Yale Has Finished Higher Than Projection In Three Of Last Four Years
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale men's basketball team has finished fourth or better in the Ivy League in each of the last nine years. The league's media members expect that streak to end this year. The Bulldogs were picked to finish fifth in the Ivy League preseason poll, released today during a media teleconference.
The media's track record, however, is less than stellar. Yale has finished higher than projected in three of the last four years. The Bulldogs begin the task of proving them wrong again when they open the season on Nov. 13 against Sacred Heart at 5:30 p.m. in the first game of the Connecticut Six Classic tripleheader.
"We have a small margin for error this season, but I expect that we will be in the mix among the top teams in the league," said James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball. "Our team will have to fight harder and be a little tougher than years past if we are to be successful."
Two-time defending champion Cornell is the overwhelming favorite. The Big Red received all 16 first-place votes. Princeton is second followed by Penn and Harvard. Columbia (sixth), Brown and Dartmouth round out the poll.
The Bulldogs, who finished in a tie for second place with Princeton last year, lose four starters but return Alex Zampier, an honorable mention All-Ivy selection. Zampier led the Ivy League in free throw percentage (.848) and was eighth in scoring (13.2 ppg.) and second in steals (1.6 per game). In addition, Yale welcomes back four other players who averaged at least 10 minutes per game.
2009-10 Ivy League Men's Basketball Preseason Media
1. Cornell - 128 points (16 first-place votes)
2. Princeton - 96
3. Penn - 92
4. Harvard - 86
5. Yale - 59
6. Columbia - 55
7. Brown - 41
8. Dartmouth - 19
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity