Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Talk To Me Goose

What's the best offer you've ever gotten?

TigerBlog was flipping around the channels yesterday when he came across a certain movie at a certain moment when a certain character said "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse."

The movie, of course, is "The Godfather." The line is actually used three times, if TB is correct:
* Michael references how his father had made such an offer to the bandleader to let Johnny out of his contract
* Vito tells Johnny that he's going to make a similar offer to the studio head so that Johnny can get the part in the movie he wants (apparently, this is how Frank Sinatra got the part of "Maggio" in "From Here to Eternity," for which Sinatra won an Academy Award
* Michael says he is going to make Moe Green an offer he can't refuse for his share of the hotel in Las Vegas (this is the one that TB saw yesterday)

Some offers you can't refuse because they just are great offers. Others you can't refuse because Luca Brasi is holding a gun to your head.

TigerBlog isn't sure how many times he's seen "The Godfather," but it's a lot. He can still watch it over and over still and not get tired of it.

The same is true of "A Few Good Men," which for some reason seems to be on a lot lately. Each time, it holds TB's attention.

On the other hand, "The Karate Kid" was on yesterday too, and TB couldn't bring himself to see a minute of it another time. And, as much as this pains him to admit, he hasn't watched much of "A Christmas Story" either of the last two Christmas Eves.

One movie that TigerBlog has seen enough to nearly memorize is "Top Gun." Much to his amazement, he found out that TigerBlog Jr. has never seen the movie.

TB showed his son the trailer for "Top Gun," and TB insists that TBJ would love it, even if he described the trailer as "cheesy ’80s stuff."

That, of course, is the point. Tom Cruise as the great loner fighter pilot? Val Kilmer as his steely-eyed rival? Anthony Edwards as Cruise's tragic sidekick? Kelly McGillis as the instructor who predictably falls in love with Maverick?

Is anything cheesier? 

TigerBlog referred to "Top Gun" during his most recent radio broadcast for Princeton basketball, during Saturday night's 66-58 win over Yale. As he did, it never dawned on him that his partner, Patrick McCarthy, is only two years older than TBJ and might not have ever seen "Top Gun" either.

TB will have to ask him. Oh, and a few days after the fact, TB cannot for the life of him remember how "Top Gun" came up on the radio, but he can remember details of games played 10, 20, 30 years ago. Should this concern him?

The win over Yale was a big one for Princeton, who also defeated Brown 97-66 Friday night. The sweep pushed the Tigers to 3-0 in the Ivy League heading into the break for first semester exams.

There are three unbeaten teams in Ivy basketball now. Princeton is 3-0. Harvard and Columbia are 1-0 each.

This is a different year in Ivy hoops, as you know, with the advent of the league tournament in March at the Palestra. It certainly has made for a different feel, that's for sure.

For instance, Penn is now 0-3 in men's basketball. But if Penn can right the ship and get the fourth spot in the tournament, it knows it'll be playing at home. And, since the Quakers have a lot of work to do to get there, then they'd by definition by on a bit of roll.

The race for fourth place will be big because only the top four get into the tournament. The race for first will be big because the regular-season champ will be the official Ivy champ and because at the very least, that will guarantee a spot in the NIT.

Princeton won the game against Brown easily. Princeton would have won against pretty much any team in the country it played if it could put up these numbers - 37 for 57 shooting from the field (65 percent), 12 for 24 from three-point range (you can figure that percent yourself) and 10 offensive rebounds. Yeah. Any team.

The game Saturday wasn't easy. Yale is the defending champ, and the Bulldogs have added some strong young players to their equation. It's early, but it appears that the three league favorites are Princeton, Yale and Harvard. As such, any game between them will be huge, especially on your home court.

Princeton did not carry the hot shooting over from Friday night. Instead, the Tigers were below 40 percent from the field and below 30 percent from three-point range.

To be precise, Princeton was 7 for 24 from three-point range against Yale, one week after going 3 for 19 against Penn. That's 10 for 43 from three-point range on Saturday nights.

When Princeton shoots like it did against Brown, yeah, it'll be an easy night. When it shoots like it did against Penn and Yale, it's not going to be easy. It's going to be challenging, and it's going to show a lot about the team.

How Princeton reacted both times was impressive.

What Princeton showed is that it can raise its level when it's needed most. It did so after the 26-5 run Penn put together to tie that game, and it did so against Yale on a night when neither team would lead by more than six until the Tigers took control at the end.

Mitch Henderson has found the lineup he likes. Myles Stephens, who scored 36 points on 16 for 24 shooting and played an incredible all-around game all weekend, is an emerging star. Devin Cannady already is one. Amir Bell has been great coming off the bench.

Princeton does have two concerns. One is that the momentum from this weekend will disappear over the next three weeks, though the win over Yale will stay with the team during exams.

The second is that from now on, Princeton has 11 remaining league games, of which seven are on the road.

That's for down the road. For now, Princeton can be pretty pleased with how the Ivy season has started.

Oh, and "Top Gun." TigerBlog was referring to a time when either Cannady or Spencer Weisz did a ball fake to get a defender in the air and then took a step back to shoot a three.

It was like in the movie, when Maverick hit the brakes and let them fly right by.

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