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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Ivy Madness reporter’s notebook: Days 1 & 2

Ivy Madness became Ivy Gladness for Princeton women’s basketball after its 72-67 Ivy League Tournament semifinal win over Harvard at Lavietes Pavilion. (photo by Erica Denhoff)

“As we battle in the WBCA (Women’s Basketball Coaches Association), they’re always talking about “create this environment.”  Any time I talk equity with anyone, they always say there’s more pressure on a man because the gyms are full, and the bands are playing.  The opposite is true.  It’s much easier to play in a (packed) venue like this.  It’s very, very hard for women all over the country and play in empty gyms without bands, fighting their schools for support to get the bands there and to get the cheerleaders there.  There’s been huge growth at Harvard, but there’s such a long way to go.  It’s really wonderful for the athletes to play in this kind of venue and it’s fun to watch as well.” – soon-to-be retiring Harvard women’s coach Kathy Delaney-Smith, talking about the boisterous atmosphere during her team’s 72-67 loss to No. 1 seed Princeton

Some random thoughts after two great days at the 2022 Ivy League Tournament:

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Princeton men notch Senior Night win versus Harvard, 74-67

Princeton senior guard Jaelin Llewellyn scored a season-high 29 points on 10-for-18 shooting and added six rebounds and three assists versus just one turnover in the Tigers’ Senior Night win over Harvard. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

Princeton-Harvard matchups in the Tommy Amaker era are usually exciting, closely fought contests, often with title or tournament implications for both teams.

For tonight’s Senior Night celebration, fans were invited back to the arena to bid fond farewell to an amazing group of players who were adversely affected by the COVID-19-imposed restrictions on their college careers: Ethan Wright, Drew Friberg, Jaelin Llewellyn, Elijah Barnes, Max Johns and Charlie Bagin.

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Missing Henderson but not shooting touch, Princeton men bounce back at Columbia

What promised to be a chaotic weekend for the Tigers got off to a troubling start when the head coach had to leave the team after a failed COVID-19 test.

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Penn men survive early knockdown to take round one at Harvard, 78-74

Penn sophomore guard Jordan Dingle rang up 31 points on 9-for-16 shooting in a win at Harvard Friday, becoming the first player in program history with back-to-back games scoring 30 points or more in Ivy play. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

Down 12-2, starting power forward Michael Moshkovitz off the court with two quick fouls and a boisterous sellout Lavietes Pavilion crowd on top of them, things looked bleak for the Penn men as they made it to their bench for the first media timeout in Friday night’s nationally televised game at Harvard.

Fortunately, Steve Donahue settled his team and the Quakers bounced back for an important 78-74 road victory that has the Red & Blue at 5-2 (8-12 overall) halfway through the Ivy League schedule.

Tommy Amaker’s Crimson, meanwhile, left the court with their third loss in five league contests (10-7 overall).

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Undermanned Harvard men lose at UMass, 87-77

The addition of starting forward Kale Catchings to Harvard’s already sizeable frontcourt disabled list proved too much, as UMass defeated Harvard, 87-77, at the Mullins Center on Saturday afternoon.

Facing a Minutemen squad that lives and dies at the three point line, Tommy Amaker, whose Crimson (5-4) have been without the services of forwards Mason Forbes, Justice Ajogbor and Bennett Pitcher for the first part of the season, opted to use highly touted rookie wing Louis Lesmond in place of Catchings and go with a four-guard lineup.

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Harvard sweeps post-Thanksgiving doubleheader at Lavietes

The Harvard women and men hosted a pair of cross-town rivals on Saturday.  Things didn’t look so great for the home teams early, but strong second-half performances gave both teams big wins and sent the crowd home happy.

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Yale men have up and down weekend with dominant win over UMass, blowout loss at Seton Hall

Yale had an up, then down weekend.

Yale faced a more talented foe Sunday in KenPom No. 35 Seton Hall at the Prudential Center in Newark.
Except for one spurt in the first half which cut the deficit to five, it was never a game. The Pirates won in a cakewalk, 80-44.
The perimeter defense for Seton Hall (2-0) held Yale (2-1) to 24% shooting and a paltry 13% from three.
Gabbidon led Yale with 14 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Cotton chipped in with 12 points.
Seton Hall faces No. 6 Michigan on Tuesday in Ann Arbor in a battle of teams formerly coached by Tommy Amaker.
Yale’s previous outing was a very different story.
Someone told me a few minutes into the Bulldogs’ matchup against Massachusetts at John J. Lee Amphitheater Friday night that while Yale and UMass may have nearly equal talent, Yale will win because

it has James Jones and a system. Bingo on both.

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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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Ivy hoops roundup – Olympic exploits, incoming classes and coaching moves

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.

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