Bulldogs Start League Season With Best Overall Record Since 1991-92
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Bulldogs kick off Ivy League play on Saturday when Brown visits the John J. Lee Amphitheater. Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m. on Youth Day. All children 12-and-under receive free admission, and there will be a post-game autograph session with the Yale players.
At 10-4 overall, the Bulldogs have their best record entering the conference season since the 1991-92 team was 10-2. Yale, which leads the league in scoring (76.1 ppg.), is 5-0 at home, outscoring its opponents 428-301. The Bulldogs have shot 51 percent from the field in the friendly confines of Lee Amphitheater and have a +17.0 rebounding margin. James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball at Yale, praised his team's improved bench play in Wednesday's Ivy League midseason teleconference. The Bulldogs' reserves have averaged nearly 20 points in the last six games. Isaiah Salafia, Brandon Sherrod, Sam Martin and Matt Townsend are among the players that should give Yale the depth to withstand the rigors of back-to-back games when the Ivy season gets into full swing. Of course, there is always Greg Mangano to fall back on. Mangano, who averaged 31 points and 17.5 rebounds in the final two non-conference games, leads the league in scoring (19.9 ppg.), rebounding (10.7 rpg.) and blocked shots (35). He was named Ivy Player of the Week for the third time this season on Monday.
The Bears (5-11) are coming off a heartbreaking 79-77 home loss to Longwood on Wednesday. Jeremiah Bowman scored on a driving lay-up with 2.2 seconds remaining to lift the Lancers. Sean McGonagill (14.5 ppg.) leads Brown in scoring, and Andrew McCarthy (7.8 rpg.) is the top rebounder. The Bears have three players with at least 20 three-pointers. Like Yale, Brown has victories over Hartford, Rhode Island and Central Connecticut this season.
The Bulldogs have won five of the last six meetings with Brown and lead the all-time series 97-50. Yale swept the season series from the Bears last year, winning 69-64 in Providence and 59-51 at Lee Amphitheater. Greg Mangano averaged 20 points and 14.5 rebounds in the two games.
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.
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).
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 167 overall wins are the 10th 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