|BY THE NUMBERS|
|Opponent FG Percentage||.413||.471||.453|
|Opponent 3FG Percentage||.297||.360||.354|
|Opponent FT Percentage||.693||.791||.728|
Back at Home
• Dartmouth is looking to end its nine-game skid, but has the difficult task of doing so against Ivy League-leading Penn on Friday followed by the defending champion, Princeton on Saturday.
• Both losses last week followed the general pattern of Ivy games thus far. Dartmouth fell behind at Cornell and Columbia by double digits, then rallied to take a late lead only to be defeated in the final seconds.
• Miles Wright became the 29th player in Big Green history to score 1,000 points, hitting the milestone while tallying 18 at Cornell before hitting on 19 the next night, boosting his season average to 12.1 ppg, second on the team.
• Leading the offense is Taylor Johnson (12.3 ppg overall, 14.5 ppg in league play), who dropped 25 points on Cornell for his third 20-point game this season and fourth of his career.
• Dartmouth has two others averaging in double figures — Brendan Barry (10.6 ppg) and Chris Knight (10.7 ppg). Knight missed both games last week but is expected back this weekend.
• The numbers posted by Adrease Jackson would normally be enough to warrant Ivy League Rookie of the Week as he averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds in the two games, including career highs with 24 points and 14 boards against the Lions for his first double-double.
Series vs. Penn
• Dartmouth has squared off against the Quakers 213 times with Penn holding a 151-62 advantage.
• The Big Green have had the upper hand lately, however, winning three straight in the series for the first time since 1958-59, four of the last five and six of the last nine.
• Last year’s season sweep was just Dartmouth’s second of Penn since 1959 as well (2009).
• Miles Wright led the Green in Hanover last year with 19 points in the 77-74 win with five triples.
• Dartmouth almost matched that score at the Palestra in a 76-74 win as Guilien Smith scored the final four points in the last 1:19.
• Since winning four of the first five contests versus Penn in Leede Arena, Dartmouth won just two of the next 21 before beating the Quakers the last four in this building for an overall record of 10-20.
Scouting the Quakers
• Picked fourth in the preseason poll, Penn has jumped to the front of the Ivy League standings with a perfect 6-0 mark, including a season sweep of Princeton, the defending champion.
• The Quakers have not won more than four straight games this season, and they are currently riding a four-game streak.
• Penn boasts the second-highest scoring offense in the league (76.7 ppg), but its defense has been stellar, holding opponents to 68.9 ppg and leads the league in field goal percentage defense overall (.413) and on the perimeter (.297).
• Ryan Betley leads the team at 14.8 ppg with 54 3-pointers, third most in the Ivy League.
• Big man A.J. Brodeur adds 11.8 ppg and a league-high 7.0 rpg while shooting just over 50 percent.
• Point guard Darnell Foreman can dish it out (3.3 assists per game) and finish (10.1 ppg).
• Penn has not changed its starting lineup all season.
• Steve Donahue (Ursinus ’84) is in his third year guiding Penn with a 40-38 record entering the weekend. No stranger to the Ivy League, Donahue led Cornell to the Sweet 16 back in 2010. He is 240-252 in his 17th year as a Division I head coach.
Series vs. Princeton
• This is the 214th game in the series that dates back to 1905. The Tigers have the exact same record against Dartmouth as Penn — 151-62.
• Since the first season of formal Ivy League play in 1956-57, Princeton is 101-22 against the Big Green, dropping consecutive games just twice in that span.
• The Tigers have won the last seven games, including a tight 69-64 contest in Hanover last year, and 15 of the last 16.
• Dartmouth was still alive in the hunt for the inaugural Ivy League Tournament last year going into the final game at Princeton, but the Green came up a bit short in an 85-48 defeat.
• Dartmouth is 9-21 against the Tigers in Leede Arena since the venue opened in the fall of 1987.
Scouting the Tigers
• Princeton had its 19-game home Ivy winning streak snapped last Saturday in a thrilling 102-100 overtime loss to Brown, then lost again at home on Tuesday to Penn by 17, 82-65.
• Prior to those two defeats, the Tigers had won nine of 11, including an overtime win at USC.
• Princeton is the most accurate shooting team in the Ivy League, shooting 46.8 percent overall and 39.3 percent behind the arc while making nearly 10 per game.
• Devin Cannady is the third-leading scorer in the league at 18.0 ppg, shooting 41.6 percent on 62 made 3-pointers and 88.3 percent at the line.
• Both Myles Stephens (14.5 ppg) and Amir Bell (10.5) average in double figures with the former shooting 51.6 percent from the floor and leading the team with 6.1 rpg, and the latter dishing out 82 assists, second most in the Ancient Eight.
• The Tigers have not played on the road in five weeks and are 4-4 in true road games this year.
• Mitch Henderson (Princeton ’98) is in his seventh year guiding his alma mater with a 130-70 record entering the weekend. He played in three NCAA Tournaments with the Tigers and spent 11 years as an assistant at Northwestern.
Saturday is Flannel Night
When Princeton comes to town on Saturday night, all fans are encouraged to wear their best tartan flannel — top, bottom or both — as we try to break the Guinness World Record for largest gathering of people wearing tartan (record is 1,146). The student with the most creative flannel outfit will win a $100 Vermont Flannel gift card, and the first 200 fans in flannel with get a free Maple Creamee.
Groundhog Day for Big Green
Groundhog Day may have come and gone last Friday, but like Phil Connors, Dartmouth is stuck in its own Groundhog Day of sorts with its 0-6 Ivy League record. In five of the six games, the Big Green have fallen behind by double digits in the second half only to rally to take the lead or tie the game late. Yet a conference victory has continued to elude them. Overall, Dartmouth has lost nine straight and would like to avoid dropping its 10th in a row, which has not happened since the 2010-11 season (last 11 games).
Welcome to the Club
Senior Miles Wright became the 29th player in Dartmouth history with 1,000 points in a career during the 86-85 loss at Cornell on Feb. 2, scoring 18 points to surpass the milestone. The next night at Columbia, he added 19 more to bring his total to 1,025 entering the weekend, one behind Flinder Boyd ’02 for 25th. Wright is also one of the Big Green’s best all-around players ever as the only one with 1,000 points, 400 rebounds, 100 steals and 100 3-pointers in a career.
Jackson Stepping Up
With freshman Chris Knight out last weekend with an illness, Dartmouth was looking for another scoring presence to emerge, and fellow rookie Adrease Jackson filled the role beyond expectations. Against Cornell on Friday, he scored in double figures for the first time this season, dropping 12 points to go with grabbing six rebounds. The next night, Jackson doubled his production with 24 points as he drained 4-of-5 from behind the arc, plus snared 14 boards for his first career double-double and just second by any Big Green player this season. In Ivy League action, he is averaging 10.8 ppg and 7.6 rpg, the latter of which ranks fourth.
Free Throw Follies
While Dartmouth is shooting a strong 72.6 percent from the foul line this season (its second-highest mark of the last 29 seasons), its opponents are converting a robust 79.2 percent of their free throws. That is the highest rate against any Division I school in the country, as reported by KenPom.com. The only saving grace for the Big Green is that they are 37th nationally in opponent free throw rate, meaning their competition doesn’t get to the foul line nearly as often as against other teams.
Going Downtown in New York
Dartmouth had been struggling with its outside shot when it arrived at Columbia’s Levien Gym on Feb. 3, having hit just 11 of its last 51 3-point attempts (.216) spanning the previous three games. That changed against the Lions, most notably in the second half when the Big Green sank 10-of-16 (.625) from behind the arc to overcome a 15-point deficit to take the lead with four minutes to play. At the end of the game, Dartmouth was 14-of-27 (.519) from downtown, its second-highest total of 3-pointers and percentage this season.
Johnson Quarter and Dimes
Senior Taylor Johnson has not only been Dartmouth’s leading scorer this season, he has also been one of its most adept distributors, ranking second on the team and fifth in the league in assists per game (3.4). Against Cornell on Feb. 2, the guard produced 25 points, his third 20-point game of the season and fourth of his career. And in each of the last five games, Johnson has dished out at least four helpers with a career-high seven at Yale on Jan. 27.
Top-Three Shooting Teams
Over the last 10 seasons, a total of 15 Ivy League teams have ranked among the top three in the conference in all three shooting percentages — field goals, 3-pointers and free throws. Of those 15 teams, 13 finished in the top half of the final standings. Why do I bring this up? Well, Dartmouth currently is third in field goal percentage (.460), and free throw percentage (.726), plus second in 3-point percentage (.367). And only five teams in that time span finished in the top two in all three — three won the league title, the other two finished second.
Barry Helping More Than Scoring
Sophomore Brendan Barry has put more energy into running the offense than being the offense lately as his scoring average has declined while his proficiency in handling the ball has increased. In seven of the eight games since the calendar changed to 2018, Barry has had at least four assists, twice dishing out half a dozen. And in those eight games, he has committed just seven turnovers. He leads the Ivy League in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.9), and in league play that figure is 4.8.
Balanced Scoring a Burden
A balanced scoring team is generally considered a good thing, and Dartmouth has four active players who are averaging at least 10 points a game, but no more than 13. Apparently there is such a thing as too balanced, for in the eight games that the Big Green have had at least four players reach double figures, they have lost all eight. Three players seem to be the sweet spot as Dartmouth is 4-4 in those games. Well, semi-sweet shall we say …
Against Columbia on Feb. 3, all but three of Dartmouth’s 74 points came from its starters, or 95.9 percent, the highest percentage this season and third time above 90 percent — UIC on Dec. 15 (55 of 60, .917) and Harvard on Jan. 6 (46 of 51, .902). The last game with a higher percentage came in a 67-57 loss to Penn on Feb. 16, 2013 (55 of 57, .965).
Dartmouth has played three games this season that were decided by one point, winning one. The most recent such game came on Feb. 2 at Cornell in which the Big Green fell behind by 10 with 16 minutes to play, rallied to take a five-point lead with just a minute left, then suffered an 86-85 defeat. Dartmouth got a shot off before the buzzer, but it was off the mark.