Princeton Men's Hoops Edged by Rutgers But Logan's Effort Bodes Well for Future
By Bill Alden
Looking at the strapping Andre Logan, it's hard to imagine how physically fragile the 6'6, 210-pound forward has been during his career with the Princeton men's basketball team.
Coming into this season, Logan had been sidelined for 40 of the Tigers' last 55 games due to ACL problems with his left knee that required multiple surgeries.
Then, this fall, just when things seemed to be on track for Logan, he severed tendons in his hand in an on-campus incident. That setback caused to him to miss most of the preseason as well as Princeton's first two games.
If anyone has been due for a reversal of fortune, it is the star-crossed Logan. Last Saturday, as the Tigers battled Rutgers, Logan showed that his luck may be changing as he scored a team-high 11 points in 19 minutes of action.
While the Tigers ultimately dropped a 51-49 nailbiter to the Scarlet Knights before a full-throated crowd of 6,102 at the Louis Brown Athletic Center, Logan's contribution certainly portended well for the future.
A disappointed but relieved Logan saw the positives even as he rued the result of the game. "I've been playing a little bit here and there, today I just wanted to go out there and help us every way possible," said Logan, who shot 5-for-7 against Rutgers and grabbed five rebounds.
"This game was important for my confidence level. I'm excited to go out the rest of the season and see what I can do."
Logan said he felt that he is just about all the way back physically. "Everything's feeling great, my hand, my knee," added Logan, who came into this season averaging 8.0 points a game in his 41 appearances for Princeton.
"Every week of practice under my belt helps me out a lot. I'm going to come in and give it my all, whether it¹s for two minutes or 40. My wind is coming back, I still have to get in a little better shape."
Princeton head coach John Thompson III feels that his talented forward is gradually making progress. "Andre is slowly getting his feel back," said Thompson as he reflected on one of the bright spots of the disappointing loss which dropped Princeton to 4-2 on the season. "He needs time to get physically in shape and to get into the rhythm and flow of the game."
Thompson had little choice but to turn to Logan to influence the flow of the game Saturday as Princeton fell behind Rutgers 27-19 at halftime with star center Judson Wallace struggling through his worst outing so far this season.
With Logan getting extensive time in the second half, Princeton battled back, whittling the Scarlet Knights' lead down to two points on seven occasions. Logan, in fact, had a chance to force overtime but his last second 12-footer rimmed out.
Thompson made no effort to hide his frustration at not getting over the hump and thereby losing a fifth straight game in the series with cross-state rival Rutgers, which improved to 5-1 with the hard-earned win.
"It was just one of those games," said Thompson, who had to grope for the right combination as Wallace scored just five points, nearly 18 points below the 22.8 scoring average he brought into the game, and the Tigers collectively shot 42.2 percent from the field.
"They are a very good defensive team and they came to do what they had to do. They would go on a spurt and we'd respond well to get back into the game. That's what happens when you play good teams."
This Wednesday, the Tigers lock horns with one of the country's best and storied programs as they travel to Durham, N.C. to face third-ranked Duke and the wild throng at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The rejuvenated Logan took on almost a defiant tone as he looked ahead to that match-up which will be nationally televised on ESPN2.
"It's a crazy atmosphere, but by now we're used to it, you get that wherever you go," said Logan, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y.
"We're going in there with our heads held high. That's the thing about this team. We went out to Fresno and we had a tough game in a pretty tough atmosphere and we pulled it out. That's different than we've done in the last couple of years."
And finally having a healthy Logan after two injury-plagued years makes the Tigers a different team.