February 11, 2009

First-place Princeton, YES Network In Town Friday

Feb. 11, 2009

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - After playing 15 of their first 20 games on the road, the Bulldogs (8-12, 3-3 Ivy) get to spend two straight weekends in the friendly confines of the John J. Lee Amphitheater. First-place Princeton starts the stretch with a Friday night visit. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. (wybc.com Audio | GameTracker) and the game will be televised live on the YES Network (DirecTV Channel 631). Yale then hosts Penn on Saturday at 7 p.m. (Yale All*Access Video | GameTracker).

After dropping their first home game of the year to Stanford, the Bulldogs have won four straight in New Haven. Yale is coming off a split of the Harvard-Dartmouth trip. Travis Pinick and Ross Morin each scored 15 points as the Bulldogs cruised to an 87-66 win over the Crimson. Yale, who has beaten Harvard seven straight times, shot 55 percent from field and scored a season-high 87 points. The Bulldogs dropped a hard-fought 57-54 decision to the Big Green the next night, despite a 17-point performance from Morin. Yale had a chance to tie but Porter Braswell's off-balance three-pointer from the wing rimmed out as time expired. Morin leads the Bulldogs in scoring (13.4 ppg.) and rebounding (5.9 rpg.).

HISTORY LESSONS
The Bulldogs have won four straight games against Princeton, their longest winning streak against the Tigers since 1961-63. The two teams are playing for the 219th time, and Princeton holds a 138-80 edge. Penn has won the last three meetings with Yale and leads the all-time series 141-67. The Bulldogs have won four of the last seven games with the Quakers in New Haven. Yale has swept the home Princeton-Penn weekend three times in James Jones' tenure as head coach (2002, 2005 and 2007).

CHECKING THE CALENDAR
The Bulldogs last played on Friday The 13th on Feb. 13, 2004, a 78-40 win at Dartmouth. Yale has lost the last five times it played on Valentine's Day.

SCOUTING PRINCETON
The first-place Tigers (10-9, 4-0 Ivy) have won seven straight games and have done it with defense. Princeton allowed only 76 total points in last weekend's sweep of Cornell and Columbia, the fewest in an Ivy weekend since 1984. The Tigers are fifth in the nation in scoring defense (56.8 ppg.) and lead the Ivy League in field goal percentage defense (.385). Freshman Douglas Davis leads the team in scoring (12.5 ppg.) Dan Mavraides (10.2 ppg.) also averages double figures in scoring. With 10 games to go, Princeton already has more total wins and Ivy wins this season than last year. The Tigers were 6-23, 3-11 Ivy in 2007-08.

SCOUTING PENN
The Quakers (5-13, 1-3 Ivy) have lost three straight games since opening Ivy play with a 66-60 win at Harvard. Tyler Bernardini leads the team in scoring (14.3 ppg.). Jack Eggleston averages 9.9 points and a team-best 5.8 rebounds. Freshman Zack Rosen leads the league in assists (5.2 per game). Penn is 5-0 when leading at the half this season but 0-13 when trailing at the intermission.

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

YALE ON YES
Two Yale men's basketball games will be televised live on the YES Network as part of the Yale on YES package. Both games will be broadcast from the John J. Lee Amphitheater and begin at 7 p.m., starting with the Friday's game against Princeton. The Yale-Columbia game on Sat., Feb. 21 will also be televised. In addition, YES showed the Yale women's game against Harvard on Feb. 6.

NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE NOTES
• The Bulldogs travelled nearly 10,000 miles (9,962) for their 10 non-conference road games.
• Yale went 3-1 at home in non-conference play. The only loss came to Stanford, 75-67, in the season opener before a sellout crowd of 2,532 at the John J. Lee Amphitheater. The game featured seven ties and 13 lead changes.
• The Bulldogs picked up their first win ever over a Pac-10 school when they edged Oregon State 53-52 on Nov. 24. Yale had dropped its previous 15 games against the conference. In James Jones' tenure as head coach, Yale has now knocked off schools from the Big East (Rutgers), Big Ten (Penn State), ACC (Clemson) and Pac-10 (Oregon State).
• Yale nearly pulled off another upset before falling 66-63 at Alabama on Dec. 28. The Bulldogs were within one point twice in the final minute, but the Crimson Tide made seven of eight free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
Alex Zampier scored 28 points, the most by a Bulldog this season, in a 76-66 win over Holy Cross. It was the first time a Yale player scored at least 25 points in a game since Eric Flato had 26 against Columbia in 2007.

BUTCH GRAVES '84 RECEIVES NCAA HONOR
Former Yale men's basketball star Earl "Butch" Graves '84 was 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 received 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.

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.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity