PRINCETON — The Princeton Tigers know all too well what kind of game they can expect Friday night against the Cornell Big Red.
Last season, the Big Red put the Tigers behind the Ivy eight ball with a 67-59 win in Ithica, N.Y., in Princeton’s league opener. Though some of the faces have changed, Cornell and coach Bill Courtney continue to employ the same up-tempo style that gave the Tigers issues a year ago.
“It’s two different teams, but it’s important to have a long memory,” coach Mitch Henderson said. “I certainly do. They did what they do against us last year. They sped us up and the pressure got to us.”
Cornell is led by 6-foot-7 sophomore forward Shonn Miller, an extremely versatile athlete who leads the Big Red in points, rebounds, steals and blocks. Though the Tigers have one of the best individual defenders in the league in senior forward Ian Hummer, stopping Miller will be a team assignment.
“I think we’ll probably try to guard him with a few different guys,” Henderson said. “He’s versatile enough where he plays all over the floor, so everybody needs to be aware of him.”
Perhaps the biggest strength for the Big Red, however, is their depth. Ten different Cornell players average more than 10 minutes per game, with some of its most effective scorers—particularly sophomore Galal Cancer and senior forward Errick Peck—coming off the bench.
“Cornell plays 12 guys,” Henderson said. “In the kid Miller, they’ve got a really good player, but I think they’re good all across the board. I’m not sure if their first five is that much better than their second five. Their strength is in their numbers.”