Busy Stretch Continues Monday At Sacred Heart

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Austin Morgan. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Bulldogs' travels across the state of Connecticut continue Monday at Sacred Heart. Yale has already played in Uncasville at the Mohegan Sun Arena in the opener against Central Connecticut, in Hamden against Quinnipiac and in West Hartford against Hartford. Tipoff against the Pioneers at the Pitt Center is slated for 7 p.m.

The Bulldogs are coming off perhaps their most impressive win of the season, a 68-52 victory over Vermont on Saturday at Lee Amphitheater. The Catamounts have been to the postseason in seven of the last nine years and already have an impressive win at Old Dominion on their resume. Yale did it with defense, holding UVM to 35 percent from the field for the game. At 5-2 overall, the Bulldogs are off to their best start since 2002-03. Yale has won three straight and four of its last five. The big three of Greg Mangano, Reggie Willhite and Austin Morgan are leading the way. The three have combined for 106 of Yale's 142 points in the last two games. Morgan is shooting 60.9 percent from three-point range and averaging 22.3 points in his last three games. Mangano also is coming off a strong game. He had 22 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks in the win over Vermont. Yale is holding its opponents to 37.3 percent from the field and 27.1 percent from three-point range. The Bulldogs conclude a three-game-in-five-days stretch Wednesday at home against Bryant.

SCOUTING SACRED HEART

The Pioneers (5-4) opened Northeast Conference play last week by defeating Quinnipiac 68-55 and dropping a heartbreaking 82-80 overtime decision at Central Connecticut on Saturday. In addition, Sacred Heart played four games at the Triple Crown Cancun Classic the week of Thanksgiving. Shane Gibson (18.8 ppg.) has established himself as one of the top players in the Northeast. Justin Swidowski averages 12.8 points and 5.8 rebounds. SHU head coach Dave Bike is in his 34th season at the helm and has 511 victories.

HISTORY LESSONS

Yale and Sacred Heart are playing for the 11th straight year. The Pioneers have won three straight. Last year in New Haven, SHU built a 38-21 halftime lead and then held off a Yale comeback in a 71-62 win. Greg Mangano scored 14 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for the Bulldogs. Shane Gibson scored 23 points to pace the Pioneers. Yale leads the all-time series 6-4.

MANGANO PLAYS FOR TEAM USA AT WORLD UNIVERSITY GAMES

Greg Mangano was a part of the 12-player roster that represented the United States in the 2011 World University Games in August in Shenzhen, China. In six games during the tournament, Mangano averaged 3.2 points and 3.2 rebounds. His five blocks were second on the team, and he also contributed four steals. His top performance came against Mexico when he scored eight points and grabbed eight rebounds. He added seven points, three rebounds and two blocks in the win over Finland. The team was coached by Purdue's Matt Painter. Joining Mangano on the Team USA roster were: Tim Abromaitis (Notre Dame); Marcus Denmon (Missouri); Ashton Gibbs (Pittsburgh); Draymond Green (Michigan State); JaMychal Green (Alabama); Scoop Jardine (Syracuse); John Jenkins (Vanderbilt); Orlando Johnson (UC Santa Barbara); Trevor Mbakwe (Minnesota); Ray McCallum (Detroit Mercy); and Darius Miller (Kentucky).

KREISBERG COMPETES AT U20 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS

 Jeremiah Kreisberg played for Israel at the Under-20 European Championships in July in in Sarajevo, Bosnia. He appeared in six games (he missed the last two games with a minor injury) and averaged 12.3 points and 5.7 rebounds, while averaging nearly 30 minutes per game. He led the team in rebounding and was second in scoring. Kreisberg headed to Tel-Aviv in June, spent three weeks training with the Israel team and took part in the team's preparation tour through Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia.

CHINA TRIP

Yale got a bit of a head start on the 2011-12 season. The Bulldogs spent 10 days in China last May and played four games, winning three, including a victory over a Chinese professional team. The trip allowed the Bulldogs to bond as a team and work on some things for the upcoming season.

HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION

Mangano and Kreisberg weren't the only players to have interesting off seasons. Austin Morgan spent two months in Mauritius, an island nation off southeast coast of Africa, as an Eli-Africa fellow. He helped run an after school program for local children, teaching a class on health and fitness. Sam Martin was in Washington, D.C., interning for Senator Jack Reed of his home state of Rhode Island. Freshman Armani Cotton founded DOSA (Division One Student Athlete) Basketball Clinic. After gaining approval from the NCAA and the Ivy League, Cotton ran two week-long clinics in New York City and three in Lake Naomi, Pa. Cotton created the program in an attempt to deflate the idea that being valedictorian and a star athlete are mutually exclusive. DOSA focuses on the values of hard work and discipline as well as basketball IQ and Division I skills in order to challenge campers intellectually and physically.

WILLHITE TRAINS WITH LAETTNER, HILL

Reggie Willhite trained with former Duke stars Christian Laettner and Grant Hill earlier this fall. Willhite's father heard an interview with Laettner on the radio. Laettner mentioned he was looking for some Division I players on the East Coast to train. Willhite's father reached out to Laettner, who agreed to train Willhite. Reggie spent two weekends working out with Laettner and Hill. Hill's father is legendary Yale football player Calvin Hill.

YALE PICKED SECOND IVY LEAGUE PRESEASON POLL

Yale was picked second, along with Princeton, by the select panel of 17 Ivy media representatives who voted in the official Ivy League preseason media poll. The Bulldogs received one first-place vote and 103 points. Harvard is the league favorite with 16 first-place votes and 135 points. Princeton also had 103 points followed by Penn (90), Brown (62), Cornell (52), Columbia (50) and Dartmouth (17).

PRESEASON HONORS

Lindy's selected Greg Mangano as its preseason Ivy League Player of the Year. The publication also named Mangano the league's Best Rebounder, Best Defender and Best NBA Prospect. Mangano also was named preseason All-Ivy by Athlon Sports, Rivals.com and Rush The Court.

LEE AMPHITHEATER FEATURED IN ESPN THE MAGAZINE

The John J. Lee Amphitheater, the home of Yale Basketball, was featured in ESPN The Magazine's College Basketball preview issue. The title of the feature is Grand Stands, the game marches on, but a dwindling number of college basketball cathedrals can still take us back to when it all began.

 The Palestra in Philadelphia, Butler's Hinkle Fieldhouse and Fordham's Rose Hill Gymnasium were the only other venues selected.

 "To walk through these gates and settle into these seats is to remember the game's roots," wrote LaRue Cook. "Because sometimes sports aren't about results – they're about beauty and style and being connected to something bigger than the game."

Lee Amphitheater sits inside historic Payne Whitney Gym, which was constructed in 1931 under the direction of John Russell Pope. Yale's first basketball game was played there on Dec. 18, 1932, and it has been the home of the Bulldogs ever since.

HEAD COACH JAMES JONES

James Jones, now in his 13th season, is the dean of Ivy League coaches. His 161 overall wins are the 11th most in Ivy history and his 91 Ivy wins are the sixth most. 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. Five 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), Ted Hotaling (New Haven) and Rob Senderoff (Kent State).Jones served as an assistant coach to Villanova's Jay Wright for the 2007 USA Basketball Men's Pan American Games Team.

VANCISIN INDUCTED INTO HALL OF FAME

 Joe Vancisin, Yale's all-time winningest men's basketball coach, was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame on Nov. 20. Vancisin guided the Bulldogs for 19 seasons and won three Ivy League titles.

 Vancisin, who entered as a contributor, joined players Ralph Sampson, James Worthy, Cazzie Russell and Chris Mullin, coaches Bob Knight and Eddie Sutton and fellow contributor Eddie Einhorn in the induction class of 2011.

Vancisin took over at Yale in 1956-57 and promptly led the Bulldogs to the first official Ivy League title. Yale then lost to North Carolina 90-74 in the NCAA Tournament at Madison Square Garden. The Bulldogs returned to the NCAA Tournament in 1961-62, dropping a heartbreaking 92-82 decision to a Wake Forest team that went on to advance to the Final Four. Yale shared the Ivy title in 1962-63 but fell to Princeton in a playoff game.

Vancisin, who had a 206-242 record as the Bulldogs' head coach, left Yale in 1975 to become the NABC's executive director for 17 years before his retirement in 1992.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity

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