Bulldogs Set For Test At Wake Forest

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Jesse Pritchard. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Bulldogs are back in action after a 10-day break for the holiday on Thursday at Wake Forest. Tipoff at Joel Coliseum is slated for 7 p.m.

Yale has played only once since Dec. 7, a 68-65 victory at Rhode Island on Dec. 18. The Bulldogs have won six straight games, their longest winning streak since the 2001-02 team won seven straight. In three of the six games during the winning streak, the Bulldogs have trailed at the half, and they have overcome 13-point deficits in two (Sacred Heart, Rhode Island) of the games. Yale already has eight non-league wins, which is the most since 2005-06. The Bulldogs lead the Ivy League in scoring (74.1 ppg.) and free throw percentage (.737) and are second in field goal percentage defense (.396). During the six-game winning streak, Yale has outscored its opponents 127-75 from the free throw line. Individually, Greg Mangano leads the league in rebounding (8.8 rpg.) and is third in scoring (17.0 ppg.). Mangano, who played for Team USA in the World University Games over the summer, needs one block to tie Chris Dudley's school record of 172 career blocks. Austin Morgan is the most accurate three-point shooter (.492, 29-of-59) in the Ivy League and is tied for fifth in scoring (14.6 ppg.). The game is a homecoming for guard Michael Grace, a Winston-Salem native. Yale has had success against the ACC in James Jones' tenure as head coach. The Bulldogs beat Clemson in 2001-02 and knocked off Boston College last year.

SCOUTING WAKE FOREST

The Demon Deacons (8-4) have won three of their last four games, including an 87-78 victory over UNC Wilmington on Dec. 21. C.J. Harris (18.3 ppg.) and Travis McKie (17.7 ppg.) provide a good portion of the scoring punch.

HISTORY LESSONS

When Yale last played at Wake Forest in 2004, the Demon Deacons were ranked No. 1 in the nation. Chris Paul scored 15 points and had five assists to lead WFU to a 99-72 win that night. The Demon Deacons lead the all-time series 5-1. The most memorable meeting was Wake Forest's 92-82 overtime victory in the first round of the 1962 NCAA Tournament in Philadelphia. Former CBS analyst Billy Packer scored 15 points in that game for the Demon Deacons, who went on to make their only Final Four appearance. In 2003, Wake travelled to Connecticut to play Yale at the Arena At Harbor Yard in Bridgeport.

MANGANO PLAYS FOR TEAM USA AT WORLD UNIVERSITY GAMES

Greg Mangano was a part of the 12-player roster that represented the United States in the 2011 World University Games in August in Shenzhen, China. In six games during the tournament, Mangano averaged 3.2 points and 3.2 rebounds. His five blocks were second on the team, and he also contributed four steals. His top performance came against Mexico when he scored eight points and grabbed eight rebounds. He added seven points, three rebounds and two blocks in the win over Finland. The team was coached by Purdue's Matt Painter. Joining Mangano on the Team USA roster were: Tim Abromaitis (Notre Dame); Marcus Denmon (Missouri); Ashton Gibbs (Pittsburgh); Draymond Green (Michigan State); JaMychal Green (Alabama); Scoop Jardine (Syracuse); John Jenkins (Vanderbilt); Orlando Johnson (UC Santa Barbara); Trevor Mbakwe (Minnesota); Ray McCallum (Detroit Mercy); and Darius Miller (Kentucky).

 

KREISBERG COMPETES AT U20 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS

Jeremiah Kreisberg played for Israel at the Under-20 European Championships in July in in Sarajevo, Bosnia. He appeared in six games (he missed the last two games with a minor injury) and averaged 12.3 points and 5.7 rebounds, while averaging nearly 30 minutes per game. He led the team in rebounding and was second in scoring. Kreisberg headed to Tel-Aviv in June, spent three weeks training with the Israel team and took part in the team's preparation tour through Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia.

CHINA TRIP

Yale got a bit of a head start on the 2011-12 season. The Bulldogs spent 10 days in China last May and played four games, winning three, including a victory over a Chinese professional team. The trip allowed the Bulldogs to bond as a team and work on some things for the upcoming season.

HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION

Mangano and Kreisberg weren't the only players to have interesting off seasons. Austin Morgan spent two months in Mauritius, an island nation off southeast coast of Africa, as an Eli-Africa fellow. He helped run an after school program for local children, teaching a class on health and fitness. Sam Martin was in Washington, D.C., interning for Senator Jack Reed of his home state of Rhode Island. Freshman Armani Cotton founded DOSA (Division One Student Athlete) Basketball Clinic. After gaining approval from the NCAA and the Ivy League, Cotton ran two week-long clinics in New York City and three in Lake Naomi, Pa. Cotton created the program in an attempt to deflate the idea that being valedictorian and a star athlete are mutually exclusive. DOSA focuses on the values of hard work and discipline as well as basketball IQ and Division I skills in order to challenge campers intellectually and physically.

WILLHITE TRAINS WITH LAETTNER, HILL

Reggie Willhite trained with former Duke stars Christian Laettner and Grant Hill earlier this fall. Willhite's father heard an interview with Laettner on the radio. Laettner mentioned he was looking for some Division I players on the East Coast to train. Willhite's father reached out to Laettner, who agreed to train Willhite. Reggie spent two weekends working out with Laettner and Hill. Hill's father is legendary Yale football player Calvin Hill.

YALE PICKED SECOND IVY LEAGUE PRESEASON POLL

Yale was picked second, along with Princeton, by the select panel of 17 Ivy media representatives who voted in the official Ivy League preseason media poll. The Bulldogs received one first-place vote and 103 points. Harvard is the league favorite with 16 first-place votes and 135 points. Princeton also had 103 points followed by Penn (90), Brown (62), Cornell (52), Columbia (50) and Dartmouth (17).

PRESEASON HONORS

Lindy's selected Greg Mangano as its preseason Ivy League Player of the Year. The publication also named Mangano the league's Best Rebounder, Best Defender and Best NBA Prospect. Mangano also was named preseason All-Ivy by Athlon Sports, Rivals.com and Rush The Court.

LEE AMPHITHEATER FEATURED IN ESPN THE MAGAZINE

The John J. Lee Amphitheater, the home of Yale Basketball, was featured in ESPN The Magazine's College Basketball preview issue. The title of the feature is Grand Stands, the game marches on, but a dwindling number of college basketball cathedrals can still take us back to when it all began.

The Palestra in Philadelphia, Butler's Hinkle Fieldhouse and Fordham's Rose Hill Gymnasium were the only other venues selected.

 "To walk through these gates and settle into these seats is to remember the game's roots," wrote LaRue Cook. "Because sometimes sports aren't about results – they're about beauty and style and being connected to something bigger than the game."

Lee Amphitheater sits inside historic Payne Whitney Gym, which was constructed in 1931 under the direction of John Russell Pope. Yale's first basketball game was played there on Dec. 18, 1932, and it has been the home of the Bulldogs ever since.

HEAD COACH JAMES JONES

James Jones, now in his 13th season, is the dean of Ivy League coaches. His 165 overall wins are the 10th most in Ivy history and his 91 Ivy wins are the sixth most. 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. Five 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), Ted Hotaling (New Haven) and Rob Senderoff (Kent State).Jones served as an assistant coach to Villanova's Jay Wright for the 2007 USA Basketball Men's Pan American Games Team.

VANCISIN INDUCTED INTO HALL OF FAME

Joe Vancisin, Yale's all-time winningest men's basketball coach, was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame on Nov. 20. Vancisin guided the Bulldogs for 19 seasons and won three Ivy League titles.

Vancisin, who entered as a contributor, joined players Ralph Sampson, James Worthy, Cazzie Russell and Chris Mullin, coaches Bob Knight and Eddie Sutton and fellow contributor Eddie Einhorn in the induction class of 2011.

Vancisin took over at Yale in 1956-57 and promptly led the Bulldogs to the first official Ivy League title. Yale then lost to North Carolina 90-74 in the NCAA Tournament at Madison Square Garden. The Bulldogs returned to the NCAA Tournament in 1961-62, dropping a heartbreaking 92-82 decision to a Wake Forest team that went on to advance to the Final Four. Yale shared the Ivy title in 1962-63 but fell to Princeton in a playoff game.

Vancisin, who had a 206-242 record as the Bulldogs' head coach, left Yale in 1975 to become the NABC's executive director for 17 years before his retirement in 1992.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity

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