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Ivy League Notebook

January 16, 2003 Conference Notes No Comments



Ivy League Notebook

by Jason Haslam

Harvard Continues To Get By With Very Little Depth

The Crimson have won three straight, including back-to-back wins over Dartmouth, to open up league play (10-5, 2-0). Led by Ivy League Player of the Week, guard Patrick Harvey, the Crimson defeated the Big Green, 67-50, in Cambridge holding their opponents to a paltry 30 percent shooting, and then eked out a win a week later in Hanover, 69-68, paced by Harvey’s 27 points. Seven-foot senior center Brian Sigafoos has really blossomed, currently leading the league in shooting at 62 percent, including a blistering 10-for-11 shooting performance against the Big Green in the first meeting. Sigafoos is complimented by power forward Sam Winter. Only 6-foot-6 and weighing 215 pounds, Winter’s yeoman-like effort shouldn’t go unnoticed, as he leads the league with 9.1 rebounds a game, including 47 offensive boards, as well as chipping in just over 12 points a contest.

The Crimson’s Achilles continues to be a lack of depth. Sophomore guard Kevin Rogus is only logging eight minutes game, but is dropping 48 percent of his threes(15-for-31). Sitting behind three senior guards Elliot Prasse-Freeman, Brady Merchant, and Harvey, Rogus will only see time if someone is hit with foul trouble. In the two wins combined over Dartmouth the bench shot just 3-for-13 scoring 11 points.

With almost three weeks off, the Crimson don’t play again until the end of the month, with back-to-back dates Jan. 31 at Princeton, and a visit to the Palestra against Penn on Feb. 1. The following weekend they do another double dip playing Brown and Yale. Facing off against the three top teams in the league in one week present the Crimson with their most formidable part of their schedule.

Penn Plays Nearly Perfect In Pummeling The Trojans

The Quakers thrashing of USC 99-61 at the The Great Western Forum was a sort of catharsis for a squad that has been suffering from inconsistent play, to push their record to 5-4. The Quakers capitalized off of a near perfect shooting performance in the first half (21-for-24), and a 28-5 run to go up 53-27 at the intermission en route to victory. The Quakers tied a team-record for 75 percent shooting from beyond the arc, nailing 15-for-20. The game was also a breakout performance this season for power forward Koko Archibong who is from the Pasadena area, and tallied a game-high 21 points and 11 rebounds. The Quakers ended up setting a new school-record by nailing 72 percent of their shots overall, as they got their first win outside the city limits of Philadelphia this season.

Hobbled by knee injuries throughout the early part of the season coupled by a penchant for foul trouble, Archibong had been seeing limited minutes and was even being relegated to coming off the bench. Coach Fran Dunphy used a similar tactic with Ivy League MVP Ugonna Onyekwe, who had been conspicuously ineffective in his past three games. Limiting his star player down to 20 minutes proved to be bold, but paid off in the win over USC, as Onyekwe drilled 8-for-11 from the floor for 19 points in just 21 minutes. In his three previous games he had shot an uncharacteristic 8-for-25.

With their first league game not scheduled until the end of the month, Penn will face Monmouth and Lafayette, and return home on the 25th in a showdown against Jameer Nelson and the St. Joseph’s Hawks.

Yale Desperate For A Win, Gets the Better of…RPI???

Coach James Jones had a reason for scheduling RPI (no, not Rating Percentage Index, but Rensselaer Polytechnical Institute) right before his Bulldogs opened up league play. After enduring a tough road trip and losses at the hands of Stanford, St. Mary’s, Fairfield, and Rhode Island, he knew his squad would be in dire need of a quick and easy win, so he strategically inserted the Division III school and his plan ultimately worked. The Bulldogs whose last four opponents have a combined record of 38-19, saw little competition and stampeded RPI for a 100-49 win. After shooting a hapless 30.7 percent from beyond the arc during their skid, they torched their fodder for 62 percent from the field and 52 percent from beyond the arc. The win will go down as official, making them an even 6-6 going into league play, but it also gave the Bulldogs a chance to pad some of their stats after absorbing some horrendous shooting exhibitions, but who does this squad think they’re fooling?

     

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