Inside the Ivy

Game of the Week
Penn (7-12, 2-0 Ivy) at Cornell (12-5, 4-0 Ivy) – Saturday, February 9, 7:00 pm ET
Both teams still have Friday games to get through first — and Pomeroy gives Penn just a 15-percent chance of winning at Columbia — but the atmosphere at Newman Arena should be electric Saturday night, with a full house expected. Given the way Cornell is playing these days, the game itself shouldn’t be that close, but even in the event of a blowout, the crowd would be witnessing something important. Aside from the changing-of-the-guard and passing-of-the-baton story lines, it would be Steve Donahue’s first win in 15 meetings with the program at which he served as an assistant for 10 years. Also, if the games in New York State go as expected, the Big Red could find itself with a commanding lead in the Ivy race by the end of the night.

Line of the Week

2.2.2008 at Brown TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
Baumann, John………… 8-12 0-1 7-8 5 8 13 23 1 3 1 1 35

Cornell gets defensive. Since the poor defensive performance in its Ivy opener against Columbia, the Big Red has put the clamps on opposing offenses. Cornell has allowed a paltry 0.82 points per possession in its last three games — all double-digit road wins against the three teams expected to be the main competition in the chase for the Ivy title.
John Baumann. After tying his season low in points the previous weekend, the senior big man exploded for 42 points in Columbia’s road split at Yale and Brown. Baumann is enjoying an excelent offensive season, ranking third in the league in scoring, second in rebounding and field goal percentage, and fourth in free throws and free throw attempts.
Penn rebounds. Glen Miller’s squad has had its problems this season, but the Quakers dominated on the glass this past weekend against two of the better rebounding teams in the league. In the two wins, Penn grabbed 45.8 percent of the rebounds of its own misses, and nearly doubled up Harvard and Dartmouth in second-chance scoring at 38-23.
Lincoln Gunn. The sophomore sharpshooter had a very productive weekend, scored 17 points each night, as Princeton swept Dartmouth and Harvard. On a team that is struggling with its outside shooting, Gunn is knocking down threes at an impressive 41.9-percent clip and leads the team in scoring (10.5 points per game) and assists (2.8 per game).
The old guard gets it done. Both Penn and Princeton looked like the minnows of the Ivy League after dreadful non-league performances. Granted, it was their easiest Ivy weekend of the season, but both traditional powers emerged unscathed from the first weekend, scrapping all the “new era in the Ivy League” articles — at least for a week.

So much for parity. We’re just one weekend into the Ivy season and already half the league has three losses, while undefeated Cornell looks poised to run away with the title. Heading into league play, Brown, Columbia, and Yale appeared to be legitimate challengers, but now the Lions and Bulldogs are 1-3 and Brown already has two losses.
Star guards’ disappearing acts. Seniors Eric Flato and Damon Huffman are two of the top guards in the league, but both had weekends to forget against Columbia and Cornell. Flato missed all 11 field goal attempts in Yale’s losses and scored just eight total points, while Huffman shot 5 of 19 (26.3 percent) en route to a mere 11 total points in the two games.
Brown left defenseless. The Bears played better defense than anyone in the league the first month of the season, but since then they’ve had trouble stopping opposing offenses. Brown has held opponents under 1.02 points per possession just twice in its last 10 games, and is giving up 1.04 points per possession in its last three contests.
Harvard missing Magnarelli. Pat Magnarelli had been enjoying a breakout season, leading the league with 58.0-percent shooting before going down with a knee injury after one minute in the January 11 game at Dartmouth. Without its big man, the Crimson was blown out by 17 by the Big Green and was swept by Penn and Princeton this weekend.
Dartmouth’s offense goes south. Unfortunately for the Big Green, it didn’t show up in Princeton, as Terry Dunn saw his team’s three-game winning streak end unceremoniously with a rough offensive showing. It wasn’t quite as bad the next night at Penn, but the lack of interior scoring doomed Dartmouth to a disappointing winless weekend.

Jake Wilson

Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Basketball U.

Jake Wilson wrote 754 posts

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