Yale Nation Set To Invade Providence For Long-Awaited NCAA Game

James Jones has had about enough of questions about the expulsion of captain Jack Montague. Which is somewhat understandable given that he has finally reached the pinnacle of his professional life, putting Yale, yes Yale, in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1962, and thereby drawing some national attention to the rest of his stellar record at a program that was struggling mightily before he got there a LONG time ago, at least in coaching terms.

But with every new development, and with very little transparency to be had from Yale, new questions develop. This week it was revealed that the sexual misconduct incident (described suspiciously as “unconsented-to sex”, according to Yale’s side at least) actually happened back in the fall of 2014, with the accuser coming forward a year later, just before this basketball season was to begin. Montague, predictably, has now sued Yale, over the process designed to protect everyone’s anonymity, but failing miserably on that front.

“I’ve been a head coach at Yale for 17 years,” Jones said Wednesday. “This is the first time we’ve made the tournament since 1962. We are one of the best defensive teams in the country. We are one of the best rebounding teams in the country. So I think that’s a great story. And I’d like to tell that one going forward. If anybody has any questions around those types of things, I’d love to answer those questions.”

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Jones, Yale Never Looked Back On Way To Breaking NCAA Hex

As far back as last August, Yale coach James Jones said he wasn’t thinking about the gut-wrenching way in which the chance for his program to qualify for the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 53 years was ripped from their clutches on a cold Saturday night in the forests of New Hampshire.

When Yale opened the 2015-16 season by destroying Fairfield, Jones reiterated that last year was gone, these were different players. But as Ivy League play was finally about to begin in January, really, you must be haunted by last year still, James?

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Ivy League Weekly Roundup: A Two-Team Race

What Happened Last Week: Makai Mason and Yale avoided Dartmouth déjà vu, finishing a perfect home regular season. Princeton did the same, essentially ending Columbia’s title hopes. The Bulldogs and Tigers now prepare for long road trips with their seasons on the line. Continue reading “Ivy League Weekly Roundup: A Two-Team Race”

Yale 59, Harvard 50: Home-Court Advantage Long Time Coming

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – There have been a few times that I’ve seen Lee Amphitheater full and rocking, and it’s one of my favorite sights in all the sporting world: an ancient cathedral whose history can be heard – even from the rafters – with every bounce of the ball and gasp of the crowd.

Alas, my recollections of Yale’s septuagenarian home growing up are mostly of the place being packed to see the other team, which doesn’t necessarily mean they were cheering for Pete Carril and Princeton or Fran Dunphy and Penn or even Steve Donahue and Cornell, but they were certainly the main attraction, and on the other nights of the Ivy season? Well, Ingalls Rink and the Yale hockey team was down the street.

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Princeton 75, Yale 63: In Search Of Jack Montague

PRINCETON, N.J. – Upon arrival at Dartmouth’s Leede Arena last Friday night, always helpful Yale Sports Information contact Tim Bennett came over to inform me that Jack Montague was not with the team for the weekend for “personal reasons”. I asked a couple of cursory questions, but that was it.

Odd, I thought. Montague had started 52 straight games and was the captain, a big deal at Yale, which only chooses one for each sport (and has a long history of doing so), meaning that Montague beat out Justin Sears for the coveted position. Personally, I had gotten to know him a bit over the last three years and before the Bulldogs went to Australia for the summer, chatted with him at length about his summer trip to Croatia and Serbia for his history class (secretly, I’m a history nerd when not chasing college basketball games in the winter).

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Yale 77, Brown 68: No Style Points In Conference Play

NEW HAVEN, Conn. –  Conference play brings a new level of intensity, but it’s doubly so in the Ivy League, where there (for now at least) is no postseason tournament.

So it shouldn’t have been surprising that a team like Brown, which had a relatively disappointing 5-9 non-conference campaign and hasn’t had a winning Ivy season since 2007-08, would take the reset and set out to make life as difficult as possible for Ivy League favorite Yale Saturday night, especially with essentially no one else to prepare for in the past two weeks (Brown did have a game last week, but like Yale it was against Division III Daniel Webster).

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Yale 83, NJIT 65: Bulldogs Continue To Thrash Opponents

(photo courtesy: NJIT athletics)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Jack Montague finished 1-14 from the field, Justin Sears was held to just 13 points, and Brandon Sherrod was limited to just 15 minutes due to foul trouble … and Yale scored 1.30 points per possession is dismantling NJIT 83-65 at Lee Amphitheater Wednesday night.

Be afraid, Ivy League?

Yale is only 8-5, which might even be a tick behind its lofty preseason expectations, but (as Kevin Whitaker pointed out as well), when the Bulldogs find a weakness in an opponent, they are cold-hearted in their exploitation and lack of compassion.

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Yale 72, Vermont 54: Bulldogs Shut It Down Again

(photo courtesy: Steph Crandall)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – We’ve reached the point in the season where we have enough useful data to attempt to make sense of your favorite team, but not quite a full profile of who they will be going forward.

One of the top methods we use – especially in mid-major land – to compare conference teams that will eventually meet up is the transitive property. If A beat B and then B topped C, then A will certainly win against C, right? In a vacuum, maybe. But early-season games are not a vacuum, you have injuries, coaches fiddling with rotations and sets to see what and who will work, and the equalizer that is home-court advantage.

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