#94 Princeton Men's Basketball 2017-2018 Preview

Princeton Tigers

2017-2018 Overall Rank: #94
Conference Rank: #2 Ivy League

Princeton Logo
After going 4-6 in their first ten games of 2016-17, the Princeton Tigers won 19 straight games en route to an NCAA Tournament appearance. Injuries slowed the Tigers down early on last season, but they showed resiliency and went undefeated in Ivy League play. They rode that momentum into the inaugural Ivy League Tournament and won two tough games to earn their way into the Big Dance. As a 12-seed, Princeton gave Notre Dame a scare, but they lost by just two points in the first round. Getting back to the NCAA Tournament won’t be an easy task for Coach Mitch Henderson as two all-conference players have graduated. However, Princeton does have one all-conference player back in Myles Stephens along with honorable mention Devin Cannady. The Tigers have some major pieces to replace, but there will be no shortage of talent to prevent them from repeating as Ivy League champions.
2016-17 Record: 23-7, 14-0
2016-17 Postseason:
NCAA Tournament
Mitch Henderson
Coach Record:
119-60 at Princeton, 119-60 overall
Who’s Out:
Spencer Weisz and Steven Cook, two of the best players in Princeton history, both graduated from the program this offseason. Weisz was named Ivy League Player of the Year behind a loaded stat line of 10.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Weisz finished his career 12th in scoring and second in assists in school history. Cook led the team in scoring last season with 13.6 points per game and earned first-team All-Ivy League honors as a senior. Cook graduated as the 15th leading scorer in school history. Pete Miller also graduated after starting 25 games as a senior. Miller was a rotation player throughout his career at Princeton and graduated as the fifth-leading shot blocker in school history. Hans Brase and Henry Caruso both decided to become graduate transfers after their Princeton careers were cut short by injuries. Brase was a double-digit scorer as a sophomore and junior, but he missed the entire 2015-16 season with a knee injury and he only played five games last season before suffering another season-ending knee injury. Caruso was named to the first-team All-Ivy League as a junior in 2015-16, but he only played in eight games last season before a toe injury ended his season.
Who’s In:
Coach Mitch Henderson went out and recruited four freshmen to join the Princeton program this season. Jerome Desrosiers is the prize of the group. Desrosiers, a three-star forward from Montreal, should contribute right away for the Tigers. Princeton also adds Sebastian Much, another three-star forward, who averaged a double-double as a high school senior. Ryan Schwieger also joins the program as a shooting guard from North Carolina and Elijah Barnes is a local recruit from New Jersey that will join Princeton this season.
Who to Watch:
Despite losing some of the best players in school history, Princeton returns three of their top five scorers from last season. Leading the group is junior Devin Cannady who was named honorable mention All-Ivy League as a sophomore. Cannady scored 13.4 points per game and hit 81 3-pointers while shooting 41% from deep. Cannady should take a step forward this season as the team’s leader. Also returning is Myles Stephens, who scored 12.5 points last season. Stephens was named Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year as a sophomore, and he earned first-team All-Ivy League honors. Stephens played his best basketball of the season in February and March, including two 20-point performances in the Ivy League Tournament. He should continue to grow as a player throughout his junior season. Point guard Amir Bell will be a senior this season and should become a full-time starter. Bell also got better as the season went along, scoring in double-digits six times in conference play. Will Gladson should become the team’s starting center this season after playing 10.4 minutes per game as a freshman. Gladson was a three-star recruit and could see a breakout season as a sophomore.
Final Projection:
Princeton should be in position to compete for the Ivy League championship again in 2017-18. Going undefeated in conference play likely isn’t repeatable, but the Tigers will still be one of the best teams in the league. Princeton returns just four guys from their core rotation last season, but seldom-used players like Aaron Young, Alec Brennan, Mike LeBlanc, Richmond Aririguzoh, and Jose Morales all return and could see improvement this season. Junior leaders Devin Cannady and Myles Stephens will need to play at all-conference levels again to give the Tigers a shot at another NCAA Tournament appearance. If the departures of Spencer Weisz and Steven Cook, two of the best players in school history, prove too big to replace, then Princeton could be unseated as the top team in the Ivy League.
Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI / CIT / V16
Projected Starting Five:
Amir Bell, Senior, Guard, 6.6 points per game

Devin Cannady, Junior, Guard, 13.4 points per game
Jerome Desrosiers, Freshman, Forward, DNP last season
Myles Stephens, Junior, Forward, 12.5 points per game
Will Gladson, Sophomore, Center, 2.3 points per game
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.6 (212th in nation, 5th in conference)

Scoring Defense: 61.4 (9, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.0 (133, 3)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.6 (59, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 9.9 (12, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.8 (59, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 73.8 (63, 3)
Rebound Margin: -0.1 (201, 4)
Assists Per Game: 14.3 (120, 6)
Turnovers Per Game: 9.9 (5, 1)