Reunions celebration reveals updates for Princeton

Tiger head coach Mitch Henderson met with fans, friends and alumni Friday at Robertson Hall during Princeton’s recent annual Reunions celebration. The freewheeling Q&A session touched on a number of timely topics which may be of interest to IHO readers. Henderson introduced a new member of his staff, Donovan Williams, who spent the past five seasons learning his craft as a member of Fran O’Hanlon’s Lafayette staff. Williams fills the spot vacated by Marcus Jenkins, who rejoins Tiger alum Chris Mooney at Richmond.

Williams will face his mentor in November when Lafayette visits Jadwin to continue the Tigers’ longest-running out-of-conference rivalry, this time against the defending Patriot League champions. Bucknell, the team Lafayette bested for the Patriot League title, returns to the Tiger schedule after a one-year hiatus. In-state rival St. Peter’s visits Princeton for an early season contest to be played in venerable Dillon Gymnasium, in use for the first time in nearly 50 years. Look for throwback uniforms, including short shorts which offer the intriguing possibility of putting more than the players’ talents on display!!!

The out-of-conference road schedule includes visits to Miami to face the Hurricanes and Philadelphia to meet St. Joe’s Hawks. Maryland of the Big Ten puts out the welcome mat for the Tigers on Dec. 19 at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, the former home of the Baltimore Bullets of the NBA. Tiger great John Hummer, a member of the Buffalo Braves, wistfully recalled the night in 1973 when he and Braves rookie Robert McAdoo lit up the Bullets at Royal Farms for 43 between them. McAdoo had 41.

Henderson believes his recruiting class last year was the League’s best. This year’s may be as good. Myles Stephens, a 6-4 guard from nearby Lawrenceville, will be joined by Indiana All-Star Devin Cannady and Noah Bramlage, a 6-7 forward from Ottawa, OH. While he expects major contributions from all of these kids Henderson thinks their patience will be tested this year. The Tigers return all five starters and six of the first eight in last year’s rotation.

Those of you who follow college basketball closely are probably familiar with what is known as the “cost of attendance adjustment.” It was adopted by the NCAA recently, apparently to deflect efforts to force revenue sharing with the ones who create the revenue: “student-athletes.” This “reform” allows the scholarship schools to pay cash stipends to players to offset certain costs not otherwise covered by scholarship benefits. These payments can exceed $4,500 per year in some cases. Needless to say, such payments further complicate an already treacherous recruiting landscape for Ivy schools and may have been a factor in the decommitment recently made by Wyatt Walker, a highly sought Florida product. The NCAA drives the Ivy League further away.