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Final Non-Ivy Game Brings Visit From Hartford

Final Non-Ivy Game Brings Visit From Hartford

Jan. 9, 2009

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The start of Ivy League play is less than a week away, but the Bulldogs have one more assignment before they can turn their full attention to the conference season. It comes on Saturday when Hartford visits the John J. Lee Amphitheater. Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m. (Yale All*Access Free Video, GameTracker Live Stats). Yale, which will be playing only its fourth home game, has won two straight, including an 80-51 dismantling of NJIT on Wednesday night.

Four players scored in double figures, including Alex Zampier, who led the way with 18, and Porter Braswell, who scored a career-high 14. The Bulldogs scored 47 points in the second half, while shooting 63.3 percent (19 of 30) from the field. Yale has three of the nine most accurate shooters in the Ivy League - Ross Morin (4th, .531), Garrett Fiddler (5th, .527) and Travis Pinick (9th, .475). The Bulldogs lead the league in steals (8.3 per game), are second in three-point field goal percentage defense (.330) and third in assists (14.6 per game). Zampier leads the team in scoring (14.2 ppg.), while Pinick is the top rebounder (6.1 rpg.). Yale starts Ivy play next Friday at Brown. The Bulldogs will play five of their first six league games on the road.

Yale and Hartford are playing for the fourth straight season and the ninth time overall. Each of the last two meetings has been decided in the final minutes. The Hawks topped the Bulldogs 66-65 in overtime two years ago in New Haven and won 73-70 last season in West Hartford. Hartford leads the series 6-2.

The Hawks (5-10) are coming off a 55-47 loss at New Hampshire on Wednesday night. Joe Zeglinski, who had 22 points and five assists in last year's win over the Bulldogs, leads the team in scoring (15.3 ppg.), but is out with an injury. Hartford has three other players averaging double figures in scoring - Jaret von Rosenberg (12.2 ppg.), Morgan Sabia (11.3 ppg.) and Michael Turner (10.3 ppg.). Yale is Hartford's second Ivy League opponent this season. The Hawks fell at Brown 72-62 on Dec. 9. Dan Leibovitz, a 1996 Penn graduate, is in his third year as the head coach of the Hawks.

Yale was picked to finish third in the Ivy League preseason media poll, released during a media teleconference on Oct. 21. Defending champion Cornell was the unanimous first-place selection. The Big Red return four starters and four All-Ivy picks from a team that went undefeated in league play last year. Penn was picked second. Harvard was fourth followed by Brown, Columbia, Dartmouth and Princeton.

2008-09 Ivy League Men's Basketball Preseason Media Poll
1. Cornell - 128 points (16 first-place votes)
2. Penn - 110
3. Yale - 80
4. Harvard - 77
5. Brown - 75
6. Columbia - 45
7. Dartmouth - 33
8. Princeton - 28

Two Yale men's basketball games will be televised live on the YES Network as part of the Yale on YES package this winter. Both games will be broadcast from the John J. Lee Amphitheater and will begin at 7 p.m., starting with the game against Princeton on Fri., Feb. 13. The Yale-Columbia game on Sat., Feb. 21 will also be televised. In addition, YES will show the Yale women's game against Harvard on Fri., Feb. 6.

Former Yale men's basketball star Earl "Butch" Graves '84 has been selected as one of six recipients of the 2009 NCAA Silver Anniversary Award, presented annually since 1973 to former student-athletes whose collegiate careers ended 25 years ago and who have gone on to excel in their chosen professions. Graves will receive his award at the NCAA Honors and Delegates Celebration on January 15, 2009, during the NCAA Convention in Washington, D.C. Graves, the captain of the 1983-84 Bulldogs, is Yale's all-time leading scorer with 2,090 career points and is one of only four players in Ivy League history to score at least 2,000 points. He was named first team All-Ivy in both 1983 and 1984 and led the league in scoring in Ivy games three times (1982-84). Graves, who received a bachelor's degree in economics from Yale, is the president & CEO of Earl G. Graves Publishing Co., publisher of Black Enterprise magazine. He is responsible for the strategic positioning and overall profitability of the corporation.

• The 2008-09 schedule features 11 home games and 17 road contests. Nine of the first 11 games are away from home.
• The Bulldogs travelled nearly 10,000 miles (9,962) for their 10 non-conference road games.
• The Stanford game marked the first time a Pac-10 school played the Bulldogs in New Haven. The last opponent from a major conference to play in Lee Amphitheater was Penn State of the Big Ten in 2000-01. Yale hosted ACC foe Wake Forest at the Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport in 2003-04.
• When the Bulldogs beat Oregon State on Nov. 24, former Brown head coach Craig Robinson was guiding the Beavers. Robinson, the brother-in-law of Barack Obama, was 2-2 against Yale in his two seasons at Brown.
• Yale played its first game against Alabama on Dec. 28. The Crimson Tide is coached by Mark Gottfried. Gottfried and James Jones served as assistant coaches to Villanova's Jay Wright for the 2007 USA Basketball Men's Pan American Games Team. Among the players the two coached are Georgetown's Roy Hibbert, Michigan State's Drew Neitzel and Indiana's D.J. White.
• A familiar face was on the sidelines when Yale visited Bryant on Jan. 2. Tim O'Shea, who was named Bryant's head coach on June 23, spent two years as an assistant coach at Yale under Dick Kuchen.
• Alabama and Bryant were two of three first-time opponents for the Bulldogs. NJIT was the other.
• The 14-game Ivy League season begins on Jan. 16 at Brown. First-year Brown head coach Jesse Agel and Yale Associate Head Coach Curtis Wilson worked together on Tom Brennan's staff at Vermont.
• Five of Yale's first six Ivy League games are on the road.
• The Bulldogs play defending Ivy champion Cornell on Jan. 31 in Ithaca and host the Big Red on Feb. 20 at Lee Amphitheater.

Free live video is available for all Yale home games that aren't televised. Fans can access the games at by clicking on the Yale All*Access logo in the top right corner. An e-mail address and password are required to subscribe to the service. WYBC (1340 AM) provides audio.

Former NBA star Chris Dudley, a 1987 Yale graduate, hosted the team for dinner during the trip to Oregon. Dudley, who lives just outside of Portland, played 16 seasons in the NBA and scored 3,473 points and collected 5,457 rebounds. He was a three-time first team All-Ivy selection at Yale. He spoke to the team in the locker room following the victory over Oregon State... James Jones, who is in his 10th year at Yale, is the longest tenured coach in the Ivy League. His younger brother Joe is the head coach at Columbia. The Jones brothers are one of only two active brother duos coaching at the Division I level. Seth and Brad Greenberg are the head coaches at Virginia Tech and Radford... Senior Brandon Rose has joined the roster after serving as the team manager for the last two years. Rose was a second team All-Dade County selection as a senior at Palmer Trinity School.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity