Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Princeton Versus The Hawks

TigerBlog can look up all kinds of facts, though some are lost to history and others are just too impossible to track down.

He's wondering the last time the Princeton men's and women's basketball teams both played games on the same night against opponents from two different schools but with the same nickname.

You know, like tonight, when the men are at the Hawks of St. Joe's and the women are home with the Hawks of Monmouth.

If he wants to try to research it with the archives that are stored on E level, he can just walk down the hallway now.

It's official. The Office of Athletic Communications is now on E level of Jadwin Gym. It's been about a week now since everyone has really been moved in, and yesterday afternoon the last piece of the new equation arrived.

It was the new refrigerator.

All that was left was to collect the keys from the old space, which is now basically empty, except for old furniture that will be removed shortly. Pretty soon, it'll be a brand-new space for someone else, the OAC's nearly 50 years there just a memory.

The new space is great. Almost everyone in Jadwin has been to visit - pretty much once each. Now that the newness is wearing off, it'll be easier to tell what the normal visitor flow will be.

The big concern about being downstairs is the absence of daylight. For his entire Princeton career, TigerBlog has looked out across his desk at a window, a balcony, a huge glass front and beyond it the football stadium. Since 1998, the track has been outside the stadium.

Now? If he looks up from his desk, he sees a wall.

So far, it's been fine. Actually, one big difference came up Sunday, when instead of being able to run up to his office before a basketball game, he had to go all the way down to E level.

While he was down there, he watched the end of the Giants-Jets game. He doesn't blame Coughlin for going for it on that fourth down, and neither would anyone else if it had been successful, the Giants got a TD and the game basically was over there.

It's the Tippy Martinez story all over again. TigerBlog will tell that story one day, but the short version is that the outcome after a decision doesn't decide if the decision was correct or not. The logic of the decision was. And in this case, Coughlin's decision-making was good.

Anyway, TB also wanted to watch the beginning of the Princeton-Michigan women's basketball game on television for a few reasons.

One, he wanted to see how Jadwin looked for the women's game, and it looked tremendous. Second, the game was an "at home" broadcast, and TB wanted to see if he could tell the difference.

By "at home," ESPN means that its announcers and most of its production staff are not at the site of the game. Instead, they are in Charlotte or Bristol, watching the game on monitors and producing it from there. The obvious advantage is reduced production and travel costs, as the on-site staff was 18 people instead of the usual 40 or so.

TB would prefer not to have known that the announcers weren't here to see if he could figure it out. He sensed it was a little different, since they couldn't sense the atmosphere in the building and feed off of that energy at times, but maybe he was just thinking that because he knew it was the case.

Speaking of "at home," the Princeton women's basketball team is at home for a bunch of games in a short time. The Michigan game - an impressive 74-57 Tiger win - was the first of four home games in an eight-day stretch.

The run continues tonight, when Monmouth is at Jadwin.

Hopefully the Monmouth women are as entertaining as the men. Surely you have seen something already about the Monmouth men's team's bench, whose members have been featured basically everywhere for their celebrating techniques, especially after the Hawks defeated Notre Dame.

Monmouth's women are 2-4 on the season, though the Hawks are coming off a 23-point win over Niagara in their last game.

After Monmouth, Princeton will host Pitt Saturday at 3. Pitt is 5-3 before tonight's game at home against Mt. St. Mary's (including an 82-45 loss to Michigan in Ann Arbor last week). The last of the four game stretch will be Monday night against Fordham, a WNIT team a year ago.

That's four chances in eight days to see a show well worth seeing, the Princeton women's basketball show. And nearly 2,000 fans were here Sunday for the first one.

TigerBlog isn't sure the last time Princeton women played four non-league home games in eight days. Obviously consecutive home Ivy weekends add up to four home games in eight days, so TB isn't counting that.

After the Fordham game, Princeton will be home in women's basketball once in the following 46 days, with a Jan. 3 game against Hampton.

As for the men, they have their Hawks tonight too, as TB said. The ones from St. Joe's.

Princeton is coming off its first loss of the year, a 91-77 decision at Stony Brook Saturday. St. Joe's is 5-2, with losses to Florida and Villanova - and an 80-78 win over Columbia in its most recent game.

The men are in a stretch of playing eight of 10 games on the road, with home games Dec. 17 against Liberty and Dec. 22 against Bucknell. In fact, those will be Princeton's only two home games in a 54-day stretch.

On the other hand, Philadelphia isn't too far.

So pick one of the games and get to it.

Princeton versus the Hawks. Two different ones, for that matter.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

TB, you've highlighted Princeton's successful fall athletic season. Of the seven autumn sports, we won four Ivy champlionships, capped by a breathless rally in women's volleyball to win a shared title with Harvard. Fans may also be interested in Princeton's strong performance in the three major sports of the fall academic season.

First, Princeton outpointed Harvard to earn the #1 ranking from US News & World Report for the 14th time in the last 16 years. Next, Princeton was the only Ivy League university to have affiliated faculty or alumni win a 2015 Nobel Prize, specifically a current professor (Angus Deaton in economics), a former professor (Arthur McDonald in physics) and a former postdoctoral researcher (Tomas Lindahl in chemistry).

Finally, another dramatic competition unfolded between Princeton and Harvard in the realm of Rhodes scholarships. The Crimson and Tigers won five and four American Rhodes, respectively. (Among many others, women's basketball player Michelle Miller was a finalist.) Then Princeton squash player Nick Barton was named a Rhodes winner from Bermuda, briefly lifting Princeton up into a tie. But the final card was played when Harvard announced a Rhodes winner from Australia to edge back ahead. So no clean sweep for the Tigers, but a commendable fall season nevertheless.