Ivy League Play Kicks Off With Home Game Against Brown

Rhett Anderson. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Rhett Anderson. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Bulldogs Are 29-24 All-Time In Ivy Openers

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - As they have in each of the last four years, the Bulldogs begin Ivy League play against Brown. The Bears visit the John J. Lee Amphitheater on Friday for a 7 p.m. tipoff. Both teams won six non-conference games and both average 68.4 points. The differences are Brown has made 54 more three-pointers than Yale (133 to 79), while the Bulldogs have an edge on the glass (35.1 rpg. to 33.3 rpg.). Yale won its last two non-conference games in convincing fashion. The Bulldogs did it with defense, holding Albertus Magnus and NJIT to just 31.7 percent from the field. Yale also has been getting a more balanced offensive attack. Five players scored in double figures in the win over Albertus and four had at least 10 points against NJIT. Since being inserted into the starting lineup for the Lehigh game, freshman Austin Morgan is averaging 12 points, shooting 52.2 percent from the field and 60 percent from three-point range. Point guard Porter Braswell also has been more of a shooting threat in recent games. He has eight three-pointers in the last six games after making only one in the first 11 games. Michael Sands is averaging 13.0 points and 7.3 rebounds in his last three games. Alex Zampier returned to the lineup against NJIT after missing two games with an ankle injury. He is second in the Ivy League in scoring (18.7 ppg.).


Yale swept the season series from Brown last year for the first time since 1997-98. Alex Zampier scored 15 of his team-high 19 points in the second half in a 70-62 win in Providence, and the Bulldogs squeaked out a 57-55 victory in New Haven. Yale leads the all-time series with the Bears 94-49.


The Bears (6-11, 0-0 Ivy) are making their second trip to Connecticut this week. They dropped an 88-75 decision at Quinnipiac on Monday. Brown started three freshmen in that game, including Tucker Halper, who scored a team-high 26 points. Halpern, who was named the Ivy League Rookie of the Week prior to the game, is averaging 20.3 points in the last three games. Matt Mullery, a first team All-Ivy selection last year, leads the Bears in scoring (15.8 ppg.), rebounding (5.7 rpg.) and blocks (28) but missed Monday's game with an injury. The Bears are second in the Ivy League in three-point field goals made per game (7.8).


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 2010. 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.


• 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 made 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 played four games in this year's tournament.

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

• Senior Alex Zampier had a homecoming when the Bulldogs visited 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