Friday, August 31, 2007

New Official Cornell Basketball Website Has Problems

We have noticed some problematic issues with the new official Cornell basketball website which earlier this summer replaced the old site hosted by CSTV. Here are some of the issues we hope Cornell Athletics will address with the new www.cornellbigred.com.

(1) The new site does not provide archived rosters. The old website on CSTV allowed you to look at Cornell's rosters from prior seasons and kept the bios of all former players and alumni available for viewing. Additionally, on the new website, the photo sizes for the veterans are smaller than the photos for the new recruits. Cornell Athletics needs to work on its consistency with these bios.

(2) The roster on the new website should be updated for accurate player heights and weights.

(3) The archived stories on the old CSTV website used to have links from a player's name in a story to his bio page. The new website does not provide links in the game stories. Additionally, some of the archived stories are not even available and/or link to the wrong story or box score.

(4) The archived statistics are now only in a PDF format. The old stats on CSTV also provided links from the player's name on the stat sheet to his bio page or to a specific game box score.

(5) Although the school year has commenced, Cornell has yet to provide any information on its brand new "Cornell Redcast" of live streaming video and audio of games.

Recruiting News: Mitchell Watt on the Big Red Radar


In May 2008, Cornell will only graduate one senior, Jason Hartford, a 6’9” 240 lb. center. Accordingly, with a roster of at least fifteen players expected to return in 2008-2009, the Big Red coaching staff can afford to recruit a small and selective class of high school prospects. Moreover, as Hartford is the only expected loss to the roster, recruitment of low post players is by far the top priority, especially considering Cornell also graduated 6’10” 240 lb. Andrew Naeve the prior year during May 2007.

One prospect that seems like a good fit for the Cornell basketball program is Mitchell Watt, a long, lanky and athletic post player from Desert Edge H.S. in Goodyear, Arizona. Watt is 6’9” (and still growing), with a thin frame of about 200 lbs. We have heard him compared to a Marcus Camby or a Channing Frye because of his ability to get off his feet, block shots and grab rebounds on both ends of the floor. On the offensive end, he can step out and hit shots from the perimeter, and prefers to play facing the basket. However, he is working on his interior low post game and already has developed some skilled moves inside. He is improving his aggressiveness and also attempting to build up muscle mass in the weight room, while also working on his quickness and ball handling on the perimeter. Admissions should not be a problem. He is a terrific student with over 1400 on the SATs and a 3.8 GPA. Right now he lists schools of interest as Cornell, Columbia, Princeton, Cal St. Fullerton, Northern Colorado, Northern Arizona, Wichita State, American University, Texas-San Antonio and Samford. ArizonaPreps.com ranks him #9 for all position areas in Arizona. Scout.com also ranks him among the top centers in the Western United States, a region comprised of California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Idaho, and Colorado.

Watt would be a major recruiting coup for Cornell if the Big Red secures a verbal commitment.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Meet the New Guys!



The four of the five new Cornell basketball recruits finally posed for pictures for the team media guide and website. Pictured Clockwise-- Jeff Foote, Andre Wilkins, Adam Wire and Aaron Richardson-Osgood. Additionally, the fifth new recruit, Collin Robinson, previously sat for pictures during 2006-2007 after transferring from U.S.C. Like the verterans, Robinson's picture is in a smaller format that the newer additions.

What's In A Name?




Dartmouth's student assembly is reportedly making a new push to find a school mascot. Take a look here at the entertaining video campaign they've developed.

The Cornell Athletics Website Explains the History Behind the Cornell Mascot

Cornell has never had an official mascot, but early in the school's athletic history a bear took over as its most recognizable symbol. The first live Cornell bear mascot appeared in 1915 during Cornell's undefeated and national championship football season. Since that time, there were three others. The last edition - Touchdown IV - was never allowed on Schoellkopf Field despite strong publicity campaigns by the Cornell Daily Sun and undergraduate groups. The bear was invited to Cleveland by the Cornell alumni in the city, and was then shipped in a dog cage, to Columbus, Ohio for the Ohio State-Cornell game. At this point, the Animal Protective League stepped in and decreed that the bear was to be let loose in the wilds of Western Pennsylvania. The current mascot is a Cornell undergraduate who performs at various varsity athletic events, including at all football and men's ice hockey games.
Although the logo has changed over the years, the Cornell Bear has always remained the consistent symbol of Cornell Big Red athletics.


The Cornell Colors

The Cornell colors were actually established on the University's Inauguration Day on Oct. 7, 1868. The account from Morris Bishop's A History of Cornell follows:

At sunrise on Inauguration Day, said the New York Times envoy, "from all the hills poured forth delightful music, and every few minutes the thunder of artillery from the eastern hills responded to the booming of cannon from a lofty eminence on the west side of town." Students and citizens thronged to Library Hall, which was tastefully decorated with marble vases of flowers and a large cross covered with moss, entwined with myrtle. One the side wall, the motto of the new university was blazoned in evergreen letters, and behind the speakers the illustrious names of CORNELL and WHITE appeared in large white letters against artistically draped red flannel, on which stars cut out of silver paper were pinned at pleasing intervals. Thus, entirely unintentionally, the Cornell colors were established for all time, on the first Cornell banner.

Although the Cornell football team was defeated 12-6 in the 1898 Thanksgiving Day game by the University of Pennsylvania, the Big Red made quite an impression that day.

The team's colors impressed Herberton L. Williams, comptroller and general manager of Campbell Soup Co., who attended that game in Philadelphia.

The story is that Williams was impressed by the brilliance of Cornell's red and white uniforms and later insisted that the company adopt those colors for the labels on its cans. The company's original colors were black and orange. The new colors began appearing in 1899.

That decision has been a lasting one. There has been little change in the design of the basic labels and no change in their color since then.

The Cornell Nickname

The nickname "Big Red" for Cornell teams originated in 1905. The late Romeyn Berry '04, then a recent Cornell graduate, was writing the lyrics for a new football song. Since Cornell had no nickname at the time, Berry simply referred to Cornell as the "big red team" and it caught on. Berry was graduate manager of athletics from 1919 through 1935 and was recognized as an outstanding authority on Cornell, its traditions and personalities. He was a distinguished writer and columnist locally. For his musical composition Berry won $25. The song earned a spot in the Cornell Verses, joining rowing songs and other lyrics descriptive of Cornell life.


Recruiting News: Around the Ivy
















Neil Duvall, a 6'8" 215 lb. forward from Southlake Caroll High School in Texastold TexasHoops.com that he has narrowed his list of schools to Furman and Penn. "I've had about 30 schools send me information but there's two that are more serious than the others - Furman in South Carolina and Penn," Duvall said. "Furman has offered me a scholarship. They've brought in a really good recruiting class before me and their new coach - I really like him and the assistants are really nice too. I've met all the coaches so I'm hoping to play with their players." In addition to making an official visit out to Furman, TexasHoops.com reports that Duvall hopes to make a return trip to Penn as well. "I've spent time on their campus for three days at a camp and I like the atmosphere there," he continued. "They're both really good academically so that factor is out, so I'm looking at probably the one where I'll get to play a lot and where they really want me. Basically the place where I get the best feel."

Meanwhile, Andrew Van Nest, a 6'10" 230 lb. forward from Northfield Mt. Hermon School in Northfield, Massachusetts told Rivals.com that he has scholarship offers from Northwestern, Penn State, Richmond, Fairfield, Massachusetts and Davidson. "In addition to the schools that have offered me I have been hearing from Vanderbilt, Pitt, Georgetown, Virginia and Harvard," said Van Nest. Prior to attending Northfield Mt. Hermon, Van Nest attended Weston High School in Weston, Mass., the same school that produced former Cornell basketball player, Casey Gibbons.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Recruiting News: Around the Ivy, Princeton Gets Commitment from Forward








New Hampton Prep (N.H.) 6'7" forward, Patrick Saunders committed to Princeton this week according to New England Recruiting Report. “I had narrowed it down to Harvard, Penn, or Princeton,” Saunders told the New England Recruiting Report, “and I was lucky because I felt like I couldn’t go wrong no matter what I decided to do, which made the decision tough. But it just felt like the right time. I loved the [Princeton] campus, all the tradition there, and I felt most comfortable with their coaches…plus the fact that its Princeton.” According to New England Recruiting Report, Saunders was being pursued by virtually every school in the Ivy League, in addition to holding scholarship offers from programs in the Atlantic 10, Conference USA, and the CAA among others.

For more information, see our compiled Cornell and Ivy League Recruiting Targets and Commitments list.


Recruiting News: Around the Ivy

Webster Groves (Mo.) 5'11" point guard Drew Hanlen told Scout.com that he was up to ten scholarship offers, including financial aid packages from several Ivy League schools, but has narrowed his list down to four offering schools and set up official visits to each of them. Hanlen will be visiting Belmont this weekend, will visit Yale on Sept. 21-22, Arkansas-Little Rock on Oct. 5-6 and North Carolina-Greensboro on Oct. 12-13. For his final NCAA permitted official visit, Hanlen is considering East Tennessee State and Loyola-Chicago. “They’ve both said they’d have scholarships for me,” he said. “I want to go to a good program,” Hanlen said on Tuesday. “I want to go to a program that can win their conference and go to the NCAA tournament. I want to go to a school with a good academic program that can set me up after college.” The eliminated schools that made offers to Hanlen include, Southeast Missouri State, Western Illinois, Eastern Illinois, Austin Peay, Columbia, Harvard and Lehigh. Yale is seeking a replacement point guard for rising senior and All-Ivy performer, Eric Flato. The Bulldogs do however bring in this year, freshman point guard Porter Braswell from Lawrenceville Prep in New Jersey.

A Response to ESPN























With all due respect to ESPN writer and
Penn alumnus, Andy Glocker and his article, "Is this the end of an era?" which is part of ESPN's continuing summer series, "Shoot Around" previewing each of the NCAA Division I conferences, here at CornellBasketball.Blogspot.com, we disagree with Glockner's comments about Cornell's 2007-2008 frontcourt situation. Jason Hartford, pictured here, is expected to start at center this year.


Glockner writes, "you can expect to see a lot of three- or even four-guard looks" for the Cornell Big Red during 2007-2008 because of the graduation of Second Team All-League selection, Andrew Naeve, a 6'10" 240 lb. center. In this statement, Glockner implies that Cornell lacks an adequate replacement starting center for Naeve. We disagree. Glockner also neglects to note that Naeve only averaged 31 minutes per game last season and did not have a true center as a back-up last year. This season, not only does Cornell have what we deem as a terrific replacement for Naeve as a starting center, but the Big Red also now have a true center off the bench in reserve.

While Naeve vacates the starting center role, the Big Red regains Jason Hartford, a highly skilled 6'9" 240 lb. post. While Hartford sat out 2006-2007 as a medical red-shirt with a broken foot, during the 2005-2006 season, he averaged 7.7 points and 3.8 rebounds in just 19 minutes of action per game, while shooting a robust 56% from the floor. In his eight games during 2005-2006, where he played at least 20 minutes for Cornell, he averaged an even more impressive 11.8 points, 4.9 rebounds (in 26 minutes per game in those eight contests), while shooting 60% from the floor. On the year, Hartford also showed range and buried 12/26 shots from beyond the three-point arc. Most impressive, he achieved all of the above during 2005-2006 while playing the entire season with a broken wrist. "The best thing about him is that he's a big player first of all, but he's skilled. So we're not sacrificing size for a guy that [is] able to pass," said head coach Steve Donahue in a Cornell Daily Sun interview. "He can pass, he can dribble, he can step away from the basket and shoot." Donahue told the Ithaca Journal this summer, o“[Hartford's] foot healed and he hasn't had any problems.” A now healthy Jason Hartford should be a force for Cornell in the middle of the paint. He is more offensively skilled than Naeve (Naeve was a career 48% FG shooter), and while Hartfird is not expected to block and alter as many shots as Naeve on the other end of the court, the Cornell coaches respect Hartford's defensive and rebounding abilities.

Unlike last season, during 2007-2008, Cornell will have a true center to pull off the bench. When Jason Hartford sits for a rest or due to fouls, the Big Red can insert 7'0" Jeff Foote, a transfer from St. Bonaventure. Although Foote has yet to play a single college basketball game (he red-shirt at St. Bonaventure during 2005-2006 and at Cornell during 2006-2007), he played extremely well this summer at the Empire State Games, averaging 12 points per game against collegiate competition. He has a reputation for perimeter shooting skills, but can also block shots and grab rebounds. Thus far, those close to the program have indicated that he is likely to have an immediate impact upon joining Cornell with sophomore status.

In short, Cornell's additions of Hartford and Naeve improve Cornell's situation in the paint during the course of a 40 minute game.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

ESPN Previews the Ivy League




(Pictured is Cornell's Adam Gore and Yale's Eric Flato)

ESPN writer and
Penn alumnus, Andy Glocker published an article on ESPN.com entitled, "Is this the end of an era?" as part of ESPN's continuing summer series, "Shoot Around" which previews each of the NCAA Division I conferences.


ESPN's capsule preview of Cornell is as follows:
Cornell
The Big Red are the anti-Columbia, stacked with quality guards and a question mark inside. Point guard Louis Dale (13.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.7 apg) and shooting guard Ryan Wittman (15.6 ppg) excelled last season as freshmen, finishing as the team's top two scorers. The scary part? It's possible that there are better players on Cornell's roster. Returning from injury is 2005-06 Ivy rookie of the year Adam Gore, who scored 20 in Cornell's win at Northwestern in the season opener last year before blowing out a knee late in the game. Combine that with the arrival of USC transfer Collin Robinson, the most explosive one-on-one player on the team, and you can expect to see a lot of three- or even four-guard looks in Ithaca. The other reason that may occur is Cornell needs to replace solid big man Andrew Naeve. While Jason Hartford, Alex Tyler and Jeff Foote (a St. Bonaventure transfer eligible in January) will each provide part of what Naeve gave, Cornell coach Steve Donahue understands how important Naeve was. "Andrew was such a terrific team player and a hard worker and great defender and did all the dirty work and rebounded the ball and really did a variety of things that really allowed us to compete with really good teams," Donahue said. " ... I don't take that for granted that we'll be able to replace him."
The article also noted, "The Big Red have a stable of guards that would not look out of place on the Penn or Princeton teams of years past"

In ESPN's previously published "Shoot Around" articles, the site previewed the America East Conference which features Cornell scheduled opponents, Binghamton and Stony Brook. ESPN also released its preview of the Patriot League, featuring Cornell opponents, Bucknell, Colgate, Lehigh and Army. Additionally, ESPN also previewed the ACC and Cornell opponent, Duke.


Alumni News: Jeff Aubry Signs In Argentina













(click on the pictures for larger images)

LatinBasket.com announced on August 18 that 6'11" Jeff Aubry (Cornell '99) has signed a professional contract with the Argentine basketball team, Libertad. Aubry arrives in Argentina via a professional stop in Puerto Rico with Ponce.

Aubry is Cornell's all-time leader in block shots with 187 between 1995-1999.

For all stories related to Cornell Basketball Alumni, click here.


The Chess Game

Cornell has a roster of seventeen players, sixteen of which are healthy and able to contribute in game situations during 2007-2008. Obviously, Head Coach Steve Donahue (pictured) is not going to play all sixteen players on a regular basis. Nevertheless, Coach Donahue is known to play ten or more players in a game, shuffling them like hockey lines and utilizing his roster like chess pieces. His playing rotation varies each game, depending on the situation and the type of opponent. For example, the unit on the floor for the Big Red in a key defensive stand could be quite different from a situation where Cornell wants to protect a lead with competent ball handling and efficient free throw shooting. Below, we pick Cornell's best defensive unit, best ball handling and free throw shooting unit, and best three-point shooting unit.


CORNELL'S BEST DEFENSIVE UNIT
C Jeff Foote 7'0" So. (St. Bonaventure transfer should lead the team in shot blocks this year)
PF Alex Tyler 6'7" So. (plays big, team's strongest player and a good defensive rebounder)
SF Andre Wilkins 6'5" So. (best leaper and athlete on the team and a strong rebounder)
SG Jason Battle 6'4" Jr. (called for full court presses with his long arms and lateral quickness)
PG Louis Dale 5'11" So. (quickest quard on the team, a ballhawker)

Others to consider for a defensive stop:
SF Ryan Wittman 6'6" So. (highest basketball intelligence on the team, especially on defense)
PF Conor Mullen 6'6" Jr. (hard working, scrappy defender and rebounder)
PF Pete Reynolds 6'8" So. (most athletic player on the roster over 6'6")

BEST BALL HANDLING AND FREE THROW SHOOTING UNIT
C Alex Tyler 6'7" So. (A 53% FG shooter and 74% FT shooter makes him a good target)
F Ryan Wittman 6'6" So. (Can handle the ball like a point guard, 55/82 on FTs last year (89%))
F Geoff Reeves 6'5" So. (51% on FGs last season and a good ball handling forward)
G Collin Robinson 6'0" So. (A second ball handler with lightning quickness)
PG Louis Dale 5'11"So. (47% on FGs, 79% on FTs and best with the ball under pressure)

Others to consider for ball handling and free-throw shooting:
Adam Gore 6'0" So. (An 83% FT shooter during 2005-2006)
Jason Hartford 6'9" Sr. (Cornell's best ball handling post player and shot 56% on FGs in '05-'06)

CORNELL'S BEST THREE-POINT SHOOTING UNIT

C Jason Hartford 6’9” Sr.
(05-06 stats--12/26 (.462), big man has long range shooting abilities)
F Ryan Wittman 6’6” So.
(93/216 (.431), pure shooter with flawless shot mechanics, clutch)
F Geoff Reeves 6’5” So.
(11/22 (.500), good size, athletic, can create own shot from deep)
G Adam Gore 6’0” So.
(05-06 stats--83/198 (.419), not afraid to take the big shot)
PG Louis Dale 5’11” So.
(44/94 (.468), ice calm, the 2007-2008 Cornell leader in 3 PT%)

Others to consider for a three-point shot:

G Collin Robinson 6'0" So. (Shot 40% in high school and 41% during Cornell's French tour)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Ranking Cornell's Toughest Games in '07-'08



Cornell's schedule is not easy. Especially considering the Big Red have only one senior along with ten sophomores and two freshmen. Below, we rank Cornell’s toughest games of the
2007-2008 schedule. If Cornell is going to pull out some wins from these games, Ryan Wittman (pictured) and the Big Red will have to shoot themselves out of tough situations.






8. January 26, 2008 at Columbia-It does not matter what happens the week earlier when the Lions visit Ithaca. The return game in New York is going to be rough. The students will be back on campus following winter recess, the gym will be packed as always, and Cornell will be under pressure to either even the series or complete a crucial sweep.

7. November 25, 2007 HOME against Siena-It is a holiday weekend and Cornell will not have the students to help give support. More problematic, Siena is picked to win the MAAC this year and a preseason top 100 team in several online publications. Cornell also will not have the services of 7'0" center Jeff Foote.

6. December 19, 2007 at Bucknell-After an eighteen day layoff for final exams, the Big Red have to make the long road trip to Lewisberg, Pa. The Big Red will be rusty. Making matterse worse, Sojka Pavilion is one of the toughest gyms in the east. Fortunately, the Bucknell students will be home on vacation. Still, we will never forget our December 17, 2005 roadtrip to Bucknell, when the Bison blasted the Big Red 83-39.

5. November 17, 2007 at Ohio-The Bobcats are a big and somewhat athletic MAC team. Last season they were 19-13 despite several key players out. The Bobcats also averaged over 4,500 fans per game, so the environment should be hostile.

4. February 2, 2008 at Yale-The Bulldogs are an early favorite to win the Ivy according to at least one publication, CollegeHoopsNet.com. John J. Lee Amphitheater is one of the toughest gyms in the Ivy and according to our records, Cornell has not won there since February 9, 2001. This is a critical Ivy game.

3. March 7, 2008 at Penn-Cornell Head Coach Steve Donahue has never defeated Penn. In fact, Cornell last defeated the Quakers on February 27, 1998. Cornell also has not won at Penn since February 28, 1989, then losing 18 straight in the Palestra.

2. December 22, 2007 at Syracuse-The Orange are a top 35 team in most preseason publications and the Carrier Dome is one of the loudest gyms in the country. Matching will the Orange's athletcism and quickness will not be easy.

1. January 6, 2008 at Duke-Two words. Cameron. Crazies. Ok, a few more words--- McDonalds All-Americans up and down the Blue Devils' roster. And Coach K. This game is tough. There is no tougher game in America than playing at Duke.

Recruiting News: Around the Ivy















UPenn prospect, Garvin Hunt (pictured above), visits West Philadelphia next week.

Brown-Rivals.com reports this month that 6'6" wing guard, Chase Spruill from Princeton H.S. in Princeton, Texas lists Brown along with Denver, UT-San Antonio, Marist, and Division II Dallas Baptist among his top five college choices. No school has offered yet.

Harvard-The Crimson are definitely searching for point guards. They already landed Oliver McNally from California, but are still offering others. As reported by Scout.com, two weeks ago, Ronald Nored, a 6'0" point guard out of Homewood High School in Alabama committed to Western Kentucky after receiving an offer from Harvard and South Alabama. The Crimson also offered Anthony Hill, a 6'0" point guard from Plano East H.S. in Texas. However, according to Rivals.com, Hill committed this week to Rice. He also had offers from Princeton and Wichita State.

Penn-Rivals.com and Scout.com are reporting that Garvin Hunt a raw, but physically talented 6'8" forward from the Bahamas and Sagemont Upper School in Weston, Florida, will be visiting UPenn between September 6-8. Hunt will also visit the University of Delaware this week. Additionally, Terry Bembry, a 6'7" 215 lb. forward from Fort Bend Bush H.S. near Houston, Texas told TexasHoops.com that Penn is his leader, although he does not have any college offers.

Princeton-Although the Tigers offered Anthony Hill, a 6'0" point guard from Plano East H.S. in Texas, according to Rivals.com, Hill committed this week to Rice. He also had offers from Harvard and Wichita State. The Tigers could be poised for a recruiting battle with Cornell for the services of Marques Coleman, a 6'3" 185 lb. combo guard from Glendale, Arizona. The athletic guard, has received varying levels of interest from Pac 10 schools like Stanford and Oregon, but has since focused his attention on the Ivy League, particularly Cornell and Princeton. Scout.com evaluates him as, "[A] [g]ood sized point guard with an excellent feel for the game. Unselfish and a very good passer. Shot needs to improve, but a likely high major prospect." Once ranked as high as #268 in his class nationally by Hoop Scoop, he is currently ranked #303.

Yale-The Bulldogs along with Harvard and Columbia recruited Nick Greenbacker, a 6'9" post player from East Catholic High School in Manchester, Connecticut. According to New England Recruiting Report, however, he has ended his recruitment by announcing his plan to attend Sacred Heart University.

For more information, see our compiled Cornell and Ivy League Recruiting Targets and Commitments list.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Penn is Last Ivy to Announce 2007-2008 Schedule

As we posted in a prior article, Penn is the only team in the Ivy League that has yet to announce its 2007-2008 schedule. Last year, Penn's home schedule at the Palestra included games against Drexel, Villanova, Fordham, and Temple. Only the local Penn-Villanova game drew a higher attendance than the Quakers contest with the Cornell Big Red. Below are the attendance figures for Penn's home games during 2006-2007.

11/18/06 FLA. GULF COAST 3550
11/21/06 DREXEL 5268
11/28/06 MONMOUTH 2854
12/02/06 VILLANOVA L 89-99 8458
12/09/06 FORDHAM 3156
12/21/06 ILLINOIS-CHICAGO 2218
01/24/07 TEMPLE 6103
02/09/07 DARTMOUTH 4652
02/10/07 HARVARD 6127
02/13/07 PRINCETON 6129
02/16/07 COLUMBIA 3418
02/17/07 CORNELL 6656
03/02/07 YALE 5818
03/03/07 BROWN 4384

A Dozen Questions for Cornell Basketball in 2007-2008


















(Pictured here, #20 Ryan Wittman, the 2006-2007 Ivy League Rookie of the Year, is our preseason choice for Cornell's team captain)


11. Will Cornell get an immediate contribution from seven-footer Jeff Foote when he becomes eligible in December? A 2005 graduate of Spencer Van-Etten High School near Lockwood, NY, Foote spent the last two years in red-shirt status and may be rusty.

10. Who will start at shooting guard?
If Louis Dale runs the point for the second year in a row, then Adam Gore, Collin Robinson and Geoff Reeves will all battle for the starting second guard. Gore is the best shooter of the trio, Robinson is the quickest and most explosive, and Reeves brings the best athleticism and size.

9. Will
Jason Hartford stay healthy? A broken wrist and broken foot forced Hartford to miss all of 2006-2007 and seven games during 2005-2006.

8. With five of the Big Red’s first six games at home, will Cornell start off the year with at least four wins?
In the first six games of the year, Cornell plays at home—Lehigh, Army, Siena, Binghamton and Colgate, with one road game at Ohio University.

7. Will average home Cornell basketball attendance at Newman Arena surpass 3,000 or even 2,000 in 2007-2008? Over the last four years, Cornell averaged 1,611 fans per game. Cornell averaged 1,278 fans per game during 2006-2007, 1,890 during 2005-2006, 1,572 during 2004-2005, and 1,702 during 2003-2004.

6. If Head Coach Steve Donahue opts to up the offensive tempo this season, as he has previously hinted, will he also opt for a smaller and quicker frontcourt using more mobile and athletic players such as Andre Wilkins, Jason Battle and Pete Reynolds at the 4 and 5 spots in place of bigger players such as Alex Tyler and Jason Hartford?


5. Can Cornell establish itself as the Ivy League’s premier defensive team?
A roster loaded with athleticism, quickness and some size, the Big Red has the talent base to lock down Ivy opponents.

4. With three different Cornell players averaging double figures during their respective freshman seasons (and each earning All-Ivy League honors in the process), will Cornell find the right mix of scoring chemistry in 2007-2008 as they take the court together as a trio of sophomores?
Adam Gore averaged 12.9 points as a freshman during 2005-2006 (and sat out 2006-2007), while Ryan Wittman averaged 15.6 points and Louis Dale 13.3 during their freshman year in 2006-2007. Throw in Collin Robinson with his 20.5 points per game while on the team’s tour in France, and Cornell must find an offensive balance this season.

3. Boasting a roster of sixteen activated players on the roster (excluding sidelined Khaliq Gant), how many players will Steve Donahue use on average basis in the playing rotation and will Brian Kreefer, Conor Mullen, Jon Jaques, Adam Wire, and Aaron Richardson-Osgood find playing time?
We are hopeful the reserves push the starters each day in practice.

2. During 2005-2006 and 2006-2007, the Cornell basketball program did not lose a single player for any reason (i.e. transfer) other than for graduation-- can the Big Red continue to retain 100% of the players in the program?


1. Who is the team captain and spiritual leader?
There is only one senior on the team, Jason Hartford, but he sat out last season as a medical red-shirt. While we believe Louis Dale is the team's MVP, our pick for captain is Ryan Wittman.

THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION-Will Cornell win its first Ivy League Championship since 1988?


Saturday, August 25, 2007

Cornell Ranked #7 Nationally in Academic Reputation in U.S. News Survey

The Dartblog.com published a chart of the 2007-2008 US News & World Report College Rankings. The complete ranking may only be viewed by Premium Members of the US News website. Nevertheless, the chart below from the Dartblog reveals that while Cornell was ranked #12 overall, its academic reputation score (i.e. "the peer assessment score") was a 4.6, which placed Cornell tied for 7th nationally in overall academic reputation.

(click on the chart below for a larger image)

ESPN Previews Cornell's 2007-2008 Opponents





ESPN.com's summer series, Shoot Around, previews Cornell's January 6, 2008 opponent, the Duke Blue Devils. ESPN picks Duke to finish 2nd in the ACC.


In ESPN's previously published Shoot Arounds, the site previewed the America East Conference which features Cornell opponents on the Big Red's schedule-- Binghamton and Stony Brook. ESPN also released its preview of the Patriot League, featuring Cornell opponents, Bucknell, Colgate, Lehigh and Army. Below is ESPN's preview of Duke.
Duke
The summer hasn't been kind to the Blue Devils. DeMarcus Nelson had to leave the trials for the Pan American team in July with a broken hand. He's out until mid-September. Brian Zoubek broke his foot in a workout in early July, taking him off the court for eight to 10 weeks. David McClure just had surgery on his right knee this week and will be sidelined for six to eight weeks. "Injuries are never good, but if you have to have them, better in the summer," assistant coach Steve Wojciechowski said. Still, those are not the sort of news items you want to hear when you're trying to right the ship after a season that, in Duke terms, can only be described as disappointing. Oh, and Josh McRoberts bolted for the NBA. With Nelson the lone senior on the roster, a lot of young Devils need to grow up in a hurry, particularly Gerald Henderson, Lance Thomas and incoming superstud Kyle Singler. It would also help if junior Greg Paulus, who found his scoring niche in mid-February, picks up where he left off. The real problem for the Blue Devils is still the lack of a decent inside presence. And if the 3s aren't falling, there could be trouble brewing.


Friday, August 24, 2007

A Brief Explanation of Ivy League Financial Aid

We have been receiving countless emails the last few days inquiring about Cornell and Ivy League financial aid practices. Here are some basic facts, however, we suggest you consult the Cornell website on financial aid for further information.

Like all the other Ivy League schools, Cornell University offers financial aid to students solely on the basis of demonstrated financial need. Cornell does not offer merit awards based on academic, athletic, musical or any other talent. Financial Need is defined as the the cost of attendance minus the total family resources.

Below are the components of the Cornell/Ivy League financial aid package:
  • Tuition and Fees
  • Room and Board (i.e. food)
  • Books and Supplies
  • Personal Expenses/Travel-This is an additional allowance toward miscellaneous expenses such as a fitness center membership, laundry plan, bus pass, and other personal expenses while on campus.
We hope this helps!!!

Cornell Faces An Unusually Smallish Syracuse Orangemen
























The last time Cornell played Syracuse, on November 9, 2005, the Big Red fell 67-62 in the Carrier Dome. However, the Orangemen had to come from behind to knock off Cornell and it was not until the 4:38 mark in the second half that Syracuse gained the lead that it would not relinquish.

The Red and Orange will meet again this season on December 22, 2007, once again at the Dome. However, the Orangemen have suffered significant losses to graduation and will have a depleted frontcourt. Last May, Syracuse graduated seven seniors, all but one of which stood at least 6'7" tall.

Now, the Orangemen suffer another loss to the roster, receiving news that key guard, Andy Rautins is out for the season.

Cornell definitely has an "upset" on its mine in this year's meeting.


Cornell Does Not Have to Worry About Ben-Eze...yet.




Although posters on an internet message board hosted on DCSportsfan.com reported that Frank Ben-Eze, a 6'10" 235 lb. center from Bishop O’Connell H.S. (Va.) gave a verbal commitment to play basketball at Harvard next year, Scout.com is reporting today that Ben-Eze will be visiting Marquette on August 28. Accordingly, the reported commitment to Harvard appears to be false. (See our related story here)

Also, we want to clear up some falsely reported information on internet message boards concerning Ivy League financial aid.

While Cornell and the Ivies do not offer athletic scholarships, each Ivy school works with each recruited athlete’s family to ensure access to the education that admitted students have worked so hard to secure. All Ivy League financial aid is awarded on the basis of demonstrated financial need -- there are no academic, athletic, or merit-based awards.

Nevertheless
,
the Ivy League meets each athlete’s full financial need, whether you're a domestic or an international student, for all four years. Accordingly, if you have the full financial need, a full tuition grant is a possibility.


Visit Cornell Athletics for more information.



DukeBasketballReport.com Discusses Cornell Game


DukeBasketballReport.com analyzes the Blue Devils' non-conference schedule in an article released today. The article states in part as follows:

Duke’s 2007-08 schedule, like every schedule Coach K has put together, says a lot about his expectations of the team. So what to think? Since we always do the ACC teams with their own previews, let’s look at the non-conference part of the schedule, but let’s preface it by saying how glad we are to see home-and-home with State back.

Back to the non-con: there aren’t many patsies there. The weakest teams are arguably Albany and Cornell. And if you’ll remember, Albany gave UConn a wicked NCAA game a couple of years ago as a 16 seed. And while a Cornell victory would be astonishing, they return eight upperclassmen who have been winning throughout their career.


Duke Announces Televised Game With Cornell

















Yesterday, the Duke Blue Devils announced their 2007-2008 basketball schedule.

Duke's official schedule lists the game against Cornell on Sunday, January 6, 2008 with a tip-off time of 5:30 pm. Additionally, Duke's schedule confirms that the Cornell game will be nationally televised on FoxSports. In contrast, Cornell's schedule shows the Cornell-Duke game to start at 7 pm.

Irrespective of the start time, Cornell is fortunate to have the game televised on FoxSports, which is carried by most cable providers. In contrast, Duke's game against Davidson is televised on ESPNU, an esoteric network, usually only obtainable via DirecTV.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Boehm Verbals to "Red" Hot Harvard Basketball Program






ChicagoHoops.com is reporting that Head Coach Tommy Amaker and Harvard University have picked up yet another verbal commitment-- this time from New Trier Illinois H.S.'s Peter Boehm. He selected Harvard over Cornell and Lehigh. Amaker has now received verbals from Boehm, Californian Oliver McNally as well as transfers Cem Dinc (who is eligibile this year) and Dan McGeary. Harvard may also have a commitment from Frank Ben-Eze.

See our prior story here on Peter Boehm.

See also our compiled list of Cornell and Ivy League Recruiting Targets and Commitments

ESPN's Northeast Conference (Quinnipiac) Preview



Today ESPN previews the Northeastern Conference ("NEC") in its summer "Shoot Around" series. On December 31, 2007, Cornell plays on the road at NEC member Quinnipiac. The Bobcats' new arena (pictured) is discussed prominently in the article.

ESPN had already covered the America East Conference and the Patriot League. Both conferences feature several Cornell opponents on the 2007-2008 Big Red schedule.

Butch van Breda Kolff Dies


Former Princeton basketball coach Willem “Butch” van Breda Kolff passed away yesterday in Spokane, Washington at the age of 84 after a lengthy illness. His son, Jan (pictured), also played professionally and coached at Cornell (1991-1992 and 1992-1993), Vanderbilt, Pepperdine and St. Bonaventure.

Did Harvard Land the Big One?

(Click on the images for a larger picture)


According to internet message board gossip (see DCSportsfan.com), Frank Ben-Eze (pictured left), a Nigerian born, 6'10" 235 lb. center gave a verbal commitment to play basketball at Harvard next year. If this story proves accurate, Harvard Head Coach Tommy Amaker (pictured right) is without doubt putting together an Ivy championship caliber team, having already received commitments from Indiana transfer Cem Dinc (6'10" 250 lbs.) and California prep 6'3" Oliver McNally, the 9th ranked point guard in the West by ScoutHoops.com.

According to Scout.com, Ben-Eze received scholarship offers from Marquette, Georgia Tech, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Colorado, Clemson, Pittsburgh, Virginia and Notre Dame before selecting Harvard. No other Ivy recruit in the last ten years received this level of recruitment attention from the "high majors."

Amaker may not be done quite yet. He also has Harvard as a finalist for the services of Andrew Van Nest, a 6'10" forward from the Northfield Mt. Hermon School in Massachusetts. Van Nest has Harvard at the top of his list, above offers from UMass, Davidson, Northwestern, Penn and Princeton. The Crimson are also in the mix with Max Kenyi, a wing out of Gonzaga H.S. in D.C., another prospect receiving "high major" attention.

Recruiting News: Harvard Moves In On Cornell Recruiting Targets

According to ChicagoHoops.com, Harvard Head Coach Tommy Amaker and his new staff are hard at work looking to out recruit Cornell for a pair of prospects from the Illinois Class of 2008.

According to ChicagoHoops.com, Amaker has both Peter Boehm (New Trier H.S.) and Chris Wroblewski (Highland Park H.S.) of the Rising Stars A.A.U. program in his sights and has been hitting the recruiting trail after them very hard. Boehm, a 6-7 forward is being pursued by Cornell as well, but already has scholarship offers on the table from Loyola of Chicago, Rice, and Lehigh. In addition, Bucknell, Lafayette and Colgate are also involved. ChicagoHoops.com said Boehm
recently visited the Harvard campus, and "came away impressed with Amaker." Illinois Prep Bullseye, another recruiting website is reporting that Cornell, Harvard and Lehigh are at the top of Boehm's list.

Meanwhile, Wroblewski, a 6-0 point guard who will finish his career as a four-year starter at Highland Park H.S., is also being recruited by Amaker, and will check out the Harvard campus in September. Wroblewski reportedly visited Cornell back in April 2007 and has Harvard and Cornell at the top of his list.

Amaker has already secured the services of 6-10 big man Cem Dinc, a transfer who started his career as an Indiana Hoosier. Additionally, Harvard recently landed the recruiting commitment of Oliver McNally, a 6'3" point guard from Ross (Calif.) Branson High School.

See our compiled list of Cornell and Ivy League Recruiting Targets and Commitments here.

Can Gaines Lead Penn Past Cornell in '07-'08

During 2007-2008, the defending Ivy League champions, the University of Pennsylvania Quakers will likely look to a true freshman to handle the starting point guard duties. The freshman bearing this heavy burden is 6'0" Harrison Gaines of Serrano High School near Victorville, California. Even the most loyal of Penn basketball fans must admit that for Penn to remain atop of the Ivy League next season, Gaines will have to put forth a stellar rookie point guard campaign by distributing the basketball to his teammates and helping the Quakers with the scoring void created by the graduations of Ibby Jabber, Mark Zoller and Steve Danley.

Asking a freshman point guard to produce immediately is certainly nothing new in the guard dominated Ivy League. Cornell was in a similar position last preseason with Louis Dale, but will Penn's Gaines produce at a similarly high level as Dale? Few freshman Ivy point guards have approached Dale's level of immediate success. During 2006-2007, Dale averaged in Ivy League action, an impressive 13.4 points, 3.7 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game, while shooting 44% from the floor, 45% beyond the three-pointer arc, and 79% at the free throw line. Dale was rewarded at season-end with All-Ivy League Honorable Mention honors.

Gaines's performances in high school and on the summer AAU and camp circuit suggest that he struggles as an outside shooter and as a playmaking passer. While Gaines is known for his quickness, athleticism and ability to drive the lane, during his senior year, he only shot 20/75 on three-pointers for 26.7 percent. Unfortunately for Gaines and Penn, his open looks at the basket on the perimeter will only get tougher against quicker and more athletic competition in Division I college basketball. A year ago, Scout.com offered the following review on Gaines's skills.
Gaines has a solid body and good quickness, with the potential to be a very good defender. His overall balls skills, though, need to improve if he is to play at a high level. He’s just a fair passer and shooter at this time. He looks to penetrate often, but didn’t show good vision in the game we saw last Sunday. Gaines has some tools to work with, but he needs to play more like a true one if he’s to be a successful college guard.
BasketballU.com (run by Penn alumni) compared Gaines to former Ivy League Player of the Year and Brown guard, Jason Forte. However, this comparison is obviously inappropriate. Forte was a well-round scorer and could shoot from deep range, a career 38% shooter on three-pointers at Brown (and shot 40% during his junior and senior years). In contrast, Gaines has struggled as a shooter throughout his high school career against a much lower level of competition.

The jury is still out if Gaines is the savior point guard for a rebuilding Penn program. If not, the Quakers are hoping that Zach Rosen, a commitment for the 2008-2009 season will fill that role. And if Rosen does emerge as the starting point guard as a freshman in 2008-2009, Gaines may not be a suitable candidate to play a shooting guard role with his smallish size and sub par perimeter shooting ability.

See our related story here on Penn's frontcourt for 2007-2008.


Columbia Recruits Another Shooting Guard

It has been reported on a message board that Noruwa Agho, a 6'3" shooting guard/wing and class of 2007 graduate of St. Joseph's H.S. in Montvale, New Jersey will enroll as a postgraduate student at the Peddie School near Princeton before ultimately enrolling at Columbia University for the 2008-2009 season. Agho was selected to the New Jersey Associated Press Third Team All-State Team during 2006-2007. Agho is Columbia's second commitment for the 2008-2009 season, previously securing the services of LaSalle transfer, 6'7" Brian Grimes. The Lions get hit hard at graduation in May '07, losing six seniors. Nevertheless, with Nikko Scott and K.J. Matsui both returning for the Lions as shooting guards in 2008-2009, Agho's skill set seems somewhat redundant and fails to address Columbia's needs for a point guard who can penetrate the lane and additional help in the low post.


See our compiled list of 2008-2009 Ivy League recruiting commitments here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Date in Cornell Basketball History: The 1992-1993 Season

Cornell Basketball's 2006-2007 record of 16-12 overall and 9-5 in the Ivy League was the program's best marks in conference and overall since the 1992-1993 season. The 1992-1993 season also marked the last time Cornell defeated a Top 25 opponent, defeating Jason Kidd's Cal on December 30, 1992 at the Meadowlands in New Jersey. Additionally, the 1992-1993 season may have been Cornell's toughest schedule of the last twenty years. The Big Red faced four top 25 opponents that season in #17 Syracuse, #7 Seton Hall, #6 North Carolina and #19 Cal. In addition, Cornell also face a third Big East team in an unranked Pittsburgh. Here is a glimpse of the 1992-1993 season.


1992-93 (16-10, 9-5 Ivy League)
Coach: Jan van Breda Kolff

DECEMBER
1 at No. 17 Syracuse ................ L .... 65-97
5 ST. FRANCIS (Pa.) .................. W ... 70-61
8 CLARKSON ............................ W ... 96-51
21 at Pittsburgh ......................... L .... 72-80
29 at No. 7 Seton Hall# .............. L .... 59-75
30 vs. No. 19 California# ........... W ... 74-54
JANUARY
2 BUCKNELL (OT) .................... W ... 73-65
4 at No. 6 North Carolina ........ L .... 60-98
9 at Niagara .............................. L .... 66-80
12 HOFSTRA .............................. W ... 70-56
16 COLUMBIA* ........................... L .... 64-74
19 CANISIUS .............................. W ... 63-56
23 at Columbia* ......................... L .... 61-75
29 BROWN* ............................... W ... 74-63
30 YALE* .................................... W ... 47-37
FEBRUARY
1 at Colgate ............................. W ... 79-73
5 HARVARD* ............................ W ... 71-58
6 DARTMOUTH* ...................... W ... 79-58
12 at Princeton* ......................... L .... 50-62
13 at Penn* ................................. L .... 62-66
19 at Yale* ................................. W ... 81-72
20 at Brown* ............................. W ... 79-72
26 PENN* .................................... L .... 59-75
27 PRINCETON* .......................... W ... 54-49
MARCH
5 at Dartmouth* ...................... W ... 91-86
6 at Harvard* ........................... W . 108-87
#- SetonHall/MeadowlandsTournament