Sunday, September 30, 2007
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
For a list of Cornell and Ivy League Recruiting Targets and Commitments click here.
Friday, September 28, 2007
For a list of Cornell and Ivy League Recruiting Targets and Commitments click here.
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
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.
(For larger images of Barton Hall, click on photos below)
Thursday, September 27, 2007
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
Vershaw played one season of professional basketball in
Vershaw spent two seasons assisting his collegiate head coach, Dick Bennett, at
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
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
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.
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.
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).
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
View the Big Red's 2007-2008 schedule by clicking right here.
Scout.com is reporting that Terrance Dent, a 6'2" guard from Denver's
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
The Rising Stars youth basketball program in suburban
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.
Another former Cornell point guard prospect has also looked elsewhere. NJHoops.com reports that 6’0” Brian Dougher from Scotch Plains H.S. in
NJHoops.com also reports that Billy Oliver from Chatham H.S. in
Rob Belcore, a recent Penn commitment from
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
Jim Thomas of All-Ontario Scouting Service released his 2007-2008 preseason rankings of the top players in
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
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.”
Thursday, September 20, 2007
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
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: BEST BALL HANDLING AND FREE THROW SHOOTING UNIT
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")
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)
BEST BALL HANDLING AND FREE THROW SHOOTING UNIT
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)
[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.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
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.
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.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
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.