Know Thy Enemy: Yale

Before Yale figured out how to manipulate "financial aid" (Sports Illustrated)

Coming into the season, the two knocks on the Bulldog’s team were lack of outside shooting (after the graduation of local productive Alex Zampier who had unlimited range) and poor overall defense. The defensive situation went from bad to worse when Michael Sands, starting big main, leading returning scorer and rebounder, who withdrew from Yale for “personal reasons,”  but it was rumored that this might have been a euphemism for other violations. Despite poor defense (106.6 DRtg), Yale has had no problem shooting the ball the ball from deep. That all starts with 5’11 sophomore guard Austin Morgan who has been one of the biggest surprises of the Ivy League this year. In limited minutes, Morgan led last year’s team in 3PT shooting with 37.5%, but averaged under 5 a game. This year, he’s shooting fifty-six percent from three, 22-39 (for reference, Logan is 29-71 from deep). He’s now averaging 18 points per game and his 25 point outburst against BC powered Yale to the first major upset of the college basketball season. If UAlbany is not aware of where he is at all times, they will get burned.

Yale has three other players averaging in double figures, 6’10 forward Greg Mangano (15 PPG), guard Porter Braswell (11 PPG) and swingman Reggie Willhite (10 PPG). Mangano has also shown the ability to step out and hit the three.

Yale has also been much better at drawing fouls; it will be very interesting to see if Will Brown keeps the uptempo pace that allowed UAlbany to get to the free throw line so often. This is a great “temperature” game for UAlbany, as Yale lost to Vermont on the road this Saturday after beating Hartford by 5 the previous week. So much depends on how much and how hard Mike Black can go, but if Albany brings enough energy post-Siena jubilation to win this road game… you couldn’t say enough about the character of this team.

Also, keep an eye out for Billy Allen. No doubt Yale had nightmares about his shooting performance last year (8-9, 5-6 3PT).  His 21 points on 9 shots last season was one of the best shooting performances I’ve seen in person and highlighted the brief moment in time that the Great Danes reached their potential last year. Great spacing, smooth but quick release, it was pretty.

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~ by TheMidRangeGame on December 6, 2010.

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