Game Preview: Penn at Princeton

Princeton's senior point guard looks to close out his career at Jadwin with a victory over the rival Quakers. (Photo credit: dailyprincetonian.com)

Just like last year, the season finale between Princeton and Penn will decide whether or not the league hosts a one-game playoff with Harvard to determine the Ivy League’s bid to the NCAA tournament. But this year, only a Princeton loss ensures that Harvard is, for the second straight year, saddled with the terribly emasculating “co-” prefix and forced to live with an asterisk next to its “Ivy

League title.” Skeptics and conspiracy theorists might make the boneheaded argument that the Tigers, based on the team’s recent history with the Crimson, might not have too much incentive to play all that hard, relishing the chance to see that the Harvard program, after a season that at times resembled a coronation, is put back in its place a bit and forced to stoop to the indignity of yet another playoff game.

But that narrative simply doesn’t hold water when you consider what’s at stake for these two teams Tuesday night. For Penn, the stakes are obvious—a Quaker win would force a one game playoff at a neutral site and make the Harvard

squad reckon with–hands down–the best player in the league right now in Zack Rosen. Princeton is past trying to build its postseason resume—the team’s win over Yale and the trouncing of Brown made a loud enough statement. For the Tigers, this game is about Ivy League pride. Penn is the only team in the league that Princeton hasn’t beaten yet this season. Knocking

the Quakers out of contention would at least open the argument up to Princeton being the second best team in the Ivy League this season behind a historic Harvard squad that spent most of its season in the Top-25.

Both

teams are riding serious momentum coming in to Tuesday’s game. Penn hasn’t lost since falling to then-No. 21 Harvard at the Palestra on Feb. 10. Meanwhile, Princeton’s last home loss came before Thanksgiving, an embarrassing early-season stumble against Elon. Immovable object, meet unstoppable force.

When these two squads played earlier this season, Rosen exploded for 28 points and led the Quakers to an easy 15-point win at the Palestra. But the Tigers won’t be that simple of a foe the second time around. Will Penn get the win and keep their hopes of an NCAA bid alive, or will Princeton rise to the occasion and leave Tiger fans everywhere wondering what might have been this season if the team hadn’t dropped an early league game to Cornell? Let’s find out.

Keys to the Game:

Penn: The Quakers’ offensive style this season has been largely defined Not all truck drivers ed are equal and if you base your enrollment on pricing alone you mobile casino are making a very “snap” decision that could effect the rest of your career. outside the arc. Penn has three players on pace to attempt more than 100 trey-balls this season—Rosen and Tyler Bernardini are already well north of that mark, and Miles Cartwright enters Tuesday’s contest having shot 99 times from downtown this year. In its last meeting with Princeton, Penn shot 10-18 from three-point land, one of the worst games the Tigers have had all season when it comes to playing perimeter defense.

Princeton will be intensely focused on trying to contain the consensus Ivy League Player of the Year, which should once again open up holes in the perimeter defense. Rosen will find the most success if he drives to the paint before kicking the ball back outside for an easy jumper. Penn has been relatively bad this season at getting its own misses and turning offensive rebounds into second chance points, but if the ball’s already gone through the basket, there’s no need to fight in the paint. The Quakers will run away with an easy win if they get open and knock down shots like Over £2,500 in cash every week!As a Platinum VIP member you’ll get regular emails from the VIP Manager with fantastic cash offers, huge weekly reloads several days of the week, surprise cash drops and more:If you wish to enquire about your special Gold (Platinum/Diamond) VIP rewards, please email vip@betfredcasino. last time.

Princeton: The good news for the Tigers is that the team’s starters will be fresh after playing roughly twenty minutes against a depleted Brown squad. The bad news is that might mean there’s less immediate, obvious need for freshman hero and fan favorite Denton Koon. But the Prodigy from Liberty and the rest of the Tigers face a daunting task: how do you stop Zack Rosen? Unlike other league “stars” who have produced gaudy stat lines against the Tigers (like Mangano’s 20 point game Friday on six of 19 shooting), Rosen was both deadly and efficient the last time he surgically sliced open the Tigers, collecting his 28 points while shooting better than .500 from the field (10 of 18).

It will fall to either Doug Davis or T.J. Bray to stay in front of Rosen and try to slow down the redheaded beast. While Bray’s length might be a boon, Davis has risen to the occasion defensively against some of the top guards in the league (see his performance against Harvard’s Curry when the Crimson played at Jadwin). Furthermore, it’s the senior guard’s last ever Ivy League game, and you know Davis wants to go out with a win. On the offensive end, Princeton has been most effective when Ian Hummer is in attack mode, driving to the hoop and finding cutters for easy baskets. Look for the Tigers to share the wealth on offense and get lots of players involved, like they did in their win over Yale.

Prediction: It’s been a year full of subtle (or perhaps not so subtle) reverse jinxes placed on the foes of Princeton basketball, with mixed levels of success. But this time, I truly believe the Tigers have what it takes to knock Penn out of contention and finish the season strong. The game will be close (overtime, anyone?), but when that final buzzer sounds, I fully expect Princeton to emerge victorious, followed by Mitch Henderson tearfully proclaiming his love for the black and orange before announcing that he’ll be going to coach a mid-major program next season.

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4 thoughts on “Game Preview: Penn at Princeton

  1. Henderson has been talking about using Koon in a Maddox type role. Maybe we could see him guarding Rosen for stretches? Denton seems to have corrected his habit of fouling on 3s.

    “…followed by Mitch Henderson tearfully proclaiming his love for the black and orange before announcing that he’ll be going to coach a mid-major program next season.”

    You. Bastard. Hahaha.

  2. I congratulate you on a thorough and I believe accurate, if not somewhat stilted, analysis Mr. Gaffney. Both teams are peaking at the right time. Should be another classic Penn-Princeton game. May the better team from Pennsylvania win.

    The AQ

  3. I’m making the long trek from Baltimore in midweek to see this game. However, all the signs tell me that, for my team, it may be a dissappointing night. Princeton has come up short too many times this year, and Penn must be on something lately. I’m as worried about their interior defense as I am about Rosen. It will not be as easy for Princeton to score inside. If we start throwing up a lot of 3 pointers, though, we lose. By next year, hopefully, the Tigers will be pretty hard to stop. But, we’re not quite ready yet. Hats off to Penn and Rosen on their remarkable surge. I hope they lose tonight. But if, as I expect, they pull this out, I’ll pull for them against harvard.

  4. Hey, get off my case for not arranging a better playoff venue than John J. Lee. I had it locked and loaded that Princeton would win this game. No sweat.

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