Pacific vs. Princeton (Holiday Hoops Classic)
Game Time: 7:30 p.m. PST
Teams Records: Pac – 8-1 – Pri – 8-1
Leading Scorers: PAC – Bock 12.6 – Pri – Bray 15.0
Leading Rebounders: Pac – Taku 5.4 – Pri – Brase 6.3
Leading Distributors: Pac – Bock 2.7 – Pri – Bray 7.2
Pacific has taken on a good amount of tough opponents this season, but could this possibly be the hardest one? Ok, I’m not going to get too far ahead of myself; Oregon is the best team the Tigers have played this season. However, the Princeton Tigers are up there, and will be a real test for Pacific (And yes, both teams are nicknamed the Tigers).
AP Poll: NR
Coaches Poll: NR
Princeton and Pacific come into this game with the exact same record, not to mention the same exact nickname as well. The Princeton Tigers 8-1
Princeton plays a slow brand of the basketball, and statistics are a good indicator of that. The Tigers are ranked 304th in the nation in possessions per game with 66.0. However, Princeton is one of the more efficient teams in the country, as they are averaging 1.11 points per possession, 84th in the NCAA.
T.J. Bray is the Tigers “star,” if you will. Bray is first on Princeton in points per game (15.0), minutes per game (35.0) and assists per game (7.4). He is also is fourth on the team with 4.4 per game. Bray has only played in 5 games this season; he missed the first three due to a hand injury and did not play against Farleigh Dickinson due to “actions divergent from established athletic department policies,” according to a statement from the school.
Behind Bray is Hans Brase, Denton Koon, Will Barrett and Ben Hazel, who average 12.1, 11.7, 11.1 and 10.8 points respectively. Brase is Princeton’s leading rebounder with 6.3 per game.
Princeton is playing a little bit better than expected. The Tigers were predicted to finish 4th in the Ivy League behind Penn and Yale. Currently Yale is 5-5 and Penn is 2-6.
Princeton has key wins over Rutgers, Penn State and George Mason. Its only loss is to Butler by 3 points.
Keys to the Game
Step into Passing Lanes
Nothing is more frustrating for a team that likes to slow the pace and run their sets like a bunch of turnovers. However, Pacific will most likely need to force the order, because Princeton only averages 10.6 turnovers. If Pacific can force a lot of turnovers and get easy buckets in transition, that could be the difference between a win and a loss.
Princeton obviously has a very good point guard in Bray. Pacific needs their point guard Andrew Bock to step into a big role and guard Bray. If Bock does a good job in guarding Bray and slows him down, it would be huge for Pacific.
I’ll just leave it at that.
Pacific has been very good in close games this season, and I don’t think that changes today.
Pacific 77, Princton 75