New head coach Sydney Johnson, a mere 10 years removed from Old Nassau himself, hasnt changed the philosophy of Princeton basketball and will present a team that will certainly test the young Scarlet Knights.
Heres the Tiger line up:
G - #22 - Lincoln Gunn 63 soph . shooting 52% from the floor, 50% on field goals and 78% from the FT line
G - #21 Marcus Schroeder 63 soph 35% from the floor, 38% on threes and 67% on FTs
F - #4 Kyle Koncz 67 sr 28% from the floor, 28% FGs and 83% on FTs
F - #35 Noah Savage 65 sr... 32% from the floor, 36% FGs and 80% on FTs
C - #30 Zach Finley 69 soph.. 52% from the floor, no 3s, and 63% on FTs
This is a team that has been over powered by Duke and dominated by Seton Hall, but they dont quit for a minute. I watched this team play Duke and they seemed outclassed in the first ten minutes of play by allowing Duke to gain a 27 point lead. Finding their legs, Princeton played extremely hard over the final 30 minutes and actually outscored Duke 57-52. Ill admit, during that stretch, the Tigers were predominantly faced by Dukes scrub team, which occasionally included the likes of Lance Thomas. Against Seton Hall and facing a 15 point deficit, the Tigers ran off three straight field goals which kept the game interesting. The key being, Princeton plays until the final second of every game. Princeton also shoot as many 3s as it does two pointers.
Rutgers is young and Rutgers continues learning about themselves on the court. They can practice against each other for months, but not until being faced with the nuances of a new opponent can they truly begin to learn about teamwork and winning.
Hamady NDiaye and Byron Joynes need to dominate the middle by boxing out, rebounding at both ends and scoring points in the paint. JR Inman and Jaron Griffin need to neutralize Savage and Koncz with relentless defense and athletic moves to the basket. JR needs to bring his game, and not worry about doing too much by himself.
The play of the guards will be key, no matter the combination. These are the players responsible for the flow of the Scarlet offense while interrupting that of Princetons. They must play smart, play within themselves and not become frustrated with Princetons style. Its a forty minute game, a rivalry, and they must leave all they have on the court.
By the way, Saturday afternoon, a 2:00 tip off for a rivalry game. It would
be nice to see more than the average 2,500 fans in the seats. The sixth
man is needed to help confuse, disturb and disrupt this Princeton team.
Historically, fans at the RAC are responsible for as many wins as are the players.
Bring your game !!!