Friday, March 30, 2007

Cornell Head Coach Steve Donahue Supports Extending the College Three-Point Shot Arc



In recent years, critics of the college three-point shot have argued that the distance of 19'9" is too easy to make, amounting to nothing more than a "chip shot" for most college players. Their voices have caught the attention of the NCAA Rules Committee, which will vote in May on a proposal to extend the line (most likely to the 20'6 1/4" international distance). Georgetown and Florida head coaches, John Thompson III and Billy Donovan are among the proponents to push the line back. They are also joined by Cornell head coach Steve Donahue.

Take the links below to see the story in the Daily Pennsylvanina on Coach Donahue's opinion of the college three-point shot:

http://media.www.dailypennsylvanian.com/media/storage/paper882/news/2007/03/29/Sports/As.The.Threes.Rain.Down.Coaches.Still.Crying.A.River-2811654.shtml


http://lamp.dailypennsylvanian.com/blogs/?section=1

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Spotlight on: Brian Kreefer

Now that Cornell’s starting center Andrew Naeve (6’10” 240 lbs.) as well as part-time starting power forward Ugo Ihekweazu (6’5” 220 lb.) have graduated, Cornell must begin to evaluate its returning frontcourt players and look to the future. The obvious replacements in the starting line appear to be Alex Tyler (6’7” 245 lb. Soph.) at power forward and Jason Hartford (6’9” 245 lb. Sr.) at center. However, with Hartford’s health status still a concern after sitting out 2006-2007 with a broken foot, several other returnees may be called-upon to play significant minutes during 2007-2008 at either the power forward or center positions. In the mix for playing time in the low blocks will be Jeff Foote (7’0” 210 lb. Soph. St. Bonaventure transfer), Pete Reynolds (6’8” 215 lb. Soph.) and Brian Kreefer (6’7” 220 lb. Jr.).

Kreefer has the most experience of the 2007-2008 returning frontcourt players and the Big Red will need significant improvement from the Liverpool, Ohio native if he is going to make positive contributions next season.

During 2006-2007, Kreefer averaged 13.4 minutes per game, appearing in 27 contests and starting 10 games for the Big Red. On the season, he averaged 5.0 points and 2.3 rebounds per game while shooting 46% from the floor, 70% from the free throw line and 26% from beyond the arc. However, in Ivy games, his minutes declined and Kreefer only averaged 6.4 minutes per contest. Coach Donahue’s decision to limit Kreefer’s minutes could be the result of Kreefer’s poor shot selections and generally cold shooting.

The year started bright for Kreefer. In Cornell’s first 11 games, he broke double-digits six times, including scoring 20 points against Lehigh and 23 against Army. He also had 10 points on the big stage against the Iowa Hawkeyes. But Kreefer’s shots did not fall consistently during the season and he overly relied on shooting from the perimeter, taking 50 of his 109 shot attempts on the season from three point territory. And although Kreefer did knock down 13 three pointers on the year, 5 of his “trifectas” came on a hot shooting night against Army where he was 5/7 from downtown. Thus, aside from the Army game, Kreefer was 8 of 43 from beyond the arc on the season, a poor 19%. He was also a dreadful 1 of 10 from beyond the arc against Ivy opponents.

Blessed with tremendous upper body strength and toughness around the hoop, Kreefer can become an invaluable member of the Big Red rotation if he learns to redefine his game and focuses more on scoring closer to the basket. He will be a key player to watch during the preseason.

Recruiting News: Cornell Offers Florida Power Forward




The Ocala Star-Banner reports today that Cornell has offered Matt Sauey, a 6'7" class of 2008 power forward prospect from Ocala, Florida. Sauey played for St. John Lutheran as a sophomore, but then transferred and played this season with Trinity Catholic. Sauey, a 4.0 GPA student, also already has an offer from Ivy rival Columbia and SMU is showing steady interest. But Sauey says his first choice is Central Florida University, which has yet to offer.
"I'd like to go to UCF," Sauey said. "Not only basketball - it's Conference USA - but also engineering, which is what I want to do." Sauey says that doctors project him to grow out to 6'8" or possibly 6'9" before he graduates. He averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds per game this year. FloridaHoops.com reports that Sauey is a "thin framed post player with moves inside; lefty shooter; needs to become stronger; good passer from post area; team player." His teammate, Josh Jones, is a Holy Cross signee.

Cornell would obviously like to get an oral commitment from Sauey before the summer as he is likely to gain more exposure to the bigger schools while on the AAU and camp circuits.

Cornell has only one senior on the roster for the 2007-2008 season, 5th year man, Jason Hartford.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Recruiting News: High School Point Guard Prospect Denied Admission to Cornell


Every now and again, we are reminded as Cornell fans that potential recruits must not only be capable of playing at the competitive Division I level, but they must also be "Ivy League" academically qualified. TexasHoops.com (Rivals.com network) is reporting that Braxton Adamson, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound point guard from Rockwall High School in Rockwall, Texas made an official visit over spring break to Cornell and "was ready to pull the trigger on a commitment" but was denied admission to Cornell even though Coach Donahue offered Adamson a spot on the basketball team.


"I visited Cornell and liked that a lot," Adamson said. "But I was supposed to get into their Ag school which is where their business school is, and it's hard to get into and I didn't get in. So it didn't work out, but that's OK." Cornell's undergrad business program is ranked #10 in the nation by Business Week Magazine. See link:

http://cornellubasketball.blogspot.com/2007/03/good-news-for-recruiting-efforts.html

TexasHoops further reported that Adamson had always looked at going to an Ivy League program as a dream, but now with Cornell out of the picture he has to look at other opportunities. Adamson was evaluated by Rivals.com as "a big-time shooter who can stroke it out to 25 feet. He has a smooth release, gets his shot off quick and knows how to create space. He works hard without the ball to get open, uses screens well, has a good understanding of the game, is a deadly spot up shooter on the break and has a strong body. He has a good feel for the game with the ball in his hands, is a good passer and knows how to run a team. He must be accounted for at all times on the offensive end of the floor as he can get hot and score in bunches." TexasHoops.com ranks him as the #101 prospect in Texas. He has scholarship offers too D-I schools VMI and SE Louisiana.

Cornell's search for a back-up point guard for Louis Dale has been widely covered by recruiting websites.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Schedule Dreams



(Barton Hall pictured) With the offseason truly upon us, it is now time to think about who we would like to play in 2007-2008. Here are a few ideas of good opponents for the Cornell Big Red next year:

1. At Duke-A trip to Cameron Indoor is a special experience and it is a good recruiting tool for high school prospects. Maybe during the trip, former Cornell head coach Mike Dement can give Cornell a second game against UNC-Greensboro. Cornell could also swing south... to Furman where Cornell alum Jeff Jackson is head coach. There is also local Davidson, a mid major powerhouse.
2. At Oregon-A good trip home for the team's lone senior Jason Hartford. Cornell could also stay in state and attempt scheduling a second game against Oregon State or WCC school U. Portland.
3. Syracuse-The Orangemen should be begged to come to Ithaca. If they do not accept, Cornell should get the road game back on the schedule and make the trip back up to the Carrier Dome.
4. St. Bonaventure-Upstate N.Y. A-10 team is a local game and very winnable.
5. St. John's in MSG-Great opportunity for alumni in NYC to see Cornell on the world's biggest stage.
6. Northwestern-This a Big 10 team Cornell defeated during '06-'07. We should schedule them again and again because it is a good match-up of two academic powerhouses.
7. Air Force-This is a good game to prep for Princeton and Brown, all teams that run the sluggish "Princeton offense."
8. Vanderbilt or Stanford-Similar to Northwestern, schools with academic profiles close to Cornell and both winnable games against major conference opponents.
9. At Rice-A very winnable game in one of America's most fertile recruiting grounds, Houston, Texas.
10. At Rutgers or Seton Hall- Cornell needs to increase its exposure in the Garden State. The Scarlet Knights offer a good test in a decent sized gym. A game against the Pirates could be played in the Meadowlands.
11. At Georgetown-Coach Donahue and John Thompson III are familiar faces and the Big Red could squeak into the Hoyas' high profile schedule giving the Big Red increased exposure in the D.C. market.
12. Gonzaga-Only because this would be a very cool opponent on the schedule. Hell, we played them in soccer! Or possibly Butler, another attractive "household name" among mid-majors.
13. Barton Hall- Pictured above. On the 20th Anniversary of Cornell's 1987-1988 Ivy League Championship --I'd suggest a "Throwback Night" game in Barton Hall on the Ithaca campus, where Cornell played all of its home games until 1989. Barton Hall, built in 1914, can seat over 5,000 for basketball games. Suggested opponent? Syracuse would be cool-- but I'd settle even for a smaller local rival like Niagara, Canisius, Buffalo U., Siena, or Albany U.

Philadelphia Inquirer: Cornell the Favorite in '07-'08?







Just a week after the student-published newpaper, The Harvard Crimson, proclaimed Cornell as an early favorite for the 2007-2008 Ivy League basketball championship, today the Philadelphia Inquirer also endorsed Cornell as a possible preseason favorite. The "Inky" stated with respect to Cornell as follows:

A look around the Ivy League shows Cornell as perhaps the biggest threat to take over the top spot. Next year's champion can expect to have as many as three losses on its league record, which could make for a legitimate race. The Big Red, which finished third with a 9-5 record, have three starters returning. Although the team will lose 6-10 center Andrew Naeve, Cornell will welcome back 6-0 guard Adam Gore, who sat out this season because of a knee injury after being named 2006 rookie of the year. The Big Red also boast the '07 rookie of the year in 6-6 forward Ryan Wittman. Coach Steve Donahue will have the services of a pair of transfers in 6-0 guard Collin Robinson (Southern Cal) and 7-0 center Jeff Foote (St. Bonaventure).

Notably, the Inquirer failed to mention the return of medical red-shirt Jason Hartford--Cornell's big 6'9" 245 pound hulk presence in the middle, who shot 56% from the floor and 46% from beyond the arc during 2005-2006 on route to 7.7 points and 3.8 rebounds in just 19 minutes per action per game.

Cornell begins its quest for a '07-'08 Ivy title with its reported May tournament trip to France.

The Inky article may be found at this link:

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/sports/20070327_Penn_coach_calls_consistency_key.html

Monday, March 26, 2007

Spotlight on: Louis Dale

Although just a freshman during 2006-2007, Louis Dale earned Honorable Mention All Ivy League honors at the conclusion of the season, thereby confirming he was among the conference’s top dozen players. Dale can definitely fill a stat sheet. In Ivy games, the Cornell point guard averaged 13.4 points (12th in the Ivy League) while hitting 44% from the floor (10th in the Ivy League) and 45% from beyond the arc (6th in the Ivy League). Despite standing only 5’11”, Dale’s quickness and above the rim leaping ability enabled him to pull down 5.3 rebounds per game (9th in the Ivy League). He also dished 3.7 assists per game (3rd in the Ivy League). However, the most important dimension of his game is his ability to take his man off the dribble, get into the lane, draw contact and get to the foul line. In Ivy play last year, Dale was 6th in the Ivy League in free throws attempted and shot a respectable 73% at the line (although he was 79% at the line during the entire season overall).

Dale should be expected to run the point next season with Adam Gore, Collin Robinson, Geoff Reeves and Jason Battle competing for minutes at the other guard slot.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Spotlight on: Shawn Oliverson

During the 2007-2008 season, Cornell could have a “big” surprise return to the roster. Shawn Oliverson, a 6’10” 245 lb. rising-senior, spent the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 seasons away from the Cornell campus, serving a Latter Day Saints (Mormon) mission. Oliverson is scheduled to return to Ithaca as a full-time student during the mid fall and could possibly begin playing basketball for the team by the start of the Ivy League season should he and Coach Donahue reach agreement on his return to the team. Oliverson could also potentially apply for one to two additional years of playing eligibility as per NCAA rules.

Oliverson was a highly touted recruit coming out of Preston, H.S. in Preston, Idaho. ScoutHoops.com ranked him as one of the top 10 centers in the western United States (a region made up of ten states). He was also ranked among the top 250 recruits nationally by Galaxy of Stars and as the #351 recruit overall nationally by HoopScoopOnline.com. As a high school senior, Oliverson averaged 11.7 points, 10.0 rebounds and 4.0 blocks in earning all-state honors and leading his team to an undefeated state championship (24-0). Oliverson also appeared in the hit MTV movie, Napoleon Dynamite, which was filmed in his high school.

During his freshman season at Cornell in 2004-2005, Oliverson made appearances in only 11 games, averaging 2.1 minutes per game. However, seven of those contests were Ivy League games, thereby suggesting he was improving as the season wore on. He brings tremendous size to the floor and fills up space in the lane. He will need to improve his stamina and foot-speed if he is going to make an impact for the Big Red.

In addition to Oliverson, Cornell will have other options in the low post during 2007-2008 which include fifth-year senior Jason Hartford (6-9 245 lbs), freshman Aaron Richardson-Osgood (6’9” 215 lbs.) as well as Jeff Foote (7’0” 210 lbs.). Foote is not eligible until December due to transfer restrictions. He arrives at Cornell via St. Bonaventure.

Graham Dow Tabbed Academic All-Ivy




After garnering ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA First Team Academic All-America honors on February 28, 2007, it was only fitting that Graham Dow also receive Academic All-Ivy League honors, which the Ivy League office officially bestowed upon Dow yesterday. Congrats to Graham Dow on a terrific career. Below are the links to the press releases:

http://ivyleaguesports.com/article.asp?intID=5874

http://cornellbigred.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/022807aaa.html

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Recruiting News: Joey Accaoui Commits to Vermont




Joey Accaoui, a 5'10, 160 lb point guard from Barrington, R.I., verbally committed today to the University of Vermont after Cornell reportedly made an offer.
The Burlington (Vermont) Free Press covered the story:

http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070322/SPORTS/70322021

Cornell has reported offers on the table to two other point guards and it is unclear as to where Accaoui stood on Cornell's point guard priority list. In essence, Cornell is merely searching for a back-up to Louis Dale, a rising sophomore and Honorable Mention All-Ivy League selection.

http://cornellubasketball.blogspot.com/2007/03/cornell-recruiting-news.html



The Harvard Crimson: Cornell Early '07-'08 Favorite




An article in the Harvard Crimson, Harvard's student newspaper, points to Cornell as the early favorite in the 2007-2008 Ivy League basketball season. Take this link:
http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=517877

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Recruiting News: New Junior College Prospect

Hopping news on the recruiting front, literally. JucoJunction.com (a junior college basketball website affiliated with Rivals.com) reports that Cornell is recruiting Demetrius Williamson, an explosive 6’6” sophomore combo forward from Bakersfield Community College in Bakersfield, California. Williamson's dunks on the junior college circuit have already drawn comparisons to Julius "Dr. J" Erving and Michael "Air" Jordan. Williamson graduated famed Whitney Young High School in Chicago in 2005 where he participated exclusively in track & field, namely the long jump and triple jump. He was merely 5’7” tall when he entered high school and only 6’2” when he graduated, but has since sprouted an additional four inches. After graduating Whitney Young, he accepted a full track & field scholarship to attend the University of Missouri and was eventually invited by Head Coach Quinn Snyder to join the basketball team as a walk-on red-shirt during the 2005-2006 season. However, when Snyder was fired by Missouri, Williamson decided to pursue college basketball over track and opted to transfer to Bakersfield for the 2006-2007 season. Williamanson averaged approximately 7 points and 5 rebounds per game as a freshman at Bakersfield, but while his stats were not eye-opening, his athleticism and leaping ability have earned him tremendous recruiting attention. He is taking an official visit to NCAA tournament participant Niagara this weekend, but is also receiving steady interest from Cornell, Brown, Dartmouth, and Mercer. He will have three years of eligibility and may play in the 2007-2008 season. If he commits to Cornell, Williamson could draw comparisons to the athletic leaper, John McCord, class of 1997, a former JuCo transfer himself from Monore (NY) College.

Williamson was featured in an article in Bakersfield.com during February 2007.

http://www.bakersfield.com/136/story/97797.html

Monday, March 19, 2007

Alumni News: Alex Compton '97 in the News

Alex Compton, Cornell Big Red Class of '97, still holds the school record for most three-point field goals made in a game (9 vs. Yale on February 24, 1996). Compton was recently featured in the Phillipine media where he has maintained a professional basketball career since graduating Cornell.

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/storypage.aspx?StoryId=70461


A bit on Alex from Wikpedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alex_Compton

Cornell Recruits Finn

It seems that each year, Cornell finds itself in the recruiting mix for one or two special players, the “franchise” type kids that you can build your program around. This year, Cornell finds itself in hot pursuit of Little Rock (Ark.) Parkview H.S. 6’1” combo guard Trey Finn (class of 2008). Rivals.com reports that Finn may very well be the top junior basketball player in the state of Arkansas. In a recent interview with Hawgsports.com, a Rivals.com affiliate website, Finn said, "I'm working on my ball handling and shooting more." He continued, "In college, I will play the one or two. Shooting and rebounding for my size are my strength, but I'm still working to improve my shooting." Finn will play AAU basketball for the Arkansas Kings this summer. As the summer approaches, Finn is going to see the recruiting attention pick up rapidly and hopefully Cornell will remain close to the top of his list. "Ole Miss, Arkansas, Middle Tennessee, UALR, Indiana State, Cornell and Bradley are recruiting me the hardest right now," Finn said. He has already picked up scholarship offers from Middle Tennessee State, Arkansas-Little Rock, Indiana State and Ole Miss. Finn averaged 20 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists per game for Parkview H.S. this past season.

Here is an updated list of Cornell's public-reported class of 2008 recruiting prospects.

CLASS OF 2008 PROSPECTS
  • Byron Freeman G 6-2 Manhasset, NY St. Mary's HS
  • Scott Machado G 6-1 Manhasset, NY St. Mary's HS
  • Tyler Gage G 6-3 174 Tucson, AZ Salpointe HS
  • Noel Hollingsworth F 6-9 215 Salt Lake City UT Judge Memorial HS
  • Brett Marfurt G 6-3 190 St. Louis, NY Oakville HS
  • Dylan Royer G 6-0 175 Morro Bay CA HS
  • Chris Wroblewski G 6-1 Highland Park IL HS
  • Marcus Lowe G5-8 155 Anchorage, AK Service HS (AAU: West Coast)
  • Trey Finn G 6-1 205 Little Rock AR Parkview HS (AAU: Arkansas Kings)
  • Tresean Owens F 6-5 Portland OR Benson Tech HS/N.Idaho J.C.
  • Mitchell Watt F 6-8 195 Goodyear AZ Desert Edge HS (AAU: Arizona Premier)
  • Ryan Brooks F 6-8 Abescon NJ Holy Sprit HSA
  • Ameer Brown 6-4 190 Blair NJ Blair Academy (class of 2009)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Cornell Recruiting News









In addition to recruiting low post players to help replace the graduating Andrew Naeve, reports have surfaced that Cornell is also actively recruiting point guards to add additional depth behind starter Louis Dale, a rising sophomore and Honorable Mention All-Ivy League selection during 2006-2007. As previously reported in this blog, Cornell has already secured the services of 6’9” center, Aaron Richardson-Osgood.

With respect to the backcourt, the Cornell coaching staff appears to have narrowed their search to two primary point guard candidates. First, TexasHoops.com (of the Rivals.com network) reported on February 13, 2007 that Cornell had extended an offer to Andy Moore (pictured above left), a 6’1” 180 lb point guard out of St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Austin, TX. Moore averaged 17 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists per game this season and played last summer with the Texas Ambassadors AAU program. Rivals.com evaluates Moore as “[a] steady and smart floor leader…[h]e gets into the gaps in the defense, finds the open man and creates scoring opportunities…[h]e has a nice stroke out to the 3 point line, handles it well against pressure, has nice speed and quickness and really understands the game.” In addition to Cornell, TexasHoops.com reports that Moore is also entertaining late recruitment interest from Tulane. TexasHoops.com also reported that Moore is planning an official visit to the Cornell campus.

Cornell’s other top point guard prospect appears to hail from Toronto, Canada. According to Jim Thomas, a recruiting expert from the Canadian-based TheHoop-La.com website, the Cornell coaching staff was up in Toronto during February to see Eastern Commerce Collegiate H.S. point guard, Keaton Cole (pictured above right), a diminutive 5’9” playmaker. Thomas reported on February 12, 2007 that Cornell is waiting on Cole’s SAT test results to see if he can qualify for the program academically. Eastern Commerce Collegiate is the perennial #1 powerhouse basketball program in Canada. There are currently eight Eastern Commerce alums playing NCAA Division I basketball and NBA player Jamal Magliore is arguably the most notable alumnus. Thomas ranks Cole as the #1 point guard in the Ontario province while TheHoopLife.Ca, another Canadian recruiting website, ranks Cole as the #12 overall player in Canada for all class years and positions. TheHoopLife.Ca said that Cole has "Iverson-like speed" and “can take over a game with his play making or his outside jumper.” The website also commented that Cole “has a great understanding on how to organize his team on both offence and defence." Cole was also highly ranked by HoopScoopOnline.com, listed as the #449 recruit in North America. Cole’s resume also includes his membership on the Ontario provincial select team the last four years and attendance at the prestigious Nike All-Canada Camp.

Hopefully within the next few weeks we will learn if Cornell was able to successfully recruit a new point guard and/or additional low post player.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Three Point Bombs

Here is one guarantee for the next college basketball season. Cornell will knock down three-point shots in bunches. At various points during games next season, Steve Donahue may play on the floor combinations of anywhere between three to four different players who can knock down three-pointers at a rate exceeding 40%. Here is a glimpse of Cornell’s big-time shooters from three point range.

Louis Dale 5’11” So. 44/94 (.468), 13.3 ppg
Ryan Wittman 6’6” So.
93/216 (.431), 15.6 ppg
Geoff Reeves 6’5” So.
11/22 (.500), 3.5 ppg
Jason Hartford 6’9” Sr. (05-06 stats)
12/26 (.462), 7.7 ppg
Adam Gore 6’0” So. (05-06 stats)
83/198 (.419), 12.9 ppg

In addition, USC transfer Collin Robinson (6’0” So.) hit 103-of-255 3-pointers as a senior in high school (40%) and 1/6 during 2005-2006 while at USC.

Cornell is Where the (All) Ivy Grows


The Big Red's roster is beginning to look a bit like an All-Star team. Cornell returns three All-Ivy League players for the 2007-2008 season in Adam Gore (6'0" Soph.), Louis Dale (5'11" Soph.) and Ryan Wittman (6'6" Soph.). No other Ivy team returns three All-Ivy players for the 2007-2008 season. Gore was a red-shirt during 2006-2007 season, but had earned the Ivy League Rookie of the Year award and was named Second Team All-Ivy during the 2005-2006 season. Wittman literally followed in Gore's footsteps by winning the 2006-2007 Ivy Leauge Rookie of the Year award and nabbing Second Team All-Ivy honors. Dale was an All-Ivy League Honorable Mention selection in 2006-2007.

Not only does Cornell have the three All-Ivy Leaguers next season, but each of three players maintains 3 years of eligibility.


Spotlight on: Jason Hartford


Sitting out the 2006-2007 season with a broken foot, Jason Hartford (#44 in the picture) is expected to return to the Big Red next season as a fifth-year red-shirt senior. At a physically imposing 6'9" and 240 pounds, Hartford is expected to start at center next year in place of the graduated Andrew Naeve. As a junior during the 2005-2006 season, Hartford showed flashes of All Ivy League potential. He averaged 7.7 points and 3.8 rebounds in just 19 minutes of action per game in 21 appearances (20 off the bench). He was forced out of seven contests with a variety of injuries including a broken wrist. An offensive weapon, Hartford was a threat from both inside and beyond the arc, making 66/119 FGs (56%) and 12/26 3-pointers on the year and in the process recording eight double-figure scoring games.

Hartford's season highlights included putting back a missed 3-pointer with 2.4 seconds to play in a win over Harvard, ending the contest with six rebounds and a career-high four blocks against the Crimson's highly regarded front line. He was also 7-of-8 from the floor for a career-high 21 points at Yale. Hartford also scored 17 points on 8-of-10 shooting at No. 10 Washington, posted 10 points and eight rebounds, including making both 3-point attempts, against Penn and notched 11 points and 5 rebounds against Albany. He also had 16 points and 11 rebounds in the 2005-2006 opening game against St. Francis (Pa.).

If Cornell is fortunate enough to get back a healthy Jason Hartford during the 2007-2008 season, watch for the Big Red to make an Ivy League championsip run.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Cornell Trying to Lure Big Time Teams to Ithaca


The Cornell basketball program is currently offering "high major" Division I programs an opportunity for a 2-for-1 series. The series would start in Ithaca for the 2007-2008 season in Newman Arena and then Cornell would play on the road the next two seasons.

Cornell has not hosted a "high major" since Georgia Tech visited Newman Arena on November 23, 2003. The game, broadcast on College Sports Television (CSTV), drew 4,762 fans.


Monday, March 12, 2007

Some Cornell Related NCAA Tournament Notes




FORMER CORNELLIAN IN THE DANCE-The Louisville Cardinals will be a #6 seed in the South and face the Stanford Cardinal. Former Cornell basketball player, Will Scott averages 9 minutes of action and 3.8 points per game for Coach Rick Pitino and Louisville. "Iron" Will Scott transferred to Louisville from Cornell last year.

http://uoflsports.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/mtt/scott_will00.html

CORNELL OPPONENTS-Cornell's only two opponents from the 2006-2007 season which made the field of 65 are Albany at the #13 seed in the South and Penn a #14 seed, also in the South region. Cornell did not face any of the 32 NIT invitees. Even Bucknell with a 22-9 overall record and 13-1 Patriot conference record did not receive an NIT invite.

USC IN THE FIELD-The Trojans are a #5 seed in the East Region. Cornell transfer, Collin Robinson, played for USC last season before joining the Big Red.

WAZZU-Cornell Assistant Coach, Mark Vershaw was an assistant coach at Washington State last season. His former Cougar team is a #3 seed in the East. Coach Vershaw also played in the Final Four with Wisconsin a few years back. The Badgers are a #2 seed in the Midwest.

Cornell Prospect Commits Elsewhere










Kramer Knutson (pictured), a 6-9 Senior center out of Mesa (Ariz.) Dobson High School, has given a verbal commitment to the University of Portland (West Coast Conference), according to the Arizona Republic and Scout.com. Knutson, an excellent student as well as talented prospect, was also involved with Cornell, Columbia, Stanford and Southern Utah at various times in his recruitment. Knutson was reportedly one of the Big Red's primary frontcourt prospects. Scout.com ranked him as thr 9th Best Center in the Western United States (consisting of a region of 10 states).



Sunday, March 11, 2007

Cornell Recruiting Update


Coach Donahue and his staff continue to hit the recruiting trails for high school class of 2008 prospects.

Scout.com is reporting that Byron Freeman, a 6 foot-2 shooting guard from St. Mary's High School in Manhasset, New York, has a revised list of schools, according to Gaels head coach Robert Jones. He has interest from Cornell, Yale, as well as Memphis, Illinois, St. John's and UAB among others. Cornell is also recruiting his teammate, Scott Machado, a 6-1 guard.

Here is an updated list of Cornell's public-reported 2007 and 2008 prospects and commitments.

CORNELL'S 2007 RECRUITING COMMITMENTS

  • Aaron Richardson Osgood C 6-9 220 Redmond WA Overlake HS/Pottstown PA Hill School
  • Collin Robinson G 6-0 170 Diamond Bar CA HS/USC Transfer
  • Jeff Foote C 7-0 220 Spencer-Van Etten HS NY/St. Bona. U.

CLASS OF '07 CENTERS/BIG FORWARDS PROSPECTS

  • John Appel C 6-9 Danville CA Monte Vista HS
  • Nem Stankovic C 6-9 Toronto, Canada Vaughn Academy
  • James Granstra C 6-10 240 Edgerton, MN SW Concept Star(AAU: Pulley Panthers)
  • Miles Plumlee C 6-9 Warsaw IN Christ School Arden NC
  • Mason Plumlee C 6-9 Warsaw IN Christ School Arden NC
  • Cliff Sammet F 6-8 220 Santa Cruz CA HS/Santa Clara U./West Valley College, CA
  • Patrick Dreith F 6-7 210 San Mateo CA Hillsdale HS/San Francisco City College
  • Max Deal F 6-7 230 lbs F/C Culpeper VA Highland HS
  • Demetrius Williamson F 6-6 Chicago IL Whitney Young HS/U. Missouri/Bakersfield College

CLASS OF '07 SMALL FORWARDS/BIG GUARDS PROSPECTS

  • Jake Glisson F 6-6 215 Gresham OR Barlow HS/Mt Hood J.C.
  • Jeff Francis F 6-6 190 Houston TX Westbury Christian HS
  • Tom Fow G 6-5 Scottsdale AZ Notre Dame Prep (AAU: Arizona Stars)
  • Connor Hartley F 6-6 Washington, DC Georgetown Prep
  • Matt Boswell G 6-6 180 Wichita KS Kapaun Mt. Carmel HS (AAU: Wichita Flight)
  • Andre Wilkins F 6-5 Toronto CA Emery HS/Blinn College TX

CLASS OF '07 GUARD PROSPECTS

  • Joey Accaoui G 5-9 160 Barrington RI St. Andrew's School (AAU: New England Playaz)
  • John Pietkiewicz G 6-3 Winter Park H.S. FL New Hampton Prep NH
  • Keaton Cole G 5-9 Toronto CA Eastern Commerce HS
  • Andy Moore G 6-1 180 Austin TX St. Stephen’s Episcopal
  • Adam Folker G 6-7 Markham ONTARIO Markham HS
  • B.J. Wortham G 6-3 170 Lewisville TX Hebron HS (AAU: Dallas Mustangs)
  • Shannon Shorter G 6-4 195 Houston TX Westside HS (AAU: Houston Hoopstars)
  • Conor Meehan G 6-3 Meriden, CT Choate Rosemary Hall
  • Jon Pike F 6-4 180 Exeter, ME Exeter Academy
  • Gerald McClemore G 6-2 170 San Diego, CA Scripps Ranch HS
  • Qaiser Ahmed G 6-3 Falls Church, VA George C. Marshall HS
  • Imad Qahwash G 6-1 160 Kitchener, ON Grand River CollegiateInstitute/Harmoney Prep Cincinnati OH
  • Ryan Dougherty G 6-1 Great Falls, VA St. Albans School
  • Teddy Greissing G 6-4 McLean, VA Georgetown Prep
  • Alex Tucker 5-11 155 Redondo Beach, CA, Redondo Union HS
  • Jordan Ragan G 6-1 170 Henderson NV Green Valley HS/Colorado Northwestern CC

CLASS OF 2008 PROSPECTS

  • Byron Freeman G 6-2 Manhasset, NY St. Mary's HS
  • Scott Machado G 6-1 Manhasset, NY St. Mary's HS
  • Tyler Gage G 6-3 174 Tucson, AZ Salpointe HS
  • Noel Hollingsworth F 6-9 215 Salt Lake City UT Judge Memorial HS
  • Brett Marfurt G 6-3 190 St. Louis, NY Oakville HS
  • Dylan Royer G 6-0 175 Morro Bay CA HS
  • Chris Wroblewski G 6-1 Highland Park IL HS
  • Marcus Lowe G5-8 155 Anchorage, AK Service HS (AAU: West Coast)
  • Trey Finn G 6-1 205 Little Rock AR Parkview HS (AAU: Arkansas Kings)
  • Tresean Owens F 6-5 Portland OR Benson Tech HS/N.Idaho J.C.
  • Mitchell Watt F 6-8 195 Goodyear AZ Desert Edge HS (AAU: Arizona Premier)

Friday, March 9, 2007

Ryan Wittman Named to All-Mid Major FreshmanTeam

Cornell rookie phenom, Ryan Wittman has been named to the Collegehoopsnet.com Mid-Major All-Freshmen Team. The web site made the announcement today. See the link below:

Prediction for Cornell's 2007-2008 Playing Rotation

STARTERS
C-Jason Hartford 6'9" 5th Year Sr
PF-Alex Tyler 6'7" So
SF-Ryan Wittman 6'6" So
SG-Collin Robinson 6'0" So
PG-Louis Dale 5'11" So

Comments on the Starters:

We think that Louis Dale, Ryan Wittman and Alex Tyler are "no brainer" selections to start. Wittman and Dale are both All Ivy League returning starters while Tyler is one of the program's bright young stars. At center, we believe that Jason Hartford has the job locked up, so long as he returns healthy from his foot injury which kept him out the entire 2006-2007 season. We give the nod at starting shooting guard to USC transfer, Collin Robinson primarily because Adam Gore (6'0" So) is recovering from a knee injury and Geoff Reeves (6'5" So) is more suited for a three guard line-up or in a small forward role rather than as the second guard. Robinson has legitimate All Ivy potential and will bring Pac 10 caliber quickness to the backcourt.

KEY RESERVES:

SG/PG Adam Gore 6'0" So
SG/SF Geoff Reeves 6'5" So
PF/C Pete Reynolds 6'8" So
PF Brian Kreefer 6'7" Jr

Comments on the Key Reserves:
Gore, a Second team All Ivy Selection during 2005-2006, could eventually get himself worked back into the starting line-up. But he is coming off a knee surgery and with substantial depth in the Big Red's backcourt, Coach Donahue has the luxury of bringing him along slowly during 2007-2008. Gore will be a dangerous perimeter marksman off the bench. Reeves will also see significant time as a reserve small forward behind Ryan Wittman and as a 3rd or 4th guard on the floor. Pete Reynolds and Brian Kreefer will both get time at power forward and at center depending on Jason Hartford's health status and in situations where Hartford or Tyler get themselves into foul trouble.

OTHER RESERVES:
SF/SG/PF Jason Battle 6'4" Jr
SF/PF Conor Mullen 6'6" Jr
C Jeff Foote 7'0" So
SF/PF Jon Jaques 6'7" So
C/PF Aaron-Richardson Osgood 6'9" Fr
C Shawn Oliverson 6'11" Sr
SG Khaliq Gant 6'3" Sr

Comments on the Other Reserves:
Coach Donahue frequently goes 10, 11 or even 12 players deep into his bench and 2007-2008 should not be any different. Every player on the 16-man roster has a chance in any given game to hear his numbered called as a reserve. Battle and Mullen will both be used in key defensive situations. Battle is especially used when Cornell switches to a full court press and is often called upon to defend the opposing point guard. Foote, the St. Bonaventure transfer, is a big player and depending on his readiness, could find himself getting minutes in the paint. However, he is not eligible until December. Jaques finds himself in a crowded small forward position, but if some of the players in front of him fail to perform at a high level, he could get minutes. Richardson-Osgood just might find himself playing immediately if Hartford has health issues and/or if Foote is not eligible or ready for action. Finally, Gant will likely remain "inactive" as he continues to recovery from a 2004-2005 neck injury. He will likely continue to fill the roll of "student assistant coach." Oliverson is currently on a mormon (LDS) mission and is not a certain returnee to the program. He could be another option in the paint if he comes back.

Spotlight on: Aaron Richardson-Osgood




The only publicly reported, high school basketball recruiting commitment for Cornell next season is Aaron Richardson-Osgood ("ARO"). He is a 6-9 220 pound center originally from Overlake High School near Redmond, Washington. However, Richardson-Osgood is spending the 2006-2007 season as a postgraduate student at the Hill School in Pottstown, Pa., a regular producer of college basketball prospects. Richardson-Osgood averaged 13 points and 9 rebounds per game as a senior at Overlake H.S. and was a named 1st Team All Conference in the Emerald City League. He was also named to the 3rd Team All State for Washington 1A. At the Hill School, he played this season alongside teammate Kraidon Woods, a 6-8 forward headed next year to Arizona State. On the season, Richardson-Osgood's stats at the Hill School were similar to those he registered while at Overlake.

Prior to enrolling at the Hill School, Richardson-Osgood committed to Cornell and in the process, turned down three Division I offers--the University of Denver, New Hampshire, and Harvard. He has a nice inside-the-paint offensive game and is a strong rebounder and interior shot-blocker on the defensive end.

Assuming that Jason Hartford, 6'9" 240, returns healthy in 2007-2008, "ARO" will probably compete with 7'0" St. Bonaventure transfer, Jeff Foote, for minutes at back-up center.

Good News for Recruiting Efforts





With more than half of the Cornell basketball recruiting prospects traditionally interested in majoring in business upon matriculation in college, there is good news for Coach Donahue's in-home recuiting pitches. The March 19, 2007 edition of Business Week magazine, ranked Cornell the 10th best Undergraduate Business Program in the United States. Cornell's Undergraduate Business Program was also ranked #11 nationally in the US News & World Report's Best Undergraduate Business Programs for 2007. Several of the schools ranked ahead of Cornell do not offer Division I athletics.

Cornell is widely considered one of the top 20 undergrate institutions in the world. Specifically, Cornell
University was ranked 12th in the 2007 U.S. News & World Report National Universities ranking and 12th globally in an academic ranking of world universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2006. Britain's Times Higher Education Supplement ranked Cornell 14th in the world in 2005. Cornell also was ranked 19th in the world in Newsweek magazine's online International Edition (Aug. 21-28) in their rankings of the world's Top 100 Global Universitities.

Cornell was also ranked eighth nationally and first among Ivy League universities in The Washington Monthly's 2006 ranking of universities' contributions to research, community service, and social mobility. In 2006, The Princeton Review reported that Cornell ranked ninth as a "dream college" for high school students and their parents.

Bottomline for Cornell's basketball recruiting prospects, Cornell is a great education and provides the opportunity to play Division I basketball.

http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/Aug06/rankings2006.ssl.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornell_University




Thursday, March 8, 2007

Summary of the FoxSports.com 2006-2007 Season Review


Cornell finished just one Ivy League victory better this season than last, but it took a major step nonetheless. Consider the circumstances:

First, leading returning scorer Adam Gore played one game due to a season-ending knee injury in the season opener. Second, the Big Red also lost starting senior forward/center Jason Hartford for the entire year with a foot injury. And as a result of these injuries, head coach Steve Donahue relied more heavily than planned on a six-man recruiting class led by guard Louis Dale and small forward Ryan Whittman. Dale finished the season averaging 13.3 points. 4.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game while Wittman led the Big Red with 15.6 points per game and shot 43 percent from 3-point range. The duo earned the Ivy League rookie of the week award six times each during the season.

Cornell (16-12) came up three games short of winning the Ivy League title but, at 9-5, the Big Red showed progress and actually played like a serious contender until losing three of five down the stretch. Two of those losses came against league champion Penn and second-place Yale. "Going 9-5 in this league is pretty impressive, and I've been in the league a while," Donahue said. "Not a lot of teams win nine games, outside of Penn and Princeton, since I've been here."

Notable about the 2006-2007 season, Cornell became a solid defensive and rebounding team and finished as the Ivy leader in rebounding margin (plus-3.7 per game), second in blocked shots (3.71 per game) and field-goal percentage defense (.429) and third in 3-point percentage defense (.325).

As for next season...Standout freshmen Louis Dale and Ryan Wittman return after gaining valuable experience and emerging as key players in 2006-07. Dale, Wittman and fellow freshmen Alex Tyler and Geoff Reeves should be even better as sophomores. In addition, sophomore guard Adam Gore is expected to return after leading Cornell in scoring in 2005-06 and missing this season with an injury. In scoring 12.9 points per game, sinking a school-record 83 3-pointers and earning Ivy League rookie of the year honors as a freshman in 2005-06, [red-shirt] sophomore Gore came in with high expectations for 2006-2007. He was off to a strong start this season with 20 points in the season opener, when he suffered a knee injury in the final 30 seconds of the 64-61 win over Northwestern. Gore missed the remainder of the season but is expected to return healthy next season. Gore and Dale must learn to work together but that's a problem many Ivy League coaches would love to have. Noteworthy, Cornell freshman Ryan Wittman, the 2006-2007 Ivy league Rookie of the Year, broke Gore's 3-pointer and freshman scoring records set last year. Two transfers, Collin Robinson from USC and 7-foot Jeff Foote from St. Bonaventure, sat out this season and should also help during 2007-2008.




Spotlight on: Collin Robinson


Collin Robinson, pictured here, is a transfer from USC. He was a red-shirt during the 2006-2007 Cornell basketball season as per NCAA rules, but is expected to become a huge contributor for the Big Red during 2007-2008. Watch for Dale to potentially start in the backcourt next season with Honorable Mention All-Ivy League guard, Louis Dale. Coach Donahue will also have the option of starting 2005-2006 2nd team All Ivy League selection Adam Gore.

Robinson averaged 25.9 points during 2004-2005, his his senior season at Diamond Bar HS in California, hitting 40 percent from behind the three-point arc (103-of-255). He scored 802 points as a senior, breaking the school record previously held by NBA star Keith Van Horn. He was selected to the 2005 All-CIF Division 1-AA Southern Section first team, San Gabriel Valley Tribune All-Area Player of the Year, Los Angeles Times All-San Gabriel Player of the Year and the Los Angeles Times All-Star team.

As a high school senior, Robinson committed to the USC Trojans and then new head coach Tim Floyd. Prior to committing to USC, he had confirmed D-I scholarship offers from UC-Irvine, Northridge, and UC-Riverside. Moreover, his Diamond Bar H.S. coach Bob Withers said 40-50 more colleges had expressed interest in Robinson during March 2005 including Cornell and Syracuse. At one point, Robinson even announced to a local newspaper that he was intending on committing to Syracuse.

Robinson saw action in nine games as a reserve during his freshman campaign at USC, averaging 1.4 points and 0.7 rebounds in 3.9 minutes of action per game. He hit on 6-of-15 field goals for 40 percent for the 17-13 Trojans. Robinson scored two points, grabbed two rebounds and dished out one assist in a win over UC Riverside, then posted three points, two rebounds and one assist in eight minutes against Alcorn State. Robinson had a career-high four points against North Carolina A&T. His nine appearances also included limited, but valuable floor time experience in away games at UCLA, Washington and Cal.

Upon announcing his intention to transfer, Cal-Irvine, Boston University, Columbia, and Colgate, were among those schools pursuing Robinson before he selected Cornell. He has three years of eligibility for the Big Red.

Coach Donahue has given very positive reviews of Robinson from practices, describing him as "explosive."

Khaliq Gant Is Back at Cornell



One year after a suffering a serious neck injury, Cornell basketball player Khaliq Gant is making a comeback. He is once again a full-time student and serving as a "student assistant coach." Here are links to his amazing story and a video clip of Khaliq.


http://www.theithacajournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070127/NEWS01/701270323

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Former Cornell Coach Loses BU Job

Binghamton University has announced that its head coach, Al Walker, will step down and resign his position. Prior to his run at Binghamton U., Walker was the head coach at Cornell from 1993-1996. His 1994 Cornell recruiting class was ranked among the "Top 50" in the nation by Hoop Scoop, but never materialized. Good luck to Coach Walker.




















http://www.bubearcats.com/sports/mbask/walker.html

Final Ivy League Statistics






Here are the final Ivy League (league game only) statistics for the 2006-2007 season.

http://www.ivyleaguesports.com/sports/stats/basketball/men/CONFONLY.HTM#conf.wki





OFFICIAL All-Ivy Announced


Congrats to Cornell players- Andrew Naeve (6'10" Sr), Ryan Wittman (PICTURED) (6'6" Fr.) and Louis Dale (5'11" Fr.) for receing All Ivy League Honors today from the League's office in New Jersey.

Naeve and Wittman were named to the 2nd Team All Ivy while Dale was an Honorable Mention selection. Wittman was also named Ivy League Rookie of the Year.

While Naeve's recognition on the 2nd Team is impressive, he deserved a spot on the 1st Team after leading the Ivy League in rebounding, block shots and finishing third in field goal percentage.

Next season, both Wittman and Dale return for Cornell. In addition, Cornell has a third All Ivy League returnee. A medical red-shirt this season, Adam Gore (6'0" So.), was named last year as a 2nd Team All Ivy selection and the Ivy League Newcomer of the Year. Gore, Wittman and Dale will form a potent trio of All Ivy League guards for the Cornell backcourt next season.

Here is the Ivy league press release:

http://ivyleaguesports.com/article.asp?intID=5826

Here is the Cornell press release:

http://cornellbigred.cstv.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/030707aaa.html

Our All Ivy Team!


Here is our Unofficial All-Ivy Team for 2006-2007. Again, this is not the official All Ivy Team. Moreover, this list is not who we predict will make All-Ivy, but rather our selections of who we think deserve the prestigious honor.


1st Team All-Ivy

Andrew Naeve 6'10" Senior Cornell
Mark Zoller 6'5" Senior Penn (Player of the Year)
Mark McAndrew 6'3" Junior Brown
Ibby Jaaber 6'2" Senior Penn
Eric Flato 6'1" Junior Brown

2nd Team All-Ivy

John Baumann 6'8" Junior Columbia
Brian Grandieri 6'5" Junior Penn
Ryan Wittman 6'6" Freshman Cornell
Leon Pattman 6'3" Senior Dartmouth
Louis Dale 5'11" Freshman Cornell (Newcomer of the Year)

Honorable Mention
Casey Hughes 6'5" Senior Yale
Drew Housman 6'1" Sophomore Harvard
Jim Goffredo 6'0" Senior Harvard
Damon Huffman 6'0" Junior Brown

(Below, #12 Louis "Dagger" Dale, #42 Andrew "Big Game" Naeve and #20 Ryan "Winner" Wittman )





















The 2007-2008 Cornell Roster

Although the 2006-2007 season ended just days ago, it is already time to start focussing in on 2007-2008. Cornell's projected roster for next year is posted below. Notable additions include 6'0" USC transfer, Collin Robinson and 7'0" post player, Jeff Foote, a transfer from St. Bonaventure. In addition, Cornell returns a pair of medical red-shirts including Adam Gore, a 6'0" sophomore guard. Gore was the 2005-2006 Ivy League Newcomer of the Year. Also back in the fold from an injury is 6'9" forward/center, Jason Hartford.


No.

Name

Pos.

Year

Ht.

Wt.

High School/Hometown

5

Battle, Jason

G

JR

6-4

195

New Hanover HS/Wilmington, N.C.

12

Dale, Louis

G

SO

5-11

177

Altamont School/Birmingham, Ala.

-

Foote, Jeff

C

SO (RS)

7-0

210

Spencer-Van Etten HS/Lockwood, N.Y. (St. Bona. transfer)

23

Gore, Adam

G

SO (RS)

6-0

174

Monrovia HS/Monrovia, Ind.

44

Hartford, Jason

F/C

5th-SR (RS)

6-9

240

Tillamook HS/Tillamook, Ore.

25

Jaques, Jon

F

SO

6-7

214

Harvard-Westlake School/Los Angeles, Calif.

34

Kreefer, Brian

F

JR

6-7

220

East Liverpool HS/East Liverpool, Ohio

22

Mullen, Conor

G/F

JR

6-5

202

Bishop O'Dea HS/Seattle, Wash.

15

Reeves, Geoff

G/F

SO

6-5

183

Burlington HS/Burlington, Kan.

40

Reynolds, Pete

F

SO

6-8

210

Blair HS/Blair, Neb.

-

Robinson, Collin

G

SO (RS)

6-0

160

Diamond Bar HS/Diamond Bar, Calif. (USC transfer)

33

Tyler, Alex

F

SO

6-7

230

Mercersburg Academy/Clear Spring, Md.

20

Wittman, Ryan

G/F

SO

6-6

200

Eden Prairie HS/Eden Prairie, Minn.

21

Gant, Khaliq

G

SR (RS)

6-3

180

Marion-Tabor Academy/Norcross, Ga.

-

Richardson-Osgood, Aaron

C

Fr

6-9

215

Redmond, WA/Hill School (Pottstown, Pa)

45

Oliverson, Shawn

C

SR (RS)

6-11

245

Preston HS/Preston, Id.