#89 Yale Men's Basketball 2020-2021 Preview

Yale Bulldogs
2020-2021 Overall Rank: #89
Conference Rank: #1 Ivy
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Yale has won at least a share of the Ivy League title four times in the last six years. They will go for another title in 2020-2021. The Bulldogs lose a couple key players, including Jordan Bruner, but return a very experienced squad. Paul Atkinson will look to repeat as Ivy League Player of the Year after averaging 17.6 points and 7.3 rebounds during his junior season. The 6-10 senior is one of the most efficient shooters in the country, connecting on 63.0 percent of his attempts from the floor in 2019-2020. That was a drop from his previous two campaigns, but he still has led the Ivy League in field goal percentage three years in a row.
2019-20 Record: 23-7, 11-3
Coach: James Jones
Coach Record: 333-280 at Yale, 333-280 overall
Key Departed Players:
Jordan Bruner, Forward, 10.9 ppg
Eric Monroe, Guard, 7.2 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Paul Atkinson, Senior, Forward, 17.6 ppg
Azar Swain, Senior, Guard, 16.0 ppg
Jalen Gabbidon, Senior, Guard, 5.9 ppg
Matthue Cotton, Junior, Guard, 7.6 ppg
August Mahoney, Sophomore, Guard, 3.6 ppg
Wyatt Yess, Senior, Forward, 2.6 ppg
Michael Feinberg, Junior, Guard, 2.3 ppg
Jameel Alausa, Senior, Forward, 2.2 ppg
Key New Players:
Yussif Basa-Ama, Freshman, Forward
Emir Buyukhanli, Freshman, Guard
Yassine Gharram, Freshman, Guard
Matt Knowling, Freshman, Forward
Luke Kolaja, Freshman, Forward
While Atkinson dominates in the paint, Azar Swain will be doing the same on the perimeter. The 6-0 senior averaged 16.0 points per game and connected on 38.7 percent of his 240 attempts from beyond the arc. Filling in around Atkinson and Swain will be the main task this year for Coach James Jones. He has some experienced options though. Jalen Gabbidon was a regular starter last year and tallied 5.9 points per game, while Matthue Cotton added 7.6 points per game. August Mahoney showed plenty of potential as a freshman and he, Gabbidon and Cotton are all capable shooters. With upperclassmen Wyatt Yess, Michael Feinberg and Jameel Alausa adding even more options, Yale should be able to find plenty of quality depth. And that does not include dipping into their class of five freshmen. Bruner may be the big name that needs to be replaced, but Eric Monroe was very important to the Bulldogs last year as well. He dished out 4.3 assists per game and Bruner added 3.8. Nobody else had more than 1.7 so finding a new ball handler will be very important if Yale is going to win another Ivy championship.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 76.3 (44th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 65.1 (56, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.9 (32, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.7 (23, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.8 (40, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.1 (26, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.2 (165, 4)
Rebound Margin: 6.8 (16, 1)
Assists Per Game: 15.5 (21, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.0 (164, 6)