#136 Princeton Men's Basketball 2012-13 Preview

Princeton Tigers

2012-2013 Overall Rank: #136
Conference Rank: #2 Ivy League
Princeton Men's College Basketball 2012-13 Team Preview
Princeton Team Page


It took Princeton a little while to get things rolling during Mitch Henderson’s first season as a head coach, but by conference play this was a Tigers squad that could compete with anybody. They knocked off a ranked Harvard team at home and only lost to the Crimson by three points a couple weeks later. The end result was a trip to the CBI where Princeton knocked off Evansville before falling at Pittsburgh. The Tigers spent a lot of time on the road last season, and despite the loss of two starters, this is a more experienced squad that is more comfortable under Coach Henderson and that should lead to even better things in 2012-2013.

2011-12 Record: 20-12, 10-4
2011-12 Postseason: CBI
Coach: Mitch Henderson
Coach Record: 20-12 at Princeton, 20-12 overall

Who’s Out:
The big loss in Princeton is Douglas Davis. The shooting guard was second on the team with 13.8 points per game and knocked down 41.9 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. Davis spent most of his time outside of the paint, but he was a solid defender as well. Patrick Saunders was a big 6-8 forward who could knock down the long ball as well. His ability to step outside and stretch out the defense opened up the Princeton offense. With those two shooters gone, the Tigers will have to find some other options. Forward John Comfort, who himself was not opposed to heaving up some long balls, is also gone after seeing limited playing time during his senior season.

Who’s In:
If there is a shooter in this class it will need to be guard Mike Washington. The Tigers are very light in the backcourt, so the hope is Washington will be ready to at least contribute off of the bench right away. Hans Brase is probably the best overall player in this three man class. The 6-8 power forward has a solid all-around game and could, at least eventually, be a nice replacement for Saunders. Ed Lawrence will add some more size to the frontcourt. A seven-footer, Lawrence will likely need some time to develop before he makes a huge impact for the Tigers.

Who to Watch:
The Tigers will have to rely on the experience in the frontcourt, but in the Princeton offense, that is not a problem. Brendan Connolly, a 6-11 senior, is the one player who stays inside the arc. He can be a decent scorer, but just having that big body on the defensive end is just as critical. The man who will again get all of the headlines is Ian Hummer. Now a senior, the 6-7 forward led the Tigers with 16.1 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per contest. He even added 3.2 assists and 1.4 steals. Hummer is a do it all player and he will take this team back to the postseason. Mack Darrow was a part-time starter last season and is poised for a big senior season. He is pretty much a more versatile version of Saunders, but with a slightly worse shot. Darrow is a strong rebounder and another big man who can pass. Denton Koon can do the dirty work off of the bench again this season. All of that versatility in the frontcourt will be very important since there is so little experience in the backcourt. Hummer’s footwork may be a little too slow to play the two spot, but Coach Henderson may not have too many other choices.

Final Projection:
Along with Washington, 6-3 senior Jimmy Sherburne will have to hold down the shooting guard spot. Sherburne only averaged 8.7 minutes per game last season, but his experience alone will give him an opportunity to earn a starting job. Either way, Sherburne will need to be ready to play more minutes this year. Meanwhile point guard T.J. Bray will have to play as close to 40 minutes per game as possible. Bray is a solid point guard and a great defender. He even was second on the team in rebounding last season. With his ability to knock down outside shots and create opportunities for his teammates, Bray makes the Princeton offense even that much more difficult to defend. The lack of a true two guard to replace Davis may be a lingering problem that comes back to haunt Princeton, but this team is too talented not to compete for an Ivy League title. It is possible that Will Barrett and Ben Hazel will be back this season. Both did not finish the 2011-2012 season. Barrett would add even more frontcourt depth and Hazel would be right in the mix with everybody else for minutes at the shooting guard spot.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
T.J. Bray, Junior, Guard
Jimmy Sherburne, Senior, Guard
Ian Hummer, Senior, Forward
Mack Darrow, Senior, Forward
Brendan Connolly, Senior, Center