Longtime basketball enthusiasts in Pennsylvania might remember Peter Carril. Back in 1948 he was a fireplug-size high school senior in Bethlehem and made All-State ahead of Dick Groat and Maurice Stokes, who were merely honorable mention. At Lafayette College he was again All-State, on a 10-man squad that included Stokes of St. Francis, Tom Gola of LaSalle and Ernie Beck of Penn. As a coach, Carril has not traveled in such fancy company. He worked in relative obscurity at high schools in Easton and Reading, Pa. for 12 years and at Lehigh for one. So how come he is now head man at Princeton?
Because Butch van Breda Kolff recommended him. Butch, who coached a fine Tiger team to the Ivy title last season and then left for L.A., put in a strong plug for Pete, who played for him one season at Lafayette. Carril teaches the same kind of freelance, thinking-man's game as VBK, with perhaps a few more patterns. Already he is scouring the East for future players and by next season will have a new gymnasium as a selling point. Van Breda Kolff was nice enough to leave his assistant, Art Byland (also an excellent squash partner), and a courtful of talented players. Princeton is rightfully the Ivy favorite once again.
The tallest reason is junior Center Chris Thomforde, the would-be Lutheran minister from Long Island who has agility, enthusiasm and surprising endurance for a man 6'9". Thomforde worked at Red Auerbach's basketball camp last summer and learned some valuable lessons from Bill Russell—one of which, he says, is that he could not score unless Russell decided to let him. But Ivy pivotmen will hardly be as effective against him as Russell.
Coach Carril has two fine shooters in Forward John Haarlow, who played a magnificent game against Cornell last season despite a broken nose, and Guard Joe Heiser. And there are three talented sophomores, John Hummer, Mike Mardy and Jeff Petrie. Hummer, 6'8", seems to be at least as good as his brother Ed, last year's best defensive player who is now in law school. John has a good long-distance jump shot, good moves to the basket and the raw ability to match his brother as a defender. He will start at forward, opposite Haarlow, and help Thomforde considerably on the boards.
Mardy should be an adequate backup man for Chris. Jeff Petrie, however, has the vital mission—replacing playmaker Gary Walters, who is now coaching the Lehigh freshmen. Carril worries about Petrie's ability, as a sophomore, to bring the ball up himself and run the offense, but there is no one else who can do it. So far Petrie has shown himself to be a sound ball handler and excellent passer, with the one fault of tending to become a spectator when someone else has the ball.
Carril also worries about the rest of the league, with some reason: "I would say that Cornell and Columbia could beat anybody they play. Columbia is considerably better than last year. The whole league has improved."
Everybody is a bit scared of Columbia, mainly because of the return of 7' Dave Newmark, who was ill and missed last season. When he was a sophomore two years ago, the Lions beat Princeton twice. The Newmark-Thomforde duels might decide the championship this time, particularly their meeting in the last game of the season early in March. But Coach Jack Rohan has two other new shooting arms—Jim McMillan and Hayward Dotson, both up from the freshmen. They may be a close match for Princeton's newcomers.
Over in Ithaca, N.Y., Cornell Coach Hugh (Sam) MacNeil will not make any predictions. "Anything can happen in our league," he says. "Down on the coast the emphasis in our conference seems to be pointed toward getting publicity. Up here in Ithaca we are just a country school enjoying the game." That sounds suspiciously like a man about to sandbag the opposition, and MacNeil does have some new talent, principally 6'5" Bill Schwartzkopf, who averaged 26 points for the freshmen. Cornell did not have enough height last season and does not seem to have the problem solved yet, although Walt Esdaile at least supplies plenty of bulk in the key. Greg Morris, a fine shooter, Hank South and Paul Frye complete the first five. The bench is not Cornell's strong point.