After a promising start to Ivy League play, the men’s basketball team finally gets the opportunity to bring the fight to their home court. After playing the first three intra-league games on the road, the Tigers will host the Harvard Crimson and Dartmouth Big Green in a Friday-Saturday double-header.
Princeton (12-5 overall, 2-1 Ivy) enters Jadwin coming off a 4-point loss to the top dogs of the league, the Yale Bulldogs, this past Saturday. The Tigers’ grit was on full display throughout the game — they faced double-digit deficits multiple times throughout the game but struggled back to nearly close the gap in the late minutes of the game.
Having shown their mettle against one of the top teams, the Tigers now have an opportunity to push themselves up the league rankings against teams that have so far struggled to find their footing. Both the Crimson (9-11, 1-3) and the Big Green (7-11, 1-3) will head into Princeton coming off of losing streaks within league play.
In recent years, the battle between Princeton and Harvard has gone predominantly in the Crimson’s favor — the Tigers have fallen in five of their six most recent matchups against their foes from Cambridge. Both teams will be fielding vastly different squads than in previous years. On Harvard’s side, the loss of stars such as Wesley Saunders and Siyani Chambers, and other key players such as Jonah Travis, has led to a drop in their record.
The Tigers, on the other hand, come in with a team revamped by strong rookie and veteran play. Junior forward Henry Caruso and freshman guard Devin Cannady have been important scorers, putting up 16.6 and 10.8 points per game respectively. Junior forward Spencer Weisz continues to be a solid ball-handler for the Tigers and has been shooting well from downtown at a 39.2 percent mark. Indeed, the Tigers’ prowess on the offensive side is the stark difference between them and their upcoming opponents. Princeton leads the Ivies in points per game and is second-best in field goal shooting.
Against the Big Green, the Tigers have had a strong run of success as of late — they have come out victorious in five of the last six meetings. Indeed, as they try to break the trend of the past three years, Dartmouth faces another challenge — ending Princeton’s perfect record at home this season. The Tigers have won all six of their games when defending Jadwin Gym.
The Tigers’ frontline of Caruso and junior forward Pete Miller will certainly be put to the test, as they face one of the top big men in the league in Dartmouth’s Evan Boudreaux. He’s been one of the league’s leaders in both points and boards on the season, putting up 16 and nine per game.
Gametime is set for 7 p.m. on Friday and 6 p.m. on Saturday. The Harvard game may be viewed on ESPNU, and the Dartmouth game on the Ivy League Digital Network.