Friday, December 7, 2018

Remembering The ’90s

So Wednesday night was billed as "’90s Night" at the Princeton men's basketball game against St. Joe's, with music from that decade to be featured.

During one timeout, TigerBlog heard DJ Darius the First play "U Can't Touch This," the M.C. Hammer, uh, classic.

When he first heard it, TB thought "isn't that from the ’80s?," and so he looked it up on his phone. You know when that song was released?

Jan. 13, 1990. So yeah, it was the 1990s. By less than two weeks, but it still counts, TB presumes.

That same day, the Princeton men's basketball team defeated Brown 64-53 in Providence in a game TigerBlog covered back in his newspaper days. Perhaps the newly released song was played as part of the pregame music? Was there pregame music? TB can't remember that.

TB looked up the box score to that 1990 game, and a lot of classic Princeton basketball from that era was reflected in those numbers.

Kit Mueller played all 40 minutes and had 18 points, seven assists, three rebounds, a block and two steals. Sean Jackson played all 40 minutes and had 17 points, shooting 5 for 9 from three. George Leftwich played 39 minutes, and if you saw George Leftwich play even a quarter as much as TB did, then you know the stat that's coming next: Leftwich had no turnovers.

By the way, among those who played for Brown that night was current Stanford Director of Athletics Bernard Muir.

On the day "U Can't Touch This" was released, Princeton was almost 10 months removed from its 50-49 loss to No. 1 Georgetown in the classic NCAA tournament opening round game. The Tigers would win the Ivy League championship in the 1990 season as well, plus the next two after that, making the Class of 1992 the only one in program history to have won four league championships.

Penn would then win the next three, and Princeton would come back with three more in 1996, 1997 and 1998, the last three years when current head coach Mitch Henderson was running the show. TigerBlog had a front row seat for Ivy League basketball for the entire decade, and there were a lot of nights like that 1990 night in Providence.

As for the "’90s Night" game Wednesday, it was certainly entertaining, even if St. Joe's defeated the Tigers 92-82. Despite that, there's a lot to like about this team, which is heading into the meat of its December schedule.

TigerBlog has written a lot about Devin Cannady, who continued his torrid senior season with 23 more against the Hawks, including another three-pointer from well beyond NBA range, and who is now ninth all-time at Princeton with 1,333 points. And Myles Stephens needs just 16 more points to move into 20th place all-time in scoring at Princeton.

Those two are the known commodities. The two players who have really emerged this year are center Richmond Aririguzoh and guard Jose Morales, both of whom get better each time they step on the court.

Your next chance to see the Tigers is Sunday, when they play in the world's most famous arena (or should that be all caps?), Madison Square Garden, against the 8-0 St. John's Red Storm, coached by Chris Mullin.

St. John's, for a long time, was coached by Lou Carnesecca, the 93-year-old Hall of Famer for whom the on-campus arena at the school is named. TigerBlog has liked St. John's ever since the time MotherBlog told him the story of how she was on a flight that the Johnnies were on and Coach Carnesecca had one of his players apologize to her for not helping her put her bag in the overhead bin. MB couldn't say enough good things about him after that.

St. John's will be another good test for the Tigers, who play next after that in Atlantic City against Iona before heading to Duke.

If you're looking for basketball on Carril Court this weekend, you're in luck. The women are home against Quinnipiac tomorrow evening at 7, after a full day of indoor track and field with the Princeton Invitational.

The game against the Bobcats is the first of three straight against MAAC teams, with a game Tuesday at Monmouth and then next Saturday at home against Marist. Quinnipiac, by the way, is a something of a mid-major powerhouse, having reached the NCAA tournament Sweet 16 two years ago and having won a game in the NCAA tournament last year.

TigerBlog interviewed Carlie Littlefield during halftime of the men's game Wednesday night. The sophomore has carried a lot of the load this year with the three injured players - Bella Alarie, Qalea Ismail and Taylor Baur - out of the lineup, and she talked about that responsibility during the interview.

She also talked about her time in Vietnam this past summer with the Coach For College program, which is also the subject of this week's edition of "Beyond the Stripes." You can see the video HERE.

Littlefield averaged 8.3 points in 28 minutes per game last year. Those numbers are up to 14.8 and 35.0 this year, both of which are team bests, but her game - last year or this year - isn't defined by stats. She plays with great maturity and leadership, and it's easy to forget she's in the first third of her sophomore season still.

So it's Princeton-Quinnipiac women tomorrow at 7 on Carril Court. The men's game is Sunday at 1:30ish (it's the second game of a doubleheader) on Fox Sports 1.

As for the rest of the weekend in Princeton Athletics, it's a relatively busy one, with men's hockey also at home. You can see all of the events HERE.

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