New men’s basketball coach Mitch Henderson ’98 and his Tigers open the season against Wagner at Jadwin Gym Nov. 12. Henderson, a former Princeton captain and Northwestern assistant under coach Bill Carmody, is profiled in the Nov. 16 issue of PAW.
Below, PAW provides a brief look at the Tigers and the season ahead.
25-7, 12-2 Ivy League (co-champion)
2010-11 team leaders:
Scoring – Kareem Maddox ’11, 13.8 ppg
Rebounding – Maddox, 7.0 rpg
Assists – Dan Mavraides ’11, 2.7 apg
Steals – Douglas Davis ’12, 1.2 spg
Field-goal percentage – Maddox, 56.8 percent
3-point field-goal percentage – Mavraides, 38.6 percent
Free-throw percentage – Mack Darrow ’14, 80 percent
Douglas Davis ’12, guard
Davis celebrated his game-winning jump shot against Harvard by reclining on the floor and raising two fingers on each hand – one of the most indelible images from a memorable Ivy playoff game. If he hopes to raise those fingers again, to mark a second NCAA Tournament trip, Davis will have to continue in his role as a dynamic scorer and provide leadership as one of the Tigers’ senior captains. (Forward Patrick Saunders ’12 is the other.)
Ian Hummer ’13, forward
At the team’s preseason media day, Hummer joked that at 6 feet, 7 inches, he’s about the 11th-tallest player on his team. He wasn’t far off: Hummer is actually 10th, and the roster’s extraordinary height will allow the Tigers to shift their speedy forward out to the perimeter. To prepare, Hummer said that he spent the offseason working on shooting and ball-handling, along with free-throw shooting. He shot 64.3 percent from the line last year – an improvement from his freshman season, but still well below the team average.
Brendan Connolly ’13, center
Princeton has historically asked a lot of its centers. They’re expected to defend, rebound, pass, and score. Connolly, physically imposing at 6 feet, 11 inches, and 255 pounds, showed those skills in spurts last season, but he has never scored more than 10 points in a college game. Can he provide some of the offense needed to fill the void left by Kareem Maddox ’11 and Dan Mavraides ’11? Hummer believes he can. “He’s definitely going to be one of our guys that we’ll want to get the ball into,” he said. “If he keeps coming along the way he is, it’s going to be very hard to stop him down low.”
Harvard, last season’s Ivy co-champion, returns its entire starting lineup and all 13 of last season’s letterwinners. Not surprisingly, the Crimson have been the consensus preseason favorite. Princeton and Yale tied for second place in the league’s official media poll. The Bulldogs, who last shared the Ivy title in 2002, feature Ivy Player of the Year candidate Greg Mangano, a 6-foot-10-inch forward who led the league in rebounding and blocked shots last year and was second in scoring. Penn, ranked fourth in the poll and led by All-Ivy guard Zack Rosen, could be a factor in the championship chase as well.
Games to watch
Nov. 16, at North Carolina State
The season’s first game against a big-conference opponent will be televised on ESPNU.
Dec. 10, at Drexel
The Dragons, preseason favorites in the Colonial Athletic Association, were 12-2 at home last year.
Dec. 30, at Florida State
The Seminoles, a Sweet 16 team last March, are one of the nation’s top defensive teams. ESPN3 will cover the game.
Feb. 11, vs. Harvard
The first of two meetings with the Crimson could be pivotal in the Ivy title chase. ESPNU will be on hand.
Mar. 6, vs. Penn
Princeton-Penn men’s basketball continues to be the best regular-season finale on the Tigers’ athletic calendar.
On the lack of backdoor layups in recent years:
“We’d like to get as many easy baskets as we can get. When you have a fast team, which we can be, you cut more. When you’re a little bit slower, you screen more. But I think you’ll see a little bit more [backdoor cuts].”
– Head coach Mitch Henderson ’98