|BY THE NUMBERS|
|Opponent FG Percentage||.439||.462||.450|
|Opponent 3FG Percentage||.362||.346||.382|
|Opponent FT Percentage||.736||.780||.712|
Final Games with Senior Night on Saturday
• Dartmouth has the opportunity to play the role of spoiler in the final weekend of the 2017-18 season, hosting the two teams tied for fourth in the Ivy League, Columbia and Cornell.
• The Big Green would prefer to finish with two victories, if for no other reason than to avoid losing 20 games in consecutive years.
• The last Ivy weekend sweep Dartmouth pulled off came during the final weekend three years ago with dramatic wins over Brown and Yale to allow the Green to earn a postseason bid (CIT) for the first time in 56 years.
• The last Dartmouth home sweep of Columbia and Cornell ended the 2012-13 season.
• The Big Green lost their two games at Penn and Princeton last weekend by 45 points, its worst showing in a conference weekend since losing by 46 points at those same venues seven years ago.
• Freshman Chris Knight was the only Dartmouth player in double figures at Penn, scoring 15 points.
• Sophomore Brendan Barry was the leading scorer at Princeton with a dozen points thanks to a trio of triples.
• On Saturday night, Dartmouth will be honoring its four seniors — Joseph Cook, Cameron Smith, and the team’s two leading scorers in Miles Wright (11.7 ppg) and Taylor Johnson (11.7).
Series vs. Columbia
• The Lions lead the all-time series, 113-100, after pulling out a 77-74 victory in New York last month.
• Ian Sistare gave the Big Green a one-point lead with four minutes to play after trailing by as many as 15. But three straight buckets by Kyle Castlin, followed by a Mike Smith 3-pointer with just over a minute left gave Columbia the lead for good.
• Dartmouth picked up its 100th victory against the Lions in the second meeting last year when Taylor Johnson hauled in a missed free throw and raced down the court to sink a layup with one second left in overtime for an 80-79 win here at Leede Arena.
• Last year was the first time since the 2009-10 season that one team did not sweep the other.
• Dartmouth has gone 18-12 against Columbia in Leede Arena, and 57-48 in Hanover overall.
Scouting the Lions
• Since suffering through a nine-game losing skid early in the season, Columbia has gone 7-7, including wins in two of its last three games, one a 25-point triumph over Princeton.
• The Lions control their own destiny for the Ivy League Tournament as a weekend sweep would clinch the fourth seed, thanks to owning a tiebreaker over Cornell.
• A problem for the Lions is they are 1-12 on the road this season with 11 straight losses.
• Columbia is a prolific and accurate 3-point shooting team, ranking second among Ivies at 36.8 percent while making 10 a game.
• Point guard Mike Smith is the team catalyst, leading the Ivy League in assists (4.5 per game) while ranking fourth in scoring (17.5 ppg), although he is shooting less than 40 percent from the floor.
• At 45.8 percent, Quinton Adlesh is the most accurate long-range shooter in the league, all while owning the second-most makes (66). But the Green must be wary of Lukas Meisner (43-of-101, .428) and freshman Gabe Stefanini (25-of-55, .455).
• Meisner is also the leading rebounder in the league at 7.7 per game.
• Jim Engles (Dickinson ’90), an assistant at Columbia from 2003-08, is in his second year leading the Lions, sporting a mark of 19-33 to date. He spent the previous eight years leading NJIT to a record of 111-139, including consecutive 20-win seasons.
Series vs. Cornell
• While Dartmouth did not trail the Big Red in the series between 1957 until 2013, Cornell now owns a 109-106 advantage having won the last three meetings.
• The Big Red have won the first game between the two each of the past seven seasons.
• Last month, the Big Green rallied from a 10-point deficit to take a five-point lead into the final minute, only to have Cornell snatch away the victory, 86-85.
• Taylor Johnson poured in 25 points and Miles Wright 18 as five Dartmouth players reached double figures in the loss, but Matt Morgan had 28 and Stone Gettings 20 more for the Big Red.
• Dartmouth is 16-14 versus Cornell in Leede Arena, but has lost the last three contests here.
Scouting the Big Red
• Cornell has won five of its last nine games with its four losses only to teams above it in the Ivy League standings.
• The Big Red have three wins away from Ithaca, one coming in Ivy action, a 78-60 victory at Brown.
• Guard Matt Morgan, the ninth-leading scorer in the nation at 22.4 ppg, has averaged 25.2 points in five games against Dartmouth in his career, and is shooting 48.1 percent from the floor and 36.1 percent from the perimeter.
• Complementing Morgan is 6-9 forward Stone Gettings, who provides 17.0 ppg and leads the team at 6.8 rebounds a night.
• Gettings has 42 3-pointers at a 37.5 percent clip, while Jack Gordon has 33 triples on 40.2 percent.
• Steve Julian has been a solid presence in the post at 5.7 rpg while blocking a team-high 38 shots.
• Turnovers have been a bit of an issue with the league’s worst margin (-2.4), though that has improved lately, and the Big Red are second in the league with 16.3 assists per game.
• Head coach Brian Earl (Princeton ’99) is in his second season guiding the Big Red after nine seasons as an assistant at his alma mater, entering this game with a record of 19-35.
With the final weekend of the season coming at home, Dartmouth will honor its four seniors — Joseph Cook, Taylor Johnson, Cameron Smith and Miles Wright — prior to the game on Saturday against Cornell. For those in the crowd on Friday, be sure to get here early to pay tribute to them!
Edward Leede (1927-2018)
Dartmouth lost one of its greats last weekend with the passing of Edward H. Leede ’49 at the age of 90. The first player to score 1,000 points for the Big Green, Leede went on to a two-year stint with the Boston Celtics before earning his MBA and starting a successful career in the oil and gas business. He and his wife established the Margaret Anne and Edward Leede 1949 Distinguished Professorship at Dartmouth in 1985, and two years later the college named its new basketball arena after him for his many contributions. Just last year, Leede was one of the inaugural members of the Legends of Ivy League Basketball.
Back at Home
The Big Green are looking to honor Ed Leede with a couple of victories to finish the 2017-18 season. After dropping games at Penn and Princeton last weekend, Dartmouth will be happy to be back in the familiar confines of Leede Arena where it has split 10 games this season while shooting 39 percent from 3-point range and outrebounding its opponents by four caroms a game. The Big Green have gotten balanced scoring from its top four scorers, all of whom average between 11.4 and 12.1 points a game.
Although Dartmouth has been eliminated from qualifying for the Ivy League Tournament, it can still have an impact on the event. Both Columbia and Cornell are tied for fourth, and only one — or neither — can grab that final slot to go to Philadelphia next week. Losses to the Big Green would put a serious damper on their hopes, so expect both teams to come out with plenty of energy. I would break down the various scenarios for qualification, but I don’t have anywhere near enough room here.
No. 22 is No. 23
With four points at Penn on Feb. 23, senior Miles Wright surpassed his former teammate, Gabas Maldunas ’15, on Dartmouth’s all-time scoring list into 23rd place. He enters the final weekend of his career with 1,088 points to his credit, needing 34 to move into the top 20. With just six more points, he would be 22nd on the list, which would match his uniform number.
99 Assists on the Wall
Sophomore Brendan Barry has distributed 99 assists in the first 25 games this season, leaving him just one shy of 100 (math is not hard). The last Dartmouth player to hit triple digits in helpers was Flinder Boyd ’02, who did it in his senior year 16 years ago and finished up as the Big Green’s all-time assist leader with 585.
Over the past four seasons, Dartmouth has played 109 games, and Miles Wright has played at least nine minutes in every single one. He also has started all but five of those (including 99 straight), leaving him one shy of the program record held by … Flinder Boyd ’02. With starts in both games this weekend, Wright will pass Boyd and hold the record with 106 starts, and his 111 games played will rank fifth. One of the names ahead of him is current assistant coach Jabari Trotter ’12, who played in 112 games in his four years.