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2016-17 Ivy League Post-Mortem

by - Published June 22, 2017 in Columns

The Ivy League in 2016-17 had a few stories that could lead the way. In the end, though, there is one that ultimately tops them all: Mitch Henderson is snakebit no more.

The Princeton mentor has had a good run at the helm of his alma mater. The Tigers have not had the fall that arch-rival Penn had in recent years, though the NCAA Tournament had been elusive. They have had good teams, but have gotten in the hole early, not been able to beat teams that were just a little better, and been struck by injuries. In December, it looked like they would be in line to be derailed again, as key forwards Hans Brase and Henry Caruso both went down with season-ending injuries.

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2015-16 Ivy League Post-Mortem

by - Published June 3, 2016 in Columns, Conference Notes

Sometimes, the basketball gods get one right. In 2016, they got one right with Yale.

In 2015-16, the Ivy League didn’t quite continue to steady climb it had been on in recent years. It was in a nice up cycle, but this time around, it didn’t have the same feeling not only among the contenders, but also in the middle of the pack. Part of that is because Harvard, who has ruled the league in recent years, dropped off significantly first from graduation losses and then further a key injury. The Crimson still competed, but this was a very different team.

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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, March 15, 2016

by - Published March 15, 2016 in The Morning Dish

It turns out people do appreciate the National Invitation Tournament after all, far more than universally assumed. All it took was a little postseason saturation-the same thing that college football somehow seems immune to.

This college basketball season was set to give us 164 teams in the postseason-nearly half of the 339 teams eligible for such distinction. It turns out, though, that just 144 teams will actually play after the new Vegas 16 event, which was supposed to have, you know, 16 teams, was reduced to eight teams (in the spirit of the Big 12 with 10 teams and the Big Ten with 14, why not?) and the CollegeInsider.com Tournament listed just 26 teams playing first round games instead of the 32 presumed.
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2014-15 Ivy League Post-Mortem

by - Published July 16, 2015 in Columns, Conference Notes

The old phrase “What a difference a year makes” normally has positive connotations. For the Ivy League following the 2014-15 season, however, the opposite would be true. At a time when the league appeared to be in a big up cycle, the rise didn’t quite continue this season.

There was very good basketball in the Ivy League, to be sure. Harvard and Yale set the pace with good non-league showings, with the Bulldogs pulling out the league’s signature victory at UConn in December. The middle of the pack was pretty good – perhaps better than one might have expected given the adversity some teams faced. But there’s no two ways about it: the league went from five postseason teams in 2013-14 to just two this time around. And while postseason bids is a very imperfect way to measure a league, it’s certainly one way to do it.

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The Morning Dish – Saturday, February 28, 2015

by - Published February 28, 2015 in The Morning Dish

The Ivy League race is even better now, and on a pretty good night for several players, too. At least one player posted a double-double in all but one game on the evening, but that’s not the biggest news coming out of Friday night.

The New York schools are playing spoiler. Less than a week after Columbia went into New Haven and beat Yale to knock the Bulldogs a game back of first place, Cornell hosted Harvard and snapped a nine-game losing streak against the Crimson. Neither team put on a clinic at the offensive end in Ithaca, but Harvard finished just over 25 percent in a 57-49 loss. Cornell was led by Shonn Miller, who missed all of last season due to injury and is reminding people how good he was two seasons ago, as he had 24 points and 15 rebounds to get the better of Wesley Saunders, who had 19 points and 11 rebounds for Harvard.

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The Morning Dish – Saturday, February 14, 2015

by - Published February 14, 2015 in The Morning Dish

Iona and Manhattan have basically ruled the MAAC the last two years and carried the story. The last two championship games have been close ones between the two, they are nearby rivals, and there is immense respect for one another. In fact, last year, after Manhattan won the championship game, head coach Steve Masiello said he and his staff have tried to model their program after Iona.

Friday night was the latest installment of this rivalry. The two teams are a contrast in styles, with Iona being the team that can light up the scoreboard while Manhattan can slow down and stop a lot of offenses. While Iona shot over 52 percent from the field, including 11-18 from long range, Manhattan was able to hang in by forcing 21 turnovers. The game came down to the end, but it was Iona that escaped with a 70-67 win to remain two games up in the MAAC standings.

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2013-14 Ivy League Post-Mortem

by - Published May 5, 2014 in Columns, Conference Notes

As good as the 2013-14 season was in the Ivy League, it might be just the beginning of a great stretch for the league. The results were great, and there is a lot to be optimistic about going forward.

Harvard won the league as expected, then beat Cincinnati in the NCAA Tournament. For the first time since Princeton in 1983-84, an Ivy League team has won an NCAA Tournament game in consecutive years. The Crimson were basically prohibitive favorites, and while Yale was able to hang around late, the Crimson were never behind in the standings.

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Cornell’s future can only be better

by - Published March 2, 2014 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – There are still two games left, but Cornell’s 2013-14 season will be ending after them. There won’t be any postseason play, and the only possible drama – that of whether or not the Big Red would win a Division I game this season – was removed two weeks ago when they beat Dartmouth. So at this point, maybe a look ahead is warranted, because this season will go down as one to forget.

The season was already going to be a tough one before it began. They had already lost a lot from a year earlier just from the senior class. In addition, Shonn Miller, their best player, suffered a shoulder injury late last year that had not healed well, and redshirting was possible. As the season is almost over, we know that has happened. They lost two more starters they didn’t expect to as well, so this team was basically starting over.

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Cornell Big Red 2013-14 Preview

by - Published November 6, 2013 in Conference Notes

Cornell Big Red (13-18 overall, 5-9 league)

 

 

 

Projected starting five:

Fr. G JoJo Fallas
Jr. G Devin Cherry
So. G Nolan Cressler
Jr. F Shonn Miller
Jr. F-C Deion Giddens

Important departures:

Among starters, G Miles Asafo-Adjei (2.8 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 2.6 apg), G Jonathan Gray (10.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.0 apg), F Eitan Chemerinski (5.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg) and F Errick Peck (9.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.6 apg) (transferred to Purdue) are gone, along with key reserve Galal Cancer (5.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 2.7 apg).

Returning:

47 percent of scoring and 43 percent of rebounding

Additions:

Fr. G JoJo Fallas
Fr. G Desmond Fleming
Fr. G Robert Hatter
Fr. F David Onourah
Fr. G Darryl Smith

Schedule Highlights:

Six home games are on tap in a tough non-league slate that begins at Syracuse and later includes trips to Louisville, Notre Dame, Stony Brook and St. Bonaventure. Early in league play, they play four straight on the road before coming home for consecutive weekends.

Projected finish and outlook:

Like their fellow New York school, Cornell will look very different this season and it may feel to some like they’re starting over as they lose a lot from last season’s team. Although some of the losses were expected, Cancer’s loss hurts as he projected to be the starting point guard this year and next. As if that’s not enough, reports have indicated that Miller’s shoulder injury late last season has not healed well, and redshirting is a possibility. Now the Big Red must make do with a younger guard crop where the likes of Cressler and Cherry to get better. The Big Red also need some other holdovers to emerge, or else the other freshmen will get chances right away to supplant them. Injuries hurt the early development of a couple of Miller’s potential supporters up front, Holt Harmon and Braxston Bunce, so they will come in a little behind where they could be. Defense is the biggest area for improvement, and from that vantage point it might not be so bad that there is a lot of newness with this team. The Big Red forced some turnovers, but other than that they were a bad defensive team, and with the lack of proven scoring punch on this team even before Miller’s status didn’t get better, improvement at that end of the floor will be even more paramount. In all, the Big Red might be best off long-term if Miller redshirts, but no matter what, it appears that it could be a long season in Ithaca.

Next: Dartmouth Big Green

Back to Ivy League Preview

Cornell is trying to find consistency before Ivy League play

by - Published December 23, 2012 in Columns, Your Phil of Hoops

BOSTON – Cornell is trying to find some consistency with non-league play winding down. That’s not a good place to be, and after a 70-57 loss at Boston University on Saturday the issues the Big Red face seem just a little more noticeable.

One look at the box score tells much of the story. The Big Red had a nice 48-24 bench scoring advantage, but undoing that is the fact that their starters scored just nine points and had 12 rebounds. The starters also didn’t hand out a single assist on the afternoon. Eight different Big Red players have started at least one game this season, and only two have started all 12 games. Clearly, head coach Bill Courtney and his staff are trying to find the right combination.

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We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

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