Sunday, September 30, 2007

Recruiting News: Aronhalt Headed to Upstate New York, But Not Ithaca

Although OhioVarsity.com indicated during May 2007 that Logan Aronhalt, a 6'4" 220 lb. forward from Zanesville OH HS (AAU: Columbus CBIZ) had interest in Ivy League schools including Cornell, both OhioVarsity.com and HoopScoopOnline.com (among other sources) are indicating that Aronhalt gave a verbal commitment to Albany University. According to the Zanesville Times Recorder, Aronhalt also strongly considered Duquesne, Bowling Green, Yale, Air Force and Vermont, while getting serious attention from over 25 other schools. The Albany Times Union reported that Aronhalt chose UAlbany over offers from Duquesne, Fairfield, Bowling Green, Vermont, Lehigh and Air Force. Aronhalt is a 4.1 GPA student and a member of the National Honor Society.

Cornell's Assistant Coach Search











Now that Cornell has an open slot for a third assistant coach, we are confident Head Coach Steve Donahue (above) will find the right person to fill the job. While we are sure Coach Donahue looks for several important qualities in his new assistant coach, here are a couple of other factors we hope Cornell will seek in the candidate:

1. Big Name-We would like to see Cornell hire a former player (or even coach) with national name recognition. Just look how hiring Tommy Amaker as head coach at Harvard has helped recruiting in Cambridge.

2. Minority-We value diversity on the coaching staff and would love to see a minority brought on board.

3. Former "Big Man"-An assistant coach with low post playing experience is useful in working with Cornell's developing post players.

4. Recruiting Connections-A new coach with connections on the camp and AAU circuit is a huge factor in hiring, especially if connections are well-grounded in metropolitan areas likes New York, Chicago, LA, Philadelphia, Boston or Miami.

5. Ivy League alumnus-This sort of conflicts with our No. 1 priority above, but if you can't find a big name on the national stage, at least get someone who knows the "ins and outs" of the Ivy.

6. Coaching Experience-This is helpful, but not necessary for a third assistant coach. But definitely an added bonus.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Recruiting News

ArizonaPreps.com is reporting that Andrew Fulbright (pictured here), a 6'4" 195 lb. guard from Goodyear, Arizona Desert Edge High School is receiving recruiting attention from Cornell, Southern Utah and Santa Clara among Division I schools. Cornell is also recruiting a pair of Fulbright's Desert Edge teammates, Gilbert Morales, a 6'5" wing and 6'9" Mitchell Watt. Rumor on Watt is that he is leaning towards committing to an Ivy League school. Besides Cornell, he is also receiving considerable recruiting attention from Columbia and Princeton.

Cornell was also previously mentioned in recruiting 6'3" point guard, Marques Coleman from Glendale (Arizona) High School. However, according to one source, since Cornell received a commitment from Chris Wroblewski, the Big Red has ceased its recruiting search for point guards. Reportedly among Ivies, only Brown, Yale, Columbia and Dartmouth are actively pursuing point guards. Coleman previously mentioned Cornell and Princeton at the top of his list. However, he has since shifted his attention and entertained in-home visits from Brown and Yale, as well as visited the Brown campus. He is planning a visit to Yale.

For a list of Cornell and Ivy League Recruiting Targets and Commitments click here.


Friday, September 28, 2007

Recruiting News: Max Kenyi to Harvard

Scout.com is reporting that Max Kenyi, a 6'5" wing out of Washington (D.C.) Gonzaga H.S., picked the Harvard Crimson over Penn and Holy Cross. "I think Tommy feels that they’ve got a great academic product,” Gonzaga coach Steve Turner told Scout.com. “He believes in himself and his staff and their ability and they want to be a winner. They don’t want to be the team that’s known for not winning the Ivy League. They’ve got an opportunity and that’s why they’re getting kids you wouldn’t expect to be on their campus. I think coach has approached it like they’re a high-major program and they’re going to recruit it that way.” As a junior, Kenyi averaged 12 points, 6 boards and 1.1 blocks from his wing position. “I think they see him as a kid who is going to come in and give them opportunities to contribute right away. He can do a little bit of everything.” According to Scout.com and Rivals.com databases, Kenyi had scholarship offers to Davidson, Marquette, George Mason, James Madison, William & Mary, Virginia Commonwealth, Holy Cross and Hampton. He may have also been offered a spot on the roster at UPenn as well. He visited Penn last weekend.

For a list of Cornell and Ivy League Recruiting Targets and Commitments click here.

Recruiting News: Penn Hosts Dartmouth High Priority Target











New England Recruiting Report states that 6'5" guard David Rufful has named Dartmouth as the "school who has been on him the longest and the hardest" and that the Big Green are "hoping to get Rufful committed as soon as possible, because if he continues to play at the same level he has been since arriving at Northfield Mount Hermon he is bound to get a wide variety of other division I suitors." Scout.com is reporting today, however, that Rufful along with Northfield Mount Hermon (New Hampshire) high school teammate, Andrew Van Nest, will both be visiting the University of Pennsylvania Quakers this weekend.

Although during October 2006, Ryan Brooks, a 6'8" forward from Abescon, NJ Holy Sprit High School, told NJHoops that Cornell was among his suitors, the Big Red have since fallen off his radar. RivalsHoops.com is reporting that he is visiting Rhode Island this weekend officially. The trip to URI is his second since the end of the summer. In addition to Rhode Island, he holds scholarship offers to Iona, Marist and LaSalle. Brooks told Rivals, "I feel like I can play in the Big East and in the A-10. That's why I want to play with the players when I take these visits and seeing how it goes." Grades or no grades, the Ivy League does not appear to be a priority for Brooks.


Bartels Hall, Home of Newman Arena and Cornell Basketball

During the last year, Cornell University's official website has added videos and virtual tours of most major campus sites and buildings. Included on the website is a virtual tour of Bartels Hall (click here), which houses Newman Arena (pictured above), the home of Cornell Basketball. The virtual tour allows the user to click and drag the images for panoramic views of the exterior of Bartels Hall, the lobby to Newman Arena, as well as the interior gym. The official seating capacity for basketball games is 4,473, however, Newman Arena has the capacity to host bigger crowds. For example, when Cornell hosted Georgia Tech on November 23, 2003, 4,762 fans attended the game.

While Penn's more famous arena, The Palestra opened in 1927 and remains the country's oldest basketball gym in continuous use, Cornell's campus still retains and utilizes the even older Barton Hall, which opened during the 1914-1915 school year. Barton was the home of Cornell basketball for more than seventy years until the modernized Newman Arena opened in January of 1990, replacing Barton Hall. Barton was then remodeled to become a full-time varsity indoor track venue.

Although Newman Arena is one of the finest athletic facilities in the Ivy League, we advocate returning Cornell Basketball back to its original home, the historic Barton Hall. If renovated properly, Barton would have the history, charm and mystique to make it one of the best basketball environments in the country. Additionally, it has a greater seating capacity than Newman Arena.

(For larger images of Barton Hall, click on photos below)




Recruiting News: Cornell Commitment Chris Wroblewski Listed Among Top Shooters in Illinois
























ChicagoHoops.com lists new Cornell recruit, 6'1" point guard, Chris Wroblewski among the top eight shooters in Illinois. Wroblewski will join the Cornell basketball program for the 2008-2009 season.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Assistant Coach Vacancy









Mark Vershaw joined the Cornell men's basketball team in July of 2006, however after only one year with the program, he will not return to the coaching staff for the 2007-2008 season. Vershaw did not attend the Cornell basketball team's spring tour of France.

Vershaw was a three-year starter and four-year letter winner for Wisconsin and was the leading scorer on UW's Final Four team in 1999-2000 (11.8 ppg.). He graduated as one of six forwards in Big Ten history to record 1,000 points, 400 rebounds and 300 assists in a career. He set school records for season minutes played (1,122) and assists by a forward (118). Vershaw graduated ranked 21st in school history in scoring (1,066 points) and sixth in assists (311). He ranks third on the school's career list for games played (128) and is sixth in minutes played (3,466) and never missed a game during his career.

Vershaw played one season of professional basketball in Finland after attending veterans camp with the Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA, one of three teams Vershaw earned tryouts with.

Vershaw spent two seasons assisting his collegiate head coach, Dick Bennett, at Washington State on a volunteer basis. Previously, he was an assistant coach at Illinois Central College.


Recruiting News

Cornell’s roster list seventeen names, only two of which are seniors—Jason Hartford and Khaliq Gant (out indefinitely with a neck injury). Only Hartford is expected to graduate and run out of eligibility in May 2008. Accordingly, with fifteen players expecting to return for 2008-2009, the Cornell coaching staff can afford to bring in a small and selective recruiting class of two to four players. The Big Red already has one verbal commitment from Illinois native, Chris Wroblewski.

Also in Illinois, Tyler Thompson, a 6’5” wing from West Aurora High School and the Illinois Wolves AAU team was previously mentioned on several websites as a Cornell recruiting target. However, ChicagoHoops.com recently reported that Thompson was getting looks from Horizon League and Missouri Valley schools and that both Drake and Miami of Ohio are coming in for in-home visits. A couple of non-Division Is have offered scholarships. Mike Mullins, Head Coach of the Illinois Wolves told ChicagoHoops, "Tyler brings intensity and toughness to the floor. His ability to stick jumpers, score off the bounce, and battle in the lane define his game." Mullins went on to note that Thompson deserves to be on a Division I roster.

In other Ivy recruiting news, the Dartmouth Big Green seem to be struggling on the recruiting front. Thus far the Big Green have no reported commitments and this learned of two targeted prospects opting to commit elsewhere. TexasHoops.com reports that Travis Hallam, 6’4” guard from Mesquite, Texas committed to former Princeton coach, Joe Scott’s Denver Pioneers over interest from Dartmouth, Harvard, Hartford, Dallas Baptist, Trinity (TX), and the Merchant Marine Academy. Meanwhile, earlier in the week, Terrance Dent, a 6'2" guard from Denver's Mullen School, gave his verbal commitment to Weber State after taking an official visit to Dartmouth.



Rivals.com Picks Cornell Opponent Duke as #16

Rivals.com is projecting Cornell's January 6, 2008 opponent, the Duke Blue Devils as the #16 team in the nation. For an in depth preview of Duke on Rivals.com, click here. Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook picked the Blue Devils as #14. The game will be televised nationally on FoxSports.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Is It October Yet?


(Pictured left, Collin Robinson while at USC. Pictured center, Robinson and Louis Dale go at it in practice. Pictured right, Dale turns on the jets. Click on all pictures for full size images.)

New school, new number. While playing for USC, Collin Robinson wore jersey #30 for the Trojans. At Cornell, he will ball in the #3 jersey. Although we do not have any information on the date or the rosters for the annual Red-White Scrimmage, the potential head-to-head match up of Robinson against All-Ivy Leaguer Louis Dale (#12) ought to be entertaining. Robinson and Dale are arguably the two most explosive point guards in the Ivy League.

Speaking of head to head match-ups, we would also like to catch a glimpse of a three-point shoot out contest between Adam Gore and Ryan Wittman, the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 Ivy League Rookies of the Year and Second Team All Ivy League selections, respectively. While there are many fine shooters in the Ivy League, these guys are among the best of the best.



While we are at it, following a three-point contest, we would not mind paying the price of admission for an NBA style slam dunk contest between the powerful Alex Tyler (below left), bouncy Geoff Reeves (below right), and high-flying JuCo import Andre Wilkins (below center).



ESPN Previews Cornell Opponent Syracuse


In ESPN.com's continuing series, Shoot Around, ESPN previews the Big East Conference and Cornell's December 22, 2007 opponent, the Syracuse Orange. ESPN's Andy Glockner writes:
The Orange lost their entire frontcourt from last season, but they were a very mediocre rebounding team anyway. With freshmen Rick Jackson and Donte Greene coming in, the glass might not be where the team struggles this season. Between losing Demetris Nichols to graduation and Andy Rautins for the year to injury, the Orange lost their two most prolific 3-point shooters. The 'Cuse still has Eric Devendorf (35 percent) and Josh Wright (33 percent), but unless Paul Harris discovered a 20-foot jumper, some of the new blood, led by Jonny Flynn and Antonio Jardine, will need to step up from the arc.
The ESPN preview on the Big East's Louisville Cardinals includes reference to Will Scott (pictured below), the former guard on the Cornell basketball team who transferred to the Cardinals after his freshman year. Since Will Scott's transfer following the 2004-2005 season, not one Cornell basketball player has left the Cornell program. ESPN writes:
You occasionally see major-conference players transfer to the Ivy League, but rarely if ever do you see a player transfer from the Ivy and regularly see the floor at a Big East school. Cornell transfer Will Scott logged eight minutes a game last season and made almost 40 percent from 3. Scott won't be a heavy-minutes guy, but his spot-shooting stroke may be welcome at times this season. For a team that shoots so many 3s, the Cards made a poor percentage last season (33.2 percent; 234th in D-I) and also were suspect at the line (68.4 percent; 193rd).

(click on the pictures for larger images)

In ESPN's previously published Shoot Arounds, the website previewed each of Cornell's non-conference opponents, including the MAC and Ohio University, the MAAC Conference and Siena, the America East Conference including Cornell opponents Binghamton and Stony Brook, the Patriot League, featuring Cornell opponents, Bucknell, Colgate, Lehigh and Army, the Northeast Conference and Quinnipiac University, as well as the ACC and Duke.

View ESPN's Ivy League Shoot Around by clicking right here.

View the Big Red's 2007-2008 schedule by clicking right here.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Siena SID Showing Respect for Cornell



Jason Rich, the Director of Sports Information at Siena recently commented about Cornell in the Albany Times Union blog. Cornell faces Siena in Ithaca on November 25, 2007.

ESPN.com picked Siena to win the MAAC in its conference preview, while the Saints are ranked by Rivals.com as the preseason #55 team in the nation. Meanwhile, CollegeHoopsNet.com ranks Siena as #86 overall in the nation.

ESPN Previews Ohio Univ


In ESPN.com's continuing series, Shoot Around, ESPN previews the MAC and Cornell opponent, Ohio University. The Big Red face the Bobcats on November 17, 2007 in Athens, Ohio.

In ESPN's previously published Shoot Arounds, the website previewed the MAAC Conference and Cornell's November 25, 2007 opponent, the Siena Saints, the America East Conference including Cornell opponents Binghamton and Stony Brook, the Patriot League, featuring Cornell opponents, Bucknell, Colgate, Lehigh and Army, the Northeast Conference and Quinnipiac University, as well as the ACC and Duke.

View the Big Red's 2007-2008 schedule by clicking right here.

Recruiting News: ARO's Former Teammate Commits to Princeton


Max Huc, a 6'2" point guard from Rosemont, Pa., who played last season with Cornell's Aaron Richardson-Osgood ("ARO") at the Hill School in Pottstown, Pa. is spending the year as a postgraduate at Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. Huc committed this week to Princeton according to Brewster Head Coach Jason Smith. Jeff Goodman of FoxSports covered the story.

Scout.com is reporting that Terrance Dent, a 6'2" guard from Denver's Mullen School, gave his verbal commitment as well. Dent committed to Weber State. "When I took my visit there two weeks ago I was very comfortable with the players and coaches," said Dent to Scout.com. "I think the team will be really good and it was a good fit for me. I think the coaches will push me to be as good as I can be." Dent also drew interest from Northern Colorado, Dartmouth and Colorado State.

ESPN's Kyle Whelliston Chat Session Excerpt

Below we pasted an excerpt from yesterday's chat session transcript with ESPN's Kyle Wheslliston. See what Wheslliston had to say about the Ivy League and a pair of Cornell 2007-2008 opponents, Bighamton and Quinnipiac.


Welcome to The Show! On Monday, we'll take a break from the big name conferences and talk some mid-major hoops. So to all of you who may not get the attention you want when the big dogs are dominating the chats, now is your chance! Ask Kyle! Kyle is the founder of MidMajority.com and is a regular contributor to ESPN.com.

Kyle Whelliston: Good Monday afternoon, Hoops Nation... welcome to yet another mid-major basketball chat. I'm your host, and my name is Kyle. Please consider this your temporary refuge from all things American-style football, and your long-term reminder that Midnight Madness is just a few short weeks away. Are you ready? Let's start the show!

Jeff, NYC: Kyle, who do you like in the Ivy League this year?

Kyle Whelliston: I know that it's tempting to say somebody outside the Penn-Princeton axis, but I really think Penn still has the superior talent here, even though they lost Ibby, Danley and Zoller. Because of the whole no conference tourney thing, this is a league you win with talent and depth and access to the best recruits, not sudden magic or lightning in a bottle. I do hope that we live to see an Ivy tourney -- picture a quarter/semi/final weekend at the Palestra or Jadwin in March. That would be fun, wouldn't it?

Bob (Burlington, VT): OK Kyle, how is the America East going to shape up this season?

Kyle Whelliston: I see it as a two-team race between Binghamton and Vermont, slight edge to Binghamton because they get to hold the league tourney in front of the BU zoo. Dark horse: the other BU, Boston University... they'll always have the defense, but their freshman shooters were really coming around late last season. Albany is due for a fall, but they'll be interesting to watch with Brent Wilson, a big guy who prefers to shoot 3's.

Bob (Burlington, VT): The BU Zoo didn't help their beloved Bearcats get to the final in 05-06. Just ask the famous Vermont Afro guy. You don't see UMBC making a jump into possibly contending this season? They return most of their core and add some seemingly impact transfers.

Kyle Whelliston: Yeah, I know, I was there. But this team won't have the Coppenrath-Sorrentine magic, I guarantee you that. I'm waiting and seeing with UMBC... my early feeling is that it could be a very interesting and very watchable chemistry experiment.

David (NJ): Would like to know your thoughts on if the NEC is ready to take the next step and knock off a team in the Big Dance this year?

Kyle Whelliston: I'd love to see it, the league does have the worst NCAA record of all 31 conferences right now (.077). Maybe not this year, but CCSU, Quinnipiac or Fairleigh Dickinson will probably be the best candidates to break through nearterm on account of their taking basketball relatively seriously. Keep an eye on FDU, there's quite a squad being assembled there.

Kyle Whelliston: OK, that's it for me. Thanks for all the great questions. Tune in next time, when I aim to be the first ESPN chatter to get through a whole hour "typing" on a "iPhone."

Monday, September 24, 2007

Recruiting News: Cornell Recruit Wroblewski Plays Well In Fall League


The Rising Stars youth basketball program in suburban Chicago is running their Fall Exposure League. New Cornell recruit, 6’0” Chris Wroblewski of Highland Park High School, pictured above, is a participant. In opening week action, the Warriors topped Wroblewski’s Nuggets 97-68. Wroblewski scored 22 points in the loss. Thus far, six of Wroblewski’s Rising Stars AAU teammates have signed with Division I schools.

Last year, Wroblewski averaged 16.5 points per game for Highland Park, earned All-Conference honors in the Central Suburban League, and was tabbed honorable mention for the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Class AA Boys All-State team. A very good student, he scored a 34 on his ACT with a 5.25 weighted GPA.

In an interview with the Chicago Sporting News, Wroblewski said, "I’m confident with my game. I can run, I can shoot the ball. I’m a shooting guard trapped in a point guard’s body." Wroblewski also describes himself with combo guard abilities. “I think coaches now are really happy with a point guard who can shoot and make good decisions,” Wroblewski said. “I would say he’s extremely poised on the floor, he never gets rattled, he’s just continued to expand his game every year,” Highland Park Assistant Coach Bret Just said. “He’s got probably one of the best [shooting] strokes.” Wroblewski noted, however, that he’s not a strong defender, calling himself “decent,” and acknowledges that size is not one of his strengths. But he says AAU basketball helps his game “tremendously,” mainly to expose him to playing against players who are bigger and stronger.

Wroblewski earned MVP honors this summer at the 2nd Annual Academic All-American Showcase. In a camp featuring more than one hundred Ivy League, Patriot League and Division III academic-minded college basketball prospects, Wroblewski averaged 24 points per game in the five-game showcase while leading his team to the title. "He was the best player from beginning to end," said David Adelman, Joy of the Game's director of events.

Illionis Prep Bulls-eye called Wroblewski a "hidden gem" on the recruiting scene. Wroblewski reportedly visited Cornell during April and again in August before committing to Head Coach Steve Donahue. He also received recruiting interest from and visited Harvard, Yale, Penn, Brown, and Princeton. Other interest came from Colgate, American, and Lehigh. Head Coach Mike Weinstein of the Rising Stars said, "Cornell did a great job of recruiting Chris."

Recruiting News: Around the Ivy


According to TexasHoops.com, Connor Frizzelle, a 6’1” guard from Desoto High School in Texas, visted Yale this past weekend. Frizzelle already visited Army and is considering visiting Columbia. In addition to holding offers from Yale and Army, he has scholarships to Stephen F. Austin, Texas State, and Montana State. Prior to receiving a verbal commitment from Chris Wroblewski, Cornell was reportedly involved with Frizzelle.

Another former Cornell point guard prospect has also looked elsewhere. NJHoops.com reports that 6’0” Brian Dougher from Scotch Plains H.S. in New Jersey is “now off the board.” He has decided to attend Stony Brook University next fall after visiting the campus last week.

NJHoops.com also reports that Billy Oliver from Chatham H.S. in New Jersey selected Penn State. Offline sources report that Oliver was among U.Penn’s top five frontcourt prospects.

Rob Belcore, a recent Penn commitment from Loyola Academy in Chicago, told NJHoops.com, “The recruiting process was getting crazy. I got offers that were pulled when I didn't decide soon enough. At one point I had 8 or 9 offers." Belcore’s comments give further insight into the pressure of committing early.

Rivals.com reports that Harvard had a very big weekend. According to Rivals, “Tommy Amaker and his staff are swinging for the fences at Harvard. This might be the most important weekend for the Ivy League school as two important big men are on campus. Frank Ben-Eze and Andrew Van Nest will be making an official visit as will D.C. area guard Max Kenyi.” All three players received or are receiving recruitment attention from Penn. Rivals.com is further reporting that Ben-Eze has narrowed his college choices to Marquette, Virginia Tech and Harvard.

Jim Thomas of All-Ontario Scouting Service released his 2007-2008 preseason rankings of the top players in Ontario, Canada. Cornell prospect Keaton Cole of Eastern Commerce H.S. in Toronto was ranked as the top point guard prospect in Ontario for the second consecutive year. Cornell prospect Adam Folker, a 6’7” wing forward was ranked #3 in his position area. Both players are in their final year of high school in Canada.

Scout.com reports that Jacob Ranger, a guard from California selected UC Davis after getting some feelers from Penn. He did not have any other reported offers.

Scout.com also reported that Neil Duval from Southlake, Texas committed to Furman after he received a some attention from Penn. He told TexasHoops.com, "I made a visit to Furman and I made a visit to Penn, and Furman ended up the one that I liked the most so I verbally committed." Duval continued, "I went to Furman first (Sept. 13-14) and I liked the players, the coaching staff, and the people that I met. It's a similar environment there to Texas, and I liked that about it." He added, "I think I had been leaning towards Furman a little before, but I wasn't quite sure," Duval said. "So I went there and I went to Penn, and after that it made sense to me why the feeling towards Furman was there. I liked it there, all the players and everything. It all worked out."

ColoradoPrepReport published an article on Terrence Dent, a 6'1" guard out of Denver, Colorado's Mullen School. Dent, a recent visitor to the Dartmouth campus noted that he also visited Weber State. Dent told ColoradoPrepReport about the visits, "They both went really well. I was surprised at Dartmouth. I thought it was going to be more of an Ivy League school but it was a nice college. It was a good time. At Weber State, I liked it a lot. Their business school is good and their basketball team is awesome." Dent added, "I am leaning towards Weber State right now. I think I will make my final decision within the next week."

Finally, Scout.com reports that Drew Hanlen, a 5'11" point guard from Webster Grove, Mo. gave a verbal to Belmont after receiving an offer from Yale.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

They Are Not Camping Out for Cornell Basketball Tickets Yet


The camping in line for Cornell hockey tickets begins on September 28, 2007. Once again, more than 2,000 Cornell students are expected to wait it out in sleeping bags in the hope of gaining membership into the "Lynah Faithful." Fortunately for Cornell hoops, only two basketball games overlap on the same date and time as Big Red home hockey games.

Schedule Update: Syracuse is Top 25 in Rivals.com Poll


Syracuse was tabbed #19 in the Rivals.com preseason poll. The Orange were also picked #23 in the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. The Big Red meet the Orange on December 22, 2007 at the Carrier Dome. Cornell's January 6, 2008 opponent, the Duke Blue Devils are also expected to achieve a Top 25 ranking in the Rivals.com poll. Duke was #14 in the Blue Ribbon Yearbook. Another solid opponent on the Big Red schedule includes the home game on Sunday, November 25, 2007 with Siena. The Saints are ranked by Rivals.com as the preseason #55 team in the nation. CollegeHoopsNet.com also ranks Siena as the #86 team overall in the nation.

Ivy League Buzz...


The Ivy League office released the official 2007-08 Ivy League men's composite basketball schedule. For the complete 2007-08 composite schedule, along with links to each school's individual schedule, please click here.

Although every published preseason publication with the lone exception of CollegeHoopsNet.com has picked Cornell to win the Ivy League during 2007-2008, Jeff Goodman of FoxSports.com cautions followers of Ivy League basketball in his blog that the Columbia Lions could be a threat to win the title. Goodman writes:
LIONS READY TO ROAR IN IVY--This could be the year for Columbia and Lions coach Joe Jones. (emphasis added) Jones is the only coach in the league who literally returns everyone from last season. Not only that, but he’s brought in a pair of freshman – including impact forward Asenso Ampim – and he’ll have a healthy Justin Armstrong. Don’t be shocked if Columbia challenges for the Ivy League crown this year. Senior forward John Baumann led the team in scoring (13.3) last season while shooting an impressive 51 percent from long-range and 58 percent from the field overall. Baumann is one of six seniors who comprise the core of the team – and also the first recruiting class that Jones brought into the program. ``They’ve been the foundation since I got here,” Jones said. But the Lions will have plenty of depth when you add Ampim and a healthy Armstrong, who averaged 10.4 points as a sophomore before knee surgery, into the equation. ``Asenso is strong and versatile. He can make an immediate impact,” Jones said. ``Kevin [Bulger] is a lot better than he was and he’ll be key for us.” Jones echoed the sentiment of many of the coaches in the league, which is that the Ivy title is as wide-open as it’s been in years. ``It’s the first year I can remember that there isn’t a clear-cut favorite,” Jones said. “Any team is capable of beating any other team.”
Frankly, we would be shocked if Columbia challenges. While we also recognize that Columbia has a dangerous team on any given night, picking the New Yorkers to finish fourth in the Ivy League, the Lions appear to have issues with steady point guard play and defense. We also do not, believe that Justin Armstrong's recovered health will vault the Lions from a 7-7 Ivy team to a championship squad. Also, Anseso Ampim may not get as much floor time as Goodman expects.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A "Big" Red Playing Rotation



Aaron Richardson-Osgood, pictured above in the white jersey, a 6'9" true freshman, will be one of seventeen Cornell players vying for floor time during the Big Red's 2007-2008 season.

We have been asked to predict some of the different line-ups that we can expect to see from Cornell during 2007-2008. We previously posted our choice as projected starters and also previoulsy picked our choice as the best defensive, ball handling, free throw shooting and three-point shooting units. By way of review, here is a glance of our prior picks.

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

KEY RESERVES (Players who could make appearances in every game off the bench) :
PG-Collin Robinson 6'0" So
SG/SF Geoff Reeves 6'5" So
C Jeff Foote 7'0" So
SF/PF Andre Wilkins 6'5" So
PF/C Pete Reynolds 6'8" So
PF Brian Kreefer 6'7" Jr

OTHER RESERVES (Players who could see floor time in special situations such as needed defensive stops, three-point shooters etc. or due to foul trouble/injuries to the starters:

SF/SG/PF Jason Battle 6'4" Jr
SF/PF Conor Mullen 6'6" Jr
SF/PF Adam Wire 6'6" Fr
SF/PF Jon Jaques 6'7" So
C/PF Aaron-Richardson Osgood 6'9" Fr
SG Khaliq Gant 6'3" Sr (due to injury, he will serve the season as a student assistant coach)

THE SPECIAL SITUATON UNITS

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 from deep and 41% during Cornell's French tour)

CORNELL'S "GO BIG" UNIT
C Jeff Foote 7'0" So
(Big man is a skilled passer and perimeter shooter)
PF Jason Hartford 6'9" Sr (Very mobile for his size and can cause match-up problems)
SF Ryan Wittman 6'6" So (You want to keep him on the floor as much as possible)
SG Geoff Reeves 6'5" So (Has good size for a guard and maintains good control of the ball)
PG Louis Dale 5'11" So (plays bigger than his size, averaged 5.3 rebounds per game in Ivy during '06-'07)

CORNELL'S "SMALL BALL" UNIT TO MAXIMIZE SPEED AND ATHLETICISM
C Pete Reynolds 6'8" So
(Cornell's most athletic player over 6'6")
PF Andre Wilkins 6'5" So (His dunking ability will rival that of Ugonna Onyekwe's-former Penn Quaker. A grea finisher with lots of energy.)
SF Geoff Reeves 6'5" So (Bouncy. Can throw down some swift dunks when he gets into transition. Can also bomb it from deep.)
SG Collin Robinson 6'0" So (One of the Ivy's quickest one-on-one guards)
PG Louis Dale 5'11" So (Explosive first-step in a half court set and just a burner in transition)

They Said It! Quote to Remember.



Provocative quote in today's Daily Pennsylvanian from new Quaker recruit, Zach Rosen. He told the DP:
[Penn] is probably the only type of Ivy League school that plays the schedule that they play. I didn't feel like I was going to a typical Ivy League program; I felt like I was going to a really good basketball program that was going to go out and play everyone.
While some may not agree with Rosen's analysis (including this author), his quote is important in that it demonstrates that recruits really care about a program's strength of schedule. If Cornell wants to attract even more talented recruits, Steve Donahue and the Big Red coaching staff need to be more willing to travel to play the toughest teams. Scheduling Duke and Syracuse is a good start this season, but getting at least four "top 40" teams on the schedule annually would be more ideal.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Recruitng News: Harvard/Yale Pursue Jordan Clarke


Jordan Clarke, a sculpted 6'8" 235 lb. power forward from power Good Counsel High School in North Bethesda, Md. told Rivals.com that he is considering a few of the Ivy schools. In addition, although Virginia, Michigan, Iowa, Penn State, Purdue and Virginia Tech haven't offered yet, they are looking at him. Vanderbilt has offered a scholarship, as did St. Josephs (A-10), Air Force, Bucknell, Holy Cross, Rice, William & Mary, Boston U, Siena, Vermont, and Binghamton. Harvard and Yale have also offered roster spots. Altogether, Clarke is holding an incredible 45 scholarship offers. He said that he understands the position that the high-major programs are in. "I know that they are going after their top guys right now and if they don't get them, then they will look at me," Clarke said. "My thing is this; do I want to go to a situation where I wasn't their top guy? Or do I want to go to a mid-major school that they wanted from day one?" A dozen programs are on his short list. Vermont, Boston, St. Joseph's, William & Mary, Rice, Siena, Air Force, Bucknell, Holy Cross, Binghamton, Yale and Harvard are being strongly considered. Yale visited him last week. His brother goes to Yale and plans to visit the campus in the near future as well as Harvard's campus.

While we have not read anything about Cornell's involvement with Clarke, he seems like a good fit for the Big Red's recruitment needs.

Recruiting News: Scott Machado


Scott Machado, a 6'1" point guard originally from from St. Mary's High School in Manhasset (Long Island), New York has transferred to St. Benedict's High School in Newark, New Jersey for this upcoming season. Machado's family moved to North Carolina and Machado decided to stay in the tri-state area and play at St. Benedict's. "So far it's gone pretty good," he told Mike Sullivan of Scout.com. At St. Benedict's, Machado will play with Penn recruit, Zach Rosen.

Machado, who previously told Scout.com during the spring and summer of 2007 that he had recruiting interest in Cornell, Machado has since shifted his attention. Following a "rock solid summer" Machado announced to Scout.com, "I am still open in my recruiting...I don't have a leader. But I have heard from recently [Big East member] South Florida and UNC-Charlotte." Earlier in the fall, Machado mentioned interest from Quinnipiac, Norfolk State, Siena, Marist, Central Connecticut, and Iona. Prior to mid July, most of his interest came from Ivies such as Cornell, Yale, Penn and other "academic-minded" schools such as Davidson, Navy and Army.

For a list of Cornell and Ivy League Recruiting Targets and Commitments click here.


For our archived stories on Cornell and Ivy League Recruiting News just click here.


Controlled Expectations


Although every published preseason publication with the lone exception of CollegeHoopsNet.com has picked Cornell to win the Ivy League during 2007-2008, these lofty expectations should be controlled. In order for Cornell to earn its first bid to the NCAA tournament since 1988, the Big Red will need to find reliable inside play on both the defensive and offensive ends from its centers.

Last May, Cornell lost a "big" contributor to graduation in 6'10" 245 lb. starting center Andrew "Big Game" Naeve (pictured above). Not only was Naeve a positive statistical presence for the Big Red, posting 10.5 points and 7.6 rebounds per game while shooting 54% on field goals and blocking 53 shots on route to earning Second Team All Ivy League honors, he was also the team's vocal leader. In his absence, the Cornell coaching staff looks to a pair of players to fill the huge void left behind by Naeve. Neither player was on the active roster last season.



Jason Hartford, pictured right, a 6'9" 245 lb. 5th year senior gives room for optimism for Cornell fans. If healthy, he could be even better than Naeve. Hartford averaged 7.7 points and 3.8 rebounds in just 19 minutes of action per game during 2005-2006, while shooting 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 an even better 60% from the floor. On the year, Hartford also showed range from deep, burying 12/26 shots from beyond the three-point arc. Despite these solid numbers, Hartford spent all of 2006-2007 as a medical red-shirt rehabbing from a broken foot that just would not heal properly. While all reports are positive about his health, he has a year of rust to work off. Then there is also the concern about injury.

Cornell's other option in the paint is Jeff Foote, pictured left, a 7'0" sophomore transfer from St. Bonaventure. Foote was a red-shirt at St. Bonaventure during 2005-2006 and sat out as a red-shirt at Cornell during all of 2006-2007. As per NCAA regulations, Foote is not eligible to play until Cornell's December 19, 2007 game against Bucknell. He will miss the first six games of this season. Accordingly, Foote has yet to play a game of Division I basketball and has not played in a true competitive environment since his senior of high school during 2004-2005. Still, he looked impressive during the Empire State Games this summer, averaging 9 points per game for his Central New York squad. Unfortunately for the Big Red, the NCAA ruled that Foote was not permitted to travel with the team to France this summer. Coach Donahue would have loved to work his new big guy into another competitive game situation. While NJHoops.com ranked Foote as #10 among newcomers to the Ivy League, Foote's level of impact remains uncertain.

While there are other less desirable options at center-- usage of power forwards Alex Tyler (6'7" So.), Pete Reynolds (6'8" So.) or Brian Kreefer (6'7" Jr.) and true freshman center, Aaron Richardson-Osgood (6'9")-- the Big Red will heavily rely on Jason Hartford and Jeff Foote to carry this team to the Big Dance.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Recruiting News: D.C. Guard Commits to UVM over Cornell


According to the Burlington (Vermont) Free Press, Garvey Young, a 6'4", 190 lb. guard from Washington, D.C. verbally committed to the University of Vermont. His father John confirmed the commitment with the Free Press. John Young said his son "received scholarship offers" from several Division I programs, including Cornell, St. Bonaventure, Lehigh, Holy Cross, Tulane, William and Mary and Richmond. He said Boston College, Virginia Tech and Clemson expressed interest. "In our final analysis, Vermont was the best fit," John Young said. Garvey Young averaged 15 points, eight rebounds, six assists and four steals as a junior at the Georgetown Preparatory School.

NOTE: Contrary to the report of the
Burlington (Vermont) Free Press, Ivy League schools such as Cornell do not offer athletic or academic scholarships. Cornell may have offered a tentative need-based financial aid package and a soft offer of academic admission to the University, however, no scholarship or official admission was offered. The Big Red basketball program may have offered a guaranteed roster spot contingent on an admissions acceptance and suitable financial aid award.

They Said It! Quote to Remember.


New Penn recruit, Rob Belcore, a 6'5" guard/forward from Wilmette (Ill.) Loyola Academy has been recently telling media sources that he expects to win an Ivy League title each year he is at Penn. "I said from the very start that Penn was the only Ivy League I'd ever go to because they're the only one that ever wins," Belcore told the Daily Pennsylvanian. Belcore also told ChicagoHoops.com, "I'll be dancing every year in March." ChicagoHoops added, Penn "consistently causes problems for opponents in the NCAA tournament." NOTE: Penn has won only one (1) NCAA tournament game since 1982, the lone win coming in 1994.