Despite the blistering 15-1 start to the season, the Princeton Tigers enter Friday’s road tilt against the Yale Bulldogs in third place within the Ivy League with a chance to take out one of the two remaining underdog teams in conference play.
Princeton Tigers vs. Yale Bulldogs (-4, 140.5)
The Tigers have been one of the most efficient offenses in the nation, ranking 13th in points scored on a per-possession basis and have traveled well, ranking ninth in points per possession in games played on the road.
Princeton has found success on offense by doing the little things well — ranking ninth in the nation in fewest turnovers per possession while shooting 78.3% from the free-throw line, which ranks 11th in the nation.
While Yale has played better on defense lately, allowing 70 points or fewer in regulation (excluding overtime) in eight of its last nine games but it still ranks 138th in points allowed on a per-possession basis and has not gotten much of a boost defensively when playing at home.
Yale gives up the exact same amount of points per possession when playing at home and on the road but still allows opponents to shoot 36.8% from 3-point range, which ranks 307th in home 3-point shooting percentage defense.
This perimeter defense will get exposed by a Tigers offense that ranks overall 119th in the nation with a 35% 3-point shooting percentage — which improves to 36% in road games, good for 63rd in road game 3-point shooting percentage.
Princeton’s defense is giving up close to the same amount of points per possession as Yale’s, ranking 140th in points allowed per possession and is good at limiting damage by not allowing second chances.
Princeton is allowing its opponents to grab rebounds just 24.9% of the time in road games, which ranks 81st. Princeton also has the edge in turnover creation, ranking 151st in turnovers forced per possession with Yale ranking 275th in this category.
With Princeton playing smart and committing the fifth-fewest fouls on a per-possession basis of any Division I team when playing on the road on top of playing at a slow and controlled tempo that ranks 341st in possessions per game, it will go on the road and get a big win over Yale on Friday.
The Play: Princeton +4