Ivy hoops roundup – Recruits and assistants coming, transfers going

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:

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Dartmouth men’s elder statesmen lead the way in Senior Day upset of Penn

Fifth-year forward Aaryn Rai posted a career-high 27 points and game-high 11 rebounds in Dartmouth’s win over Penn Saturday. (photo by Erica Denhoff)

In front of fans and family celebrating Senior Day, Dartmouth’s traditional seniors, fifth-year senior and graduate student led the way in an 84-70 defeat of Penn, keeping the Big Green’s Ivy League Tournament hopes alive.

Aaryn Rai, finishing up his fifth year in Hanover, paced Dartmouth (8-16, 5-8 Ivy) with a career-high 27 points, as well as a game-high 11 rebounds.  Graduate student Brendan Barry, along with four-year seniors Taurus Samuels, Garrison Wade and Wes Slajchert, helped the Big Green’s cause with a combined 44 points.

The Quakers (12-14, 9-4), trotting out their 12th starting lineup this season due to the absence of co-captain Jelani Williams and league-leading scorer Jordan Dingle, couldn’t keep up with the Big Green’s elder statesmen and missed a chance to get back into title contention.

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Rai, Adelekun and Barry lead Dartmouth men to 76-63 win at Columbia

Ivy League minutes leader Brendan Barry registered 13 points on 6-for-12 shooting in 36 minutes in Dartmouth’s win at Columbia Saturday. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

Clinging to a slim two-point lead over Columbia with just over two minutes left in the first half, Dartmouth’s trio of Aaryn Rai, Brendan Barry and Dame Adelekun took over and scored 43 of the Big Green’s final 47 points to lead the way to a 76-63 victory at Levien Gymnasium on a snowy Saturday in New York City.

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Harvard men hold off Dartmouth rally late, stay statistically well-rounded early

Senior guard Noah Kirkwood was characteristically instrumental in Harvard’s win over Dartmouth Monday, contributing 24 points on 9-for-15 shooting and five assists in 33 minutes. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

When Denham Wojcik hit his first basket of the night to put Harvard up 11 with 6:50 remaining, the Crimson looked well on their way to beating Dartmouth and securing their second straight Ivy victory.  Unfortunately, their travel partner got a second wind and cut the lead to one with the ball in Aaryn Rai’s hands for one last shot.

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Strong second half leads Penn men to 10-point win over Dartmouth

In front of an enthusiastic yet sparse Saturday matinee crowd at the Palestra, the Penn men bounced back from last Saturday’s loss to Columbia to defeat Dartmouth, 78-68, and move to 3-1 in Ivy League play.

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Cornell men navigate gritty Dartmouth, secure victory in Ivy opener, 79-71

ITHACA, N.Y. — Dartmouth held a one-point lead at the half, but Cornell shot 60% in the second half and fended off several late rallies to win the Ivy League opener on Sunday, 79-71.

“It was exactly what the Ivy League is going to be like,” Cornell coach Brian Earl said. “[Dartmouth] knew exactly what we were going to do and we had to fight through it. They are a veteran team. It’s a pretty good win.”

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Layoff, Shmayoff: A solid start for Ivy League hoops

Announcers and writers around the nation focused a lot of attention to the 600-plus days between games for the Ivy League.  While many expected the teams to be a bit rusty out of the gates, the Ancient Eight acquitted itself quite well in the season’s first week.

Thirteen of the league’s 16 teams had at least one win, with the Princeton and Columbia women notching three victories each.  The Brown men almost upset No. 19 UNC without their top player, and the Princeton men just missed out on winning the Asheville Championship.

Check out some of the highlights from a very successful and welcome week of Ivy hoops:

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Ivy League men’s basketball Media Day roundup

Two days after the Media Day for Ivy women’s hoops, the men had their turn at the virtual podium.  A day prior, the results of the preseason poll were released.  While five different teams earned top votes, the overall totals showed no changes from the last day of competition in 2020.

Yale, two-time defending Ivy champion, was again picked to come in first with 115 points and seven first-place votes.  Harvard, the 2019 co-champion, was close behind, tallying 110 points and four first-place votes.  Princeton, the 2017 title winner, closed out the top tier with 108 points and two first-place votes.

Penn, the 2018 co-champion, secured the last slot in the upper division with 93 points and two first-place selections.  Brown, which last held the title in 1986, again found itself behind the Quakers for fifth place with 79 points and a pair of title votes.

Dartmouth, which last entered the winner’s circle in 1959, was tabbed in the six slot with 43 points, four points more than Cornell, which last held the top spot in the Sweet Sixteen season of 2010.  Columbia, the 1968 champion, was projected to finish last with 25 points.

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Seth Towns continues protesting as Ivy hoops community continues to speak out

Recent Harvard graduate and Ohio State graduate transfer Seth Towns continued to protest  in downtown Columbus Sunday, a day after he was detained following a nonviolent protest there in response to the death of unarmed black people at the hands of police officers across America.

Using a bullhorn, Towns, a Columbus native and 2017-18 Ivy Player of the Year, stressed the importance of protesting against racial injustice and led the crowd in a chant of “We have a voice.”

“This is not our choice,” Towns said. “This is our duty as people in a democracy … Everybody who I love has texted me and said ‘Stay out of harm’s way. While you’re out there protesting, stay out of harm’s way.’ But I’m always in harm’s way.”’

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Harvard knows bigger challenges are ahead after sweeping Dartmouth

HANOVER, N.H. – Animated is not a word normally used to describe Tommy Amaker, but there he was Saturday night at Leede Arena exhorting his team on, almost screaming, at least as much as Amaker is capable of such a thing.

The timing seemed strange. Just past the midway point of the second half, his Bryce Aiken-less Harvard team had just started to put some distance between itself and a pesky Dartmouth team that pushed the Crimson fairly hard the week before at Lavietes Pavilion and was only a four-point underdog (sports gambling recently became legal in the state of New Hampshire, for those who care). Harvard wasn’t playing its best game, but it weren’t playing poorly, either.

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