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Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Temple 48 Princeton 46

Just call me the Sports Prognosticator. Click here for yesterday's post and scroll down for my prediction (for those of you who can't stand the suspense, my prediction was Temple 48, Princeton 44). When Atlantic City opens its sports books, I'll be ready.

As for the game itself, I'll note the following:

1. Yes, Dustin Salisbery did commit a goaltending violation on Will Venable's layup with a few seconds to go. No, the refs did not make the call, and after Princeton scrambled to come up with a good-look last shot, the Tigers didn't convert, and Temple held off Princeton for the win. Princeton coach Joe Scott was so infuriated over the no-call that he chased the refs into the runway to protest, almost forgetting to return to the court to shake hands with John Chaney, who coached his 1,000th game.

2. No, the refs call did not cost Princeton the game. Yes, the officiating was plum awful, and it seemed at times during the stretch when Temple built an 11-point lead that the refs weren't going to call anything Princeton's way and that they were going to get John Chaney a win in his 1,000th game no matter what. That said, Princeton played tenatively for the first 33 minutes, turned the ball over too much, and simply shot horribly. Princeton G Scott Greenman plays like a house on fire in the last five minutes and has done so in many games that I've watched. He shot a respectable 3-7 from behind the arc (the rest of the team was 4-20) and hit two key threes down the stretch. He just needs to do a better job during the rest of the game.

3. Temple's star guard, Mardy Collins, was every bit the star, scoring 25 of Temple's 48 points. His long arms on defense created havoc for Princeton, as Collins seemed to be everywhere disrupting Princeton's offense from time to time. Frosh swingman Mark Tyndale also played well for Temple; he had 11 points. The shorter Tigers defended Temple very well and held Temple's 14 feet of inside players -- Keith Butler and Wayne Marshall -- to 4 points. Neither big man for Temple showed that he can either catch or handle the ball well inside, and there were numerous occasions when shorter Princeton players knocked the ball away from them.

4. Princeton frosh forward Noah Savage has a serious offensive game and gives the Tigers another outside threat. He fared well on offense, didn't shoot that well from behind the arc, and looked challenged on defense at times. Princeton frosh guard Matt Sargeant, who had 7 assists in a game earlier this year, laid an egg against the Owls. He looked overmatched on offense, threw too many telegraphed one-handed passes, and committed a bunch of turnovers. The bos score credits him with only two turnovers, but it seemed like he had 5. The Tiger bench overall contributed very little, as senior forward Andre Logan, in his first game back after knee surgery, looked rusty out there. Backup C Mike Stephens played a solid half of the game, and the Tigers looked most formidable when he and starting C Judson Wallace were out there together. The best lineup for the Tigers was when Greenman, Venable (who has no fear), Wallace, Stephens and Savage were out there together.

5. Here's the link for the box score. Princeton had 10 assists to Temple's 5, but 11 turnovers to Temple's 8. The teams tied 21-21 in rebounds, which is pretty amazing given that Temple's shortest player out there was 6'5" and Princeton only played 3 players taller than that. While the Temple fans shouted "midget" when 5'9" guard Scott Greenman touched the ball, the Tiger guard played very tough defense last night. At one point in the first half, Tyndale tried to take him to the hoop, Greenman made him stop his dribble, and Tyndale threw up a weak turnaround jumper that was off the mark. I'll take that "short" guy any day of the weak; he's a battler.

6. The Apollo at Temple is a very nice arena, great sight lines, but only had 3,500 in announced attendance last night.

7. The P.A. announcer might do great charitable work, shovel the walks of neighborhood widows with osteoporosis and appear at charity events for Philadelphia-area CYOs (and I'm only speculating here), but he sounds like a guy who was a second-team runner-up for the ringmaster at a tent-show circus that runs in the plains states during the summers. He was hard to tune out, and it made all of the people in my group pine for the late, great Dave Zinkoff, a Temple grad, who was the best P.A. announcer of all-time. He did the 76ers games from the 60's to early 80's, and was just wonderful. Long live the Zink! And, he does, as a banner hangs in the Wachovia Center honoring his efforts. It hangs alongside those of Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Erving and others.

8. Princeton Assistant Coach Howie Levy was wearing a light-colored sportcoat last night. At 6'11", Howie is hard to miss, but the dyed-in-the-wool Philadelphians in the crowd thought that the Princeton assistant should be reminded that light colors are not to be worn after Labor Day and before Memorial Day. Then again, if they were playing Miami on the road, the ensemble might have worked just fine.

9. Great quotes from Temple coach John Chaney about Princeton. Coach Chaney said that the Tigers reminded him of the Katzenjammer Kids in that they brought a frustrating brand of hoops to town, that if he drew Princeton in the NCAA tournament he'd send in a card saying "no thanks" and that he pities Penn coach Fran Dunphy, because Penn has to play the Tigers twice. He always refused to schedule Princeton when Pete Carril coached there, and agreed to this game when another school backed out of a commitment and ESPN2 came calling.

10. Finally, there are no such things as good losses. Ivy fans should take little comfort that Princeton lost by two last night, that Yale took Boston College to double overtime 2 nights ago before falling 82-80, or that Cornell played Syracuse tough last night before losing 82-69. The Ivies are in the bottom third in conference RPI, and there's a good reason for that. I'll take an ugly win over Temple over a valiant effort against a good BC team any day of the week. The Ivy teams need to win these games to gain more respect, and, right now, they're just not getting it done.

11. Meanwhile, the curious case of Philadelphia-area guard Harris Mansell continues to perplex me. He is a senior at Cheltenham HS (the HS that brought the world Reggie Jackson and Virginia AD Craig Littlepage, who played for Penn), which is a very good HS outside Philadelphia. He has a good academic rank, and someone closer to this situation than I reports that Mansell is a Top 200 or so recruit. The Philadelphia Inquirer featured him as a player to watch this year (actually, he was on the cover of their HS hoops preview), and last year he and his brother led Cheltenham to the brutally tough PA District 1 final game against perennial power Chester, only to lose by 5. Yesterday, Mansell and his brother, Patrick, who is a junior, led Cheltenham (who was missing its two big men) to a four-point win over perennial Phila. powerhouse Simon Gratz (who has produced, among others, Rasheed Wallace and Temple's Mardy Collins, to name a few). Mansell is interested in the Ivies, but the Ivies seemingly have had not interest in him. He signed a letter of intent to attend Rider University, which, quite frankly, is getting quite a steal. The Ivies may still have a chance (as the Ivies do not honor letters of intent because they don't sign players to letters of intent), and it may be that Rider is an excellent fit, but I am surprised that he hasn't drawn more Ivy interest. Stay tuned, although I doubt anything will change here.


Blogger TigerHawk said...

The no-call was an outrage, I say, an outrage!!!

10:05 AM  
Blogger SportsProf said...

Jack: You are absolutely right, it was scandalous. Pretty hard to miss a goaltending call when the shooter puts the ball off the glass and then the defender swats it away. Hard enough to win on the road, hard enough to win in the building of a Hall of Fame coach, but the non-call was a disgrace, and the refs should be written up. Still, if Princeton shoots 9-27 from behind the arc instead of 7-27, they win the game.

10:12 AM  

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