George “Toothless Tiger” Clark takes stock of what has driven Princeton men’s basketball’s 6-0 start:
Newcastle, United Kingdom / D.O.B: 02.16.2001 / 6-foot-8, 219 pounds
2022-23 stat line: 15.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 4.9 apg / 51.5% FG, 32.4% 3P, 65.5% FT, 1.68 A-TO ratio / 31.4 min in 32 GP
Bankable skills: versatile tweener, playmaking
Defensive matchup versatility: 2 to 4 spots
Swing factor: 3pt-ball + jump shot
They say March is Madness, and we couldn’t agree more watching Princeton going to the Sweet 16 in its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2017. Great news for the Ivy League champions and for Tosan Evbuomwan, the senior from Newcastle, England, who just declared for the NBA Draft after powering the Tigers’ Sweet 16 and Ivy Madness runs.
Evbuomwan has deservedly gained the national attention amid that run, but his performances in the spotlight shouldn’t have been a surprise given that the wing/forward has been a genuine offensive motor for the last couple of seasons and earned almost every award available in the Ivy League in the process.
What’s to like about Evbuomwan? Everything, starting with his physical profile.
With the Elite 8 just a win away for No. 15 Princeton as it prepares for No. 6 Creighton in Louisville Friday, here are eight reasons for not only Tiger folk but the entire Ancient Eight to savor the Tigers’ historic Sweet 16 run:
As the Princeton men’s basketball team was coasting past the Missouri Tigers on Saturday en route to the program’s first trip to the Sweet 16 in the modern NCAA Tournament era, my phone began to buzz with text messages from friends and family members, many of whom were asking the same question: How is Princeton doing this?
No. 15 Princeton men’s basketball made history with authority Saturday, emphatically dispatching No. 7 Missouri in a 78-63 win at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento to advance to the program’s first Sweet 16 appearance in the modern NCAA Tournament era. Our George “Toothless Tiger” Clark recaps the action of a lifetime:
— Princeton Men’s Basketball (@PrincetonMBB) March 19, 2023
No No. 15 seed has ever dominated a NCAA Tournament game to that degree. It’s hard to envision any No. 15 seed doing so anytime soon.
— IvyHoopsOnline (@IvyHoopsOnline) March 19, 2023
Playing on the road against an SEC opponent for the third consecutive season, Penn went toe-to-toe with Missouri on Friday night at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, but ultimately fell short, 92-85.
The game’s defining sequence came with 5:49 to go in the second half and the Tigers up one, 70-69. Missouri’s best forward, Kobe Brown, got the ball at the left of the free throw circle and unsuccessfully attempted to back down Penn center Max Lorca-Lloyd.
As three Quakers surrounded Brown, the Tigers senior stumbled backwards in the lane. Instead of calling Brown for a travel, the officials signaled for a held ball with the possession arrow favoring Missouri.
The Tigers took advantage of the break, as Nick Honor hit a killer pull-up three-pointer over George Smith in the dying seconds of the shot clock to extend the Missouri lead to four. Penn would get no closer than four points down for the rest of the night.
What did we learn about the Quakers in a solid showing against an opponent ranked 50th in KenPom heading into the game?
Penn’s Monday night season opener at Iona, the preseason favorite to win the MAAC, was a generally miserable affair after the under-eight media timeout of the first half. The Gaels used a 36-4 run which spanned the end of the first half and beginning of the second half to put the Quakers away and turn the final 12-plus minutes of the game into garbage time.
Things won’t get easier this week for Penn. The Quakers will be double-digit (potentially 15-point-plus) underdogs when they travel to Columbia, Mo. to face Missouri on Friday. They’ll likely be underdogs at home on Sunday against Towson, the preseason favorite to win the CAA and a potential No. 12 seed when March rolls around.
Here are some questions Penn will need to answer as it navigates a difficult first week of the season (and beyond):
We’re counting down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective. Cornell is next because it’s good to be healthy!
Nov. 10, 2007 – Cornell opened the 2007-08 season with a win against Lehigh. During halftime, members of the 1988 Ivy League championship team walked onto the court to be honored for the 20th anniversary of their title. It was a fitting time for the celebration. In the 20 years since the 1988 team hung a banner in Barton Hall, Cornell hadn’t been back to the promised land.
The 2007-08 campaign was set up to tell a different story and Cornell poised to play an unfamiliar role in it – the favorite. For the first time since the 1987-88 season, a school other than Penn or Princeton was projected to win the league. The preseason hype was real. Steve Donahue’s teams had made significant strides over the past few seasons, Adam Gore and Jason Hartford were returning from injury, Ryan Wittman and Louis Dale were coming off arguably the two best freshman seasons in school history, and by the seventh game of the year, a new 7-footer would be eligible to step on the court.