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End of the (basketball) year.

Somehow, it is over.

118 days.

16 states.

1,130 minutes of Princeton basketball

(just 45 of which Marcus Schroeder didn't play in).

1,410 points.

224 media time outs.

11 wins.

17 losses.

28 games.

28 postgame interviews.

28 recaps.

For as long as I can remember I've wanted to try and attend every single game in a Princeton season. To watch a year from the first weeks of practice to the final hugs in the lobby of Jadwin Gym as players and parents head out into the night one final time. In 2006-07, I was able to accomplish this goal.

From Milwaukee to Columbia, from Hanover to Columbus.

Every pass. Every cut. Every shot.

People sometimes ask me, this season more than others, if what I do is hard.

I usually tell them that the basketball games are just a part of these trips, and it is often the moments outside of the gyms that make these experiences memorable.

It is falafel in Providence. It is a blizzard in Chicago. It is driving through South of the Border. It is ice cream drinks with an old housemate at a bar in Wisconsin. It is sharing a hotel with a cheerleading tournament, eight college basketball teams and the Edmonton Oilers. It is climbing to the very top of Manhattan's campus the night before Thanksgiving. It is Bob Ruxin's reception at Harvard. It is singing four-decade-old drinking songs on a poorly-planned drive from Ohio to New Jersey in the middle of a Sunday night.

Don't ask.

In between, there were games. Some thrilling, many frustrating.

It was exhausting, fascinating and much more fun than it had any business being.

On the way we picked up an excellent young photographer in Stephen Goldsmith and began to work with Bill Allen of NJ Sport/Action to help provide additional pictures that could flesh out the experience for those who don't get to see these games.

On the way we tried our best do something print media no longer does - consistently cover Princeton games in person like a true "beat reporter" and be able to compare performances from night to night instead of painting with the broad and less-informed brush that comes with only seeing one or two select evenings.

On the way we went over the 600 member mark for the first time.

The Princeton Athletic Department was very accommodating, especially men's basketball contact David Rosenfeld, a familiar face who never objected (in front of me) when I asked him to check on a stat or help me with a question.

Coach Joe Scott proved again to always be willing to give me some of his time to record interviews each week, no matter how the team was performing. I found our Thursday mornings sitting in Jadwin after I'd turned off the microphone, talking about basketball, to be even more interesting than the sometimes thought-provoking conversations we recorded. I wish that everyone, even those who don't care for his methodologies or his tactics, could have the chance to sit and talk with Coach Scott. I may not agree with all his decisions or walk lockstep with his beliefs, but I have learned so much about Princeton basketball by conversing with him.

Princeton's players made for compelling postgame interviews, especially Luke Owings, who often had a perspective on each contest that was different and more thoughtful than the pat answers many athletes often give.

My parents and my wife Nicole made for excellent travel partners this year, joining me when they could, supporting me when they couldn't make the trip and sparking many fascinating debates on the road about basketball, about coaching and about subjects that have nothing to do with hardwood. These three mean the world to me and they never complained (in front of me) when having to wait for me to stumble out of a media room, or when listening to people rant to them about the state of Princeton basketball.

Thank you, too. You provided me with inside information, knowing I would not share it. You thanked me for my work when we saw each other this season. You asked interesting questions. You didn't always agree with me and I didn't always agree with you, but I enjoyed talking about my viewpoint and listening to yours. You had good humor during hard times.

Last night marked Princeton's 99th consecutive Ivy League game I've covered, one game short of the next goal on my list. I have some big plans for the next season of, plans I hope to be able to share with you soon. I thank you for your support, your feedback, your comments and your donations that help keep this site running.

Now, to catch up on four months of lost sleep...

Jon Solomon
Lawrenceville, NJ

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