#112 Yale Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Yale Bulldogs

2014-2015 Overall Rank: #112
Conference Rank: #3 Ivy League

Yale Team Page#112 Yale Men's Basketball 2014-2015 PreviewBuy Yale Basketball Tickets

Yale has hopes of competing with Harvard for an Ivy League title this year. In 2013-2014 it was Yale that ended up second to the Crimson in the pecking order. However, their 9-5 record was a long way behind Harvard’s 13-1 mark and catching them will not be easy. But if there is a year for Yale to do it and reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1962, this is it. Junior forward Justin Sears is the catalyst behind those hopes. He easily led the Bulldogs with 16.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. Only once against Ivy competition did Sears fail to score at least 11 points. And in that game he did grab ten rebounds. This time around those 20 point and 10 rebound outings will be even more common.

2013-14 Record: 19-14, 9-5
2013-14 Postseason: CIT
Coach: James Jones.
Coach Record: 209-222 at Yale, 209-222 overall

Who’s Out:
Those high expectations made Brandon Sherrod’s decision especially difficult. He was offered a spot on the Whiffenpoofs, Yale’s famous 14 man cappella group. Only at Yale is it a tough decision between glee club and basketball. But Sherrod will miss this year on the hardwood and be back for 2015-2016. A part-time starter last year, Sherrod averaged 6.8 points and 4.3 rebounds. Jessie Pritchard and Isaiah Salafia were down the bench a little more and will be the only other two departures.

Who’s In:
Yale will not need many minutes from their quartet of freshmen, yet they may get some anyway. Landon Russell is a combo guard who can either run the point or play off the ball. For now he will probably spend more time off of the ball, in part due to the arrival of fellow freshman Makai Mason. Mason is more of a true point guard, but that does not mean he cannot score. Eric Anderson can provide depth at small forward and power forward right away. He is a solid athlete who will at least be able to help out on the glass and probably knock down a few shots while he is at it. Sem Kroon is the traditional post player among the newcomers. He is surprisingly athletic for a 6-10, 240 pound forward, but he may need some more strength before emerging as a consistent force in the paint.

Who to Watch:
Javier Duren is the second highest scorer behind Sears. He is the top outside shooting threat and dished out 3.1 assists per game. Duren averaged 13.6 points per game over the course of the season, but he was playing even better basketball during Yale’s run to the CIT finals. In their four postseason wins, Duren averaged 20.5 points per game. Nick Victor and Armani Cotton each started 30 games in 2013-2014 and are ready to step back into those roles. Victor is a big 6-5 guard who does his best work on defense. He is not going to score much, yet Victor will be a solid defender and secondary ball handler. Cotton is even bigger than Victor, standing at 6-7. He can shoot over most Ivy League defenders or use his quickness to get to the basket. The last of the returning starters is Matt Townsend. The 6-7 senior is not going to score much, although his season high 12 points did come in the CIT and the hope is he can build off of that success.

Final Projection:
With Jack Montague, Anthony Dallier and J.T. Flowers providing depth on the perimeter and Greg Kelley in the post, Coach James Jones should have more depth this time around. Dallier and Flowers especially are not the most experienced players, but they did show some promise as freshmen and should be ready to play a bigger role now if needed. Yale is not the only team with a realistic shot at surpassing Harvard in the Ivy pecking order, but it is going to be a tough go for any team. Yale has the experience and talent to do it, but if they fall short, it will likely end in another trip to the CBI or CIT.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Javier Duren, Senior, Guard, 13.6 points per game
Nick Victor, Junior, Guard, 4.9 points per game
Armani Cotton, Senior, Guard, 8.5 points per game
Matt Townsend, Senior, Forward, 4.9 points per game
Justin Sears, Junior, Forward, 16.9 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 66.9 (270th in nation, 7th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.1 (72, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 41.8 (290, 7)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.4 (164, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.3 (267, 7)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.9 (226, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 69.3 (187, 4)
Rebound Margin: 5.0 (28, 1)
Assists Per Game: 11.5 (259, 7)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.9 (237, 7)


See All Top 144 Basketball Previews