Photo courtesy of Princeton Athletic Communications
PRINCETON, N.J. -- The preseason projections
are in with Princeton nearly being the unanimous choice to win the
Ivy League men's basketball title for the 2012-13 season.
Receiving 16 of the 17 first-place votes and 134 points, Princeton was selected as the preseason favorite for the 10th time since the poll began with the 1985-86 season. The Tigers were the preseason picks for the 1989-90, 1990-91, 1991-92, 1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99, 2001-02, 2004-05 and 2010-11 seasons. Interestingly, only twice previously has Princeton not fulfilled its preseason prophecy and won at least a share of the Ivy title (second in 1998-99 and sixth in 2004-05).
The Tigers (20-12, 10-4 Ivy in 2011-12) look to regain the top spot among the Ivies with an experienced senior trio, led by forward Ian Hummer. The preseason favorite for Ivy League Player of the Year honors by several media outlets, Hummer led Princeton in scoring (16.1 per game) and rebounding (7.3 per game) as a junior. Joining him in the Tigers' formidable frontcourt once again will be forward Mack Darrow (7.0 ppg, 3.4 rpg) and center Brendan Connolly (5.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg).
Harvard (26-5, 12-2 Ivy), coming off its milestone season which included its first Top 25 ranking and first NCAA Tournament appearance in 66 years, placed second in the poll with 109 points and the remaining first-place vote. The Crimson will be relying on its experience in the backcourt with junior guard Laurent Rivard (10.1 ppg, 41.0 percent from three-point range) and senior guard Christian Webster (4.5 ppg) and a pair of sophomore forwards on the wing in Wesley Saunders and Jonah Travis, who each played in 30 of Harvard's 31 games as freshmen.
Columbia (15-15, 4-10 Ivy) was selected in the top half of the poll in third with 90 points for just the fourth time in school history and the first time since being picked third prior to the 1992-93 season. The Lions will look to their senior inside-outside combo of guard Brian Barbour (15.5 ppg, 4.4 assists per game), a first-team All-Ivy selection a year ago, and center Mark Cisco (10.0 ppg, 7.2 rpg) to lead the team to a top-half finish for the first time in five years.
Cornell (12-16, 7-7 Ivy) rounded out the top half of the poll with 80 points in fourth place. The Big Red is scheduled to return 10 of its top 12 scorers from a year ago, including sophomore guard Shonn Miller (8.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg), the 2011-12 Ivy League Rookie of the Year, and guard Johnathan Gray (8.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg), who spent part of the summer competing on the U.S. Virgin Islands' national team. Also expected to return is starting forward Errick Peck, the team's second-leading scorer in 2010-11 who missed last season due to injury.
Penn (20-13, 11-3 Ivy) was picked fifth with 74 points. The Quakers have the task of replacing a fixture on their roster for the past four seasons in Zack Rosen and will do so with eight letterwinners returning. Junior guard Miles Cartwright (10.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.1 apg) will handle the controls with junior forward Fran Dougherty (4.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg) and sophomore Henry Brooks (4.6 ppg, 2.5 rpg) serving as his key distribution options on the offensive end.
In sixth place with 55 points, Yale (19-10, 9-5 Ivy) enters the season as a guard-centric squad for head coach James Jones, beginning his 14th season leading the Bulldogs. Seniors Austin Morgan (11.8 ppg, 2.1 rpg) and Michael Grace (5.4 ppg, 1.6 rpg) will power the backcourt with junior center/forward Jeremiah Kreisberg (7.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg) stepping in the role as the main man in the middle with the graduation of Greg Mangano.
Brown with 50 points and Dartmouth with 20 points complete the poll. Brown (8-23, 2-12 Ivy) has back three of its top four scorers from last season in its guard trio of junior Sean McGonagill (13.5 ppg, 5.4 apg) and seniors Stephen Albrecht (10.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg) and Matthew Sullivan (9.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg). Dartmouth (5-25, 1-13 Ivy) will feature one of the youngest teams in the nation and will need its trio of forward Gabas Maldunas (9.1 ppg, 7.2 rpg), forward Jvonte Brooks (9.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg) and guard/forward John Golden (7.3 ppg, 3.4 rpg) to sizzle as sophomores to improve on the Big Green's 5-25 record from a year ago.
2012-13 IVY LEAGUE MEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON MEDIA
PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
First-Place Votes in Parentheses