George “Toothless Tiger” Clark takes stock of what has driven Princeton men’s basketball’s 6-0 start:
Only five points separated the top three teams in the Ivy League Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll, and our final tabulation was even tighter. Just three points separated the team atop IHO contributors’ preseason poll.
Yale gets the slight nod here, with our contributors trusting James Jones to lead the Bulldogs to their fifth Ivy League title in an eight-season span in a bid to represent the conference in the NCAA Tournament for a third straight time. Penn, the Ivy League preseason poll’s top team above Princeton by a single point, also finished a single point above Princeton in our standings. Our contributors saw potential for success in a roster that returns most of the key players from last year’s squad that placed third in the Ivy standings. We’ve got Princeton pegged to finish third, aided in their quest to repeat as Ivy League champions by returning 2021-22 Ivy Player of the Year Tosan Evbuomwan but losing significant backcourt production from last year’s conference title team.
Harvard was the clear No. 4 finisher in our poll, a showing that would improve upon the disappointing sixth-place result that locked the Crimson out of the Ivy League Tournament on its home floor last season. We have Cornell ranked slightly ahead of Brown as the Big Red look to build on last season’s overachieving Ivy League Tournament berth and the Bears look to bounce back from an underachieving sixth-place finish (tied with Harvard) a season ago. Columbia and Dartmouth tied in our voting tally at the bottom of the standings as both programs look to secure their first Ivy League Tournament appearances.
Our latest Ivy hoops roundup features critical hires amid new starts for Harvard and Yale women’s basketball, an especially promising recruiting class for the Princeton women, some big men’s graduate transfer losses and more:
Princeton women introduce No. 19 class of recruits
Princeton women’s basketball announced what ESPN.com deemed the No. 19 recruiting class in the nation:
Cannady completing a comeback
Devin Cannady is nearing the end of a 10-day contract with the Orlando Magic that has marked an extraordinary comeback from a devastating injury for the former Princeton standout.
Cannady signed the contract March 31, making the jump from the Lakeland Magic of the NBA G League, where he had been averaging 15.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 16 games and 11 starts.
“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:
After watching two scintillating semifinal games in the men’s basketball tournament at Lavietes Pavilion on Saturday, here are four takeaways from the perspective of a diehard Princeton fan:
No. 1 Princeton and No. 4 Cornell combined to give us one of the best games in Ivy League Tournament history Saturday.
But it was the Tigers who drew final blood against the Big Red, advancing to the tournament final, with Player of the Year Tosan Evbuomwan hitting the game-winning shot with 36 seconds left to push Princeton past a persistent Cornell squad in a 77-73 barnburner.
“The expectations (for winning) are always there, they just felt even heavier this year (due to the pandemic). There should be several asterisks next to it (being at the Ivy League Tournament) and that’s true of all the teams.” – Princeton coach Mitch Henderson
Princeton and Penn closed out the regular season at The Palestra this evening in the only Ivy matchup involving teams that will play next weekend in the Ivy League Tournament.
Since the field was set prior to this weekend, the games had no impact on the seeding for the tourney. But the way the Tigers manhandled their traditional rival on its homecourt in a 93-70 shellacking must have been as unsettling for the Quakers as it was exhilarating for the Tigers.