Tuesday, May 14, 2019

No More At Home

If you're a Philadelphia 76ers fan, like, say, a certain Charles W. Caldwell Jr. Head Coach of Football at Princeton, then that was one tough way for your season to end.

That's up there with anything TigerBlog has ever seen.

If you missed it, the Sixers and Toronto were in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, with the winner to get Milwaukee. The game was tight and clearly headed down the stretch.

That's when fate ripped the hearts of Philly fans out twice. First, there were the three straight 24-second violations. It almost seemed like the shot clock was starting out at 10.

Then there was the game-winner from Khawi Leonard, after the Sixers had rallied to tie it with four seconds left. Leonard, who scored 41 points in a 92-90 win, took the ball, dribbled until he almost ran out of time and then launched a shot from the deep corner that bounced on the rim and decided it like the view, since it hung there for longer than any shot TB has ever seen do so, and then finally dropped in.

It was excruciating for the Sixers. Tough to process, one might say.

Like most general sports fans, TigerBlog watched the Johns Hopkins-Notre Dame men's lacrosse opening round game and flipped over to the NBA game during commercials. He did stay with the basketball game for the final minute or so, or just long enough to see the heartbreaking end.

During one commercial in the lacrosse game, TB did see Philly's J.J. Reddick make two foul shots, and it got him wondering what Reddick's career numbers are from the line, since TB doesn't think he's ever seen him miss a shot between Duke and the NBA. Turns out, he actually has missed 227 NBA foul shots in the regular season and another 27 in the playoffs.

Of course, he's taken 2,073 regular season free throws and 224 playoff ones, which leaves him just short of 90 percent for both. At Duke he was better than 90 percent for his career, shooting 662 for 726, or .912.

Guess they play better free throw defense in the NBA.

Reddick, of course, is one of TB's two least favorite college players ever, and both of them have gone on to become NBA guys he likes. In the case of the other one, he went from being TB's least favorite college player to one of his five favorite NBA players. Who was it?

Patrick Ewing.

Anyway, after Sunday, the Sixers are finished for this season. You know what else is finished?

Home events at Princeton. Yup. Another year come and gone.

At home at least.

There are still eight Princeton teams who are competing in the 2018-19 academic year, including the men's golf team, who is currently at the NCAA regional in Georgia.

The rest of the calendar includes the NCAA women's lacrosse quarterfinal between seventh-seeded Princeton and second-seeded Boston College Saturday at 1 in Chestnut Hill. Princeton fell 16-10 to BC in last year's NCAA second round.

Boston College is 20-1 by the way, with only a 15-13 loss in the ACC championship game to North Carolina. The Eagles also reached the NCAA championship game a year ago, falling to James Madison.

Beyond that, there are the NCAA track and field regionals and national finals and the IRA and NCAA rowing championships. After that, it'll be the curtain on yet another academic year.

TigerBlog tried to figure out how many home events Princeton has in any given academic year, but there's not way to do it other than to simply count them. He'll guess that number is more around 300 though.

That's a lot of events. And when you consider how many people work to get these events to run smoothly, that's a lot of effort, all coordinated by Associate AD for Events Karen Malec and her assistant Abby Ferguson.

It's not easy. There are so many details that go into every event, and the goal is to have those who come here to watch them - and especially those who compete in them - not notice any of those details.

Princeton's home events provide an opportunity to showcase all of the best parts of Princeton Athletics - the athletes, the facilities, the campus, the Department's values. It's an open invitation to the surrounding community to experience Princeton, with almost every event free.

And now, for another year, there are no more events. It's amazing how fast it goes.

Don't worry.

The time between now and opening day 2019-20 will zoom by as well.

1 comment:

D '82 said...

When Kawhi Leonard's shot bounced four times on the rim before dropping softly through, my first thought was the Charles W. Caldwell Jr. Head Coach of Football at Princeton and his outstanding interview of the Princeton University Department of Athletic Communications Contact for Football Emeritus in their informative and highly entertaining most recent podcast episode.

My second thought was that it must have been a wild roller coaster of emotions at the Surace household on Sunday. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall. I suggest that, for future Sixers playoff games, the Department of Athletic Communications train a camera on Coach Surace, much like when a videotape is made of a Princeton team watching the NCAA broadcast to see whether they have made the tournament to win a national championship.