Bulldogs, Bears Meet Again Friday In Providence

Greg Mangano (photo by Don Clark, Yale Sports Publicity)
Greg Mangano (photo by Don Clark, Yale Sports Publicity)

Yale Hopes To Avenge Last Friday's Loss To Brown

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - In recent years, the Yale men's basketball team has had some success against Brown at the Pizzitola Center. The Bulldogs have won two of their last three games in Providence. It would certainly be in their best interest to add another victory when the two teams meet on Friday at 7 p.m. The game can be heard on WYBC (1340 AM, wybc.com) with Michael Dunn and Ian Halpern calling the action or on Sirius XM radio channel 130.Brown edged Yale 75-66 last Friday at the John J. Lee Amphitheater in the Ivy League opener for both teams. The Bulldogs will be looking to avoid their first 0-2 Ivy start since 2004-05. In order to reverse last week's outcome, Yale will have to shoot better. The Bulldogs made only 3-of-18 three-pointers and 11-of-18 free throws. That could mean more opportunities for forward Michael Sands, who is shooting 53.8 percent (21-of-39) and averaging 13.8 points and 7.5 rebounds in the last four games. Sands paced Yale with 15 points and eight rebounds last Friday. Alex Zampier, who is second in the league in scoring (18.4 ppg.), was held to 14 points in the first meeting. Yale got significant contributions from Jordan Gibson (13 points), Michael Grace (14 points) and Paul Nelson (five rebounds, three blocks). Grace, a freshman, is averaging 9.7 points and 4.0 assists in the last three games.


Brown is looking to sweep the season series from Yale for the first time since 2005. The teams have split the last 10 meetings, but the Bulldogs lead the all-time series 94-50.


The Bears (7-11, 1-0 Ivy) are one of the top shooting teams in the Ivy League. They are third in the conference in field goal percentage (.444) and three-point field goal percentage (.358). Brown's bench played a significant role in the victory over Yale last Friday, contributing 39 points. Steve Gruber led the way with 15 points, while freshman Andrew McCarthy added 14 points and eight rebounds which led to him earning Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors. Bears' leading scorer Matt Mullery (15.1 ppg.) was limited due to an ankle injury last Friday and had only five points. He did, however, contribute seven assists. Brown made 7-of-18 three-pointers and 24-of-29 free throws in the victory over the Bulldogs.


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 opened 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