HANOVER, N.H. — In conjunction with its preseason media teleconference call with the men’s basketball head coaches, the Ivy League today announced the results of its media preseason poll with Princeton picked to win the league in a landslide with 16 of the 17 first-place votes. Dartmouth, coming off a third consecutive five-win season and 1-13 record in league play, was tabbed for eighth place.
The media is likely not optimistic about the Big Green’s chances this year due to one of the youngest rosters in the Division I ranks. Just two of the 15 players on the team are upperclassmen with one senior (center co-captain Matt LaBove) and one junior (guard Tyler Melville). Head coach Paul Cormier has seven freshmen joining the fold this year with six sophomores rounding out the squad.
But there is talent among the youthfulness. Three of the sophomores -- forwards Jvonte Brooks (co-captain), John Golden and Gabas Maldunas -- combined to produce 10 Ivy League Rookie of the Week awards last season. The starting lineup is projected to have two freshmen as well with many of them seeing significant minutes, not due to necessity, but rather ability.
"Youth is going to be our trademark," Cormier said. "But we feel we've got a terrific influx of talent. We’ll suffer from some inexperience, and some growing pains are to be expected. But I am very pleased with how hard everyone is working. We will be much more competitive than we have been in the recent past. Our future is very bright as we continue to improve our talent level."
With Brooks, Golden and Maldunas expected to start in the frontcourt, Cormier will have some decisions to make in the starting backcourt. Melville, who has begun each of his first two seasons slowly only to come on strong during conference play, will push for a starting slot, as will sophomore Mack McKearney. Then there are a trio of talented freshmen in the mix, with Alex Mitola (5-11, 165, Florham Park, N.J.), Kevin Crescenzi (6-3, 190, Singer Island, Fla.) and Malik Gill (5-9, 185, New Rochelle, N.Y.) playing well in the early part of the preseason.
The new big men will also vie for court time and make practices more competitive. Connor Boehm (6-7, 235, Winnetka, Ill.), Matt Rennie (6-8, 220, North Brunswick, N.J.), Brandon McDonnell (6-8, 210) and Tommy Carpenter (6-7, 200, Greensboro, N.C.) all bring good size to the forward positions.
The season opens up on the Big Green’s home floor in Leede Arena on Saturday, Nov. 10 against Maine at 7 p.m.
2012-13 Ivy League Men’s Basketball Preseason Media Poll
PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
First-place votes in parentheses