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Wednesday News:

C. Young (1-0) 5.1 IP 5 H 1 ER 4 BB 7 K 1.69 ERA. 103 pitches, 59 strikes.

Chris Young was a huge part of New York's 7-1 win in Philadelphia. Young struck out seven (video) and became the first Mets pitcher to record two hits in one inning.

The Daily Princeton has more on Sydney Johnson's departure, a decision that leaves many questions.

On the excellent new site Big Apple Buckets, factors I had not initially considered are added - including the Stags' and the Tigers' basketball budgets as well as Princeton's basketball budget compared to other Ivy programs.

You can stream Johnson's introductory press conference here at 11:00 am ET.

I know Derek's Dreams is a cause important to many in the Princeton basketball community. Their second annual fundraising dinner is tonight in Belleville.

Coco said,

April 6, 2011 @ 10:02 am

Well, I've had almost 48 hours to deal with this awful news, and it will require much more time than that before I can accept the reality of Sydney's departure.

At the same time, I am normally a "glass half full" type, so I am trying to concentrate on the things that are cause for hope. So, Moving On...

Okay, the loss of Dan Mavraides and Kareem Maddox is considerable. Individually, and/or as part of the team, at both ends of the court and as senior leadership. But regardless of who is coaching next season, we knew they'd both be gone.

Reasons to believe:
--we return Doug Davis (who may finally get the All-Ivy nod that he so deserves).
--Ian Hummer also returns and will no doubt be even more of a problem for everyone in the paint.
While neither has made us forget Kit Mueller or Steve Goodrich, both Brendan Connolly and Mac Darrow have provided some strong minutes and gutsy play in the sophomore years. Obviously we don't know if Princeton will even run a "point center" offense in the future, but both have exhibited good hands, court vision, passing abilities, and Darrow is a very good three point option.
Coming off the bench:
- despite his odd +/- numbers, TJ Bray has been a solid defender and should continue to grow on the offensive end.
- we haven't seen enough of Will Barrett to know if he can fill Kareem's slot, but he has the size, quickness, wing span to provide a challenge for almost any forward in the league-- and he has shown he can shoot and continues to add new shots to his arsenal. Still recall him posting up at the low post and turning to drop in a left handed hook!
- Ben Hazel and Jimmy Sherburne both has shown good play in limited time on the court. Look for their playing time to increase, and with that, their contributions.

Then we have what Donald Rumsfield might call the "unknown knowns," the remainder of the bench. Who will emerge from this group?

Finally, the "unknown unknowns." In the wake of Sydney's departure, what can we expect from the "recruits" for the Class of 2015? This being Princeton-- rather than a post-Calipari U of Memphis-- I would hope that each of the recruits a) have been accepted, and b) will in fact continue to choose Princeton for the college. Certainly hope so, because they sound great on paper-- and also we cannot afford to lose even one of them, given the paucity of recruits allocated to basketball each year.

Bottom line: I'd pick Harvard as the pre-season league favorite. I'm fine with that. As Cubs fans well know, "on opening day, every one is undefeated." No one ever won a title in pre-season polls. Ask Ohio State, or Duke, or Kansas, or ...

I don't think our only loss in the league will be to the Cantabs, but I also don't think we will finish 2-12, as we did a few years back. Penn will always be tough, Brown returns a terrific freshman. With transfers, we never know about Cornell. Yale will have to replace the all-Ivy center. And the road is always tough in the Ancient Eight.

Got Hope? I still do.

Jon Solomon said,

April 6, 2011 @ 10:10 am

One correction: Greg Mangano returns for Yale.

Maddox and Mavraides are the only First Team or Second Team All-Ivy players to graduate.

Gregg Lange said,

April 6, 2011 @ 10:17 am

Regarding the college basketball budgets, assuming scholarships are included in the MAAC listings (as they should be) and aren't in the Ivies (which they can't be), the numbers become a relative wash, although Siena and Fairfield do appear to be aggressive.

That ain't really it.

Bob Medina said,

April 6, 2011 @ 11:29 am

I found it offensive that Fairfield would give a basketball shirt to SJ with the number 42 on it.

Bob Medina

Randy Bergmann said,

April 6, 2011 @ 1:48 pm

Here's what Coach Johnson had to say for himself at Fairfield press conference. He comes on around the 26:00 minute mark.

Jon Solomon said,

April 6, 2011 @ 1:50 pm

An actual press conference with the media was held after this introduction.

It was supposed to be broadcast on WVOF (they spoke briefly to Johnson after what you've posted) but for whatever reason they weren't able to get the audio up.


Stuart Schulman said,

April 6, 2011 @ 2:28 pm

Jon, can you let us know if you find a transcript of the press conference? Thanks!

TigerHeel said,

April 6, 2011 @ 2:36 pm

The video of Coach Johnson's introduction and opening remarks was tough to bear, largely because it reminded me of how sad I am to see him go. I agree that the number 42 Fairfield jersey was in poor taste. Also, Coach Johnson's remarks about welcoming back the former Fairfield coach (who bolted to Providence) with open arms and continuing to support him could be interpreted as self-reflective.

Jon Solomon said,

April 6, 2011 @ 2:43 pm

The President of Fairfield graduated Princeton in 1969. If he was a basketball fan when in school, the number means something to him.

TigerHeel said,

April 6, 2011 @ 3:27 pm

Good point, Jon, but the President should then realize that Princeton fans might perceive the 42 Fairfield jersey as an attempt to coopt Princeton's basketball tradition. They've coopted our tradition enough by taking Coach Johnson!

All in all, jersey-gate is a tempest in a teapot amidst the more troubling issues at play with this whole deal.

Jon Solomon said,

April 6, 2011 @ 3:51 pm

Ps. Fairfield was founded in 1942.

Paul Hauge said,

April 6, 2011 @ 5:02 pm

Still feeling gutted about this turn of events. Not feeling especially great either about the coach who made a lateral move just weeks after practically bringing me to tears with his own tearful proclamations of undying love fot the program or about the university that couldn't/wouldn't do enough to keep him. And still waiting for an honest, forthright statement from either party explaining what happened and why.

One idea that keeps getting bandied about is the "Harvard's relaxing its admission requirements but Princeton won't" factor. (Back in the day we'd hear the same thing about Penn.) I read occasional references to "academic index" and such things, but don't know what to make of them. Would someone please explain what that all means? Extra slots for athletes? Truly lower standards for (some) athletes?

Jon Solomon said,

April 7, 2011 @ 1:43 pm

Fairfield's Sports Information Department was asked about the significance of the #42 jersey presented to Coach Johnson yesterday.

This number is routinely used in school presentations because 42 represents 1942, the year the school was founded.


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