Coaches and alumni gather to discuss state of Princeton men's basketball| May 29, 2015
Men’s basketball coaching staff and alumni gathered in Robertson Hall atnoonon Fridayto discuss the state of the team and plans for improvement going into the 2015-2016 academic year.
After head coach Mitch Henderson ’98 made opening remarks for the event, president of the Friends of Princeton Basketball group, Jesse Rosenfeld ’97, pointed out that the league is getting more and more competitive with each year. Traditionally, the battle for supremacy in Ivy League men’s basketball has been a two-team affair between the Tigers and the University of Pennsylvania Quakers. As of the last decade, however, other contenders have risen up. The Harvard Crimson have been outright champions the last four years in a row. Moreover, in the three years before Princeton’s NCAA bid in 2011, Cornell had won the league three straight years.
With this in mind, Rosenfeld said that it is more important than ever for Princeton to be able to go out and recruit the best talent possible. However, as Henderson noted, that doesn’t necessarily mean scouring every corner of the country. Princeton has seen great success with local stars — sophomore Spencer Weisz was Ivy League Rookie of the Year in 2014, and freshman Amir Bell was the only Princeton player to start every single game this season. Henderson seemed very excited for another talented local product — 6’4 guard Myles Stephens, who is from Pennington, NJ and will be a freshman on the team in the 2015-2016 season.
More exciting news would follow, as assistant coach Brett MacConnell went through highlights of the non-Ivy portion of the 2015-2016 schedule. Next year’s team can look forward to a duel with the Maryland Terrapins, were ranked 12thin the AP Poll going into the NCAA Tournament this March. While the Tigers will have to play on the road, they will not battle the Terps at the University’s Xfinity Center but rather at the Royal Farm Arena in downtown Baltimore.
As for methods by which to improve the team, assistant coach Brian Earl ’99 gave a demonstration of Synergy Sports Technology, a company that provides popular sports analytics tools used at the collegiate and professional levels. Earl illustrated how the team is able to analyze even the minutiae of in-game situations. As an example, he showed how he can look at every time former star guard TJ Bray ’14 was scored on in a spot-up shooting situation on defense.
Access to such information comes with a price tag attached, which again underscored the importance of the involvement of Princeton men’s basketball alumni in helping the team succeed.