Struggling Princeton falls to 2-6 after loss to George Washington

The Tigers took another body blow last night, losing 70-61 to the Colonials of GWU in the nation’s capital. The Colonials made the visit as uncomfortable for the Tigers as a grilling by the House Intelligence Committee without the ability to invoke attorney-client privilege! The game was dominated by the home teams’ much taller front court and by the tremendous quickness of guard Jair Bolden, who lead all scorers with 27 points.

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Miami throttles Princeton, 80-52

The Miami Hurricanes smashed the Tigers, 80-52, Saturday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. Princeton fans need to look beyond the score to find positives in this one, but they are most assuredly present.

To give credit where it’s due, Miami import from Europe by way of Australia, DJ Vasiljevic, was the best player on the floor at both ends. He bottled up Devin Cannady on defense, while leading the Hurricanes with 20 points, shooting a very efficient 5-for-7 from beyond the arc. He should be in the first-team All-ACC mix.

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Lehigh gouges beleaguered Princeton squad, 85-76

On Nov. 26, the Tigers raced to a 49-22 halftime lead over FDU, only to stumble across the finish line, holding on for an 83-76 win.

On Nov. 28, the Athletic Department conducted its annual 24-hour fund drive to raise money for the University athletic community (Tiger Athletics Give Day). The effort generated a record $2.45 million, of which about $150,000 was earmarked for basketball.

On Nov. 29, the Tigers entertained Lehigh in the renewal of a Patriot League rivalry against the other college team coached by Pete Carril.

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St. Joseph bests guest Princeton as Tigers lean heavily on their “big three”

PHILADELPHIA – The Tigers invaded the decidedly unfriendly confines of Hagan Arena on the otherwise welcoming campus of St. Joseph’s University on Saturday evening. Mitch Henderson continues his search for an effective rotation, realizing that his freshmen will need to undergo an ordeal by fire early in this new season.

He chose  a veteran-laden starting lineup in Philadelphia, going with seniors Amir Bell, Alec Brennan and Mike LeBlanc, along with juniors Devin Cannady and Myles Stephens. Will Gladson, the 6’10” sophomore, missed his third game due to injury.

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BYU downs Princeton at Jadwin Gym, 65-56, following Henderson’s ejection

PRINCETON – The Tigers played a wild and weird game last night, opening its home schedule against BYU of the West Coast Conference. Having defeated Gonzaga in Spokane three times in three years, the Cougars were not likely to be intimidated by the hangar-like atmosphere of Jadwin Gym. They weren’t.

With 7:38 to go in the second half, the Cougars’ Zac Seljaas, perhaps the best outside shooter in BYU history, canned a long three to give his team a 48-43 lead, prompting Mitch Henderson to call a 30-second timeout.

Bad move.

The Tigers coach, for some reason not apparent to onlookers, went full Vesuvius on the officials. He was clearly bothered by his team’s treatment by the referees, a state of affairs he determined to be particularly galling at home. The nearest official found Henderson’s breach of decorum to be itself galling and worthy of two technical fouls, sending Henderson to the locker room and the Cougars’ best free-throw shooter, Elijah Bryant,  to the line for four shots. Of course, he made all four, breaking open what had been a close, if somewhat sloppily played, contest.

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Princeton bows to Butler in season opener, 85-75

For the first time in his career as coach of the Tigers, Mitch Henderson began the season with two freshmen in his starting lineup. The heralded arrival of Jerome Derosiers and Sebastian Much played out at Hinkle Fieldhouse, the Palestra of the Midwest, to decidedly mixed reviews. The Butler Bulldogs prevailed yesterday in the season opener for the Tigers, 85-75, in a very competitive contest before an announced crowd of 8,500. A third rookie, Ryan Schweiger, actually had the most playing time, 19 minutes, of any of the first-year players.

Although the Bulldogs controlled most of the game, taking a 10-point lead to the halftime locker room, the Tigers generated enough offense to stay in this one almost to the end. The Tigers closed the gap to a manageable four with 3:30 to go but couldn’t narrow the gap any further. Both teams shot extremely well, north of 50 percent, but the Bulldogs used their advantage on the glass to fire up 12 more shots than Princeton, making six more than their East Coast rivals.

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Interview with Princeton coach Mitch Henderson

Ivy Hoops Online’s George Clark (Toothless Tiger) catches up with Princeton coach Mitch Henderson, who in an in-depth interview reflects on the Tigers’ two pivotal turning points amid their undefeated Ivy 2016-17 campaign, explains why Princeton has enjoyed success in tight late-game situations the past couple of seasons, weighs in on why he’s still in favor of the Ivy League Tournament, previews the team’s incoming freshmen and makes a case for an eventual #2bidivy breakthrough:

Princeton reloads in quest for second straight Ivy League championship

If Tiger fans are reluctant to turn the page after last year’s historic run through the Ivy season and the first-ever Ivy Tournament, we can readily understand. After a so-so 4-6 start and the loss of two All-Ivy caliber starters, Princeton went on a 19-0 tear, including 16-0 in the Ivies, culminating in a championship and a berth in the NCAA’s March Madness. A close loss in the Big Dance to Notre Dame hardly diminished the accomplishments of a truly phenomenal season.

Tiger skipper Mitch Henderson has clearly come into his own, joining James Jones and Tommy Amaker as elite coaches, not only in the League, but in Division I. Having more than survived the loss of Hans Brase and Henry Caruso, the Tigers must figure out how to replace POY Spencer Weisz and fellow first team All-Ivy selection Steven Cook. It won’t be easy, and most handicappers pick the Tigers to finish no better than third behind Yale and Harvard in the coming campaign. Among Henderson’s strengths is his ability to recruit players who buy into his scheme right away. His teams are usually much more than the sum of their individual parts. As a result, the cupboard is hardly bare heading into the new season.

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