Friday, April 27, 2007

Spotlight on: Pete Reynolds

Cornell potentially has a lot of available size and talent in the frontcourt during the 2007-2008 season. But because of health and eligibility concerns for several players, the issues of who will start and how the minutes will be divided among the roster's forwards and centers remain very open topics for offseason discussion. For example, Jason Hartford (6'9" 245 lbs. Sr.) is coming off a medical-shirt season after breaking his foot and undergoing an arduous rehabilitation last year. Meanwhile, Jeff Foote (7'0" 210 lbs. So.), a transfer from St. Bonaventure is ineligble until mid December per NCAA transfer regulations. Then there is Shawn Oliverson (6'11" 245 lbs. So.), who is returning from a mormon/LDS mission after a two year hiatus from basketball. Therefore, with a cloud of uncertainty around the status of Hartford, Foote and Oliverson, Cornell must look deep into its bench for contributions at the power forward and center positions.

Assuming that Alex Tyler (6'7" 245 lbs. So.) gets the nod to start next year (after earning All-Freshman "High-Ceiling" Team honors during 2006-2007 from Ivybasketball.com), there is a wide open gap up for grabs at the other starting low post position. Brian Kreefer (6'7" 230 Jr.) is the most experienced power forward on the roster and arguably the favorite. However, a sleeper choice to emerge as a starter alongside Tyler is his classmate, Pete Reynolds (6'8" 220 lbs. So.)

Reynolds displayed quite a bit of potential in his first season for Cornell, averaging 1.4 points and 1.6 rebounds in 20 games, all off the bench, at 6.4 minutes per game. He shot a promising 69 percent from the floor (11/16) on the season. His best highlights came against Stony Brook, when he had 8 points and 6 rebounds in just 13 minutes going 4-of-5 on field goals. He also had 4 points (2/2 from the floor) and 2 rebounds in 15 minutes against Bucknell and 2 points, 4 rebounds and 1 block against Binghamton in 23 minutes.

A former football player and high jumper while inhigh school, Reynolds is a very good athlete. He moves well for a 6'8" post player and has a strong upper and lower body. Given more opportunity, Reynolds has all the tools to become extremely effective for the Big Red.





Alumni News: Ryan Rourke ('06) to Play in Experimental Game

The Seattle Times is reporting that former Cornell forward, Ryan Rourke (6'8" Class of 2006) (pictured here in a 2005 game at the Carrier Dome), will make an appearance in an experimental basketball game organized by Tom Newell, a well-known former coach and scout of collegiate and professional basketball players. The game will feature new rules changes such as eleven foot high rims and the elimination of the three-point shot for portions of the game. See link below:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/collegesports/2003683062_11feet27.html

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Cornell Big Red Championship Counter



Below is a summary of Cornell’s athletic championships during the last three years.

2006-2007 (To date--- 6 “Ivy” Titles)

  • Men's Lacrosse Ivy Champs
  • Women's Volleyball-Ivy Champs
  • Women's Indoor Track-Ivy Heps Champs
  • Men's Indoor Track-IC4A Champs
  • Wrestling-Ivy /EIWA Champs (#7 Natl Rank USA Today, 12th NCAA Championships)
  • Sprint Lightweight Football-CSFL Champions

2005-2006 (8 Ivy titles, 1 National Title)

  • Women’s Volleyball Ivy Champs
  • Men’s Indoor Track Ivy Heps Champs
  • Women’s Indoor Track Ivy Heps Champs
  • Wrestling Ivy Champs (5th NCAA Championships)
  • Men’s Outdoor Track Ivy Heps Champs
  • Women’s Outdoor Track Ivy Heps Champs
  • Men’s Lacrosse Ivy Champs (#3 Natl. Rank)
  • Men’s Lightweight Crew (Ivy Eastern Sprints/IRA National Champions)
  • Men’s Ice Hockey (#7 Natl Rank, NCAA quarterfinals)

2004-2005 (8 Ivy titles, 1 National title)-Second in No. of Ivy Titles

  • Women’s Volleyball-Ivy Champs
  • Men’s Ice Hockey-ECAC & Ivy Champions (#3 Natl Rank, NCAA quarterfinals)
  • Men’s Indoor Track Ivy Heps Champs
  • Women’s Indoor Track Ivy Heps Champs
  • Wrestling Ivy Champs (4th NCAA Championships)
  • Men’s Outdoor Track Ivy Heps Champs
  • Women’s Outdoor Track Ivy Heps Champs
  • Men’s Lacrosse Ivy Champs (#5 Natl. Rank, NCAA quarterfinals)
  • Men's Polo (National Champions)

http://cornellbigred.cstv.com/genrel/072605aac.html


2006-2007 Ivy League Champions Standings

Princeton (9 Titles)

  • Men’s Cross Country
  • Women’s Cross Country
  • Men’s Squash
  • Women’s Squash
  • Men’s Swimming
  • Women’s Swimming
  • Football
  • Field Hockey
  • Men’s Indoor Track

Cornell (6 Titles)

  • Men's Lacrosse Ivy Champs
  • Women's Volleyball-Ivy Champs
  • Women's Indoor Track-Ivy Heps Champs
  • Men's Indoor Track-IC4A Champs
  • Wrestling-Ivy /EIWA Champs (#7 Natl Rank USA Today, 12th NCAA Championships)
  • Sprint Lightweight Football-CSFL Champions

Penn (5 Titles)

  • Men’s Basketball
  • Men’s Golf
  • Women’s Lacrosse
  • Men’s Tennis
  • Women’s Tennis

Columbia (3 Titles)

  • Women’s Soccer
  • Women’s Fencing
  • Women’s Golf

Harvard (3 Titles)

  • Men’s Soccer
  • Women’s Basketball
  • Men’s Fencing

Yale (2 Titles)

  • Football
  • Men’s Ice Hockey

Dartmouth (2 Titles)

  • Women’s Ice Hockey
  • Men's Ice Hockey

Brown (0 Titles)

Another Former Cornell Coach in the Headlines

The Riverside (California) Press-Enterprise is reporting that former Cornell Head Coach, Jan Van Breda Kolff is a final candidate for the head coaching position at Division I member Cal-Riverside. Van Bred Kolff coached at Cornell from 1991-1993. See the link below:

http://www.pe.com/sports/college/ucr/stories/PE_Sports_Local_D_ucr_coach_25.41fa469.html

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Spotlight on: Jason Battle


Cornell Head Coach Steve Donahue will have a problem during 2007-2008 in determining who will fill his rotation on the perimeter and in the backcourt. But the source of his frustration will not stem from a lack of talent on the Big Red roster, but rather from an abundance of quality players competing for limited minutes. Among Donahue's multiple options at the guard positions and small forward slot include 6'0" Sophomore Adam Gore (Ivy Rookie of the Year/2nd Team All-Ivy in 2005-2006), 5'11" Sophomore Louis Dale (Honorable Mention All-Ivy in 2006-2007), 6'6" Sophomore Ryan Wittman (Ivy Rookie of the Year/2nd Team All-Ivy in 2006-2007), 6'0" Sophomore Collin Robinson (a heralded transfer from USC), as well as 6'5" Sophomore Geoff Reeves (one of two Cornell players named to Ivybasketball.com's "High Ceiling All Freshman Team in 2006-2007). In addition to these listed five players, there is 6'4" Junior Jason Battle (left in the picture against the University of Iowa Hawkeyes).

Battle does not have the big statistics that often attract post season accolades and honors. During 2006-2007, he appeared in 27 of the team's 28 games, starting 8 contests, wherein he averaged 16.7 minutes per game. An athletic left-handed slasher who can get into the lane and finish at the rim, Battle shot 37/76 from the floor on the season, good for a .487 FG percentage and a 3.4 points per game scoring average. A selective shooter, he does not force shots and attacks the rim when defenses give him the lane. Not only a capable scorer when needed, he also chipped in 2.2 rebounds per game from the guard spot. However, his most noted skill set is his quickness and definsive ability to shut down defensive passing lanes and force turnovers. Donahue specifically called Battle into the game in full court press situations where he was essentially assigned the task of playing a one man press on the opposition's smaller and weaker point guards.

As the 2006-2007 wore on, Battle's minutes dwindled to the point that he was only averaging 11 minutes per game in Ivy conference play, primarily due to Geoff Reeves's return from an offseason injury. However, Battle's defensive abilities should ensure that he makes regular appearances during 2007-2008 for Coach Steve Donahue and the Cornell Big Red.


Friday, April 20, 2007

Ranking the Ivy League Recruits


The 2006-2007 Ivy Leage basketball season is over. However, the coaching staffs at the eight Ivy schools are still scrambling to complete their recruiting classes for the upcoming season, while also pursuing class of 2008, 2009, and even 2010 high school prospects. Here is an early ranking of the incoming recruiting classes for th 2007-2008 Ivy League season. New commitments could eventually be added to this list thereby changing the rankings prior to the start of the season.

1. Penn
Tyler Bernardini F 6-5 189 San Diego, CA Francis W. Parker School
Remy Cofield F 6-4 205 Newton, MA Roxbury Latin School
Conor Turley F 6-7 220 La Canada, CA Campbell Hall School
Jack Eggleston
F 6-7 200 Fort Lauderdale, FL St. Thomas Aquinas
Dan Monckton
F 6-6 185 Glenview, IL Glenbrook South HS

The Quakers graduate four seniors, but bring in an extremely talented recruiting class of six true freshmen. In what is considered a "down" year for Ivy League recruiting, Penn assembled a pretty good class. Is this group as special as the Penn class which contained Ugonna Onyekwe and Koko Archibong? Are they as deep as the outgoing Mark Zoller, Ibby Jabber and Steve Danley class? The answer is probably not, but there is potential with this bunch. The best prospect of Penn's newbies is Gaines, a lightning quick point guard with highly regarded defensive skills. He had some sniffs from big time west coast schools, but he did not get any offers from high majors as his perimeter shot and playmaking skills remain questionable. Like Gaines, Cofield and Monckton are great athletes and loads of potential as they develop their fundamentals. Bernadini is the best shooter of the group, and had a scholarship to San Diego State, but to be very effective, he will have to work on his defense and ball handling. Eggleston had some Patriot and Ivy interest and has the ability to be a very solid power forward in the Ivy. Watch for Gaines and Bernadini to potentially crack the rotation as freshmen.

2. Yale
Porter Braswell G 6-0 Lawrenceville, NJ Lawrenceville School
Mike Sands F 6-7 210 Franklin Square, NY H. Frank Carey HS
Garrett Fiddler F 6-9 210 Colorado Springs, CO Doherty HS
Raffi Mantilla G 6-3 Mundelein, IL Mundelein HS

Braswell was Penn's second choice as a point guard recruit before the Quakers landed a commitment from Gaines. He appears to be the heir apparent to All-Ivy rising senior Eric Flato. He is a good scoring point guard. Sands had scholarship offers to some solid low majors including Siena. He is a skilled player who should help immediately with his ability to hit shots from medium to long range. Fiddler is a big kid who can block shots and score in the post who also had some scholarship offers before committing to Yale.

3. Cornell
Jeff Foote C 7-0 210 Lockwood, NY Van Etten H.S./St. Bonaventure
Adam Wire
F 6-6 Pincrest, NC Pinecrest HS
Aaron Richardson-Osgood
F/C 6-9 Overlake, WA The Hill School (PA)
Collin Robinson G 6-0 170 West Covina, CA Diamond Bar HS/USC

Robinson is far and away the best prospect in the Ivy League. He arrives at Cornell via transfer from USC with 3 years of eligibility. He combines a solid perimeter shot with an array of quick slashing moves that should make him a terror in the Ivy. He had WCC and Big West conference recruiting interest as a transfer prospect before selecting Cornell. The balance of the recruiting class has long-term potential, but should not make an immediate impact. Foote has length and in time, could develop as a shot blocker. ARO is a very good rebounder and had scholarship offers to Denver, New Hampshire and Harvard before committing to Cornell. Wire is a very good ball handler, play-maker and rebounder for a 6'6" kid. He's also very athletic with some bounce in his legs. He will need to work on his perimeter shot to become effective as a small forward in the Ivy. But there is potential for him to become a Lenny Collins caliber player down the road.

4. Columbia

Asenso Ampim
F 6-7 240 London, U.K. The Groton School (MA)
Zack Crimmins C 7-1 Arlington, VA Bishop O'Connell HS

Columia's class has size. While neither recruit is expected to play immediately, both have long term potential after the Lions graduate their talented rising senior class. Crimmins is a shot blocker and could use another year filling out his frame. He had scholarship offers to some Patriot schools. Ampim is a monster physically and should be able to grab rebounds, but he needs a lot of work on the offensive end.

5. Brown
Jelani Floyd
F 6-7 205 Chicago, IL Phillips Academy (MA)
Evan Schmidt C 7-0 240 Chesterton, IN Valparaiso HS
Peter Sullivan
F 6-5 Chicago, IL Loyola Academy
Chris Taylor
F 6-7 200 Plymouth, MN Wayzata HS
Adrian Williams
G 6-1 180 Atlanta, GA Wheeler HS
Sean Kane
G 6-4 180 Carmel, IL Carmel HS
Morgan Kelly
C 6-9 220 Rockaway, NY Archbishop Molloy HS
Garrett Leffelman G 6-4 Westchester, IL St. Joseph HS

Brown has the biggest class with eight true freshmen. As a whole, there are some nice prospects in this group and potentially in time, they could give Penn a run for the League's best class. Kane is a pure shooter and could be very good if he broadens his game. Taylor is a tremendously athletic and bouncy wing and Williams, son of former Super Bowl MVP Doug Williams, is a big time scoring guard. Schmidt and Kelly also add some needed size. Of this group, Cornell recruited Taylor and Williams.


6. Dartmouth

Matt Chisick
F 6-7 210 Carmel, NY Canterbury School (CT)
Ronnie Dixon G 5-11 Danville, IL Phillips Exeter Academy (NH)
John Marciano
C 7-0 265 Roselle Park, NJ Roselle Park HS
Clive Weeden
F 6-9 215 Stow, MA Northfield Mount Hermon School

Dixon has the ability to emerge as one of the better point guards in this class. He can hit shots and run an offense. Weeden is just an old school physical forward who does the dirty work. Marciano is the biggest body in the League, but may be a long term project.


7. Princeton

Jason Liberman
F 6-5 200 Roslyn Heights, NY Roslyn HS
Bobby Foley
G 6-4 Richmond, VA Mills Godwin HS
Kareem Maddox
F 6-6 Oak Park, CA Oak Park HS
Dan Mavraides
G 6-1 San Mateo, CA Phillips Exeter Academy (NH)

Princeton always recruits intelligent kids who just know how to play the Princeton system. However, this is just not a very talented group. Maddox is the best athlete of the group and could potentially compete for time early in his career.

8. Harvard

Adam Demuyakor
F 6-5 210 Suwanee, GA North Gwinnett HS
Kyle Fitzgerald
G 6-5 175 Red Bank, NJ Red Bank Regional HS
T.J. Carey
G 6-2 165 Oyster Bay, NY St. Dominic HS

Fitzgerald is a good scoring guard from a solid New Jersey prep league and Carey is an intelligent combo guard. However, the Crimson do not have an immediate impact recruit in this group, which does not bode well for new head coach Tommy Ammaker.

TOP FIVE INDIVIDUAL IVY RECRUITS


1. Collin Robinson G 6-0 170 CORNELL
2. Harrison Gaines G 6-1 175 PENN
3. Tyler Bernardini F 6-5 189 PENN
4. Porter Braswell G 6-0 YALE
5. Mike Sands F 6-7 210 YALE

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Cornell to Face Duke in 2007-2008!

Reports from those close to the Cornell basketball team are saying that Cornell has inked a deal to play Duke during 2007-2008. It is not known where the game will be played or whether the two teams will play each other in multiple years. We do know that for some time Cornell has been seeking a home and away series with a high major team. It is possible that Duke agreed to those terms as the Blue Devils' rising junior point guard, Greg Paulus, hails from nearby Syracuse. Accordingly, a game in Ithaca could permit his friends and family an opportunity to see him play in-person.
No matter what the scenario, a game against Duke is a tremendous opportunity to play the best program in the America and in the process, gain exposure for Cornell basketball as the game will likely be televised nationally.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Spotlight on: Ryan Wittman


Ryan Wittman is a special player and should be one of the Ivy's elite players for the next three years. Born with NBA bloodlines as son of Randy Wittman, Ryan was named the 2006-07 Ivy League Rookie of the Year and was placed on the Second Team All-Ivy League after setting a Cornell freshman scoring record and establishing a new Big Red record for 3-pointers in a season, both set the prior year by teammate Adam Gore. Wittman received national recognition when Collegehoopsnet.com recognized him as a mid-major freshman All-American.

Although just a rookie, Wittman ranked fourth in the Ivy League in scoring, 15.6 ppg, while shooting 44% from the field, 43% from beyond the arc, and 89% at the free throw line. He also contributed 2.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1 steal per game. Wittman's 93 three-pointers ranked him fourth all-time in conference history and ranked 12th nationally during the season. His 3-point percentage also placed him 22nd in the country.

What makes Ryan Wittman so special is his reliability and versatility. Despite every opponent focussed on stopping Wittman (as Cornell's leading scorer), he reached double figures in 25 of the team's 28 games, while scoring nine points in each of the other three games. Great players are often measured by how they play against great teams. Well, against the Ivy's best team, Penn, Wittman was superb, notching 15 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals on February 17 in the Palestra. Prior to the Palestra game, on January 12 against the Quakers in Ithaca, he had 16 points and 2 assists. Overall, he shot a very effective 10/24 from the floor against Penn in the teams' two meetings despite facing defensive attention from two of Penn's better players-- Brian Grandieri and Michael Kach.

At 6'6", Wittman has the ability to play a point-forward role where he can either score or distribute the ball to an open player. Defending him is especially difficult because of his accurate shot from the outside and ability to put the ball on the floor and drive past the defense to the basket. Defensively, he is seldom beat off the dribble and he has as a very good understanding of reading the offensive flow and positioning himself on defense in the open lanes.

With the medical recovery of perimeter shooters Adam Gore (All Ivy in 2005-2006) and Geoff Reeves, the new addition of Collin Robinson via USC, and the return of All-Ivy point guard Louis Dale, Wittman should become even tougher to defend. Together, these five rising sophomores should form a very good perimeter nucleus for the Big Red in years to come.

Former Cornell Assistant Hired as a Head Coach

FoxSports.com reports that Tulane assistant coach, Benjy Taylor will be introduced as Division I Chicago State's men's basketball coach today. From 1991-92, Taylor worked as an assistant coach at Cornell. Taylor joins the ranks of current Division I head coaches with Cornell connections, which include Mike Dement, the head coach of UNC-Greensboro, who served as head coach at Cormell from 1986-1991, taking Cornell to the NCAA tournament in 1988. In addition, Jeff Jackson, head coach at Furman, played for Cornell and graduated the School of Industrial and Labor Relations in 1984.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The New Cornell "Recruiting Class"

Cornell will have between six to seven “new additions” to the roster in 2007-2008. Below is a capsule glimpse of the players that were not on last season’s active roster.

Adam Gore 6’0” sophomore-A medical red-shirt during 2006-2007 following a Second Team All-Ivy League/Rookie of the Year performance during 2005-2006. Including 2007-2008, he has three years of eligibility.
Jason Hartford 6’9” senior
-A medical red-shirt during 2006-2007, returns to Cornell for his 5th and final season. He is a projected starter.
Collin Robinson 6’0” sophomore-A transfer from USC, he sat out during 2006-2007 as a red-shirt per NCAA rules. Including 2007-2008, he has three years of eligibility.
Jeff Foote 7’0” sophomore- A transfer from Saint Bonaventure, he sat out during 2006-2007 as a red-shirt per NCAA rules. He is eligible mid-season, commencing December 2008. He has a total of 2.5 years of eligibility.
Adam Wire 6’6” freshman-He is a true freshman out of Pinecrest (N.C.) H.S.
Aaron Richardson-Osgood 6’9” freshman-He is a true freshman out of the Hill School in Pottstown, PA.
Shawn Oliverson 6’11” sophomore-After playing for Cornell during his freshman season in 2004-2005, Oliverson spent the next two years serving a Latter Day Saints (Mormon) mission here in the United States. Oliverson returns to Cornell during the fall of 2007 and has the option to return to the team and compete for an additional three seasons.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Spotlight on: Geoff Reeves



Geoff Reeves, a 6’5” rising sophomore guard/forward, arrived in Ithaca during the fall of 2006 as perhaps the Big Red’s most highly prized recruit because of his natural athleticism, leaping ability and smooth shooting stoke from the perimeter. In high school, he was a first-team all-state selection by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association as a senior at Burlington, Kansas H.S., where he averaged 23.6 points. In addition, Rivals.com tabbed Reeves second-team all-state for all class years and regions and called him a “steal” for Steve Donahue’s recruiting class. Despite the preseason expectations where Coach Donahue projected him as a starter in the rotation, Reeves suffered a preseason back injury forcing the freshman to miss the first eight contests of Cornell’s 2006-2007 season. In addition, a brief case of an intestinal virus caused him to miss an additional three games. As such, Reeves’ medical issues forced him to make a late season acclimation to Division I basketball, while his teammates and opposition were in mid-season shape.

Ultimately, Reeves earned his time in the Cornell rotation and immediately showed flashes of All-Ivy League potential. He played at least 10 minutes in eight of Cornell’s final ten games and knocked down 11 of his 22 three-pointers attempted on the season. Both against Harvard on February 2 and on February 23 against Yale he scored 7 points. On February 12 against Penn he had 12 points, 3 assists and 2 steals, but saved his best scoring game for Harvard on March 2 when he netted 16 points. On the year, he averaged a solid 3.5 points in 10.9 minutes of action per game while hitting 51% from the floor

While Adam Gore (6’0” sophomore) and Jason Hartford (6’9” senior) await medical evaluations before receiving clearance to play in 2007-2008, Reeves could find himself in the mix to earn starting playing time as either an off guard or a small forward. He will compete with Ryan Wittman (6’6” sophomore, 2nd Team All-Ivy in 2006-2007) and Collin Robinson (6’0” sophomore USC transfer) for minutes at either starting shooting guard or small forward.

No matter where Reeves plays, he will be a member of the Ivy League's deepest and most talented perimeter unit.

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Ascent to the Top of the Ivy League

Cornell Head Coach, Steve Donahue has gradually turned the Big Red into an Ivy League basketball power, leading the Big Red to three consecutive finishes in the “top three” of the Ivy League standings. Heading into 2007-2008, Cornell is already receiving recognition from sources in the media as an early favorites to clinch its first Ivy title and NCAA tournament bid since 1988. Below is a glimpse of Cornell’s records in each of Donahue’s seven seasons as head coach.


2000-01 (7-20 overall, 3-11 Ivy League)
2001-02 (5-22 overall, 2-12 Ivy League)*****
2002-03 (9-18 overall, 4-10 Ivy League)
2003-04 (11-16 overall, 6-8 Ivy League)
2004-05 (13-14 overall, 8-6 Ivy League-2nd place in conference)
2005-2006 (13-15 overall, 8-6 Ivy League-3rd place in conference)
2006-2007 (16-12 overall, 9-5 Ivy League-3rd place in conference) #####


*****-The 2001-2002 season was the only year where Cornell “dropped back” in number of wins. However, the 2001-2002 season followed the spring 2001 graduations of three Cornell starters, Ray Mercedes, Greg Barratt and Kevin Cuttica. In addition, the program was hit that year with several players quitting the team.

#####-Cornell’s 16 overall wins and 9 Ivy League wins during 2006-2007 were the program’s most wins since the 1992-1993 season. Even more impressive, Cornell did not have the services of its four leading scorers from the 2005-2006 team, including class of 2006 graduates Lenny Collins and Ryan Rourke, as well as Adam Gore (the 2005-06 Ivy League Rookie of the Year) and Jason Hartford, both of whom were expected to start during 2006-2007 before suffering injuries, forcing them to miss the season as medical red-shirts.

News from the Cornell Basketball Banquet

The Cornell men's basketball banquet was held on April 11, 2007 at the Ithaca Country Club. During the event, senior Kevin App, a former walk-on, was given the Rebounder's Club Award for hard work on and off the court. Team MVP was given to senior Andrew Naeve, while freshman Alex Tyler received the James D. Paul II Award for the team's top reserve player.

As a rising sophomore, Tyler (6'7" 245 pounds) should start next season along with his classmates, 6'6" small forward Ryan Wittman (2nd Team All Ivy League in 2007) and 5'11" point guard Louis Dale (Honorable Mention All Ivy in 2007). Among the other returnees, fellow rising sophomore, Geoff Reeves (6'5"), should get a crack at the starting shooting guard position, while junior Brian Kreefer (6'7" pictured above) will battle with sophomore Pete Reynolds (6'8") for the fifth spot at power forward. Other key returnees include 6'6" junior Conor Mullen and 6'4" junior Jason Battle.

Four "red shirted" players are all expected to be strong cadidates to earn starting playing time, but prior medical issues and their untested abilities in the Ivy League make them more of "sleeper" choices in the rotation. The red-shirts include 5th year senior Jason Hartford (6'9" 240 lbs), the lone senior on the roster, 6'0" sophomore Adam Gore (2nd Team All Ivy 2006), 6'0" sophomore Collin Robinson (University of Southern California transfer), and 7'0" sophomore Jeff Foote (St. Bonaventure University transfer).

See the related story from Cornell athletics

Recruiting News: Cornell Recruits High School Freshman Phenom from Arizona

The high class of 2007 has yet to receive their high school diplomas, but that is not stopping Cornell University from recruiting members of the high school class of 2010, mere freshmen. AzCats.com, a Rivals.com member website, reports that 6'4" 185 pound small forward, George Mathews of St. Mary's H.S. in Phoenix, Arizona is receiving steady interest from quite a few big time D-I programs, as well as from Cornell. AzCats.com states that "Matthews is a smooth wing with a good looking shot. If his athleticism and ball handling continue to improve he'll see attention from several top programs. Even at a young age, he's receiving some college interest." "I'm hearing from a bunch of academic schools," Matthews said. "Stanford, Cornell, Oklahoma and Oregon are recruiting me." AzCats.com added that the University of Arizona has also been scouting him at recent games. This is a name to keep on the radar.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Recruiting News: New Transfer Prospect

TexasHoops.com is reporting that O.J. Avworo, a 6'0" freshman point guard from the University of Idaho is trasferring and seeking a new college home. Avworo was recruited by several Ivy League schools, including Cornell, during his high school career at Alief Elsik H.S. near Houston, Texas. Avworo averaged 3.6 points and 3.1 assists per game for the Idaho Vandals while starting 24 games. He is considering playing junior college basketball during 2007-2008 before transferring to a Division I school. Cornell and other Ivies could be in contact with Avworo as a potential transfer.

Below is a list of Cornell basketball recruiting prospects as reported in various public sources:

CLASS OF 2008 PROSPECTS

  • Byron Freeman G 6-2 Manhasset, NY St. Mary's HS
  • Gozie Umeadi F 6-5 190 Bensenville, IL Fenton HS
  • O.J. Avworo G 6-0 Houston, TX Alief Elsik HS/Univ. of Idaho
  • Matt Sauey F 6-7 Ocala, FL Trinity Catholic
  • 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)

Spotlight on: Jeff Foote

As a high schooler growing up close to the Cornell University campus, Jeff Foote would attend Cornell's basketball camp during the summer months while also playing AAU basketball locally with the Elmira Express. During his final year of high school, he grew rapidly from 6'8" to 6'11" before his graduation day in June 2005. As a senior at Spencer-Van Etten H.S. (Lockwood, New York) he averaged 15 points, 13 rebounds and six blocked shots per game. At the conclusion of the season, he was named a first-team all-league selection and was picked to play in the section's Senior All-Star game. Over his prep career, Foote averaged over three blocks per game and set a league record for rejections in a season.

During the 2005-2006 season, Foote was an invited recruit to walk-onto Anthony Solomon's St. Bonaventure basketball team of the Atlantic 10 conference. During early scrimmages at SBU practices, local fans observed that Foote was very mobile for a big man and had a nice soft shooting touch facing the basket. However, in order to permit Foote additional time to fill out his newly acquired 7'0" frame, Solomon made the decision to red-shirt the freshman, so Foote never made an appearance in a game during the 2005-2006 season for St. Bonaventure. During the summer of 2006, Foote reportedly began to explore transfer opportunities. Schools reportedly considered included D-I programs Niagara, Canisius, and Colgate as well as non-Division I programs SUNY Cortland and Mercyhurst College. Some speculated that Foote would end up at Niagara where his father, Don, played basketball from 1976-79. However, Foote made connections with the Cornell basketball team and opted to transfer to the Ivy League. As per NCAA regulations, he had to sit out the 2006-2007 season, but he was able to practice with the Cornell team the entire season, thereby familarizing himself with the Cornell system. In addition, because his transfer did not technically occur until after the commencement of the fall 2006 semester, Foote is also required to sit out the fall 2007 semester. Accordingly, Foote will not be eligible to play in games for Cornell until after final exams complete in mid December 2007. At that time he will be classified as a sophomore in terms of athletics and will thus have two full seasons of eligibility beyond the 2007-2008 season.

He is now officially listed on the roster as having grown to 7'0" and 210 pounds. He is expected to compete as a back-up center behind 6'9" 5th Year Senior, Jason Hartford. Others in the mix at center could include 6'9" freshman Aaron Richardson-Osgood, 6'11" Shawn Oliverson, and 6'8" sophomore Pete Reynolds.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Jason Hartford Going to France


Reports from those close to the basketball team have said that Jason Hartford's health seems to be stable after previous rumors of his reinjuring his broken foot which caused him to sit out the 2006-2007 season as a red-shirt. Hartford is expected to join the team this May in its spring tour of France, where the Big Red will face four professional French teams.

Verbal Commitment to Cornell-Spotlight on: Adam Wire



The Ithaca Journal reports that Cornell basketball has landed a verbal commitment from Adam Wire (pictured here from his high school baseball team), a 6’6” small forward from Pinecrest High School in North Carolina. Wire, a stat filler of a player, averaged 13 points, 11.3 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals per game during 2006-2007. Wire went virtually unnoticed by Division I schools due to several factors. An ACL injury sidelined him during his sophomore year of high school in 2004-2005, and he transferred to Pinecrest during the middle of the 2005-06 school year from West Bend High School in Wisconsin. As a result, he did not play varsity basketball at Pinecrest until this season, virtually escaping most recruiting radar screens.

Opposing coaches in North Carolina have been quick to give Wire praise. "He's a total package, he can do it all," said Richmond County H.S. coach David May. "He's one of the most complete high school players I've seen, and he plays with a lot of poise. Nothing is forced." “He's a tough kid," Lee County H.S. coach Randy Yates said after his team met Wire for the first time this year. "I like the way he plays." Scotland County coach Shane Compton noted, “He is a warrior. I'd love to have him. He's fun to watch." Wire’s head coach at Pinecrest, Mike Apple said that "Adam is a heck of a good passer and a heck of a good rebounder…he's a big strong kid and he's got a great sense of where guys are on the court. Offensively, I think he's still a work in progress."

Cornell’s recruitment of Wire, a small forward comes somewhat of a surprise considering that the Big Red returns several wing players including Second Team All Ivy selection Ryan Wittman, Geoff Reeves, Jason Battle and Conor Mullen. Stories covering Adam Wire’s commitment to Cornell appeared in the Ithaca Journal and the Pilot.

ESPN.com Predicts NCAA Tournament for Cornell in 2007-2008


In the initial 2007-2008 ESPN Bracketology by ESPN's Joe Lunardi, Cornell was picked to win the Ivy League next season and receive a 15 seed in the NCAA tournament. See the Cornell Press Release here.



Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Williamson Commits to Niagara Over Cornell

JuCoJunction.com is reporting today that Demetrius Williamson has made a verbal commitment. Willamson led the Bakersfield (Ca.) Community College Renegades to a (30-3) season this past year. Williamson has now decided to give a verbal commitment to Niagara University. Williamson (6'6") hails from Chicago, IL, and red-shirted for the Missouri Tigers during 2005-2006, before playing 2006-2007 at Bakersfield where he averaged 6.8 ppg and 4.1 rebounds. The former track athlete also received interest from Cornell and Dartmouth.

See our story from March 21, 2007 below:

http://cornellubasketball.blogspot.com/2007/03/new-junior-college-prospect.html

Monday, April 2, 2007

Spotlight on: Alex Tyler

Two words to describe Cornell’s rising sophomore Alex Tyler. Brute force. At 6’7” and 245 pounds, Alex Tyler has more size and skill than any other power forward in the Ivy League. In 14 Ivy League games for the Big Red during 2006-2007, Tyler played just under a half at 17.2 minutes of action per game, but mustered 6.6 points and 3.3 rebounds, while shooting an impressive 61% from the floor. Tyler was also competent from the foul line, knocking down 74% of his foul shots. He scored 8 or more points in six Ivy contests. In three Ivy games where he played fewer than 27 minutes in each game, he scored at least 9 points and grabbed at least 7 rebounds. Tyler returns in 2007-2008 as a more mature and experienced player and seems to have the lock on the starting power forward position for Cornell, while 6'9" 245 lb. Jason Hartford starts at center. As Tyler's floor time should increase to approximately 30 minutes per game next season, Tyler’s stats should skyrocket, as will his reputation around the Ivy League. He has good hands on the low post entry pass, complemented by solid footwork around the basket. Once he has the ball inside, he is virtually unstoppable on a one-on-one situation, especially against lighter and smaller Ivy opponents. Physically developed with tremendous upper body strength, he is a powerful finisher around the basket, showcasing several dunks in traffic during his freshman year. He also displayed, however, an impressive mid range game, which included back to the basket fade-away jumpers. Tyler has an advanced understanding of ball fakes and is adept at getting fouled and placing himself on the line. Defensively, he is extremely aggressive and plays hard on every possession. As his role is elevated from a reserve to a starter, he will need to reduce his tendency to commit fouls. Tyler should be an All-Ivy League candidate during the 2007-2008 preseason.