“That’s Brown!” men’s basketball assistant coach Matt Kingsley yelled at the defense as guard Ari Greenberg ’09 hit a layup off a backdoor cut at practice Thursday. “That’s Brown right there!”
Even with one win over the Bears (4-10, 0-1 Ivy) under their belts, the Elis (9-7, 1-0) are not slacking in their preparations for this Saturday’s conference rematch in Providence. Last Saturday, the Bulldogs destroyed Brown in their Ivy League opener, 75-61, their first win over the Bears since Jan. 2002, but the Elis know that Brown will be seeking revenge in Round Two.
“It’s tough to beat a team two times in a row, especially when it’s Brown,” guard Casey Hughes ’07 said. “We have to act like last week didn’t happen and be hungry for a win. They’ve beaten up on us for three years, but we’re tougher than we were last year.”
Their experience in last week’s contest will have given the Bears a chance to adjust to some aspects of the Bulldogs’ play, most notably the Elis’ post play. Center Dominick Martin ’06 led all players with 13 points and collected six rebounds. The remaining three post players — forward Sam Kaplan ’07, center Matt Kyle ’08 and forward Ross Morin ’09 — all scored in double digits and combined for 14 rebounds.
Brown relied mainly on standout freshman Scott Friske to contain the Elis down low, but the inexperienced forward could not handle the onslaught.
“We combined for a lot of points and a lot of rebounds,” Martin said. “They’ll pick it up in the post area. We’ll see if we can combat that somewhere else.”
Despite poor results for the Bears last weekend, Yale captain Josh Greenberg ’06 said Brown head coach Glen Miller did a good job adapting his team’s play mid-game in response to the Bulldogs’ defensive pressure. The Bears made the necessary changes to counter the Bulldogs’ tenacious man-to-man, and Greenberg said the Elis will have to be prepared for similar changes Brown may have made during the week.
“Their coach is good at adjusting to the way we defend,” Greenberg said. “They ran a couple offensive sets that adjusted to our play.”
While a less focused team may have been tempted to rest on its laurels after leading Brown by as many as 29 points during the second half, the Bulldogs have done the exact opposite. Brown had 17 points off of turnovers last Saturday, and the Bulldogs had difficulty keeping up in transition, something they hope to correct this time around.
“We’ll try to show up with the things we struggled with last time,” Josh Greenberg said. “In particular, we struggled with our transition defense and they got some layups off it.”
A win this weekend would mark the first time the Elis have swept a season series against Brown in eight years, during the 1997-98 season. A victory would signify the apparent end of Brown’s recent dominance over the Elis, a temporary phenomenon in a series that Yale leads 90-46 all-time.
“They didn’t have the game they wanted to have last weekend,” Martin said. “I expect a different game and a different team. It’s going to be a tough game down in Providence.”