Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXI, No. 50
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
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(Photo by Bill Allen/NJ SportAction)

YOUNG GUN: Princeton High boys’ basketball star Matt Young puts up a shot in action last winter. PHS and new head coach Jason Carter will be depending on senior co-captain Young to take care of a lot of the dirty work this season from his forward position. The Little Tigers tip off their 2007-8 campaign on December 14 when they play at Lawrence.

After Learning From Assistant Coaching Roles; Carter Bringing Intensity to PHS Boys’ Hoops

Bill Alden

Jason Carter has paid his coaching dues, serving as an assistant coach for the Princeton High boys’ lacrosse and girls’ soccer program over the last few years.

Now, the 1996 PHS alum is getting the chance to be a head coach as he takes over the Little Tiger boys’ basketball program this winter, replacing Dave Kosa.

As Carter assumes his new post, he plans to apply some of the lessons he learned from coaching under Greg Hand in soccer and Peter Stanton in lacrosse.

“Greg Hand is the epitome of professionalism; he is really meticulous,” said Carter, who also served as the head coach of the PHS freshman boys’ hoops team the last two winters.

“I would mention an idea to him at practice and he would write it down on a note card and bring it up the next day. Peter has helped me so much; he has really made me into the coach I am today. He sent me to clinics and helped me learn.”

Carter plans to help his players learn though his no-nonsense approach as he looks to rebuild a program that went 7-15 last winter.

“I run a tight ship; if I say something at practice, I want them to just do it,” asserted Carter, who was a football, basketball and lacrosse star at PHS and then played football and soccer at Rowan College.

“Our guys are going to play hard and compete in every game. We are going to play defense. We have athleticism and speed and we are going to use it.”

PHS boasts plenty of athleticism in the backcourt in junior DeQuan Holman and Brian Dunlap together with the Gordon brothers, senior Zephrem and sophomore Josh.

“We have some athletes in the backcourt with experience,” said carter, whose team opens the 2007-08 season by playing at Lawrence High on December 14.

“DeQuan Holman had some struggles last year and it would be good to see him have a good year. He is capable of leading us in scoring but he can be inconsistent at times. The Gordon brothers are learning the system; they are working their butts off. They compete hard.”

Point guard Dunlap could hold the key to unlocking the backcourt’s athleticism. “I’m looking for Brian to lead our offense,” said Carter. “He has a good basketball IQ. He is aware of situations on the court; he knows who we should go to and what to do when time is running out.”

Carter is hoping that junior center A.J. Dowers emerges as PHS’ go-to guy in the paint.

“A.J. is still growing at 6’7,” said carter. “He doesn’t realize all of the things he can do; he needs to take more advantage of his size.

Power forward Matt Young gets the most out of his 6’4 size on the court. “Matt is our senior captain and he was the MVP in our summer season,” said Carter.

“He does the dirty work for us. He is a good offensive and defensive rebounder. He had 20 points and 10 rebounds in our scrimmage against Woodbridge the other day so he may help us more offensively than I had thought.”

As PHS looks to rebound, Carter is preaching patience. “I’d like us to get to .500 but we have to take things one step at a time,” said Carter.

“We haven’t won a whole lot in recent years; we haven’t been in the state tournament since 1999 or something like that. The players need to believe in themselves and their teammates.”

Carter knows that developing that trust takes some work. “I see it as a flaw in other PHS teams, when things go bad we get down on each other,” maintained Carter.

“Basketball teams are going to have runs; you are going to lose two or three games in a row. When we have adversity and things don’t go well, we need to fight through it together as a team.”

With Carter bringing his intensity to the program, look for PHS to show a lot of fight this winter.

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