After a thrilling end to the Ivy League basketball season, player after player has begun to leave the Ancient Eight for greener pastures.
The Ivy League has long had a rule that a player cannot play at the school after graduating, prompting players like Columbia's Alex Rosenberg to withdraw from school to remain eligible. Many choose to take a different route, graduating with eligibility and transferring to another school without needing to sit out a season.
And this year, the Ancient Eight is dealing with a significant outflow of players with remaining eligibility.
Dartmouth junior guard Alex Mitola announced that he would graduate early and transfer to another school for his final year of collegiate basketball before pursuing a career overseas. The move clearly caught the ire of Big Green coach Paul Cormier, who told the Valley News that "it floored me. A total surprise.”
“It was hard because I know the situation it puts them in, but I felt it was what was best for me and my career moving forwards,” Mitola said to the Valley News.
Mitola led Dartmouth in scoring each of the last two seasons, averaging over 10 points per contest in each of his three seasons. The 5-foot-11 guard made his name as a three-point shooter and distributor despite his small frame. Mitola has received interest from many schools according to The Recruit Scoop's Alex Kline, including Vanderbilt, George Washington, Temple and La Salle
But Mitola isn't the only leading scorer moving on from an Ivy squad.
Cornell senior forward Shonn Miller is looking for a new home after he graduates from Cornell, including an upcoming visit to 2014 National Champion Connecticut. Miller missed his junior season after shoulder surgery before averaging 16.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in his final year with the Big Red.
Miller is receiving more high major interest than Mitola, including schools like Michigan, Illinois and California. This may come as a surprise to some despite the Ivy League's successful season in 2014-15.
"There's no question, people have a misnomer about this," Yale coach James Jones said to the Hartford Courant. "The best players at our level, the [Yale forward] Justin Searses of the world, the [Harvard forward] Wesley Saunderses of the world, can play anywhere. … I don't think there's a coach in our league who likes the rule; it's a perfect situation for the teams that get them, and it hurts us."
There is no question that losing the final year of star players continues to hurt these Ivy schools. Cornell lost honorable mention All-Ivy forward (and Steve Donahue recruit) Errick Peck to Purdue after he graduated in 2013. Northwestern bagged Yale forward Jeremiah Kriesberg following the 2013-14 season.
And there are even more fifth-year transfers this year. Brown is set to lose forward Rafael Maia while Princeton will lose senior forward Denton Koon, who missed his senior season with a knee injury. Harvard center Kenyatta Smith and Cornell guard Galal Cancer each lost their junior seasons to injury, making them eligible to transfer as well.
Penn may be affected as well with seniors Camryn Crocker and Greg Louis retaining a year of eligibility after injuries prematurely ended their junior and freshman seasons, respectively. It is unclear as to whether either player will pursue basketball elsewhere.
The epidemic of players pursuing a fifth season at another school could prompt the Ivy League to change its rules about graduating players, but the conference has held steadfast in its rules thus far.Comments powered by Disqus
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