After splitting their first two Ivy League games against Columbia over the course of two weeks, Cornell men’s basketball (9-9, 1-1 Ivy) will look to improve their in-conference standing in its first full weekend of Ivy League play. The Red will take on defending Ivy champion Penn (12-6, 0-2 Ivy) and Princeton (10-5, 2-0 Ivy) at home.
Coming into this important home test, the Red, and senior guard Matt Morgan especially, has been on a tear of late. The Red has won three of its last four and only dropped its last contest by three points in Harlem, with Morgan magical as usual.
The NBA prospect has been putting up consistently impressive numbers averaging 23.3 ppg, 4.7rpg, 2.8apg, and 1.2spg, and the rest of the Ivy League has taken notice of Morgan as he enters the weekend holding two-time Ivy League Player of the Week honors.
The rest of the squad has significantly stepped up their play recently to support Morgan’s scoring efforts. Sophomore forward Jimmy Boeheim exploded for 22 points in the Red’s loss at Columbia and is currently averaging 10.8ppg, junior Forward Josh Warren has been a force in the middle, contributing 9.4ppg, and sharpshooting wings Jake Kuhn and Jack Gordon are chipping in 5.0ppg a piece.
While the Red have been playing well recently, they are entering league play in a conference which has more than established itself as national contenders. Just this year, the Ivy League has put together an impressive résumé of wins: both Princeton and Harvard beat George Washington, Princeton topped then-No. 17 Arizona State, Penn has beaten then-No. 16 Villanova and Miami, Dartmouth has beaten San Diego State and Yale has also beaten Miami.
This is not your mom and dad’s Ivy League basketball — this is a revamped and nationally competitive Ivy League. While the Red might not have quite as an impressive résumé of non-conference wins as many of its Ivy counterparts, a tough non-conference schedule almost certainly prepared them for the trials and tribulations of the remainder of the season, which will consist solely of conference play.
The Red will tip off against Penn this Friday in Newman Arena at 5 p.m. and Princeton this Saturday at 7:30 p.m.