Familiar Start To Ivy League Play For Bulldogs

Familiar Start To Ivy League Play For Bulldogs

Jan. 14, 2009

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Bulldogs start Ivy League play the same way they have in each of the last three years, with a game against Brown. The teams meet at the Pizzitola Center on Friday night. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. (Pay-Per-View Video, Listen On WYBC.com).

Yale, which is 28-24 all-time in Ivy openers, travelled nearly 10,000 miles to play 10 of its 14 non-conference games away from home. Among the highlights were a 53-52 victory over Oregon State, Yale's first win ever against a Pac-10 school, and a narrow 66-63 loss to an Alabama team that is currently 11-4. The Bulldogs will take a three-game winning streak to Providence. During the stretch, Yale has shot 52 percent from the field, while holding its opponents to 39.1 percent. In addition, the Bulldogs have outrebounded their opponents by nearly 10 per game (39.0 to 29.7) and have outscored them by 20 points per game (79.0 to 59.0) in the last three games. Alex Zampier, who is averaging 16.0 points in his last three games, leads the team in scoring (14.2 ppg.). Ross Morin (13.8 ppg.) and Travis Pinick (10.1 ppg.) also average double figures in scoring. Morin had a double-double (17 points, 10 rebounds) in last Saturday's 71-63 victory over Hartford.

Yale and Brown are playing for the 142nd time, and the Bulldogs lead the series 92-49. The teams have split the season series in each of the last three years. Last year, Yale won 66-63 in overtime at Lee Amphitheater but dropped a 77-68 decision a week later in Providence. Ross Morin averaged 21 points and eight rebounds, while shooting 84.2 percent (16 of 19) from the field in the two games.

The Bears (6-8) are coming off a 69-56 victory over Bryant last Saturday. Matt Mullery leads the team in scoring (15.4 ppg.) and is 13th in the nation in field goal percentage (.622). Peter Sullivan (14.8 ppg.) and Adrian Williams (13.1 ppg.) also average double figures in scoring. The Bears have made more free throws (197) than their opponents have attempted (180). Head Coach Jesse Agel is in his first year as the head coach at Brown. He and Yale Associate Head Coach Curtis Wilson worked together as assistants at Vermont under Tom Brennan.

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 received 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 were away from home.
• The Bulldogs travelled nearly 10,000 miles (9,962) for their 10 non-conference 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 yalebulldogs.com 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