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Jeremy Lin vs. Princeton.

The recent, rapid ascent of Harvard alum Jeremy Lin from undrafted NBDL afterthought to trending topic, international phenomenon and nickname machine has been incredible to watch from afar.

When at Jadwin over the weekend I fielded a number of questions about Lin and how Princeton had contained him the eight occasions he faced the Tigers. The same thing happened each time I cleared my inbox after I got home.

After the jump, you'll find Lin's stat lines and complete recaps from these contests.

Lin was 2-6 versus Princeton as a member of the Crimson, 2-2 at home and like all other Harvard players the past 20 years, winless at Jadwin Gym.

NBA GMs trying to scout Lin who read this site: Why not sign Kareem Maddox, stat?

Freshman year

Min Pts   FG   FT 3FG  Rebs A S B TO PF 2006-07
 19   2  1-3  0-0 0-0 1-1-2 0 1 0  1  4 74-68 P (2OT)
 21   4  0-2  4-4 0-1 0-2-2 1 0 0  0  1 50-43 H

In Lin's first game against Princeton he played a team-high 19 minutes off the bench, but Princeton still picked up their first conference win in double overtime.

As I wrote about the game at the time:

For just the second time in the building's history, Princeton played in a double overtime game at Jadwin Gym. As they did four years ago versus Harvard, it was the Tigers who came away with the victory, 74-68.

Lincoln Gunn's career-high 22 points, along with five assists, four rebounds and zero turnovers in fifty minutes of play led Princeton. Noah Savage, making his first start of the season, scored an efficient 16 on 5-9 shooting and the player he replaced, Luke Owings, added 10 points and seven rebounds in 16 minutes.

Harvard's Drew Housman's 33 points were memorable, scoring on a variety of floaters, push shots, fall-away bank shots and odd-angled drives.

Lin's name shows up just once in my original recap, late in the second bonus frame:

The Tiger lead extended to four after Gunn was fouled in a double-team far from the basket by Jeremy Lin. One free throw made it a two possession game. Housman forced a runner which Princeton controlled. Harvard called time out.

Lin did not record a field goal when the two teams met at Lavietes Pavilion in 21 minutes off the bench. Despite shooting 15.8% from the floor in the first half, Harvard came back to best the Tigers.

As I wrote at the time:

An impressive defense performance in the first half was wasted by the Princeton Tigers on Saturday up at Harvard. After limiting the Crimson to 12 points in the first 20 minutes and not allowing a field goal over the final 16:49 before intermission, Princeton saw Harvard go on a game-changing 19-4 run to open the second frame.

What had been a 21-12 Tiger lead suddenly flipped into a 31-25 hole.

Drew Housman scored 11 points in the first eight minutes after the break after going without a basket in the first half.

Lin's name didn't make it into my original recap.

Sophomore year

Min Pts   FG   FT 3FG  Rebs A S B TO PF 2007-08
 32  17  5-9  6-9 1-3 1-8-9 4 1 1  4  4 68-54 P
 41  20 9-15  2-4 0-2 1-6-7 3 2 2  1  4 74-67 H (OT)

Now a starter, Lin led his team with 17 on his second trip to Jadwin. Princeton outscored Harvard by 15 across the final 6:16. You can read the full game recap here.

Lin's second and final win against Princeton was an exceptionally agonizing loss for the Tigers. Harvard recorded the last eight points of regulation and the first seven points of overtime to finish the Tigers’ 18th consecutive road defeat. You can read the full game recap here.

Junior year

Min Pts   FG   FT 3FG  Rebs A S B TO PF 2008-09
 39  27 9-15 9-12 0-3 0-6-6 4 0 0  3  2 77-71 P
 36  13 5-13  2-4 1-2 0-5-5 0 0 2  4  1 58-55 P

While it was the chemistry between Marcus Schroeder and Dan Mavraides that lifted Princeton to victory at Harvard in Lin's junior year, I can still remember a sequence vividly where Lin made five consecutive jump shots that increased in difficulty from bucket to bucket. Lin scored the Crimson's first 14 points to start the second half. You can read the full game recap here.

In the next meeting at Jadwin the trio of Jason Briggs, Nick Lake and Marcus Schroeder were able to better contain Lin. You can read the full game recap here.

Senior year

Min Pts   FG   FT 3FG  Rebs A S B TO PF 2009-10
 39  19 6-16  5-8 2-5 1-2-3 4 4 3  2  3 56-53 P 
 33   8  1-8  5-6 1-1 2-1-3 2 0 0  1  3 54-51 P

His last go round against Princeton was the Tigers' best team defense showing versus Lin. Kareem Maddox's length did not allow Lin to turn the corner from the perimeter often and an excellent scouting report had secondary lines of defense prepared to obstruct Lin further. A 30' shot from Lin to tie at the buzzer was well short. You can watch the final sequence below and you can read the full game recap here.

At Jadwin in Lin's final game against Princeton, Maddox blocked a late Lin drive with the Tigers up one, Zack Finley altered another Lin drive and Lin did not touch the ball on his team's final possession down three. You can read the full game recap here.

In these eight games Lin averaged 32.5 minutes of court time and 13.8 points. He shot 36-81 (44.4%) from the floor, 33-47 (70.2%) at the free throw line and 5-17 (29.4) from three point range. Lin also averaged 4.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists with an 18:16 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Watching Lin play it was clear he was gifted and deserving of the extra attention Princeton gave to him in their scouting reports, but it always seemed like his play versus other schools was where his reputation was being built.

I don't think anyone, myself included, saw the events of the last week+ in his future but I couldn't be happier for his success at the next level.

larry said,

February 15, 2012 @ 11:25 am

I am not a pro basketball fan. Not a Knicks fan at all. But last night I found myself tuning in the Knick, wanting them to win, just because of Lin. I got to the game at the 1:45 minute mark. Knicks down by 5. Amazing, Lin, scored 6 points to win the game.

Jon Solomon said,

February 15, 2012 @ 12:26 pm

Larry, I had a similar experience last night except I put the game on with about four minutes to go. It was exciting enough that I had to go upstairs right away and tell my (asleep) wife about what had transpired.

Totally unreal.


Dave Mills said,

February 15, 2012 @ 8:32 pm

Jon, thanks so much for this. I can't stop talking about him to my wife either--and she cares nothing for hoops. It's great to have the historical perspective on the Lin-sanity.

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