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The Hook Shot.

In addition to the above video there is an accompanying article about the history of the hook shot at Princeton that talks with Mack Darrow, Mitch Henderson, Pete Carril and Kit Mueller about this staple of a Tiger big man's offensive arsenal.

Coco said,

March 1, 2012 @ 11:17 am

Still remember a conversation I had with Will Barrett's father, early in his first year.

Will's father was a guard at Univ. of Cincinnati decades ago, and obviously familiar with many "old school" techniques. I asked if Will had a hook shot, and his father said, "Not yet, but they are teaching it to him."

A couple months later, Will caught the ball on the right block, faked one way then pivoted and drained a beautiful left handed hook in the paint. Totally awesome. His father sat a few rows back from me, and I turned around to acknowledge the basket.

And quite a weapon, esp. for a big man who can also shoot the three.

Hope we can see more of them next season and the one after that!

Gregg Lange said,

March 1, 2012 @ 4:48 pm

It seems trite after a while, but the mind of Carril is endlessly restless. At 81 years old, consider the following phrase: "But if you’re interested in winning, which was my primary goal and the goal of most of my teams,...."

Most. Some people get it, some people don't. Some of you will recall one year in the '80s doldrums when he refused to allow the team to name a captain. You're either trying to win, or you're in the way. Fascinating (and hard to explain to those who are new to the program, sort of like interpreting signals from North Korea).

Steven Postrel said,

March 1, 2012 @ 6:44 pm

Carril was a shortest-distance-between-two-points-is-a-straight-line guy, not caring whether that was the path of most or least resistance. A significant source of resistance is embarrassment (or the desire to look cool).

The first (?) time he played Coach K's Duke team at Jadwin, the team threw a ton of cross-court passes on each possession. Why? Because he'd noticed on tape that their weak-side defenders came way into the lane to protect against drives past their front-side pressure. It looked like some crazy gym-class exercise, with the ball sailing over the top and the whole Blue Devil team scrambling to the other side of the court and back. Carril later said something like, "It looked stupid, but after a while they'd fail to get back across the court and we'd get an easy shot." (The Tigers won by 20+ points.)

Looking good was always subordinate to getting the job done. That said, I don't think the hook shot is especially ungainly. No more than a reverse layup, which has similar motion.

Any shot can look awkward if a player is stiff in his movements. All of North Carolina's Eric Montross's movements, for example, looked robotic. His footwork appeared to be programmed at the Jet Propulsion Lab and beamed to his motor center with a lag caused by bouncing the data off a satellite. I wouldn't have been surprised if his leg actually telescoped out to full length on his drop step.

Jon Solomon said,

March 1, 2012 @ 7:29 pm

Steven, you're a front-runner for Comment of the Year with that gem!

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