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Bulldogs Face Hofstra In Opening Round Of NIT Season Tip Off

Bulldogs Face Hofstra In Opening Round Of NIT Season Tip Off

UConn Hosts Colgate In Second Game Of The Night

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A busy first week of the season continues when the Bulldogs travel to Storrs, Conn., for the Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-off. Yale plays Hofstra on Monday night at 6:30 p.m. and then either Colgate or UConn on Tuesday.

The Bulldogs, who dropped their season opener to Sacred Heart 92-86 on Friday at the inaugural Connecticut 6 Classic, are guaranteed four games in the NIT. They will play two more games next week after hosting Quinnipiac on Saturday. Yale will be making its second appearance in the Preseason NIT. The Bulldogs led No. 1-ranked UConn at halftime before dropping a 70-60 decision to open the 2003-04 season. Senior Alex Zampier had a memorable opening night this year, scoring 35 points against the Pioneers, the most by a Yale player since Butch Graves had 39 against Harvard in 1983. Yale features a number of new faces in the starting lineup from last year's team that finished in a tie for second place in the Ivy League. Seven different players had career-highs in points against Sacred Heart and five players had the most minutes of their careers. The Bulldogs, who were 13-15 overall last year, have finished in the top half of the Ivy League in each of the last nine years.



Yale and Hofstra are playing for the first time since 1995, a 60-54 Bulldog win in New Haven. The Pride, though, leads the all-time series 3-2. This will be the second time the teams have played at a neutral site. Hofstra edged Yale 52-51 at the 1993 Lapchick Tournament at St. John's. The Bulldogs haven't played UConn since the 2003 NIT game. The Huskies hold a 43-21 edge in the series. Yale and Colgate last played in 2001, an 87-75 Red Raider win. The Bulldogs are 18-7 all-time against Colgate.


The Pride (0-1) had about a tough a season-opener as is possible, taking a trip to Allen Fieldhouse to play Kansas. The Jayhawks topped Hofstra 101-65. Charles Jenkins scored 18 of his team-high 23 points in the second half to pace the Pride. Hofstra finished 21-11 last year, its fourth 20-win season in the last five years. The Pride was picked to finish sixth in the Colonial Athletic Association in a preseason vote of the league's coaches, sports information directors and media representatives.


The 12th-ranked Huskies opened the season with a 75-66 victory over William & Mary on Friday night. Jerome Dyson scored 27 points and added eight assists to lead UConn. The Huskies have a record of 126-17 in regular season contests at Gampel Pavilion since it opened in 1990.


The Red Raiders will be playing their season opener on Monday against UConn. Colgate was picked fifth in the 2010 Patriot League preseason coaches and sports information directors poll. The Raiders made the Patriot League semifinals for the second straight time last season and have five starters back in the lineup. That group includes the top three scorers from last year, as Mike Venezia (10.8 ppg), Ben Jonson (10.4) and Yaw Gyawu (10.2) all averaged in double figures.


The Bulldogs were picked to finish fifth in the Ivy League preseason media poll, released on Oct. 28 during a media teleconference. Yale has finished higher than projected in three of the last four years. Two-time defending champion Cornell is the overwhelming favorite. The Big Red received all 16 first-place votes. Princeton is second followed by Penn and Harvard. Columbia (sixth), Brown and Dartmouth round out the poll. The Bulldogs, who finished in a tie for second place with Princeton last year, lose four starters but return Alex Zampier, an honorable mention All-Ivy selection. Zampier led the Ivy League in free throw percentage (.848) and was eighth in scoring (13.2 ppg.) and second in steals (1.6 per game). In addition, Yale welcomes back four other players who averaged at least 10 minutes per game.

2009-10 Ivy League Men's Basketball Preseason Media Poll

1. Cornell - 128 points (16 first-place votes)
2. Princeton - 96
3. Penn - 92
4. Harvard - 86
5. Yale - 59
6. Columbia - 55
7. Brown - 41
8. Dartmouth - 19


James Jones has made quite an impact on the Yale basketball program. In 10 seasons, Jones has guided Yale to success not seen in New Haven in 40 years. In 2001-02, Jones led the Bulldogs to their first Ivy League title since 1962-63 and the first postseason tournament victory in the 107-year history of Yale basketball. The team won 21 games, the second most in the modern era of Yale basketball, and reached the second round of the National Invitation Tournament. Jones, the longest tenured coach in the Ivy League, earned his 100th victory at Yale when the Bulldogs beat Columbia on Feb. 9, 2007. He is only the fourth coach in school history with at least 100 wins. His overall record at Yale is 130-149, including a 77-63 (.550) mark in Ivy games. The Bulldogs have won at least 10 Ivy games twice during his tenure and have had a .500 or better record in league play in each of the last nine years. Three assistant coaches who worked under Jones have gone on to become head coaches - Isaiah Cavaco (Oberlin), Mark Sembrowich (Academy of Arts University) and Mark Gilbride (Clarkson).Jones served as an assistant coach to Villanova's Jay Wright for the 2007 USA Basketball Men's Pan American Games Team.


Six Yale graduates, all coached by James Jones, are currently playing professional basketball. Edwin Draughan '05 (FOS Ouest, France), Dominick Martin '06 (Illescas CLM, Spain), Matt Kyle '08 (Tunisia), Eric Flato '08 (Plymouth Raiders, England) and Ross Morin '09 (SAM Massagno, Switzerland) are playing overseas, while Travis Pinick '09 was was selected in the eighth round of the 2009 NBA D-League Draft by the Los Angeles D-Fenders. Pinick is currently in camp trying to earn one of 10 roster spots on the D-Fenders.


• The 2009-10 schedule features 31 regular season games, including 12 in the friendly confines of the John J. Lee Amphitheater. It will mark the most games Yale has played in a season since 2001-02 when the Bulldogs finished 21-11.

• The Bulldogs will be making their second appearance in the Preseason NIT. Yale fell to No. 1 ranked UConn in the tournament to open the 2003-04 season. The Bulldogs are guaranteed four games in this year's tournament.

• The game with Quinnipiac on Nov. 21 will cap a busy day on the Yale campus. The 126th edition of the Yale-Harvard football game will be played at noon at Yale Bowl. Yale and Quinnipiac have met only once before, an 87-69 Bobcat win in 1999 in the Phoenix Classic at the Hartford Civic Center.

• Senior Alex Zampier has a homecoming when the Bulldogs visit Albany on Jan. 3. Zampier, an East Greenbush, N.Y., native, graduated as the second all-time leading scorer at Columbia High School with 1,381 points. Yale head coach James Jones is a 1996 Albany graduate. He played for and coached with the legendary Dr. Richard Sauers, one of only seven coaches to win more than 700 games.

• The Bulldogs open the 14-game Ivy League schedule at home against Brown on Jan. 15. Three of Yale's first four Ivy games will be at Lee Amphitheater.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity