#114 Princeton Men's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Princeton Tigers

2013-2014 Overall Rank: #114
Conference Rank: #2 Ivy

Princeton Team Page#114 Princeton Men's Basketball 2013-2014 PreviewBuy Princeton Basketball Tickets

Princeton got off to another slow start in 2012-2013, winning just three of their first nine contests. And it was not as though the schedule was that difficult. Coach Mitch Henderson turned things around by the time Ivy League play rolled around and the Tigers finished 10-4, just a game back on Harvard. The big story this year will be the absence of Ian Hummer. The 6-7 forward was a once in a generation type of player for the Tigers. Yet, often lost with the domination of Hummer is the talent that this group has behind him. As good as Hummer was, he did not do it on his own.

2012-13 Record: 17-11, 10-4
2012-13 Postseason: None
Coach: Mitch Henderson
Coach Record: 37-23 at Princeton, 37-23 overall

Who’s Out:
Even without talent around him, Hummer would be able to win quite a few games on his own. For his senior season he led the team in points, rebounds, assists and blocks. It will take a group effort to replace that production, but with more opportunities spread around to the returning players, it is certainly feasible. The frontcourt lost more than just Hummer. Mack Darrow and Brendan Connolly were regular contributors during their senior seasons. Guards Ameer Elbuluk and Isaac Serwanga were not regulars in the rotation.

Who’s In:
The Tigers return enough talent that they will not ask too much of the newcomers, but that will not prevent them from attempting to crack the regular rotation. Henry Caruso, a 6-4 small forward, could be useful on the wing right away and could even spend some time at shooting guard if he can get used to being a more perimeter orientated player on both ends of the floor. Pete Miller, a 6-10 forward, is a great fit for the Princeton offense. Despite his size, he has a nice shooting touch and has worked on his strength, which has really helped on the defensive end. Edo Lawrence will be seeing the floor for virtually the first time this season after playing in just one contest in 2012-2013. The 7-1 center from London is still developing his game, but he is full of potential. If Lawrence comes out with more strength and a decent mid-range jumper, he will crack the regular rotation.

Who to Watch:
Denton Koon, Will Barrett and Hans Brase will be responsible for replacing Hummer’s production in the scoring and rebounding departments. Koon, a 6-8 junior, spent much of last season playing out of position as Princeton ran a very big lineup. He will get to spend more time at the small forward position this time around. But wherever he plays, Koon will knock down shots and averaged 10.5 points per game last season. Koon is quite athletic for his size and he will get up and down the floor. As will Will Barrett. Offensively Barrett is pretty much an outside shooter. He does that amazingly well, connecting on 51.6 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. However, the 6-10 senior does need to mix up his offensive game a little and that should happen without Hummer. Hans Brase had a very promising freshman campaign in which he averaged 5.4 points and 4.2 rebounds. He is a tough player who should lead Princeton in rebounding. Of course, he can still knock down the long ball with consistency too. Bobby Garbade could join Lawrence and Miller off of the bench in the frontcourt. The 6-11 junior has barely seen the floor over the last two years, but Princeton may need him more now.

Final Projection:
The backcourt will be interesting to watch after Coach Henderson ran such a big lineup in 2012-2013. The depth in the frontcourt is not there to do it anymore, so this group will have to find a consistent shooting guard. The consistency in the backcourt will meanwhile belong to T.J. Bray. The 6-5 point guard averaged 9.9 points, 3.6 assists and 3.8 rebounds as a junior. He is a very good shooter and defender who can score more when necessary. It may be necessary. First and foremost Bray has the ability to get the rest of the team involved and keep the Princeton offense running smoothly. It remains to be seen who will start next to him. Mike Washington, Clay Wilson, Chris Clement and Jimmy Sherburne are all options. Wilson is the best shooter of the bunch, while Clement would give the team a more capable secondary ball handler. Sherburne missed last season with a shoulder injury and may need some time to get back into the flow of the game. At the least Coach Henderson should have some decent options on the perimeter and more experienced options than he had last season. Heading into 2013-2014, it would be understandable if Princeton got off to another slow start as they attempt to adjust to life without Hummer. By conference play this will be a dangerous team even if it does not look like it in November and December.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
T.J. Bray, Senior, Guard, 9.9 points per game
Chris Clement, Senior, Guard, 1.8 points per game
Denton Koon, Junior, Forward, 10.5 points per game
Will Barrett, Senior, Forward, 9.3 points per game
Hans Brase, Sophomore, Forward, 5.4 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 64.4 (250th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 58.4 (18, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.2 (40, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.4 (159, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.7 (111, 2)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 39.5 (9, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.3 (81, 5)
Rebound Margin: 2.3 (108, 3)
Assists Per Game: 14.5 (64, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.3 (91, 2)


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