Is Princeton men’s basketball poised to repeat as Ivy League champions?

Having reigning Ivy Player of the Year Tosan Evbuomwan should help Princeton down the stretch of the Ivy League title race. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

At the midpoint of the Ivy League season, the Princeton men’s basketball team sits in a familiar position:  tied for first place in a crowded field of evenly matched teams. At 5-2 in conference play, the Tigers are tied atop the league standings with their new rival, the Cornell Big Red. Lurking not far behind is an upsurging Dartmouth team and resurging Yale squad each at 4-3, while three other teams – Brown, Harvard and Penn – remain within striking distance with a record of 3-4.  Only one team in the Ancient Eight – Columbia – appears to be out of the running with a conference record of 1-6.  

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Three observations about the Princeton men’s fast start to Ivy League play

2021-22 Ivy Player of the Year Tosan Evbuomwan is flourishing further as a senior this season, ranking in the Ivy League’s top eight in scoring, rebounding, assists, free-throw percentage and assist-to-turnover ratio. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

For the fourth season in a row, the Princeton Tigers men’s basketball team has raced out to a 3-0 start in the Ivy League. As a result, the Tigers currently stand alone atop the conference standings.  Here are three observations about how the Tigers have managed to put themselves in the driver’s seat yet again in their quest to repeat as regular season champions:

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Ivy men’s hoops observations as league play approaches

With conference play in the 2022-23 Ivy League men’s basketball season fast approaching, let’s take a look back at the nonconference results for each team and examine each program – listed by season winning percentage:

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For Princeton men’s hoops, the kids are alright

Princeton men’s coach Mitch Henderson has seen his team win seven straight games. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

The big question entering the 2022-23 season for the Princeton men’s basketball team was how coach Mitch Henderson was going to replace the contributions of an outstanding cadre of seniors who helped lead the Tigers to an Ivy League championship last season.

Nine games into the season, that question has partially been answered. A dynamic trio of freshmen is blending nicely with four returning upperclassmen to win big games for the Orange and Black.

After a disappointing 0-2 start to the season, the Tigers have come together to win their last seven games. ‘

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Pete Carril remembered

Pete Carril, the Ivy League’s all-time winningest men’s basketball coach after 29 years leading Princeton, died Monday at 92. (Princeton Athletics)

The Princeton basketball community lost a father figure Monday with the death of its legendary coach, Pete Carril.  

It is difficult to express in a short essay the importance of Pete Carril to followers of Princeton basketball or to the game of basketball itself.  Most of the epitaphs I digested in the immediate aftermath of the news of Carril’s passing emphasized his coaching record – 514 wins, which remains an all-time record among Ivy League coaches – and his signature style of coaching, including his frumpy demeanor, and of course his perfection of the Princeton offense, which became stylish after Princeton defeated UCLA in the 1996 NCAA tournament.  

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Four takeaways from the super Saturday semifinals at the Ivy League Tournament

Ivy Player of the Year Tosan Evbuomwan came through in the clutch in Princeton’s Ivy League Tournament semifinal win over Cornell, scoring 14 points in the final 10:14. (photo by Erica Denhoff)

After watching two scintillating semifinal games in the men’s basketball tournament at Lavietes Pavilion on Saturday, here are four takeaways from the perspective of a diehard Princeton fan:

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Princeton men look to put an exclamation point on an already triumphant season

Jaelin Llewellyn has been a key offensive conduit powering Princeton to its first share of an Ivy League title since 2017, registering three or more assists in six Ivy contests this season. (photo by Erica Denhoff)

The Princeton men’s basketball team has already notched the first big triumph of a wondrous season. 

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Five thoughts about the Ivy League men’s race

Yale is well-positioned to live up to the Ivy League Preseason Media Poll’s prediction that it would finish atop the league standings, in no small part due to Ivy scoring leader Azar Swain. (Photo by Erica Denhoff)

As we near the halfway mark of the 2022 Ivy League season, here are five thoughts about the state of the race for the men’s league title:

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The Princeton men’s fun and fearless start to the 2021-22 season

Senior forward Elijah Barnes posted nine points in just decisive 13 minutes in the Tigers’ win over UMBC, just one of many satisfying finishes Princeton has managed in nonconference play. (Princeton Athletics)

Princeton men’s basketball’s Twitter hashtag reads “#MakeShots”.

So far, the 2021-22 Tigers men’s basketball team has done just that. 

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Can the Princeton men contend for an Ivy League title?

It feels like déjà vu all over again.

For the second year in a row, the Princeton men’s basketball team is emerging from its exam break at the top of the Ivy League standings and looking primed to make a run for an Ivy League title after sweeping arch rival Penn in back-to-back games to open the conference season.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before.  Exactly one year ago, the 2018-19 Tigers stood in exactly the same position.  That Princeton squad of a year ago started conference play by sweeping Penn in back-to-back games and then beating the New York schools on the road to start the Ivy campaign at 4-0.  Hopes of an Ivy League title began to rise until calamity struck and Princeton lost the services of one of its transcendent stars, Devin Cannady.  Without their senior co-captain, the Tigers slumped through the rest of the Ivy season, losing six of their final 10 regular season games and finishing a disappointing third in the conference standings.

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