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Coach Sydney Johnson - 2/25/10.

With both about to depart for Ithaca, Tigers head coach Sydney Johnson and editor Jon Solomon met early on Thursday morning at Jadwin Gym for their weekly one-on-one interview. This Q&A is 12:00+ in length.

Johnson and Solomon break down Princeton's impressive win over Yale, talk about who the team's best on-ball defender could be, discuss what went wrong defensively in the Tigers' loss to Brown and update Zach Finley's injury status. The pair also preview this weekend's trip to Cornell and Columbia.

Thursday News:

Iowa vs. Northwestern - 7:00 pm ET - ESPN
Denver vs. South Alabama - 8:00 pm ET
Oregon State vs. UCLA - 11:00 pm ET - FSN

Northwestern hosts Iowa. The Wildcats' bubble may have burst, but the future looks bright.

South Alabama welcomes Denver.

Oregon State travels to UCLA. Talking about the postseason, Beavers coach Craig Robinson says Pete Carril turned down multiple NIT bids when he was at Princeton. Anyone know how true this is?

Richmond is an underdog no more.

Princeton assistant Tony Newsom was in Tennessee to watch a senior post player who was subsequently named a finalist for the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association's Division II-A Mr. Basketball.

Taken with 50,435,333,253,672,119,000,000 grains of salt: Blogging The Bracket projects Princeton will participate in this year's Tournament.

Wednesday News:

Austin Freeman scored 24 of his 29 points in the second half as Georgetown rallied past Louisville, 70-60. The Hoyas began the second half on a 24-3 run.

There's an commentary on John Thompson III following in his father's footsteps.

The Brown Daily Herald reviews the Bears' victory over Princeton.

Chris Mooney on Hoops Hysteria.

The Spiders head coach joins Brian Webber for a short interview.

Mercer 70 Essex 64.

Postgame audio - Coach Howie Levy:

Derek Williams scored 22 points and made seven free throws in the final two minutes as Mercer (18-12) held off a frantic Essex rally to advance to the semifinals of the Region XIX tournament.

"That was a terrific effort," said Vikings coach Howie Levy following the 70-64 victory. "The last two days of practice were major battles between me and my team after that Harcum game. There is a way that they had to play to be successful and they did it and they were able to overcome a couple of mistakes."

Mercer trailed only once, at 7-6, and proceeded to score the game's next nine points as they opened up early advantages of 16-6 and 25-8.

"We never gave back the lead," Levy said with pride. "We really hung in there. I loved the way they shared the ball tonight."

The visiting Wolverines responded with a 13-1 spurt of their own to close within five, but every time Essex reached striking distance, Mercer found room to breathe.

Leading by five at the break, the Vikings scored the first nine points of the second half. Williams hit from the left corner to make it a 10 point game and Williams' penetration freed Quentin Lofton up top for a 42-29 advantage.

Back-to-back three pointers from Essex guard Saladine Collins drew the Wolverines within 65-64 in the final minute and Collins immediately stole a pass in the backcourt as Essex pressed and drove for a layup that would have put his team back in front. The shot was short off the rim and Williams was fouled, making one of two free throws.

Jahmal Scarborough carried the ball trying to split two defenders as he spun inside and Williams went back at the line, extending the Mercer lead to four.

Uros Kovacevic added 16 points, six rebounds and five rebounds. Isiah Andrews had 17 points and five boards for Mercer.

"There's more basketball left to play," Levy remarked. Last year at this time the Vikings' season was over following a bitter one point first round Region XIX tournament loss to Manor.

Now Mercer travels to Scranton, PA on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 pm ET, where they will play Del Tech Stanton.

"There's more improvements these guys can make," Levy said with a smile. "We're happy."

Princeton band on ESPNU.

All shots of the Princeton band from Friday's ESPNU broadcast. Teases some of the atmosphere at Jadwin Gym as the Tigers beat Yale by a comfortable margin.

Tuesday News:

Georgetown vs. Louisville - 7:00 pm ET - ESPN2
Essex vs. Mercer - 7:30 pm ET - Region XIX Playoffs

Hitting 20 or more points in back-to-back games for the first time earned Dan Mavraides a spot on the Honor Roll of the Ivy Weekly Men's Basketball Report.

Georgetown has an important game at Louisville tonight.

Richmond moves up to 23rd in the new Associated Press Top 25. The Spiders are 24th in the USA TODAY/ESPN Coaches Top 25.

Mercer's Uros Kovacevic was named Second Team DI & II Men's Basketball All-Region XIX and is on the First Team DI & DI Men's Basketball All-Garden State Athletic Conference, joined by teammate Paco Boussougou.

Recruiting Spotlight: Ben Hazel.

A package on Princeton recruit Ben Hazel.

You can read our profile of Hazel here, which includes extensive quotes from Good Counsel head coach Blair Mills. Exclusive, detailed articles on all five members of the 2010 Princeton recruiting class can be found here.

Five Games, Nine Days.

After the Brown game, I received the following question from reader Jim W.:

I'd be interested to know the Tigers' record in the second weekend of the five game weeks they play relative to their records in other weeks. I believe that years ago they used to play one or both of the Penn games on a Saturday instead of wedging the games into a Tuesday and wonder if that would make sense again, particularly with all the conference tournaments extending the season.

Excellent inquiry.

How have the Tigers faired in Ivy play running "The Gauntlet" of Friday-Saturday-Tuesday-Friday-Saturday?

Here are 31 years of answers, thanks in part to the good folks at the Princeton Athletic Department...

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Monday News:

Kareem Maddox is the subject of a piece in the Ventura County Star.

The Daily Princetonian and the Yale Daily News report on this weekend's games.

Northwestern (17-10) cut a 14 point Wisconsin second half lead down to one in the final two minutes, but the Wildcats were unable to topple the Badgers.

SportsProf was at Jadwin Gym on Saturday night and shares his observations.

Former Tiger Luke Owings attended Cornell's victory at Harvard and writes about what makes the Big Red so good.

Princeton recruit Ben Hazel scored 16 points in Good Cousel's overtime loss to Gonzaga. Hazel also had 18 points on 11-13 free throw shooting earlier in the week as the Falcons defeated Carroll, 57-49.

GW/Richmond highlights.

The #25 Spiders pull it out at home versus the Colonials.

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