Princeton is in the midst of one of college basketball’s most improbable Sweet 16 runs of all time, and Caden Pierce has played a key role in that.
Pierce, a freshman, has served as a key part of Princeton’s rotation during his first season. He has been a starter and a tenacious rebounder for the Tigers and has helped Princeton overcome its relative lack of size to help it upset Arizona and Missouri.
Pierce may not be a household name, but he still may seem familiar to college basketball and NFL fans alike. Why is that? It’s because he has a sibling who plays in the NFL and another who played for one of the NCAA’s blue-blood programs.
Here’s what to know about Caden Pierce’s family and his connection to one of the Colts’ top receivers.
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Is Caden Pierce related to Alec Pierce?
Yes, Caden Pierce and Alec Pierce are related. Caden, a key cog on Princeton’s Sweet 16 team, is the younger brother of Alec, who plays wide receiver for the Colts.
The elder Pierce was a star at Cincinnati during his college days, as he generated 884 yards and eight touchdowns on 52 catches in his senior season with the Bearcats. He was one of Desmond Ridder’s favorite targets and averaged 17.5 yards per catch during his career.
Pierce was well-regarded entering the 2022 NFL Draft after he measured in at 6-3, 211 pounds but still managed to run a 4.41-second 40-yard dash. That helped him gain momentum and become a second-round pick by the Colts, for whom he totaled 41 catches, 593 yards and two touchdowns as a rookie.
As for the younger Pierce, Caden has focused his efforts more on the basketball court. The 6-6 freshman is taller than his older brother and has found success playing in his first season at Princeton. He leads the Tigers in rebounds per game with 7.4 and played a big part in their run to the Sweet 16, making a couple of clutch free throws to help Princeton in its monumental upset win over Arizona.
Caden’s strong performance against the Wildcats was enough to draw praise from his brother, who took to Twitter to congratulate him.
Proud big brother @CadenPierce_3 https://t.co/2vrzjX4jfD
— Alec Pierce (@alecpierce) March 16, 2023
Now, Caden Pierce will look to keep building on his positive performances as he looks to help the Tigers continue their surprising March Madness run.
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Caden Pierce Princeton stats
Pierce is playing just his first season of college basketball as a freshman, but he has been a key part of Princeton’s rotation and success throughout the season. He is the team’s top rebounder and has been a starter for the Tigers throughout the season.
Princeton doesn’t have a very big lineup, so Pierce’s 6-6 frame has been important for the team. It has also allowed him to emerge as the team’s best rebounder.
Below is a look at Pierce’s stats for the 2022-23 season and where they rank among Princeton’s players.
|Stat||Average||Rank on Princeton|
In two tournament games thus far, Pierce has averaged 7.5 points and 12 rebounds per game. He logged 16 rebounds in Princeton’s 78-63 upset win over Missouri.
Did Alec Pierce play basketball?
Cincinnati’s official website lists that Alec Pierce played basketball during his high school days. However, Pierce’s name is not on the Glenbard West basketball roster that is available on MaxPreps.com. His younger brother Caden and older brother Justin are listed there, but they are the only two Pierces on the team over the last decade.
So, it would appear that Pierce was either only on the team briefly or one of the Bearcats’ website or MaxPreps.com got bad information about Pierce’s playing status.
That said, Pierce wasn’t just a football player in high school. That much we know. He also played volleyball and ran track for the school. He was particularly impressive in track, which he ran only during senior year, and he drew praise from his former coach.
“If he continued to do track, he would have been an All-American [in college],” Glenbard West head coach Chad Hetlet told News 8 in August of 2022.
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Does Caden Pierce play football?
Caden Pierce doesn’t play football at Princeton and it doesn’t appear that he played football in his high school days either. He mostly stuck to the basketball court while also dabbling in golf, in which he performed well.
Pierce was twice named an all-conference golfer and helped lead the golf team to two top-five state tournament finishes during his time in high school.
But like Alec never set foot on the basketball court, Caden did not play football.
Who is Justin Pierce?
In case you read the name Justin Pierce earlier and thought, “Hmm, that sounds familiar. From where do I know him?” we’ve got you covered.
Justin Pierce is the oldest of the three Pierce brothers and played four years of Div. I college basketball. He began his career at William & Mary, where averaged 14.9 points and 8.9 rebounds per game as a junior, and he was named a two-time All-CAA talent.
Pierce then transferred to UNC for his senior season. He came off the bench for the Tar Heels, averaging 5 points, 4 rebounds and 0.9 assists per game in 18.4 minutes during the 2019-20 season.
Pierce didn’t make the NBA after his college career ended, but he was able to play overseas. He most recently played for Mornar Bar of the ABA league.