Inside the Ivy

Game of the Week
Brown (12-8, 4-2 Ivy) at Penn (7-14, 2-2 Ivy) – Friday, February 15, 7:00 pm ET
Depending on what happens on Tuesday when Penn and Princeton get together, Friday’s meeting in Philadelphia could be between the only remaining two-loss teams in the league, which could make it a virtual elimination game. The Quakers will been keen to protect their home court and hang around in the title chase as the defending champions. For their part, the Bears will have the same desire to avoid another costly loss and stay alive, but they will have the added incentive of wanting to beat their former coach. A lot of people around the Brown program haven’t forgiven Glen Miller for jumping to Penn — and certainly nobody has forgotten. Last year’s game at The Palestra was a nailbiter, and you can bet Brown will be looking for a different result this time around.

Line of the Week

2.9.2008 vs. Dartmouth TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
Kyle, Matt………….. 9-10 0-0 1-5 2 3 5 19 1 1 2 0 16

A new rivalry? The last two Cornell-Penn meetings have been exciting, crowd-pleasing affairs — and mirror images of each other. The Big Red should be loaded through 2010, and between the Quakers’ freshman class and their incoming recruits, Glen Miller looks to be right, so these two programs could be in for some great battles in the coming years.
Niko Scott’s resurgence. It looked like one of the league’s most highly touted freshmen last season was headed for a serious sophomore slump after losing his shot and eventually his starting job. However, this past weekend, Scott found his touch, busting out for 31 points against Penn and Princeton and keying an important home sweep for the Lions.
Brown gets it done. Prior to the weekend, Craig Robinson talked about the raised expectations around the program and the fact he expected a a sweep at home over Dartmouth and Harvard. The Bears met their coach’s expectations — and then some — rushing out to big early leads and cruising to a pair of blowout victories to close out the homestand in style.
Ryan Wittman. The Cornell sharpshooter had his second-straight big scoring weekend, dropping 20 points on Princeton on Friday and a career-high 25 in the Penn win. Wittman is leading the league in scoring in Ivy games, averaging 18.7 points per contest and knocking down a sizzling 20 of 37 (54.1 percent) from three against league foes.
Yale gets back on track. Three straight losses — including a pair of shocking, lopsided losses on their home court — pushed Yale to the brink of an early exit from the Ivy title hunt. The Bulldogs bounced back in a big way, breezing past Harvard on Friday, then utterly destroying Dartmouth the next night, as James Jones’s lineup change appeared to pay off.

Dartmouth’s weekend to forget. The Big Green has looked decent at times this year, but this past week it was totally outclassed in Providence and New Haven. It was so bad, Dartmouth’s own athletics website initially called the losses to Brown and Yale “demoralizing” and “embarrassing,” respectively, before some understandable editing occurred.
Jeremy Lin’s tough road trip. Harvard’s sophomore guard looked like a candidate for All-Ivy recognition at times the first two months of the season, but he struggled mightily on the recent five-game road trip. While it’s unfair to blame Lin for his team’s 0-5 mark on the trip, he shot 16 of 54 (29.6 percent) overall and just 3 of 18 (16.7 percent) from three.
Tiger inside game lacking roar. Princeton couldn’t get the two-point component of its offensive attack going this weekend, scoring just 30 total points in the paint in the two games. The offense isn’t generating the backdoor looks we’ve come to expect, and Zach Finley — the team’s only real interior threat — hasn’t scored consistently so far this season.
Huffman a marked man. Damon Huffman had an excellent first three months, averaging a team-best 16.2 points in the first 16 games. When the calendar turned to February, however, the senior guard found open looks hard to come by as the focal point of opposing defenses, causing his scoring to dip to 6.5 points over the past four games.
Penn’s perimeter defense. It’s been a major problem all season for the Quakers, and once again this weekend they struggled to defend the three-point arc on their Empire State trip. Columbia shot a white-hot 11 of 19 (57.9 percent) from long range on Friday night, then Cornell lit up Penn to the tune of 10 of 17 (58.8 percent) the following night.

Jake Wilson

Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Basketball U.

Jake Wilson wrote 754 posts

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