Basketball: Senior stars do it all for men's, women's teams
But as they enter their final years in orange and black, the two seniors’ basketball careers have converged. As the top returning scorers and rebounders in their respective leagues, Hummer and Rasheed enter the season as Ivy League Player of the Year favorites — and both could end their careers by leading their teams to conference titles.
The statistics show just how similar Hummer and Rasheed’s roles are on their respective teams. For his career, Hummer has scored 1,172 points, grabbed 547 rebounds and dished 193 assists; in three seasons, Rasheed has 1,134 points, 598 rebounds and 199 assists.
As underclassmen, the two stars reached their numbers in different ways. Hummer, who joined a deep Princeton frontcourt in 2009, spent his entire freshman year coming off of the bench and played fewer than 20 minutes per game; even in his breakout sophomore season, the forward was part of a four-headed offensive monster that included Kareem Maddox ’11, Dan Mavraides ’11 and Doug Davis ’12.
Playing with a less experienced team, Rasheed was a starter from day one and led the Tigers with 18 points in her first career game. But after earning Ivy League Rookie of the Year honors as a freshman, she suffered a season-ending ACL injury at Davidson the following December, costing her the final 17 games of her sophomore campaign.
Everything came together for both players last season, as Rasheed was named the Ivy League Player of the Year while Hummer was one of two unanimous All-Ivy selections. Even while playing with All-Ivy-caliber scorers Lauren Edwards ’12 and Devona Allgood ’12, Rasheed used about 30 percent of Princeton’s possessions when she was on the floor; Hummer’s usage rating was even higher at 31.8 percent, among the top 20 in the nation.
“He’s a very difficult guy to guard and match up with,” men’s head coach Mitch Henderson ’98 said of Hummer in a preseason Ivy League media teleconference. “He gives us a lot of advantages, and he makes all of his teammates a little bit better.”
Rasheed starts many of her drives from the top of the key — or in transition, where she was a lethal force in Princeton’s up-tempo system last year — while the left-handed Hummer gets a lot of his touches on the right block or on the wing. But both players are sure-handed finishers near the basket, both can pull up for a short jumper and both showed new flashes of a three-point stroke last season.
But each player’s offensive impact is defined not only by the shots they make but also by the ones they don’t — both forwards draw rave reviews from coaches for their vision and passing skills. Hummer’s 101 assists last season were second on his team only to junior point guard T.J. Bray; Rasheed led her team with 84. They each finished the season with more assists than turnovers.
“She’s a very willing passer, and that shows her overall feel of the game but also her desire to win,” women’s head coach Courtney Banghart said of Rasheed. “She draws a lot of attention, so she can get somebody else a really good shot.”
Hummer and Rasheed are more than competent on defense as well. Both players are physical enough to clean up missed shots — they ranked fourth and first in defensive rebounding in their respective leagues — yet athletic enough to defend opposing wings on the perimeter. Hummer has become a shot-blocking threat, leading the team with 39 swats last season, while Rasheed tied for second in the conference with 69 steals.
And though they have different basketball backgrounds, the two seniors approach the game in similar ways. Both stars are usually soft-spoken in press conferences but are universally praised by teammates for their commitment to the sport, and each is likely to continue playing professionally after graduation, possibly at one of the game’s highest levels.
With Hummer and Rasheed in the spotlight, 2012-13 could be a season to remember at Jadwin Gymnasium.
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