Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Big Red Machine

The Princeton men's basketball team hosts Cornell tomorrow night at 7. The Big Red come in having won 19 straight league games and looking to become the first Ivy team ever to sweep the Penn/Princeton trip in consecutive years.

Cornell is a very good team, obviously. The Big Red bring a nine-game winning streak into the game (Princeton has won five straight), during which the team is shooting 53% from the field at better than 47% from three-point range. For the year, Cornell averages 74 points per game.

It's a very balanced team, with a seven-foot inside presence in Jeff Foote, who has twice been the Ivy Player of the Week this year, complementing what TigerBlog believes is the two best players in the league in Louis Dale (14.8 ppg) and Ryan Wittman (18.7 ppg). Making it all go is Steve Donahue, a fine head coach who once had this exchange with TigerBlog after a game in Jadwin:

Donahue: "Is that your son?"
TigerBlog: "Yes."
Donahue: "It's great when they like sports."
TigerBlog: "My daughter isn't as into it. I'm taking her to see 'Disney Princesses On Ice' tomorrow."
Donahue: "I saw that in Syracuse. It was pretty good."

Princeton is catching Cornell at the right time, with its league home opener that follows a nice sweep at Dartmouth and Harvard last weekend. TigerBlog is looking forward to seeing how the Tigers fare against the league's prohibitive favorite.

At the same time, TigerBlog can't help but wonder how this Cornell team would have matched up against the best Ivy teams of the last 20 years. How would this Cornell team match up against, say, the Princeton teams of 1991, 1996-99 or 2004? How would Penn's teams of 1993-95, 1999 or 2000 have done against this Cornell team?

For that matter, how would those teams all have done against each other?

TigerBlog will take the Tiger teams from 1996-97 and 1997-98.

1 comment:

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