Around the Water Cooler: Wherein We All Want to be Jeremy Lin

Published by Martin Kessler on July 21, 2010 at 3:11AM

NBA basketball makes you thirsty.

Has hell frozen over? No, we're not talking about the fact that an Ivy League basketball player is about to sign with an NBA team. This is about the fact that there's actually, for once, some legitimate news of the sports variety coming out of Brown. Congrats, guys. In this edition of Around the Water Cooler, we'll also venture into the unknown country that is Belarus and dive into the world of Cornell hockey.

Let's begin with a healthy dose of Ivy League basketball. In case you live under a rock, Harvard’s Jeremy Lin ’10 is on the verge of signing with the Golden State Warriors. 2010 has been a golden year for Ivy League basketball: With Cornell’s run to the sweet 16, four Ancient Eight graduates playing in the NBA summer league, and Lin’s impending induction as a Warrior, fans of Ivy League basketball have certainly been spoiled. Now we're all set up for a major let down next season when Princeton will likely get pummeled in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Lin isn’t the only Ivy Leaguer going pro. Cornell hockey standout Riley Nash is leaving Ithaca a year early (honestly, who can blame him?) to travel south to North Carolina where he will join the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes. Nash signed a three-year deal with the Hurricanes—which recently drafted Harvard defenseman Danny Biega—after Nash’s rights were dealt from the Edmonton Oilers in June.

Penn announced today its eight-person freshman men’s basketball class, bringing its total roster size up to—gasp!—22 people. Did you know that the sky is now green, and grass blue? No, not really—that’s just what the Cornell Basketball Blog wants you to think with headlines like “Penn’s Overcrowded Roster Causes Player Discontent.” For the past few months, the Internet world has been abuzz news of the Quakers' large roster size, as though there is no way Penn will be able to manage so many players. Perhaps there should be a new reality television show called “Jerome Allen Plus 22” tracking the drama that will surely ensue next season.

The Quakers’ class is highlighted by Miles Cartwright, a six-foot-three shooting guard who received a rating of 90 from ESPN on a 100-point scale the website uses to evaluate recruits. Cartwright is rated the highest of any incoming freshman to the Ivy League by ESPN.

Yale rower Catherine Hart probably never expected to travel to Belarus, the country that is apparently known for its production of “metal-cutting machine tools, tractors, trucks and earthmovers.” Tomorrow, Hart will compete for Canada in the 2010 World Rowing Under 23 Championships held in Brest, Belarus. If Yale’s lucky, she'll bring home a free tractor as her prize.

I know we’re all tired of hearing about soccer at this point, but Brown has to get some love for this one. Jeff Larentowicz, a 2005 Brown grad, was recently named to the Major League Soccer All-Star team. Larentowicz and his fellow all stars from the US’s professional soccer league will have the honor of beating up on a weak Manchester United squad that is sending a mixture of reserves and regulars to compete in an exhibition match in Houston on July 28.

Brown, hope you have another good batch of news for us next year.