Yale basketball coach James Jones made a surprise public statement showing support for its deposed captain and veteran player Jack Montague. It came during an on court TV interview following Yale’s clinching of the undisputed championship of the Ivy League with its victory at Columbia.
Jones, who previously said he was not at liberty to comment about the Montague furor, may have been taken by surprise by some of the questions from reporter Nigel Hayes. But he did not back off.
“Jack knows how we feel about him. We love him. He’s a great young man and we love him,” said the longest tenured coach in the Ivy League. See the interview here.
Three other signs of team backing
At least three other things happened last Saturday, one prior, one during and another after the game, all in recognition of Montague.
1) The team is said to have done Face Time with Montague before taking the floor.
2) During the game Khaliq Ghani, who went on to contribute a valuable role off the bench, reportedly played with “Gucci,” Montague’s nickname, written on his wrist tape.
3) Lost in the excitement and celebration when the players spilled out onto the floor when it was over, was that several players raised four fingers to show that they consider Montague to be with them. Four was Montague’s uniform number.
Will there be a Montague sighting at the NCAA Tournament?
Montague has not been spotted at any of the Bulldogs’ games since he last played, and the now captain-less Yale team is getting ready for a highly ranked opponent in the NCAA tournament. The leading candidate for the Ivy League’s Player of the Year, Justin Sears, told USA Today that he expects Montague to be at that game, although the site won’t be determined until Selection Sunday.
There is speculation it could be in Providence, R.I., which would make it almost a home game for Yale fans