Trey Phills and Nick Victor are different people. Really.
Phills is a sophomore at Yale and stands 6-foot-2. Victor graduated from Yale last year and stands 6-foot-5. He currently plays in Norway and last week was named Player Of The Week in his league, scoring 24 points and grabbing 14 rebounds.
Very special guest and two-time Ivy Player of the Year Justin Sears is set to join an On the Vine panel including IHO writers George Clark and Sam Tydings at 7 p.m. EST Thursday (today), alongside hosts Peter Andrews and Mike Tony. Listen live and send questions for Mr. Sears at Mixlr here.
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.
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.
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.
What happened lastyear(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.