December 7, 2011

Battle Of Bulldogs Wednesday At Lee Amphitheater

Yale Meets Bryant In Final Home Game Of 2011

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Bulldogs, who have won four straight and at 6-2 overall are off to the best start of head coach James Jones' tenure, play their final home game of 2011 on Wednesday against Bryant at 7:30 p.m. The game is part of a doubleheader with the Yale women, who host Boston University at 5 p.m.

Yale is playing its third game in the last five days. The stretch started with an impressive 68-52 victory over Vermont on Saturday and continued with a thrilling 73-71 win at Sacred Heart on Monday. Reggie Willhite scored 17 of his career-high 23 points in the second half as the Bulldogs rallied from a nine-point deficit against the Pioneers. In three of its six victories, Yale has trailed at the half. The Bulldogs are 2-0 in the friendly confines of Lee Amphitheater, outscoring their opponents 169-89. Greg Mangano, who had 21 points on Monday against Sacred Heart, leads the team in scoring (16.8 ppg.) and rebounding (9.0 rpg.). With 167 career blocked shots, he is five behind Chris Dudley's school record of 172. Willhite (14.9 ppg.) and Austin Morgan (14.6 ppg.) also average double figures in scoring. The Bulldogs will take a 10-day break for final exams following the game with Bryant. They don't play again until Dec. 18 at Rhode Island. Yale won't play its next home game until Jan. 3 against Holy Cross.

SCOUTING BRYANT

Bryant (1-7) is coming off an 83-72 loss at Quinnipiac on Saturday. Alex Francis (18.9 ppg., 8.0 rpg.) leads the team in scoring and rebounding. The Bulldogs are playing their eighth game away from home. Yale is the second Ivy League opponent for Bryant, which fell 66-62 at Dartmouth. There are a couple of familiar faces on the Bryant sidelines. Tim O'Shea, who is in his fourth year as head coach, spent two years as an assistant coach at Yale under Dick Kuchen. In addition, assistant coach Happy Dobbs is a former Brown head coach. Dobbs' son Frankie has started all eight games at guard for Bryant.

HISTORY LESSONS

Yale and Bryant are playing for the fourth time. Yale has won two straight in the series, including a 75-53 victory in Rhode Island last year. Reggie Willhite scored 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field. Austin Morgan added 14 points and Greg Mangano had 11 points, seven rebounds and three blocks.

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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