PROVIDENCE, R.I.--Welcome to opposite day in Ivy League basketball.
After the first weekend of league play, Brown and Yale, which finished a combined 8-44 (4-24 Ivy) last year and tied for last in the conference, are tied for first today after each swept traveling partners Harvard and Dartmouth.
Last year, both Brown and Yale were true laughingstocks. At season's end, they were ranked No. 315 and No. 318 in the RPI, respectively, making them two of the five worst teams in college basketball. But both have made important moves since then.
Both coaches--Yale's Dick Kuchen and Brown's Happy Dobbs--were canned and replaced with younger go-getters. The Bulldogs got James Jones, who had worked for two years as an assistant at Ohio, while the Bears hired Glen Miller, a former protege of Jim Calhoun at UConn.
Brown landed two superstar freshmen in its recruiting class: swingman Earl Hunt, who is averaging 16.2 points and 6.7 rebounds per game, and center Alaivaa Nuualiitia, who at an undersized 6'6 scores 15.9 points and adds 6.3 rebounds.
And the Bulldogs are witnessing the maturation of sophomore guard Onaje Woodbine, who averaged 9.5 points per game last season, but had a beautiful coming-out party this weekend.
Woodbine scored 28 points and added seven rebounds in Friday night's 69-61 win over Harvard, and then followed up with 26 points and six rebounds in a 71-69 double-overtime victory over the Big Green on Saturday.
A slippery, lanky 6'2 player with an uncanny ability to create his own shot, Woodbine fought off man coverage from Harvard guards Elliott Prasse-Freeman and Drew Gellert to shoot 8-of-18 from the floor with four assists.
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