Inside this week: A long-lost star returns, the playoff races heat up, and we dive deep on the national 3-on-3 tournament that launches this postseason. Don’t miss our weekend coverage of Princeton’s nightmare collapse , Penn’s unlikely hero at Columbia, and Yale’s impressive win at Dartmouth. Continue reading
Princeton did lose Spencer Weisz and Steven Cook to graduation last season, both huge pieces in a squad that was supposed to usher in a new era of Ivy League dominance for the Tigers, which had finished 28-2 in the last two years in Ivy play. However, Princeton had also somehow maneuvered around season-ending injuries to starters Henry Caruso and Hans Brase and came within seconds of beating Notre Dame in the NCAA Tournament.
Devin Cannady, Myles Stephens, and Amir Bell returned, so surely the Tigers would find enough from newcomers to at least contend for another Ivy crown.
Inside this week: The five-week sprint of full back-to-backs gets off to a rocking start; Desmond Cambridge becomes the Ivy League’s next must-see player; and the injury outlook gets worse for two star point guards. Continue reading
Even with Bryce Aiken out injured, the Harvard basketball team is chock-full of recruits that the Ivy League likely wouldn’t have gotten a decade ago. Tommy Amaker has raised the bar, and went to where no Crimson team had gone before, four straight NCAA Tournament appearances and two NCAA victories (and a near Sweet 16 visit).
In many ways, Amaker and Harvard have dragged other Ivy League competitors, particularly Yale and Princeton, with them (Yale also grabbed an NCAA Tournament victory, while the Tigers lost by two to Notre Dame last season).
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.
Outlook: Evan Boudreaux will keep padding his resume as one of the program’s all-time greats, but Dartmouth needs a huge defensive leap to avoid another season near the Ivy League basement.