Thursday, December 22, 2016

A Thousand Thoughts

TigerBlog begins today with the answer to the question posed about any other times Princeton men's basketball had a game where two players had at least 26 points.

Here is the list (thanks to research from TigerBlog colleague Andrew Borders):
1963: Bill Bradley (26) & Art Hyland (27), Dartmouth  
1963: Bill Bradley (34) & Art Hyland (26), Brown
1969: John Hummer (32) & Geoff Petrie (31), Indiana 
1971: Ted Manakas (27) & Brian Taylor (26), Dartmouth 
1971: Bill Sickler (26) & Brian Taylor (26), Cornell  
2006: Scott Greenman (27) & Noah Savage (28), Cornell
2016: Steven Cook (30) & Devin Cannady (26), Monmouth

Cook and Cannady did so in Tuesday night's game. That marked only the second time in the last 45 years it's been done.

If you think of all the great players who have played at Princeton in the last 45 years, then that's really saying something. Even with the changes in the pace at which the game is played (first the advent of the shot clock, then the reduction of the shot clock to its current 30 seconds), on any given night in the last 45 years a set of Princeton teammates could have both started dropping in shots.

Kit Mueller and Sean Jackson? Gabe Lewullis and Brian Earl? Steve Goodrich and Mitch Henderson? Bob Scrabis and Joe Scott? Rick Hielscher and Chris Mooney? Nope.

TigerBlog actually thought it might have been Judson Wallace and Will Venable, but that wasn't right either.

Cook's 30-point outburst left him with 892 for his career. He would need to average 7.2 per game to get to 1,000 for his career by the end of the regular season, with his first chance to get to 900 tonight at Bucknell (7 pm tip).

Cook, should he get there, would be the 32nd player in program history to reach 1,000 points for his career. The 31st was Spencer Weisz, who did so earlier this month in Hawaii, and who now has 1,023, one away from T.J. Bray for 29th place.

Cannady, by the way, is closing in on the halfway mark, with 468 points in less than a year and a half. 

As TB thought about it, he wondered how many of those on the list did so in three years. The answer is, interestingly, 16; that would be half the number if Cook reaches the list.

The first 1,000-point scorer at Princeton was Bud Haabestad, who graduated in 1955. In the next 23 years, Princeton would have 15 more 1,000-point scorers, all of whom played three seasons.

Since then, Princeton has had another 15 1,000-point scorers - in 39 seasons.

What does this say? It's pretty interesting to TigerBlog.

On the one hand, the ones who played only three years all played with no shot clock or three-point shot. With no shot clock, the thought would be that games were played at a slower pace, which is what brought about the shot clock itself.

On the other hand, Pete Carril, in his 29 years at Princeton, was all about controlling tempo and pace. At Princeton, at least, the 29 year prior to his arrival were played at a much faster rate.

It makes TB wonder what Princeton basketball would have looked like under a 30-second shot clock at Carril. Could they even have co-existed at all?

Butch van Breda Kolff coached three 1,000-point scorers at Princeton and only one who played more than half his career for van Breda Kolff. The two who played one season for Butch were Art Hyland and Chris Thomforde.

The one who played more than half his career for Butch was of course Bill Bradley, the all-time leading scorer at Princeton with 2,503. The 1964-65 team is the second-highest scoring team in school history, but Bradley was the only one on the team who would reach 1,000 points for his career.

TigerBlog was in attendance when maybe 10 of the 31 Princeton 1,000-point men's scorers got there. He remembers three of them more than any of the others.

One was Chris Mooney, now the Richmond head coach, who reached the 1,000-point mark at Yale in 1994. What stands out to TB is that it gave Mooney 1,000 points in 100 games, en route to 1,071 points in 107 games.

Another was when Sydney Johnson got there and did so in style. Johnson had 996 points when he nailed a three-pointer, was fouled and then made the foul shot.

The third was Gabe Lewullis, who did so in Hawaii at the 1998 Rainbow Classic, which Princeton won with wins over Florida State, Texas and UNC Charlotte. TigerBlog went to the public address announcer and mentioned that Lewullis was two short of 1,000. Would he make an announcement? Sure, he said.

And so at the next media timeout, after Lewullis had gotten there, he made the announcement. TigerBlog wasn't sure how the laid back Hawaiian crowd would react, but they gave him a long, loud standing ovation.

And that's 828 words without ever getting to what TB was going to write about today, which was going to have something to do television shows. Oh well. He'll have to wait for those for another day.

In the meantime, it's Princeton at Bucknell tonight. TigerBlog hasn't yet played head coach Mitch Henderson in ping pong yet, though TB did practice in the Jadwin lobby yesterday morning.

It left him less than optimistic about his chances of winning. Oh well. He'll do his best and see what happens. No stress. 

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