#Princeton #mens #basketball #players #balance #Sweet #run #senior #theses #-
PRINCETON — Ryan Langborg got a quick out of his LinkedIn page going viral after the Princeton men’s basketball team’s victory over Missouri sent it to the Sweet 16.
Yep, you got beat by an acquisition analyst.
“I think it’s because we’re at Princeton (and) people look at our academic stuff as well as the athletic,” Langborg said. “I’ve had five or six hundred LinkedIn requests. It’s pretty funny to see.”
For the student-athletes who commit to Princeton, this is all part of the deal. Senior theses are due in a couple weeks, and even a Sweet 16 run that captures the nation’s attention won’t change that.
“I’ve been a little pre-occupied lately,” admitted senior star Tosan Evbuomwan, who is looking at how diversity in executive management in the NBA affects team performance. “I was pretty good in starting a little early knowing the season can get hectic at the end. I’ll be fine. I’ll get it in on time.”
Langborg is using his to determine how traveling across different times zones impacts player performance and whether money lines accurately assess that impact.
He got a first-hand experience with that when the Tigers traveled to Sacramento for their first two NCAA Tournament games.
“It’s definitely harder,” Langborg said. “It’s a long flight, but having a charter flight and a whole row to ourselves it’s easier to sleep on. We got there early and we were kind of able to adjust for the time change. I’m a Cali guy, so it was nice being on the west coast.”
Striking that balance is what the student-athlete experience at Princeton is all about. Evbuomwan was in a three-hour seminar before doing a media availability, senior center Jacob O’Connell is a chemistry major with a thermonuclear dynamics class later that day, sophomore Blake Peters plays Spanish classical guitar, speaks nearly fluent Chinese and wants to be Secretary of State, and junior Zach Martini can match any flag to its corresponding country.
These guys are, pun very much intended, interesting cats.
“These guys know what the signed up for,” said coach Mitch Henderson, joking that his thesis from yesteryear is ‘probably in the trash somewhere.’ “There’s a humility with the group that resonates to all of them. They like each other and they are learning from each other all the time.”
What this group would also like to do is win another basketball game on Friday night when it meets Creighton in the Sweet 16 in Louisville. The No. 15 seed Tigers are here after upset victories over No. 2 seed Arizona and No. 7 seed Missouri.
That’s solely where the focus lies this weekend.
“I focus on class when I’m there and my mind is only on basketball when I’m here,” Evbuomwan said. “It’s a point to separate the two and be present. No thoughts of class or anything like that when I’m down here.”
Win or lose, though, these Tigers have earned their stripes.
“This school has given me so much,” Langborg said. “It’s made me grow up in such a short period of time and take responsibility. It’s not only about the athletics, it’s about the academics as well. This is a place where I can get the best of both worlds.”
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