Challenging Non-Conference Schedule Should Serve Bulldogs Well

Matt Townsend (
Matt Townsend (

Yale Kicks Off Season Saturday At Connecticut 6 Classic

NEW HAVEN, Conn. –As always, it's the 14-game Ivy League schedule that will largely determine if it is a successful season for the Yale men's basketball team, but James Jones, The Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Men's Basketball, has once again put together a challenging non-league schedule to prepare his team for the rigors of league play.

Here is a look at some of the more intriguing non-conference games:

At UConn, Nov. 11

The teams meet for the first time since the 2003 Preseason NIT. The Huskies were ranked No.1 in the nation at the time, but the game was close throughout the first half, prompting a small but vocal group of Yale students who made the trip to Storrs to chant "We're No. 2." The Bulldogs led by three at halftime, but UConn went on to a 70-60 victory.

At Rutgers, Nov. 14

Yale's first trip to the RAC since a memorable 67-65 victory over the Scarlet Knights in the 2002 NIT, the first post season tournament victory in school history.

Nov. 19 vs. Sacred Heart

The Pioneers make the short trip to New Haven for the home opener. Yale has won six of its last eight home openers. Sacred Heart will have a new face on the sidelines. Anthony Latina has taken over as the head coach, replacing Dave Bike, who retired after 35 seasons at the helm.

At Hartford, Nov. 30

A pretty good in-state rivalry has developed between Yale and Hartford, who have played in Connecticut in each of the last eight seasons. All eight games have been decided by nine points or less and a couple came down to the final possession. The Bulldogs have won two straight in West Hartford.

At Saint Louis, Jan. 4

Juniors Javier Duren and Will Childs-Klein return home for the matchup with the Billikens. Duren was the Suburban West Conference Player of the Year as a senior at Oakville High School, while Childs-Klein was a first team all-conference and all-district selection as a senior at Ladue High School.

Vs. Vermont, Jan. 8

In the first home game of 2014, Yale faces one of the most successful programs in New England. The Catamounts, the preseason America East favorite, posted their fifth straight 20-win season and 10th in the last 12 years with a 21-12 mark in 2012-13. Vermont advanced to the America East Championship game for the eighth time in 12 years and the Catamounts earned their fifth straight postseason appearance after being selected to the 2013 College Basketball Invitational (CBI).

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity