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Second Phase Of NIT Starts Monday At Hofstra

Paul Nelson (photo by Don Clark, Yale Sports Publicity)
Paul Nelson (photo by Don Clark, Yale Sports Publicity)

Bulldogs Play Charlotte & Elon

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The second phase of the Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off takes the Bulldogs to Hofstra for a pair of neutral site games. Yale plays Charlotte on Monday and Elon on Tuesday. Both games begin at 4:30 p.m. The trip to Long Island is a homecoming for three members of the Yale men's basketball family. Junior Michael Sands of Franklin Square, N.Y., played at Carey High School where he was named the conference and Nassau County Player of the Year as a senior. Sophomore Brian Katz is from Woodbury, N.Y., and was the Long Island Catholic League Player of the Year as a senior at St. Dominic High School. In addition, James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball at Yale, is a Long Island native. He is a 1982 graduate of Half Hollow Hills High West. The Bulldogs are coming off a 71-64 loss to Quinnipiac in their home opener on Saturday night. Alex Zampier scored 29 points to pace Yale. He is averaging 24.5 points on the season and scored 35 points in the season opener against Sacred Heart. Sands tops the Bulldogs in rebounding (8.3 rpg.).


Yale and Charlotte are playing for only the second time. The 49ers edged the Bulldogs 80-74 at the 2004 Cable Car Classic. Yale is playing Elon for the first time.


The 49ers won their first game in the NIT Season Tip-off, topping Elon 75-61, but then fell to Duke 101-59. Shamari Spears leads the team in scoring (21.5 ppg.), while Chris Braswell averages a team-best 8.7 rebounds.


Like Yale, the Phoenix (2-2) played a game on Saturday. Elon routed FDU-Florham 102-68. The Phoenix has three players averaging double figures in scoring - Josh Bonney (16.0 ppg.), Drew Spradlin (16.0 ppg.) and Adam Constantine (10.3 ppg.).


The Bulldogs were picked to finish fifth in the Ivy League preseason media poll, released on Oct. 28 during a media teleconference. Yale has finished higher than projected in three of the last four years. 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 Poll

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


The state of Connecticut has a rich basketball tradition. A new chapter in that history starts this season with the formation of the Connecticut 6, a partnership between six of Connecticut's Division I schools - Yale, Central Connecticut, Fairfield, Hartford, Quinnipiac and Sacred Heart. The inaugural Connecticut 6 Classic tripleheader was Nov. 13 at the Arena at Harbor Yard. The Classic moves to the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville in 2011. In addition to the tripleheader, a preseason All-Connecticut 6 team was selected and there will be a Connecticut 6 Player of the Week chosen each week during the season.


Jamie Snyder-Fair, who helped Washington & Lee make its first appearance in the ODAC championship game in 20 years last year, has joined James Jones' staff. In his one season at W&L, the Generals won 16 games, their most since 1988-89. Prior to Washington & Lee, Snyder-Fair was an assistant coach at Vassar where he helped the Brewers to 18 wins, which tied the school record. He also spent two years as an assistant at Amherst.


James Jones has made quite an impact on the Yale basketball program. In 10 seasons, Jones has guided Yale to success not seen in New Haven in 40 years. In 2001-02, Jones led the Bulldogs to their first Ivy League title since 1962-63 and the first postseason tournament victory in the 107-year history of Yale basketball. The team won 21 games, the second most in the modern era of Yale basketball, and reached the second round of the National Invitation Tournament. Jones, the longest tenured coach in the Ivy League, earned his 100th victory at Yale when the Bulldogs beat Columbia on Feb. 9, 2007. He is only the fourth coach in school history with at least 100 wins. His overall record at Yale is 130-149, including a 77-63 (.550) mark in Ivy games. The Bulldogs have won at least 10 Ivy games twice during his tenure and have had a .500 or better record in league play in each of the last nine years. Three assistant coaches who worked under Jones have gone on to become head coaches - Isaiah Cavaco (Oberlin), Mark Sembrowich (Academy of Arts University) and Mark Gilbride (Clarkson).Jones served as an assistant coach to Villanova's Jay Wright for the 2007 USA Basketball Men's Pan American Games Team.


Six Yale graduates, all coached by James Jones, are currently playing professional basketball. Edwin Draughan '05 (FOS Ouest, France), Dominick Martin '06 (Illescas CLM, Spain), Matt Kyle '08 (Tunisia), Eric Flato '08 (Plymouth Raiders, England) and Ross Morin '09 (SAM Massagno, Switzerland) are playing overseas, while Travis Pinick '09 was was selected in the eighth round of the 2009 NBA D-League Draft by the Los Angeles D-Fenders. Pinick is currently in camp trying to earn one of 10 roster spots on the D-Fenders.


• The 2009-10 schedule features 31 regular season games, including 12 in the friendly confines of the John J. Lee Amphitheater. It will mark the most games Yale has played in a season since 2001-02 when the Bulldogs finished 21-11.

• The Bulldogs will be making their second appearance in the Preseason NIT. Yale fell to No. 1 ranked UConn in the tournament to open the 2003-04 season. The Bulldogs are guaranteed four games in this year's tournament.

• The game with Quinnipiac on Nov. 21 will cap a busy day on the Yale campus. The 126th edition of the Yale-Harvard football game will be played at noon at Yale Bowl. Yale and Quinnipiac have met only once before, an 87-69 Bobcat win in 1999 in the Phoenix Classic at the Hartford Civic Center.

• Senior Alex Zampier has a homecoming when the Bulldogs visit Albany on Jan. 3. Zampier, an East Greenbush, N.Y., native, graduated as the second all-time leading scorer at Columbia High School with 1,381 points. Yale head coach James Jones is a 1996 Albany graduate. He played for and coached with the legendary Dr. Richard Sauers, one of only seven coaches to win more than 700 games.

• The Bulldogs open the 14-game Ivy League schedule at home against Brown on Jan. 15. Three of Yale's first four Ivy games will be at Lee Amphitheater.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity