Trip Continues With Kreisberg’s Homecoming At Saint Mary’s

Jeremiah Kreisberg. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Jeremiah Kreisberg. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A very challenging three-game road trip for the Bulldogs continues at Saint Mary's on Sunday afternoon at 5:30 p.m. EST.

Yale (4-8) is coming off a hard-fought 85-75 loss at Nevada on Friday. The score was tied at 56 with 10 minutes left in the second half, and in all there were 10 ties and seven lead changes in the game.

The game with the Gaels is a homecoming for Jeremiah Kreisberg, a Berkeley, Calif., native. Kreisberg attended Saint Mary's Basketball Camp several times as a youngster. His family hosted a team dinner on Saturday, and he is expecting nearly 30 family and friends to be in attendance. Kreisberg is a graduate of the Head-Royce School where he helped lead the team to the quarterfinals of the state tournament for the first time in school history in his senior year. He was a two-time BCL East League Most Valuable Player and earned California Division 5 all-state recognition as both a junior and senior. At Yale, Kreisberg started all 29 games last year and was third on team in rebounding (5.1 rpg.) and fourth in scoring (7.7 ppg.). He had offseason back surgery, which has limited him this year, but in the last four games he is averaging 11.5 points and 4.5 rebounds. In the summer of 2011 he played for Israel at the Under-20 European Championships. Austin Morgan (13.0 ppg.) leads Yale in scoring and needs just eight points to reach 1,000 in his career. The Bulldogs outrebounded Nevada 38-29 on Friday. The road trip concludes Tuesday at Iowa State.


•  Austin Morgan is coming off a 20-point performance at Nevada on Friday. Morgan, a Reno, Nev., native was playing in front of numerous family and friends.

•  Michael Grace scored a career-high 17 points on Friday against Nevada. He was 5-of-9 from the field.

•  The Bulldogs grabbed 19 offensive rebounds against Nevada, which led to 21 second-chance points.


   Yale is playing at McKeon Pavilion for the second time. The Gaels edged the Bulldogs 66-56 on Jan. 2, 2003. Overall, this will be the fifth meeting between the teams, and Saint Mary's has 3-1 edge in the series. Two of the games were played at Stanford's Tournament, and the teams also met at the Cow Palace in San Francisco in 1948.


   Two statistics stand out when looking at the Gaels, who are shooting 50.9 percent from the field and outrebound their opponents by nearly 10 per game. Saint Mary's (9-3) is 6-0 at home, including an 82-59 victory over Rhode Island on Thursday. Saint Mary's is led by Matthew Dellavedora. He leads the team in scoring (18.0 ppg.) and has scored at least 30 points three times this season. He is also Saint Mary's all-time assist leader with 622, and is closing in on David Sivulich's all-time 3-point record of 238 (Dellavedova has 235). Stephen Holt (11.6 ppg.), Brad Waldrow (10.6 ppg.) and James Walker III (10.3 ppg.) also average double figures in scoring. After playing Yale on Sunday, the Gaels host Harvard on Monday. Saint Mary's is one of only five Division I programs to win 25 or more games each of the past five seasons. Last year, the Gaels won the West Coast Conference title and fell to Purdue in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. 


   The Bulldogs have finished fourth or better in the Ivy League in each of the last 12 years. That didn't earn Yale much respect in the preseason Ivy League media poll, which projected a sixth-place finish for the Bulldogs. Yale, though, has a history of proving the prognosticators wrong. In five of the last seven years, the Bulldogs have finished higher than projected. Princeton is the near unanimous favorite to win the league. The Tigers received 16 of the 17 first-place votes. . Defending champion Harvard was picked second followed by Columbia, Cornell and Penn. Brown and Dartmouth round out the poll.



First-Place Votes in Parentheses


Rank       School............................................ Points

1.             Princeton (16)..................................... 134

2.             Harvard (1)......................................... 109

3.             Columbia.............................................. 90

4.             Cornell................................................. 80

5.             Penn.................................................... 74

6.             Yale...................................................... 55

7.             Brown.................................................. 50

8.             Dartmouth........................................... 20 


   Senior Austin Morgan has earned a couple of preseason honors. He was named first team All-League by the Blue Ribbon College Yearbook and received second team recognition from College Sports Madness and Lindy's. Morgan, a two-year starter, finished fifth in the nation and set a school record with a .900 free throw percentage. Junior Jeremiah Kreisberg was named to the preseason third team by College Sports Madness. Kreisberg has started 47 games in his first two seasons. Last year, he started all 29 games and finished third on the team in rebounding (5.1 rpg.) and fourth in scoring (7.7 ppg.).


   The 2012-13 Yale roster features four freshmen. Khaliq Bedart-Ghani (Inglewood, CA), Jack Montague (Brentwood, TN), Justin Sears (Plainfield, NJ) and Nick Victor (Dallas, TX) all bring strong credentials. Bedart-Ghani led Loyola High School in California in rebounding and blocks as a senior last winter. Montague was the district, region and county most valuable player as a senior at Brentwood High School. He averaged 17.0 points and seven assists and scored more than 1,200 career points. Sears earned first team all-state, all-area and all-county honors as a senior at Plainfield High School in New Jersey. He scored 1,048 points and grabbed 1,063 rebounds in his career to become only the second player in school history to score over 1,000 points and grab more than 1,000 rebounds. He helped lead Plainfield to two New Jersey Tournament of Champion title games where it lost to national power St. Anthony's both times. Victor spent one year at the Winchendon School and earned NEPSAC honorable mention recognition. At Lovejoy High School in Dallas, Texas, he was the 2010 District most valuable player.


•  The Bulldogs didn't play their first home game until Saturday, Nov. 24 against Army. That was the first of 12 games in the friendly confines of the John J. Lee Amphitheater.

•  Yale played in the NABC Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. The first game was at Saint Joseph, the Atlantic 10 preseason favorite. The Bulldogs then headed to Evansville, Ind., for three games, against Evansville, Buffalo and Western Illinois.

•  Yale faces a very challenging three-game road trip right after Christmas. The Bulldogs travel to Nevada, Saint Mary's and Iowa State. The trip to Nevada is a homecoming for Reno native Austin Morgan, Jeremiah Kreisberg hails from Berkeley, Calif., a short distance from the Saint. Mary's campus while the trip to Iowa State is a homecoming for Ames, Iowa, native Jesse Pritchard.

•  The biggest test of the season, though, may come in Lee Amphitheater when preseason No. 10 Florida visits on Jan. 6. The Gators return three starters from a squad that went 26-11 and fell one game shy of the Final Four last year.

•  The Florida game is one of two in the Amphitheater that will be nationally televised. The NBC Sports Network will be in town for the game with the Gators, while CBS Sports Television will show the home game with Harvard on Feb. 23.

•  Yale kicks off Ivy League play on Jan. 19 at Brown. Five of the first six Ivy games will be on the road.


  Reggie Willhite, the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year last year as a senior at Yale, was selected in the fifth round of the 2012 NBA Development League Draft on Nov. 2. Willhite was selected by the Reno Bighorns with the fifth pick in the fifth round. He was the 70th player chosen overall. Willhite becomes the third Yale player to be drafted by a D-League team. Alex Zampier '10 was chosen in the seventh round of the 2012 draft by the New Mexico Thunderbirds and Travis Pinick '09 was taken in the eighth round of the 2009 draft by the Los Angeles D-Fenders Willhite enjoyed an outstanding career for the Bulldogs. As a senior, he earned second team All-Ivy recognition, set a single-season school record with 65 steals and was 17th in the nation in steals (2.24 per game). Willhite joins a long list of players that have earned professional opportunities during James Jones' tenure as the head coach at Yale. Ted Smith (England), Matt Minoff (Israel), Paul Vitelli (Italy), Dominick Martin (Spain), Matt Kyle (Portugal), Caleb Holmes (Iceland), Ross Morin (Switzerland), Eric Flato (England), Greg Mangano (Turkey) and Edwin Draughan (France) have all played overseas. Zampier, Pinick and Neil Yanke (tryout with Los Angeles Lakers) both had opportunities in the United States.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity