One More Tune Up Before Start Of Ivy League Play

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Isaiah Salafia. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Bulldogs Host Baruch On Saturday At 2 p.m.

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The start of Ivy League play is a little over a week away, and the Yale men's basketball team has one more opportunity to fine tune its game. The Bulldogs host Baruch on Saturday. Tipoff at the John J. Lee Amphitheater is slated for 2 p.m.

Yale is coming off a hard-fought 77-76 overtime victory at Holy Cross on Wednesday. Austin Morgan's three-point play with 6.2 seconds remaining in the extra period was the game-winner. It was Yale's first overtime victory since a 66-63 win over Brown in January of 2008. A victory over Baruch would give the Bulldogs a .500 overall record heading into Ivy play. Yale's seven losses have come against teams that currently have a combined record of 69-30 (.697). Freshman Jeremiah Kreisberg had another strong game in the victory over Holy Cross, scoring 12 points and grabbing six rebounds in a career-high 38 minutes. In his last three games, Kreisberg is shooting 68.8 percent (11-of-16) from the field and averaging 11.0 points and 5.3 rebounds. Yale has two of the Ivy League's top-10 scorers. Morgan (15.1 ppg.) is third and Greg Mangano (13.7 ppg.) is 10th.

HISTORY LESSONS

Yale and Baruch are playing for the first time.

SCOUTING BARUCH

Saturday's game completes a busy stretch for the Bearcats, who played two games in Daytona Beach, Fla., last weekend, were at John Jay on Wednesday and hosted Hunter on Friday. All 14 players on Baruch's roster hail from the New York City metropolitan area. Baruch (7-5 prior to Friday's game) dropped a heartbreaking 79-77 decision to Wooster, ranked No.1 in Division III, last Sunday. The Bearcats had a four-point advantage with two minutes remaining, but the Fighting Scots rallied. Chris Beauchamp (19.3 ppg.) and Lionel Hilaire (18.7 ppg.) lead the team in scoring. Ray Rankis is the longest serving head coach in Baruch and CUNYAC men's basketball history.

BULLDOGS PICKED 5TH IN IVY LEAGUE PRESEASON POLL

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.

2010-11 IVY LEAGUE PRESEASON MEDIA POLL

PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH

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

MANGANO NAMED TO CONNECTICUT 6 PRESEASON TEAM

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.

CONNECTICUT 6

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.

HEAD COACH JAMES JONES

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.

2010-11 SCHEDULE NOTES

  • 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 played 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 hosted a game on New Year's Eve for the first time since 1930. The Bulldogs played Lehigh in a 2 p.m. tip-off.
  • Three of the Bulldogs' first four Ivy games will be on the road.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Michael Sands has withdrawn from Yale for personal reasons and will not be with the team... Three Bulldogs took an active role in the Yale Athletic Department's annual Holiday Gift Giving Initiative. Alfonso Costa, Michael Grace and Jesse Pritchard visited Augusta Lewis Troup School on Friday, Dec. 10, to distribute gifts collected. Costa, who also plays lacrosse, is chair of Yale's Student-Athlete Community Outreach Committee...Roger Lee, the youngest son of Yale great John Lee '58, attended the Yale-Stanford game. John Lee scored 1,493 points in three seasons in a Yale uniform. He was a member of the Ivy League Silver Anniversary All Star team. Yale's home court, the John J. Lee Amphitheater, is named in his honor.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity