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.
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 →
With the 14-game Ivy League season fully in the books, it’s time to unveil our picks for the individual awards. This was the most wide-open year I can remember in several categories, so if you think we’re wrong, you’re probably not the only one.Continue reading →
Some tend to confuse playing slowly with automatically being poor offensively in basketball circles, but there are many, many teams (looking at you TCU, Virginia, and Saint Mary’s) who play deliberately, but are among the most effective offenses in the country. You can’t really put Yale in that category, but while most of the attention went to their defense (33rd and 70th the last two seasons), they have been a very solid offensive team the last three seasons.
Friday against Dartmouth, they again showed why. With the Big Green taking away the perimeter, Yale went to the basket, making 24-of-40 on two-point shots. While senior captain Anthony Dallier was held to 5 points (and only 3 shots), Alex Copeland stepped up with 14 points on 7-12 shooting. With Miye Oni held to 9, Trey Phills stepped up with 10.
As of last Sunday, Dartmouth was one of only three Division I teams (there are 351 in all) that hadn’t won a basketball game this season. That’s not exactly the way David McLaughlin wanted to start his Division I coaching career, especially one returning talented sophomore Evan Boudreaux and junior Miles Wright.
The lack of a win drew some unwanted national attention toward Dartmouth,and some of the losses were a bit disturbing, like the one that still stands as Longwood’s only win, Maine at home, and getting blown out by Boston College (which seems difficult to do this season). But if people expected McLaughlin and the Big Green to be despondent about its predicament, they would probably be disappointed. Eventually, a win would come and it did last Sunday, beating LIU Brooklyn 82-68. Thursday morning (yes, morning) Dartmouth followed it up with a second straight road win over the NEC, topping Bryant 75-69.
And suddenly things don’t look so bad. If they ever did.
New Dartmouth coach Dave McLaughlin will not have to worry about the hardest part of building a college basketball team — finding a star. Evan Boudreaux can be penned into that role for the next three seasons, having earned Rookie of the Year honors by averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds in Ivy play this spring. But the rest of the Big Green’s roster is more enigmatic, leaving lots of room for McLaughlin to shape the rotation to his liking. Continue reading →
With the Ivy League’s 14-Game Tournament fully complete, it’s officially awards season. Here are our picks for the Ancient Eight’s individual honors, determined by our esteemed panel of Ray, John and me. If you think we’re wrong, tell us why! Continue reading →