NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The 2016-17 basketball season has arrived. Yale begins its 27-game schedule at home against Binghamton Bearcats on Sunday in the John J. Lee Amphitheater. Then the Bulldogs go on the road to take on the Manhattan Jaspers on Tuesday.
Last season, Yale had a new coaching staff, led by Joel E. Smilow '54 head coach Allison Guth. The entire staff returns this season, along with nine players from last year's team, which finished 14-17 (5-9 Ivy).
The coaching staff and players improved their chemistry as the 2015-16 season progressed, culminating in a 3-game winning streak to end the season. The Bulldogs look to continue that run of form in 2016-17. Yale also welcomes five talented freshmen, who are sure to make a significant impact on the team right away.
Junior guard Tamara Simpson (North Babylon, N.Y.) led all returning players with 11.4 points per game last season. She and captain Elizabeth Haley, a senior forward from Dayton, Ohio, will provide leadership on a youthful team.
The Binghamton game will be available on the Ivy League Digital Network, while the Manhattan game can be seen on the Jasper Sports Network.
Scouting the Binghamton Bearcats
Binghamton was one of the most improved programs in the country last season. In 2014-15, the Bearcats finished 4-26 (2-14 in conference play), tied for 8th place in the America East Conference.
Binghamton was picked in the preseason to finish last in the America East in 2015-16. The Bearcats finished 14-17 (8-8 in conference play), in a tie for 3rd place in the conference. After the team's surprising success, head coach Linda Cimino was named 2016 America East Coach of the Year.
This will be the second game of the season for the Bearcats, who lost 67-57 to Bucknell on Friday. Last year's leading scorer (16 ppg), junior guard Imani Watkins, led Binghamton with 26 points while sophomore guard Rebecca Carmody had a team-high 11 rebounds. The Bulldogs will look to keep them in check, as well as junior forward Alyssa James, who set an America East record with 92 blocks last season (3 bpg) and led the team with 7.7 rebounds per game.
Report on the Manhattan Jaspers
Manhattan finished 15-16 (11-9 MAAC), in a three-way tie for 4th in the conference. The Jaspers are poised to improve, as they return their top three scorers (Amani Tatum – 11.9 ppg, Nyasha Irizarry – 8.4 ppg, Kayla Grimme – 7.7 ppg) and their top rebounder from a year ago (Grimme – 7.8 rpg).
Manhattan also welcomes a new head coach, Heather Vulin, who served as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Virginia Tech last season.
The Jaspers opened their season on Friday with a 60-56 win over Holy Cross. Senior guard Maeve Parahus hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with under a minute left and finished with a career-high 19 points in the win.
Head coach Allison Guth shared her thoughts on the upcoming season and Sunday's matchup with Binghamton earlier in the week.
Filed by Andy Dougherty, Yale Sports Publicity