How this season’s Yale squad compares to the 2015-16 NCAA Tournament team

Despite a weekend of travel woes, Yale swept the always challenging Columbia-Cornell trip and now sits at 17-4 and 7-1 in the Ivies. The Elis maintain first place alone.

Is it too early to ask how this team compares to the Ivy champion and winner in the NCAA Tournament over Baylor from 2015-16? Coach James Jones would say yes. Other Ivy coaches and former players have opinions which are all over the map.

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Q&A with Yale junior guard Roxy Barahman

Roxy Barahman fires the three-point buzzer-beater that gave Yale a dramatic 65-62 win over Harvard on Feb. 1.. (Yale Athletics)

Hailing from Calabasas, Calif., Yale junior guard Roxy Barahman has emerged as one of the Ivy League’s most dynamic players this season, so far leading the conference in scoring, ranking second in minutes played and steals and placing among the top 10 in assists, assist-to-turnover ratio, rebounding and free-throw percentage. Yale is currently tied for second in Ivy standings at 4-2 in league play and with more overall wins (14) than any other Ivy besides Penn. 

Ivy Hoops Online: Talk about last season and the impact of graduation losses.

Roxy Barahman: Last season was very memorable and I knew we had a lot of big shoes to fill for this season, with the three seniors, Jen (Berkowitz), Mary Ann (Santucci), and Tamara (Simpson) leaving. After winning the WBI, we now have the expectation that we can make it to the NCAA or WNIT tournaments, as we are a team that should be in postseason play.

IHO: Tell us about your freshmen and their impact thus far.

RB: They have certainly stepped up and filled new roles very well. With Camilla (Emsbo) jumping into the starting lineup, she has really helped us make up for Jen’s loss and also provides a large presence around the rim. It is comforting knowing you have the potential Ivy League Rookie of the Year on your team, as she is a big key to our success this year.

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Yale sweeps Princeton and Penn at home for seventh time in past eight years

A weekend sweep in the Ivies is always sweet. For Yale coach James Jones, it is especially sweet when it’s against historic Ivy powers Princeton and Penn.
This weekend, his Bulldogs notched a home sweep of the Ps for the seventh time in the last eight years.
Both games bore significant similarities. Princeton and Penn got off to fast starts, Yale made defensive adjustments and took large leads, only to see both opponents close the gaps but overtake the home team.

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Yale sweeps Brown, giving James Jones his 300th career win

Tom Beckett knows talent.
The recently retired Yale athletic director oversaw more than 120 Ivy League championships and many national championships, most recently in national sports like hockey and lacrosse, among teams headed by coaches hired by him. Rarely did the former baseball star both at the University of Pittsburgh and the minor leagues swing and miss on a coaching hire.
He certainly did not on Apr. 27, 1999. James Jones had a great interview with Beckett and Beckett saw a charisma which he felt would lead Yale out of the Ivy basketball doldrums. The Bulldogs had just come off of a disappointing 4-22 season under veteran coach Dick Kuchen.

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Q&A with Yale coach Allison Guth

Allison Guth has seen her Yale Bulldogs win 14 of their last 19 games dating back to the WBI Tournament in March, which Yale won. Yale does not play again until Jan. 18, when it tips off its conference slate at Brown. (Ivy League Network)
Richard Kent recently caught up with Allison Guth, who is in her fourth season at the helm of the Yale women’s basketball team. Her team is off to a fast 10-5 start this season and won the FAU Holiday Classic Championship in Boca Raton, Fla. Saturday. This interview has been lightly condensed for clarity.

Ivy Hoops Online: Congrats on the recent tourney win in Boca. How does it feel to take home two trophies in 2018 (after winning the WBI championship in March)?

Allison Guth: Feels excellent to take home the hardware in any tournament … We care about setting our sights to the only tournament that matters right now, and that’s the Ivy Tournament.

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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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