Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Complete Set

TigerBlog had no way to watch the Orlando Magic game Monday night, so he had the live stats up instead.

Princeton alum entered the game in the fourth quarter. At first, Cannady's only stat was a blocked shot, which is a pretty good sign for his defensive intensity.

Then he hit a three-pointer, his first NBA career three. Then he hit another. Then he was fouled hitting a third, and he made two of the three foul shots.

That was Cannady's third NBA game. His point totals increased incrementally, going from two to four to eight.

Perhaps having seen that, TigerBlog was surprised by the news yesterday afternoon that Cannady, under a 10-day contract, had been released by Orlando. It wasn't until the Office of Athletic Communications meeting yesterday afternoon that it was explained to TB that it was very likely a procedural move, that Orlando needed to release Cannady to sign frontcourtman Donta Hall and now Cannady is likely to be resigned. 

TB certainly hopes so. If you're looking for an indication as to why TigerBlog believes Cannady can be a long-term NBA player, you need look no further than the story on the Magic's website after the game. More specifically, you need look no further than the first sentence of that story:

In the NBA nowadays, it’s hard to play well offensively if 3-pointers aren’t dropping.  

There you have it. Orlando is one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the NBA. In its last 10 games, the team is shooting less than 30 percent, which is the worst percentage in the league during that stretch. Couple that with how many three-pointers are taken in the NBA these days, and that's not a winning formula.

Cannady can definitely shoot. He has limitless range. He often took threes from well beyond the arc at Princeton, well beyond the NBA line too. He also shoots with incredible confidence, whether they're falling or not. 

As Pete Carril often said, you need guys who can take the 10th shot without hesitating even if they missed the first nine. Cannady is that guy, though it's hard to imagine that he would ever miss the first nine.

It's been great to see how Cannady has stepped in and shown what he can do given his first NBA opportunity. In case you forgot, Cannady's season included being the MVP of the G-League finals.

Cannady's NBA debut gave Princeton a "complete set" of alums in the four major professional sports. 

That's a pretty impressive fact. 

You can go beyond those four and find Princetonians in other professional leagues, including the WNBA, the National Women's Soccer League, the National Women's Hockey League and the Premiere Lacrosse League.

Princeton has a long history of sending athletes to the professional ranks. Its contributions to Major League Baseball date back to the 1800s, for that matter.

Princeton's first Major League Baseball players were Woody Wagenhurst and Dan Bickham both made their debuts in the same season (Wagenhurst played for St. Louis and Bickham played for Cincinnati). The year? How about 1888.

So when was the last time Princeton had at least one player on an active roster for the four major professional sports at the same time? Any guesses?

TigerBlog, being the historian he is, decided to look this up. 

The answer is ... never before. 

There have been times where it's been close. Take, for instance, 1980 and 1981.

Syl Apps played in the NHL from 1970-80. Carl Barisich played in the NFL from 1973-81. Both Armond Hill (1976-83) and Brian Taylor (1976-82) were in the NBA for those years as well (Taylor was also in the ABA from 1972-76). 

Princeton alum Bob Tufts, Class of 1977, pitched for three seasons in the Major Leagues - in 1981, 1982 and 1983. He and Apps didn't overlap, so there was no "complete set" at the time.

Princeton has had at least one alum on an active Major League Baseball roster since Chris Young broke in during the 2004 season. In addition to Young, that roster includes Will Venable, Ross Ohlendorf, Danny Barnes, Matt Bowman, David Hale and Mike Ford.

Princeton has had an active NFL player since 2013, when Mike Catapano was drafted by the Chiefs. He has been followed by Caraun Reid, Seth DeValve, Chad Kanoff, Stephen Carlson, John Lovett and Jesper Horsted. 

The Tigers connection with the NHL goes back further than those, all the way to 1999, when Jeff Halpern made his debut. Since then, the run has been continuous, with Chris Corrinet, George Parros, Darroll Powe, Kevin Westgarth, Mike Moore, Mike Condon, Taylor Fedun, Eric Robinson, Max Veronneau, Ryan Kuffner and Josh Teves.

And then Cannady joined the list. 

As TB has said, he thinks Cannady is there for awhile, and nothing that happened yesterday has changed that.

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