Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Some Hoops Numbers

TigerBlog would first like to thank Sabrina King and Sam Shweisky for the words they wrote about Elysee Nicholas, who is leaving Princeton after 40 years there.

They both wrote from the heart, which is the best way to write. Their pieces were really well received, and the subject was a most deserving one. 

That was Monday and Tuesday of this week. For Thursday and Friday, TigerBlog will do some Year in Review stuff. So that only leaves Wednesday.

For today, TB was looking forward to the women's basketball game against Central Florida that was originally going to be at Jadwin Gym. Why wouldn't he be? 

It was Princeton, ranked 42nd in the NET rankings, against yet another really good team, this time at Central Florida team that is 8-2 and ranked 36th.

Sadly, this game was canceled due to Covid issues at UCF. It's the current reality of indoor college sports. TB hopes it's temporary.

With no game to preview, TB can catch up with a few things. 

First, he'll stay with women's basketball and the remarkable rebounding of Ellie Mitchell. There are 28 women in Division I who average at least 10 rebounds per game, and Mitchell is one of them, at 10.1 per game (which ranks her 27th in the country). She's second in the Ivy League, one rebound behind Yale's Camilla Emsbo, the identical twin of Princeton's Kira Emsbo.

Mitchell is averaging 4.0 offensive boards per game, which leads the league and is 23rd in Division I. TB would have guessed she'd have more than four per game, but then again, four per game is a lot obviously.

How many Princeton women's basketball players have ever averaged double figures in rebounds in a season? Three. 

One was Bella Alarie, who averaged 10.6 in 2018-19. One of the others was Margaret Meier, who has the top four single-season rebounding totals in Princeton women's history, including a ridiculous 18.8 in the 1974-75 season. No Princeton basketball player, male or female, has had more rebounds than Meier, who had 1,099 for her career.

Meier's rebounding totals went down each of her four season, from that 18.8 mark her freshman year to 11.8 her senior year of 1977-78. The Princeton women played only 85 games in those four years, or an average of 21.25 games per year. The team in recent years has routinely played in the 30s, which leads to some interesting math.

At her career average of 13.2, and with an additional eight games per year to be on the low end, that would have been an additional 422 rebounds for Meier. Even without those games, she still has 135 more rebounds than Alarie, who is second in women's basketball at Princeton.

Those 13.2 rebounds per game, by the way, still rank ninth all-time in Division I history. Again, that's extraordinary. 

Who is the only Princeton men's player to get 1,000 career rebounds? That would be Bill Bradley, with 1,008. There is a Princeton men's player who had more per game than Meier did, and that was David (Whitey) Fulcomer, who averaged 14.4 from 1955-58. Fulcomer, for his part, finished with 995 boards while playing only 69 games.

Oh, and who is the third Princeton women to average double figures in rebounds for a full season? TB will get back to that.

On the subject of rebounds, Ethan Wright of the men's team ranks 20th in the country in defensive rebounds per game and 26th in the country in double-doubles. Keep in mind that Wright is 6-4.

Tosan Evbuomwan leads the Ivy League and is 28th in the country in assists per game. He averages 5.5 per game, which means he'd finish the regular season with 136, which would be the third-best total in program history. Throw in some postseason games, and he'd move past Kit Mueller (140) into second place, behind only Bill Ryan (161 in 1983-84). 

So those are some interesting basketball numbers.

And the other woman who reached double figures? That would be Ellen DeVoe, who averaged 10.5 in 1984-85. Meier has the top four single-season totals, and Alarie is next. After that DeVoe has the next three.

She also held the women's record for points in a game with 38, set on Jan. 7, 1985, against LIU,  until Alarie smashed that in 2019. Alarie also broke DeVoe's career blocked shots record. 

DeVoe finished her career with 1,290 points.

And, as you probably know already (and will probably say "wow" out loud if you don't), there's also this little fact: Ellen DeVoe is Ethan Wright's mother.

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