Liberty looks to pick up their first win of the new year as they return home to face the Princeton Tigers. Find all you need to know about the Ivy league school in our Princeton Primer.
1. Team introduction. Princeton is 10-2 on the season and come into the game ranked 80th according to KenPom. The 10-2 start is Princeton’s best start since 1997-98. The Tigers have some notables wins this season over Pacific, George Mason, Rutgers, and Penn State to name a few. Their two losses have come against Butler and Portland. Mitch Henderson is in his 3rd season as head coach of his alma mater. This is the first meeting between the two programs.
2. Offense. Princeton loves to shoot the 3. Over half of their 624 field goal attempts have been 3-pointers, and they are shooting 39% from 3. Princeton is on pace to break the school record for 3-pointers made in a season. The Tigers average 74.4 points per game and are led by T.J. Bray who scores over 16 points per game.
3. Defense. The Tigers allow their opponents to score 67 points per game while shooting over 44% from the field and 33.5% from 3. Princeton has lost the rebounding battle in 5 of their 12 contests this year, but are 5-0 in those games.
4. Player turnover. Princeton returns nearly 75% of its scoring from a year ago despite graduating reigning Ivy Player of the Year Ian Hummer. Hummer averaged 16.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game a season ago leading the Tigers to a 17-11 overall record.
5. Possible starters. A look at the likely starting line-up for the Tigers…
Guard: T.J. Bray (#5), a 6’5″, 207 lb Senior, leads the team in both scoring (16.4) and assists ( 6.75). He is averaging 7.8 assists per game in his last 5 contests.
Guard: Jimmy Sherburne (#2), a 6’3″, 197 lb Senior, has started all 9 games he has played in this season, and is averaging 7.1 points per game.
Forward: Ben Hazel (#12), a 6’5″, 191 lb Junior, averages 9.9 points per game. 68% of his field goal attempts are 3-pointers.
Forward: Hans Brase (#30), a 6’8″, 231 lb Sophomore, is Princeton’s leading rebounder at 6 per game. He’s also 2nd on the team in scoring at 11.8.
Forward: Will Barrett (#24), a 6’10”, 197 lb Senior, has a team leading 29 made 3-pointers this season. Barrett is averaging 11.6 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.
6. Key reserves. Some other key contributors…
Forward: Spencer Weisz (#10), a 6’4″, 180 lb Freshman, is averaging 9.2 points per game while shooting nearly 54% from the field. Weisz is 2nd on the team in rebounding at 4.8 per contest.
Forward: Denton Koon (#4), a 6’8″, 210 lb Junior, is 4th on the team in scoring at 10 points per game.
7. Prediction. Princeton may be the best team the Flames face all season and are certainly the best team that will visit the Vines Center this year. Princeton 79 Liberty 65