Princeton's Sydney Johnson Makes Appearance on ESPNU
Courtesy of Princeton Athletic Communications
PRINCETON, N.J. -- Princeton head coach Sydney Johnson '97 discussed the legacy of Pete Carril and other topics in college basketball on the Katz Corner College Basketball Coaches Special hosted by Andy Katz on ESPNU on Monday, Aug. 16.
Johnson appeared with fellow coaches and Princeton alumni John Thompson III '88 of Georgetown and Craig Robinson '83 of Oregon State, while Chris Mooney '94 of Richmond appeared later in the hourlong show. The Tiger alums were among 35 head coaches, and Johnson the only Ivy coach in the group, to appear on the week of Katz's Corner shows.
Princeton will appear at least one more time on ESPNU this season when it faces Duke on Nov. 14 in the College Basketball Experience tournament. Below are Johnson's quotes from the show:
On NCAA Tournament expansion to 68 teams and the "First
What I would have loved to see is us, mid-majors, taking on some of the big boys. That's what you play for. When we went to the tournament [during my Princeton playing career], that's what we got to do. We beat UCLA, we got to play Cal, and so I would imagine that, if you're a mid-major team and you get to the tournament, that you want to play Virginia Tech. That was one of the teams that was on the bubble [last season], and so they've kind of steered away from that and that's too bad. I like what John [Thompson III] - Coach to me - I like what Coach mentioned, is that, let it play out a couple of years and then see how it works.
On conference realignment:
Because you have all these big boys coming together and building some of these conferences - that's the way I look at it - the NCAA Tournament has to put a situation together where smaller schools, mid-majors, are allowed to play some of these bigger schools. It's also related to scheduling. I mean scheduling is such a big part of what we do as coaches, and we certainly -- some years at a smaller school like Princeton, you don't want to play all those big schools. But when you have a little bit better team, you want to take on some of these guys and sometimes they don't want to play you, and that's OK. So the NCAA Tournament becomes that much more important because if you're a strong team and represent your conference, you can go and play some of these bigger powers and I think the fans want to see that, coaches want to see that, and most importantly, the players definitely want to be a part of that.
On Pete Carril's legacy:
For me, Coach, he sees so much, and that phrase is thrown out there. I don't know if people fully understand, but when he walks into a gym, he immediately understands what's important, how good a kid is, how the coach is coaching, what the parents must be like for a certain kid. He's absolutely amazing and for me it's just constantly trying to measure up to that, to have an understanding of what's going on and how best to communicate what I'm trying to do with my guys. I'd also say he believes in stuff that fundamentally is going to carry over years and years and years. Looking at John [Thompson III] and looking at Craig [Robinson], you can talk about levels, but what we do works, and he put that in place, whether it's how you guard, how you read certain situations, coming down and getting good shots every time. He's absolutely amazing. He still comes back to campus and checks us out at basketball camp and all that stuff. Those are the things, just seeing [things] and a brand of basketball that I think transfers to a lot of different programs.