Mike Montgomery once told me how much he admired Ivy League teams for their hard work on the practice floor, during games and in the classroom. When you think Ivy Basketball you think fundamentally sound teams who run a lot of motion and use the shot clock. You think of undersized, unathletic teams who play zone and make you beat them with outside shots. Well, Booties, Yale is not your father's Ivy League team. James Jones brings in a team that works hard, loves to get the ball out quickly in transition and will play man-to-man defense. Think of the Bulldogs as an undersized Gonzaga.
Yale returns all their players from last year's Ivy League Championship team. They will play 10 guys and liberally substitute to keep everyone fresh. Nine players average between 3.7 and 7.9 ppg. Coach Jones hates zone more than Monty but has used it some this year with great success. Their zone was the key to the Bulldogs' victory over Penn State.
Edwin Draughan is the key player. He is the only Bulldog who can create his own shot. Edwin worked hard this summer and arrived back on the Yale campus with a much improved outside shot
T.J. McHugh is an excellent low post defender. Leads the team in charges. Has a very nice shooting touch down low.
Alex Gamboa and Chris Leanza are very solid guards who take care of the ball and don't make mistakes. Don't want to foul these two guys. They are a combined 22 for 22 from the line this year.
Matt Minoff is the most versatile Bulldog. Leads the team in rebounding, blocked shots and assists. The Bulldogs version of the Bootleg Blue Collar player.
Ime Archibong is very athletic and a great defender. Ime (on Dick Vitale's preseason All Name Team) will most likely take on our hottest wing.
Justin Simon and Paul Vittelli are post players who contribute. Simon was chosen to the All Tourney team at the Phoenix Classic.
Mark Lovett, Scott Gaffield and Josh Hill all come off the bench, average double-digit minutes and contribute.
The key for Yale will be to rebound the basketball and get the ball up court for easy transition baskets. At the same time they want to take care of the ball and not give Stanford any easy baskets. They will go in and out of man-to-man defense and make Stanford run their offense.
Stanford needs to be patient. Stanford's big men need to use their quickness and size to get offensive rebounds and second chance points. The guards need to slow Yale's transition game. A lot of energy will be exerted. Every player must be ready to go all out from the opening tip to the final buzzer. Yale is an experienced club who plays like Gonzaga teams of old (wing/guard oriented). Stanford needs to play the way they did the second half of Saturday's game. If not, it may be a long night.
Yale hasn't played for 17 days and tip-off will be 10:00 pm eastern time. On the other hand, the competition these guys get in games is pretty good and they have pulled many all nighters.
Prediction: Stanford 73, Yale 62