Criminals with a basketball, ‘March Rebellion’ after 56 years

There is a basketball tactic that allows a weak team to take out a strong team. It’s the Princeton Offense. Princeton, a prestigious university belonging to the Ivy League, does not attract good players because it requires good academic performance and does not provide athletic scholarships. So, coach Pete Carrill (died in 2022), who held the baton at Princeton University for 21 years from 1967, devised a tactic that did not require individual skills. It is a method of minimizing dribbling and advancing closer to the goal with only passes. Princeton students easily embodied this because they had a clear understanding instead of a lack of personal ability.

This tactic went beyond the university stage and dominated the NBA in the 2000s. Several teams, including the proud Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Houston Rockets, have adopted tactics based on the Princeton Offense. When Busan KT (now Suwon KT) of the Korea Basketball League (KBL)안전놀이터, a domestic professional league, won the regular season championship in the 2010-2011 season, the tactic they mainly used was the Princeton Offense. However, it was treated as outdated due to the 3-point shooting craze that began in the mid-2010s.

The Princeton Offensive has recently been attracting attention again. Princeton University caused a ‘criminal rebellion’ in this year’s National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s basketball tournament ‘March Madness’.

Princeton University defeated the University of Arizona, the 8th ranked team in the AP (Local Journalists Voting), 59-55 in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament round of 64 on the 17th, and in the round of 32 on the 19th, defeated the University of Missouri (23rd) 78-63. Reached the round of 16 for the first time in 56 years. It is the first time in 13 years at an Ivy League university. Since the AP ranking only counts up to the 25th place, Princeton University does not have a separate ranking. It was a team that was far from expectations, but it surprised the whole country.

The person leading Princeton University’s sensation is coach Mitch Henderson (48), who has held the baton at his alma mater since 2011. He was also a key player in the biggest upset in NCAA history in 1996, when Princeton University defeated strong UCLA, the champion of the previous year’s tournament, 43-41. At the time, he said he learned the value of team play from former manager Pete Carrill.

Moderation is what coach Henderson, who has been in charge of his alma mater since 2011, emphasizes the most. It is said that he constantly tells the players to “control yourself, and control yourself” in order to understand the Princeton offense, which is distorted if even one person gets greedy.

The player who best carries out coach Henderson’s will on the court is forward Tosan Ewama (22). Ewama, who was born and raised in Newcastle, England, was noticed by a scouting team at Princeton University and enrolled in 2019. As a senior, Ewama doesn’t stand out terribly, averaging 14.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, but his ability to direct and pass around and create a fluid offense is excellent. There is also a story that former manager Pete Carrill enjoyed watching Ewama play before his death last year.

Leading guard Blake Peters confirmed advancing to the round of 16 and said, “We went out on the court and played with absolute trust in each other,” and “if there is trust, anything can happen.” “No one is afraid,” Henderson said. We play Princeton’s basketball.”

It is not known how far Princeton University will go in the future. Princeton University will play Creighton University in the round of 16 on the 25th. It is a strong team supported by 213 cm tall center Ryan Kirkbrenner (21). CBS Sports of the United States predicted, “Princeton University is obviously inferior in objective power, but if the game goes on like last weekend, the result will be unknown.”

The unknown Fairey Dickinson University also caused a similar disturbance to Princeton University on the 18th. In the round of 64, it defeated Purdue University (No. 3 in the AP rankings), which was a candidate for the championship, 63-58. However, in the round of 32 on the 20th, the season ended with a 70-78 loss to Florida Atlantic University. Dickinson University coach Tobin Anderson said, “It’s not always happy to lose.”

☞March Madness

The NCAA (American Collegiate Sports Association) men’s basketball tournament, which opens in March, is called ‘March Madness’ due to unpredictable incidents one after another in the enthusiasm of cheering by students, alumni, and local residents. (March Madness)’. Its popularity is comparable to that of professional sports, and the broadcast advertising fee per second is about three times that of the NBA playoffs.