The Ivy League is unique in a lot of ways. Its differences from the rest of Division I — particularly the lack of athletic scholarships — make for a challenging recruiting landscape. There aren’t many one-and-dones, there isn’t that much roster turnover from year-to-year, and recruiting is more about finding hidden gems than landing big names. Still, the conference is going stronger. And the addition of new talent can mean staying dominant (for teams like Princeton and Harvard) or becoming relevant (for teams like Cornell, Dartmouth and Brown). Recruiting still matters. Below is a list of notable recruits from each of the eight Ivy League schools.
Brown: Matt DeWolf
A 6’9 center from Northfield, Massachussets, DeWolf committed to Brown and expected to join a former teammate with the Bears. DeWolf formerly played with rising junior Corey Daugherty in Barrington, Rhode Island. The duo led Barrington to a combined 32-2 in regular season league record from 2013-15.
DeWolf told the Providence Journal that he has grown since playing with Daugherty.
“The growth in both of our games over the past two years has been amazing,” DeWolf said. “Our familiarity with each other from playing with each other at Barrington is really going to able to shine on the court. We’re so in sync.”
However, Daugherty recently quit the team.
DeWolf averaged 10.4 points and 6.3 rebounds per game in his senior season, and he will add some needed size to Mike Martin’s squad.
Columbia: Jaron Faulds
Faulds is the most highly rated of the eight prospects on this list. Garnering a four-star status and a scout grade of 80 from ESPN, the 6’10 center from Holt, Michigan received offers from the likes of DePaul, Lehigh, Oakland, and others before committing to Columbia.
Cornell: Jimmy Boeheim
Wait a second. Wait just one damn second. Jimmy Boeheim from Syracuse, New York?
No, it’s not a coincidence, this is Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim’s very large son. At 6’7, Boeheim has the length to play on one of his father’s teams. The power forward averaged 23.3 points per game in his junior season before committing to Cornell.
Cornell won just eight games last year, and its 4-10 conference record sent the Big Red to a three-way tie for last place in the Ivy League.
Although he’s a one-star recruit according to ESPN, his name, plus 23 points a night ensured that he’d be scooped up in an (upstate) New York minute.
Dartmouth: Walker Miller
What I like most about Walker Miller is that he has two last names that are also verbs made into nouns with the suffix -ER. What Dartmouth probably likes most about him is that the 6’11 center chose The Big Green over Lafayette, Columbia, Vermont, and Bucknell.
Although he’s just a two-star recruit, Dartmouth can’t be too picky; the team lost its first nine games of the season last year.
Harvard: Mario Haskett
OK, so I think Mario Haskett is really good. ESPN gave him a 75 scout grade, and his 12.4 points and 3.5 assists per game in his senior season of high school yielded offers from VCU, Cincinnati, and Virginia Tech, among others.
He is a combo guard and he has the ability to play above the rim. Check out what he can do:
Penn: Jelani Williams
As a junior, Williams averaged more than 16 points and seven rebounds per game, garnering comparisons to Josh Hart, an alum of his Washington D.C. high school, Sidwell Friends.
Williams will look to bolster a Penn backcourt that already helped send the Quakers to the inaugural Ivy League Tournament last year — an event hosted at the Palestra. With 12.5-points-a-night senior guard Matt Howard graduating, there may be space in the backcourt for Williams to come in and make an impact.
Princeton: Sebastian Much
It’s not as if the Princeton Tigers needed to do any recruiting during the offseason. Still, after going 14-0 in Ivy League play last year and winning the conference tournament, the Tigers went out and got a highly touted recruit in Much.
Much is a three-star power forward from California. Standing at 6’7, he adds size to a roster that already resembled a team of fleshy skyscrapers.
Much chose Princeton over offers from three PAC-12 schools in Arizona State, Washington State, and Utah. My point is, watch out for Princeton this year.
They are going to be just that Much better. (Ed. note: Cal,,,)
Yale: Azar Swain
Swain had offers from only Brown and Yale before picking New Haven over Providence. At six feet tall (perhaps a generous measurement), he is incredibly quick and unafraid to drive into the key and initiate contact with defenders bigger than himself. Contact is something he is used to, of course, because he was also a terrific high school football player. At wide receiver, he drew interest from the likes of UConn and UMass.
Here are some highlights.