2014-15 Ivy League Basketball Power Rankings: Week 1

9 days have been played in the college basketball season and it is time for some power rankings. Here, we will look solely at the Ivy League and games that took place from Friday, November 14 through Saturday, November 22. For those who need a refresher, here were the predictions from the Ivy League Preview:

Preseason Rankings
Rank Team
1 Harvard
2 Columbia
3 Yale
4 Dartmouth
5 Penn
6 Brown
7 Princeton
8 Cornell

 

The first nine days have produced some surprises both good and bad. Cornell has shown they are not to be trifled with while Harvard played sloppy in their first two games including in their 58-57 upset loss to Holy Cross on 11/16. Then there were some expected events like Yale playing well and starting 3-1 on the season. Let’s take a look at the Week 1 power rankings for the Ivy League.

1. Harvard Crimson (2-1) – This could have been Yale, but Harvard gets the nod by a hair. The Crimson did not look great in the first two games with the turnovers too high between MIT (16) and Holy Cross (24). They cut those down to 11 against Florida Atlantic, but that is still too high for Tommy Amaker’s liking. Another disappointing part for the Crimson has been guard Siyani Chambers. He scored 1 point against Holy Cross (and had 9 turnovers) and scored 2 points against FAU. He has to get going for Harvard. The Crimson could fall down a spot if they continue to look mediocre.

2. Yale Bulldogs (3-1) – There is no doubt that Yale will be one of the top challengers in the Ivy and they have looked good in all four games thus far. Their lone loss, an 88-85 double overtime game, was at Quinnipiac in the first game of the season and they have been solid in their last three games. Justin Sears has been as good as advertised and Yale will be tough to knock out of the top two spots if they continue to play like they have been.

3. Columbia Lions (1-1) –  Columbia lost a tough one to start the season on a late layup by Stony Brook, but came back to handle Wagner with ease in their second game. One area the Lions need to improve on is from the free throw line. They have hit only 66.7% of their free throws and in close games, they could end up on the wrong end.

4. Cornell Big Red (2-3) – The Big Red have been a surprise team, at least to this author. Shonn Miller’s return was expected to boost the Big Red, but Galal Cancer has been a big boost as well. Cornell started the season with a win over George Mason on the road, but lost to Loyola (MD) before beating Colgate. They lost, expectedly, to South Carolina, but nearly pulled a big upset of Penn State on Friday. An errant in bounds pass by Miller led to a layup as time expired by Penn State. Nevertheless, the Big Red should be encouraged by these early season games and based on they way they have played, they will not be in the cellar for the Ivy League.

5. Princeton Tigers (1-3) – The season has started off poorly for the Tigers. After beating Rider 64-58 in the season opener, they have dropped 3 straight games. They will need to shoot better from the field (just 40% on the year and two of the three losses were less than 36%). The Tigers have the players to make a push into the top half of the table, but they need to get on a roll.

6. Brown Bears (1-3) – Perhaps this is a bit harsh to have the Bears down here due to their schedule, but they have been poor handling the ball. The Bears have committed at least 15 turnovers in all four of their games and at least 20 in the past two. Facing Northwestern, Holy Cross (an excellent mid-major), and Indiana State has not been kind to them. The last two were both on the road as well. Leland King has been very good this year averaging 19 points a game. The Bears have a lot of room for improvement.

7. Dartmouth Big Green (0-2) – The Big Green have played only two games and it was clear they were rusty. They were crushed by St. Bonaventure in the second half in the 77-57 loss, but played a better game against Hartford in the next game. Perhaps the biggest surprise was Gabas Maldunas coming back off his ACL injury to play in both games. He looked like someone who had missed 10 months due to an injury by going 2 of 7 from the field for 8 points. He played much better against Hartford going 5 for 5 and tallying 12 points. The Big Green will surely perform better as Maldunas continues to get into basketball shape.

8. Penn Quakers (0-3) – Penn has struggled in nearly every facet during their first three games. They have committed at least 14 turnovers in every game, shot no better than 63% from the free throw line in any game, and have struggled from beyond the arc (just 29.2% for the season). The schedule does not get much easier with all four games against Philadelphia area Rivals still to be played.

Week 1 (11/14 – 11/22)
Rank Team Record Last Week
1 Harvard 2-1 1
2 Yale 3-1 3
3 Columbia 1-1 2
4 Cornell 2-3 8
5 Princeton 1-3 7
6 Brown 1-3 6
7 Dartmouth 0-2 4
8 Penn 0-3 5

 

Check back next Sunday for the week 2 edition of the Ivy League Basketball Power Rankings.

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