Yale 69, Penn 64
Yale 59, Princeton 65
The departure of last season’s starting point guard Andy Toole and his 10.6 points per game has left a big hole in the Quaker backcourt. Though few would say that Charlie Copp has replaced Toole, the replacement Penn floor general has avoided becoming a liability.
Tim Begley and Jeff Schiffner are stalwarts left over from last season’s championship squad. Both are averaging over 12 points per outing. Both are deadly from beyond the arc — the Bulldogs simply cannot let Begley, Schiffner, or even Copp, have open looks for the three. Last season, Schiffner torched the Elis for 26 points.
At least Ugonna Onyekwe and Koko Archibong are gone. This season’s starting center Adam Chubb has emerged as a leading big man in the league. He’s third in the Ancient Eight in rebounding and one of three Quakers averaging in double digits scoring.
Beyond Chubb, there is not a whole lot. Freshman Mark Zoller looks like a good player and has done a good job on the boards. But he still splits time with junior Jan Fikiel — and there is a reason you have not heard of him. Despite being 6-foot-10-inches, Fikiel’s best rebounding game was a six-board effort against American, and he has never scored in double figures.
The experience of Tiger Ed Persia is a key component of the Princeton’s success. Everyone fears the three-ball from the notoriously trigger-happy Tigers, but in truth no one has put up spectacular long-distance numbers. Only Persia is amongst the top 10 in the Ivy League in 3-pointers per game.
Scott Greenman handles the point guard duties by simply not committing any mistakes — he has only eight turnovers after 394 minutes. Beware of freshman Max Schafer who, despite an awful shooting slump, gets a good amount of minutes. He, Will Venable, and Persia are the most likely to thread an embarrassing backdoor pass to a teammate for an uncontested layup. Persia and Venable are No. 1 and 2, respectively, in the Ivy League in assist to turnover ratio. Princeton is 14th best in the nation at minimizing turnovers — they have committed only 12.5 per game.
Judson Wallace, the projected Ivy Player of the Year by ivybasketball.com, has been the best big man in the league thus far. He is making 50 percent of his field goals for 15 points per game, and has even hit 13-of-36 3-point shots.
Andre Logan’s return has certainly helped the Princeton frontcourt. Two years ago he looked poised to be All-Ivy. Now, an injury could crop up at any moment, and he simply doesn’t seem to be as good as he was. But he and Konrad Wysocki are above average forwards for the Ivy League–when Logan is healthy and Wysocki can stay out of foul trouble.