Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Cornell at Brown Thoughts

A few initial thoughts on the upcoming Cornell at Brown game on February 1, 2008:
  • Brown is averaging a home attendance of 1,591, but the Bears had a crowd of 2,403 last Saturday against Yale. Cornell should expect a similar crowd of about 2,000 on Friday night in Providence.
  • Brown's strength on offense is the backcourt. The Big Red's guards will have to play lock down defense on the Bears' perimeter, denying open three-pointer looks and forcing the Bears' guards to put the ball on the floor. Make no mistake, Brown is the best shooting team Cornell has faced all year. Brown has four terrific perimeter shooters in Mark McAndrew (43% on 3-PTs), Damon Huffman (44% on 3-PTs), Peter Sullivan (48% on 3-PTs) and Adrian Williams (40% on 3-PTs).
  • McAndrew (15.5 ppg) and Huffman (16.2 ppg) have taken 46% of Brown's shot attempts this season. Cornell will need to keep the ball out of their hands. They are the only double-figure scorers on the Brown roster.
  • Cornell should consider employing 3/4 court or full court pressure either with a 1-3-1 or even 3-2, not to gain steals, but just enough pressure and disruption to give Brown some problems settling into their motion half-court "Princeton-styled" offense. The Big Red cannot afford cheap reach-in or body contact fouls. The Bears are an excellent free throw shooting team.
  • While defending the perimeter, Louis Dale must keep himself out of foul trouble. The Big Red has struggled bringing the ball up the floor when Dale sits.
  • As we have often stated, Cornell's guards must attack the basket. If Cornell's guards can get into the lane, the plays may force Brown's guards into early foul trouble with holds and reaches.
  • Brown's 6'9" starting center, Mark MacDonald collided with his teammate, Chris Skrelja during Brown's last game against Yale. MacDonald fell facedown and later said he blacked out. He was diagnosed with a mild concussion that could limit his practice time and even keep him out of the game against Cornell.
Get all the information you need about Cornell's roadtrips to Brown (2.1.08) and Yale (2.2.08) with The Cornell Basketball Blog's Game Preview Center. As the Brown/Yale games approach, we will be adding relevant articles and stories to the Game Preview Center. Let us know your thoughts on the upcoming games in New England by either leaving a comment to this post, sending us an email (CornellBigRedFan@gmail.com), or leaving a note on the message board at FanNation.com. Go Big Red!


TJ said...

Cornell should consider employing 3/4 court or full court pressure

Normally, I'm a big advocate of the 1-3-1 press, but not against brown. The 1-3-1 leaves us WAY too venerable to the three-point shot (which Brown knocks down pretty well). I'd stay back.

to give Brown some problems settling into their motion half-court "Princeton-styled" offense.

I agree, but I would suggest that we sit back in our match-up 2-3 zone, then when 10-15 seconds remain on the shot clock, switch into a man-to-man (or vice versa). THAT will screw up their set enormously if they are used to a patient Princeton offense.

But, frankly, we may be better served in a straight-up man-to-man. Coach D really has the Red playing good D, and our man-to-man is working very well right now.

Anonymous said...

tj -
I like you're thinking about the zone, then switching to the man-to-man...cornell did this very effectively last year against. Coach D likes to do that, especially with a young team that isn't use to guarding the princeton offense.
However, the reason it worked so well against princeton last year is that they were not great at shooting the 3 and under Joe Scott played a very traditional, deliberate version of the princeton offense.
Brown tends to have more freedom within the offense and has very good shooters. Therefore, I think coach d might just stick with man