It is this same minute concern for concentration that characterizes Bradley on the basketball court. His approach to the game is more pragmatic, scientific, and even fatalistic, than athletic. He scorns pleasant explanations like "touch" and "good eye." "What is 'touch' but concentration?" he says. "A soft touch is no more than practicing the right way. All shots can be scientifically analyzed. It is really just a matter of coordinating the various movements into one smooth motion involving the eyes, the hands, the legs. With foul shots you are given time to concentrate, to pull all of the elements together." The concentration has made him basketball's best foul shot.
A well-heated place
He also concentrates on his health, a concern that leads him to call himself a "semihypochondriac. I don't complain, but I worry," he says. Thus the common cold is more Bradley's enemy than a 6-foot-10 opponent. In his room he has both a portable humidifier and a heater, and he maintains a m�lange of pills for use at the first sign of a sore anything.
Healthy, and on the court, there is not much that Bradley can't do. He can hook, drive, set, jump, run plays, rebound and pass. In fact, his coach, Bill van Breda Kolff, says he passes too much. Bradley's only other problem is the typical sophomore's difficulty with defense, and he is learning what is expected of him there.
At Princeton this winter a great deal is expected, for this year's team is not a strong one. Graduation took the best of last year's players, and Captain Artie Hyland is the only other really accomplished ballplayer on the Tiger squad.
With Bradley playing his usual style, casually spectacular, the Tigers won their first three games this season. Bradley was high scorer each time, with 28, 27 and 23 points against Lafayette, Villanova and Army, respectively. In the defeat of Villanova—only the second time in 10 years that team has lost at home—Bradley took 15 shots, made 10 of them, sank all his seven foul shots and assisted on eight of Princeton's 17 other baskets.
On Saturday night against Army he ran into something he will face for three years, a defense that played the rest of the Princeton team loosely, while watching him closely. The Cadets held Bradley to the 23 points but gave so much room to everybody else that Princeton won going away, 71-54. Bradley took 10 foul shots in the game, making nine. As he was about to shoot one, a piercing voice in the stands shouted "Miss it." It must have broken even his concentration, for miss he did. But Princeton's Satin Shorts won't miss many in the next three years. Tradition may have to make room for another No. 42.