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Inside Mercer County Community College basketball.

During the preseason and first weekend of the 2011-12 season, Mercer County Community College head coach Howie Levy allowed a group of student filmmakers led by director Zohair Zaidi full access inside practices and the team locker room.

The result is a well-made and fairly unflinching "Hard Knocks"-style look at the Vikings from the often quite different perspectives of the coaching staff and the players.

This video is fully worth 20 minutes of your time, though I should warn you it probably would be rated PG-13 for language.

Alumni Game group photo.

I was urged to stop by Jadwin Gym this afternoon for the annual Reunions Alumni Game and it was great to catch up with some familiar faces, many of a rather recent vintage. Before I split, I was requested to snap a group photo and I've shared it above.

Here's who I recognize/has been ID'd for me from left to right:

Patrick Saunders, Coach Marcus Jenkins, Frank Sowinski, Steve Mills, Edwin Buffmire, Kareem Maddox, John Comfort, Justin Conway, Luke Friedman, Bobby Foley, Coach Dan Geriot, Coach Brian Earl, Noah Savage, Jason Osier, Doug Davis, Kyle Koncz, Aaron Belz, Teddy Gobillot, Howie Levy, Bernie Stiroh, Jesse Rosenfeld, Jay Howson, Jared Katz and Coach Mitch Henderson.

Other former players present while I was around but not pictured: Dan Mavraides, Luke Owings, Jimmy Lane, Conor Neu, Matt Eastwick, Chris Marquardt, Patrick Ekeruo, former assistant Craig Moore and more.

Friday News:

Next season's Northwestern team got a whole lot bigger with the official signing of a 7'0" center from Romania plus a one year forward transfer via Louisville.

Former Tiger captain Al Dufty is remembered.

More on this offseason's hot topic, a possible Ivy League basketball tournament. The most interesting bit of information to me in this piece is who drafted the proposal, which I had not seen reported previously.

Will Venable is ready for his steady approach to pay off.

A tribute to former Mercer County Community College coach Howie Landa is planned for mid-September, including the creation of the Howie Landa Fund. I know this is something current Vikings coach Howie Levy has been closely involved with for a while now.

So much for the Jerome Allen to SMU rumor. Illinois State's Tim Jankovich was hired as the Mustangs' coach-in-waiting.

Last (for now) batch of classic Princeton photos.

Mondays have become a good time on this site to look into the past, and the previous three weeks that has meant scanning photographs from the archives of David Zeft.

This is the last stack that Mr. Zeft loaned to me and includes shots from between 1981 and (roughly) 1993. Click on any scan to enlarge.

Above, Kit Mueller with a righty hook during Princeton's December 1990 victory in the championship game of Iona's on-campus Manufacturers Hanover Classic.

Eight more images after the jump. I'll need help identifying a number of players in some of the team celebrations. That's where you come in!

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Another stack of vintage Princeton photos.

Finally back home with a touch of free time after covering three games the previous three days, I'm chuffed to share with you nine additional photographs ranging between 1980 and 1993 from the collection of David Zeft. Click on any scan to enlarge.

Above, Kit Mueller cuts down the nets at Jadwin Gym after the 1989-90 season finale (you can see part of a Matt Lapin "Senior On A Stick" in the background).

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Princeton J.V. 64 Mercer 63.

Postgame audio - Coach Howie Levy:

Freshman center Bobby Garbade's righty hook shot bounced in at the buzzer to give the Princeton J.V. a one point victory over Howie Levy's Mercer County Community College Vikings (4-21).

It was, depending on your point of view, either the Tigers' third chance to win the game or MCCC's third chance to lose the game in the final seconds.

After the Vikings scored seven straight to pull even in the waning moments, Clay Wilson's far baseline pull up broke a 60-60 tie until Armando Davis promptly placed his team up one with a three point shot on the right wing.

Wilson, who connected eight times from behind the arc on his way to a game best 37 points, could not answer with a long trey try of his own and Mercer was fouled grabbing a rebound.

The front end of a one and one by Filip Sekulic with :10.9 showing came up short and the Tigers first nearly threw an inbounds mid court pass away that Chris Clement ran down in the corner fighting off his man with :04.5 on the clock.

After the subsequent time out, a deflected inbounds from Daniel Edwards drew another second down and to finish off a painful season for Levy's team in appropriately agonizing fashion Clement's inbounds lob to Garbade resulted in the game-winner from the middle of the lane.

Garbade had eight points, Edwards nine, Clement and Brian Fabrizus five each. No other Tigers - including Tom Noonan off the bench - scored.

Video of the exhibition's final moments after the jump.

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Scans from a 1983 program.

Rich Simkus.

As I mentioned previously, a subscriber recently handed me a stack of late 1970s and early 1980s Princeton basketball programs, which I'll be scanning portions of as time allows - hopefully one a week.

I already posted images from the 1981-82 media guide I was gifted but here's the first in this series to share.

This pair of games were significant for completely unrelated reasons, which I discuss after the jump. It is also neat to see images of players in action I've only heard tale of and some of the archival designs are a treat.

Click on any picture to enlarge. Check out the site's extensive Programs category for past scans.

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1981-82 media guide.

Those are some pants.

A subscriber recently handed me a stack of late 1970s and early 1980s Princeton basketball programs, which I'll hopefully be scanning portions of in the weeks to come.

In addition he included a copy of the Tigers' media guide from exactly 30 seasons ago. See some archival photographs (and other items that caught my attention flipping through) after the jump. Click any and all to enlarge.

Several of the guide's graphics I did not include here are already shown in this piece on a Jadwin Gym program from the same time.

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Mercer 58 BMCC 49.

Postgame audio - Coach Howie Levy:

Howie Levy had a right to be pessimistic preceding Mercer County Community College's second basketball game of the season. Not the Pete Carril version of over-exagerated for effect pessimism, either.

His legitimate pessimism was grounded in what had transpired the previous afternoon. The Vikings (1-1) had opened 2011-12 with a horrific first half and a beastly initial showing, held to six points in the nascent 20 minutes of what would end as a 61-25 loss to CCRI.

"Guys weren't ready to play. Some guys showed up late for the game," Levy said of a Saturday to forget. "Just a real horrible performance."

Sunday was a completely different story, the sort of tough half court victory that can get a ramshackle lineup to buy in to the type of basketball their coach believes in.

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2011 Summer Reading (and listening too).

In addition to this site's weekly in-season interviews with John Thompson III, Joe Scott and Sydney Johnson, has produced numerous pieces with former Princeton players over the past decade+.

The summer struck me as a good time to collect the archived links to all of the Q&As, transcripts, email correspondence and audio files into one post for newer members who might have missed some of these when they originally ran.

I believe this is a complete list, but if I'm missing anyone let me know!

-Bill Bradley
-Mike Brennan
-Pete Carril
-Scott Greenman
-Kyle Koncz
-Nick Lake and Noah Savage
-Jimmy Lane
-Howie Levy
-Kevin "Moon" Mullin
-Ed Persia
-Craig Robinson
-Mason Rocca
-Judson Wallace
-Chris Young and Will Venable

Want more? There's also an interview with "Outside The Limelight" author Kathy Orton.

Finally, from back in the "Catching Up With..." listserv days - conversations with Mitch Henderson, Sean Jackson, Sydney Johnson, Jamie Mastaglio, Frank Sowinski and Mike Stephens.

Selection Show pictures.

Photos from today's Selection Show event courtesy Stephen Goldsmith.

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Mercer 60 Morris 47.

Postgame audio - Coach Howie Levy:

Perhaps it is because the pall of Saturday night in Providence still hangs heavy over my head, but walking away from tonight's Region XIX quarterfinal between County College of Morris and Mercer County Community College I felt like I had been at the most enjoyable basketball game I'd attended this season.

While the fourth-seeded Vikings (15-15) had just one field goal in the opening nine minutes and trailed by as many as 13 to the fifth-seeded Titans in front of a festive, opinionated and energetic home crowd, coach Howie Levy's team always seemed two possessions away from gaining control of the game.

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