The 2016-17 season began with a trip to Provo, Utah for the Princeton men’s basketball team, a game the host BYU Cougars won 82-73. Now, the Tigers will get the return trip from a BYU team looking to add to its season-opening win last Saturday against Mississippi Valley State while Princeton will look to bounce back from Sunday night’s 85-75 defeat at Butler.
You can hear it on WPRB 103.3 FM in Princeton or right here on GoPrincetonTigers.com and watch it on both the Ivy League Network and NBC Sports Philadelphia, Wednesday at 7.
All the links and info you’ll need for the home opener are below.
Princeton (0-1) vs. BYU (1-0), Wednesday, Nov. 15, 7 p.m., Jadwin Gym, Princeton, N.J.
• Watch: Ivy League Network & NBC Sports Philadelphia
• Listen on WPRB 103.3 and TuneIn
• Live Stats
• Follow @Princeton_Hoops for in-game updates
• Princeton Game Notes
• Up next: Princeton will head back on the road, but this time for a much shorter trip to Philadelphia for the 17th all-time meeting against Saint Joseph’s. The teams have played each of the last two seasons, with Saint Joseph’s winning both, 62-50 in Philadelphia on Dec. 8, 2015, and 76-68 in Princeton on Dec. 14, 2016. Princeton won the meeting before that, 74-65 on Dec. 5, 2010 in Princeton.
• BYU is 5-0 all-time against Princeton, but only one of those games was in Jadwin Gym, a 39-38 Cougar victory on Dec. 18, 1981, and only one of the games involved any of the current players. BYU returns 30 of its points from its 82-73 win last Nov. 14 in Provo, with 20 coming from T.J. Haws and five from Yoeli Childs off the bench. Princeton returns 29 of its 73, with 18 from Devin Cannady and seven from Myles Stephens, both off the bench, and four in a start from Amir Bell. Rebounding was a big factor, with BYU winning the stat 52-37 leading to a 22-12 advantage in second-chance points. The Cougars’ two leading rebounders from that game, Eric Mika (18) and Nick Emery (eight) are not back.
• Princeton is 6-6 all-time against West Coast Conference teams at the time of the game. WCC teams have won the last three against Princeton, with BYU’s win following a San Diego win, 75-65 on Nov. 28, 2014 in Fullerton, Calif., and a Portland win, 93-79 on Dec. 21, 2013 in Las Vegas. Princeton beat Pacific the day before in Las Vegas, 83-58. BYU is just the second West Coast Conference team to face Princeton in Jadwin along with Loyola Marymount, which AP No. 19 Princeton beat 76-48 on March 10, 1991.
• BYU was picked third in the WCC behind Saint Mary’s, which received nine of the 10 first-place votes from the league’s head coaches and Gonzaga receiving one first-place vote to finish second in the poll. Childs and Haws were two of the 10 players on the preseason all-conference team.
• Princeton was voted a close third in the Ivy League’s official preseason media poll. Princeton received three of the 17 first-place votes with Harvard getting six first-place votes and Yale eight. Harvard had 121 poll points to 118 for Yale and 114 for Princeton.
• The Tigers used 11 players in Sunday night’s 85-75 season-opening loss at Butler while starting two freshmen in the season opener for the first time in nine years with Sebastian Much and Jerome Desrosiers in the lineup (Douglas Davis ’12, Patrick Saunders ’12, 11/14/08 vs. Central Michigan in Jadwin). Princeton shot well, hitting 55.6 percent from the field and going 9 of 15 from 3, but will look to improve defensively, on the glass and in ball security. Butler shot 54.4 percent from the field, including 63.4 percent from two, while winning the boards 31-18 and having fewer turnovers, 11-7. Those last two stats allowed Butler to get 15 points off turnovers to five for Princeton and seven second-chance points to none for the Tigers.
• Princeton knew what it had coming back in the trio of Myles Stephens, Devin Cannady and Amir Bell, a group that accounts for 2,056 of the 2,556 points on the roster, or 80.4 percent. Those three had close to that share of the points Sunday night, combining for 55 of the 75 points, or 73.3 percent. Bell led with 22 while Stephens had 21 and Cannady added 12 with Alec Brennan leading the rest of the team with seven. Wednesday will be another opportunity for other players to log minutes, with the Cannady-Bell-Stephens trio logging 107 of a possible 120 minutes among the 200 available and rookie Ryan Schwieger leading the rest of the team with 19 minutes off the bench.
• Princeton is coming off a 14-0 Ivy League season, the sixth in program history and first since 1998, and the 14th in Ivy League history and first since 2008 (Cornell). That earned the Tigers their 27th Ivy League championship and the top seed in the inaugural Ivy League Tournament, which Princeton won to advance to its 25th NCAA Tournament.
• The Tigers graduated three starters in Ivy League Player of the Year Spencer Weisz, first-team All-Ivy Leaguer Steven Cook, and center Pete Miller. Despite that, Princeton returns two starters in junior Devin Cannady, an honorable-mention All-Ivy Leaguer, and classmate Myles Stephens, the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year, a first-team All-Ivy Leaguer, and the Ivy League Tournament MVP. Princeton also returns senior Amir Bell, who has started 64 games in his career, including five games last year.
• Last season, Mitch Henderson notched his fourth 20-win season as Princeton’s coach, the second-most in program history behind Pete Carril‘s 10.
• Princeton’s 19-game winning streak that included the final 17 games of the regular season and the Ivy League Tournament was the second-longest in program history behind the 20 straight that the 1997-98 team won with Mitch Henderson as a senior.
• Mitch Henderson, at 119 wins, is the third-winningest coach in program history behind Franklin “Cappy” Cappon (250, 1938-43 & 46-61), for whom the men’s basketball head coaching position is named, and Pete Carril (514, 1967-96), for whom Henderson played his first two seasons at Princeton.
• Just two seasons into his Tiger career, Devin Cannady stands tied for 13th on Princeton’s career 3-point list with 142. He needs just 25 more 3s to vault to sixth place. Chris Mooney ’94, the Richmond head coach, is tied with him in 13th place at 142.
• Junior Amir Bell enjoyed quite a bounce-back in the Ivy League season. In non-conference play, he averaged 3.8 ppg while shooting .268 from the field and .120 from 3. In Ivy play, he averaged 8.7 ppg, shooting .581 from the field and .559 from 3. Bell had Princeton’s highest shooting percentages overall (among players with >3 FGA) and from 3 in Ivy League play.
• Princeton has 32 members of the program’s 1,000-point club, with Spencer Weisz ’17 and Steven Cook ’17 joining last season. There are a few candidates to join this season, with Amir Bell at 749 points, Devin Cannady at 752 and Myles Stephens at 555.
• Princeton’s trip to Hawaii for the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic Dec. 22-25 will be the program’s fifth to the nation’s 50th state, following the 1979 Rainbow Classic, the 1998 Rainbow Classic, the 2007 Maui Invitational and last year’s Pearl Harbor Classic.
• Entering the 2017-18 season, Princeton stood 88th in the Pomeroy rankings, the second-highest level in the Ivy League by four spots behind Yale (84) and 22 spots ahead of Harvard (110). Princeton will have chances to move up, with at least eight games against teams currently in the KenPom top 100: USC (12) Miami (27), Butler (42), Saint Joseph’s (66), BYU (72), Yale (84, twice) and Middle Tennessee (92). Two more such games are possible in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, with Davidson (86), USC and Miami in the field after Princeton faces Middle Tennessee.
• Under Mitch Henderson, the Tigers now have a 41-36 (.532) record in the pre-New Year portion of the schedule and a 78-25 (.757) record from Jan. 1 forward.
• Entering the season, Princeton had the most wins among New Jersey’s eight Division I teams since Mitch Henderson took over at Princeton prior to the 2011-12 season. Princeton’s 119 wins during that time are four better than Seton Hall’s 115.
• Princeton ended last season tops in the nation in fewest turnovers at 298, fourth in fewest fouls at 482, fifth in turnovers per game at 9.9, ninth in scoring defense at 61.4 ppg allowed, 12th in 3s per game at 9.9, 15th in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.44, and 17th in turnover margin at +3.2/game.
• Princeton ended 49th in last season’s final RPI after ending the season ranked 47th in 2016.
• Princeton appeared in ESPN’s August 2017 bracketology for the 2018 NCAA Tournament, seeded 12th.
• Princeton will face two teams ranked in each of the preseason AP and coaches polls. with USC 10th in the AP poll and 11th in the Coaches, and Miami 13th by the AP and 12th by the coaches. Butler, Middle Tennessee and Harvard were all included in the “receiving votes” section of the AP poll, and Butler and Harvard were in that section of the coaches poll.
• The Pete Carril coaching tree is going strong in the 2017-18 season. Six current Division I head coaches played for and/or coached under Carril, including Mitch Henderson ’98, Mike Brennan ’94 (American), Chris Mooney ’94 (Richmond), Sydney Johnson ’97 (Fairfield), Brian Earl ’99 (Cornell) and Bill Carmody (Holy Cross).