Ivy League Notebook
Your Big 5 Champion is . . .Penn?
With all the basketball powerhouses in Philly, it’s hard to believe that the Penn Quakers are the Big 5 Champ. You can look it up, but Fran Dunphy’s team bested LaSalle, Villanova, Temple, Drexel (unofficial member of the Fivesome) and St. Joseph’s (the two teams played twice, splitting the series). Harder to believe is that, with all these impressive victories, Penn is only 2-2 in the Ivy, with losses to Harvard and Columbia. Even if Penn doesn’t win the Ivy (currently, the Quakers are in 5th place), they make a strong case for an at-large bid for the tourney. They are on pace for 20 wins (15-5 at this writing), and the aforementioned Big 5 victories – as well as a tradition of excellence – should get them a nod.
Princeton Stands Alone
The Princeton Tigers, at 4-0 in the conference, are sitting alone in first place. This has to frustrate teams like Yale, Brown and Harvard, who have played two more games than John Thompson III’s club and are trying to make up some ground in the short Ivy season. Princeton recently thwarted Columbia, 49-41, and unleashed fury against Cornell, 60-38. Forward Ray Robins scored 28 points versus the Big Red.
Harvard. The Ivy’s Jekyll and Hyde
The Crimson pulled another give-and-take over the weekend of February 1st. They shocked fellow title-contender Brown on the 1st, 89-81, then fell to second-pace Yale on the 2nd, 66-57. Harvard was up 38-22 at the half but surrendered 44 points to their own 19 in the second. At 4-2, The Cambridge Crusaders own a 3rd place tie with Brown.
Scoring: Earl Hunt, Brown, 20.5 ppg
Rebounding: Paul Vitelli, Yale, 8.2 rpg
Assists: Elliott Prasse-Freeman, Harvard, 5.6 apg
Blocks: Chris Wiedemann, Columbai, 2.1 bpg
Steals: Andrew Gellert, Harvard, 2.6 apg