Game Preview: Cornell at Princeton

Chris Wroblewski is going to need to control the tempo if the Big Red are going to get back on track at Princeton tonight. (Photo Credit: cornellbasketballblog.blogspot.com)

Coming into the weekend, Cornell and Princeton were arguably the hottest Ivy League teams. Both teams entered Friday night looking to capture its longest winning streak of the season after collectively dismissing arguably the two best teams in the conference, Harvard and Yale. Friday night, Princeton surged in the second half to top Columbia while Cornell faltered late and fell at the Palestra. Princeton, who has probably been the most inconsistent team in the league this season will have to put together a complete effort if it doesn’t want to find itself being swept by Cornell for the second time in the last three seasons.

Matchup To Watch

Chris Wroblewski vs Ian Hummer

Yes, I know these two will probably not be guarding each other, but these are the engines that run their prospective teams. Wroblewski and Hummer are so much fun to watch because they play with such a high basketball IQ. You don’t see very many boneheaded plays or poor decisions coming from either one of these upperclassmen, just sound, fundamental basketball.

Hummer is leading Princeton in scoring, averaging 16.7 points per game, good for third in the Ivy League. Wroblewski, after what has been a rough offensive season, produced Ivy League Player of the Week numbers his last weekend out. Both guys will have tough matchups. Hummer will face up with Cornell’s athletic shot blocker, Shonn Miller. Wroblewski will have to contend with length on the perimeter from Princeton’s TJ Bray. The better showing of the two will go a long way in determining Saturday’s outcome.

Keys To The Game

Princeton: Get a third guy involved early and often

We can almost say with certainty that Doug Davis and

Ian Hummer will show up. Big performances by those two may be enough for Princeton to win; it may not. When Princeton has excelled this year, it has had that third guy step up. Against Rutgers, it was Denton Koon. Against Florida State, it was TJ Bray. Against Harvard, it was Brendan Connolly. To make life easier against Cornell, Princeton will need someone besides ‘the big two’ to play winning basketball. This didn’t happen in the first meeting between these two squads and Cornell came away with the victory.

Cornell: Set the Pace

Cornell didn’t make its surge against Yale last weekend until it starting playing 94 feet of pressure defense. Cornell has the personnel to do this and to do it successfully. We didn’t see this style of play Friday night against Penn mainly because that is not how you beat Penn. Rosen and Cartwright are too good in the backcourt and can carve up a defense that over-commits. Against Princeton, Cornell can go back to playing the style of basketball it is meant to play and force Princeton to be the one to adjust.

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