Heading into Saturday’s game at Draddy Gym, Manhattan’s path to victory seemed to run through its vaunted press. Its opponent, Harvard, was only 42 hours removed from an ugly 23-turnover performance in a loss at Holy Cross, leaving the Jaspers’ defense with an opportunity to feast.
Instead, the Crimson committed just 13 turnovers, only a handful of which were attributed to Manhattan’s pressure. The hosts committed 18 miscues of their own, and they blew a 17-point lead in the second half. Yet they won anyway, getting enough stops and hitting enough tough shots to eke out a 73-69 win. Continue reading →
David McLaughlin and Dartmouth had some optimism heading into the 2017-18 season, his second in Hanover. The Big Green were only 4-10 in the Ivy (and 7-20 overall), but improved as the season progressed and were on the fringes of the Ivy Tournament race until the final weekend of the season.
They would have to replace a lot of interior size in Wesley Dickinson and point guard Mike Fleming, but they were otherwise young.
Yale freshman Paul Atkinson picked up his second foul five minutes into Friday night’s game in Albany, and as per James Jones’ custom, Atkinson was immediately banished to the bench for the rest of the half.
Except who to replace him with? What would have been the starting center – sophomore Jordan Bruner – is out for the year with a knee injury. Fellow sophomore Austin Williams, who played sparingly last season but is it at least 6-foot-8, 235 pounds, is out as well. Replacing the likes of Justin Sears and Brandon Sherrod is obviously darn near impossible, but recent history has shown that last year’s No. 5 Sam Downey was also extremely underappreciated.
This is a pretty depressing week to have an Ivy League Weekly Roundup column. We entered the preseason with hopes of a multi-team title race, star power throughout the conference, and realistic chances for quality wins. But on the first day of basketball, the league lost three potential All-Ivy candidates — one indefinitely, one for the season, and one for good. That set the stage for a weekend in which the Ancient Eight nearly went winless in D-I play, an inauspicious start to the season.
The Ivy League isn’t alone. Friday’s top games nationally were Texas A&M-West Virginia, which had two key players suspended, and Georgia Tech-UCLA, which was overshadowed by alleged NCAA violations, LaVar Ball and Louis Vuitton. The biggest college basketball story throughout the season will be an FBI investigation. Sports are never just about actual sports, but it feels especially so right now. Continue reading →