SportsProf

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Thursday, December 23, 2004

Princeton Basketball Recruiting Update

For those of you who are interested (and in fairness to give some equal time to Princeton), the Trenton Times has reported on Princeton's recruiting class for men's basketball. Right now, I don't have enough information on the quality front, as it's hard to say how highly ranked these kids are on the national scene.

Three shooting guards, two 6'8" guys and a mention that 6'8"+ PF Harrision Schaen will be returning to school next year. The most recent 2G to commit to the Tigers is 6'3" Jason Briggs from Washington State, who chose the Tigers over Northern Arizona.

Which, of course, is interesting in and of itself, because how many kids in Ivy League schools generally choose between Princeton and the Flagstaff, Arizona school? My bet is that Briggs is the first kid to do so, but, then again, kids (and, remember, these are just kids) who place their sports high on their list of priorities may well focus on who wants them for their primary extracurricular activity rather than their school work. Such situations aren't unprecedented in the Ivies, and I'm sure that when you ask kids on Ivy rosters what their final choices came down to, you'll be surprised at the diversity of the answers.

The reason, in all likelihood, is that money is a big factor, and that the kids get tempted to take the scholarships because the cost of a college education is so expensive and it could well be that the Ivies, even with their generous financial aid packages, don't offer a full ride. Several years ago, Princeton lost 7' center Alex Graham to Long Beach State, and when I last checked the LBSU roster, Graham wasn't on it.

The Ivies can bring in lots of kids every year because the don't give scholarships, and it remains to be seen whether this practice is a good thing or not. Then again, you don't know who is burned out after his HS career, who will not get any better, and who fits into your system. In Princeton's case, they'll be losing seniors Judson Wallace, Will Venable and Andre Logan to graduation, so there will be plenty of holes to fill.

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