Penn all-time moment No. 10: Princeton hires Pete Carril

We’re counting down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective. Penn is next because once upon a time, Donald Trump was just another ego-driven Whartonite. 

Pete Carril is a hoops genius. (At least that’s what the folks up north say.) With a 514-261 overall coaching record and the chief architect of the most boring brand of basketball ever conceived by the human brain, Carril does have his merits. His on-the-court antics, I found, were also a constant source of entertainment for generations of Penn students giving birth to the time-honored chant, “Sit Down Pete!” So what does he have to do with Penn basketball?  Well, as Penn coaches came and went (some on to the Hall of Fame), Carril was a constant for more than 30 years in the Penn-Princeton rivalry. For better or worse, he helped build the enmity between the two institutions into one of the most passionate in all of college basketball.

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Wesley Saunders will play for Utah Jazz in NBA Summer League

The new Jazzman.
The new Jazzman.

Per reports from RealGM and SB Nation, recent Harvard graduate Wesley Saunders will play in the NBA Summer League next month as a member of the Utah Jazz.

The news is not surprising, as Saunders participated in a pre-draft workout for the Jazz on June 15, according to Jody Genessy of the Deseret News.

Utah will play six games this summer plus a tournament at the end of the slate.

Of the 13 players who played for the Summer League Jazz in 2014, only four actually played for the Jazz in the 2014-15 regular season, and only one of those four players were undrafted (Ian Clark).

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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.

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

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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Will Wesley Saunders be drafted?

cWesley Saunders 8

Wesley Saunders is looking to make history on Thursday night. If Saunders hears his name called during the NBA Draft, he will become the first Ivy League player to be drafted in 20 years (Jerome Allen, 1995), and the first Harvard player ever to be drafted. If Saunders finds his way to the NBA through the draft or a different route, he will be only the eleventh player in the Ivy League’s storied, 60-year history to reach the Association. Yes, Wesley Saunders could be in rarefied air.

Saunders torched Ivy and high-major defenses alike in his illustrious four years with the Crimson, and he has certainly gotten the attention of NBA scouts, who reserved themselves seats at most of the Crimson’s home games this past season. Wesley Saunders may be a once-in-a-decade Ivy League player, but how does he compare to the top college prospects in the land who are also vying for NBA contracts? Here are a few possible scenarios to get you set for the draft…

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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.

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

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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Penn all-time moment No. 11: A Final Four ‘first’

Wham!

We’re counting down the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s history as part of our Ivy League at 60 retrospective. Warning – the following post is NOT a Princeton article. It’s just a break from the Princeton countdown we’ve been doing.

Winston Churchill once said that if the British Empire were to last a thousand years, the Battle of Britain would be its finest hour. As far as I can see, ol’ Winny had it easy. I mean, what is British history anyway?  Chaucer, afternoon tea, the Magna Carta, David Beckham, Shakespeare, the Hundred Years’ War, and Wham! at Wembley Stadium are mere footnotes in the evolution of the human species.  (I did in fact attend the 1985 Wham! Concert in my freshly coifed Flock of Seagulls hairdo and furtively wept at George Michael’s moving rendition of “Careless Whisper” – totally awesome.)  Naturally, with a feeble heritage like this, one could easily elucidate its finest hour.

I, however, have been tasked with an immanently more daunting mission: chronicling the Top 10 Moments in Pennsylvania Basketball’s glorious history.  Where to begin?  The third-ranked 1971 team? The Final Four?  25 Ivy Titles?

Read morePenn all-time moment No. 11: A Final Four ‘first’

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.

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