If one word could encapsulate Yale’s upcoming season, that word would be retribution.
This year the Elis play another defending National Champion in Duke and take a road trip to powerhouse SMU, as well as a trip to Illinois.
You don’t hear the team members using the word retribution, but it’s lurking at every practice.
Yale, the preseason writers’ favorite to win the Ivies for the first time ever, is led by last year’s Ivy Player of the Year Justin Sears. As Sears goes, Yale goes. The 6’8” New Jersey native averaged 14.4 points and 7.5 rebounds. He will need to do the same, if not more, for Yale to meet expectations. Sears has a propensity for putting up big numbers and then disappearing offensively for minutes at a time, in some games. He scores most of his points on twisting moves from the inside and a finely honed baby hook. He is already on the watch list for the Lou Henson Mid-Major Player of the Year.
Senior Jack Montague, the Ivy leader in three-point shooting last season and a 50 percent shooter in threes in out of conference play, returns as does assist king, Makai Mason. 6-5 senior Nick Victor is a versatile and smart guard, who can hit from three with consistency and also play lockdown defense. All three will play major roles.
Brandon Sherrod returns as a senior, after taking the season off to sing with the world- famous Whiffenpoofs and the 6-6 forward and consummate athlete, will be counted on to rebound and score at and away from the basket. He did that as a junior.
The backcourt is much thinner without Brandon Sherrod and Javier Duren, probably the best duo in the Ivies and one of the best in the country last year.