PRINCETON – Since the 2013-14 season, the Princeton High School boys basketball team has had one winning season.
That lone season came during the Little Tigers’ 2019-20 campaign when Princeton went 13-12.
Heading into the 2022-23 season, seventh-year coach Patrick Noone sees some similarities with his team this season and his squad from three years ago.
“This is a group that is very similar to them. It’s a good core group of guys that get along and that really propelled us in 2019-20,” Noone said. “This is a great group of kids. They have a great time together and they are a fun group to coach.”
Princeton is coming off a 4-15 campaign last winter and went 2-7 during the COVID-19 shortened 2021 season.
Three key pieces return from last year’s squad for the Little Tigers this winter in Chris Rinaldi, Ryan Guy and Remmick Granozio.
They will be joined by Jahan Owise and Jihad Wilder to make up Princeton’s starting five this season.
Both Owise and Wilder have been really impressive during the preseason, Noone said.
“Jahan and Jihad have stepped up huge for us,” Noone said. “They’ve made a huge impact so far this year.”
Henry Doran, Shyam Parikh, Henri Maman, Rohun Chivate, Alex Winters and Dante DiGiulio are all slated to make an impact off the bench this season for the Little Tigers.
So far this preseason, Noone said he has been very impressed with how his team has been playing defensively, especially during its scrimmage against Bordentown Regional High School on Dec. 12.
“We did a good job defensively and did a great job on the boards. I was very happy about that,” Noone said after the scrimmage against Bordentown.
Princeton will have a tough four-game stretch to begin the 2022-23 season, starting with Notre Dame High School on Dec. 16.
Following their season opener against Notre Dame, the Little Tigers are scheduled to play Ewing, Hightstown and Montgomery.
Noone has made it a point during the preseason to remind his squad that the season is a “process” and that they cannot get overwhelmed with how the first couple games of the regular season go.
“It’s going to be about us staying together and understanding it’s a process. It’s 24 games. We can’t live or die by how the first week goes,” Noone said.
The biggest message Noone is relaying to his team is the objective of getting better each and every day, whether in practice or in a game.
He said that was the same mindset his 2019-20 squad used, and it helped lead them to a winning season.
“We just want to keep getting better each day,” Noone said. “That’s how we did it (in the 2019-20 season). Whether we’re good or bad, we have to keep pounding away and get better each day.”