Our Richard Kent answers the burning questions facing the Bulldogs, who have emerged as the favorite to win the Ivy crown after an impressive 3-0 start during which reigning Ivy Player of the Year Justin Sears has gone stat-stuffing and Makai Mason has established himself as one of the premier backcourt players in the conference.
So how good is Yale?
Very good. Better than expectations. They are perched at 3-0, with wins over Sacred Heart and and a big win over Lehigh on the road last night, teams that are each ranked third in KenPom in their respective conferences (NEC and Patriot League).
Can they pull any upsets?
Look for them to beat either USC (Dec. 13) or Illinois (Dec. 9) on the road. They can hang with SMU (Nov. 22).
Who is the biggest surprise?
Makai Mason. He has adjusted quickly into his role as a starting guard and his defense is vastly improved. His shooting has been spectacular.
Will they win the Ivies?
They should, barring injuries like Harvard and Princeton suffered.
Who is their MVP thus far?
Brandon Sherrod. He is a man. He can control many games on the boards and can score inside with ease. He is vast improved after his year off.
What role is Nick Victor playing?
One of the most underrated players in the Ivies. he had a zero-point, 11-rebound game against Sacred Heart. He can reverse that against another team. Expect him to contribute a lot.
How good are the frosh?
Too early to tell, but they will get their minutes in December and we shall see..
Does James Jones like this team?
As much as any team I have seen him coach at Yale and I have seen him coach them all. Justin Sears is one of his all time favorites.