Busy Home Stretch Starts With Visits From Cornell, Columbia

Austin Morgan. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Austin Morgan. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Bulldogs Look To Get Back On Winning Track After Falling Twice Last Weekend

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Bulldogs have a little less margin for error after dropping a pair of close road games last week. Fortunately Yale plays six of its next eight games in the friendly confines of the John J. Lee Amphitheater, starting Friday against Cornell. Yale is 5-2 at home this season. Tipoff against the Big Red is slated for 7 p.m., while the Bulldogs have a 6 p.m. date with Columbia on Saturday.

Yale is 7-2 when outrebounding its opponent this season. On Saturday the Bulldogs will be facing a Columbia team that leads the Ivy League in rebounding margin (+5.7). Yale's defense, which leads the league in opponent field goal percentage (.414), will face a stiff test as well. Two of the top three scorers in the league will be in town - Cornell's Chris Wroblewski (15.0 ppg.) is third, while Columbia's Noruwa Agho (16.8 ppg.) tops the conference. Columbia (73.3 ppg.) features the top scoring offense in the league. Yale's Greg Mangano had his streak of being named Ivy League Player of the Week stopped at three, but he still had a productive weekend, averaging 15.5 points and 8.0 rebounds against Penn and Princeton. In his last six games, Mangano is averaging 17.3 points and 11.7 rebounds. He is 18th in the nation in blocked shots (48, 2.7 per game) and 19th in rebounding (10.1 rpg.). James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball, has 151 wins at Yale, tying him with Dick Kuchen for second all-time at Yale.


Friday all Yale Graduate School of Arts & Science students and family members receive free admission, while Saturday all Yale freshmen in attendance can enter for a chance to win four $50 gift cards to Barnes & Noble at Yale University.


Open to all Yale basketball fans and friends, the newly renovated Ivy Lounge features refreshments, a social atmosphere, and skybox viewing from one-half hour prior to tip-off through the entire game for all home Ivy League games.  The cost is $10 for all Yale Basketball Association members and $20 for non-members.  Come to the skyboxes under the scoreboard to learn more.


The Bulldogs have won seven of the last nine meetings with Cornell at Lee Amphitheater. The Big Red, though, beat Yale twice last year, including a 79-59 decision in the season finale in New Haven. Cornell leads the all-time series 106-101.

The Bulldogs swept the season series from Columbia last year for the first time since 2006. Saturday will be the first time since 2003 that the Jones brothers won't be facing each other. James Jones's younger brother Joe spent seven years at the helm of the Lions program before leaving to become the Associate Head Coach at Boston College. Yale has won three straight games over Columbia but still trails in the all-time series 122-96.

Yale has swept the Columbia-Cornell home weekend six times under James Jones.


The Big Red (4-14, 0-4 Ivy) has lost four straight games. Chris Wroblewski leads the team in scoring (15.0 ppg.) and assists (91). Wroblewski is a Bob Cousy Award candidate. Errick Peck has scored in double figures in 11 of the last 12 games and averages 11.3 points for the season. Bill Courtney is in his first year as the head coach of the Big Red after serving as an assistant coach at Virginia Tech.


The Lions (12-6, 3-1 Ivy) play at Brown on Friday. Columbia has won nine of its last 11 games, including a 66-45 victory at Dartmouth last Saturday. Eleven of Columbia's 18 games have been decided by five points or less. Noruwa Agho (16.8 ppg.) and Brian Barbour (13.2 ppg.) are the top scoring duo in the Ivy League. Kyle Smith is in his first year as the head coach of Columbia. He spent nine years as the associate head coach at Saint Mary's.


•  Porter Braswell scored a career-high 19 points last Friday against Penn. In the two games over the weekend, Braswell shot 52.4 percent from the field.

•  Yale was 10-of-11 from the free throw line against Penn but shot only 9-of-16 from the line against Princeton.

•  The starters combined to score all but 13 points in the Yale-Penn game.

•  Yale was outrebounded in both games.

•  Princeton shot 53.2 percent from the field in its win over the Bulldogs, the first time a Yale opponent shot better than 50 percent since Vermont on Dec. 4, a stretch of 10 games.

•  James Jones and his staff participated in the Coaches' vs. Cancer® Suits and Sneakers awareness weekend. The coaches wore sneakers with their suits to demonstrate their support for the American Cancer Society and its vision of a world with less cancer and more birthdays. The referees all used pink whistles in the Yale-Princeton game.


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


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' most impressive victory during the non-conference season was a 75-67 win at Boston College on Nov. 18. Yale made a season-high 12 three-pointers in the game. BC's only lead was 2-1. The Eagles are currently 14-8 overall and 4-4 in the ACC...Three Bulldogs took an active role in the Yale Athletic Department's annual Holiday Gift Giving Initiative. Alfonso Costa, Michael Grace and Jesse Pritchard visited Augusta Lewis Troup School on Friday, Dec. 10, to distribute gifts collected. Costa, who also plays lacrosse, is chair of Yale's Student-Athlete Community Outreach Committee...Roger Lee, the youngest son of Yale great John Lee '58, attended the Yale-Stanford game. John Lee scored 1,493 points in three seasons at Yale. Yale's home court, the John J. Lee Amphitheater, is named in his honor... Yale's home game with Princeton will be televised as part of the winter "Yale On Yes" package.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity