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Welcome back to the Trentonian's Full-Court Press blog. Yes, we're still alive, and with the 2015-16 season rapidly approaching, it's time to fire up the old blog for another season. Check back here throughout the year for updates on all things Rider and Princeton, including coverage of both the MAAC and Ivy League. Feel free to drop me a line on twitter @kj_franko ( or email

Friday, February 14, 2014


(all stats as of Feb. 13)
Who: Princeton Tigers (13-6, 1-4) at Brown Bears (12-8, 4-2)
When/Where: 7 p.m. Friday, Providence, R.I.:
Who: Princeton at Yale Bulldogs (11-9, 5-1)
When/Where: 6 p.m. Saturday, New Haven, Conn.
Coverage: 103.3 WPRB, Ivy League Digital Network

Probable Starters
Princeton: G T.J. Bray (6-5, senior, 17.7 PPG, 4 RPG, 5.5 APG). C Hans Brase (6-8, sophomore, 12.1 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 2.4 APG). F Will Barrett (6-10, senior, 11.4 PPG, 3.7 RPG). F Steven Cook (6-5, freshman, 2.9 PPG, 1.5 RPG). F Spencer Weisz (6-4, freshman, 9.4 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 2.3 APG).
Brown:  F Rafael Maia (6-9, junior, 10.2 PPG, 8.5 RPG). F Leland King (6-7, freshman, 7 PPG, 4.5 RPG). G Tavon Blackmon (6-0, freshman, 8.1 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 3.5 APG). G Steven Spieth (6-6, freshman, 7.3 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 2.5 APG). G Sean McGonagill (6-1, senior, 18.1 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 3.4 APG).
Yale: C Justin Sears (6-8, sophomore, 15.3 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 1.3 APG). F Armani Cotton (6-7, junior, 8.6 PPG, 5 RPG, 1 APG), F Matt Townsend (6-7, junior, 5.1 PPG, 2.9 RPG). G Javier Duren (6-4, junior, 12.9 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 2.9 APG). G Nick Victor (6-5, sophomore, 5.4 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 1.8 APG).
Last Weekend: While the Tigers did at least salvage a modicum of positivity with their Saturday night win over Cornell, their loss to Columbia Friday night was crushing to their flickering Ivy championship hopes. The last team to win the league with four or more losses was the 1986-87 Penn Quakers. With Harvard and Yale both at 5-1, both teams would have to go 5-3 or worse over their last eight games — with Brown, Penn, and Columbia all failing to run the table — for Princeton to have any shot. The Tigers, of course, would need to win their remaining eight games — no easy task with Brown and Yale on tap.
On Brown: In just his second season at the helm, Bears coach Mike Martin has done a remarkable job turning the program around. After going just 2-12 in Ivy play three seasons ago, the Bears beat Princeton in their final league game last season to finish 7-7, and are off to a 4-2 start this year. Plenty of credit also has to go to senior guard Sean McGonagill, who is leading the Ivy in points (18.1) and minutes (36.8) per game, and junior big man Rafael Maia, who is averaging 8.5 boards per contest. The Bears do start three freshmen, but all three have been productive players this season. Brown has beat two teams the Tigers have lost to this season in Dartmouth and Columbia, and gave league-favorite Harvard a close game, losing just 52-45.
On Yale: Though the Bulldogs struggled a bit in nonconference play — at one point losing five of six, including losses to Bryant and Albany — they vaulted themselves to the front of the Ivy discussion last Saturday night in Boston with their 74-67 upset over Harvard. Having split its Ivy-opening home-away series with Brown, Yale is currently tied with the Crimson atop the league standings. Justin Sears, a Plainfield native who was recruited by the Tigers coming out of high school, has emerged this season as one of the premier players in the league, and Javier Duren and Armani Cotton are both explosive scoring options from the wing.



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