Yale men’s basketball releases 2019-20 schedule

Yale Athletics announced an intriguing 2019-2020 schedule for the defending Ivy League regular season co-champion and Ivy Tournament title winning Bulldogs Friday.

The 16 game nonconference schedule, which features 14 Division I matchups, includes contests against power conference foes North Carolina, Penn State, Oklahoma State and Clemson.

The Elis will open the season on the road at Stony Brook on November 5, a homecoming for the team’s Long Island born-and-raised coach.  On November 8, they will raise the Ivy banners at the Lee Amphitheater against Division III Oberlin, which is coached by former Yale player Isaiah Cavaco.

Read moreYale men’s basketball releases 2019-20 schedule

James Jones staying at Yale after St. John’s interview

James Jones is staying at Yale after interviewing for a head coaching position at St. John’s that ultimately was offered to and accepted by Mike Anderson. (James Jones’s Twitter page)

James Jones boasts the longest tenure among current Ivy men’s head coaches, and that tenure isn’t done.

There will be a 21st season at Yale’s helm in store for Jones despite him interviewing for the head coaching position at St. John’s that ultimately was offered to and accepted by Mike Anderson, who was fired by Arkansas after nine seasons there last month and was previously a head coach at UAB and Missouri.

Jones was among the final candidates that St. John’s considered after a protracted search that saw Bobby Hurley, Porter Moser and Tim Cluess withdraw their names from consideration.

Read moreJames Jones staying at Yale after St. John’s interview

No. 2 Yale shoots its way past No. 1 Harvard, 97-85, for second NCAA Tournament berth in four years

With Yale trailing by one, 54-53, in a back-and-forth Ivy League Tournament final battle Sunday, Yale junior guard and Ivy Player of the Year Miye Oni picked up his fourth foul and was promptly benched. Even on its home floor at John J. Lee Amphitheater, the Bulldogs looked like they’d been bit.

But they were about to bite back.

Read moreNo. 2 Yale shoots its way past No. 1 Harvard, 97-85, for second NCAA Tournament berth in four years

Ancient Eight thoughts – Ivy Saturday men’s edition

Eight thoughts on the Ivy men’s basketball, which, per KenPom, gave us the highest percentage of games decided by three or fewer points or in overtime in all of Division I for the second straight season:

Crimson are No. 1 for a reason 

Harvard conquered its house of horrors, Levien Gym, 83-81, after an obligatory overtime period to claim its seventh Ivy League championship under Tommy Amaker and the No. 1 seed in the Ivy League Tournament. But is Harvard a vulnerable No. 1 seed?

Read moreAncient Eight thoughts – Ivy Saturday men’s edition

Defense nonexistent as Yale tops Cornell, 98-92

In a matchup between two of the league’s best teams, Yale was able to escape Ithaca with a 98-92 win in a game in which nobody really seemed to play much defense. Both teams shot 53 percent from the field and well over 40 percent from three. Yale moved up to 17-4 overall (7-1 Ivy) and Cornell dropped down to 13-11 (5-3) but still remain two games over fifth place in the league, with a Penn loss.

Read moreDefense nonexistent as Yale tops Cornell, 98-92

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.

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

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.

Read moreYale couldn’t overcome poor officiating in loss at Memphis

Yale men add to its deep roster to make a run at the league title

The Yale men’s basketball team finished 2016-17 third in the Ivy League regular season, but a semifinal upset of rival Harvard propelled them into a runner-up spot in the inaugural Ivy Tournament. With the expected return of 2015-16 first team All-Ivy point guard Makai Mason from a major foot injury, the Bulldogs were expected to be in the thick of last year’s race. While the team was chosen second to the Crimson by only three points in the preseason media poll, Yale actually had two more first-place votes. Unfortunately, Mason and forward Jordan Bruner both sustained injuries in the preseason that effectively kept them on the bench for the entirety of the 2017-18 campaign.

Despite those major blows and a 2-4 start to league play, coach James Jones was able to rally his Elis (16-15 overall, 9-5 Ivy) to a second consecutive third-place showing. While Yale defeated co-champion Penn by one point in New Haven on the regular season’s penultimate evening, the Quakers ended the Bulldogs season with a 80-57 victory at the Palestra in the Ivy Tournament semifinal. For 2018-19, Yale will add a class of five first-years to a squad that will return its entire starting lineup and Bruner (8.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.2 blocks and 22.4 minutes per game in ’16-’17). Even if the team cannot stay healthy, their depth allows them to be a good bet to stay in the conference’s upper division for the 19th straight season. If the coach can get his squad to avoid the injury bug (maybe skip the scrimmage against brother Joe Jones’ Boston University, where Mason and Bruner were both injured in successive seasons), a regular season and postseason title should be within their grasp.

Read moreYale men add to its deep roster to make a run at the league title

Newcomers aim to reverse lower division trend for Brown men’s basketball

After losing eight players from the 2016-2017 season (13-17 overall, 4-10 Ivy), including first team All-Ivy Steven Spieth, four-year starting point guard Tavon Blackmon, and three-point specialist JR Hobbie, the Brown men’s basketball team was picked last in the 2017-18 Ivy League preseason media poll. With underclassmen filling out almost 64 percent of the roster and playing 74 percent of the team’s minutes, the Bears finished last year at 11-16 with a second straight 4-10 mark in the Ancient Eight. While the record was not impressive, Brown did take Providence to overtime, defeat Princeton on the road for the first time since 2010, and have a third place 4-4 record halfway through the conference schedule. After gaining a year of experience leading the program, the talented young core will attempt to move Brown beyond four straight seventh-place league finishes and make a push for a first-ever spot in the Ivy Tournament.

Read moreNewcomers aim to reverse lower division trend for Brown men’s basketball

Ivy weekend roundup – Mar. 2-3, 2018

What a wild and crazy Ivy season the 2017-18 campaign turned out to be.

The Ivy League finished first among all 32 Division I conferences with a whopping 39.3 percent of conference games being decided by four points or less or in overtime, a record for any conference in the KenPom era dating back to 2001-02, per Kevin Whitaker of NYC Buckets.

Every Ivy squad played in at least one league game that went to overtime, and the extra periods helped define at least two squads’ seasons in-conference: Harvard went 3-0 in such contests en route to a shared Ivy League championship, while Princeton went 1-4 to seal its first finish outside the league’s top four in 10 years.

Ivies went 39-17 at home in conference play, tops in Division I a season after they went just 28-28, worst in Division I in 2017.

Read moreIvy weekend roundup – Mar. 2-3, 2018