Mason’s graduate transfer: an important decision in more ways than one

Makai Mason, once a Bear-buster, is Baylor-bound come 2018. (Fansided)

Last week, Andrew Slater of 247 Sports reported that Yale rising senior Makai Mason will attend Baylor University in the fall of 2018 as a graduate transfer.  The 2015-16 first-team All-Ivy guard missed all of last season due to a foot injury suffered in a preseason scrimmage against Boston University.  Mason, who was recently named the Yale captain for the upcoming season, averaged 16.0 points, 3.8 assists, and 32.7 minutes of playing time per game in his sophomore campaign.

Mason declared for the 2016 NBA Draft, but withdrew his name a few days after the combine.  Since he did not choose an agent, he returned to Yale and retained his last two years of eligibility.  After his first-semester injury, Mason decided to continue his studies at Yale instead of taking a leave of absence, as opposed to Alex Rosenberg at Columbia or Siyani Chambers at Harvard.  By staying in school, Mason will earn his degree in the spring of 2018 and retain one year of athletic eligibility.  Since the Ivy League does not allow graduate students to participate, he is free to play his last season at any institution the following season.  That freedom has been exercised over the last few years by Cornell’s Shonn Miller (Connecticut), Penn’s Tony Hicks (Louisville), Harvard’s Patrick Steeves (George Washington), Dartmouth’s Alex Mitola (George Washington) and Brown’s Rafael Maia (Pittsburgh).  Recently, two graduating All-Ivy Princeton players, Hans Brase (Iowa State) and Henry Caruso (Santa Clara), have added their names to this ever-growing list.

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Ivy women’s update – Feb. 17, 2017

With three weeks left in the regular season, we’d like to update the readers on the women’s basketball results.

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Princeton Season Preview – Not Just Paper Tigers

What happened last year (22-7, 12-2): With Yale’s performance declining mid-slate and Jack Montague’s departure via expulsion, Princeton looked to be closing in on at least forcing an Ivy playoff game, and during Yale’s overtime win over Dartmouth, it looked like Princeton would clinch outright. But then it was the Tigers who stumbled, thanks to Patrick Steeves’ career game on the final Friday night of conference play. Then came an 86-81 NIT loss at Virginia Tech.

What’s new: Not much, and that’s just the way Tigers fans want it. Hans Brase returns after having a torn ACL last year, bringing with him a strong rebounding presence (particularly on the defensive end), an ability to get to the foul line, and a knack for stretching a defense with three-point shooting. All other major contributors from last season return.

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The monkey on Mitch Henderson’s back

With its season-ending defeat of the Penn Quakers last night, the Tigers ran their record to a gaudy 22-6 (12-2 Ivy), their best 28-game record in this century (when you are as old as Toothless you think of these things in terms of centuries). On only two occasions, 2004 (13-1) and 2011 (12-2) did a Tiger team win at least 12 Ivy League games, and both of those squads won Ivy titles.

It took Yale’s historic run, in which the Bulldogs suffered but one loss, to deny the Tigers another Ivy crown. (That one defeat came at the hands of Princeton.)

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Ivy Friday roundup – Princeton loses control of own destiny at Harvard

Yale 88, Cornell 64

Yale entered into this game with seemingly little momentum despite having won 15 of its previous 16 contests. The Elis eked out an overtime win at home against lower-tier Ivy Dartmouth with Makai Mason shooting just 4-for-18 from the floor and sporting a gimpy ankle, while the program continues to deal with controversy stemming from the team’s show of support for departed ex-teammate Jack Montague. But in Ithaca Friday night, Yale steamrolled Cornell for 40 minutes, building a 30-point lead late in the second half courtesy of another perfect Brandon Sherrod performance from the floor. Sherrod’s 18 points on 6-for-6 shooting led all scorers and anchored an offense that posted 32 made field goals on 54.2 percent shooting, taking advantage of Cornell’s inferior defense early and often. Robert Mischler, Cornell’s only senior, helped spark an 18-9 run for Cornell midway through the first half that brought Cornell to just a 22-20 deficit, but the Elis finished the stanza on an 18-2 run of their own in the final 7:32. That first half featured some promisingly even scoring distribution, with Sam Downey, Anthony Dallier and Khaliq Ghani consistently joining Sherrod and Mason in the scoring action. Yale was additionally rewarded for its efforts when

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Ivy Power Rankings – Mar. 1, 2016

1. Princeton (20-5, 10-1 Ivy)

It’s Princeton’s versatility that gives the Tigers a better chance to win in a potential NCAA Tournament berth than Yale, or indeed, most mid-majors. What matters most in an Ivy playoff is that Princeton’s offense matches up well with Yale’s defense, complete with multiple sharpshooters and slashers that can use the Elis’ size advantage against them.

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Ivy Saturday roundup

Columbia 79, Cornell 68

Cornell’s gameplan was sound: Don’t sag in too much responding to Columbia interior attacks and try to disrupt the Lions with physicality on the perimeter. Cornell’s gameplan didn’t matter.

Columbia shot 13-for-24 (54.2 percent) from beyond the arc to pull away in the second half. A trio of Lions – Luke Petrasek, Maodo Lo and C.J. Davis – hit at least three treys, enough to make up for several bunnies missed inside and playing at a faster pace than coach Kyle Smith probably wanted. Cornell missed Robert Hatter for the second game in this series but benefited from freshman guard Matt Morgan’s 26 points on 9-for-23 shooting. For more on the game, read our Ian Wenik’s instant analysis.

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Ivy Saturday roundup

Yale 77, Brown 68

As it did last season, Brown gave Yale a scare in New Haven, but not a loss.

Late free throws by Makai Mason and Jack Montague iced the game for the Elis, and Mason led Yale with 20 points in 32 minutes. Brown overcame an early 21-4 deficit to cut Yale’s lead to 37-31 at halftime. Cedric Kuakumensah, Tavon Blackmon and JR Hobbie combined for 50 of Brown’s 68 points and 15 of its 20 field goals. Brown and Yale combined for 49 fouls and 36 turnovers in what turned out to be a sloppy game.

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Harvard outlasts tough Dartmouth squad in Ivy opener

Harvard is 1-0 on the young Ivy season after a hard-fought 77-70 win over Dartmouth on Saturday afternoon at Lavietes Pavilion in Cambridge. Uncertainty loomed heading in, as Tommy McCarthy and Patrick Steeves were both questionable due to injuries sustained a week ago during a tight loss to Vermont (a game in which both were dearly missed). Against Dartmouth, McCarthy played only 16 minutes, while Steeves proved he was fully healthy by scoring a career-high 20 points.

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Ivy Saturday roundup

Penn 50, Princeton 48

Any roundup of Saturday’s Ivy action has to include Penn’s white-knuckle win over Princeton on the women’s side. Penn (10-2, 1-0 Ivy) prevailed for its home win over Princeton (11-4, 0-1) since 2008 by shutting down the Tigers defensively, holding Princeton to just one field goal in the final 4:16 and turning the Tigers away twice in the final eight seconds of the game. Junior center Sydney Stipanovich finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds, three blocks and three assists for the Quakers, who Princeton to 17-for-62 (27.4 percent) shooting with a formidable 2-3 zone that Princeton coach Courtney Banghart curiously called a “junior high school” level zone after the game.

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