Men’s basketball (12–7, 4–2 Ivy) will take on Harvard (11–8, 4–2) and Dartmouth (11–11, 2–4) on Friday and Saturday evening, respectively, in Jadwin Gymnasium.
Princeton, still recovering from a stunning weekend that saw it drop from first place in the Ivy League to tied-for-second with three other teams after defeats from Yale (15–4, 5–1) and Brown (14–8, 2–4), is looking to regain its footing in the conference.
The Tigers have played only one out of six of their conference games at home so far and have played their last four games on the road. The return to Jadwin this weekend represents an exciting moment for the team.
“We’re excited to be home,” said head coach Mitch Henderson ’98 on the Mitch Henderson Show on Tuesday. “One of our goals this season is to be undefeated at Jadwin.”
Friday’s game against Harvard will be the team’s opportunity to follow through. If history is any indicator, Princeton should have an upper hand. Harvard has only 14 wins over the Tigers at Princeton in the two teams’ 118-year history. The Tigers, meanwhile, have a whopping 77 victories at home. The two teams’ all-time record is 132–48.
That’s not to say that Harvard will be an easy opponent. Last year, Princeton lost both games against the Crimson, including a 72–66 loss at home in overtime. Henderson isn’t discounting their opponent’s potential this year.
“We know that Harvard provides a big challenge and a big test for us, and they’re probably hungry. But so are we,” he said.
On Saturday, Princeton will face Dartmouth at home at 7 p.m. Dartmouth has had a rough season, with an overall record of 11–11 and 2–4 in the Ivy League.
The overall record between the two teams is 152–63 and Princeton dominates its record at home, 89–17.
In order for the team to be successful this weekend, Henderson cites a need for offensive improvement.
“We haven’t been great offensively, struggled a little bit,” he said. To change this, the team needs to be “sharing the ball, making each other better, extra passes, tapping the ball out, making someone else look better.”
The coach emphasized teamwork during his interview, saying how when the team works together as one cohesive unit, it can succeed.
“We need to play like a team,” he said, adding, “We know who we are. We need to do it together. When a group looks like they’re absolutely just concerned about playing for each other and playing together — to me that’s the sign of a good team.”
On defense, Henderson isn’t so worried. “Defensively, our numbers show we can be really solid,” he noted.
The coach is confident that the team, especially the leadership, will achieve success.
“I’m confident in the leadership of the group and I think we can get it done.”