Ivy hoops by the book


Nobody ever accused us at The Buzz of being avid book readers, so I apologize that we're a little late with this.

But Washington Post reporter Kathy Orton has written what she calls "the first book inside Ivy League basketball." To get material for Outside the Limelight: Basketball in the Ivy League -- which was released on Sept. 11, 2009 -- Orton spent the 2005-06 season following Cornell, Harvard, Princeton and, yes, Penn.

Of course, a lot was different back then. Fran Dunphy was still the coach, and the Quakers finished 20-9 (12-2 Ivy) en route to the NCAA Tournament. Ibrahim Jaaber was the conference Player of the Year.

Still, in additional to chronicling that season, the book provides context on the history of Ivy League hoops. We'll try to get our hands on a copy and relay what we find, but in the meantime, here's an excerpt from the book and a Q&A with the New York Times' Quad Blog.

The most relevant part of the Q&A is after the jump.

Penn and Princeton have struggled in recent years. Are they likely to regain their dominance over the league?
Since Cornell won back-to-back titles and is a strong contender for its third consecutive championship this season, many believe the Penn-Princeton dominance has ended. I’m not so sure. While I’m thrilled to see teams other than the Quakers and the Tigers win the league, I’m not ready to write off either team. Penn and Princeton have strong traditions of success and too many inherent advantages that make it unlikely that they will stay down for long.

Because coaching changes seem to adversely affect Ivy teams, more so than other Division I teams, I believe the recent struggles of Penn and Princeton can be attributed to their instability at that position. Princeton was coached by Pete Carril for 29 years. Fran Dunphy led Penn for 17 seasons. I think given time both of these programs will regain their footing atop the league.

(via The Harvard Crimson)

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