January 6, 2009

Bulldogs Head To "The Rock" For Final Non-Ivy Road Game

Jan. 6, 2009

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The final non-conference road game of the season takes Yale to the Prudential Center (The Rock) in Newark, N.J., for a matchup with NJIT. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. (Audio, Live Stats). When they return to New Haven following the game, the Bulldogs will have travelled nearly 10,000 miles (9,962) for their 10 non-league road contests.

Yale is coming off an 86-63 win over MIT on Saturday. Jordan Gibson, who was starting in place of an injured Alex Zampier, scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead the way. Ross Morin added 12 points and nine rebounds, and Travis Pinick contributed 12 points and eight assists. Morin, who shares the team lead in scoring (13.8 ppg.) with Zampier, is averaging 15.3 points and 6.3 rebounds, while shooting 60.3 percent from the field in his last three games. Yale has three players in the top 10 in the Ivy League in field goal percentage - Morin (4th, .529), Garrett Fiddler (5th, .522) and Pinick (10th, .467). The Bulldogs lead the Ivy League in steals (8.2 per game). Yale plays its final non-league game of the season on Saturday, hosting Hartford at 2 p.m. at the John J. Lee Amphitheater. The Bulldogs begin Ivy play at Brown on Jan. 16.

HISTORY LESSON
Yale and NJIT are playing for the first time.

SCOUTING NJIT
The Highlanders (0-14) are in their third season competing in Division I. Starting in 2009-10, NJIT will be part of the expanded multi-sport Great West Conference. Freshman Isaiah Wilkerson leads the team in scoring (10.8 ppg.). Gary Garris also averages doubles figures (10.8 ppg.). Paulius Skema tops the team in rebounding (5.5 rpg.). Jim Engles is in his first year as the head coach of the Highlanders. He spent five years as an assistant at Columbia, where he worked under Joe Jones, the brother of Yale coach James Jones. NJIT assistant coach Ira Bowman also is a familiar face to Yale fans. He played at Penn and was the 1995-96 Ivy League Player of the Year.

YALE 86, MIT 63
Jordan Gibson scored 13 points to lead a balanced attack as the Bulldogs cruised to an easy victory over MIT on Saturday. Yale was playing at home for the first time since a 76-66 victory over Holy Cross on Dec. 3. The score was tied at 10-10 after 6 minutes, 30 seconds, but the Bulldogs used an 11-2 run, capped by a Gibson layup, to seize control. Yale built the advantage to 13, 42-29, at the intermission. After MIT pulled to within 10 with 14:00 left, the Bulldogs put the game away with a 14-3 run over the next four minutes, capped by a Travis Pinick dunk. The lead grew to 26 when Brandon Rose hit a three-pointer from the baseline with 1:09 left.

YALE PICKED THIRD IN PRESEASON POLL
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

BUTCH GRAVES '84 NCAA SILVER ANNIVERSARY RECIPIENT
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.

2008-09 YALE SCHEDULE NOTES
• 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 was on the sidelines when Yale visited 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 were 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 VIDEO STREAMS ON YALEBULLDOGS.COM
Free live video is available for all Yale home games that aren't televised. Fans can access the games at yalebulldogs.com 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.

FINAL THOUGHTS
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