Q&A with Princeton coach Mitch Henderson

Editor’s Note: Our Toothless Tiger, George Clark, caught up with Princeton coach Mitch Henderson one-on-one at Jadwin Gym in late September for a comprehensive interview revealing what to expect from Princeton this season as the Tigers look to live up to their No. 1 Ivy preseason ranking. (Please excuse the technical difficulty separating Parts 1 and 2 – it’s presented intact because it demonstrates how gracious Henderson is and was in real time throughout the interview.)

Part 1

  • how Henderson feels about the Ivy postseason tournament and Penn’s potential for participating as host

Part 2

  • Henderson’s trust in former assistant and current Cornell head coach Brian Earl during games
  • what Kerry Kittles’ role is as a new assistant for Princeton
  • which Pete Carril quote from the 1991 Princeton media guide pertains to the 2016-17 Tigers
  • why Hans Brase is “the edge”
  • how Spencer Weisz has followed in T.J. Bray’s footsteps
  • what to look for from Princeton’s freshman class
  • what’s behind Princeton’s brutal nonconference schedule

Preseason pole position belongs to Princeton

Mitch Henderson enters his sixth season as the head coach of his alma mater with a great deal at stake. Regarded as one of the best young coaches in the country, he has enjoyed tremendous success, always finishing in the Ancient Eight’s first division. His teams have feasted on the league’s lesser lights, while faltering, sometimes catastrophically, against Harvard and Yale. And that’s the rub.

Harvard and Yale have won or shared the Ivy title during Henderson’s tenure at Jadwin, accounting for two-thirds of the Tigers’ 21 Ivy losses in the last five seasons (against 49 wins). The Tigers hope they can replicate the recent experiences of James Jones’ Yale quintets. Denied an outright title two years ago by an otherworldly loss in the final seconds of the season finale at Dartmouth, the Bulldogs then lost a tense playoff against Harvard. The 2015-16 Yale club rebounded brilliantly to win the Ivy crown with a stellar 13-1 record, suffering its lone conference defeat at the hands of the Tigers at Jadwin, 75-63.

Read more