Battle Of Bulldogs At Bryant

Greg Mangano. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Greg Mangano. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A busy stretch for the Bulldogs concludes when they travel to Bryant on Wednesday. Yale will be playing its third game in five days. On the other hand, Bryant, also nicknamed the Bulldogs, hasn't played since last Thursday. Tipoff at the Chace Athletic Center is slated for 7 p.m. Yale has won three of its last four games and is looking to enter its exam break on a high note.

The Bulldogs won't play again until Dec. 19 against Sacred Heart at Lee Amphitheater. Yale is coming off an impressive 74-53 victory over Albany on Monday. Head coach James Jones has been looking for greater contributions from his bench and recently a different player each game has been answering the call. Senior Raffi Mantilla had one of his best games in the win over Albany, scoring 12 points and handing out four assists, both career highs, in 17 minutes. Greg Mangano and Austin Morgan share the team lead in scoring at 16.1 ppg., which ties them for fourth in the Ivy League. Mangano (9.4 ppg.) also leads the league in rebounding. He scored 21 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in Monday's victory to post his fifth career double-double.


Yale and Bryant are playing for only the third time. The teams split the first two meetings. Last year in New Haven, Yale cruised to a 69-54 victory. Greg Mangano scored 12 points, Austin Morgan added six points and Michael Grace had seven assists to lead a well-balanced attack.


Bryant (1-6) has three players averaging double figures in scoring, led by Frankie Dobbs (15.1 ppg.). Alex Francis (13.0 ppg.) tops the team in rebounding (7.4 rpg.). The Bulldogs haven't played since a 78-68 loss at Fairleigh Dickinson last Thursday. Bryant's win was a 74-72 decision over Iona in the World Vision Classic. Yale is the second Ivy League opponent for the Bulldogs, who lost 69-66 to Harvard on Nov. 24. A familiar face will be on the sidelines for Bryant. Tim O'Shea, who is in his third year as head coach, spent two years as an assistant coach at Yale under Dick Kuchen.


Yale was picked to finish fifth in the Ivy League by the select panel of 17 Ivy media representatives. Yale, though, shouldn't put too much stock in those prognostications. The Bulldogs have finished higher than projected in four of the last five years. Princeton, which received 12 of 17 first-place votes, is the preseason Ivy League favorite. The Tigers return their top five scorers and top two rebounders. Harvard got four first-place votes and is second followed by Cornell (one first-place vote) and Penn. Brown, Columbia and Dartmouth round out the poll.



First-Place Votes in Parentheses

Rank    School                         Points

1.          Princeton (12)          128

2.          Harvard (4)                120

3.          Cornell (1)                  96

4.          Penn                            89

5.          Yale                              57

6.          Brown                         55

7.          Columbia                    48

8.          Dartmouth                19


Greg Mangano, who led the Ivy League in blocked shots last year, has been named to the All-Connecticut 6 preseason team. Mangano, a 6-foot-10 junior, tied for fifth in the league in rebounding (5.5 rpg.). In addition, he was fourth on the team in scoring (7.5 ppg.) and tied for second in rebounding.

Joining Mangano on the All-Connecticut 6 preseason team is Quinnipiac forward Justin Rutty, Central Connecticut guard Shemik Thompson, Fairfield guard Derek Needham, Hartford guard Joe Zeglinski and Sacred Heart guard Jerrell Thompson.


The state of Connecticut has a rich basketball tradition. A new chapter in that history started in 2009-10 with the formation of the Connecticut 6, a partnership between six of Connecticut's Division I schools - Yale, Central Connecticut, Fairfield, Hartford, Quinnipiac and Sacred Heart. The second annual Connecticut 6 Classic tripleheader was Nov. 13 at the the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville. In addition to the tripleheader, a preseason All-Connecticut 6 team was selected and there will be a Connecticut 6 Player of the Week chosen each week during the season.


James Jones has made quite an impact on the Yale basketball program. In 11 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. 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 nine of his 11 years. Four assistant coaches who worked under Jones have gone on to become head coaches - Isaiah Cavaco (Oberlin), Mark Sembrowich (Academy of Arts University), Mark Gilbride (Clarkson) and Ted Hotaling (New Haven).Jones served as an assistant coach to Villanova's Jay Wright for the 2007 USA Basketball Men's Pan American Games Team.


  • The Bulldogs will face seven teams that reached the post-season last year – Cornell (NCAA), Vermont (NCAA), Lehigh (NCAA), Quinnipiac (NIT), Illinois (NIT), Harvard (CIT) and Princeton (CBI).
  • Yale will play five afternoon home games in Lee Amphitheater – Army (Nov. 27), Sacred Heart (Dec. 19), Lehigh (Dec. 31), Baruch College (Jan. 8) and Brown (Jan. 22). All are scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.
  • There were familiar faces on the opposing bench when the Bulldogs played at Boston College. Steve Donahue, who guided Cornell to the last three Ivy League titles, is in his first season as the head coach at BC. His associate head coach, Joe Jones, was the head coach at Columbia for the last seven years and is the younger brother of Yale head coach James Jones.
  • Boston College was one of six opponents that will have first-year head coaches. Hartford (John Gallagher), Holy Cross (Milan Brown), Columbia (Kyle Smith), Cornell (Bill Courtney) and Dartmouth (Paul Cormier) are the others.
  • Yale played Illinois for only the second time. The first meeting was a 71-67 Illini victory in the 1949 NCAA Tournament at Madison Square Garden.
  • Yale will be playing Stanford for third time in the last four years. The Cardinal became the first Pac 10 to school to play in Lee Amphitheater in 2008.
  • Yale will host a game on New Year's Eve for the first time since 1930. The Bulldogs play Lehigh in a 2 p.m. tip-off.
  • Three of the Bulldogs' first four Ivy games will be on the road.
  • Three-time defending Ivy League champion Cornell visits Lee Amphitheater on Feb. 4.


Michael Sands has withdrawn from Yale for personal reasons and will not be with the team... The Bulldogs remained in Boston following the BC game. In addition to taking a tour of Fenway Park, the team attended the Yale-Harvard football game at Harvard Stadium... Sam Martin is a West Warwick, R.I., native. He graduated from Worcester Academy in Massachusetts.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity