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The Trentonian's Full-Court Press blog is back and improved. We'll keep you updated on everything you need to know about Rider and Princeton hoops as well as the college basketball landscape.

Friday, November 23, 2012

PREVIEW: Princeton at Lafayette 11/24


Lafayette Leopards (1-4, last season 13-18)
2 p.m. Saturday, Kirby Sports Center, Easton Pa.
Head Coach:  Fran O’Hanlon, 18th season, 239-256 at Lafayette
Probable starters: Levi Giese, senior, forward, 6-foot-9, 6.4 ppg. 4.4 rpg. Nathanial Musters, freshman, center, 6-foot-10, 0.4 ppg, 1.8 rpg. Tony Johnson, senior, guard, 6-foot-0, 12.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 5.4 apg. Joey Ptasinski, sophomore, guard, 6-foot-2, 12.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.2 apg. Seth Hinrichs, sophomore, guard, 6-foot-7, 15.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.8 apg.
Key reserves: Alan Flanagan, sophomore, forward, 6-foot-8, 1.6 ppg, 2.8 rpg. Zach Rufer, freshman, guard, 6-foot-1, 2.6 ppg. 3.8 rpg, 2.4 apg.

Breakdown: The Leopards suffered a huge blow before their 101-49 blowout loss to No. 3 Kentucky, losing senior center Dan Trist to an ankle injury suffered in a morning shoot around. Before the injury, the 6-foot-9 Australian had scored 22 and 32 points respectively in the Leopards first two games. Trist’s  thrust freshman and fellow Aussie Nathanial Musters into the starting lineup, and the results have been less than spectacular—though in fairness Musters’ three starts have come against Kentucky, Morehead State and Maryland. Still, if Trist can’t play, that would be good news for a Princeton front line that hasn’t quite found it’s rhythm yet in the early going.
What the Leopards do have is a solid backcourt with senior Tony Johnson and sophomore Joey Ptasinski, both of whom have been scoring the ball extremely effectively through Lafayette’s first three games. As a freshman last season, Ptasinski shot over 45 percent from beyond the three-point line, so the Tigers will have to make sure they are aren’t late on their closeouts.
One player who has stepped up dramatically after Trist’s injury has been sophomore wing, who scored 20 points in the Leopards’ 83-74 loss to the Terrapins. That figures to set up an interesting matchup with Ian Hummer.

Key question: By Saturday, it will have been seven days since Trist hurt is ankle. Will that be enough time for him to bounce back?

Prediction: Princeton certainly showed a lot more positives against Syracuse than the Leopards did against Kentucky. Even with Trist, the Tigers should have an advantage down low and the best player on the court in Hummer. Princeton 61, Lafayette 55.

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