Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Most Fascinating Fact

As part of a Father's Day gift, TigerBlog received pictures of his two kids from the recently completed high school lacrosse season.

He also got a giant card with a monkey on it. Like, giant. Like nearly three feet tall. 

When he went to put one of the pictures in a frame in his office, he used one that had an older picture showing. When he took the frame off, he saw that there were two others underneath.

He does this all the time. He suspects most people do.

It's actually sort of fun to find which pictures are underneath. It was sort of like Throwback Thursday, only without Twitter and on a Tuesday.

Anyway, this picture was the one of TigerBlog Jr., which TB put over one of TBJ from when he played in a tournament in fourth grade or so. Underneath that was one of TBJ as a Princeton basketball ball boy.

And underneath that? A picture of Kyle Wente as he posted up in a Princeton basketball game. Well, not just any post up. And not just any game.

Wente, who stands about 6-4, is posting up Nick Collison as Princeton hosts Kansas at Jadwin Gym. Collison stands 6-10, and he looks basically the same now, as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Princeton played a home-and-home against Kansas, playing in Lawrence in the 1999-2000 season and then back at Jadwin two years later. Kansas won both, though they were both reasonably competitive.

And, as TigerBlog remembered back - and looked up some info - from those two games, he stumbled upon an incredibly fascinating fact. At least to him. TB has learned that some of the facts he finds fascinating aren't always thought of as fascinating by everyone else.

Like how the career record for points in a career in men's lacrosse was exactly the same at TBJ's high school, Princeton University and Denver prior to the Pioneers' trip to the most recent Final Four. Before that, the record was 247 at all three.

Anyway, don't digress. This isn't about lacrosse. Basketball. Basketball.

Not shockingly, Kansas was loaded then. In fact, the team that played Princeton at Jadwin started Collison, Drew Gooden and Kirk Hinrich, who became longtime NBA players, as well as Aaron Miles, who played briefly in the NBA and still plays in Europe.

By the way, does anyone know who the fifth Kansas starter was in that game? Jeff Boschee. The name familiar?

Wayne Simien, who won an NBA title with the Miami Heat, came off the bench. TigerBlog guesses there haven't been too many games in Jadwin where one team brought a future NBA champion off the bench.

He does know the last time a future NBA player came off the bench in a game at Jadwin. That would be Jeremy Lin, who didn't start the 2007 game at Jadwin for Harvard. The Crimson started three guards in that game, and none of them were Lin, who played 19 minutes and scored two points.

Meanwhile, back at Princeton-Kansas.

The teams played in the legendary and spectacular Allen Field House (picture the Palestra doubled in size) in Lawrence on Dec. 22, 1999. Here's what TigerBlog remembers about that game:

* you know you got up early when you wake up at home, go to the airport, fly to Kansas City, rent a car, drive an hour to Lawrence and get to the hotel there in time for the breakfast buffet. That's what TigerBlog and Tom McCarthy did

* Roy Williams was the Kansas coach back then. He agreed to do a pregame interview with McCarthy but misunderstood the Kansas SID, who said he had to talk to two people. Williams thought that the two people from a local TV station were the two he had to talk to, but really he had two separate interviews, that one and then with McCarthy. TB and McCarthy thought Williams would explode on the SID guy, but instead he apologized for the misunderstanding. Then McCarthy had to change the batteries on his recorder, causing Williams to have to wait. And what did he do? Put his arm around McCarthy and said "it's okay Tom, we've all been there."

* the brownies in the media room were made by one of the women who worked in the Kansas athletic department, a very grandmotherly looking woman. They were the best brownies TB has ever had.

* oh, and Chris Young was unstoppable. Young led everyone with 20 points on 8 for 12 shooting, but it wasn't enough as Princeton lost 82-67.

Then, two seasons later, was the game at Jadwin, with attendance listed as 6,861.

Princeton lost that one 78-62 after trailing 35-29 when Ed Persia dropped in a three-pointer at the first half buzzer.

Princeton had four players in double figures in the game. Mike Bechtold, Andre Logan and Judson Wallace had 10 each.

The Tiger leader that night? Hint, he's still playing professionally.

Answer - Will Venable. The Padres outfielder had 11 points in 23 minutes in that one.

And the fascinating fact?

Princeton played Kansas in basketball 14 and 16 years ago. Princeton's leading scorer in each game is still an active Major League Baseball player.

Now that's fascinating.

Not like the lacrosse thing, but fascinating.

No comments: