Jordan negotiating to become Rutgers coach
by Jerry Carino, USA TODAY Sports
The man who handed Eddie Jordan the keys to the Princeton-style offense has some advice for the soon-to-be Rutgers men’s basketball coach.
“I hope the first thing he does is forget about that offense,” Pete Carril said Saturday. “Today’s player doesn’t seem to like that offense anymore.”
The 82-year-old Carril was half-joking, but half-serious. The offense he perfected in three decades at Princeton mutated on its journey from Old Nassau to the NBA. Jordan played a big part in the evolution, mastering it when he and Carril coached together with the Sacramento Kings and taking it to the New Jersey Nets, where a version form-fitted around Jason Kidd and Kenyon Martin appeared in back-to-back NBA Finals.
Jordan, who spent this season as a Los Angeles Lakers assistant, has been in New Jersey since Saturday trying to hammer out a deal to become Rutgers’ 18th head coach. He still owns a home in Montgomery, which is a long outlet pass from Carril’s old stomping grounds.
Barring a surprise derailment, an announcement by Rutgers could come Tuesday. Consummation takes time as the school does its due diligence and Jordan ties up whatever loose ends he has.
“He always reminded me of the fact that he played Princeton five times, so that’s how he learned the offense,” Carril said of Jordan, who went 4-1 against the Tigers as Rutgers’ point guard from 1973-77.
Jordan’s stock as a strategist took off during his assistantship with the Nets because it showed that Carril’s baby wasn’t all shot-clock milking and backdoor cutting.
“It’s not a modern-day offense, so you take parts that assimilate well to the way NBA players want to do things,” Carril said. “Make sure there’s a pick-and-roll in there. With the Nets, he doctored the offense because he had a good point guard.”
The classic Princeton offense has no real positions aside from a center. Everyone else spaces the perimeter and passes the ball until either a driving lane opens, a cutter breaks through or, if the defense helps in the paint, someone shoots a 3-pointer. The closest cousin being used on a high-profile level is by Georgetown. But even that … [For more on Eddie Jordan negotiating deal to become Rutgers coach, click here.]