The men’s basketball team looks to rebound from its first two losses of the season as it faces a struggling Lipscomb team (3-8 overall) on the road this weekend.
Despite the loss of last season’s leading rebounder and second-leading scorer Hans Braseto an ACL injury at the beginning of the year, Princeton (4-2) jumped out to an exceptional start to the season, winning its first four games. However, Brase’s absence started to show this past weekend for the Tigers in consecutive losses to Stony Brook and Saint Joseph’s. Princeton was out-rebounded by a combined margin of 84-67 and shot just 28 percent from the three-point line in the two games, areas where Brase, who averaged 7.5 rebounds and 1.7 threes per game, excelled last year.
Junior forward and top scorer Henry Caruso has softened the blow in both of those areas, grabbing a team high of 7.2 rebounds per game (an increase of four from his average last season) and shooting an excellent 60 percent from beyond the arc through the first six games. Another encouraging sign is the strong performance of freshman guard Devin Cannaday, who is averaging over 20 minutes per game and put in a strong performance in the loss against Stony Brook, with 16 points off the bench to lead the team. Neither Caruso nor Cannaday, however, scored in the double digits in the game against St. Joseph’s, in which the Tigers were held under 60 points for the first time this season. Junior forward Steven Cook has also given impressive performances in the last two games, turning out a season high of 15 points to go along with 7 rebounds against St. Joseph’s.
In spite of their recent skid, the Tigers have a great chance to beat Tennessee this weekend. The Lipscomb Bisons, whom the Tigers soundly defeated 77-55 last season, are on a four-game losing streak and have yet to win a game at home. The Bisons are also giving up over 80 points per game, an encouraging sign for a Princeton team that, the game at St. Joseph’s aside, has shown explosive offensive potential this season. Lipscomb guard Josh Williams, the Bisons’ leading scorer for the last two seasons, has been shooting 45 percent from the three-point line, and will pose a real threat to Princeton as both teams try to get back on track. The Tigers struggled containing Stony Brook’s Jameel Warney and St. Joseph’s DeAndre Bembry, who scored 26 and 27 points, respectively, in the two defeats, but will be looking to do a better job containing Williams this weekend.
The game will be available to watch on ESPN3.com, with tip-off at 5 p.m. on Saturday.