Princeton Finding Its Stride

Freshman Denton Koon has stepped up for the Tigers, who have won seven of their last nine. (Photo Credit: washingtonexaminer.com)

State of the Tigers, 2012

The Princeton Tigers are undefeated in 2012! The statheads out there will likely call foul and complain about “sample size,” given that Princeton has only played one game so far – a victory over Florida A&M on New Year’s Day. But that win, coming on the heels of a triple OT thriller over Florida State in Tallahassee, pushed the Princeton squad’s record above .500 for the first time all year. The Tigers

sit at 8-7, and have won seven of their last nine games after starting the season an ugly 1-5. With one home game against TNCJ left before a brutal five game road swing to start Ivy League play, let”s take a look at the keys to Princeton’s recent success and the potential problems that remain with the real season set to kick off in just a week and a half.

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Common Opponents Analysis (Updated 1/4/12)

The transitive property is not the most reliable method for comparing teams, so despite what Elon says, we're not ready to put Dartmouth ahead of Princeton in our Power Poll.

With about six weeks of play in the books, we thought it was time to look back at the league”s common opponents to see if we could glean any knowledge from what”s happened on the court so far. Everyone knows that the transitive property carries limited weight in sports, but it”s still interesting to see how a team fares against multiple conference foes. Without further ado…

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IHO's Mid-December Power Poll

Harvard coach Tommy Amaker is probably dancing because his team is #1 in IHO's first Power Poll of the season. (Photo Credit: AP)

Welcome to the first IHO Power Poll (based on games through 12/16/11). Please note that these rankings are based off of our best guesses of how the Ivy League picture will sort itself out. We always love to hear your gripes and whines in the comments below.

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Progress, or Something Like It, for the Tigers

Freshman guard Denton Koon has bucked the Princeton tradition of burying rookies on the bench and has emerged as a solid contributor for the Tigers. (Photo credit: goprincetontigers.com)

On the occasion of their first back-to-back wins of the season, let’s raise a glass of flat champagne to the 2011-2012 Princeton Tigers. After a miserable showing against Bucknell and Morehead State in the first two games of the TicketCity Legends Classic, the Tigers finally broke through against overmatched D-II opponents West Alabama, following it up with a home W against Patriot League foe Lafayette.

So what to make of these 3-5 Tigers? Has anything actually changed that might portend sunnier days and rosier box scores in games yet to come? Or was it merely a statistical quirk—the law of jump shots demanding that if you pop enough three-pointers against mediocre teams eventually you’ll win a few games? We’ll find out, and soon: that badly needed win against Lafayette was the last home game in a while for Princeton, who head off on a ridiculous road swing that has them playing 12 of their next 13 games away from the friendly confines of Jadwin Gymnasium.

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Breaking Down the Princeton Tigers

Princeton's Doug Davis couldn't rekindle the magic at the buzzer this time as Princeton fell to Elon on Tuesday, November 22nd 56-55. (Photo Credit: goprincetontigers.com)

After a quick Thanksgiving break, the 1-3 Princeton Tigers head down to Lewisburg, PA (official town slogan: There’s still a place…) for a three-game set as part of the TicketCity Legends Classic. Our sample size has quadrupled since the last time we checked in on Princeton, and even though it’s still very (very!) early in the season, it seems worthwhile to see if the problems that promoted panic after the Wagner opening debacle have resolved themselves or fester yet like an open sore on the Tigers’ palm.

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This Weekend's Top Performers (11/20/11)

Penn's Zack Rosen is averaging 23 ppg through four games. More importantly, the Quakers are out to an encouraging 3-1 start. (Photo Credit: penngazettesports.com)

The Ivy League shook off its sluggish start to the season this weekend, going 6-1 and improving to 10-13 against Division-I opponents. This weekend also saw Brown, Dartmouth, and Princeton pick up their first D-1 wins of the season, while Harvard continues to roll over inferior opponents, no matter what coast the Crimson is playing on.

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Panic in Princeton

It's probably a little early to panic if you're a Princeton fan, but Saturday's opener was ugly. (Photo Credit: goprincetontigers.com)

The sky is not falling. Harold Camping has not, to my knowledge, revised the ever-changing date of his apocalypse to some time later this week. And the Mayans still give us another 12-odd months until the end of the world.

But premature or not, it’s panic time in central New Jersey, after the Princeton basketball team suffered a humbling defeat Saturday on its home court to middling NEC foe Wagner, 73-57. For the Tigers, the game was an ugly, foul-filled, turnover laden affair, featuring an especially brutal nine minute run in the second half where the Tigers failed to put the ball through the basket altogether.

So what happened? With the clear-eyed hindsight of a few days to ruminate on the meltdown, here are a few thoughts about what the Wagner Seahawks exposed as weaknesses in the Tigers’ game.

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Game Preview: Princeton vs. Wagner

Princeton takes a 16-game home winning streak into their season opener against Wagner tomorrow. (Photo Credit: nj.com)

Saturday is homecoming in Princeton, New Jersey: a frenzied, booze-fueled bacchanalia in honor of alumni returning to campus to watch the football team lose to Yale. But new head coach (and Princeton class of ‘98) Mitch Henderson will be celebrating a very different sort of homecoming on Saturday afternoon as Princeton basketball opens its 2011-2012 season at home against Wagner.

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Composite Schedule by Metro Area

Scroll down to see all the games in your metropolitan area involving an Ivy League team this season.

The Ivy League has a broad fan base scattered all over the country. With that in mind, we created the lists below for fans looking to catch a piece of live action this season.

The following is a composite Ivy League schedule of every basketball game involving an Ivy League team within approximately 90 minutes of NYC, Philly, Boston, Syracuse, and Los Angeles.

Enjoy!

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