Princeton Men's Basketball 2017 NCAA Tournament Capsule


Princeton Tigers

Ivy League (23-6, 14-0)

Princeton has had success under Coach Mitch Henderson, but this has arguably been his best coaching job yet. The Tigers came into the year with very high expectations, but by the middle of December the Tigers lost key players. Hans Brase, who returned for just five games before suffering another season ending injury, and Henry Caruso, who averaged a team high 15.0 points per game in 2015-2016, were both lost within a week of each other. That left Princeton with some holes to fill, but Coach Henderson managed to fill them extremely effectively.
Big Wins: 12/22 at Bucknell (72-70), 2/4 at Harvard (57-56), 2/17 at Yale (71-52)
Bad Losses: 11/20 at Lehigh (67-76), 12/14 St. Joseph’s (68-76), 12/20 at Monmouth (90-96)
Coach: Mitch Henderson
Why They Can Surprise:
Princeton takes care of the basketball, hits three-pointers and plays solid defense. That is a good recipe for success in March. There are five players who will score for the Tigers and all five of them are a threat to shoot from long range. When those shots are falling, especially from every position on the floor, Princeton can stick around with just about any team. Devin Cannady and Spencer Weisz have emerged as the most prolific three-point shooters, but Steven Cook is the most efficient. He connects on 42.2 percent of his three-point attempts, but most of his 13.7 points per game comes from attacking the basket. The Tigers rarely beat themselves and commit just 10.1 turnovers per game, ranking 6th in the nation. If the shots fall and the turnovers are low and the defense is solid, Princeton can make things interesting.
Why They Can Disappoint:
A lot of pressure has been put on forward Pete Miller to man the five spot. The 6-11 senior averages just 2.4 points per game, but he can occasionally be an interior scoring option. More importantly, Miller has to provide nearly all of the size in the paint. Alec Brennan has been forced into some duty too, but the injury to Brase has really hurt the size in the frontcourt. That is not a big deal for the Princeton offense, but it a huge concern on the other end of the floor and on the glass. The concern on offense is that this team is so heavily reliant on the long ball. Princeton will rarely attack the basket and earn a trip to the free-throw line. There are very few easy points and very little offense or hope for an upset without success from beyond the arc.
Probable Starters:
Devin Cannady, Sophomore, Guard, 13.7 ppg, 1.9 apg, 3.6 rpg
Myles Stephens, Sophomore, Guard, 12.6 ppg, 1.1 apg, 4.6 rpg
Steven Cook, Senior, Forward, 13.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg
Spencer Weisz, Senior, Forward, 10.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg
Pete Miller, Senior, Forward, 2.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg
Key Role Players:
Amir Bell, Junior, Guard, 6.6 ppg, 2.0 apg
Alec Brennan, Junior, Forward, 2.4 ppg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.1 (206th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 61.5 (9, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.4 (118, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.8 (73, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 10.1 (8, 1)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 38.4 (41, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.1 (85, 4)
Rebound Margin: 0.1 (199, 4)
Assists Per Game: 14.4 (120, 6)
Turnovers Per Game: 10.1 (6, 1)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2016    NIT      First Round loss to Virginia Tech
2014    CBI      First Round win over Tulane
2014    CBI      Quarterfinal loss to Fresno State
2012    CBI      First Round win over Evansville
2012    CBI      Quarterfinal loss to Pittsburgh
2011    NCAA Round of 64 loss to Kentucky
2010    CBI      First Round win over Duquesne
2010    CBI      Second Round win over IUPUI
2010    CBI      Semifinal loss to St. Louis
2004    NCAA Round of 64 Loss to Texas
2002    NIT      First Round loss to Louisville
2001    NCAA Round of 64 loss to North Carolina
*all team stats through 3/5