(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.


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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Where Are They Now?

Here's a link to a good article in The Daily Pennsylvanian about recent Penn Quaker hoop alums and where they're playing their overseas ball. Two are playing for last year's German league champion (one played for the championship team last year), while the other, after two years in Spain's "B" league, just signed with a team in Israel.

Great to see these guys getting a chance to show their stuff overseas. What this article suggests, and perhaps a good look at can confirm, is a) that it's hard for U.S. players to break into the upper echelons of overseas hoops because of limitations of non-citizens per squad (i.e., perhaps no more than three) and b) that the Ivy players fall behind in this pecking order because the competition they played against wasn't as good as, say, some of the bigger names you'll recognize on Eurobasket from bigger schools. Put bluntly, as much as there are those who like to tout the top Ivy teams and suggest how well Ivy players might match up against players from other schools, both the Ivies' post-season record in the NCAA Tournament and the placement of Ivy alums on elite overseas teams is humbling and puts Ivy hoops in perspective.

All that said, it's amazing at how much passion Ivy hoops can generate, especially from the likes of Penn fans and Princeton fans. The rivalry is as good as it gets in DI college hoops, especially because the Ivies do not have a post-season tournament.

On a different note, Penn is taking a page out of Princeton's book and now has two alums on its coaching staff. Last year, former all-Ivy guard Matt Langel joined Fran Dunphy's staff, and more recently former forward Shawn Trice did the same. As mostly everyone knows, Princeton's extended hoops family is huge, and there are three Princeton alums coaching DI schools -- Joe Scott (Princeton), John Thompson (Georgetown) and Chris Mooney (Richmond), with former Princeton mentor Bill Carmody serving as head coach at Northwestern and being assisted by former Princeton players Craig Robinson and Mitch Henderson, while former Princeton player Sydney Johnson is an assistant on John Thompson's staff.


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