Princeton Season Preview – An Ivy Title There For the Taking

Princeton enters the 2015-16 season riding a wave of high expectations. Last season, the Tiger express was derailed by a 3-8 start, disappointing but not entirely unexpected in view of the preseason loss of senior Denton Koon, from whom great things were anticipated and, clearly, needed. (Koon elected to graduate with his class and will use his fourth year of eligibility at Hofstra.) The Tigers finished on a high note, claiming the last four Ivy contests and third place behind the co-champion Yale Bulldogs and Harvard Crimson. The Tigers’ 9-1 record against all of their Ivy foes other than Harvard and Yale is one of the main reasons for optimism in Jadwin. Another is the  return of five starters and six of the first eight in the rotation, while Harvard and Yale lose All-Ivy caliber players not easily replaced.

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Reading the Ivy tea leaves – Princeton roundup

T.J. Bray, Princeton basketball ’14: I’m excited to see how the guys continue to grow this year, especially the junior class. With Hans (Brase) being the double-double threat that he is every night, I want to see how Spencer (Weisz), Steve (Cook), and Henry (Caruso) continue to expand their games in new ways. There’s always more nuances you can pick up in the Princeton offense and I think all three will have added something over the summer. I’m also looking forward to seeing how the team comes together defensively. This team has the ability to play hard and smart on that end for 40 minutes at a time. If they can do that consistently, there’s no telling where this team can go.

Clay Wilson, Princeton basketball ’15: I would say I’m most excited to see how the incoming freshmen fit into the equation. We have a lot of talent back from last year and the incoming freshmen were all really impressive on their visits so I’m looking forward to seeing which guys can step in right away and help. I’m also looking forward to see how Hans’s game has improved. He had a good summer here in Germany and I think he could potentially be in the running for Ivy League Player of the Year if he continues to play more inside like he did towards the end of last season. Everyone knows he can shoot the three ball, but I think he is most effective when he is in attack mode and inside the arc. It’s gonna be interesting to see who gets playing time because a lot of guys deserve to play, but there is so much talent and only so many minutes to be had.

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Ian Hummer will play for Sacramento Kings in NBA Summer League

(AP Photo/Mel Evans)
(AP Photo/Mel Evans)

The Sacramento Kings need help.  Like, lots of help.

Enter Ian Hummer.

The 2013 Ivy Player of the Year and Princeton graduate is one of 16 players named to the Kings’ 2015 Summer League team Tuesday. Hummer joins big names Willie Cauley-Stein, David Stockton (yes, John Stockton’s son) and a host of others.

Hummer currently plays for Nilan Bisons Loimaa of Finland and joins Wesley Saunders as the second former Ivy League Player of the Year to be competing for a NBA roster spot.

Hummer was invited to the Los Angeles Lakers’ pre-summer league camp in 2013 and played professional club basketball in Germany in 2014.

Princeton all-time moment No. 1: Carril goes out a hero

We’re counting down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective. We started with Princeton because, hey, it”s Princeton.

The 1995-96 season was Pete Carril’s 29th at the helm of the Tigers. At 65 years of age, he was slowing down, inevitably, and he knew it. His last great run had ended in 1992 with a fourth straight Ivy title, the only time one class achieved such a streak. Since then his teams were Ivy also-rans, failing to defeat archrival Penn even once in the last three years. His top assistant, Bill Carmody, was entering his 14th year on the bench. Carmody clearly aspired to run his own show. Retirement rumors would swirl around Carril all season.

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Princeton all-time moment No. 2: The 1965 Final Four run

We’re counting down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective. We’re starting with Princeton because Bill Bradley would have made an excellent 43rd President of the United States.

By 1965, Butch van Breda Kolff and his All-American, Bill Bradley, had captured the hearts of college fans beyond the Ivy League. Winners of two straight Ivy titles, the Tigers entered the campaign as the clear favorite to claim a third. The national experts did not, however, believe the Tigers deserved any consideration for national ranking. The Ivy League was, after all, still the Ivy League.

Bradley was one of five seniors who had been through many battles together. They were joined by juniors Don Rodenbach and Robert Haarlow, as well as a talented sophomore class who would themselves notch an Ivy crown in their careers. The sophomores included Gary Walters, a product of Reading High School where he was coached by Pete Carril, and Ed Hummer, the father of Ian Hummer, who would graduate in 2013 as the second-leading scorer in Tiger history.

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Princeton all-time moment No. 3: Pete Carril to the Hall of Fame

We’re counting down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective. We’re starting with Princeton because that’s where T.S. Eliot is from. “In the room the women come and go/Talking of Michael Bechtold…”

Princeton University was most fortunate that Peter J. Carril, a high school basketball star

from Bethlehem, Pa., decided to play for Lafayette and coach Butch van Breda Kolff. A decade and a half later, when VBK succumbed to the lure of Hollywood’s bright lights, his diminutive protégé was installed as his successor after only one season of college coaching at Lehigh in his hometown.

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Princeton all-time moment No. 4: 1997-98 Ivy champions

We’re counting down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective. We’re starting with Princeton because that’s where Joseph Stalin’s daughter defected to. In Soviet Russia as in the United States, Princeton offense runs you!

Bill Carmody, an honorary member of the Class of 1975, joined Pete Carril’s staff in 1982. He spent the next 14 productive and mostly glorious seasons watching and learning. When Carril decided to retire after winning his final Ivy title on a heart-stopping three pointer by Sydney Johnson in a playoff against Penn (who else?), he made it known that no one was better qualified to succeed him than Bill Carmody.

Bill’s all too-brief four year tenure as head coach was among the most dominant periods ever in the long history of Tiger hoops. His overall record was 92-25. In the Ivy League he was 50-6, including a remarkable 28-0 in 1996-97 and 1997-98.

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Princeton all-time moment No. 5: NIT champions

We’re counting down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective. We’re starting with Princeton because it”s approximately equidistant from Philadelphia and New York, two cities that just love Tiger basketball.

Most fans of college basketball are far too young to remember when the National Invitation Tournament meant something. When it began, New York City was considered the center of the basketball universe and Madison Square Garden the game’s spiritual home. In the years before March Madness and the expanded tournament field, the NIT was accorded a large measure of respect and prestige. By 1975, the NCAA tournament field was 32 teams, the largest it had ever been but less than half of what it is today. The quality of teams available and willing to participate in the NIT was high indeed.

On the whole, the decade of the 1970s may well have been the Golden Age for Tiger basketball, as Pete Carril was able to recruit well enough to produce 11 players who reached the pro ranks in those years. His 1974-75 squad got off to a lackluster start, and, after a one-point loss at Brown, stood at a mediocre 9-8. They casino online would not lose again, notching an impressive win at Virginia on the only occasion in his career when Carril was ejected from the premises for displaying antipathy toward the ACC officiating crew. A 12-2 Ivy record fell one game short of the 13-1 mark compiled by the Quakers, rendering the Tigers an obvious choice for a trip to the Garden.

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Princeton all-time moment No. 6: Bill Bradley enters the Hall of Fame

We’re counting down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective. We’re starting with Princeton because that’s where Aaron Burr is from and it’s been a bad week for Alexander Hamilton.

In the winter and spring of 1961, Bill Bradley of Crystal City, Mo., sifted through 75 scholarship offers to play basketball in college before deciding to accept the one from … Duke. Believing Princeton offered him a better chance to prepare for a foreign service career, Bradley made a late change in plans and enrolled at Old Nassau in September 1961. He received no financial aid. Fortunately, one of the important influences in young Bradley’s life was the Tiger Heisman Trophy recipient, Dick Kazmaier, whose number 42 Bradley proudly wore throughout his Tiger years.

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