INSIDE THE PRESS BOX: College Basketball
Former New Trier star basketball player and current Princeton University senior forward Steven Cook will play for the Tigers in the first round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament on March 16.
Princeton (23-6), seeded 12th in the West Region, faces fifth-seeded Notre Dame (25-9) at 11:15 a.m. (Ch. 2), in Buffalo, New York.
The 6-foot-5, 200-pound Cook — a 2013 NTHS graduate and member of the Trevians’ Class 4A supersectional team in his senior season — scored 15 points in Princeton’s 71-59 defeat of Yale in the inaugural Ivy League Tournament final in Philadelphia on March 12.
Cook has started in all 29 games in 2016-17, averaging a team-high-tying 13.7 points per game while shooting 49 percent from the field and 42 percent from three-point range. He also paces the Tigers in steals (46). The economics major ranks second in rebounds (5.1 rpg) among teammates. He was an unanimous first-team all-Ivy League selection.
As a senior at New Trier in 2012-13, Cook averaged 18 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals for a 28-win club.
Lake Forest grad Sam Downey, a 6-9 senior forward for Yale (18-11), finished the league title game with 12 points and six rebounds. He averaged 11.8 points and 6.9 rebounds per game (team high). He was honorable mention all-Ivy League.
Another NT graduate, Tino Malnati, is a 6-3 freshman guard for Northwestern, which earned an NCAA Tournament berth for the first time in school history. Eighth-seeded NU (23-11) plays ninth-seeded Vanderbilt (19-15) in another West Region first-round matchup on March 16. The game is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. (TBS) in Salt Lake City.
And Glenbrook North product Kurt Karis — a 6-1 junior guard — will be in Dayton on March 15, as a member of USC’s team. The Trojans (24-9) battle Providence’s Friars (20-12) in a play-in game.