Rutgers' Eli Carter, defended by Denton Koon. Photo by John Blaine.
After Princeton’s 58-52 loss to Rutgers,
Mitch Henderson broke the ice at the post-game press conference by quipping
“same bad time, same bad channel,” a reference to Tuesday’s loss to
Northeastern. The similarities between the two games were, indeed, striking. In
both contests, the Tigers couldn’t protect an early lead due in large part to
their difficulties scoring against zone defenses. That certainly doesn't bode well for their upcoming trip to Syracuse, a team legendary for it's athletic, active zone.
The Tigers’ did a solid job limiting what
the Scarlet Knights could do down low. Rutgers starting frontcourt of Wally
Judge and Anthony Johnson were held to 0 and 7 points respectively, and most of
Johnson’s points came from finishing on the fast break. Will Barrett, Brendan
Connolly and Mack Darrow all also did a good job avoiding foul trouble, which —
at least for Barrett and Connolly — was an issue against the Huskies.
Ian Hummer’s assist-to-turnover ratio
Hummer once again got the full attention of the opposing defense. Rutgers coach
Mike Rice said that his team “tilted the floor” defensively towards Hummer as
much as with any other player they’ve faced. Instead of forcing the issue,
Hummer did a good job passing out of trouble and (trying) to set up his
teammates, finishing with 6 assists and 0 turnovers. Historically, Hummer has
averaged about as many turnovers as assists, and before the season Henderson
said that improving that number would be one of the keys of the season.
: While the transition from frontcourt to
backcourt is still a work in progress, Koon showed he can still be a
contributor in a hybrid role. Like last season, he had a couple nice finishes
around the basket, but also showed some improved ball handling against
occasional full-court pressure from the Scarlet Knights, He finished with 9
points, 2 rebounds and a steal.
The Tigers didn’t have much of an answer
for either guards Myles Mack or reserve Eli Carter. Carter was particularly
deadly, using a lightening-quick release from three-point land to score 22
points off the bench. The 6-foot-2 Carter was also giving up about three inches
to the 6-foot-5 T.J. Bray, and was still able to get his jumper off
Rebounding: Despite being bigger than the Scarlet Knights, the Tigers
were outrebounded 40-23. The 6-foot-11 Brendan Connolly failed to grab a single
board in 19 minutes of action, while Mack Darrow only had two in 19 minutes off
the bench. The numbers actually look worse for the Princeton big guys when you
account for the 8 rebounds snagged by Bray. While that’s an impressive number
for a guard, having a guard be your leading rebounder is perhaps analogous to
having your safety be your leading tackler: no matter how good your safety is
at tackling, it might tell you more about your middle linebacker.
Starting backcourt shooting:
T.J. Bray and Chris Clement
shot a combined 16.6 percent (2-12) from downtown Friday night. So far this
season, they are shooting 11.1 percent (3-27) from deep. Bray was a 40 percent
shooter from three last season, so there is every reason to think that will
turn around, but at the moment he’d need to make his next 12 to get back to
AROUND THE IVY
Drexel 61, Penn 59
The Quakers fall to 1-3 despite 21 points from Fran Dougherty.
Yale 63, Buffalo 59
Yale gets a win over the one team the Tigers have beaten this season.
Brown 70, Maine 68
Sean McGonagil drops 16 in Battle of Bears.
Marist 67, Columbia 62
Lions take first loss of season.