It’s an event unseen in multiple decades — the men’s basketball team will play its home opener not within the usual confines of Jadwin Gymnasium, but rather in the more centrally located Dillon Gymnasium. The last time the Tigers competed in the space was in January of 1969.
Princeton (1-0) comes into this weekend fresh off a season-opening victory against nearby Rider University last Friday, winning 64-56 in the contest on the road. The Tigers will spend Saturday hosting Saint Peter’s University (1-1), against whom they fell 46-60 on the road last season. The team hopes to see continued strong presence from upperclassmen; in particular, junior guard Spencer Weisz was active across the board, flirting with a triple double with his 13 points, 8 assists and 6 boards. In addition, the Tigers will hope for a repeat showing from freshman forward Devin Cannady; the rookie put up 17 points and 3 three-pointers in the victory.
Indeed, continued contribution across all years will be of the utmost importance after the team received gut-wrenching news from an injury perspective. Senior forward Hans Brase, who averaged 11.5 points and 7.5 rebounds for the Tigers last season, will miss the entire 2015-16 season with a torn ACL. The loss will be a critical one for the Tigers, as Brase not only provided previous muscle down low but also was a factor in stretching out opposing defenses, shooting three-pointers at a 34.5 percent clip.
The Peacocks will arrive at Princeton looking to continue what has been an aggressive offensive performance to start the season. While their field goal percentage on the year so far is just at 41 percent, they’ve more than made up for it by drawing foul after foul, averaging 30 shots from the free throw line. The loss of Brase could be sorely felt come Saturday night as the Tigers attempt to ward off the Peacocks from shots in the paint.
However, the Tigers certainly are not without options down low. Junior forward Pete Miller, holding down the middle in Brase’s absence, proved his mettle with his near double-double against Rider — 9 points (on 4-5 shooting) and 12 boards to help anchor the Tigers’ victory. He did his part intimidating his opponents from the rim as well, picking up 2 blocks on the game.
The Tigers and Peacocks are set to tip off at 9 p.m. The game can be viewed via the Ivy League Digital Network.