Q&A with Yale coach James Jones

James Jones says his Yale squad has played at a high level in recent games and that Jordan Bruner is “ahead of schedule” in his rehabilitation. (Pitt LiveWire)

Richard Kent of Ivy Hoops Online connected with Yale coach James Jones for insight into how Yale has moved on after losing Jordan Bruner and Makai Mason to injury (the former for the season). 

Ivy Hoops Online: Perhaps no coach in the country this season has been forced to employ the next man up strategy as much as you. How difficult has that been?
James Jones: We’ve worked hard to get the young players in our program ready so when their number is called they will be ready.  This year has been no different, we’re just using more of our bench players than we normally would.

IHO: Your team really seemed to click against Lehigh (in an 86-77 road win). Was that your best performance to date?
JJ: Several games this season we’ve been able to play at a high level.  I’d say Lehigh (Dec. 6), St Bonaventure (a 75-67 road loss on Dec. 9) and Kennesaw State (an 89-74 road win on Dec. 30) were all played at about the same level.

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Ivy men’s hoops roundup – Nov. 27, 2017

1. Harvard (3-4)

The Crimson did something on Friday that Princeton couldn’t do last Saturday: beat St. Joseph’s. Sans Seth Towns and Corey Johnson due to food poisoning, Harvard raced out to a 23-9 lead in the first 10 minutes and got a boost from sophomore guard Bryce Aiken’s 8:1 assist-to-turnover ratio, which is impressive considering he had 13 turnovers in the first three games of the season (seven at Holy Cross). Sophomore frontcourt stalwart Robert Baker notched 14 points, 11 boards and three blocks against the Hawks in the Wooden Legacy Tournament. Harvard may have gotten blown out early versus St. Mary’s in the same tourney on Thursday, but Harvard’s 4-for-21 (19 percent) three-point shooting performance seems like an aberration.

Sunday night brought a 70-61 win for Cal State Fullerton over Harvard, a game in which the Titans attempted nearly three times as many free throws (30) as the Crimson (11). The Crimson’s interior defense got gouged at Titan Gym.

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Brown men’s basketball revamps its roster for a challenging 2017-18 season

Last season, the Brown men’s basketball team went 9-7 in nonconference action.  The nine wins tied the program’s record for non-league victories with the 2001-02 and 2014-15 teams.  The Bears’ 8-0 start at home was the best beginning since the 1934-35 squad. In league play, Brown appeared to get a boost of confidence from its nonconference schedule, dominating Penn and Cornell on the road and losing by one at home to Yale. With a 2-3 start in Ivy competition, the Bears were looking good for the fourth spot in the inaugural Ivy Tournament.  

Unfortunately, Brown lost its next five matches, derailing its hopes for an upper division finish. Despite beating Dartmouth on the road to start the next to last weekend of the season, the loss to Harvard the following evening eliminated the Bears from postseason play.  The team did bounce back in its penultimate game, beating Columbia by 20 and damaging the Lions’ hope for the league’s final four. A Senior Night loss to Cornell left the Bears with a 4-10 record (13-17 overall), tied for sixth in the Ancient Eight.

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Ivy weekend roundup: Jan. 13-14, 2017

Some observations about an Ivy weekend that featured an unusually intense marquee matchup, an expected tossup game that played out as such and a consequential upset:

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Brown Season Preview – Bruno scars

What happened last year: (8-20, 3-11 Ivy) The Bears’ 2015-16 season was underwhelming overall. Brown tied for last in the conference despite being projected to finish fifth in the preseason media poll with two-time Ivy Defensive Player of the Year Cedric Kuakumensah still in tow and an unusual level of offensive depth. But a five-game skid in league play in February followed back-to-back 24-point losses to Yale and Princeton in the Bears’ second and third conference matchups, a tough slog for Brown.

What’s new: Kuakumensah is gone after leading the league in blocks and three-point percentage as well as ranking second in rebounding last season. Say howdy to freshmen forwards Joshua Howard and David Erebor as well as rookie center Brandon Charnov and frosh guard Brandon Anderson, who selected Brown over Columbia. Most of Brown’s offensive playmakers return, but the Bears were projected to finish last in the conference in this year’s preseason media poll, probably because of Brown’s distinct lack of defensive fortitude last season.

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