Head Coach: James Jones
2014-15 Record: 7-2
Yale is coming off one of their best seasons in recent memory, finishing 19-15 and making the CIT finals where they to Murray State. Losing zero starters from a year ago, the Bulldogs are off to a 7-2 start and looking to pick up a signature win to add to their resume against either UConn or at Florida on December 8th. Yale was picked to finish second in the Ivy League this season in the Preseason Blue Ribbon Yearbook behind Harvard so expectations are very high in New Haven.
Yale’s two losses this season were both to New England teams. In the first game of the season against Quinnipiac, the Bulldogs lost a heartbreaker in double overtime, 88-85, despite senior Javier Duren’s 26 points. After winning five straight, they traveled to Providence to take on a 5-0 Friar team. Yale kept it close for the whole game but ended up suffering their second loss of the season 72-66. Head Coach James Jones has these guys back on track as they have won two in a row against Hartford and Bryant. In both of those games, Yale had four different players in double figures.
The Bulldogs start all seniors and juniors, and despite not having a true big man, they hold their own on the glass, ranking in the top 100 in defensive rebounds. They go about 9 deep and are a very experienced team who is ready to compete with some of the better teams in New England.
OF NOTE: Brandon Sherrod, a junior Forward, is taking the year off to perform with the Whittenpoofs, Yale’s male a capella singing group that traveled the world this summer. Known as a great leader and teammate, Sherrod will be missed this season. He averaged 6.8 PPG and 4.3 RPG last season.
# 22 Justin Sears, Junior, Forward (6-8, 205): A first team all-conference selection and one of the best players in the Ivy League, Sears has been Yale’s best player this season leading the team in both points and rebounds. He is averaging 15.1 PPG and 8.9 RPG while also recording 2.9 BPG. Despite Sears’s stellar play, he needs to tone down his turnovers as he is averaging 3.5 per game. While he is great in the post and can score in a variety of ways around the hoop, the junior has also developed a consistent mid-range game. Sears is one of the hardest working guys on the team despite his talent. He has already recorded three double-doubles this season.
#20 Javier Duren, Senior, Guard (6-4, 185): One of three guards that starts for the Bulldogs, he is a stat sheet stuffer averaging 14.9 PPG, 5.8 RPG, and 4.1 APG while shooting 41.2% from three. Like Sears, Duren must take better care of the ball as he is averaging 2.4 TPG. The senior missed some time last season with a high ankle sprain, but returned just in time for the CIT, where he averaged 20 PPG in the postseason run. Duren can score the basketball in a variety of ways and has already been over 20 points twice this season.
#4 Jack Montague, Junior, Guard (6-0, 185): Playing mostly when Duren was injured last season, he has gained the confidence to produce on the offensive end. Montague is also in double figures, averaging 10.0 PPG while shooting 47.4% from three. The junior if off to a hot start shooting the ball this season as he has made at least two three-pointers in every game but one.
#42 Matt Townsend, Senior, Forward (6-7, 240): Known to be all muscle, Head Coach James Jones calls him "big and as strong a man as you’ll ever meet." Townsend is averaging 8.7 PPG and 4.0 RPG while also dishing out 2.7 APG. He has the intelligence and heart to make it tough for Jones to take him off the court. Townsend is also getting it done in the classroom as he has a 4.0 GPA at Yale.
#12 Armani Cotton, Senior, Guard (6-7, 215): Cotton has been battling knee and ankle injuries for most of his career but has managed to not miss a game in the past two seasons. So far this season, he is averaging 6.3 PPG and 6.1 RPG while shooting 36.7% from three. Cotton is very important to the team’s success and can be the third scorer that Yale needs.
Yale is coached by James Jones who is in his 16th season with the Bulldogs where is 216-224. While at Yale, he has made it into postseason play three different times, including a trip to the NIT in 2001-02 after going 21-11. Jones has had seven winning seasons and has finished second in the IVY League four different times including last season. He has never won the Ivy League and he has never been to the NCAA Tournament. Jones is looking to change that this year.