Ian McGinnis ran to his VCR, popped in a tape and waited.
McGinnis, a sophomore center at Dartmouth who grew up in Manhattan
and attended tiny, private Collegiate School, is leading the nation in
rebounding. The tape was to record his first two seconds of fame.
"It was an exciting thing," McGinnis said, recalling the first time
he saw his name at the bottom of a FOX Sports broadcast:
Men's College Basketball . . . Division I Rebounding . . . 1)
McGinnis, Dartmouth, 12.6 . . . "I watch the tape all the time," the
6-8, 220-pound McGinnis said. "It's pretty cool. I did it so I could
have something to show my kids."
Hanover, N.H., is a long way from New York. In fact, Hanover -
home of the Dartmouth campus - is three hours from Boston, the
nearest major city.
"Sometimes it's tough living in a place where there are more cows
than people," the 20-year-old said. "Especially because of where I come
from. But everybody's really nice. There's not much to do except work
hard in class and become a better basketball player."
McGinnis was a standout in high school, leading Collegiate to an
80-11 record and three Ivy League titles. Yet, McGinnis didn't receive
overwhelming attention because he didn't play in the PSAL or CHSAA.
Mostly, McGinnis opened eyes in the AAU summer leagues, where he played
for Riverside and the Gauchos, and at the prestigious Five-Star
basketball camp. Eventually, he was recruited by Seton Hall, Wisconsin,
and many Ivy and MAAC schools, including Manhattan.
"Not a lot of people would have thought I could be doing something
like this," McGinnis said. "I've just found a way to get my share of
He's climbed the rebounding charts slowly but surely. He went from
15th in the nation to ninth and only recently did he take over the lead.
And all the way, teammate Brian Labo has been tracking his progress on
"I think he's even more excited about it than me," McGinnis said.
McGinnis, also averaging 8.6 points this season, is a big reason the
Big Green are exceeding expectations in conference. Dartmouth was
picked to finish seventh in the preseason but has won its first four
"That Ian led the conference in rebounding last year [8.0 per game]
is a credit to his determination, his all-out hustle and his desire to
win," Dartmouth coach Dave Faucher said. "He has shown the Ivy League
that he is a force to be reckoned with."
And all this despite a nagging back injury that has plagued him
during both seasons at Dartmouth.
So how exactly does a player listed at 6-8 grab so many rebounds?
Be like Dennis Rodman, McGinnis said.
"It's all about positioning and being smart," he said. "It's
something I was taught well in high school. That, and having some decent
hands doesn't hurt. If I get my hands on it, it's mine."
He held his own, as did Dartmouth, in a 14-point loss to North
Carolina on Dec. 19. McGinnis had 19 points and seven rebounds. "That
[7-foot Brendan] Haywood is no fun," he said. "But I did OK."
McGinnis admits he's no fan of the cold weather. "We see zero too
often," he said.
And he realizes hockey is the favorite sport to watch for most folks
in the area. "We are pretty close to the Canadian border," he said.
But maybe the worst thing is not having a driver's license yet. "You
don't need one when you live in the city," he said.
McGinnis says it's always nice to come home, which he did on Jan.
8, when Dartmouth won at Columbia. McGinnis jumped on a subway to
101st and Riverside where his parents still live. "Upper West Side ain't
bad," McGinnis said. "But I still have a lot to get done up here."
Around the country
Ohio State's William Dudley, a freshman center from Bishop Loughlin,
had a screw inserted in his right foot on Friday to stabilize a stress
fracture. Dudley, 6-9, was seeing limited action for the 15-5 Buckeyes.
His high school and Ohio State teammate, guard Brian Brown, is seeing
more time as the season progresses . . . Former St. Francis Prep
forward Drew Samuels has made great strides in his sophomore season at
Marist. Samuels scored 32 on 10-for-11 shooting in a 119-108 loss to
Niagara last Monday. The Red Foxes are 11-5, 4-4 MAAC . . . Virginia's
Willie Dersch, a junior swingman from Holy Cross, is leading his team in
minutes played and scored 18 in a 77-65 loss to Georgia Tech on Jan. 16.