Columbia loses two players, including guard who was expected to factor into their rotation


While Harvard is seen as the favorite to win the Ivy League in 2014-15, the Crimson will be challenged in their attempt to earn a fourth consecutive NCAA tournament berth. One expected contender is Yale, with another being a Columbia squad that won 21 games (8-6 Ivy League) and earned the program’s first postseason appearance since 1968. Kyle Smith welcomes back his top four scorers from a season ago, led by senior forward Alex Rosenberg (16.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg) and junior guard Maodo Lo (14.7, 3.8).

However the Lions will move forward without two players, as it was announced Saturday that guard Meiko Lyles and forward Zach En’Wezoh will not be with the program this season according to John Templon of Big Apple Buckets. Per a statement from Smith, Lyles is moving on in order to focus on graduating and getting a job after he does so, with injuries being the reason for En’Wezoh’s decision.

While the 6-foot-8 En’Wezoh accounted for 2.0 points and 1.4 rebounds in just over seven minutes of action per contest in 2013-14, Lyles was a part of the Lions’ perimeter rotation a season ago and that was expected to be the case in 2014-15. Lyles averaged 5.7 points and 3.7 rebounds in 22.7 minutes per contest in 2013-14, starting nine of the 33 games in which he played.

Among the other perimeter options who return for Columbia is senior Steve Frankoski, who averaged 5.7 points per game in 14 contests a season ago. Frankoski missed the first 15 games due to a wrist injury and now that he’s healthy the senior should figure more prominently in the Columbia perimeter rotation, especially with Lyles leaving the team.