Yale looks to keep rolling against Brown

We are all aware that a No. 1 seed has never lost to a No. 16 seed in the NCAA men’s tourney. When Yale takes on Brown in New Haven Saturday, it will be a No. 1 vs. a No.8, and I don’t see No. 8 having a decent chance at a win.

The best thing that Brown has going for it is the one game dynamic over the weekend, which will assist its lack of depth. With the transfer of Justin Massey out of the program in December, Brown really is down to two star players, in longtime defensive specialist Cedric Kuakumensah and scorer and ball distributor Tavon Blackmon. That’s not enough weapons to stop Yale, especially on the road, as Brown ranks next to last among all Ivies in scoring defense and rebounding margin, two of Yale’s greatest strengths.

Justin Sears is still the top Ivy player and despite an eye injury, will be back in force on Saturday. Senior guard Nick Victor, the glue of the team, is shooting north of 50 percent from three-point range, Brandon Sherrod is tough on the boards and Makai Mason may be the best guard in the Ivies as only a sophomore. Jack Montague has not been shooting well, but can really light it up when on. Sophomore guard Eric Anderson is showing a lot more than expected off the bench. James Jones is the dean of the Ivy coaches and is as well versed in the league as anyone, coach or commentator.

Look for Yale to win easily at home.

Reporter’s Notebook: A trip to Duke

Our Richard Kent chronicles Yale”s trip to Durham to face defending national champion No. 6 Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium Wednesday. Yale lost to Duke, 80-61, but Kent astutely observed a whole lot more than a final score.

Tuesday 6 p.m. Time for the Yale hard practice in Cameron Indoor Stadium. The building seemed a lot smaller in person and loads of camera phone pictures were taken before the practice started. Then the team and certainly the coaches were all business. Coach James Jones was as intense as I have ever seen him. The practice was orchestrated to the minute. Assistant coach Justin Simon, a former Bulldog himself, was in charge of the Duke scouting report. He was focused to a large extent on the Duke post players and wanted to be certain that forwards Justin Sears and Brandon Sherrod were positioned properly. Both players seemed to pick up the report easily and Sears was focused on working on his short-range side jumper and free throws.

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Asked and answered: Sizing up Yale’s 3-0 start

Our Richard Kent answers the burning questions facing the Bulldogs, who have emerged as the favorite to win the Ivy crown after an impressive 3-0 start during which reigning Ivy Player of the Year Justin Sears has gone stat-stuffing and Makai Mason has established himself as one of the premier backcourt players in the conference.
So how good is Yale?
Very good. Better than expectations. They are perched at 3-0, with wins over Sacred Heart and and a big win over Lehigh on the road last night, teams that are each ranked third in KenPom in their respective conferences (NEC and Patriot League).
Can they pull any upsets?
Look for them to beat either USC (Dec. 13) or Illinois (Dec. 9) on the road. They can hang with SMU (Nov. 22).

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Yale Season Preview – Retribution

If one word could encapsulate Yale’s upcoming season, that word would be retribution.


The Elis lost the Ivy League championship and the coveted NCAA bid by a total of three points over two games within one week last March. As Bulldogs fans already know, they first fell at Dartmouth, 59-58, in a game which would have been the clincher and then they lost in a playoff at the Palestra, against arch-rival Harvard, by two.They have not been to the NCAAs since 1962.They were strangely denied an NIT bid, an eventuality which the Ivy office bears fault for not enough marketing of its teams during the season.
Yale won 22 games under all-time winningest coach James Jones, the school’s most since 1948-49.Those wins included one over then-defending national champion UConn on the road.

This year the Elis play another defending National Champion in Duke and take a road trip to powerhouse SMU, as well as a trip to Illinois.

You don’t hear the team members using the word retribution, but it’s lurking at every practice.

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Reading the Ivy tea leaves – Yale roundup

Jim Morgan, Yale basketball ’71: After last year’s thrilling battle for the conference title and the heartbreaking loss to Harvard in the playoff, I’m both excited and apprehensive about Yale’s chances this year.

Yale’s selection as the preseason favorite to win the Ivy title has many Yale fans hopeful that we might finally see Yale in the NCAA tournament again in our lifetimes. However, several critical questions must be answered for Yale to fulfill this promise.

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Justin Sears gets Slam spotlight, but not CBS Sports kudos

Yale Athletics
(Yale Athletics)

Yes, Justin Sears remembers how Yale’s season ended last year.

According to an insightful new article from Slam Magazine, Sears found a box of t-shirts in the locker room with “2014-15 Ivy League Champs” emblazoned on them, including the message, “We’re in.”

This message would be great if it weren’t for the fact that Harvard beat Yale in the Ivy League playoff last season, thus swiping a NCAA Tournament berth away from the Bulldogs in dramatic fashion.

But Sears took one of the shirts and put it in his room as a reminder of what he has to work toward as a senior. Motivation indeed.

And oh yeah, did I mention Sears is reigning Ivy Player of the Year? Because Sears, casino online players in college hoops for 2014-15″ href=”http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/eye-on-college-basketball/24773610/cbssportscoms-top-100-players-in-college-hoops-for-2014-15″ target=”_blank”>for the second year in a row, was left completely off the CBS Sports list of the top 100 basketball players.

Yale (No. 80) was also placed behind Columbia (No. 72) in CBS Sports’ ranking of all 351 teams in college basketball, despite Sears’ return.

If sports is about redemption, Yale is your team to root for this season.

James Jones, Tony Lavelli to be inducted into New England Basketball Hall of Fame

Yale Athletics announced Tuesday that the school’s all-time winningest coach James Jones and 1949 National Player of the Year Tony Lavelli will be inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame on Aug. 8 at the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass.

Jones has helmed the Bulldogs since 1999, and Yale has finished in the top half of the league for each of the past 15 years, winning a share of the Ivy crown in 2002 and 2015.

Lavelli led the Elis to a NCAA Tournament appearance in 1949, his senior season, before being selected by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the NBA Draft that year. He played the next two seasons in the NBA with the Celtics and New York Knicks.

Lavelli was also an outstanding accordian player, even providing halftime entertainment with accordian appearances, and released two records as an accordionist. He died in 1998.


Javier Duren signs with Holland’s Aris Leeuwarden


Eurobasket.com reported Saturday that 2015 Yale graduate and All-Ivy first-teamer Javier Duren has signed a contract with Holland’s Aris Leeuwarden in the Eredivisie League.

Duren averaged 10.2 points per game for his career, as well as 14.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.3 steals per contest in 2014-15 as he led the Bulldogs to a share of the Ivy League championship.


Yale all-time moment No. 1: Elis share the 2015 title

We’re counting down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective. We did Yale next by request of Justin Sears:

We all know the 2014-15 Yale men”s basketball season didn”t have a storybook ending. Just four months ago, Harvard edged out Yale at the Palestra, 53-51, in an already legendarily back-and-forth Ivy playoff game after the Bulldogs let a last-second lead literally slip away at Dartmouth that would have clinched the Elis” first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1962. Then the NIT online casino inexplicably slipped away too.

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