February 19, 2009

Cornell & Columbia Visit On Alumni Weekend

Feb. 19, 2009

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Bulldogs (9-13, 4-4 Ivy) are back in the friendly confines of the John J. Lee Amphitheater for the second straight weekend. First-place Cornell visits on Friday at 7 p.m. (Yale All*Access Video | GameTracker), while Columbia is in town on Saturday for a 7 p.m. tip (wybc.com Audio | GameTracker). Saturday's game will be televised live on the YES Network (DirecTV Channel 631). It's also Alumni Weekend.

The Bulldogs are coming off a split last weekend against Princeton and Penn. Yale outrebounded the Tigers 43-23 en route to a 60-48 victory that handed Princeton its first Ivy loss of the season. Ross Morin recorded his fourth double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds. The next night Penn edged the Bulldogs 68-63. Alex Zampier led Yale in scoring both nights, including an 18-point performance against the Quakers. Zampier, who had 13 points against Princeton, was named to the Ivy League Honor Roll on Monday. He leads the team in scoring (12.9 ppg.) and is second in the Ivy League in free throw percentage (.821). Travis Pinick is in the top-10 in the league in five categories - assists (5th, 3.0 per game), assist/turnover ratio (2nd, 1.6), rebounding (t-5th, 5.9 rpg.), field goal percentage (7th, .503) and steals (8th, 1.3 per game). In eight Ivy games, the Bulldogs are allowing just 59.1 points per game and holding opponents to 42.6 percent shooting.

HISTORY LESSONS
Cornell has won three straight games over Yale, including a 64-36 decision earlier this season in Ithaca. Freshman Greg Mangano scored eight points to pace the Bulldogs in the first matchup. The Big Red leads the all-time series 105-100. Columbia earned a hard-fought 53-42 win over Yale on Jan. 30 in New York and leads the series 122-93. Saturday is the 12th meeting between Yale head coach James Jones and his younger brother Joe, who is in his sixth year at the helm of the Lions. The Bulldogs have won six of the games. Yale has swept the Cornell-Columbia home weekend five times in Jones's tenure as head coach.

SCOUTING CORNELL
The Big Red (17-7, 7-1 Ivy) needed double overtime to top Dartmouth 79-76 last Saturday night. Louis Dale had 18 points to lead Cornell, which made 14 of 16 free throws in the two extra periods. Dale needs just 12 points to become the 23rd player in school history to reach the 1,000-point mark. Junior Ryan Wittman, who leads the team in scoring (18.2 ppg.), set the school record for career three-pointers in last Friday's 96-75 win over Harvard. He now has made 242. The Big Red had 31 assists in the win over the Crimson. Cornell leads the Ivy League in scoring offense (74.5 ppg.), field goal percentage (.473), three-point field goal percentage (.404), blocked shots (105) and assists (15.6 per game).

SCOUTING COLUMBIA
The Lions (10-12, 5-3 Ivy) have won five of their last six games and play at Brown on Friday. Columbia swept the weekly Ivy awards after beating Dartmouth and Harvard last weekend. Jason Miller was named the Player of the Week after scoring 19 points and grabbing eight rebounds in both games. Noruwa Agho earned Rookie of the Week honors. He had 20 points and nine rebounds against the Big Green and added 11 points against Harvard. Patrick Foley leads Columbia in scoring (10.7 ppg.).

YALE PICKED THIRD IN PRESEASON POLL
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

YALE ON YES
Two Yale men's basketball games will be televised live on the YES Network as part of the Yale on YES package. The first was last Friday's game against Princeton and the second is this Saturday's Columbia game. In addition, YES showed the Yale women's game against Harvard on Feb. 6.

NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE NOTES
• The Bulldogs travelled nearly 10,000 miles (9,962) for their 10 non-conference road games.
• Yale went 3-1 at home in non-conference play. The only loss came to Stanford, 75-67, in the season opener before a sellout crowd of 2,532 at the John J. Lee Amphitheater. The game featured seven ties and 13 lead changes.
• The Bulldogs picked up their first win ever over a Pac-10 school when they edged Oregon State 53-52 on Nov. 24. Yale had dropped its previous 15 games against the conference. In James Jones' tenure as head coach, Yale has now knocked off schools from the Big East (Rutgers), Big Ten (Penn State), ACC (Clemson) and Pac-10 (Oregon State).
• Yale nearly pulled off another upset before falling 66-63 at Alabama on Dec. 28. The Bulldogs were within one point twice in the final minute, but the Crimson Tide made seven of eight free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
Alex Zampier scored 28 points, the most by a Bulldog this season, in a 76-66 win over Holy Cross. It was the first time a Yale player scored at least 25 points in a game since Eric Flato had 26 against Columbia in 2007.

BUTCH GRAVES '84 RECEIVES NCAA HONOR
Former Yale men's basketball star Earl "Butch" Graves '84 was 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.

FREE VIDEO STREAMS ON YALEBULLDOGS.COM
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.

FINAL THOUGHTS
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.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity

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