We continue with our league breakdowns for the upcoming season; we'll work backward from league No. 32 to our top-ranked league.
The breakdowns will become more in-depth as the leagues get bigger.
By David Fox
The Ivy League enjoyed a banner postseason, as Cornell reached the Sweet 16 for the conference's first NCAA tournament wins since 1998. Meanwhile, Princeton reached the semifinals of the College Basketball Invitational.
With four starters and coach Steve Donahue gone from Cornell, Princeton and Harvard will try to wrest the Ivy League title away from the Big Red for the first time in three seasons.
New Cornell coach Bill Courtney, a former assistant at Virginia Tech, Virginia and George Mason, does not have an empty cupboard. G Chris Wroblewski started for the Sweet 16-bound Big Red, but C Mark Coury, F Errick Peck and G Max Groebe need to take on bigger roles.
Princeton will be led by Gs Doug Davis and Dan Mavraides. The Tigers continue to be one of the nation's best defensive teams, but coaches need those in the frontcourt, led by Ian Hummer, to step up. Harvard will miss G Jeremy Lin, but Kyle Casey broke out as a freshman by averaging 10.4 points and 5.1 rebounds.
Meanwhile, the remaining teams will attempt to close the gap with the top three. Cornell, Princeton and Harvard finished 10-4 or better in league play. No other team finished better than 6-8, and three teams (Columbia, Brown and Penn) tied at 5-9.
Penn appears to be the most likely to take a leap. G Zack Rosen led the Ivy League in scoring last season at 17.7 points per game as a sophomore. F Jack Eggleston was second in the league in rebounding (6.4 per game) behind departed Cornell C Jeff Foote (8.1). The Quakers also add touted freshman Miles Cartwright.
Columbia builds around wing Noruwa Agho, the league's second-leading returning scorer (16.3 points per game). Yale has a talented frontcourt, but it lost high-scoring G Alex Zampier. Brown is led by seniors Peter Sullivan and Garrett Leffelman, but it needs several young players to emerge.
With no one averaging in double figures in scoring, Dartmouth won one game, fired its coach and brought back Paul Cormier, who coached the team from 1984-91.
ALL-LEAGUE FIRST TEAM
F Jack Eggleston, Penn (6-8/215, Sr.)
F Michael Sands, Yale (6-7/240, Sr.)
G Noruwa Agho, Columbia (6-3/205, Jr.)
G Zack Rosen, Penn (6-1/175, Jr.)
G Chris Wroblewski, Cornell (6-0/175, Jr.)
ALL-LEAGUE SECOND TEAM
C Mark Coury, Cornell (6-9/230, Sr.)
F Peter Sullivan, Brown (6-5/215, Sr.)
G Kyle Casey, Harvard (6-7/215, Soph.)
G Doug Davis, Princeton (5-11/155, Jr.)
G Dan Mavraides, Princeton (6-3/205, Sr.)
PLAYER OF YEAR: G Zack Rosen, Penn
NEWCOMER OF YEAR: G Andrew Ferry, Cornell (6-4/175, Jr./junior college transfer)
ORDER OF FINISH
FACTS AND FIGURES
New coaches: Jerome Allen at Penn (had been interim coach since Dec. 14); Paul Cormier at Dartmouth (had been a scout with the Golden State Warriors); Bill Courtney at Cornell (had been an assistant at Virginia Tech); Kyle Smith at Columbia (had been an assistant at Saint Mary's).
Regular-season winner last season: Cornell
Tourney winner last season: N/A
League RPI rank in each of past 3 years: 22nd in 2009-10, 29th in 2008-09, 24th in 2007-08.
Last NCAA tourney win by a league team: 2010, Cornell as a No. 12 seed in the second round.
2011 conference tournament: N/A