Thursday, April 16, 2020

Path To Princeton I

Yesterday's trivia involved who had the first made three-pointer in Princeton men's basketball history.
The answer, if you read, was Dave Orlandini. TigerBlog will add to that question today: Princeton had four players make at least one three-pointer in the first game of the 1986-87 season, the first with the three-point shot. How many can you name?

In the meantime, keep in mind that Princeton has made at least one three-point shot in every game it has played since. That's a total of 958 games through this season.

Only one other team in the country has at least one made three-pointer in every game since the rule was enacted. That team is UNLV. Vanderbilt had been on the list until this year, when it had a game with no made three's.

It's hard for TB to imagine a game where Princeton doesn't make one, though there have been a handful of games with only one made three.

The other three players who had at least one made three in that first game in 1986, by the way, were Joe Scott, Bob Scrabis and Mike Harnum. Scott, as you might know, was just rehired as the head coach at Air Force, and he immediately hired Sydney Johnson as his associate head coach.

In keeping with the basketball theme for the week, here's another question for you: Who is the only Princeton men's basketball player ever to be the Ivy League Rookie of the Year and then go on to win Player of the Year later in his career?

There have been nine Ivy men's basketball players who have pulled off that double. Who's the Princeton representative of the group?

Here are some more hints:

He is the only player in program history with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 300 assists and 200 three-pointers. His 1,241 points rank 14th all-time in school history, while he also ranks second in assists with 383 and fifth in three-pointers made with 209.

TB didn't realize his scoring numbers were that good, because he doesn't really think of him as a scorer. He means that in the best possible way.

When TB thinks of watching him, he thinks of someone who did everything really well and who made everyone around him much better. The result was a perfect Ivy League season his senior year and a trip to the NCAA tournament. 

Any guesses?

For one more hint, he's the first subject in a new series that debuts today on It's called "Path to Princeton," and it's going to have a feature each Thursday that will highlight the earliest basketball memories, role models, high school and AAU careers, best moments at Princeton and more through first-hand accounts along with photos.

And who is the first subject?

Spencer Weisz.

The 2014 Ivy Rookie of the Year and 2017 Ivy Player of the Year, Weisz was the leader of the team that went 14-0 in the league season in 2017 and then had two win two more games in the first Ivy League tournament to get to the NCAA tournament. Once there, Princeton fell 60-58 to Notre Dame in the first round.

In that NCAA tournament game, Weisz had one of the most amazing all-around stat lines you'll ever see. He played all 40 minutes against Notre Dame, with a team-high 15 points on 6 for 11 shooting, with five rebounds, four assists, two blocks, a steal and not a single turnover.

That's incredible, no?

Weisz has been playing in Israel since graduation. He talks about that in the piece, as well as how he got into basketball in the first place, his time as a high school standout, where he almost went to college (TB could have told him he was making the right choice among his final two), his time at Princeton, his family, all of it.

The piece is really good. It's definitely worth reading, and it's definitely going to make you want to see the rest of the series.

And that's four basketball stories in four days this week. TB will make it 5 for 5 tomorrow.

Want to know what that one will be about?

While he's been giving out hints all week, here's another one: The WNBA draft is tomorrow night.

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