Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The Basketball Game Starts At 5. Got It?

Before TigerBlog says anything else today, he would like start off with this public service messge:


It's a change from the original two start times, and it was moved for ESPNU. So here's the deal: If you're close enough to Princeton to come to the game, then do so. If not, watch it on ESPNU.

At 5.

So you have that straight? Good. You have no excuse for being late.

Speaking of a 5 pm tip, TigerBlog loves it. In fairness, it could be because the game is played four floors above his office, which makes travel time to the game easy. He's loved the Princeton women's team's 6 pm Wednesday starts as well, and attendance has been strong for those game.

TB is interested in the game. He's also interested in what the attendance will be. In a lot of ways, starting at that time could be better than a conventional start at 7. Come to the game, and you're home early.

When TB first started covering Princeton basketball, during the Pete Carril years, he's pretty sure most home games started at 8.

TigerBlog will get back to the basketball game shortly. First, a note about Forest Hills High School.

Art Garfunkel performed on campus yesterday, at Richardson Auditorium. TigerBlog wasn't there to see it, though he is a huge fan of Simon and Garfunkel. Actually, he's always been a bigger fan of Garfunkel.

The duo sang some of the greatest songs TigerBlog has ever heard. If TB were to make a list of his 50 favorite songs of all time, there is no doubt that "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and "The Sounds of Silence" would make the list. Maybe even top 25.

Those are not the only great songs the two created. Nope, there are lots of them, familiar classics like "Mrs. Robinson," "The Boxer," "America," "Scarborough Fair" and many, many others.

Simon and Garfunkel were one of TigerBlog's first musical favorites, and they remain so to the present. TB has always loved folk music, and nobody has ever done it better than Simon and Garfunkel.

Oh, and the two grew up together in Queens and both attended Forest Hills High, from which they  graduated in 1958. Perhaps they both had a shared crush on a girl one year ahead of them, whose name was Gail, but whom you know better as MotherBlog.

And that's your note about Forest Hills High School.

Anything else before the basketball game?

Princeton had the men's and women's hockey ECAC Player of the Week, with Max VĂ©ronneau of the men's team and Cassidy Tucker of the women's team honored. Both of Princeton's goalies earned ECAC honors too, as Colton Phinney was the Goalie of the Week and Steph Neatby was the Rookie of the Week.

When was the last time Princeton had the men's and women's Player of the Week for ECAC hockey? That's right - it was Jan. 16, 2006. Extra credit if you remembered that it was Grant Goeckner-Zoeller for the men and Sarah Butch for the women.

Oh, and thanks to TB's former colleague Yariv Amir for looking that up for him.

And so now TigerBlog can turn his attention to the basketball game, which, as everyone knows, starts at 5. Not 7 or 8. Not 6. 


Princeton is playing its ninth game, but second at home and first at home against a Division I team, after its win over Rowan a few weeks ago. As you think back to that game, what leaps to mind is probably that Princeton scored 108 points, which also means that Princeton is averaging 108 points per game at home.

The opponent, St. Joe's, is exactly the kind of opponent Princeton fans love to see come to Jadwin. A Philadelphia Big 5 school that has made 21 NCAA appearances, including one in the second round a year ago, St. Joe's is close, storied, familiar and always good.

Both teams come into the game at 4-4. St. Joe's was 3-0 before losing four straight - to Ole Miss, N.C. State, Temple and Villanova - and then beating Drexel 72-71 Sunday.

Princeton has won two straight games, defeating Hawaii and Liberty. Those two games were played approximately 5,000 miles apart.

Princeton's next two road games aren't quite as far. They're actually easily driveable, with trips to Monmouth (Tuesday) and Bucknell (Thursday) before two more home games, against Hampton on Dec. 28 and Cal Poly on New Year's Eve afternoon.

Tonight (technically still this afternoon), it'll be Princeton-St. Joe's It should be a good one.

Oh, and one last thing for today.

Hans Brase, Princeton's senior big man, will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury. For Hans, it means the end of his career here, after he also hurt his knee last year and missed the entire year.

Brase was a sure-fire 1,000-point scorer had he stayed healthy. Instead, he finishes with 863 points.

Here is what head coach Mitch Henderson had to say:
"Hans did everything he could to fight back from his injury and get healthy for this season. It is very difficult to go through a season-ending knee injury once, let alone to have it happen twice. This is very tough for him and it's hard to see him have to deal with this again. But Hans is such a large part of our team and our culture. And I look forward to him continuing to be a part of this team as we pursue our goals."

Henderson is right. It is really difficult to go through it once, let alone twice. TigerBlog didn't see the injury live, when Brase was hurt at VCU, but on the video it seemed like he knew it right away.

TigerBlog wishes Brase the best. He always represented Princeton well, and it's easy to tell that he is well-liked on the team.

It's not how he wanted to see his career end.

Or when.

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