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Ivy League awards: Yale’s Makai Mason will be the best player in the conference

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Yale and Princeton players are poised to grab honors

Duke v Yale Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

I love to be wrong. Being wrong is my favorite thing to. That’s why I am predicting the Ivy League postseason awards that won’t be decided for six months.

I urge you to do the following things in order:

  1. Read my predictions
  2. Tell me why I am wrong now
  3. Watch Ivy League basketball this year
  4. When March rolls around, tell me how wrong I was or how right I was in these predictions.

Ok, here goes:

Ivy League Player of the Year

Last year’s winner: Spencer Weisz, F, Princeton
This year’s prediction: Makai Mason, G, Yale

After missing all of last season with a broken foot that he sustained in a November scrimmage with Boston College, Mason had a lot of time to ruminate on his impending return. I like to imagine that he went into hiding in comic-hero-like fashion and watched Ivy League basketball games in which he was unable to participate, using the hardwood action and personal frustration as motivation for difficult workouts. Perhaps he launched late-night jump shots in an empty, darkened gym — his countenance obscured by a hoodie pulled tight over his head.

In his sophomore year, Mason averaged 16.0 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. His efforts culminated in the orchestration of a tournament upset over Baylor with a 31-point bombardment.

Soon to be a senior, Mason will be at the helm of a Yale team that ended the 2016-17 Ivy League season second to Princeton. Mason plans on joining Baylor as a graduate transfer after his senior year.

Defensive Player of the Year

Last year’s winner: Myles Stephens, G, Princeton
This year’s prediction: AJ Brodeur, F, Penn

Brodeur is a rim protector. As a freshman last year, he averaged a conference-best 2.4 blocks per game while pulling down nearly seven boards a night and snagging almost a steal per contest to boot. At 6’8 and 225 pounds, he is certainly an imposing force in the paint. For that, he garnered Ivy League second-team honors last year.

Defensive Player of the Year awards are often given to quick guards who can keep their man in front of them and can close out on a perimeter jump shot. That’s great, and if you pick a player like that as your DPOY, you aren’t going to hear an argument for me. But there is something so terrifically assertive and irreverent about volleyballing an opponent’s meek layup attempt into the third row. It isn’t about maintaining possession, it’s about sending a message to the other team — that’s why I picked Brodeur.


Finally, I present to you my first and second teams. Fair warning: they are very Yale and Princeton heavy.

First Team

G Bryce Aiken, Harvard
G Makai Mason, Yale
G Myles Stephens, Princeton
F AJ Brodeur, Penn
F Evan Boudreaux, Dartmouth

Second Team:

G Matt Morgan, Cornell
G Devin Cannady, Princeton
G Miye Oni, Yale
G Ryan Betley, Penn
F Jordan Bruner, Yale

Selfishly, I hope I nailed my predictions. But for the sake of parity, it would be cool of some freshman came in and took a spot from an older player. All we can do now is watch.