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Bulldogs Celebrate Season At Banquet

Steve Musco photo
Steve Musco photo

Team Awards Presented; Seniors Honored

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The 2017-18 men's basketball team gathered one final time at Mory's on Wednesday night to celebrate the season, honor the three seniors and hand out the team awards.

The evening kicked off with a terrific highlight video put together by Video Producer Evan Ellis. James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of the Bulldogs, then thanked the many behind the scenes folks who were in attendance and helped with another highly successful season, including Associate Athletic Director Jessica Chrabaszcz, Strength & Conditioning Coach Mike Harris and Athletic Trainer Brandon McDonald.

Then it was time to hand out the team awards.

Senior Noah Yates was the recipient of the Most Improved Player Award. Yates, who joined the team prior to the 2016-17 season after playing football at Yale, appeared in 30 games and averaged 5.4 points. His three-pointer that put Yale ahead of Cornell with 20 seconds left was one of the biggest shots of the season. In his first year playing in 2016-17, Yates appeared 10 games and averaged 1.0 points.

The Stan Smith Senior Award was presented to Eric Anderson, who played in 49 games in his career and was a valuable contributor.

First year Wyatt Yess received the Bill Madness Toughness Award. He appeared in 22 games off the bench, provided solid low post defense and averaged 2.0 rebounds.

The Josh Hill Dedication Award went to junior Thomas Ryan, who played in 10 games off the bench. Jones has often praised Ryan for the hard work he does in practice.

The Dick Derby Scholarship Award was presented to first year Jalen Gabbidon.

Junior Alex Copeland received the Eggie Miles Award as the team's top free throw shooter for the second consecutive year. Copeland shot 86.7 percent (65-of-75) for the season, including making 28 consecutive free throws during one stretch.

Junior Trey Phills also was a repeat winner. He was the recipient of the George McReynolds Award as the top defensive player for the second straight year.

Paul Atkinson was presented with the John C. Cobb Outstanding Rookie Award. Atkinson started 30 games and averaged 9.3 points and 4.6 rebounds. He led the Ivy League in field goal percentage (.692) and was a three-time Ivy Rookie of the Week selection.

The Dutch Arnold Most Valuable Player Award was given to sophomore Miye Oni, who led the Bulldogs in scoring (15.1 ppg.), rebounding (6.0 rpg.) and assists (106). In addition, he was a first team All-Ivy selection.

After the awards were announced, the three seniors spoke eloquently. Anderson, Yates and Makai Mason thanked the coaching staff and their teammates for a memorable experience. Senior managers Nadar Rastegar and Jesse Opoku-Ampadu also were recognized for their tireless contributions.

The Bulldogs finished with a winning overall record for the fifth straight season and were 9-5 in Ivy play, earning a berth in the Ivy League Tournament.

Report filed by Tim Bennett (, Yale Sports Publicity