Ivy League Tournament at Yale lived up to definition of ‘atmosphere’

Merriam-Webster defines atmosphere as a “surrounding influence or environment.”
Working from that definition, the recently concluded Ivy League Tournament was a huge success.
With 2,633 occupying the 2,800-seat John J. Lee Amphitheater, the fans were treated to some very special games which created quite an atmosphere.

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Ivy Madness media day tidbits

 

  • Penn men’s coach Steve Donahue noted Penn’s “interesting path” to the Ivy League Tournament, which included a 0-3 start to league play for the second time in three seasons, Antonio Woods noted he’ll shoulder the burden of guarding Bryce Aiken, and AJ Brodeur said that it may be more difficult to play Ivy teams than Big 5 teams because the Ivies know the Red & Blue so well and are more prepared to face them.

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Q&A with Yale junior forward Miye Oni

Miye Oni took game MVP honors after Yale’s 77-73 win over Miami on Dec. 1 in the Hoophall Miami Invitational at American Airlines Arena. (Next Ones)

We recently connected with Yale junior forward Miye Oni, who ranks in the Ivy League’s top 10 in scoring, rebounding, assists, free-throw percentage, three-point percentage, blocks and assist-to-turnover ratio, leading the Bulldogs to a share of their second Ivy League regular season championship in four years.

Ivy Hoops Online: You had an incredible season. Did it meet your preseason expectations?
Miye Oni: Thank you. The season so far has been great. I expected our team to win the championship and we did. Now we need to reach our next goal and get to the NCAA tournament.

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Q&A with Oludotun Oni, father of Miye Oni

Yale junior forward Miye Oni is one of Ivy League basketball’s most electrifying talents, a NBA-caliber standout and Ivy Player of the Year candidate who ranks in the league’s top 10 in scoring, assists, three-point percentage, three-point field goals, blocks, free-throw percentage, rebounding, assist-to-turnover ratio and minutes played. His father Oludotun resides in California and attends many Yale games. 

Ivy Hoops Online: Has Miye always been such a young age very interested in basketball?

Oludotun Oni: Yes, as early as two years old. He loved to shoot the ball and he always wanted to wear his Kobe jerseys. We bought him a toy hoop and he would shoot the ball all day long. He never got tired of it; he would cry when it was time to wrap it up. I remember him asking me to lift him up so he could “dunk.”  He was so excited one day when Derek Fisher, then with the LA Lakers, gave him a “high-five” during an event at the Valencia mall in California. When he was five years old, he and his older sister (Toni) played in the YMCA league, then later in the church league, and the Los Angeles Rec./Park league. We also took both of them to the Michael Jordan Flight School camp at UC Santa Barbara for a couple of years.

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Harvard emerges victorious at Yale in Ivy heavyweight thriller

There are probably three tiers in the parity-filled Ivy League this season. They tend to conflate at times, but there is no questioning that the top tier is comprised of Yale and Harvard. So why not expect them to play the game of the year at John J. Lee Amphitheater before a sold out, whiteout throng?
And the tier one battle played out consistent with its script, although perhaps the last act of the game was a bit of a surprise to Ivy fans and scribes. But should anyone by now be surprised by anything Harvard’s Bryce Aiken accomplishes, injured or fully healthy?

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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.

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

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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Harvard shuts down Yale, 65-49, snaps Elis’ eight-game win streak

Ever have one of those really bad days at the office?
The copier is broken, the coffee is rancid, your client cancels an appointment and things get worse from there.
Well, Yale had that type of night at Lavietes Pavilion last night.
And Harvard didn’t.

Read moreHarvard shuts down Yale, 65-49, snaps Elis’ eight-game win streak

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.

Read moreYale sweeps Brown, giving James Jones his 300th career win