Princeton turns back Yale, 65-58, sits atop Ivy League

Not since the glory days of the Penn-Princeton rivalry in the last century has a game of basketball in Jadwin Gym matched the intensity of last night’s win over the Yale Bulldogs. Whatever each team brought to the floor – and each is very talented – was left on the floor.

The defending Ivy champions arrived in Jadwin after taking down an improving Penn squad at the Palestra on Friday, barely a week after the Tigers struggled mightily with the Quakers at home.

James Jones coached the last Ivy team to beat the Tigers in Princeton and that was nearly two years ago. Since then he has won two Ivy titles, one outright, but lost Justin Sears, Brandon Sherrod and Makai Mason. Their replacements, Miye Oni, Jordan Bruner and Alex Copeland, may reach similar heights, but last night the finest defensive effort of the Mitch Henderson era held the Bulldogs at bay until Princeton’s offense came to life in the second half.

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Miye Oni continues to impress for Yale

Yale freshman Miye Oni currently ranks second in the Ivy League in three-pointers made, third in rebounding, fourth in blocks and fifth in minutes played, (Seattle Times)
Yes, he is just one piece of a complicated puzzle, a puzzle created by the graduation of Justin Sears and Brandon Sherrod and confounded even more by a season-ending injury to preseason Ivy Player of the Year favorite Makai Mason.

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Yale’s Makai Mason out for season

Image result for makai mason
Photo Credit: New Haven Register

Yale starting point guard and star of last season’s historic NCAA tournament run, Makai Mason will miss the entire 2016-17 season with a foot injury.

Mason was injured in a scrimmage this weekend and will need to undergo surgery to repair his foot. It’s unclear at this point whether Mason will withdraw from Yale to preserve the year of eligibility.

The news is a crushing blow to James Jones’ Bulldogs who will kickoff their title defense this coming weekend at Washington.

The injury was first reported by Erik Dobratz of News 8 in New Haven.

If Mason does not withdraw from school this semester, the junior will lose a year of eligibility at the program, per Ivy League rules. If he does withdraw this semester, he can return for fall 2017. If he decides to stay in school, then he would graduate in spring 2018 and have a year of eligibility as a graduate transfer.

Yale Season Preview – A repeat to remember?

What happened last year (23-7, 13-1): Nothing to see here, just the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in 54 years and a thrilling NCAA first-round win over Baylor. Now graduated forward Justin Sears picked up a second straight Ivy Player of the Year award and now-junior guard Makai Mason established himself as a potential Ivy Player of the Year in future seasons with his clutch play all year, including a 31-point performance against Baylor.

For a deeper look back at Yale’s banner year, read our Ian Halpern’s comprehensive chronicle from April of the Bulldogs’ rise to championship history.

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Can Yale’s Blue Madness become March Madness again?

Last year, the Elis won their first outright Ivy title since 1962 and their first NCAA Tournament game ever. They narrowly lost to Duke in the round of 32 in Providence. This year’s version will present more of a challenge to heralded head coach, James Jones, who enters his 18th year as Elis coach and the dean of all Ivy coaches. Jones won the coveted mid-major Coach of the Year honor last year, along with a host of other honors.

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