The Princeton men’s basketball team had a chance to make history on Sunday afternoon in a matinee matchup with St. Joseph’s at Hagan Arena. A win and the 9-0 Tigers would have started the season 10-0 for the first time in the illustrious history of Princeton basketball.
It didn’t happen. The Hawks defended their home court, 74-70, in front of a raucous crowd and halted Princeton’s nine-game winning streak, the second longest in the nation.
Here are three takeaways from Princeton’s first setback of the season:
Editor’s note: Ivy Hoops Online contributor Erica Denhoff caught up with former Princeton hoops great Will Venable, who just finished his first season as Boston Red Sox bench coach and reflected on a remarkable two-sport career and Ivy League basketball’s place in it.
Will Venable, Princeton ‘05, shines brightest on the biggest stages.
Against JJ Redick-led No. 5 Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Jan. 5, 2005, Venable, a senior guard, played 39 minutes and put on an offensive skills clinic. He scored 21 points, dished out three assists and collected four rebounds in a 59-46 loss for the Tigers. Venable’s athletic defensive play came to the fore as he stole the ball three times from the Blue Devils.
“Venable was terrific tonight,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. ” … He is a heck of a competitor, in the Ivy League or any league.”
“As we go into our league play, I know that Will Venable is going to give me that 100 percent effort for 40 minutes every single night,” then-Princeton coach Joe Scott said.
Almost one month to the day later, Venable demonstrated both coaches described him accurately.
Former Columbia standout Patrick Tapé decommitted from Duke, 247Sports reported Thursday, just nine days after the Charlotte, N.C. native reportedly chose Duke over Syracuse, USC and Ohio State, citing close proximity to his family.
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.
Penn is next because the Palestra bathrooms are hallowed ground … if you pick the right door.
There are few things more deflating for a Penn hoops fan than losing to Princeton. The now infamous “Black Tuesday” incident of February 1999 was unprecedented in both its pain and scope. The Tigers roared back from an incredible 33-9 halftime deficit at the Palestra to cap one of the most historic comebacks in the fabled rivalry. The painful 50-49 victory was one that Quaker fans would not soon forget. I attended this game and had never seen a meltdown of this proportion against our principal rival. When I think about, it is still incomprehensible.
However, as they say at the Palestra, “Revenge is a dish served steaming hot.” (I hate clichés.) Six years later, the Tigers had replaced the venerable Pete Carril with the alienating Joe Scott on the Princeton bench. What’s more, they had Judson Wallace mouthing off about how his team would not only win the Ivy title, but sweep the rest of the league as well: “I might get in trouble fast, but our team will win our next 10 games in a row. I know that.”
(For the record, no one likes a braggart from Jersey.)
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 Superfudge is set.
As the new century dawned, cataclysmic changes were occurring in Jadwin Gymnasium. In the spring of 2000,Tiger center Chris Young signed a contract to play professional baseball, thus ending his eligibility for Ivy athletics. (In 2015, he signed on with the Kansas City Royals, continuing an impressive career as a big league starter.)
In June, first assistant coach Joe Scott took the head job at the Air Force Academy. Later in the summer, Bill Carmody departed for the top spot at Northwestern. Almost by default, John Thompson lll emerged from the Carril Cradle to assume the role of head coach.
It is I, The AQ. This week I am guest hosting the IHO Power Rankings. For the purists out there, after the first back-to-back Ivy weekend, the rankings should probably look something like this:
Normally, this list is dutifully accompanied by the earnest commentary and incisive statistical analysis that you’ve come to know and love from IHO. An introspection of our favorite teams that is indeed worthy of our elite educations.
For those of you expecting this, my apologies in advance. This week, since it is still early in the 14-Game Tournament and because there were no real surprises in the games last weekend, I thought it was the perfect time to switch things up a bit. (After all, you have the whole month of February to get your ORAT freak on.) Instead, I’ve decided to rank the teams as I see them which of course has nothing to do with reality. So without further ado, here is The AQ’s “Special” IHO Power Rankings for February 1, 2015.