Takeaways from the Ivy men's basketball media teleconference


The Ivy League men’s basketball preseason teleconference was held Wednesday, which gave each coach a chance to talk at length about their team’s prospects for the 2014-15 season. Here are some takeaways from four key Ancient Eight squads.

Harvard: Winning helps, but recruiting is still an uphill battle

The Crimson may be one of the fastest-rising programs in college hoops after winning in the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season. But coach Tommy Amaker doesn’t think that the process of drawing top recruits into the Ivy League has changed much.

“I don’t think recruiting is ever easy,” he said. “Whether that’s at UConn, or Duke or some of the top programs at the country that have been amazingly successful, I don’t think they would equate recruiting with ‘easy,’ and [it’s the] same thing with us.”

Yale: Eager to get on the road

The Bulldogs haven’t forgotten their upset win at Harvard’s Lavietes Pavilion last year, nor have they forgotten the 70-58 loss to the Crimson on their home floor that ended the Ivy title race. Asked if the Bulldogs already knew the secret to taking down the conference’s three-time defending champs in their house, coach James Jones responded:

“If I knew that, we would have beaten them the second time.”

Yale travels to Cambridge on Mar. 6, 2015.

Dartmouth: Meet Mr. Maldunas

Big Green forward Gabas Maldunas missed most of the 2013-14 season with a torn ACL — including all but one game of Ivy play — but the 2012-13 Second Team All-Ivy selection has been progressing in his rehab effort and hopes to be fully healthy for Ivy play.

In the meantime, look for junior forward Brandon McDonnell to take on a bigger role in the offense while Maldunas rounds into shape. The 6’8” inside presence has earned raves from the Dartmouth coaching staff.

Penn: Blocking out the noise

By the end of a 2013-14 season that ended in turmoil on and off the court, message board pundits all over the city had taken to their keyboards to call for coach Jerome Allen’s job.

Now entering his fifth full season as Penn’s leader, Allen gives little regard to the charge that he’s on the hot seat.

“I pay no attention to the periphery,” he said. “I can only control what I can control.”

With a six-man freshman class that has impressed many with how quickly it has bonded together off the court, and two new assistant coaches on staff, Allen has his best chance yet to mold the Penn program however he wants.

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