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Ivy League Conference Preview
by: Drew Barnette - Staff Writer
October 27, 2006
IVY LEAGUE CONFERENCE PREVIEW

Nearly every team in this league appears to be improved from a season ago. Itís been awhile since the Ivy League made any significant noise in March, but this could be a year where the champion of the league could make some noise in the NCAAs and get out of the first round.



-1. PENN. The Quakers have two of the best players in the league in guard Ibrahim Jaaber and forward Mark Zoller. Jaaber was the player of the year in the Ivy League last year and led the Quakers in scoring at 18.2ppg. They clearly appear to be the best team in the Ivy League and could be good enough to make some noise on the national scene. They do have a new head coach this season after Fran Dunphy left Penn to take the job across town at Temple. That will definitely be an interesting game when the two get together this season. Glen Miller, the new coach, will probably bring a similar look to the team so it shouldnít be a difficult transition.

-2. PRINCETON. The Tigers look to be the only team that could really challenge Penn in the Ivy this year. They return four starters and have a lot in the way of discipline and experience, but they may have a difficult time replacing Scott Greenman who was the starting point guard a season ago. Head coach Joe Scott hasnít had a team really contend for the league title in the two seasons heís been there. They finished in second last season, but still ended up two games behind Penn in the standings. Forward Noah Savage should be a presence underneath this season.

-3. YALE. The Bulldogs stumbled down the stretch last season and lost four of their last six games, but they have four starters coming back and are very experienced. They do have to replace center Dominick Martin, who was a huge contributor for them underneath last year, but they have a great guard in Eric Flato who shoots 41% from three point land. Forward Sam Kaplan is another big time player and a 55% shooter from the field. They have slowly been improving over the past several seasons and are still trying to get to the point to where they can challenge for the league title.

-4. CORNELL. The Big Red have an amazing guard in Adam Gore, who is one of the best outside shooters in all of college basketball at 42% from behind the arc. Center Adam Naeve is also a great shot blocker and a major presence underneath. They have managed winning records in conference play the last two seasons and appear to have a good team again this year.

-5. BROWN. The Bears could be somewhat of a dark horse in this conference. I have them projected as fifth, but I wouldnít be at all surprised if they finished higher in the standings than that. They had a sluggish season last year, but finished strong. They won four of their last seven and nearly beat Penn in the season finale. They return all five starters from last yearís team, including guard Keenan Jeppesen who is a tremendous defensive player. He also led the team in scoring last season. One person that isnít coming back from last season is Glen Miller, their old head coach, who left to take the job at Penn.

-6. HARVARD. The Crimson are strong on the perimeter with guards Jim Goffredo and Drew Housman. They also have a great big man in center Brian Cusworth, who is a great scorer and shot blocker. Harvard got off to a great start a season ago, but fell apart down the stretch losing eight of their last nine. They have the potential to be a good team if they play like they did early in the season, but they struggled mightily down the stretch.

-7. COLUMBIA. The Lions have a good front court with players like center Ben Nwachukwu and forward John Baumann, but they donít appear to be that strong out on the perimeter. Still, all five starters return from last yearís team and this might be the year Columbia finally puts together a more competitive team. They have been among the worst in college basketball for the past few seasons.

-8. DARTMOUTH. It will likely be a long season for the Big Green. They appear to be lacking in both talent and experience and that is a bad combination. They finished at the bottom of the league last year and are likely headed back for that this year.



RANDOM ORDER OF FINISH

-For those that missed my first blog entry, each conference preview will also include a random order of finish. It sounds just like what it is. Teams are drawn at random and placed in order. The purpose for this is to demonstrate that at the end of the season, generally every single major and minor media preseason preview (including my own) isnít all that more accurate than simply randomly picking the teams.

1. Harvard
2. Penn
3. Princeton
4. Yale
5. Brown
6. Columbia
7. Cornell
8. Dartmouth

-Please feel free to send me feedback at xubrew@yahoo.com, whether itís good or bad. Some conferences are harder to research and write about than other conferences, so every comment and critique helps so long as itís constructive.
 
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Feedback for this article may be sent to drew.barnette@draftexpress.com .

 

Ibrahim Jaaber
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 170 lbs.
Birthday: 02/03/1984
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Peddie School
Previous Team: Zalgiris , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PG/SG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG/SG
Quick Stats:
5.1 Pts, 2.1 Rebs, 2.3 Asts


Brian Cusworth
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 7' 0"
Weight: 255 lbs.
Birthday: 03/09/1984
30 Years Old
Teams:
High School: John Burroughs School
Previous Team: Harvard , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
0.0 Pts, 0.7 Rebs, 0.7 Asts


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