SportsProf

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Live at Cornell-Princeton in Jadwin Gym Last Night

Went there on the spur of the moment and left with wondering how Cornell how could have beaten the team that showed up last night. Very bright spots were soph guard TJ Bray, who handles the ball well and shoots with authority, junior forward Ian Hummer, who simply takes charge out there, senior guard Douglas Davis, who is finishing up an outstanding career and forward Patrick Saunders, who had a bunch of nifty one-handed shots inside. Atop that, frosh forward Denton Koon looks like a future star and junior forward Mack Darrow had a career night the night before on ESPNU against Columbia. At 6'9", 230 pounds, he is a very good player.

Cornell played with a lot of energy, substituted perhaps too much to find the right combinations, but tended to overplay on defense and lacked the shooting ability that the Tigers displayed last night when rolling up 42 points in the first half. The team showed a lot of zing, and if I were to have one point of constructive feedback, they need to defend better and play better switching defense, especially inside. Cornell scored too many baskets when the perimeter player broke through, only to remain unchecked inside. My guess is that the coaches will see this on film and do something to correct it.

While it's doubtful that the Tigers can win the Ivies, and while they will miss Davis next year, they have some players in the pipeline who are difference makers and who are fun to watch. While Harvard has the hot hand that Cornell did during the last three years of the Steve Donahue era, it's not that hard to fathom that Princeton (and Penn, for that matter) cannot recruit enough players to make the competition in the Ivies more compelling over the next several seasons.

Good fun last night in Jadwin Gym.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Tigers (and Mitch Henderson) do seem to be getting better and, most importantly, peaking just in time for the trip up to Harvard. As you point out, it's unlikely that Princeton will win the Ivies this year. But if the Tigers snap the Crimson's long home winning streak on Friday night, it will be another signature victory for Henderson & Co. And then who knows what might happen the following night as Penn will likely have had an easier night at Dartmouth. Stranger things have happened.

The best case scenario, admittedly a bit of a pipe dream right now, is Penn at Princeton on the final Tuesday night of the regular season. Winner gets a share of the Ivy title and the opportunity to play Harvard in a playoff at Yale or Columbia. That would be epic.

1:19 PM  
Blogger George Clark said...

If the P's win out until their rematch the Quakers could win the title with a win in Princeton. A Tiger win would result in a three-way tie. Not very likely but it would be tremendous fun. Penn's path is somewhat easier than Princeton's, but, for both, a win in Cambridge is essential.
The emergence of TJ Bray as a scorer, as well as a reliable defender and point guard, gives Tiger fans hope for next season. Will Barrett, whose early season injury resulted in his withdrawal from school, will return to fill the shoes of graduating Patrick Saunders. Freshman Clay Wilson will get a long look in the backcourt. The other returning players, Hummer, Darrow, Connolly and the maturing Denton Koon, should enable the Tigers to get off on the right foot. Henderson will not have to start over, as Sydney Johnson did. If he brings in a freshman or two who can help right away the Tigers can contend next year.

8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow -- Could have been an epic Ivy League race if Princeton had been able to hang on last weekend...

7:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From a Penn POV it still is "an epic Ivy League race!" Thanks to the Tigers for beating Harvard at Jadwin, and then softening them up for the Quakers in a close game at Cambridge.

If Penn and Harvard win out, they share the title. It's a harder road for Penn with three games, including Yale, to whom they lost in New Haven, Brown and of course GOP (Good Ol' Princeton)-- who can be formidable at Jadwin. ;-)

Harvard only has to win two games (Columbia and Cornell at their respective homes).

If Penn and Harvard go to a playoff game, and Penn wins, Harvard could receive an NCAA bid regardless.

I assume Princeton fans would root for Penn in a possible playoff game against the Amaker Empire.

No?

12:08 AM  

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