Breaking news: St. Joe's wins when Ahmad Nivins scores lots of points.
That's what happened last night, as Nivins poured in 26 points on 10-for-13 shooting in the Hawks' 71-67 win over Cornell.
From what we've seen so far this season, you can make a pretty fair case that the only team capable of stopping Nivins is St. Joe's itself. If the Hawks don't get him the ball and the guards struggle from the perimeter, Phil Martelli's team doesn't put too many points on the board.
Shocking, isn't it?
We all know that the Big 5 has a history of producing really great guards. But when you have a talented big man, it's usually a smart idea to give him the ball in the post and tell him to put it in the basket. And this year, the city has quite a crop of them: Nivins, Lavoy Allen, Dante Cunningham and Vernon Goodridge.
(Yes, Goodridge has struggled so far this season. But watching him in person against Villanova, I thought the ability was there. It just hasn't clicked with the rest of the Explorers' offense yet.)
Even Cornell, which lost its shot at the honorary Big 5 title last night, figured it out. Yes, Louis Dale is the reigning Ivy League Player of the Year, and Ryan Wittman could play one heck of a game of HORSE against Penn's Tyler Bernardini.
But the Big Red really took off when seven-footer Jeff Foote stepped up his game. He scored 25 points against La Salle on Saturday and had a few real nice baskets last night.
And by the way, if there's any doubt left in your mind as to who's going to win the Ivy League this year, you should have been at the Palestra last night. Cornell has the talent and composure to repeat as Ancient Eight champs, and while I don't think they'll run the table like they did last year, they should end up in the NCAA Tournament and have a pretty good number (at least by Ivy standards) next to their name on Selection Sunday.
Postgame audio is below, with Phil Martelli, Big Red coach Steve Donahue and Wittman. I'm sure it will be of interest to the Penn fans out there as well.