Tuesday, January 12, 2016


In a normal year, TigerBlog will see Eddie Timanus and Patrick Stevens at the NCAA men's lacrosse Final Four - and that's about it.

And yet, he feels like he's in touch with them everyday. That's what Twitter is all about.

Eddie is a writer for the USA Today. Perhaps you know him as the blind contestant on Jeopardy who won more than $80,000 while becoming a five-time champion and playing in subsequent competitions.

One of Eddie's big claims to fame is that he tweets song lyrics - classic rock, mostly - in the morning and at night. TigerBlog's day isn't really complete until he sees them, and it annoys him when he doesn't know what song they're from. 

Patrick? His Twitter account says that he's a "media free agent covering college football, basketball and lacrosse, 140 characters at a time." That's about right, though he is centered in Washington, D.C.

They're not exactly your stereotypical sportswriting duo. Nope. They're both very nice, ego-free professionals.

Plus, they're big lacrosse guys, so obviously that vaults them way up near the top of the list. Stevens puts together the Division I men's lacrosse composite schedule each year, and he recently completed the 2016 one, which indicates that opening day is - get this - three weeks from Saturday, with nine games no less.

Patrick had a big day this past Saturday, when he went to four Division I games in one day, all in D.C. His hashtag of #4Games1City1Day was catchy.

Maybe it would have been catchier with #4Games1City1Day2PrincetonAlumsCoaching.

His day started at noon with DePaul at Georgetown, coached by John Thompson, Princeton Class of 1988. His day continued with Game 2, which was Lehigh at American, coached by Mike Brennan, Princeton Class of 1994.

Brennan, of course, was an assistant coach under Thompson at both Princeton and Georgetown.

He was also a point guard at Princeton under Pete Carril, who found himself on CBS in 1995 after winning his 500th career game. Every time the interviewer - who was Pat O'Brien, remember him? - asked Carril a question, he brought it back to how Brennan had graduated.

So, Princeton fans, who was the point guard who replaced Brennan? It'll come to you.

TigerBlog would have guessed that Brennan was in the top 10 in Princeton history in assists, but he isn't. He does rank seventh at Princeton in three-point percentage in a season, with a .491 percentage in 1992-93. Who are the six ahead of him?

Dave Orlandini, Matt Lapin, Tim Neff, Will Barrett, Marcus Schroeder, Matt Henshon.

Orlandini, in the 1987-88 season, shot a ridiculous 60 for 110 from three-point range, which is .545. That's the record.

Oh, and the point guard who replaced Brennan? Current head coach Mitch Henderson.

Of all of the Princeton men's basketball players TigerBlog knew during the 13 years he was with the team for basically every game (1989-2002), maybe none of them said less than Brennan. When Brennan did speak, though, he was always direct, polite, humble and honest - and usually hilarious. He is an all-time TigerBlog favorite.

So, too, is Thompson. Like Brennan, Thompson is also direct, polite, humble and honest - and usually hilarious.

Thompson did one of the greatest coaching jobs in Princeton history, back in 2000-01, when he led the Tigers to the Ivy title after taking over when Bill Carmody left for Northwestern in early September. Thompson's team also lost, among others, Chris Young (signed baseball contract) and Spencer Gloger (transferred back to UCLA).

Princeton went into the last game of the regular season a game ahead of Penn and then blew the Quakers out in the second half to win 68-52. Nate Walton, who was robbed of the Ivy League Player of the Year award that year, had one of the all-time great stat lines that night - nine points, eight rebounds, seven assists, six steals.

From that beginning, Thompson has been to the NCAA tournament more times than not in his head coaching career (10 trips in 15 years, to be exact, with four other NIT trips), including two NCAA tournaments in four years at Princeton (and an NIT) and one Final Four in his time at Georgetown.

If you only know John Thompson III from TV, TigerBlog can tell you that you will meet very few higher quality people in your life.

Anyway, that's the two Princeton alums that Patrick Stevens saw Saturday.

The last two games were Coppin State at Howard and then finally Duquesne at George Washington. According to his story, he drove 86 miles on the day and spent three hours and 33 minutes in his car for the day. That's completely believable to anyone who has ever driven around D.C.

TigerBlog, back in his newspaper days, would often cover events on three campuses in one day. That would be in the spring, when he'd go to Princeton for rowing and/or lacrosse and then Rider and the College of New Jersey for baseball or softball.

He can't remember ever doing four in one day.

Patrick Stevens did that Saturday.

It makes for a pretty nice story, which you can read HERE.

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