Tuesday, April 14, 2020

The Loeb Rules

If you read yesterday's blog, then the name Arthur Loeb might ring a bell.

Loeb was the leading scorer on the 1921-22 Princeton men's basketball team. In fact, Loeb accounted for 325 of the team's 700 points that season, when the Tigers went 20-5 and won the Eastern Intercollegiate Basketball League championship.

Loeb became the program's second player to be a two-time All-American. The first was Cyril Haas in 1916 and 1917.

Who was the third?

Also, Loeb set records for foul shots made in a game and season that stood for a long time. In that 1921-22 season, Loeb had 203 made free throws among his 325 points.

The math would indicate that with no three-point for several decades to come, Loeb scored 122 points on field goals, which would mean he made 203 foul shots and 61 field goals that season.

Did they call things really tightly back then? Was he the Michael Jordan of his time, getting the whistle every time he went to the basket? Did they have the "Loeb Rules?"

Whatever the answer, Arthur Loeb held the record for free throws made in a season until Bill Bradley came along. Bradley still has the top three single-season free throw totals, but Loeb to this day still ranks fourth, meaning that no other player has ever made more foul shots in a season other than Bradley than Arthur Loeb did nearly 100 years ago.

Bradley, by the way, would be the program's next two-time (and then three-time) All-American. No other Princeton players other than Haas, Loeb and Bradley have ever been multiple time All-Americans. 

The team leader this year was Jaelin Llewellyn, who made 85 foul shots. In fact, the top three players on the team this year - Llewellyn, Richmond Aririguzoh and Ryan Schweiger - had 192 between them.

What was it about the game back then? Or about Arthur Loeb's ability to get the foul line.

It had to be something about Loeb. Guess how many foul shots every other remaining Princeton player had combined in 1921-22?

If you guessed "13," you'd be right.

That's 13 total. Not that the next highest total was 13. The next highest total was five, which both Edgardo Correa and Alexander Brawner both had.

In fact, Arthur Loeb still ranks eighth all-time at Princeton in career free throws made, with 342. In the last 25 years, the only Princeton player with more than Loeb was Ian Hummer, who had 349.

TigerBlog tried to find out more about Arthur Loeb and what happened to him after his Princeton basketball days. He could find absolutely nothing, though he did find an obituary for Henry Alfred Loeb, who presumably was Arthur's brother.

Henry's obituary was from Jan. 2, 1998, and it said that he was 90 when he died. It mentions that he went to Horace Mann in New York City and was the youngest of four children.

Henry was a member of the Princeton Class of 1929.

It doesn't mention the names of his siblings, but it does say his father was named Carl Loeb. There was also a Carl Loeb who played basketball at Princeton, so TB will go with the idea that it was Carl Jr. and that Arthur was another brother.

As for Henry, his obit said he was a financier and philanthropist. This was from his memorial page on the Alumni Weekly:
Henry's remarkable philanthropic career included leadership of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, and he was a life trustee of the New School (which gave him an honorary law degree), president of the Mt. Sinai School of Nursing, and a board member of the National Urban League, the Institute for Research on Deafness, and many other charitable organizations. At the start of WWII, Henry volunteered in the Army and became a first lieutenant and tank officer, participating in the Omaha Beach landing. He received a Bronze Star and five battle stars.

That's a remarkable life.

TB will try to find out more about Arthur, both his life and why he shot so many foul shots.

His team made 216 foul shots and he made 203 of them? Seriously, that's about as wild a stat as TB has ever seen from a Princeton team.

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