Player of the Year Bella Alarie has long demonstrated that she’s a WNBA-caliber talent, and league evaluators are taking stock of her potential for success there. (Princeton Athletics)

With the nation continuing its fight against the coronavirus pandemic and the sports world on hiatus, the WNBA will provide some actual live entertainment on Friday night as the league’s draft will be televised at 7 p.m. Eastern Time on ESPN. Ivy hoops fans will have an additional bit of interest waiting to hear Bella Alarie’s name.

Alarie, a three-time Ivy League Player of the Year, four-time first team All-Ivy, two-time AP Honorable Mention All-America and all-time Princeton leader in both points and blocks, looks to be the third Ancient Eight athlete picked in Draft history and the first chosen in the opening round since Harvard’s Allison Feaster went No. 5 overall to the Los Angeles Sparks in 1998.

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