Princeton’s lack of depth troubling against Rider

Yes, a win is a win, and Princeton’s come-from-behind 64-58 victory over Rider certainly qualifies as a successful season opener. But there’s more to a box score than wins and losses, and the Rider-Princeton box score was discouraging in unexpected ways for the Tigers.

Going into this season, Princeton figured to be one of the deepest teams in the league, even with Denton Koon lost indefinitely with an MCL injury. But what I identified as a potential tendency to rely too heavily on Spencer Weisz and Hans Brase seemed to come to fruition last night, as Brase and Weisz combined for nearly half of the Tigers’ shots from the field. That reliance worked in the end, but more disturbing was Princeton’s surprisingly small rotation of only six players. Mitch Henderson’s Princeton teams have traditionally had much more depth than what was on display last night, but rest assured, the Tigers do not stand a chance in Ivy play without a bench.

Having said that, this is a sample size of only one game and promising freshmen Amir Bell and Aaron Young are just beginning to round into shape at the collegiate level. For now, we know that they can dig deep. Maybe they just can’t play deep yet, that’s all.

1 thought on “Princeton’s lack of depth troubling against Rider”

  1. Denton Koon’s return will answer the most criitical “depth” question. His absence early may be “addition by subtraction” for the long haul. The fact that Alec Brennan never left the bench is surprising. I expect that the Tigers will need some production from him. Foul trouble did not arise in this one which may explain the short rotation as much as anything. Today’s road contest against a team defeated by Cornell two nights ago presents an interesting early season comparison opportunity. Obviously, Shonn Miller makes a huge difference to the Big Red. He can keep Cornell close in a lot of games by himself.

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