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ON CAMPUS A look at the area college sports scene

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Yale picked second in Ivy Poll

NEW HAVEN — A year ago the Ivy League championship was settled on Yale’s homecourt. Unfortunately the Bulldogs weren’t a part of the game as the league settled its title in a game between Princeton and Harvard at the Lee Amphitheater.
Yale coach James Jones is optimistic that his team could be a part of this year’s title chase. The Bulldogs were tied for second place in the league’s preseason media poll which was released on Wednesday. Harvard picked up 16 of the 17 first-place votes to earn the top spot. Yale had the other first-place vote and tied with Princeton for second place in the poll.
“Every year we’ve been picked to finish lower than we’ve actually finished,” Jones said. “This year we’re picked to finish second so there is only one spot higher.”
Yale opens up the season on Nov. 11 when it meets Central Connecticut State in the Connecticut 6 tournament at the Mohegan Sun.
Jones especially likes his frontcourt and its depth. Orange’s Greg Mangano and California’s Jeremiah Kreisberg both played on their country’s national team over the summer.
You can tell that experience has helped they are both playing at a very high level.
As a team, Yale played a series of exhibitions in China to gather even more experience and build chemistry. Jones hopes that helps his team build on its 15-13 overall record and 8-6 league mark last season.
“Rebounding is going to be key for us,” Jones, in his 13th year at the school, said. “We have to rebound it well and don’t turn it over. We have a lot of size and depth at the position.”
Jones said that perimeter shooting could be a problem but Yale does have Austin Morgan back. Morgan is at times too unselfish but he has unlimited range.
Mangano has a world of potential and frankly could dominate league play this season. The 6-10 shot-blocker entered the NBA draft for a spell last season before pulling his name out in time to remain eligible for the upcoming season. While Mangano said it was an effort to build exposure for his future plans the move was not just a publicity stunt. Mangano finished among the nation’s leaders in blocked shots and double-doubles last season.
“I don’t know if there’s a sense of urgency for us because Greg is in his senior year but there will be for Greg,” Jones said. “It’s like that for all seniors.”
The Bulldogs have a fine mix of veterans and underclassmen. There are 10 freshmen or sophomores this year including former Register Player of the Year Brandon Sherrod who played at Choate last season and sophomore Greg Kelley who missed all of last season with an injury.
Jones said the entire league is brimming with talent.
“Just like last year we have a lot of strong teams in the Ivy,” he said. “Princeton and Harvard are going to be good again but the entire league is good. You have to show up every night or you’re going to get beat. There will be some great games in the league because of that parity.”
Contact Bill Cloutier at 203-789-5653. Follow Bill on Twitter @BillCloutier. To receive breaking news first, simply text the word nhsports to 22700. *Msg & Data Rates May Apply. Text HELP for help. Text STOP to cancel.

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