#135 Princeton Tigers: 2010-11 Basketball Preview
2009-10: 22-9, 11-3
2009-10 postseason: CBI
Coach: Sydney Johnson (41-46 at Princeton, 41-46 overall)
Under Coach Sydney Johnson, Princeton has quickly gone back to their ways of old. After starting off in 2007-2008 with a 6-23 record, the Tigers improved to 13-14 in 2008-2009 and tied for second in the Ivy League. Last season Princeton was still second in the league, but finished with a 22-9 overall record and made it to the CBI semifinals. The Tigers have a little rebuilding to do, but in a wide open Ivy League, they will be right in the mix.
Key Losses: C Pawel Buczak, C Zach Finley, F Nick Lake, G Marcus Schroeder
The loss of Marcus Schroeder leaves the backcourt without many experienced options…and without a point guard. T.J. Bray and Chris Clement will be given the opportunity to start right away. Bray is a big point guard at 6-4 and 180 pounds and eventually his size will be a great asset for this team. Clement is the more talented playmaker and is the likely player among the freshmen to step into a starting role. Whether either freshmen can take over the starting job or not, at least Clements will have to play a big role off the bench. Shooting guard Ben Hazel will also likely be asked to play a relatively big role off the bench if Princeton wants to have a deeper backcourt than they did last season. Forward Tom Noonan and center Daniel Edwards will have a little more time to develop, but Edwards is a nice looking prospect who could play right away.
Douglas Davis was the leading scorer last season after averaging 12.7 points. With Schroeder running the show, Davis was off the ball and doing a lot of scoring. Davis is a superb outside shooter who knocked down 42.8 percent of his attempts from long range a year ago. This time around Davis will likely start out the campaign running the point. His assist-to-turnover ratio was not very good last year, but that was not what he was out there to do. He has the skill set to play point guard, but that may take away some of his scoring prowess. If that were to stay the case, Dan Mavraides could turn into the team’s top scoring threat. Mavraides is a more dynamic scorer than Davis and can knock down the long ball and attack the basket. The 6-3 senior even led the team in rebounding last season.
The frontcourt returns three players who averaged about 18 minutes per game. Patrick Saunders was the usual starter at the power forward position and his ability to stretch out the opposing defense with his outside shooting ability added a much needed dynamic to the offense. Ian Hummer and Kareem Maddox never started a game last season, but both were very productive players. Hummer was third on the team with 6.9 points per game as a freshman and could develop into a fine scorer in the paint. Maddox is an experienced senior who can score as well, but it is his experience and hustle that will help out the Tigers the most. Will Barrett spent most of his freshman campaign on the sidelines, but the 6-10, Hartsville, Pennsylvania native had some decent outings and should at least be ready to take the next step and come in and play about 15 minutes per game.
Who to Watch:
The freshmen point guards, particularly Clement, will determine how well this team does in 2010-2011. If Davis has to run the show, that would likely put Mavraides at the shooting guard spot and Saunders at the small forward position. That is a big team, but also a slower team than the Tigers would prefer to have on the floor. Surely the freshmen can fill in some gaps at times, but Princeton will be a much better team if Davis can fill in for Clement at the point every once in a while instead of the other way around.
For Princeton it almost always comes down to defense. Davis and Mavraides will score some points and Hummer could emerge as a decent interior scorer, but the Tigers have to win with defense and that is what Coach Johnson has done over the last three seasons. Even if the point guard situation takes some time to work itself out, Princeton can still win games with their defense.
Projected Post-season Tournament: none
Projected Starting Five:
Douglas Davis, Junior, Guard, 12.7 ppg
Dan Mavraides, Senior, Guard, 11.5 ppg
Patrick Saunders, Junior, Forward, 5.1 ppg
Ian Hummer, Sophomore, Forward, 6.9 ppg
Kareem Maddox, Senior, Forward, 6.2 ppg
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