Friday, December 9, 2016

A Grand Night For Spencer Weisz

TigerBlog did not get a lot of sleep Tuesday night, so he knew the odds that he would make it all the way through the Princeton-Hawaii men's basketball game, with its tip after 9:30 Wednesday night, were pretty slim.

He thought maybe halftime at first. Then it became clearer that the second media timeout would be more likely.

He's not sure exactly when he drifted off. He does know two things: 1) Princeton was in control by then and 2) he heard the Princeton University institutional spot.

You know the one. It's the one that's on most TV games in which Princeton plays. The really, really well-narrated one.

Okay, it's TigerBlog who did the narrating. Whether it is award-winning or not, TigerBlog can state that he did it in one take. That has to mean something.

He did see the pregame show for the game.

It was Dec. 7, in Pearl Harbor, on the 75th anniversary of the attack that brought the U.S. into World War II. As TB watched Princeton, with its white long-sleeve shooting shirts on one end of the court, and Hawaii, in its green warmup at the other, his attention was diverted by something amazing on the bottom of the screen.

The game was on Fox Sports 1, and there was a crawl along the bottom, as there is for basically every sports or news channel. It's hard to focus on the crawl and the main part of the screen, and the viewer has to choose which to follow at any given moment.

In many ways, these crawls become nothing more than a distraction, since they are everywhere now. And they're usually just promotions of upcoming events on that network, or a repeat of scores or headlines that you've already seen.

Before the Princeton-Hawaii game, though, it was much different. It was an alphabetical scroll of names, and TB at first wasn't sure what it was. Then it hit him.

These were the names of those killed at Pearl Harbor 75 years earlier to the day.

TigerBlog isn't sure who came up with the idea for doing it. Whoever that person is, he/she deserves a lot of credit for doing it.

Of all of the remembrances for the Pearl Harbor attack that TB saw, this was by far the most powerful.

As for the game, Princeton made shots. It changes everything.

The Tigers were 6 for 26 from three-point range Tuesday night against Cal in a 62-51 loss. They were 10 for 24 from three against Hawaii in the 75-62 win Wednesday night.

In the thigs-that-are-interesting department, Hawaii and Cal both scored 62 points, and both shot exactly the same from three (4 for 19).

Spencer Weisz scored 17 points in the game, leaving him at exactly 1,000 points for his career. He becomes the 31st player in program history to reach the 1,000-point mark.

Weisz, by the way, was one of three Princeton players (along with Steven Cook and Devin Cannady) to recite the Pledge of Allegiance before the game, alongside three players from Hawaii.

What makes the accomplishment more impressive is that Weisz is not a pure scorer. He is a tremendous all-around player who, as such, can do everything on the court well. He is a winning player, one who inspires a lot of confidence whenever he has the ball or is involved in the moment.

TigerBlog always likes to think of historical comparisons for current players. In the case of Weisz, the player he most reminds TB of from Princeton teams of the past is Sydney Johnson, another player who went over 1,000 points while also being able to do everything else on the court well. By the way, that's high praise for Weisz.

Actually, the numbers Weisz puts up might be somewhat unique.

If he maintains his current career averages for just the rest of the regular season (not counting any Ivy League tournament or postseason games), Weisz would finish with 574 rebounds and 335 assists, to go along with 1,218 points.

You know who the last Princeton player with at least those minimums was? Nobody. No Princeton player has ever had at least 1,000 points, let alone 1,200, to go along with 574 rebounds and 335 assists.

The only Princeton player with at least 1,000 points, 525 rebounds and 300 assists is Kit Mueller, for that matter.

Another fascinating thing about Weisz and his 1,000 points is that he is not the first Princeton player to reach that mark in Hawaii. Or the second. Or even the third.

TigerBlog was there when Gabe Lewullis got to 1,000 at the 1998 Rainbow Classic at the University of Hawaii's Sheriff Center. Women's players Maggie Langlas and Kate Thirolf both went over 1,000 in Hawaii as well - in the same game on the same court, though one year later.

Princeton is back on the mainland, in Virginia actually, to take on Liberty tomorrow at 2. The Tigers will also be home against St. Joe's Wednesday in a game that has been moved to 5.

Princeton will also be home this weekend in hockey (men tonight at 7 against Quinnipiac, women home tomorrow and Sunday against Mercyhurst). There will be home wrestling tomorrow (2 against Binghamton) and men's and women's track and field (New Year's Invitational all day).

Before the weekend starts, TigerBlog would like to congratulate Spencer Weisz. With all of the great men's basketball players who have played here, only 31 have gotten to 1,000.

And he'd also like to congratulate whoever's idea it was to run the names of those killed at Pearl Harbor 75 years ago.

It was very respectful.

1 comment:

Mike Knorr said...

While Weisz's numbers are impressive, I don't think he surpassed Bill Bradley's totals. Assists weren't official stats in those days.