North Carolina’s Princeton Hall to make tournament debut

Princeton Hall coach John McCrimmon isn’t sure how long it will take for his team to come together this year but he’s convinced that by the end of the season the Trojans will be good.

With rotation that includes just one returning starter, two freshman and a player, who wasn’t in the program last year, there will be an on-court orientation process that could result in the Trojans being upside down in the win column early in the season but this team is positioning itself to become a team to be reckoned with in the near future.

“Unfortunately this ( Shootout) is at the beginning of the season. We will get a few games in before the tournament but we are so young that I think it is going to take us awhile to jell,” McCrimmon said. “We’re still getting adjusted to each other. Hopefully, we can be competitive and be invited back to the tournament next year. I think we will be okay early in the season but by the second half of the season, we should be pretty good. By then I think you will see more of a finished product.”

Prince Hall is located in Charlotte, NC and has an enrollment of about 100 students but as a boarding school, it attracts student-athletes from around the country and McCrimmon believes he has a roster loaded with future Division I athletes.

Princeton Hall has only been competing in athletics for two years. The Trojans had a 26-4 record two years ago and last year there were 10-3 before they had their season cut short due to some academic issues.

Senior point guard. John McCrimmon is the team’s lone returning starter. He averaged 17 points and 10 assists last year and shares the same name as his head coach but is not related. He will be counted on to provide leadership and help the youth movement mature quickly.

Freshman Tyler James is a 6-4, shooting guard from New York City. He’s been playing in the Under Armour Circuit. He’s being groomed as the team’s future point guard but this year he will be playing the two-guard spot. Coach McCrimmon believes James has the talent to become a top 100 player nationally for his class.

Another freshman that will make an impact this year is Fallau Cisse, a 6-6, wing player. He turned 14 last month but is ahead of his class. He could be one of the best players in his class in the country by the end of the year.

The Trojans also have Faty Gueye, a 7-1, 219 pound Junior, who wasn’t in the program last year. He’s getting interest from ACC schools but has not had any offers yet. If he continues to develop by the end of next summer, he could have his pick of major Division I school to choose from.

“We’re young, tall and athletic. We have five freshmen this year and I play everyone,” coach McCrimmon said. “We had a top 25 player, who was No. 3 in his class, who transferred but we still wanted to come to the tournament because we know that the competition will help our team get better and show us what areas we need to improve.”

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