The Princeton basketball community lost a father figure Monday with the death of its legendary coach, Pete Carril.
It is difficult to express in a short essay the importance of Pete Carril to followers of Princeton basketball or to the game of basketball itself. Most of the epitaphs I digested in the immediate aftermath of the news of Carril’s passing emphasized his coaching record – 514 wins, which remains an all-time record among Ivy League coaches – and his signature style of coaching, including his frumpy demeanor, and of course his perfection of the Princeton offense, which became stylish after Princeton defeated UCLA in the 1996 NCAA tournament.
The Princeton men traveled across the country to meet Oregon State, winner of last year’s Pac-12 championship and Elite 8 darling. Tiger fans recall the six-year tenure Craig Robinson had as head coach in Corvallis.
The Tigers held the lead for most of Sunday afternoon’s contest. In the end, Princeton managed to survive a late run by the home team, which came from 11 points down in the final five minutes to get within one.
Powered by the best all-around game in the career of senior guard Ethan Wright, Princeton managed an 81-80 victory.
Miye Oni returned to the Utah Jazz official 17-man roster for the Jazz’s NBA season reopening win over the New Orleans Pelicans in Orlando on TNT Thursday evening, the NBA’s first action since March 11 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Oni did not play but did join the other players in kneeling for the national anthem. Oni wore Power to the People on the back of his jersey, as all of his teammates opted to replace their last names on their jerseys with a message of social justice.
Oni briefly got playing time toward the end of the Jazz’s second game Saturday, a 110-94 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder in Orlando. In his sixth NBA game, Oni pitched in three points, two rebounds, a steal and a block in just under six minutes of action.
Dartmouth men announce Class of 2024
Dartmouth men’s basketball recently announced its Class of 2024 on Twitter:
The 2019-20 Princeton women’s basketball team was by no means a “one-hit wonder.”
It was the product of a process begun more than a dozen years ago. Successful coaches do more than win games; they build a program, an organization that can produce highly competitive teams year after year. Successful programs are designed to withstand graduations, injuries, and the inevitable clash of egos and personalities in groups of a dozen or more highly competitive and talented individuals. To achieve success in college basketball over time is incredibly difficult. To achieve credibility on the national scene with a mid-major program and no athletic scholarships defies belief. Princeton has done that.
In 1970, the 225th year of Princeton’s existence, school administrators decided to adopt the revolutionary idea of coeducation, not coincidentally, I have always believed, in the year following my graduation. One year later, varsity basketball was introduced as a women’s intercollegiate sport. The Tigers enjoyed early success, winning the first four Ivy titles following the launching of a women’s postseason tournament in 1975. (The women played a postseason tournament until 1982. In 2017, the present tournament format was adopted. The top four men’s and women’s teams compete at the same site over the same weekend to determine the league’s NCAA representatives.)
Princeton Bella Alarie and the rest of her USA teammates earned the silver medal at the recent Pan American Games in Lima, Peru. The U.S. went 4-1 overall but lost the finals to Brazil, 79-73. This is the second silver medal for the two-time Ivy Player of the Year, as she was a member of the U-19 FIBA World Cup team in the summer of 2017. Alarie finished the tournament averaging 6.6 points, 21.4 minutes and 5.6 rebounds a game. Her four total blocks and eight steals led the team. She shot 50% from two (15-for-30) and the free throw line (3-for-6), but missed all three attempts from beyond the arc. After losing a 62-59 heartbreaker to the U.S. in the semifinals, Puerto Rico bounced back to defeat Columbia, 66-55, in the third-place game.
Alarie wasn’t the only Ivy Leaguer to take part in the tournament. Recent Dartmouth grad Isalys Quinones played for bronze medalist Puerto Rico. Quinones, a second team All-Ivy forward in 2019, started four of the team’s five games and averaged 7.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 22.4 minutes per contest.
In other Pan American Games action, Brown head coach Mike Martin helped lead the USA men’s team to a bronze medal after a 92-83 victory over the Dominican Republic on August 4.
Former Princeton men’s basketball coach Bill Carmody announced his retirement from coaching late Tuesday afternoon, stepping down as coach at Holy Cross. In a career that spanned over 40 years, Carmody spent 18 of them with the Tigers as an assistant and head coach. He finishes with a record of 342-308 as a Division I head coach at Princeton, Northwestern and Holy Cross, including a 92-25 (.786) mark with the Orange & Black. Between 1996-2000, he led the Tigers to a 50-6 (.893) Ivy record, two first-place finishes, and a first round victory over UNLV in the 1998 NCAA Tournament.
Another week full of Ivy news, with none bigger than Courtney Banghart’s move from Princeton to North Carolina. The former Big Green All-Ivy guard and Tigers head coach signed a five-year contract to take over a Tar Heels program that needs a new start. Per Jeff Gravely of WRAL in Raleigh, Banghart’s contract starts at $650,000 in 2019-2020 and increases to $730,000 in 2024-2025. Athletic and academic bonuses are included that can increase the yearly salary by $10,000 to $470,000.
Not dissimilar from the NCAA Tournament, the Ivy held open shootarounds for the public and press conferences involving coaches and top players yesterday at the Palestra.
One could only wonder during the Yale men’s noon practice what could have been, with arguably the team’s two best players, Jordan Bruner and Makai Mason on the bench, injured and unable to play.
Coach James Jones summed up Mason by noting,”If Makai didn’t have bad luck,he wouldn’t have luck at all,” adding that Mason thinks he may have mono.
Princeton coach Courtney Banghart of Princeton was outspoken in her press conference about the tournament venue. She didn’t find it fully fair that a 1 seed could play a 2 seed on the 2 seed’s home floor, obviously alluding to a possible matchup with Penn on Sunday.