Remember last week when we counted out the Yale Bulldogs in the Ivy League picture because Makai Mason had gone down with a season-ending injury? It was supposed to be between Harvard and Princeton.
Those were simpler times.
Without their five leading scorers from a year ago, the Bulldogs went out to Washington on Sunday and defeated the Huskies, 98-90, in their season-opener.
Sam Downey, who averaged 5.7 points per game last year, had 22 points for Yale on 10-16 shooting to go with seven rebounds. Little-known recruit and local freshman Miye Oni led Yale with 24 points in his first game, and Blake Reynolds, who played seven minutes per game last year, poured on another 19.
Perhaps the Bulldogs have more weapons than we thought.
Yale led for virtually the entire game, taking the lead for good 3:30 in and leading by as many as 28 in the first half.
In the second half, Washington raised its intensity on defense, blocking shots and forcing turnovers, as the Bulldogs started to unravel on the road. The Huskies cut the deficit to six in the final minutes, but got no closer.
Yale was helped by a few missed free throws and poor shot selection down the stretch from Washington, but also hit key shots to kill any chance at a comeback.
As a team, Yale crushed Washington on the boards, 42-29, making up for allowing the Huskies to shoot 60 percent from the field. That included 30 from freshman phenom Markelle Fultz.