10. Greg Mangano, Yale — First, I’d like to note that separating the three Ivy League First Team players was one of the hardest things I had to do. All three were excellent this season and were part of the reason the league was so fun to watch. Mangano’s numbers – 18.2 points and 9.6 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game – are excellent, but I just wish there was a little more consistency in them. The 6’10” senior forward scored in single digits three times, including early in the season in a loss to Quinnipiac. Mangano obviously had a ton of great games, but nights like his 14-points, 5-board performance in an overtime loss at Cornell prevent him from being higher on this list. Overall though he had a great season. Mangano scored 26 points against then #10 Florida and also added 23 in a critical Ivy win over Penn. You don’t find a lot of players with his height and skills in the Ivy League and he certainly made the most of it during his final two seasons in New Haven.
9. George Beamon, Manhattan — You wonder how Manhattan would’ve scored any points this season if Beamon wasn’t on the team. He averaged 19 points per game and did it every way, shooting 43% from three, 80% from the line and 49% from the field overall. The 6’4″ junior swingman carried the Jaspers’ offense for long stretches of time and also thrived in the presses that Steve Masiello brought with him from Louisville. One of the most impressive parts of Beamon’s game was his consistency. He didn’t score in single digits once all season. His season lows came in two comfortable wins over Marist. Beamon saved his best for last, scoring a season-high 34 points in the Jaspers’ CIT win over Albany. After being named to the MAAC First Team in 2011-12, Beamon should contend for Player of the Year honors next season.
8. Brian Barbour, Columbia — At some point this season Barbour’s role with the Lions changed dramatically. It wasn’t quite when Noruwa Agho went down, but soon afterward Barbour became the man. It took him some time to accept that role, but once he did he showed skills rivaling the best guards in the Ivy League. Barbour averaged 15.5 points, 4.4 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game on the season while shooting 90% from the free throw line. Because he didn’t turn the ball over much, just 2.3 times per game, Barbour’s offensive rating is extremely high for shooting just 39% from the field. Barbour seemed to play his best at home in close losses during Ivy play. He scored 25 on back-to-back nights against Princeton and Penn and then scored 23 in the overtime loss to Harvard on the final Friday of the season. He drove Columbia’s offense and played 88% of the team’s minutes (51st in the nation). I’m sure Kyle Smith would tell you that’s too many, but it just goes to show how valuable Barbour was this season.
7. Ian Hummer, Princeton — In terms of efficiency Hummer’s junior season wasn’t quite as strong as his sophomore campaign, but that’s because he shot up to an insane 31.8% usage rate in 2011-12. So much of Princeton’s offense went through the 6’7″ forward that it was hard to miss him, though I bet some opponents wish they could’ve. Hummer averaged 16.1 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game during the season, while also contributing more than a block and a steal per game on the defensive end. He scored 25 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in Princeton’s triple overtime win over Florida State and added 20 and nine as the Tigers beat Harvard. He’ll be back next season and should continue to be a forced to be reckoned with in the paint in the Ivy League.
6. Moe Harkless, St. John’s — The small forward from Queens did absolutely everything he possibly could to try to live up to the promise he brought the Red Storm when agreeing to be a part of Steve Lavin’s super freshman class. While things weren’t always steady around him, Harkless turned in a season that was remarkable for a freshman in the Big East. Playing 36.1 minutes per game, he averaged 15.3 points and 8.6 boards. His outside shot and free throw stroke still need work but it is clear how special a player Harkless is. He was named an Honorable Mention on the All-Big East teams at the end of the season. Of course the game that everyone is going to remember, and has put the visions of what he can be in the head of every NBA scout, is Harkless’ 30-point, 13-board performance against Duke. The Red Storm ultimately lost that game, but it showed just what incredible talent Harkless has. The 6’8″ forward also scored 32 points and grabbed 13 boards against Providence and dropped 25 on Pittsburgh in what ultimately proved to be the final game of his collegiate career. All the best to him moving forward.
Check back tomorrow for the final five players, including two conferences’ Players of the Year and to find out who I rated No. 1 overall.