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Monday News:

A different strain of Simsanity: Running 10,000 Ivy League simulations just wasn't enough for Big Apple Buckets.

Somehow I missed what Jay Billas remarked about Princeton until now.

I'm sure readers will have plenty to say about this excellent essay on Princeton basketball, Joe Scott and "the pressures of family."

Oregon State got their season underway with an exhibition victory over both Lewis & Clark.

Maureen Pedersen said,

November 5, 2012 @ 11:33 am

The desire to somehow justify/excuse/explain away Joe Scott's disastrous tenure at PU is very puzzling to me. He was, I'm sorry to say, spectacularly inept and pointing fingers at the players is a cop-out. It was his program to guide -he couldn't do it.

Jon Solomon said,

November 5, 2012 @ 11:41 am

It is fascinating to compare his time at Princeton with that at Denver where given no expectations and no tradition he's led that team to unprecedented heights. Just another layer to this complicated story.

John Poole said,

November 5, 2012 @ 1:06 pm

I'm curious about what Jay Bilas remarked about Princeton, but not curious enough to pay to find out!

Jon Solomon said,

November 5, 2012 @ 1:08 pm

Here's the quote:

"Even before Harvard lost Brandyn Curry and Kyle Casey, Princeton was the selection here. Ian Hummer will be the Ivy League Player of the Year, and the Tigers have the size up front to compete with any frontcourt in the nation."

John Poole said,

November 5, 2012 @ 1:25 pm

Nobody wanted Joe Scott to succeed more than I did. But, early in Joe's tenure, I watched one of his team practices. I was a team manager for two years back in the 60s when VBK was coach. His practices and halftimes could be very "animated". But Butch NEVER treated players like Scott did. He was very discriminating. He understood his players and know how to motivate and teach each individual. Unlike Joe. He treated everyone with disrespect, both privately (in practice) and publicly (to the press). I hate to speak badly of any alum. But, after seeing Joe's behavior, I could only conclude that he was a jerk.

larry said,

November 5, 2012 @ 2:50 pm

Jon, I do not know Coach Scott personally. Those that do, lead me to believe John Poole is close to the truth. That being understood, I, unlike others, will continue to point fingers at some of the players.

Daniel Maass said,

November 5, 2012 @ 3:19 pm

As heartbeaking as it was to see coah Johnson go, this article reminds me how lucky we were to have him in the first place. Princeton basketball was on the brink of total irrelevance - I had the displeasure of attending many of those games during the Dark Days of Joe Scott while I was a student, and I can tell you that no one on campus (outside of Cap) cared about the team. We're still not back to the glory days of the 90s when (I'm told) important conference games would routinely sell out, but the difference in atmosphere between now and 5 years ago is night and day. It's scary to think how close to a permament decline we came.

Steven Postrel said,

November 9, 2012 @ 8:28 pm

I'll say what I've said before--Carrill was Scott's role model and he was very nasty to players both privately and publicly. In fact, Carrill said that one of his principles was that he would only criticize a player in front of the whole team, and he had few compunctions about criticizing them to alumni and the press in very specific terms.

The problem is that players had changed over the years, and that style no longer worked (as Carrill pretty much admitted just before retiring). Scott got away with it at a military academy desperate for success, but that approach crashed and burned at Princeton. I think the experience mellowed Scott--he's much less tough on his players, in public at least, since he went to Denver. Clearly, it was better for the program and for him that he moved on to Denver, but I don't think his tenure revealed character flaws--just a mistaken approach to modern player relations.

It should be pointed out that JS is a very good coach in terms of squeezing performance out of his players and seems to be an above-average recruiter and program builder. There have been times under his tenure when AFA and Denver have played some of the most beautiful basketball you'll see. Their floor spacing, movement off the ball, and passing are sometimes more "classic" than anything seen under his Princeton successors.

But I'm very happy he's in Denver and Mitch Henderson is at Princeton. Some bells can't ever be unrung.

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