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When Sydney met Calipari.

"No one plays Princeton unless you're a psycho or a drug addict...I'm not a drug addict, so I must be a psycho." - John Calipari, March 1995.

Sydney Johnson has not gone up against Kentucky’s John Calipari during his four seasons as Princeton head man, but the two met under different circumstances during Johnson’s sophomore year – when the Tigers (3-3) visited fifth-ranked, Calipari-coached UMass (3-1).

Playing the daunting middle game of a week-long stretch that saw Princeton visit powerhouses Illinois (a 59-37 drubbing), Massachusetts and Syracuse (a two point defeat in overtime) the Tigers were overmatched inside by Minutemen center Marcus Camby.

The now-16 year NBA veteran was nine of 10 from the floor in the second half on December 14, 1994 as he scored a season high 30.

UMass held a 50-41 second half lead prior to a 14-3 Minutemen run that began with a Camby layup and dunk separated by just nine seconds.

Tigers' head coach Carril was ejected from the game late in the second half with his team behind by 23.

"You don't expect a Princeton team to beat the No. 5 team in the country, do you?," Carril told the Associated Press after the 36th consecutive on-campus win for UMass. "That's like our football team going in to play Florida State."

Senior center Rick Hielscher scored 20 off the bench for the Tigers. Jamie Mastaglio added 15.

Johnson can only hope Thursday's NCAA Tournament reunion with John Calipari and his Kentucky Wildcats is personally a more memorable one than this 16+ year old non-conference game. In 35 minutes of play the Tigers' captain scored four points on 1-7 shooting with six assists, five turnovers, five rebounds and three steals.

Dennis Murphy said,

March 14, 2011 @ 12:21 pm

I don't remember if Princeton has played Kentucky since the 1971-72 season when Coach Carrill battled another Hall-Of-Famer, Coach Adolph Rupp, in the Univ. of Ky. Invitational Tournament in Lexington. I'm sure the team from those days (almost 40 years ago) would remember that game as if it was yesterday & would love to see some revenge exacted this Thursday on a neutral court in Tampa...

Seniors: Al Dufty (Capt.); Reggie Bird; Gerry Couzens
Juniors: Brian Taylor; Teddy Manakas; Bill Kapler; Jim Sulllivan; Bill Daake (RIP); Roger Gordon
Sophomores: John Berger; Andy Rimol; Joe Vavricka
(Apologies to anyone I've forgotten to list)

Jon Solomon said,

March 14, 2011 @ 12:26 pm

They last played in the 1977 NCAA Tournament. More on that later today!

Coco said,

March 14, 2011 @ 1:00 pm

Recall Pete Carril used to tell a story about the '71 game (it may be in "Play to Win"). Apparently Rupp was talking about Princeton in some sort of pre-game press conference, saying all sorts of exceedingly positive things, such as, "Princeton, from the Ivy League. They've dominated their league for many years, their players are so smart, they do things as a team that my boys have never seen. I just hope they don't embarrass us..."

At which point Pete interrupted and succinctly said something like, "Okay, Adolph, cut the psych job."

Dennis Murphy said,

March 14, 2011 @ 1:27 pm

Traveling with the team as head manager, I recall some vivid memories about the UKIT trip. Next to the player's bench, UK's Coach Rupp had a special chair, including a seat belt (which he never used) to prevent him from getting into the face of the officials & drawing a technical foul. At the time, SEC officials were quick to T-up a coach if they left the bench (not like today's convention). Other than Coach Rupp, no one was permitted to sit in this chair but that rule didn't stop our team from having some fun with this prop during our closed practice.

Brian Martin said,

March 14, 2011 @ 7:46 pm

Box scores and photos

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