Ivy hoops roundup – April 10, 2022

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.

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Reason for hope: A look ahead to 2022-23 for Penn men’s basketball

Penn men’s basketball is set to return nearly every significant rotation player from this season in 2022-23, led by Jordan Dingle.  (photo by Erica Denhoff)

I spent the first few minutes after Penn’s 67-61 loss to Yale in the Ivy Madness semifinals at Lavietes Pavilion mourning.

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Observations from Ivy Madness

Princeton enjoyed the largest contingent of fans at Lavietes Pavilion throughout Ivy Madness. (photo by Erica Denhoff)

From the notebook of IHO writer Richard Kent on the scene at Ivy Madness: 

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2021-22 IHO All-Ivy Men’s Awards

The Ivy League announced its major men’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:

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Yale men best Brown as Swain shines on Senior Night

Senior guard Azar Swain shook off pre-game Senior Night anxiety to lead Yale to a 74-65 win over Brown Saturday night, registering 22 points on 8-for-15 shooting. (Photo by Erica Denhoff) 

On an emotionally charged Senior Night, Yale took care of business and defeated Brown in a Saturday night showdown, 74-65, at John J. Lee Amphitheater.

Four Yale seniors, Azar Swain, captain Jalen Gabbidon, Eze Dike and Jameel Alausa, played their last home games for the Bulldogs. Dike started after not playing this calendar year due to injury.

“I thought we played a better brand of Yale basketball,” coach James Jones said in comparing the performance to the efforts against Dartmouth and Cornell on the road last week. Jones captured his 350th career win. It was also his 191st Ivy League win, moving him ahead of former Penn coach Fran Dunphy into second place all-time in league history behind only Pete Carril.

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It’s unanimous: Clark Slajchert’s heroics elate Penn men and crush Brown

 

Even before the last-minute dramatics that resulted in a stunning road 88-87 win for the Red & Blue, everything about Saturday night’s game between Penn (12-13, 9-3 Ivy) and Brown (12-15, 4-8) was set up to made it a classic Ivy League showdown.

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Princeton women and men punch Ivy Madness tickets by besting Brown

Both Tiger squads punched tickets to the Ivy League tournament on Friday evening with blowout wins against the Brown Bears. Carla Berube’s women’s team, encountering a surprisingly spunky Bears quintet still smarting from a thorough pasting in Providence last month, was shocked in the first quarter, sharing the lead at 14 points apiece after 10 minutes. No Ivy team had such a start against the Tigers this season.

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Three takeaways from the Brown men’s late triumph at Cornell

Jaylan Gainey’s putback dunk with 3.5 seconds left resulted in an 81-80 Brown win at Cornell Saturday that has huge implications for the Ivy League Tournament race.

 

Here’s what to take away from the memorable finish for Brown (12-13, 4-6 Ivy) and Cornell (13-8, 5-5):

  1. The Ivy men’s race just got more interesting

Brown now has a fighting chance in the Ivy League Tournament race, even if Cornell still has the inside track. Bruno has a 22.3% shot of making the tourney after the win, still a far cry from the Big Red’s 68.7%, according to friend of Ivy Hoops Online Luke Benz’s analysis:

 

But three of Brown’s final four games are at home, while three of Cornell’s last four contests are on the road. Since the Bears and Big Red have split their season series, the next head-to-head tiebreaker would be each team’s record against the highest seed outside the tie. Brown has matchups with all three teams above it and Cornell in the Ivy standings – Princeton and Penn next weekend at home and at Yale in the season finale.

The Big Red hold this tiebreaker by virtue of their win over Princeton, but they’ve got only one more opportunity to strengthen that tiebreaker when they host Yale on Feb. 26.

The race for the No. 4 seed could go down to the wire.

2. Jaylan Gainey comes up big again

Gainey was KenPom’s game MVP for the second contest in a row, contributing 16 points on 7-for-11 shooting and nine rebounds, including five on the offensive end. Hopefully Gainey’s game-winner attracts more attention to the terrific campaign he’s had as a senior. Gainey leads the Ivy League in field goal percentage by a wide margin (67.1% to second-place Tosan Evbuomwan’s 53.7% for Princeton) and blocks by a similarly commanding distance (two per game versus second-place Isaiah Kelly’s 0.9 for Yale).

Gainey has become more assertive offensively as Ivy play has progressed, a trend that bodes well for the stretch run. Gainey has recorded five blocks in two of Brown’s last three games against Yale, and he’ll be key in Brown’s matchup at Yale that could give the Bears a potential tiebreaker in the scrum for the Ivy tourney’s No. 4 seed.

Even though Gainey was named Ivy Defensive Player of the Year in 2019-20, his stellar play anchoring the conference’s top scoring defense doesn’t get the plaudits it should.

3. Not cleaning the defensive boards cost Cornell 

The offensive rebound leading to Gainey’s game-winning putback was Brown’s 14th offensive board of the game. Cornell managed just four. The Big Red have been outrebounded on the offensive end by a combined margin of 35-16 in their last three losses.

That’s an especially troubling trend for Cornell given that it wants to push the tempo, having the third-quickest average possession length in the country per KenPom behind only Gonzaga and St. John’s. Also in the Ivy League’s bottom half in offensive rebound percentage are Cornell’s next two opponents, Dartmouth and Harvard, giving the Big Red a better opportunity to correct this issue in next weekend’s high-stakes New England road trip.

 

Princeton men hang on to best Brown, 76-74

Love that home cooking! The Princeton Tigers, whose opening game on the road against Harvard was postponed, played its third straight Ivy League game in Jadwin Gym’s friendly confines on Saturday afternoon against the Brown Bears.

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Penn men get crucial boosts from unexpected sources to claim Ivy opener over Brown

Penn and Brown get ready to start their first Ivy League game in 667 days (photo courtesy of Alan Cotler)
Penn and Brown get ready to start their first Ivy League game in 667 days. (Photo courtesy of Alan Cotler)

Penn broadcaster Vince Curran said he and Penn coach Steve Donahue reviewed the starting lineups for the team’s Ivy opening day game against Brown 20 minutes before tip-off.  Shortly afterwards, Donahue inserted first-year guard George Smith into the starting five and it turned out to be the be the smartest move of the afternoon.  The Salem, N.H. native had a day to remember, scoring a career-high 23 points to give the Quakers a huge 77-73 victory over the Bears.

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