Q&A with current Baylor and former Yale standout Makai Mason

Makai Mason is averaging 13.2 points and 2.6 assists per game through his first five contests as a Baylor Bear after missing the first three games of the season with an ankle injury. (Baylor Athletics)
You must remember him. That incredible 31-point performance for Yale in the 2016 NCAA Tournament is hard to forget.
Then injuries took hold and he only saw action for Yale in one game last season, at Harvard. Well, he made quite an impression on Baylor coach Scott Drew en route to those 31 points, and Mason is now integral to the Baylor offense as a fifth-year player. He is averaging 30.8 minutes and 13.2 points per game, having scored 18 points in two different games for the Bears so far this season. IHO caught up with him recently.

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Yale falls to Duke again after early back-and-forth

It’s not a bad gig, covering Yale and getting to see the Elis play twice at Cameron Indoor Stadium since 2015, not to mention an inspirational NCAA game in Providence in 2016.
But let’s start from the beginning. The flight to Raleigh on Friday was simple and a tour of the Duke Basketball Museum & Sports Hall of Fame and Krzyzewskiville, where Duke students have camped out for tickets since about 1986, was a blast.
The privilege to attend the Yale shootaround on Saturday at 11:30 a.m., was even better thanks to coach James Jones, who was methodical in his preparation but sure to give ample time to some of his own family, including his peripatetic son Quincy, a great athlete in his own right. As always, he preached toughness and crafted a sound game plan against one of the top two teams in the country.

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Yale tops Miami, serves notice to rest of Ivy League

It seemed crazy. What was Yale coach James Jones thinking? No home game until Dec. 5. A trip to China to play a Pac-12 foe (California) and trips to perennial national powers Miami and Memphis.
The answer is simple. Jones wanted to prepare his talented team, strangely picked only third in the league by the media pundits, for the Ivy wars starting in January. He is fully aware that it is unlikely for two Ivy teams to secure NCAA bids, so why not play the best to ultimately be the best Ivy squad?
The Elis secured perhaps their biggest out-of-league win since the epic 2016 NCAA win over Baylor, by beating heavily favored Miami of the ACC Saturday, 77-73. Miami entered the game with the No. 30 KenPom ranking nationally, the second-highest ranking of a team beaten by Yale in the KenPom era going back to 2001-02 (topped only by the Baylor win). The Elis were down by 10 at the half and fell to a 56-41 deficit in the second half.

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Yale couldn’t overcome poor officiating in loss at Memphis

It has been advocated for years that a commissioner of college basketball be appointed. There has been been a name bandied about: star commentator and former Duke star Jay Bilas. Who knows what his duties would be? Notwithstanding, he would have had his hands full after the Yale-Memphis debacle in Memphis last night before 14,656 at FedEx Forum.
Memphis beat a game and tenacious Yale team, 109-102, in double overtime. It had help from the highly partisan crowd. It had more help from the officials.
Yale was whistled for 40 fouls and on the strength of that, Memphis took 56 free throws. Memphis was whistled for only 22. That is a huge differential in any sport.

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Q&A with Yale coach Allison Guth

Yale coach Allison Guth has a lot to look forward to in her fourth season leading the rising program. (Ivy League Digital Network)

We caught up with Yale women’s basketball coach Allison Guth, who is embarking on her fourth season helming the Bulldogs and fresh off a recent contract extension through the 2023-24 season. 

Ivy Hoops Online: Not many teams have an opportunity to win their last game of the season. Yale did last year, winning the WBI. What was that experience like?

Allison Guth: Anytime your team can experience a “one and done” tournament setting is a benefit to the growth of your program. Having your back against the wall and needing to get the “W” to advance proves a mental toughness and fortitude.  Our team was able to grow as a result of winning one in a row four times to earn a postseason championship.

IHO: You did suffer some major graduation losses. Can you assess how that impacts the team?

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Q&A with Yale coach James Jones

Ivy Hoops Online caught up recently with Yale coach James Jones.
Ivy Hoops Online: Please tell us about how Jordan Bruner is progressing after his injury last season (a torn meniscus that kept him out in for the entire 2017-18 campaign).
James Jones: Jordan is in great shape. He’s progressed well with his injury and is looking forward to returning to game action.

IHO: You have a group of talented freshmen. Do you expect them to get much playing time?
JJ: All of our freshmen have an opportunity to help us this season. It will mainly depend on how quickly they pick up our actions on both sides of the ball.
IHO: Have you seen, since your first days as Yale coach, as much strength throughout the Ivies as in this upcoming season?
JJ: The overall talent in the league has improved greatly over the years, as well as all the overall level of each team.
IHO: You open up in China against California on Nov. 9. How did that game develop?
JJ: We were approached by the Pac-12 with this once in a lifetime opportunity, and it was an experience we couldn’t pass on.

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Yale to replace Rutgers in Big Ten Conference

It was announced yesterday by Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany that the composition of the Big Ten Conference was going to change.

Rutgers, a member since 2014, has been asked to leave the conference effective Jan. 1, 2019 and Yale will be joining the conference on that same date.

Rutgers has finished near the bottom in football, men’s and even women’s basketball since joining the conference.

The New Jersey school has suffered some humiliating defeats in football, including but are not limited to a 58-0 loss to Ohio State, 58-0, a 78-0 loss to Michigan and a 49-0 loss to Michigan State, just in 2016 alone.

Yale, on the other hand, is coming off of highly successful seasons in all three sports, highlighted by the 2017 Ivy championship.

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Ivy Madness presser highlights

Not dissimilar from the NCAA Tournament, the Ivy held open shootarounds for the public and press conferences involving coaches and top players yesterday at the Palestra.

One could only wonder during the Yale men’s noon practice what could have been, with arguably the team’s two best players, Jordan Bruner and Makai Mason on the bench, injured and unable to play.

Coach James Jones summed up Mason by noting,”If Makai didn’t have bad luck,he wouldn’t have luck at all,” adding that Mason thinks he may have mono.

Princeton coach Courtney Banghart of Princeton was outspoken in her press conference about the tournament venue. She didn’t find it fully fair that a 1 seed could play a 2 seed on the 2 seed’s home floor, obviously alluding to a possible matchup with Penn on Sunday.

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Q&A with Yale men’s assistant coach Tobe Carberry

Tobe Carberry is an assistant men’s basketball coach at Yale, joining the staff in 2017. He was a former star player in high school in New Haven, in college at Vermont and coached both at Central Connecticut State and LIU Brooklyn. Our Richard Kent connected with coach Carberry recently:

Ivy Hoops Online: How does recruiting differ in the Ivy League than your previous stops?

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Q&A with Princeton assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Brett MacConnell

Ivy Hoops Online’s Richard Kent caught up with Brett MacConnell, an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for Princeton. He is a Rutgers graduate and a long-time New Jersey resident.

Ivy Hoops Online: Tell us your thoughts about this most recent Princeton-Penn game?
Brett MacConnell: Penn was tougher. They dominated the paint. (Ryan) Betley wasn’t a surprise. We couldn’t get big stops at the end. We are a young team with some new guys.

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