Yes, he is just one piece of a complicated puzzle, a puzzle created by the graduation of Justin Sears and Brandon Sherrod and confounded even more by a season-ending injury to preseason Ivy Player of the Year favorite Makai Mason.
Making the puzzle more potent and less obscure has been freshman forward Miye Oni, a graduate of Connecticut’s Suffield Academy.
Oni set the Suffield scoring mark with 52 points and broke Shabazz Napier’s scoring record at the New England Prep School Invitational.
That all pales in comparison to his first game as an Eli.
With Mason out, Oni scored 24 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished three assists in a road upset at Washington. For his efforts, he was named Ivy Player of the Week, an honor he has now claimed three times. He posted 22 points against Central Connecticut State and 19 against Vermont in a narrow road loss.
Yale coach James Jones notes that, “Miye Oni stepped on campus at Yale with a diverse offensive game and a great deal of confidence. He lacked discipline on defense especially guarding one-on-one, but he has grown tremendously over the last few months. To that point I would consider him one of our better perimeter defenders.”
Oni is skilled and quick on both ends, and in Yale’s past three games, the Porter Ranch, Calif. native has averaged 17.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.0 blocks per game.
Yale is developing, or better said, forced into a youth movement with Oni, fellow freshman Jordan Bruner and sophomore Alex Copeland leading the team.
Right now they are playing the best basketball in the Ivies and will be severely tested early on at Penn and Princeton, on Jan. 13 and 14. Oni will be integral to Yale’s efforts to come home with a 2-0 record.