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Gloger sprains ankle, could miss weekend

This weekend, the members of the men's basketball team may learn exactly how tough they really are.

With many of its regular starters out with injuries, the team that head coach Bill Carmody will take with him on the road for games against Ivy League foes Brown (6-10 overall, 3-1 Ivy) and Yale (5-11, 3-1) has about as many unknowns as the lineup of baseball's Kansas City Royals.

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"It's a little rough," Carmody said. "We had to bring up three JV guys yesterday to practice, and a couple of those guys are going to go on the road with us. I don't even know their last names."

The injury list is staggering. Freshman guard Spencer Gloger sprained his ankle Tuesday and is doubtful for the weekend. Sophomore forward Eugene Baah is out with a thigh contusion he suffered Jan. 21. Junior forward Nathan Walton has been playing with a broken hand and will see limited action.

Freshman guard Kyle Wente, like senior forward Mason Rocca, had bone chips removed from his ankle and is out indefinitely. Rocca is out for at least the next two weeks and will likely miss the team's home game against Penn Feb. 15.

All season, the Tigers have had to adjust to player absences. While Carmody used only four different starting lineups in his first 79 games as head coach, he has used six in the past 25 games and will undoubtedly use another this weekend.

"I'm still trying to find out a little bit, like can [sophomore forward Ray Robins] play 35 minutes? Mike Bechtold, who I thought was maybe a 15-minute player, can he play 30 minutes? There's a lot of character assessment still ongoing," Carmody said.

Young guns

Against Brown on Friday, the Tigers will be going up against a young team out to a very fast start. The Bears are led by two freshmen — forward Earl Hunt, who is leading the league with an average of 23.5 points per game in league play, and center Alai Nuualiitia. The play of these two newcomers has gotten the attention of Brown's opponents.

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"Other teams are keying on those two guys, which puts a lot on their shoulders," Brown head coach Glen Miller said. "We need other guys to step up for us.

"We're looking for someone to step up [in the backcourt]. We get a good effort here and there but not at the level of what we need."

The Tigers will face a slightly more experienced team when they travel to New Haven on Saturday and look to avenge a loss last season that helped derail Princeton's league title hopes.

"When we went up there, they made it a half-court game," Carmody said. "[Center Neil] Yanke had a nice game, and they beat us."

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The six-foot, ten inch Yanke could present a challenge for sophomore center Chris Young. The biggest challenge to Princeton, however, will undoubtedly be overcoming the loss of so many regular players. Heading into a rough road weekend, the team remains confident.

"Everyone's working hard and we're trying to just forget about the injuries," Carmody said. "Like I told my players: 'I recruited you because I thought you could play, and now you're playing.' We've got no excuses."

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