Follow the Bouncing Ball
John Baumann: The extra "n" is for extra "nasty." (CREDIT: Columbia Athletics)
As we await the avalanche of news on the class of 2012 that will come in the next few weeks, it's nice to know we have a contending basketball team to watch this winter.
The Ivy League men's basketball season tipped off officially today with Tommy Amaker's Harvard Crimson routing Dartmouth at home. Columbia doesn't face it's first Ivy opponent for another two weeks when it visits pre-season favorite Cornell in Ithaca.
I'm no basketball genius, but it would appear inconsistency is the only thing holding back this Lion hoops squad. When player of the year candidate John Baumann gets hot and big 6"8 center Ben Nwachuku avoids silly mistakes, I don't think there's anyone in the league who can beat them.
We shall see.
Something I've always wondered about is how the success of the basketball team helps the football team and vice versa. Columbia's best years on the gridiron in this quarter century followed Buck Jenkins and the bball team's serious run at an Ivy title in 1992-93. (The football team's very strong 1994-96 seasons came just after that).
Basketball stumbled a bit in the mid-90's while the football team got better, and then Craig Austin and friends put together some decent basketball teams from 1999-2001.
It might be a coincidence, but I do think these two teams feed off of each other a bit, first when it comes to recruiting and then when it comes to a winning attitude.
Either way, we should all do whatever we can to support the Lions hoopsters in the coming weeks.