The Red Road To Success

By Richard Kent, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: December 23, 2009

CONNECTICUT (BASN) — 1988 was a long time ago. It was then that Cornell won the Ivy League men’s basketball championship. For the next 13 years the championship was won by either Penn or Princeton or both.

Harvard has never won an Ivy League men’s basketball championship.

Before 2008, Cornell had only won once in 1988. Things have changed dramatically since then. Ivy League men’s basketball is all about Cornell and Harvard. No one in the League even approaches them.

This fact was epitomized recently when Cornell won the Holiday Festival in Madison Square Garden beating a very good St. John’s team, 71-66.

Harvard has nearly beaten UConn at Storrs and beat Boston College of the ACC on the road. For the Big Red, the goal this season wasn’t just to win the Ivy League but to win a game or two in the NCAA’s. That might just happen.

Cornell relies heavily on three-pointers and three players on their team are shooting 41% or better. They have a legitimate 7-footer in Jeff Foote, a transfer from St. Bonaventure and they are extremely deep at guard.

Harvard may have the best player in the league under head coach Tommy Amaker in Jeremy Lin. They still has to take a west coast trip to meet Seattle and Santa Clara just before the New Year.

So what is this all about? Coaching is the answer.Harvard has one of the best recruiters in the country in Duke’s Tommy Amaker and Cornell’s Steve Donohue is an up and comer.

Former power Penn fired its head coach Glen Miller in December which is unheard of in the Ivy League. Miller’s team was winless and by all accounts had some team dissention.

Former all Ivy guard Jerome Allen took over the team and has performed better.

It appears that Columbia, led by Noruwa Agho may challenge Cornell and Harvard but the title should come down to the two match ups between the two teams and it is possible that both could get NCAA berths.

That has never happened before in the Ivy League but Cornell and Harvard may be better and deeper than the great Princeton and ten teams of the past.