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Kareem Maddox, guarding guards.

The five leading scorers in the Ivy League this season are all guards - Penn's Zack Rosen, Cornell's Ryan Wittman, Yale's Alex Zampier, Harvard's Jeremy Lin and Columbia's Noruwa Agho.

Coming off the bench for Princeton, the longer and bouncier 6'8" Kareem Maddox has drawn each as his primary defensive assignment. While Maddox has not guarded each player for the entire game and will be the first to tell anyone who asks with agonizing modesty that it is team defense, not his individual play that is responsible for holding these players in check, the two game splits for all five compared to their season averages is telling.

See game-by-game breakdowns after the jump.

Jeremy Lin - Harvard - 16.6 ppg

Min Pts   FG   FT 3FG  Rebs A S B TO PF
 39  19 6-16  5-8 2-5 1-2-3 4 4 3  2  3 56-53 P 
 33   8  1-8  5-6 1-1 2-1-3 2 0 0  1  3 54-51 P

Ryan Wittman - Cornell - 17.5 ppg

Min Pts   FG   FT 3FG  Rebs A S B TO PF 
 38  13 5-12  2-2 1-3 2-3-5 2 0 0  2  2 48-45 C 
 37  12 3-11  6-6 0-5 0-5-5 1 0 0  4  1 50-47 C

Noruwa Agho - Columbia - 16.3 ppg

Min Pts   FG   FT 3FG  Rebs A S B TO PF
 39  15 4-17  6-7 1-5 0-3-3 3 2 0  1  3 55-45 P 
 29   9 3-15  2-2 1-5 1-3-4 2 1 0  1  1 67-52 P

Alex Zampier - Yale - 17.4 ppg

Min Pts   FG   FT 3FG  Rebs A S B TO PF
 28  13 4-11  5-5 0-2 0-2-2 1 1 0  6  1 58-45 P 
 29   9 3-12  2-4 1-4 0-3-4 3 2 0  2  1 82-58 P

Zack Rosen - Penn - 17.7 ppg

Min Pts   FG   FT 3FG  Rebs A S B TO PF
 38  15 3-13  7-8 2-5 1-2-3 4 1 0  0  3 58-51 P 

Lin was 7-24 (29.2%) against Princeton compared to 52.3% for the season.

Wittman was 8-23 (34.8%) against Princeton compared to 46.5% for the season.

Agho was 7-32 (21.9%) against Princeton compared to 42.5% for the season.

Zampier was 7-23 (30.4%) against Princeton compared to 39.1% for the season.

Rosen was 3-13 (23.1%) compared to 44.3% for the season with a second meeting against Princeton on Tuesday night.

Those numbers would increase for each if you removed their games versus the Tigers.

Maddox clearly made his responsibility uncomfortable. Smaller players have trouble getting around Maddox and can't shoot clean over his reach. Agho and Zampier in particular just kept attempting low percentage outside jumpers with Maddox's hand in their respective faces.

The only foe I can recall having consistent offensive success with Maddox on him was taller forward Tucker Halpern for Brown, who hit a series of soft midrange jumpers over Maddox on his way to 12 first half points at Jadwin.

If a guard was going to near their season average under Maddox's eye, it was going to take a higher volume of shots to get to that mark.

Kareem Maddox won't take the credit, but he deserves to be recognized for the the stopper he has developed into.

Stuart Schulman said,

March 9, 2010 @ 10:26 am

I'll go out on a limb and say that Maddox will make 2nd team All-Ivy. Can't see him cracking the first team (where Foote, Lin, Wittman and Dale are probably locks and Douglas Davis could be the 5th). Zampier, Rosen, Agho and Mullery all had nice seasons but their efforts didn't produce many W's. If Sydney Johnson could win POTY averaging under 10 a game, the same arguments could put Kareem on the 2nd team at worst.

Jon Solomon said,

March 9, 2010 @ 11:33 am


My guess is that Foote, Lin, Wittman, Rosen and Mullery make the Ivy first team.

Dale, Zampier and Agho would then all make the second team.

Not saying these would be *my* picks, just how I think it will play out.

The issue then becomes: How do you honor the grouping of Davis/Mavraides/Maddox?

My guess is that, rightfully or wrongfully, Mavraides makes second team and Davis/Maddox get honorable mention. Would be delighted to be incorrect.

If Foote didn't exist, Maddox would be an easy choice for Defensive Player of the Year.

With Wittman likely to win POY (though I think Foote should get the award), Foote will probably repeat as Defensive Player of the Year.

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