Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The Reunions Report

If you like the sound of TigerBlog's voice, then the Reunions episode of "The Court Report" is for you.
HERE. Listen for yourself. 

It's just short of 30 minutes, which makes it the longest podcast TigerBlog has done. And that's without any games in the last three months or in the next five months.

There's always something going on in every program, of course, and this has been an incredibly busy stretch for Courtney Banghart and the women's basketball team. In a very short amount of time, the women's basketball Class of 2022 was announced, a group that is six members strong (and can be seen HERE). In addition, Courtney has had to revamp the majority of her coaching staff.

Kaitlyn Cresencia, the volunteer assistant, left to go to Mercer, an NCAA tournament team a year ago. Meghin Williams, the Director of Women's Basketball Operations, has also left as she will be taking an administrative position at another school.

And, as TB wrote about two weeks ago, Milena Flores is leaving Princeton as well, returning to her hometown near Seattle.

That's a lot to take care of in a short time.

Courtney talked about the incoming players and the outgoing coaches on the podcast. She also talked about Milena's replacement, Addie Micir.

Addie was the unanimous Ivy League Player of the Year back in 2011, becoming the first Princeton women's basketball player ever to win the award. She also was a three-time All-Ivy player, and she led Princeton to the 2010 and 2011 NCAA tournaments, the first two in program history.

She's returning to Princeton from Dartmouth, where she coached and got her master's. She tweeted this:
She also tweeted her sincere affection for her time at Dartmouth as well. That was classy.

Trivia time: Micir scored 1,188 points in her Princeton career, which was ninth-best in program history when she graduated. Since then, she has been passed by four players. Name the four. TigerBlog will give you a few paragraphs (and hopefully will remember to put the answer in).

One who hasn't passed Micir is Bella Alarie, who has 776 career points after two seasons. The record is 1,683, held since 1990 by Sandi Bittler Leland. Bella will make a real run at that number, though the fact that she also figures to be in the top 10 in assists may keep her from getting there. And that she's only averaged 30 minutes per game for her first two years, and less than 30 in Ivy games.

As for Micir, she came to Princeton at the same time that Banghart did. Micir went to Council Rock North High School, about 30 minutes from Princeton, and she came to Princeton at the same time as Banghart, playing on the 2007-08 team that went 7-23. Her sophomore year saw Princeton improve to 14-14.

By her junior year it was 26-3 and the first NCAA appearance for the program. Another one followed a year later. Princeton went 32-1 in her final 33 Ivy League games.

Now she's back, taking up for Milena on a team that won the Ivy League title (sixth under Banghart) and went to the NCAA tournament (seventh NCAA, ninth postseason in nine years). In doing so, she brings back someone whose heart has always been here.

Also, the four who have passed Addie Micir are: Niveen Rasheed (1,617), Lauren Edwards (1,319), Michelle Miller (1,314) and Blake Dietrick (1,233).

Anyway, the podcast is a good one. And a long one.

One of the subjects is Reunions, which for Princeton women's basketball is just one giant party. TB mentions that it's fascinating the way that players who never played together here simply latch onto one another, and Courtney said that in their pickup game, they play odd number years against even number years. That's pretty good.

The two also talk about graduation, which begins today at 10:30 outside Nassau Hall. It's a special occasion for everyone who ever graduates from Princeton, and TigerBlog loves to go and watch them all as they walk out after the ceremony.

On the podcast, Courtney calls it a sad occasion. She has three seniors - Tia Weledji, Leslie Robinson and Kenya Holland - and Courtney says its sad to go from seeing them every day to seeing them at a few games and Reunions.

She talked earlier about how much time goes into recruiting a class, and it's clear that she's heavily invested in the personal development that goes into the time her players have here. And now they go their own ways.

And that's your basic synopsis of the podcast. Tune in. You won't have another Court Report until mid-July or so.

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