Reporter’s Notebook – Ivy League Tournament day one

Pictured is a photo of an Ivy Madness banner hanging on the outside of Jadwin Gym. (Photo by Rob Browne)

Ivy League Tournament V officially started on Thursday afternoon, with the four women’s teams taking part in press conferences and shootarounds for “Live from Ivy Madness.”

This year’s edition, the first-ever tournament to take place in a suburban setting, takes place at Jadwin Gymnasium on the campus of Princeton University.  While the campus is incredibly picturesque, and the athletic complex has a lot of beautiful modern buildings that fit in well with each other, the basketball arena continues to be its own unique entity.

The previous locations at Penn, Yale and Harvard had much more intimate environments, whether in the press conference room or the actual arena.  This year, everything feels much larger and more spacious.  I’m sure most people would see that as a positive, but I liked it more when the reporters and fans were closer to the coaches and players.

As usual, the Ivy League staff and their partners at ESPN are doing a great job getting everything organized.  The campus staff are also incredibly helpful.

I can’t explain why, but there seems to be a greater security presence inside the arena than past years.  There were several guards going through the media room and arena, even though there was an incredibly small crowd this afternoon.  Officials have also limited access to the stairwells and have rotating staff members operating the elevator for everyone.  Feels a bit odd that we aren’t allowed to press our own buttons, but I’m sure they have good reasons for doing this.

Some other observations from the day:

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Princeton comes up short at San Francisco, 82-72

Still smarting from the second-half smackdown at Duquesne on Tuesday, the Tigers packed their bags for a Saturday tilt at San Francisco’s Chase Center, the new home of the Golden State Warriors, in the first men’s college basketball game there. While the Tigers’ injury woes are not as serious as the Warriors’, they would miss Ryan Schwieger, who left Tuesday’s game after six minutes, amid an 82-72 defeat.

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Q&A with Princeton coach Mitch Henderson

Editor’s note: Our George Clark (Toothless Tiger) recently caught up with Princeton coach Mitch Henderson, who thoughtfully weighed in on Princeton basketball’s 2018-19 outlook, comparing the 2016-17 Tigers who went 16-0 in league play with last year’s 5-9 Princeton squad, previewing the program’s promising sophomore class, reflecting on rookie Jaelin Llewellyn living up to the hype, looking for Princeton’s defense to improve despite losing 2018 Ivy Defensive Player of the Year Amir Bell, explaining why Princeton and Penn are playing back-to-back in January this year … and much more:

Reading the Ivy tea leaves – Princeton roundup

T.J. Bray, Princeton basketball ’14: I’m excited to see how the guys continue to grow this year, especially the junior class. With Hans (Brase) being the double-double threat that he is every night, I want to see how Spencer (Weisz), Steve (Cook), and Henry (Caruso) continue to expand their games in new ways. There’s always more nuances you can pick up in the Princeton offense and I think all three will have added something over the summer. I’m also looking forward to seeing how the team comes together defensively. This team has the ability to play hard and smart on that end for 40 minutes at a time. If they can do that consistently, there’s no telling where this team can go.

Clay Wilson, Princeton basketball ’15: I would say I’m most excited to see how the incoming freshmen fit into the equation. We have a lot of talent back from last year and the incoming freshmen were all really impressive on their visits so I’m looking forward to seeing which guys can step in right away and help. I’m also looking forward to see how Hans’s game has improved. He had a good summer here in Germany and I think he could potentially be in the running for Ivy League Player of the Year if he continues to play more inside like he did towards the end of last season. Everyone knows he can shoot the three ball, but I think he is most effective when he is in attack mode and inside the arc. It’s gonna be interesting to see who gets playing time because a lot of guys deserve to play, but there is so much talent and only so many minutes to be had.

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