Princeton Tigers (2-3, 0-0) at Wagner Seahawks (1-3, 0-0)
7:00 p.m. Wednesday, Spiro Sports Center, Staten Island, New
Bashir Mason, 1st
Mitch Henderson, 2nd
Wagner (25-6, 15-3), Princeton (20-12, 10-4)
G – Jonathan Williams, senior, 6-foot-6, 17.5 ppg,
7.5 rpg. C – Naofall Folahan, junior, 6-foot-11, 5.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg. G – Kenneth
Ortiz, junior, 6-foot-0, 8.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.5 apg. G – Marcus Burton,
sophomore, 6-foot-0, 6.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.3 apg. G – Dwuan Anderson, freshman,
6-foot-4, 4.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1 apg.
F – Ian Hummer, senior, 6-foot-7, 17 ppg, 5.2
rpg, 5.6 apg, F – Will Barrett, junior, 6-foot-10, 11.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.6 apg.
C – Brendan Connolly, senior, 6-foot-11, 5.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 0.8 apg. G – Denton
Koon, sophomore, 6-foot-8, 5.4 ppg. 2.2 rpg. G – T.J. Bray, junior, 6-foot-4, 7
ppg, 5.2 rpg, 4.6 apg.
G – Eric Fanning, freshman, 6-foot-4, 3.5 ppg, 3.0
rpg. F – Orlando Parker, junior, 6-foot-8, 3.3 ppg. 3.0 rpg.
G – Chris Clement, junior, 6-foot-2, 2.8 ppg, 1.2
rpg. F – Hans Brase, freshman, 6-foot-8, 1 ppg, 1.6 rpg. F – Mack Darrow,
senior, 6-foot-9, 0.4 ppg, 1.4 rpg.
Last season, Wagner gave coach Henderson a loss
in his first game at the helm of the Tigers, beating Princeton 73-57 at Jadwin.
That was just the first of unexpected 25-win season for the Seahawks, which
also included wins over the then-No. 13 Pitt Panthers and Princeton archrival
Penn, as well as a one-point loss to Duke-killers Lehigh. Wagner went into the
NEC tournament as favorites, but lost to Robert Morris in the semis.
Much, however, has changed on Staten Island. Head coach Dan
Hurley decided to leave for Rhode Island
, which lead to the promotion of
assistant Bashir Mason. The Seahawks will also likely be without two of last
season’s three leading scorers. Tyler Murray graduated, and leading returning
scorer Latif Rivers has missed the last two games with what Cormac Gordon of
the Staten Island Advance reported as “recurring discomfort from bone spurs that wereremoved from a knee in August.” If Rivers is still unable to play, sophomore
guard Marcus Burton figures to get his third straight start.
Much like against Lafayette, Princeton will have a huge size
advantage, especially in the backcourt. The Seahawks start three players—Ortiz,
Burtin, and Anderson—under 6-foot-4, while the Tigers (if coach Henderson
elects to start Koon again) don’t start a player under 6-foot-5. That means
that they will be able to exploit some mismatches down low, whether it be with
Bray, Koon, or whatever Wagner guard is unlucky enough to get switched onto of
Hummer or Barrett. Mason could potentially start the 6-foot-8 Parker, but that
would make the Seahawks second unit even thinner up front. Expect Wagner to
double-down on the post, leading to open jump shots for the Tigers.
KEY MATCHUP: Without Rivers, the Seahawks best offensive
player is 6-foot-6 guard Jonathan Williams. Don’t be surprised if coach
Henderson uses the bigger, stronger Hummer to slow him down.
Wagner coach Bashir Mason is, at just 28 years old,
the youngest head coach in D1. He was promoted from assistant this offseason
after Dan Hurley left to take the job at Rhode Island. Mason is also a
full-time grad student, pursuing a Masters of Education degree...The Seahawks
feature one Trenton native in freshman Eric Fanning. Fanning attended the Perkiomen
School in Pennsburg, Pennsylvania.