A young (and slightly down) season for the Ivy League in 2017-18 has primed the conference for a breakout 2018-19 campaign. Most of the promising young talent returns, which should mean lots of competition for postseason recognition.
Player of the Year: Seth Towns, Harvard, Jr., F
What has made Towns so special during his first two seasons in the Ivy League has been his versatility. The 6-foot-7 junior forward finds ways to do a little bit of everything on the basketball court. Last season he averaged 16.0 PPG, 5.7 RPG, and 1.8 APG while shooting 44 percent from three-point range. He is an absolute nightmare matchup for almost any defensive player in the Ivy League and there is no reason why he shouldn’t make an aggressive push to win the award for the second straight season.
Newcomer of the Year: Jaelin Llewellyn, Princeton, Fr., G
Llewellyn comes to Princeton as a consensus 4-star recruit, rare in Ivy League circles. The Tigers beat out conference rival Harvard, along with a number of major conference teams to obtain the services of the Canadian. How the 6-foot-2 guard fits into the lineup alongside returnees such as Devin Cannady remains to be seen, but Llewellyn has the talent and pedigree to make an immediate impact.
Also watch out for: Noah Kirkwood, Harvard, Fr., F
Darkhorse Team: Cornell
Everyone expects Princeton to bounce back, so picking the Tigers seems boring. So let’s go with another team that has a Princeton alum running the ship. Brian Earl’s third season is a chance for the Big Red to jump back into the Ivy League’s upper echelon. Last season Cornell snuck into the Ivy League playoff (where they were summarily dispatched by Harvard), and making it back to 4-team competition is probably the bare minimum expectation for this season. Matt Morgan continues to give this offense a fulcrum, but Earl will have to find players to fill the hole formed by the departure of Stone Gettings.
Seth Towns, Jr., Harvard, F
AJ Brodeur, Jr., Penn, F
Matt Morgan, Sr., Cornell, G
Miye Oni, Jr. Yale, G
Chris Lewis, Sr., Harvard, F/C
If this group of five players looks familiar it’s because it’s the 2017-18 postseason first team. All five players return for another season of Ivy League basketball. Morgan, Brodeur, and Oni are all the main drivers of their respective teams and, as long as they’re healthy, they will all compete for first team spots once again.
Myles Stephens, Sr., Princeton, F
Mike Smith, Jr., Columbia, G
Desmond Cambridge, So., Brown, G
Trey Phills, Sr., Yale, G
Ryan Betley, Jr., Penn, G
Harvard’s Bryce Aiken returns from injury and should make a strong push to be on this team by the end of the season. It was also hard to leave off Aiken’s teammate Justin Bassey, but there are only so many spots for Harvard players on all-conference. The biggest omission though might be Princeton guard Devin Cannady, as he led the Tigers at 16.7 PPG last season.