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Assorted programs.

This afternoon's flash thunderstorm means less time spent weeding the front walk and more time spent scanning Princeton basketball programs from the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Anyone know when Sean Jackson wore #31 during a game at Jadwin Gym? My guess was a JV game his "freshman" year, but the cheerleaders in the background poke holes in this theory.

Seven additional images after the jump.

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My first Ivy road trip.

I don't remember how I talked them into it, but on the first Saturday of March in 1989, I somehow convinced my parents (and extremely skeptical younger sister) that we should load up the car and go to the Princeton/Harvard game outside Boston as a family.

We didn't head all the way up to Dartmouth the previous night, where the Big Green had been victorious 53-43 over the Tigers. Now the losers of two straight, Princeton needed to win their final conference game to claim the program's first Ivy League championship in five years.

A loss to the Crimson (who beat the Tigers by six at Jadwin Gym a month previous) combined with a Dartmouth win over Penn and the two teams would end the season tied at 10-4 for the 1988-89 Ivy crown.

Perhaps it was impending history that sold my folks on making this trip? Perhaps I just begged to the proper degree? Whatever it was, this is a game that cemented my teenage love affair with Princeton basketball.

While my memories of the contest two decades later consist solely of the gym at Harvard being extraordinarily dimly lit and the dogpile of orange and black at center court after the final buzzer, I've always been glad the 15 year-old me captured three blurry pictures after the game on my tiny camera and kept these grainy documents tucked away in my old bedroom.

The first, of Princeton senior captain Bob Scrabis (#34) talking to WHWH broadcaster David Brody, is scanned above.

Two more pictures and some notes about the game can be found after the jump.

As always, click to enlarge.

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Nine 1980s Princeton films.

On the heels of last week's discovery of 1980s Princeton basketball highlights comes another unexpected treat - nine short clips from earlier in the decade documenting a variety of successful Princeton basketball plays.

My educated guess is that this clip and several others after the jump come from the second game of the 1984-85 season, a 51-48 loss at Delaware, as Joe Scott (who would have been a sophomore) and Howie Levy (who would have been a senior) are on the same team. That's Levy scoring inside above.

I've tried to add details where I could figure them out, but if you can contribute additional notes, please share in the comments!

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Five 1980s Princeton films.

An unexpected find this morning - five short clips from the late 1980s documenting five different successful Princeton basketball plays. I've tried to add details where I could figure them out, but if you can contribute additional notes, please share in the comments!

Given the existence of the three point line and Joe Scott (#4) on the floor for the Tigers, I believe the above Alan Williams (#24) to Dave Orlandini (#21) layup comes from a 93-77 win over defending Ivy champion Brown on January 30th, 1987.

That is John Thompson III wearing #22. Also on the floor - Mike Harnum (#30).

Scott scored 23 and Williams added 21 for Princeton, who shot 8-11 from three.

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Schedule cards.

Scans of three Princeton pocket schedule cards, each sponsored by Budweiser.

Kit Mueller.

Matt Lapin.

Bob Scrabis.

Bob Scrabis flyer.

One more from the archives, before I settle down on the couch for today's games.

I grabbed this off the wall outside of the Wawa on University Place in early 1989.

Scrabis had joined Princeton's 1,000 point club earlier in the year - on a free throw, pausing to look to his left before shooting as he always did - and would lead his team to the 1989 Ivy League title, clinching the championship with a victory at Harvard in the final game of the season.

Click to enlarge.

Princeton/Georgetown box score.

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the Princeton/Georgetown game.

With that fact in mind, I finally went into my old bedroom at my parents' house and opened up one of the many boxes I've collected over the years labeled "Princeton basketball."

Near the top of the first box I took out of the closet was a copy of the March 21, 1989 Princeton Packet. I've scanned the box score off the cover of the sports section. Click to enlarge.

These boxes are a treasure trove of old magazine articles, newspapers, game programs and photographs that I hope to share over the summer.

In the meantime, you can buy a DVD of this classic NCAA tournament contest here.

Feel free to share your memories of that game in the comments.

March 17, 1989.

TigerBlog supplements the above with additional thoughts on the 20th anniversary of Princeton/Georgetown.

For interviews with Pete Carril and Tiger captain Bob Scrabis recorded in the days leading up to this game, see this post.

Someday I hope to write up my memories of that bus trip to Providence.

In the second half, there's a sweet George Leftwich screen to set up a Matt Lapin three point shot I had never noticed before.

Want to see this game in a far-higher resolution? You can buy it on DVD here.

A story about a picture of Bob Scrabis.

My sophomore year in high school was the first season where I started to consistently attend Princeton basketball games. A group of friends and I would sit in the bleachers next to the student section, usually behind the Tiger band, doing a whole lot more yelling and screaming than I do 20 years down the line.

By going to every game, we built a rapport with other regulars in our section at Jadwin, one of whom was the mother of senior Princeton captain Bob Scrabis.

Because she lived in Avon-By-The-Sea, outside of 1350 WHWH's broadcast radius, she asked us to tape her son's games off the radio, and I'd give her a cassette of one or two recent contests before the start of the next home game.

At the end of the 1988-89 season, to show her thanks, Ms. Scrabis sent me the above framed enlargement of that year's pocket schedule, signed by her son.

While it doesn't technically qualify as a Senior on a Stick, it is still worth sharing.

And for our 1000th post...

As this site has inched closer and closer to its 1,000th post, I've wanted to find something special to share to mark the occasion. And here it is! From the March 17, 1989 WPRB broadcast of the Princeton/Georgetown NCAA Tournament game, interviews with senior captain Bob Scrabis and head coach Pete Carril. Both were taped between Selection Sunday and the Tigers' trip to Providence. I do not believe either has been re-aired since the original transmission.

Bob Scrabis interview:

Coach Pete Carril interview:

With 20 years of hindsight, it is fascinating to hear the discussion with both men of the Ivy League's chance of losing its automatic tournament bid, or the possibility that Carril would leave Princeton after the 1988-89 season was over.

Also from the same tape, enjoy a detailed, well-researched review of Princeton's prior NCAA tournament appearances (starts a few sentences in).

"The Most Significant Princeton Tigers NCAA Contests":

In addition to the above archived audio, I wanted to take a moment and share 10 posts out of the previous 999 on that are worth highlighting, especially if you are new to the site or are a member that hasn't taken the time to explore our archives.

Audio of the entire 1965 NCAA consolation game against Wichita State in which Bill Bradley scored a tournament-record 58 points.

42 years later, I had the chance to sit down with Senator Bradley for a one-on-one interview.

Two buzzer beaters, five years apart. Video of Kyle Wente (2001) and Noah Savage (2006) hitting game-winners at Cambridge.

The story about how Georgetown coach John Thompson III drew up "forward/center" to beat Vanderbilt in the 2007 NCAA Tournament is one of my favorite pieces I've written for the site.

More uncovered audio - 17 seconds from the end of the Princeton/UCLA game, as Steve Goodrich finds a cutting Gabe Lewullis.

Having the opportunity to interview Chris Young after his first major league win at Fenway Park and then again after he made his Yankee Stadium debut remains a personal highlight.

Bringing back Seniors on a Stick in March 2008 was something I wish I had done sooner.

This one isn't Princeton-related, but I am proud of the photo essay I shot of a trip to the Paramount Theater in Brooklyn to see LIU play before that unique gym was closed.

And who could forget the one act play My Bathroom with Rick Majerus?

Finally, there's my new favorite #5. Sorry, Coach Johnson.

Want to see/hear finds like the above? Want to be the best-informed fan in the stands? Become a member and give us the opportunity to continue to archive images, sounds and footage that might have otherwise been unavailable.

Click around, and I hope to see you tonight at Jadwin!

Jon Solomon

And now, a word from The Gorilla.

When I ran the above picture from Peter Dutton earlier today as part of a series of photos from 1989-1992, I did not expect to receive the following email a few hours later.

Internet, you amaze me.

Dear Mr. Solomon,

I can explain the gorilla costume at the 1989 NCAA Tournament game vs. Georgetown. I was wearing it. 

I am a member of the Princeton class of 1989 and was the Drum Major of the marching band (although my term had ended by the time the Tournament rolled around). For four years, Bob Scrabis' mother sat near the band for every home game and she and I had what I would call, for lack of a better term, a friendly cheering acquaintance. We both admired her son's basketball prowess. [In fact, I modeled my beer pong form on his free throw shooting form. I always glanced to the left just before releasing the ball.] 

I owned the gorilla suit (bought for use in a skit that was a takeoff of 2001:A Space Odyssey that the band performed at the Yale football game the previous fall). My winter coat was stolen that fall at a party on Prospect St. and so, for no other reason than I was somewhat cold, I decided to wear my gorilla suit to the first basketball game of the year. As a gag, I took a bunch of bananas with me and handed them out. The first one, went to Mrs. Scrabis, who laughed out loud. We won the game, and the suit got a good reaction. So, for every home game that year (and several away ones as well), I wore my gorilla suit and presented Mrs. Scrabis with a banana for good luck. 

I had a great seat for the game against Georgetown: Section A, Row 1, Seat 1, if I recall correctly. I gave the ticket stub later to a bandmember who had been too sick to attend the game. I managed to get into the arena and locate Mrs. Scrabis (who was NOT near the band for that game). I gave her a banana and got a big hug before arena security accosted me and made me take off the suit. It seems there was a NCAA regulation against a school having more than one mascot at a Tournament game. I pleaded my case to no avail. The suit came off and the rest is history.

Best wishes, Eliza Kunkel '89

A slew of older Princeton basketball photos.

While on Flickr one recent evening, I discovered a huge repository of late 80s/early 90s photos taken by former Princeton band member Peter Dutton.

Dutton was kind enough to give me permission to share a few of his shots, clicked from the stands at various Princeton games, including four straight trips to the NCAA Tournament.

They're not expert sideline snaps by any means, but that's not the point. These photos bring me back to a time almost two decades previous that was a whole lot of fun. I hope they'll stir up similar memories for some of you and give people who weren't there an idea of what it was like to follow the team back then.

Hopefully these .jpgs will also get me off my duff and scanning the archived material gathering dust at my parents' house!

Peter has thousands of additional photos on his Flickr page.

If you have any Princeton basketball photos you would like to be similarly shared, please get in touch!

December 1989. That's certainly Kit Mueller (#00), Bob Scrabis (#34) and Jerry Doyle (#5). Fairly confident Marv Williams (#22) is also on the floor. Is #40 Anders Vestergaard?

The Tigers' last lead against Georgetown. 1989 NCAA Tournament.

Princeton band. Providence Civic Center. Gorilla costume?

Georgetown shooting a free throw in the first half. I see George Leftwich (#22), Matt Lapin (#33) and Bob Scrabis (#34) ready to box out.

Second half of the 1992 NCAA Tournament. Chris Mooney (#21) is at the top of the arc. Are those Leftwich and Rick Hielscher (#33) on the floor with him?

The band does "Rock Lobster" after a game at Jadwin. Note the Matt Lapin "Senior On A Stick," which most likely means this came from the final home game of the 1989-90 season.

The Tiger unmasked!

The Princeton band plays towards the end of the first half of Princeton's 1991 NCAA Tournament game versus Villanova - a game I've never been able to bring myself to watch on tape after suffering through it live.

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