Home Opener Brings Visit From Army

Brian Katz. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Brian Katz. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Bulldogs Hope To Avenge Last Year's Loss At West Point

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - After three very challenging road games, the Bulldogs play their home opener on Saturday against Army. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. It is Heroes Day at the John J. Lee Amphitheater. All active and retired military, police, fire, and EMT personnel, as well as their families and friends, are eligible to receive free tickets for their group with a valid ID.

Yale came through a stretch of games against Providence, Boston College and Illinois as well as could be expected. The Bulldogs led Providence by six points with eight minutes remaining before the Friars rallied for a 58-55 victory. Yale then upset Boston College 75-67 for its first victory over an ACC school since 2001. Against the 19th-ranked Illini, the Bulldogs stayed within striking distance for much of the game before a late Illinois spurt sealed a 73-47 win. Austin Morgan, who was named the Ivy League Co-Player of the Week after leading Yale with 25 points in the win over BC, is the team's top scorer (16.5 ppg.). Greg Mangano averages 13.3 points and 7.5 rebounds, which is third in the Ivy League.


Home court has played an important role in the Yale-Army series recently. The home team has won five of the last six games. Last year in West Point, the Black Knights knocked off the Bulldogs 64-48. Cleveland Richard led Army with 18 points and five rebounds. Porter Braswell, Alex Zampier '10, Reggie Willhite and Raffi Mantilla all scored nine points to pace the Bulldogs


The Black Knights (4-1) bring a three-game winning streak to New Haven. Army cruised to a 72-58 win over Binghamton on Tuesday night behind a career-high 22-point effort from Jeremy Hence. The streak began with a thrilling 63-60 victory at NJIT. Hence's half court shot as time expired was the game-winner. Julian Simmons, who had 30 points in the win over Binghamton, leads the Black Knights in scoring (18.8 ppg.). Army is coached by Zach Spiker, who spent five years as an assistant coach under Steve Donahue at Cornell.


Yale was picked to finish fifth in the Ivy League by the select panel of 17 Ivy media representatives. Yale, though, shouldn't put too much stock in those prognostications. The Bulldogs have finished higher than projected in four of the last five years. Princeton, which received 12 of 17 first-place votes, is the preseason Ivy League favorite. The Tigers return their top five scorers and top two rebounders. Harvard got four first-place votes and is second followed by Cornell (one first-place vote) and Penn. Brown, Columbia and Dartmouth round out the poll.



First-Place Votes in Parentheses

Rank    School                         Points

1.          Princeton (12)          128

2.          Harvard (4)               120

3.          Cornell (1)                 96

4.          Penn                         89

5.          Yale                           57

6.          Brown                       55

7.          Columbia                  48

8.          Dartmouth              19


Greg Mangano, who led the Ivy League in blocked shots last year, has been named to the All-Connecticut 6 preseason team. Mangano, a 6-foot-10 junior, tied for fifth in the league in rebounding (5.5 rpg.). In addition, he was fourth on the team in scoring (7.5 ppg.) and tied for second in rebounding. Joining Mangano on the All-Connecticut 6 preseason team is Quinnipiac forward Justin Rutty, Central Connecticut guard Shemik Thompson, Fairfield guard Derek Needham, Hartford guard Joe Zeglinski and Sacred Heart guard Jerrell Thompson.


The state of Connecticut has a rich basketball tradition. A new chapter in that history started in 2009-10 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 second annual Connecticut 6 Classic tripleheader was Nov. 13 at the the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville. 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.


James Jones has made quite an impact on the Yale basketball program. In 11 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. 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 nine of his 11 years. Four assistant coaches who worked under Jones have gone on to become head coaches - Isaiah Cavaco (Oberlin), Mark Sembrowich (Academy of Arts University), Mark Gilbride (Clarkson) and Ted Hotaling (New Haven).Jones served as an assistant coach to Villanova's Jay Wright for the 2007 USA Basketball Men's Pan American Games Team.


  • The Bulldogs will face seven teams that reached the post-season last year – Cornell (NCAA), Vermont (NCAA), Lehigh (NCAA), Quinnipiac (NIT), Illinois (NIT), Harvard (CIT) and Princeton (CBI).
  • Yale will play five afternoon home games in Lee Amphitheater – Army (Nov. 27), Sacred Heart (Dec. 19), Lehigh (Dec. 31), Baruch College (Jan. 8) and Brown (Jan. 22). All are scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.
  • There will be familiar faces on the opposing bench when the Bulldogs play at Boston College. Steve Donahue, who guided Cornell to last three Ivy League titles, is in his first season as the head coach at BC. His associate head coach, Joe Jones, was the head coach at Columbia for the last seven years and is the younger brother of Yale head coach James Jones.
  • Boston College is one of six opponents that will have first-year head coaches. Hartford (John Gallagher), Holy Cross (Milan Brown), Columbia (Kyle Smith), Cornell (Bill Courtney) and Dartmouth (Paul Cormier) are the others.
  • Yale played Illinois for only the second time. The first meeting was a 71-67 Illini victory in the 1949 NCAA Tournament at Madison Square Garden.
  • Yale will be playing Stanford for third time in the last four years. The Cardinal became the first Pac 10 to school to play in Lee Amphitheater in 2008.
  • Yale will host a game on New Year's Eve for the first time since 1930. The Bulldogs play Lehigh in a 2 p.m. tip-off.
  • Three of the Bulldogs' first four Ivy games will be on the road.
  • Three-time defending Ivy League champion Cornell visits Lee Amphitheater on Feb. 4.


Michael Sands has withdrawn from Yale for personal reasons and will not be with the team... The Bulldogs remained in Boston following the BC game. In addition to taking a tour of Fenway Park, the team attended the Yale-Harvard football game at Harvard Stadium... Alex Zampier '10 has earned a spot on the roster of the New Mexico Thunderbirds of the NBA Developmental League.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity