By Xavier Husser
New York, N.Y.
The 2013 Ivy League season started strong for the Princeton men’s basketball team, as the Tigers posted a 9-2 league record, before back-to-back road losses to Yale and Brown in early March. Finishing 10-4 in the league, Princeton lost its chance to add to its 26 Ivy League championship titles.
Coach Mitch Henderson ’98 is looking for redemption during the upcoming season. Neither Henderson nor any of the players blame each other for the losses because it was “everybody’s fault. We win as a team and lose as a team,” he said.
This season coach Henderson is hoping his team reclaims the Ivy crown and atones for the mistakes of 2012.
Henderson, a basketball legend himself at Princeton, seems to be a likely candidate for coaching the Tigers to victory, since he played for the Tigers from 1994 to 1998. Henderson played football, basketball and baseball in high school and was drafted by the New York Yankees in 1994. He won All-Ivy League honors as a basketball player and was a four-year starter who played in the NCAA Tournament during his last three seasons. In addition, Henderson brings valuable experience as a former assistant coach at Northwestern University, under former Princeton coach Bill Carmody.
In the upcoming season, Henderson plans to evaluate what went wrong in the crucial games against Yale and Brown that barred the Tigers from becoming champions. He said he is focused on developing a formidable team that will maintain its composure in pressure situations. Henderson enjoys “taking a group of guys from all over the country and making them a great team,” he added.
Henderson described his current team as big and powerful, and explained ideal players “do well in school, just excel, and then of course get shots and rebounds.”
He said that he looks for team players who are disciplined, have good habits, and an inner drive. Henderson looks at transcripts first because his players “[have to] be good students.” Nothing is ever certain until the game ends, but Henderson is hoping that his Tigers are a force in New Jersey.