Lockdown defender and 2019-20 Ivy Defensive Player of the Year and captain Jalen Gabbidon is taking a gap year as a senior and will return. So will sharp shooting senior sniper and first-team All-Ivy guard Azar Swain. Swain may battle for Ivy Player of the Year honors.
Reload, not rebuild. Next man up, as James Jones says. Call it what you want, but Yale remains the best men’s Ivy hoops program looking far ahead to the 2021-22 season.
Sure, Yale loses presumptive Ivy Player of the Year and future NBA possibility Paul Atkinson. And also his backup center Wyatt Yess. And the Elis were the odds on favorite to three-peat as Ivy champions had the 2020-21 season not been canceled.
Next season, the Elis still return ample offense and defense at the wing and guard positions. Much more on paper than any other Ivy.
A bigger and stronger wing Matthue Cotton is slated to return as well. The New Jersey native is a streaky shooter and by all accounts has been really stroking the ball.
D.C. native EJ Jarvis is still somewhat unproven but very muscular, with a knack for offensive rebounding. He is expected to start at the pivot. He served an apprenticeship under Atkinson last season.
August Mahoney, an explosive volume shooter, is taking a gap year and will return next season as a sophomore.
Rugged senior Jameel Alausa should see major minutes at power forward.
Veteran mentor Jones normally does not play newcomers a substantial amount of time, but he will be hard pressed to hold back quality minutes from fresh faces like Yassine Gharram and Yussif Basa-Ama.
Gharram is a 6-2 guard who finishes well and with a strong medium range jumper. Basa-Ama is a power forward who can score and rebound.
These Elis need no better recommendation than the out-of-conference teams who won’t play them. And you can include every other Division I program in Connecticut as well as some Big Ten and Big 12 programs in that group.