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Busy Start To New Year For Bulldogs

Busy Start To New Year For Bulldogs

Jan. 1, 2009

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Bulldogs open the new year with two games in 22 hours. Yale plays at Bryant on Friday in a 4 p.m. tipoff (Pay-Per-View Video, Audio, Live Stats) and then returns to the John J. Lee Amphitheater for the first time in a month to host MIT on Saturday at 2 p.m. (Yale All*Access Video, GameTracker).

The Bulldogs are coming off two close losses during a trip down South. After falling behind Alabama by 18 points early in the second half, Yale rallied and pulled within one twice in the final minute before dropping a 66-63 decision to the Crimson Tide. The Bulldogs then suffered a 58-56 setback two days later at Hampton. Yale had a chance to tie in the final seconds but a Chris Andrews jumper from the wing rimmed out. Travis Pinick scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds against Alabama to earn Ivy League Player of the Week honors. Pinick leads the team in rebounding (6.1 rpg.). Ross Morin averaged 18.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in the two games. Alex Zampier, who leads the team in scoring (14.5 ppg.), had 15 points against Hampton. After this weekend, the Bulldogs have only two games remaining before the start of Ivy play - NJIT on Jan. 7 and Hartford on Jan. 10.

Yale and Bryant are playing for the first time. The Bulldogs are 5-0 all-time against MIT. The last meeting was a 76-55 Yale victory in 1973, and the first time the teams played was in 1928.

Like Yale, Bryant(1-11) has spent most the early season playing away from home. The Bulldogs, who are in their first year of Division I play, have had road games at UConn, Iowa, Boston College, Rutgers, Providence and Maryland. Their first Division I win came against Quinnipiac, 59-50, on Nov. 22. A familiar face will be on the sidelines for the Bulldogs. Tim O'Shea, who was named Bryant's head coach on June 23, spent two years as an assistant coach at Yale under Dick Kuchen from 1986-88. Bryant will become a full-time member of the Northeast Conference in the fall of 2012.

The Engineers (7-3) haven't played since a 65-57 victory over Emerson on Dec. 9. Jimmy Bartolotta became the school's all-time leading scorer in a win over Tufts. This season, he is averaging 27.0 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists. Billy Johnson (16.5 ppg.) and Hamidou Soumare (14.2 ppg.) also average double figures in scoring. MIT is shooting 49.7 percent from the field and 41.3 percent from three-point range. Larry Anderson is in his 14th season as the head coach of the Engineers. He is just the second MIT coach with at least 100 career victories.

Yale was picked to finish third in the Ivy League preseason media poll, released during a media teleconference on Oct. 21. Defending champion Cornell was the unanimous first-place selection. The Big Red return four starters and four All-Ivy picks from a team that went undefeated in league play last year. Penn was picked second. Harvard was fourth followed by Brown, Columbia, Dartmouth and Princeton.

2008-09 Ivy League Men's Basketball Preseason Media Poll
1. Cornell - 128 points (16 first-place votes)
2. Penn - 110
3. Yale - 80
4. Harvard - 77
5. Brown - 75
6. Columbia - 45
7. Dartmouth - 33
8. Princeton - 28

Former Yale men's basketball star Earl "Butch" Graves '84 has been selected as one of six recipients of the 2009 NCAA Silver Anniversary Award, presented annually since 1973 to former student-athletes whose collegiate careers ended 25 years ago and who have gone on to excel in their chosen professions. Graves will receive his award at the NCAA Honors and Delegates Celebration on January 15, 2009, during the NCAA Convention in Washington, D.C. Graves, the captain of the 1983-84 Bulldogs, is Yale's all-time leading scorer with 2,090 career points and is one of only four players in Ivy League history to score at least 2,000 points. He was named first team All-Ivy in both 1983 and 1984 and led the league in scoring in Ivy games three times (1982-84). Graves, who received a bachelor's degree in economics from Yale, is the president & CEO of Earl G. Graves Publishing Co., publisher of Black Enterprise magazine. He is responsible for the strategic positioning and overall profitability of the corporation.

• The 2008-09 schedule features 11 home games and 17 road contests. Nine of the first 11 games are away from home.
• The Stanford game marked the first time a Pac-10 school played the Bulldogs in New Haven. The last opponent from a major conference to play in Lee Amphitheater was Penn State of the Big Ten in 2000-01. Yale hosted ACC foe Wake Forest at the Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport in 2003-04.
• When the Bulldogs beat Oregon State on Nov. 24, former Brown head coach Craig Robinson was guiding the Beavers. Robinson, the brother-in-law of Barack Obama, was 2-2 against Yale in his two seasons at Brown.
• Yale played its first game against Alabama on Dec. 28. The Crimson Tide is coached by Mark Gottfried. Gottfried and James Jones served as assistant coaches to Villanova's Jay Wright for the 2007 USA Basketball Men's Pan American Games Team. Among the players the two coached are Georgetown's Roy Hibbert, Michigan State's Drew Neitzel and Indiana's D.J. White.
• A familiar face will be on the sidelines when Yale visits Bryant on Jan. 2. Tim O'Shea, who was named Bryant's head coach on June 23, spent two years as an assistant coach at Yale under Dick Kuchen.
• Alabama and Bryant are two of three first-time opponents for the Bulldogs. Yale plays at NJIT on Jan. 7.
• The 14-game Ivy League season begins on Jan. 16 at Brown. First-year Brown head coach Jesse Agel and Yale Associate Head Coach Curtis Wilson worked together on Tom Brennan's staff at Vermont.
• Five of Yale's first six Ivy League games are on the road.
• The Bulldogs play defending Ivy champion Cornell on Jan. 31 in Ithaca and host the Big Red on Feb. 20 at Lee Amphitheater.

Free live video is available for all Yale home games that aren't televised. Fans can access the games at by clicking on the Yale All*Access logo in the top right corner. An e-mail address and password are required to subscribe to the service. WYBC (1340 AM) provides audio.

Former NBA star Chris Dudley, a 1987 Yale graduate, hosted the team for dinner during the trip to Oregon. Dudley, who lives just outside of Portland, played 16 seasons in the NBA and scored 3,473 points and collected 5,457 rebounds. He was a three-time first team All-Ivy selection at Yale. He spoke to the team in the locker room following the victory over Oregon State... James Jones, who is in his 10th year at Yale, is the longest tenured coach in the Ivy League. His younger brother Joe is the head coach at Columbia. The Jones brothers are one of only two active brother duos coaching at the Division I level. Seth and Brad Greenberg are the head coaches at Virginia Tech and Radford... Yale had private scrimmages against Army and Stony Brook... Senior Brandon Rose has joined the roster after serving as the team manager for the last two years. Rose was a second team All-Dade County selection as a senior at Palmer Trinity School.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity