Monday, January 28, 2008

Cornell at Brown/Yale (February 1-2, 2008) Game Preview Center

Pictured above, a 1950 Cornell-Yale game program. The tradition continues this weekend as Cornell takes on Brown on Friday night in Providence then travels to New Haven for a Saturday evening showdown with Yale.

Get all the information you need about Cornell's roadtrips to Brown (2.1.08) and Yale (2.2.08) right here, at The Cornell Basketball Blog's Game Preview Center. As the Brown/Yale games approach, we will be adding relevant articles and stories to this space. 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!

RELATED LINKS for Cornell at Brown 2.1.08 and Cornell at Yale 2.2.08

Brown Basketball Related Links
Yale Basketball Related Links
Cornell Basketball Related Links
Pictured above, left to right, Cornell's Adam Gore and Yale's Eric Flato.



www.CornellBigRed.com
February 2, 2008


Game Notes vs. Yale

GAME INFORMATION
Game #17:
Cornell vs. Yale
Tip off: Saturday, Feb. 2, at 7:00 p.m.
Site: John J. Lee Amphitheater (2,532), New Haven, Conn.
2007-08 Records: Cornell (11-5, 3-0 Ivy); Yale (7-10, 1-2 Ivy)
Series Record: Cornell leads 102-100
Last Meeting: Yale won 68-55, Feb. 23, 2007 in New Haven, Conn.
Radio: 1160 ESPN Radio, WPIE (Barry Leonard)
TV: None
Live Stats: Available at www.CornellBigRed.com
Live Video: Available at www.YaleBulldogs.com
Tickets: Available by calling (607) 254-BEAR

HEAD COACH STEVE DONAHUE
Cornell head coach Steve Donahue is in his eighth season at Cornell (85-122, .411) ... Donahue became the fourth Robert E. Gallagher ‘44 Coach of Men’s Basketball at Cornell on Sept. 6, 2000.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Cornell will attempt to sweep a key Ivy League road weekend and win in New Haven for the first time in seven years when the Big Red men’s basketball team meets Yale on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. at the John J. Lee Amphitheater. The contest will be available with live streaming audio as part of the Cornell RedCast subscription with Barry Leonard providing the radio call on 1160 ESPN Radio.

The Big Red are coming off an impressive 75-64 victory over Brown on Friday night behind 21 points from sophomore Ryan Wittman and 15 points, eight assists and seven rebounds from classmate Louis Dale. The Big Red defense limited Brown to 33 percent shooting and outrebounded the Bears 35-26 in improving to 3-0 in Ancient Eight play.

Wittman (14.8 ppg.) and Dale (13.4 ppg., 5.1 apg., 4.1 rpg.) pace Cornell in scoring for the second straight year, and along with 2005-06 Ivy Rookie of the Year Adam Gore (9.0 ppg.) form one of the top perimeter scoring trios on the East Coast. The Big Red is shooting .483 from the floor and .418 from 3-point range while limiting opponents to .432 shooting. The squad is also playing its best defense of the season over the last eight games, limiting foes to 38 percent shooting and 59.5.9 ppg. during the 7-1 stretch.

Yale, picked to finish second in the preseason media poll, enters the contest with a 7-10 record (1-2 Ivy) after falling to Columbia on Friday night by a 71-58 margin. The Bulldogs feature senior guard Eric Flato, a preseason candidate for Ivy League Player of the Year.

ABOUT YALE: Yale enters Saturday’s matchup with a 7-10 mark record (1-2 Ivy) after falling to Columbia 71-58 on Friday evening. The Bulldogs, who finished second oin the final standings a season ago, was picked to finiosh second behind the Big Red in the 2007-08 preseason media poll. Led by the talented senior guard Eric Flato (13.3 ppg.) and a deep roster that has six other players scoring at least 5.1 ppg., Yale played one of the toughest non-conference slates in the Ancient Eight with games against Massachusetss, Stanford, UCLA and Kansas. Eighth-year head coach James Jones, the dean of Ivy League coaches, returns four starters and eight letter winners from last year’s 14-13 squad that went 10-4 in Ivy play. He has a 97-116 overall record as head coach in New Haven. The Big Red leads the all-time series 102-100, with the two teams splitting the last six meetings, including a home-and-home split last season.

A WIN OVER YALE WOULD ...
• make Cornell 12-5 overall and 4-0 in Ivy League play.
• snap a six-game skid at Yale for the Big Red (last win, 2000-01).
• give the Big Red a 6-1 record in its last seven road games after starting the year 0-3 on the road (3-0 in Ivy play on the road).
• push the Big Red’s 2008 record to 6-1.
• give the Big Red eight wins in its last nine games.
• be the 1,114th in school history.

SUPER START: The Big Red will attempt to post the best 17-game record since 1967-68 when it meets Yale. A win over the Bulldogs would make Cornell 12-5, the same record it had in the 1967-68 campaign. The best 17-game start for the Big Red in program history is 15-2, a mark that was reached in 1964-65.

GETTING UP THERE: Cornell head coach Steve Donahue entered the 2007-08 campaign with the second-longest tenure at the helm of their current team in the Ivy League. Only James Jones at Yale (ninth year) has been at his current school longer than Donahue has directed the Big Red.

BIG RED PICKED FIRST IN PRESEASON POLL: If the Ivy League media are right, the Cornell men’s basketball team will be the conference’s representative when the 2007-08 NCAA basketball tournament comes around, as head coach Steve Donahue’s team opens the season sitting atop the Ivy League media preseason poll which was released today by the league office. The Big Red is the first team other than Penn or Princeton to sit atop the preseason poll since Dartmouth was predicted to win the 1988-89 campaign 19 years ago. The Big Red received 10 of 16 first-place votes and outdistanced projected runner-up Yale, 119-104. Three-time defending league champion Penn, with 97 points, finished third, while Columbia (80), Brown (70), Harvard (43), Princeton (40) and Dartmouth (23) rounded out the eight-team field. Yale was the top team on three ballots, while Penn, Columbia and Brown each received one first-place vote.

LAST IVY TITLE: Cornell is the last team other than Penn or Princeton to earn the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The Big Red went 11-3 in Ivy League play and 17-10 overall during the 1987-88 season, running off 11 straight conference wins at one point during the year. Cornell faced Arizona in the first round of the national tourney, dropping a 90-50 decision. That team is here for men’s basketball Alumni Weekend on its 20th anniversary of that special season.

TALL IVY: Over the last four seasons, Cornell’s 28-17 record is second-best among Ivy League teams in conference action. Penn has claimed each of the last three Ancient Eight titles and has posted a 37-6 mark in conference over that span.

DEFENSE PICKING UP: Cornell has done an improved job defensively over the last eight contests, allowing opponents to shoot just .378 from the floor while scoring 59.5 ppg. during that span. The Big Red has limited opponents to .333 shooting from 3-point range and has forced opponents into an average of 16.9 turnovers. Cornell’s masterpiece was during its 64-33 win over NJIT. The 33 points was the fewest allowed by a Big Red team since Princeton scored 30 in a 63-30 Cornell victory in 1984-85. The Highlanders hit on just 20 percent from the floor (8-of-40), the lowest mark since Princeton also shot 20 percent in that 1984-85 game (9-of-45).

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: The Big Red is 5-1 since the calendar changed over to 2008, following a trend that began last year when Cornell finished the 2006-07 season with a 12-5 record beginning in January.

200 AND COUNTING: Cornell head coach Steve Donahue was on the sidelines for his 200th career game when the Big Red defeated Stony Brook 66-50 on Dec. 29 and became the fourth Big Red head coach to reach that mark.

NON-LEAGUE SUCCESS: The Big Red guaranteed itself a second consecutive non-conference season with at least a .500 record in its win over Alvernia and finished 8-5. The last time the Big Red at least broke even out of league play in consecutive seasons was in 1983-84 (7-5) and the 1984-85 (6-6) campaigns.

MORE NON-LEAGUE SUCCESS: Cornell won eight non-league contests this season, the most by a Big Red team in a single campaign since the 1996-97 squad also won eight games.

ROAD WARRIORS: After dropping its first three contests of the season on the road, Cornell has won five of its last six games away from Newman Arena with the lone loss coming to then-No. 8 Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

PURE SHOOTERS: Entering the week, Cornell is the only school to rank among the top 30 teams in field goal, 3-point field goal and free-throw percentages and 3-point field goals made. The Big Red ranks ninth in 3-point field goal percentage (.413), 23rd from the free-throw line (.749), 27th from the field (.482) and 28th in 3-pointers made per game (8.53).

RPI WATCH: Cornell reached its RPI zenith on Monday when it moved to No. 91, a school record high. The Big Red is the only Ivy school currently ranked among the top 100 schools in Division I. (RPI data from KenPom.com). This weekend’s opponents rank 109th (Brown) and 155th (Yale) entering the week.

TREY BIEN: The Big Red has hit at least one 3-pointer in 521 straight games entering the Yale contest. Cornell surpassed the 500-game plateau when the Big Red connected on six treys at Princeton on Feb. 16, 2007. The last time Cornell did not hit a 3-pointer was against Denison in the 1988-89 season opener (0-for-2). Since the 3-point shot came into effect in NCAA play during the 1986-87 season, Cornell has hit at least one shot behind the arc in 572 of 576 games, connecting on 3,288 treys, an average of 5.71 per game. The Big Red has hit a 3-pointer in all 207 games coached by Steve Donahue.

TREY BIEN, MERCI: The Big Red opened the season with four consecutive games in which it has hit at least 10 3-pointers, the longest stretch in school history. Cornell had never previously gone more than two consecutive games with 10 or more treys. The Big Red has reached double figures in 3-point field goals in eight of 16 games this year with a season-high of 14 against Alvernia, just one shy of the school record.

CRUISING AT 80: The Big Red scored at least 80 points in four straight games to open the year, the first time it had reached that mark consecutively since the 1966-67 squad had five straight under head coach Sam MacNeil (110 vs. Pitt, 80 vs. Yale, 81 vs. Brown, 86 at Dartmouth, 85 at Harvard). The Big Red has reached 80 points six times this season in 16 games.

LINE IT UP: The Big Red got to the free throw line 38 times in the win over Army, making 31 attempts from the charity stripe. It was the most makes in a single game for Cornell since hitting 31 at Harvard during the 1992-93 season. For the year, Cornell is connecting on 75 percent of its shots from the free-throw line with Louis Dale leading the way at 95 percent (55-of-58). The Big Red hit 18-of-19 shots from the line (95 percent) in last night’s win over Brown.

BIG RED RECEIVES VOTES IN PRESEASON MID-MAJOR TOP 25 POLL: Cornell received 25 votes in the preseason collegeinsider.com Mid-Major top 25 poll, placing itself in the others receiving votes category. Non-conference foe Siena is ranked No. 22, while Bucknell (61), Penn (33), Ohio (27) and Yale (5) joined the Big Red in the also receiving votes category. The Mid-Major Top 25 includes teams from the America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Horizon, Independents, Ivy, Metro Atlantic, Mid-American, Mid-Continent, Mid-Eastern, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland, Southwestern, Sun Belt and West Coast Conference.

DALE DISHES IT OUT: Sophomore Louis Dale has improved upon a tremendous freshman season by becoming a true point guard as a sophomore. Through 16 games, Dale is averaging 5.1 assists per game. He opened the season with a career-high 10 in the win over Lehigh, then posted nine to just two turnovers against Ohio and eight against Stony Brook and Brown.

AND TAKES IT HIMSELF: Sophomore Louis Dale is averaging 13.4 points on 44 percent shooting overall, 40 percent from 3-point range, and 95 percent from the free-throw line. Each of those marks rank among the top 10 in the Ivy League.

DALE YOUR NATIONAL LEADER: Sophomore Louis Dale enters the week leading the country in free throw percentage at 95 percent. Dale is 55-of-58 from the line and has made 39 straight entering the Yale game.

DALE PASSES HIS BOARDS: Though standing just 5-11, sophomore Louis Dale is the team’s leader in career rebounds with 187. Dale has averaged 4.3 boards per game for his career, including 4.1 so far this season.

WITTMAN LIGHTS IT UP: Sophomore Ryan Wittman, picked by many publications as a preseason first-team All-Ivy League selection, has shown why people think so highly of him early in the season. Wittman is averaging 14.8 points and a career-high 4.1 rebounds while shooting 46 percent from the floor and 48 percent from 3-point range so far in 2007-08.

MR. CONSISTENT: Wittmanhas hit for double figures in 14 of his 16 games this season and in 39 of 44 games overall for his career. Wittman has drilled at least one 3-pointer in all but one of his 44 games, that coming in a four-point performance in a 31-point win at NJIT.

CENTURION: Wittman became the 12th player in school history to hit 100 career 3-pointers when he nailed his second trey against Ohio on Nov. 17. With his 49 this season, Wittman ranks ninth with 142 3-pointers in just 44 games.

GORE BACK ON THE ATTACK: Junior guard Adam Gore’s return from last season’s knee injury has gone smoothly, with the former Ivy League Rookie of the Year averaging 9.0 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.3 steals per game so far this season. Gore had a season-high 17 points to go along with three rebounds in the win at Columbia after posting 12 points in the first meeting with the Lions. He is averaging 13.0 ppg. in Ivy play.

LUCKY 13: Gore became the 13th player in Cornell history to surpass 100 career treys when he connected on the first of four 3-pointers against Syracuse on Dec. 22. He currently ranks 13th all-time with 115 shots made from beyond the arc.

GORE GETTING HOT: The 2005-06 Ivy League Rookie of the Year has picked up his shooting over the last four games, making 12-of-24 shots overall (50 percent), 7-of-13 from 3-point range (54 percent) and 16-of-18 from the free throw line (89 percent). Entering the NJIT contest, Gore was shooting just 36 percent from the floor overall and 35 percent from 3-point range.

FOOTE MAKES IMPRINT: Junior center Jeff Foote had never played a collegiate game before Dec. 19, but the 7-0 transfer from St. Bonaventure showed he has plenty of promise. Foote became the first Cornell men’s basketball player to open his career with a double-double, posting 10 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks in 21 minutes off the bench against Bucknell. Foote also added two steals and an assist in the loss. Foote’s four blocked shots was the second-highest total by a Big Red player making his collegiate debut, trailing only Chris Vandenberg’s seven at Canisius to open the 2001-02 campaign.

BIG SCORING THREAT: Junior center Jeff Foote wasn’t expected to provide much offense, but he has been able to contribute a great deal so far in the scoring column. In his first 10 career contests, Foote has hit for double figures five times with a career-best 13 points in the firest meeting against Columbia. In his first Ivy contest, Foote added six rebounds, four blocked shots, two assists and a steal in a career-high 28 minutes vs. Columbia’s vaunted front line, making 6-of-7 shots from the floor in the win.

IF HE RANKED: Junior center Jeff Foote hasn’t played in the minimum of 75 percent of the Big Red’s games this season, making him ineligible thus far among the Ivy leaders. If he had played the required number of games, Foote would stand second in blocked shots (1.4), eighth in defensive rebounds (3.80 rpg.), and 10th in total rebounds (5.1 rpg.)

BIG MAN IN THE POST: Sophomore Alex Tyler has been the Big Red’s physical presence in the post this season, averaging 7.9 points and 4.7 rebounds. Tyler had 13 points to go along with six rebounds at Ohio after opening the 2007-08 season with eight points, seven rebounds and two blocks against Lehigh in his first collegiate start. He matched his career-high of seven rebounds in a game three times before ripping down a new career-high with eight at Quinnipiac.Tyler established a career scoring high with 16 points (8-of-11 shooting) vs. Colgate. He had 11 points and seven rebounds in the win at Stony Brook and was outstanding in the wins at Columbia and Brown with 11 points and six rebounds in each contest.

KREEF GETS SALUTE: Some players just seem to play better against certain teams. Junior forward Brian Kreefer must circle Army on his calendar every year. After playing a total of three minutes in the team’s first two contests this year, Kreefer scored a team-high 21 points and added three assists, two rebounds and two steals in 25 minutes, continuing his excellent play in his career against the Black Knights. Kreefer is averaging 17.7 points while shooting .704 from the floor (19-of-27) and .636 from 3-point range (7-of-11) in three games against Army. This season, Kreefer is posting 5.1 ppg., 2.1 rpg. and 1.9 apg., while shooting 65 percent from the floor (31-of-48).

HARTFORD HEALTHY AND MAKING AN IMPACT: Senior Jason Hartford is averaging 6.5 points and 3.2 rebounds while making 8-of-22 3-pointers so far this season. Hartford had 19 points, seven rebounds and two blocks in the season-opening win over Lehigh, then followed that up with 18 points at Ohio against the Bobcats’ formidable frontline. Hartford sat out the entire 2006-07 season with a myriad of injuries, earning a fifth year from the Ivy League.

BATTLE CALL: Junior Jason Battle not only serves as team co-captain, but is also one of the team’s top defenders off the bench. Thanks to his versatility in guarding four positions, as well as his ability to play backup point guard when needed, Battle is playing 9.3 minutes per game and averaging 2.4 points and 1.0 rebounds. In a return to his home state, Battle had six points, a rebound, an assist and a steal while hitting all three field goals in 11 minutes at No. 8 Duke. He also had seven points, three assists and two rebounds vs. Alvernia. Battle has made 10 of his last 11 field goals entering the Yale game and is shooting 67 percent from the floor this season.

REEVES PICKS UP THE PACE: Sophomore Geoff Reeves has seen an increase in playing time over the last five games and has been a major contributor in each win. Reeves averaged 5.8 points and 2.8 rebounds while making 11-of-21 field goals and 6-of-9 from 3-point range. He added four assists and four steals while playing 16.8 minutes per game. For the season, Reeves has played in 15 contests off the bench, scoring 2.7 points and grabbing 1.3 rebounds per game.

WILKINS BRINGS THE EXCITEMENT: Sophomore Andre Wilkins, a transfer from Blinn College, has already become a fan favorite at Newman Arena thanks to his hustle and athleticism. He has also been a key player off the bench for the Big Red, averaging 2.0 points and 1.5 rebounds. He made his Cornell debut against Lehigh, posting nine points, six rebounds and two steals in 25 minutes off the bench. Wilkins had six points and five rebounds in the win over Army.

DALE NAMED IVY LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE WEEK (Nov. 26): Dale helped Cornell to wins over Army and Siena, averaging 18.5 points, 6.5 assists and 6.5 rebounds in the two games. He shot 48 percent from the floor, 55 percent from 3-point range and on 9-of-11 free throws (82 percent). Dale opened the week with 17 points, seven assists and four rebounds in a 93-78 win over the Black Knights. The 5-11 guard was even better as Cornell topped the preseason Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference favorite Saints, going for a season-high 20 points and nine rebounds, along with six assists in the 83-77 victory. Dale scored 15 of his points in the second half, ending the evening 4-of-6 on 3-pointers.

WITTMAN A PRESEASON MID-MAJOR ALL-AMERICAN: Sophomore Ryan Wittman was named a preseason Mid-Major All-American by collegeinsider.com. He was the only sophomore and one of just three underclassmen on the 25-man squad. Wittman is also the only Ivy League representative.

2007-08 CAPTAINS: The Big Red men’s basketball team will be led by a pair of junior captains. Jason Battle and Adam Gore will represent Cornell as captains for the 2007-08 season.

KAMPMANN JOINS BIG RED COACHING STAFF: Woody Kampmann, formerly on the staff at Hobart under former Big Red assistant coach Izzi Metz, joins the Cornell men’s basketball coaching staff. Kampmann helped the 2006-07 Hobart squad to an 11-14 mark and a 7-7 conference record in 2006-07, helping the team improve throughout the season. The Statesmen won their final four games and five of their final six games overall. He helped in the development of first-team all-league selection John Grazioli and second-team pick Mike Manning. Prior to his stint at Hobart, Kampmann spent the 2005-06 season as an assistant coach at Williams. While at Williams, Kampmann helped the Ephs to a 17-8 record while working primarily with the perimeter players. He also served as head coach of the junior varsity program.

ASSORTED NOTES:
• Seven members of this year’s squad earned first-team all-state recognition in high school. Senior Jason Hartford (Oregon), juniors Brian Kreefer (Ohio) and Conor Mullen (Washington) and sophomores Louis Dale (Alabama), Geoff Reeves (Kansas), Pete Reynolds (Nebraska) and Ryan Wittman (Minnesota) were placed among the very top players in their respective states as seniors.
• Hartford was named Oregon’s Class 3A Player of the Year as a senior, while Wittman was one of five finalists for Mr. Basketball in Minnesota.
• Junior Geoff Reeves is a triplet along with sisters Erica and Alyssa.
• Junior Ryan Wittman is the son of Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Randy Wittman. Randy was a part of Indiana University’s 1981 NCAA championship team, was Big Ten Player of the Year in 1983, and played in the NBA.
• Junior Jeff Foote’s father, Don, played college basketball at Niagara (1976-79).
• Junior Louis Dale speaks fluent French.
• Senior Khaliq Gant has been doing an online journal recapping his neck injury at www.thecampusword.com.

FOR OPENERS: The Big Red has posted a 70-41 all-time record in season openers after beginning this season with an 87-83 triumph over Lehigh on Nov. 10.

NEXT UP: Cornell returns home to host perennial Ivy powers Princeton on Friday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m., then meets three-time defending Ancient Eight champion Penn on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. at Newman Arena.





By Bill Cloutier
The New Haven Register
February 2, 2008

*****

The Bulldogs play host to Cornell on Saturday. Cornell was the preseason Ivy League favorite in a media poll and the Big Red haven’t disappointed.

Cornell (10-5, 2-0) is loaded with shooters. It has won six of its last seven games, including its sweep of Columbia.

“It’s tough to win on the road and Cornell is the only team to prove that they could do it right now,” Jones said.

“I’m very happy with our offense,” Cornell coach Steve Donahue said. “We have so many options. I just don’t know if we can stop anybody on defense.”

Cornell is 4-4 on the road and even battled Duke to a tight affair earlier in the year at Durham, N.C., before losing 81-67.

Jones said that Louis Dale, a 5-11 sophomore guard who is second on the team in scoring at 13.3 ppg., is Cornell’s catalyst. Dale’s presence was the single biggest factor in Cornell’s win at Quinnipiac earlier in the year as the speedster continually broke down the Bobcat defense late in the game.

“Dale is the guy who makes that team go,” Jones said. “I voted for him for Rookie of the Year last year.”

While Jones voted for Dale, it was Cornell’s Ryan Wittman (14.3 ppg.), who was named the Ivy League’s top rookie. Wittman, the son of former University of Indiana star and NBA veteran Randy Wittman, is certainly one of the top shooters in the league, if not the nation. He is shooting nearly 48 percent from 3-point range.

“He’s got such a quick release it makes him so tough to defend,” Jones said.


M. basketbll to face off against Cornell

By Brittany Golob
Yale Daily News
February 1, 2008

It’s the beginning of a four-game stretch of home matches, and the men’s basketball team (8-8, 1-1 Ivy) has a 5-2 record at home.

This weekend’s matchups against Columbia (7-10, 0-2) and Cornell (10-5, 2-0), the only Ivy team with two conference wins, promise to be exciting.

“We saw what Columbia did to us in our own building last year, so we know we have to play well both nights,” forward Nick Holmes ’08 said of the 82-64 loss to the Lions that the Bulldogs sustained last year.

Columbia boasts a talented forward in John Baumann and grabs a high number of rebounds as a team. As always, the meeting between Lions’ head coach Joe Jones and his brother, Yale head coach James Jones, will be charged.

Cornell is currently the Ancient Eight leader and was picked to top the league by the media in the preseason. The Big Red backcourt sees solid performances from Ryan Wittman and Louis Dale, but the boys from Ithaca are no slouches under the posts, either.

Playing travelmate Columbia, the Big Red racked up 58 points in the paint to just 40 from the Lions across two games. Like the Elis, Cornell has a slew of players who can go for double digits on any given night.

The Bulldogs suffered from a defensive breakdown in last weekend’s game at Brown and failed to find a consistent rhythm in the game.

“We have good shooters on this team, and we will have off nights like we did last weekend,” guard Caleb Holmes ’08 said. “That’s why it’s so important for us to get defensive stops, so that we can win games we don’t shoot the ball well.”

But the Elis have the ability to do some damage with an all-upperclassman starting lineup and solid support off the bench. Captain and guard Eric Flato’s ’08 consistency adds to the team’s point totals every night, as well.

The weekend will feature a pair of drastically different teams visiting New Haven for a pair of games the Elis need to win, beginning tonight at 7.



YaleBulldogs.com
Jan. 30, 2008

Complete Release in PDF Format

vs. CORNELL
Sat., Feb. 2, 2008 - 7 p.m.
John J. Lee Amphitheater (2,532)
New Haven, Conn.
Video:
Yale All*Access

YALE TALE
The Bulldogs (7-9, 1-1 Ivy) play their next four games in the friendly confines of the John J. Lee Amphitheater, starting this weekend against Columbia on Friday and Cornell on Saturday. Yale is 22-6 (.786) in Ivy home games since the start of the 2003-04 season. Ross Morin is off to a strong start in league play. He scored 24 points in Yale's overtime victory against Brown and was named the Ivy League Player of the Week. In the rematch with the Bears last Saturday, he had 18 points, nine rebounds and two assists. In his last five games, Morin is averaging 15.2 points and shooting 73 percent (27 of 37) from the field. Eric Flato, who scored a season-high 24 points last Saturday at Brown, is in the top 10 in the Ivy League in four categories - scoring (6th, 13.8 ppg.), assists (9th, 2.6), steals (3rd, 1.87) and three-point field goals made (3rd, 2.60). Matt Kyle leads the league in blocked shots (1.6). He blocked four shots in each of the two games with Brown. Yale is third in the league in scoring offense (69.7 ppg.), field goal percentage (.461) and three-point field goal percentage (.363).

HISTORY LESSONS
Friday's game is the ninth between Yale head coach James Jones and his younger brother Joe, who is in his fifth year as the head coach at Columbia. The Bulldogs have won six of the eight games between the two. Overall the Lions lead the series 119-93.

Yale has won six straight home games against Cornell, and the average margin of victory in those victories was 13.3 points. The Big Red, though, leads the all-time series 102-100. The teams have split the season series in each of the last three years.

SCOUTING CORNELL
The Big Red (10-5, 2-0 Ivy) was picked to finish first in the Ivy League Preseason Media Poll. Cornell, which plays at Brown on Friday, opened Ivy play by sweeping a home-and-home series with Columbia. The Big Red has won six of its last seven games and has limited foes to 38 percent shooting and 58.9 points per game during the stretch. Louis Dale leads the league in assists (4.93 per game) and free throw percentage (.940, 47 of 50). Ryan Wittman leads the team in scoring (14.3 ppg.) and three-pointers (44).

PRESEASON PREDICTIONS
The Bulldogs were picked to finish second in the 2007-08 Ivy League Preseason Media Poll. Yale received three first-place votes and had 104 points. Cornell is the choice from the 16 media members from the eight Ivy areas who voted. This is the first time since 1988-89 that neither Penn nor Princeton was selected to finish first.

2007-08 Ivy League Preseason Media Poll

1. Cornell, 119 points (10 first-place votes)
2. Yale, 104 (3)
3. Penn, 97 (1)
4. Columbia, 80 (1)
5. Brown, 70 (1)
6. Harvard, 43
7. Princeton, 40
8. Dartmouth, 23



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Friday, February 1st, 7:00 p.m. (et).

FACTS & STATS: Site: Pizzitola Sports Center (2,800) -- Providence, Rhode Island. Television: None. Home Record: Cornell 6-1, Brown 4-2. Away Record: Cornell 4-4, Brown 5-5. Neutral Record: Cornell 0-0, Brown 0-0. Conference Record: Cornell 2-0, Brown 1-1. Series Record: Cornell leads, 62-45

GAME NOTES: The only team to begin a perfect 2-0 in Ivy League play heading into this weekend, the Cornell Big Red try to keep their record spotless as they confront the Brown Bears at the Pizzitola Sports Center in Providence tonight. Cornell began league play with a home-and-home sweep of Columbia the last two Saturdays, first taking a 70-64 victory at home on January 19th and then posting a more decisive 72-54 win last week on the road. As a result, the Big Red have won four straight and six of the last seven outings. As for the Bears, they split their first two league games, first losing to Yale in overtime (66-63) before taking out the same Bulldogs at home last Saturday, 77-68. The triumph snapped a two-game slide for Brown, now 4-2 at home in 2007-08. Cornell, which will visit the Bears at Newman Arena in just over three weeks, leads the all-time series with a mark of 62-45 heading into this meeting.

Except for Jason Hartford who finished with eight points, every starter for Cornell hit for double figures in the win last week, beginning with Adam Gore and his 17 points. Ryan Wittman added 16 points and eight boards, not to mention four of the unit's eight assists, while Alex Tyler and Louis Dale contributed 11 and 10 points, respectively, as the squad overcame 4-of-16 shooting behind the three-point line. A starter in all 15 games this season, Wittman leads the team with his 14.3 ppg and is also one of the leading men on the glass with a shade over four rebounds per contest as well. Considering he's hitting an impressive 47.8 percent from three-point range, anything that Wittman provides on the inside is a bonus. Dale accounts for 13.3 ppg and is first with 74 assists as he too shoots well from not only three-point range (.400) but also at the free-throw line (.940).

The Bears went from shooting 52.2 percent from the field in the first half, including 7-of-14 beyond the arc last Saturday, to knocking down 21-of-25 at the free-throw line following the break to cruise to the win over Yale. Chris Skrelja had a huge game with 16 points, 15 rebounds and three assists, while Damon Huffman tallied a team-high 23 points. Also scoring in double figures for the home team were Adrian Williams and Peter Sullivan with 11 and 10 points, respectively. The leading scorer in each of the last two games, Huffman is responsible for a team-best 16.2 ppg this season on the strength of 43.6 percent from three-point range. Mark McAndrew checks in with 15.5 ppg as he too excels from the perimeter at 42.7 percent. The team as a whole is shooting 40.1 percent from three-point range thus far, yet the squad is still producing only 68 ppg and giving up 67.4 ppg to the opponents.

Cornell has run out to a strong opening to the season, but when it comes to Ivy League play it is never easy, especially on the road.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cornell 67, Brown 65




ITHACA — Steve Donahue would love for his players to ignore the “what ifs” surrounding this weekend's much-anticipated road trip through Brown and Yale.

“I don't put any more importance on any weekend at this point in the season, no matter if you win two, lose two or split,” said Donahue, who in seven years has never swept the Brown-Yale swing. “There's so much basketball left that you can't let yourself go anywhere else in your mind after this weekend.”

But the players do understand the significance.

Travel partners Brown (9-7, 1-1 Ivy League) and Yale (8-8, 1-1) finished their season series on Saturday in Providence, R.I., with the Bears earning a split via a 77-68 victory. Currently, Cornell (10-5, 2-0), Brown and Yale appear to be the three strongest candidates to end the 20-year reign of Penn and Princeton atop the Ancient Eight.

Putting both the Bears and Bulldogs in a two-game hole would be a major coup for the Big Red, which plays six of its following eight at friendly Newman Arena.

“(A sweep) would be huge for us,” said Cornell junior guard Adam Gore, who scored 17 points in Saturday's 72-54 romp of Columbia. “This weekend's big for us. We don't want to get stuck. We're leading the pack right now. We don't want to lose a game here or there and get stuck down in the middle of the pack and fight our way back. We want to stay on top of everything.”

Cornell visits Brown's Pizzitola Sports Center at 7 p.m. today, with a date at Yale slated for the same time on Saturday. The Big Red has beaten the Bears five out of the last six times, but hasn't won at Yale since February 2001 — Donahue's first season.

“This is unchartered ground for a lot of us,” he said. “No one really knows who to shoot for now. It's like anybody in our league (can win).”

As for Brown, Chris Skrelja's versatility makes the Bears' talented backcourt difficult to defend.

A tough, physical junior who at 6-foot-6 is built more like a power forward than a primary ballhandler, Skrelja has embraced his new role of point forward for the Bears, now running their complex Princeton sets in year No. 2 of coach Craig Robinson's tenure.

“It's sort of evolved that way,” Robinson said Thursday in a phone interview. “He's our best point guard.”

Skrelja averages 9.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game while shooting at a .505 percent clip. Senior guards Mark McAndrew — a returning first team all-Ivy performer — and Damon Huffman are the Ivy League's second- and third-ranked scorers at 16.2 and 15.5 points per game, respectively.

Both have benefited from Skrelja's move to the point.

“It's definitely helped our offense, where everyone gets their touches,” said Skrelja, who pieced together a 16-point, 15-rebound effort in the Yale win. “Damon and Mark don't have to use all their energy handling the ball.”

Instead, they use that additional energy working off screens and driving to the basket, which the pair is particularly adept at doing.

“They can make shots, just like (Cornell) has up there,” Robinson said. “They're hard to guard.”

Donahue, Gore and Skrelja all agreed that the toughest part about playing Brown is matching the Bears' effort.

“Brown plays hard,” Gore said. “Brown plays real hard. That's the one thing that kind of set them apart from Yale in the game they won. They just outworked Yale.”

Said Skrelja: “We're definitely one of the hardest playing teams in the league, even in the country.”

Added Donahue: “You've got to match that energy right off the bat, or you're going to be in trouble. They don't take possessions off on either side.”

Notes: Cornell is shooting .796 from the free throw line as a team during the final five minutes and overtime of games this year. Cornell is 6-1 at home this year. ... Yale visits Newman Arena on Feb. 22, with Brown due in Ithaca on Feb. 23. ... Donahue said sophomore forward Alex Tyler could draw the assignment of guarding Skrelja, with Ryan Wittman on McAndrew or freshman Peter Sullivan, Gore on Sullivan or McAndrew and Louis Dale on Huffman or McAndrew.




Men's Basketball Note, Brown Daily Herald:

Tri-captain center Mark MacDonald '08 will probably not play in either game this weekend because of a concussion he suffered last Saturday in a victory over Yale. MacDonald said he has not practiced this week and can only do so once all symptoms of the concussions disappear. The team plays against Cornell on Friday and Columbia on Saturday. Both games are at the Pizzitola Center at 7 p.m.




Straight up, no chaser: Junior forward Brian Kreefer (34) pulls up for a jumper, making a contribution as one of the Red’s under-the-radar frontcourt rotation.


By Cory Bennett
The Cornell Daily Sun
February 1, 2008

In sports, the phrase “tough test” is thrown around like dodgeballs in a middle school gym Phys Ed class. This weekend, however, the men’s basketball team can genuinely say it will face a tough test. Traveling to Brown tonight and Yale tomorrow night, the Red just might be facing its hardest weekend of the season.

“This is definitely a big weekend,” said junior guard Jason Battle. “It’s against two very good teams and we play them back-to-back, so it’s going to be a tough test for us.”

Yale (8-8, 1-1 Ivy) was picked to finish second behind Cornell (10-5, 2-0) in the preseason media polls, while senior-laden Brown (9-7, 1-1) was recently profiled in the New York Times as a team on the move that could possibly take the Ivy League title this year with what the article referred to as the “Ivy League’s best backcourt.” Brown and Yale have also split a pair of tight games with each other the last two weeks, showing each is on par with the other.

Aside from high level of competition, it will also be the first time this season Cornell will endure back-to-back contests, a quirk of the Ivy League, which schedules most conference games on Friday and Saturday nights.

“I feel like conditioning-wise we will be fine,” Battle said. “We have changed our practice regime to rest our legs and energy.”

For the first half of the weekend doubleheader, the Red travels to Brown. The Bears are lead by their dynamic backcourt scoring duo of Damon Huffman and Mark McAndrew. The pair combines for 31.7 points per game (Huffman at 16.2 ppg, and McAndrew at 15.5) which accounts for nearly 46 percent of the team’s 68 ppg. Both have shown a deft touch both inside and out, with Huffman hitting 46.2 percent overall and 43.6 percent form long range, and McAndrew nailing 43.1 percent from the floor and 42.7 percent from downtown.

The Huffman-McAndrew backcourt has fueled a Bears team that has knocked down 40.1 percent of its 3s, second only to the Red in the Ivy League.

“They are all great shooters and we know that we have to be on them as soon as they catch the ball and know where they’re at when they don’t have the ball,” said junior forward Brian Kreefer. “We can’t afford to let them have any easy looks.”

This means a vastly different strategy from the last two weeks, which included two games against frontcourt-heavy Columbia. Particularly last week, Cornell clogged the lane with double- and triple-teams. Tonight, the squad must extend its defense out further to counter the Brown offense, which relies on perimeter passing and backdoor cuts.

“We have been really concentrating on defense,” Battle said. “They have some good scorers and they run the well-known Princeton offense which is like no other.”

Waiting in the wings for tomorrow night is Yale. While Brown only has four players with over 80 shots attempted, Yale boasts seven and relies on spreading the ball around. The Bulldogs are third in the conference with 14.38 assists per game, behind Cornell (No. 1) and Harvard (No. 2).

The Bulldogs’ offense is orchestrated by guard Eric Flato, who paces the team in both scoring (13.8 ppg) and assists (2.6). Flato leads by the slimmest of margins in assists, however, as his total of 39 is just ahead of three other guards who have each tallied over 30 helpers. Because of the ball movement, hustle plays become important.

“It will be a challenge but the team that brings the most energy usually wins these games,” Kreefer said. “Any team in the league can beat anyone which makes intensity even more important.”

Aggressiveness will also be important against Yale for two other reasons. First, the Bulldogs lead the Ivy Leauge in steals, showing not necessarily a lockdown defense — Yale is sixth in scoring defense in the Ivy League — but a knack for getting into the passing lanes and winning 50-50 balls.

“We know that these two teams are going to try to out-hustle and out-work us and that is something that we pride ourselves on doing,” Kreefer said. “It’s a big test.”

Second, the Red will have to be aggressive on the glass, as Yale has allowed the second fewest rebounds among Ivy squads to its opponents this year. Last week, Cornell saw that focus, concentration and aggressiveness can reverse a rebounding edge. The Red had been outrebounded in its first win over the Lions two weeks ago, but credited an increased focus for a rebounding margin that significantly favored Cornell last weekend.

“The mental aspect is going to be the tougher issue because the turn around between games is so quick,” Battle said. “I feel as though the team understands that and knows that this is a long weekend, so we have to be focused.


By Mike Szostak
Providence Journal
February 1, 2008

The Ivy League leader is in town to play Brown tonight, and for a change it’s not Penn or Princeton.

Cornell (10-5, 2-0) stands atop the Ancient Eight for the first full weekend of league play, but coach Steve Donahue is not about to dismiss the Quakers or Tigers despite their losing records. Penn is 5-12, Princeton 3-12. Neither has played an Ivy League game.

“I don’t know if you can count those two schools out. Both have experienced players,” Donahue said yesterday from Ithaca before boarding a bus for the long haul to Providence. “I think Penn and Princeton have very good players in February coming into our league. People are missing a step if they are counting them out.”

That said, Donahue acknowledged the excitement that exists in New Haven, Providence and Ithaca because the teams from Philadelphia and Princeton no longer appear invincible. He also noted the challenge for any team hoping to supplant the perennial powers: go into the Palestra or Jadwin Gymnasium and win.

“Those are not easy places to play,” the veteran of 18 Ivy League seasons said.

Cornell was the preseason favorite to win the Ivy League, and after a three-game losing streak in December the Big Red is starting to play like a serious contender. Cornell has won four in a row, including a sweep of Columbia the last two weekends, and six of its last seven. The only loss during the period was to ninth-ranked Duke by 14 points.

Since losses to Colgate (76-73), Bucknell (88-75) and Syracuse (80-64), Cornell has played better defense. Division III Alvernia scored 46 points and New Jersey Tech only 33. The Big Red has held its last seven opponents to an average of 59.9 points on 38.4 percent shooting.

“I think defense is a strength of ours, but I can’t say it yet,” Donahue said.

Seven-foot center Jeff Foote “is really active on defense” and leads the team in rebounding (5.2) and blocked shots (14). A transfer from St. Bonaventure, he has played in nine games since becoming eligible on Dec. 19. Fifth-year center/forward Jason Hartford is healthy after suffering a shoulder injury and is asserting himself on the boards with a 3.2 rebounding average.

Like Yale, Cornell boasts a trio of strong perimeter shooters. Forward Ryan Wittman, the 2007 Ivy League rookie of the year, leads the team in scoring (14.3) and three-point shooting (44-92-.478). Guard Louis Dale, also a sophomore, is averaging 13.3 points and shooting 40 percent from three-point range. Guard Adam Gore, the 2006 rookie of the year, is chipping in with an 8.9 scoring average. Cornell shoots 48.2 percent from the field, 41.3 percent from three-point distance.

Wittman has basketball genes. His father is Randy Wittman, a member of Indiana’s national championship team in 1981, Big Ten player of the year in 1983, teammate of Doc Rivers and Dominique Wilkins in Atlanta in the late 1980s and currently an assistant coach with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“When you coach a kid who has been around that kind of environment, you don’t know what to expect,” Donahue said. “Ryan enjoys his teammates, and you have to pull teeth to get anything about the NBA out of him. He’s a good shooter and a very good defender and passer.”

Donahue and his players had to adjust two weeks ago to the sudden and unexpected departure of Collin Robinson, the team’s third-leading scorer (10.6) who played 13 games and then quit days before the first Columbia game.

“He just decided he didn’t want to be part of the team. I was pleased with his play and am disappointed that he left,” Donahue said.

Cornell swept Brown last year and respects the Bears (9-7, 1-1) this year. The senior backcourt of Damon Huffman and Mark McAndrew impresses Donahue the most.

“I’ve watched them over four years develop into basketball players and into great leaders. I love to watch them play on film, and I hate to play against them. Brown will obviously be a factor in the championship race, and it’s a credit to those two kids,” he said.



Providence Journal

February 1, 2008


CORNELLHt.PPGRPG
BROWNHt.PPGRPG
Ryan Wittman 6-614.34.1
Chris Skrelja 6-69.16.4
Alex Tyler6-77.64.6
Peter Sullivan 6-56.82.2
Brian Kreefer6-75.32.0
Mark MacDonald6-97.12.2
Louis Dale5-1113.33.9
Mark McAndrew6-215.55.3
Adam Gore6-08.92.4
Damon Huffman 6-216.23.2
Key reserves:



Key reserves:


Jeff Foote7-07.25.2
Scott Friske 6-73.93.7
Geoff Reeves6-52.71.1
Adrian Williams 6-14.31.3
Jason Harford 6-96.63.2
Matt Mullery 6-83.23.0
THE SCOUTING REPORT

CORNELL (10-5, 2-0 Ivy): Big Red lost one of their best players when Collin Robinson (10.6 ppg) left the team about two weeks ago for an undisclosed reason . . . Cornell has the last two Ivy League rookies of the year in Gore (2006) and Wittman (2007) . . . Dale leads the league in assists (4.9) and free-throw percentage (.940) . . . Kreefer is shooting 65 percent from the field (30-46) . . . The 45-point rout of Division III Alvernia set a Newman Arena record.

BROWN (9-7, 1-1): Huffman is the Ivy League player of the week and Williams the Ivy rookie of the week for their roles in Brown’s 77-68 victory over Yale last Saturday . . . Huffman is second and McAndrew third in Ivy scoring behind Dartmouth’s Alex Barnett (16.6) . . . Skrelja has moved up to third in Ivy rebounding and is third in assists (3.94). He made the Ivy honor roll for his 16-point, 15-rebound effort against Yale . . . McAndrew is 10th in rebounding . . . Mullery is third in the league in blocked shots (20/1.25).

EXTRA POINTS

WHERE: Pizzitola Center, 7 p.m.
SERIES: Cornell leads, 63-46.
LAST MEETING: Cornell won, 79-67, on Feb. 24, 2007.
RADIO: WSKO (790).


Jan. 31, 2008
www.BrownBears.com

Providence, RI -

Complete Release in PDF Format

Providence, RI - When the league champion is determined by a 14-game regular season schedule, every game is important. When you're playing the pre-season favorite at home for the first time, it's an especially big game.

The Brown men's basketball team will host Cornell and Columbia this weekend, Friday and Saturday, February 1 and 2, at the Pizzitola Sports Center. Friday night's game against the Big Red will pit the Bears against the Ivy League pre-season favorite, a team that is already 2-0 in Ivy play. Columbia comes into the Bears Den on Saturday evening, looking to get back in the thick of the Ivy League race.

Brown (9-7, 1-1 Ivy) is coming off a 77-68 Ivy League victory over Yale at the Pizzitola Sports Center on Saturday. Damon Huffman `08 was named the Ivy League Player of the Week after scoring 23 points, and Adrian Williams `11 was named the Ivy Rookie of the Week for his 11-point performance. Chris Skrelja `09 registered a double-double for the Bears with 16 points and 15 rebounds. Cornell (10-5, 2-0 Ivy) completed a season sweep over Columbia (7-10, 0-2) with a 72-54 win over the Lions last Saturday.

Brown and Cornell will be meeting for the 110th time, dating back to 1949-1950, with the Big Red holding a 63-46 series advantage. Cornell swept the Bears last year, winning 61-59 in Ithaca, and 79-67 in Providence. Brown's last win over the Big Red was a 69-64 victory in Ithaca on 2/26/06.

Brown and Columbia have met 119 times, dating back to 1900-1901, with the Lions holding a 62-57 series advantage. The two teams split games last year, with the Lions defeating the Bears, 77-68, in the first meeting between the two teams on 2/10/07, and Brown coming back for a 64-59 victory in Providence on 2/23/07. The Bears have won 11 of the last 14 games over the Lions.



Game Notes vs. Brown (PDF)

GAME INFORMATION
Game #16:
Cornell vs. Brown
Tip off: Friday, Feb. 1, at 7:00 p.m.
Site: The Pizzitola Sports Center (2,800), Providence, R.I.
2007-08 Records: Cornell (10-5, 2-0 Ivy); Brown (9-7, 1-1 Ivy)
Series Record: Cornell leads 62-45
Last Meeting: Cornell won 79-67, Feb. 24, 2007 in Providence, R.I.
Radio: 1160 ESPN Radio, WPIE (Barry Leonard)
TV: None
Live Stats: Available at www.CornellBigRed.com
Live Video: Available at www.BrownBears.com
Tickets: Available by calling (607) 254-BEAR

HEAD COACH STEVE DONAHUE
Cornell head coach Steve Donahue is in his eighth season at Cornell (84-122, .408) ... Donahue became the fourth Robert E. Gallagher ‘44 Coach of Men’s Basketball at Cornell on Sept. 6, 2000.

ITHACA, N.Y. — After closing out an impressive season sweep of a senior-laden Columbia team, the Cornell men’s basketball will hit the road to face two of its biggest obstacles to an Ivy championship. First up for the Big Red is a visit to Brown on Friday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. at the Pizzitola Sports Center. The contest will be available with live streaming audio as part of the Cornell RedCast subscription with Barry Leonard providing the radio call on 1160 ESPN Radio.

After a hard-fought 70-64 victory over the Lions in the Ivy opener, Cornell responded with a dominant 72-54 win at Columbia on Jan. 26 in a game televised by the YES Network to close out its fourth sweep of its travel partner in the last six seasons. Three players (Ryan Wittman, Louis Dale and Adam Gore) averaged at least 14.0 points in the two wins, while the Big Red defense held the Lions to 41 percent shooting.

Wittman (14.3 ppg.) and Dale (13.3 ppg., 4.9 apg., 3.9 rpg.) pace Cornell in scoring for the second straight year, and along with 2005-06 Ivy Rookie of the Year Adam Gore (8.9 ppg.) form one of the top perimeter scoring trios on the East Coast. The Big Red is shooting .482 from the floor and .413 from 3-point range while limiting opponents to .437 shooting. The squad is also playing its best defense of the season over the last seven games, limiting foes to 38 percent shooting and 58.9 ppg. during the 6-1 stretch.

The Bears are off to an outstanding start behind their senior backcourt of Damon Huffman and Mark McAndrew, who combine for more than 31 points per game. Head coach Craig Robinson’s team is 9-7 overall (1-1 Ivy) after splitting with its travel partner, Yale.

ABOUT BROWN: The Bears enter the weekend with a 9-7 mark record (1-1 Ivy) after avenging its Ivy-oepning overtime loss with a 77-68 triumph over the Bulldogs last Saturday. After an impressive non-league showing, Brown enters the Ancient Eight season as one of the top contenders to claim the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Led by the talented senior backcourt of Damon Huffman (16.2 ppg.) and Mark McAndrew (15.5 ppg., 5.3 rpg.), as well as do-everything junior forward Chris Skrelja (9.1 ppg., 6.4 rpg., 3.9 apg.), Brown has a balanced squad capable of outscoring its opponent (68.0 ppg.) or winning with its defense (.446 opponent field goal percentage). Second-year head coach Craig Robinson’s team was picked to finish fifth in the preseason media poll after returning four starters from last year’s 11-18 squad (6-8 Ivy). He has a 20-25 overall record as head coach. The Big Red leads the all-time series 62-45 and has won five of the last six meetings between the squads, including a season sweep last year.

A WIN OVER BROWN WOULD ...
• make Cornell 11-5 overall and 3-0 in Ivy League play.
• give the Big Red a 5-1 record in its last six road games after starting the year 0-3 on the road.
• push the Big Red’s 2008 record to 5-1.
• give the Big Red seven wins in its last eight games.
• be the 1,113th in school history.

SUPER START: The Big Red will attempt to post the best 16-game record since 1967-68 when it meets Brown. A win over the Bears would make Cornell 11-5, the same record it had in the 1967-68 campaign. The best 16-game start for the Big Red in program history is 14-2, a mark that has been reached three times (1913-14, 1961-62, 1964-65).

"BEARLY" A WINNER: Cornell and Brown have played close games the last several years, as five of the last seven contests have been decided by five points or less. Cornell swept the season series last year, including winning the first meeting in a two-point thriller (61-59).

BIG RED PICKED FIRST IN PRESEASON POLL: If the Ivy League media are right, the Cornell men’s basketball team will be the conference’s representative when the 2007-08 NCAA basketball tournament comes around, as head coach Steve Donahue’s team opens the season sitting atop the Ivy League media preseason poll which was released today by the league office. The Big Red is the first team other than Penn or Princeton to sit atop the preseason poll since Dartmouth was predicted to win the 1988-89 campaign 19 years ago. The Big Red received 10 of 16 first-place votes and outdistanced projected runner-up Yale, 119-104. Three-time defending league champion Penn, with 97 points, finished third, while Columbia (80), Brown (70), Harvard (43), Princeton (40) and Dartmouth (23) rounded out the eight-team field. Yale was the top team on three ballots, while Penn, Columbia and Brown each received one first-place vote.

LAST IVY TITLE: Cornell is the last team other than Penn or Princeton to earn the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The Big Red went 11-3 in Ivy League play and 17-10 overall during the 1987-88 season, running off 11 straight conference wins at one point during the year. Cornell faced Arizona in the first round of the national tourney, dropping a 90-50 decision. That team is here for men’s basketball Alumni Weekend on its 20th anniversary of that special season.

TALL IVY: Over the last four seasons, Cornell’s 27-17 record is second-best among Ivy League teams in conference action. Penn has claimed each of the last three Ancient Eight titles and has posted a 36-6 mark in conference over that span.

NON-LEAGUE SUCCESS: The Big Red guaranteed itself a second consecutive non-conference season with at least a .500 record in its win over Alvernia and finished 8-5. The last time the Big Red at least broke even out of league play in consecutive seasons was in 1983-84 (7-5) and the 1984-85 (6-6) campaigns.

MORE NON-LEAGUE SUCCESS: Cornell won eight non-league contests this season, the most by a Big Red team in a single campaign since the 1996-97 squad also won eight games.

DEFENSE PICKING UP: Cornell has done an improved job defensively over the last seven contests, allowing opponents to shoot just .384 from the floor while scoring 58.9 ppg. during that span. The Big Red has limited opponents to .336 shooting from 3-point range and has forced opponents into an average of 17.6 turnovers. Cornell’s masterpiece was during its 64-33 win over NJIT. The 33 points was the fewest allowed by a Big Red team since Princeton scored 30 in a 63-30 Cornell victory in 1984-85. The Highlanders hit on just 20 percent from the floor (8-of-40), the lowest mark since Princeton also shot 20 percent in that 1984-85 game (9-of-45).

HALF OF A WHOLE: Cornell limited NJIT to nine first half points, the lowest total by a Big Red opponent since holding Princeton to just nine in the second half en route to a 33-31 win on Feb. 24, 1984.

TOP OF THE CHARTS: Cornell set a slew of top marks under head coach Steve Donahue in the win over NJIT on Tuesday evening. The 33 points for NJIT was the lowest total under Donahue, as was the .200 field goal percentage (8-of-40) and eight field goals allowed. The 26 turnovers forced was also a record under Donahue.

ASSISTING THE OFFENSE: Cornell strung together a school record 28 assists in the win over Alvernia, surpassing the previous mark of 25 most recently posted against North Carolina State on Jan. 3, 1988. The game was the fourth for the Big Red this season with at least 20 assists, while the team has totalled at least 18 in three other contests.

MORE ASSISTS: The Big Red has also assisted on an impressive percentage of its baskets this season, as 60 percent of Cornell’s field goal makes have been assisted on. Against Stony Brook, 83 percent (19-of-23) of the team’s baskets were set up by a teammate. The Big Red assisted on 12 of its 13 baskets after halftime and had three players notch at least four assists.

TREY BIEN: The Big Red has hit at least one 3-pointer in 520 straight games entering the Brown contest. Cornell surpassed the 500-game plateau when the Big Red connected on six treys at Princeton on Feb. 16, 2007. The last time Cornell did not hit a 3-pointer was against Denison in the 1988-89 season opener (0-for-2). Since the 3-point shot came into effect in NCAA play during the 1986-87 season, Cornell has hit at least one shot behind the arc in 571 of 575 games, connecting on 3,279 treys, an average of 5.70 per game. The Big Red has hit a 3-pointer in all 206 games coached by Steve Donahue.

TREY BIEN, MERCI: The Big Red opened the season with four consecutive games in which it has hit at least 10 3-pointers, the longest stretch in school history. Cornell had never previously gone more than two consecutive games with 10 or more treys. The Big Red has reached double figures in 3-point field goals in eight of 15 games this year with a season-high of 14 against Alvernia, just one shy of the school record.

BIG BLOW: The Big Red’s 45-point margin of victory in the 91-46 triumph over Division III Alvernia was its largest since defeating Haverford 90-39 on Dec. 2, 1996. The margin also set a Newman Arena record.

ANOTHER BIG BLOW: Cornell answered that win with a 31-point blowout of NJIT. The last time the Big Red won consecutive games by 30 or more points was in 1993 when Cornell topped Clarkson 98-58 on Dec. 7, then knocked off Cortland 99-63 just 12 days later.

200 AND COUNTING: Cornell head coach Steve Donahue was on the sidelines for his 200th career game when the Big Red defeated Stony Brook 66-50 on Dec. 29 and became the fourth Big Red head coach to reach that mark.

ROAD WARRIORS: After dropping its first three contests of the season on the road, Cornell has won four of its last five games away from Newman Arena with the lone loss coming to then-No. 8 Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

40 DAYS AND 40 NIGHTS: Cornell returned home after more than a month on the road when it met Alvernia on Jan. 10. The Big Red improved to 5-1 at home with a 91-46 win over its Division III foe. The 40-day break between home games (Colgate won 76-73 on Dec. 1) was the longest by the Big Red since the 1989-90 team also went 40 days away from home from a Nov. 27 contest against St. Bonaventure to a Jan. 6 game vs. Army, the first men’s basketball game at Newman Arena.

CRUISING AT 80: The Big Red scored at least 80 points in four straight games to open the year, the first time it had reached that mark consecutively since the 1966-67 squad had five straight under head coach Sam MacNeil (110 vs. Pitt, 80 vs. Yale, 81 vs. Brown, 86 at Dartmouth, 85 at Harvard). The Big Red has reached 80 points six times this season in 15 games.

LINE IT UP: The Big Red got to the free throw line 38 times in the win over Army, making 31 attempts from the charity stripe. It was the most makes in a single game for Cornell since hitting 31 at Harvard during the 1992-93 season. For the year, Cornell is connecting on 75 percent of its shots from the free-throw line with Louis Dale leading the way at 94 percent (49-of-52).

BIG RED RECEIVES VOTES IN PRESEASON MID-MAJOR TOP 25 POLL: Cornell received 25 votes in the preseason collegeinsider.com Mid-Major top 25 poll, placing itself in the others receiving votes category. Non-conference foe Siena is ranked No. 22, while Bucknell (61), Penn (33), Ohio (27) and Yale (5) joined the Big Red in the also receiving votes category. The Mid-Major Top 25 includes teams from the America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Horizon, Independents, Ivy, Metro Atlantic, Mid-American, Mid-Continent, Mid-Eastern, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland, Southwestern, Sun Belt and West Coast Conference.

DALE DISHES IT OUT: Sophomore Louis Dale has improved upon a tremendous freshman season by becoming a true point guard as a sophomore. Through 15 games, Dale is averaging 4.9 assists per game. He opened the season with a career-high 10 in the win over Lehigh, then posted nine to just two turnovers against Ohio and eight against Stony Brook. Dale is averaging 13.3 points and 3.9 rebounds on 45 percent shooting overall and 40 percent from 3-point range. Dale is also making a Division I best 94 percent of his free throws, including 31 straight entering the contest vs. Brown. He had a dominant 20-point, nine-rebound, six-assist effort in the win over Siena, helping him earn Ivy League Player of the Week honors.

DALE YOUR NATIONAL LEADER: Sophomore Louis Dale enters the week leading the country in free throw percentage at 94 percent. Dale is 47-of-50 from the line and has made 31 straight entering the Brown game.

WITTMAN LIGHTS IT UP: Sophomore Ryan Wittman, picked by many publications as a preseason first-team All-Ivy League selection, has shown why people think so highly of him early in the season. Wittman is averaging 14.3 points and 4.1 rebounds while shooting 46 percent from the floor and 48 percent from 3-point range so far in 2007-08. He notched 17 points and four rebounds at Ohio after hitting on 5-of-6 3-pointers in the opener vs. Lehigh. He became the 12th player in school history to surpass 100 career 3-pointers with his second make at Ohio. Wittman had 14 points and a career-high 11 rebounds in a win over preseason MAAC favorite Siena and a 13-point, eight-rebound effort vs. Binghamton. His 17 points came on 5-of-7 3-point shooting against Colgate. Wittman had back-to-back spectacular performances, posting 23-point, five-assist, four-rebound, two-steal effort at Stony Brook and following it up with 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting at Quinnipiac.

GORE BACK ON THE ATTACK: Junior guard Adam Gore’s return from last season’s knee injury has gone smoothly, with the former Ivy League Rookie of the Year averaging 8.9 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.1 steals per game so far this season. Gore had a season-high 17 points to go along with three rebounds in the win at Columbia after posting 12 points in the first meeting with the Lions. He also posted 12 points, three rebounds and three assists at Ohio in just his second game back after missing the final 27 contests a season ago. The 2005-06 Ivy League Rookie of the Year has picked up his shooting over the last three games, making 9-of-16 shots overall (56 percent), 5-of-10 from 3-point range (50 percent) and 14-of-16 from the free throw line (88 percent).

FOOTE MAKES IMPRINT: Junior center Jeff Foote had never played a collegiate game before Dec. 19, but the 7-0 transfer from St. Bonaventure showed he has plenty of promise. Foote became the first Cornell men’s basketball player to open his career with a double-double, posting 10 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks in 21 minutes off the bench against Bucknell. Foote also added two steals and an assist in the loss. Foote’s four blocked shots is the second-highest total by a Big Red player making his collegiate debut, trailing only Chris Vandenberg’s seven at Canisius to open the 2001-02 campaign. He added 10 points and five rebounds at Quinnipiac and posted 10 points and seven boards at No. 8 Duke. In his first Ivy contest, Foote dominated the paint with 13 points, six rebounds, four blocked shots, two assists and a steal in a career-high 28 minutes vs. Columbia’s vaunted front line. He made 6-of-7 shots from the floor in the win. Through nine games, Foote is averaging 7.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game while making 60 percent of his shots in 19.0 minutes per game.

BIG MAN IN THE POST: Sophomore Alex Tyler has been the Big Red’s physical presence in the post this season, averaging 7.6 points and 4.6 rebounds. Tyler had 13 points to go along with six rebounds at Ohio after opening the 2007-08 season with eight points, seven rebounds and two blocks against Lehigh in his first collegiate start. He matched his career-high of seven rebounds in a game three times before ripping down a new career-high with eight at Quinnipiac.Tyler established a career scoring high with 16 points (8-of-11 shooting) vs. Colgate. He had 11 points and seven rebounds in the win at Stony Brook and was outstanding in the win at Columbia with 11 points and six rebounds.

KREEF GETS SALUTE: Some players just seem to play better against certain teams. Junior forward Brian Kreefer must circle Army on his calendar every year. After playing a total of three minutes in the team’s first two contests this year, Kreefer scored a team-high 21 points and added three assists, two rebounds and two steals in 25 minutes, continuing his excellent play in his career against the Black Knights. Kreefer is averaging 17.7 points while shooting .704 from the floor (19-of-27) and .636 from 3-point range (7-of-11) in three games against Army. This season, Kreefer is posting 5.3 ppg., 2.1 apg. and 2.0 rpg., while shooting 65 percent from the floor (30-of-46).

HARTFORD HEALTHY AND MAKING AN IMPACT: Senior Jason Hartford is averaging 6.6 points and 3.2 rebounds while making 8-of-21 3-pointers so far this season. Hartford had 19 points, seven rebounds and two blocks in the season-opening win over Lehigh, then followed that up with 18 points at Ohio against the Bobcats’ formidable frontline. Hartford sat out the entire 2006-07 season with a myriad of injuries, earning a fifth year from the Ivy League.

BATTLE CALL: Junior Jason Battle not only serves as team co-captain, but is also one of the team’s top defenders off the bench. Thanks to his versatility in guarding four positions, as well as his ability to play backup point guard when needed, Battle is playing 8.6 minutes per game and averaging 2.4 points and 1.1 rebounds. In a return to his home state, Battle had six points, a rebound, an assist and a steal while hitting all three field goals in 11 minutes at No. 8 Duke. He also had seven points, three assists and two rebounds vs. Alvernia. Battle has made nine of his last 10 field goals entering the Brown game and is shooting 65 percent from the floor this season.

REEVES PICKS UP THE PACE: Sophomore Geoff Reeves has seen an increase in playing time over the last three games and has been a major contributor in each win. Reeves averaged 6.5 points and 2.3 rebounds while making 10-of-19 field goals and 5-of-7 from 3-point range. He added three assists and four steals while playing 16.3 minutes per game. For the season, Reeves has played in 14 contests off the bench, scoring 2.7 points and grabbing 1.1 rebounds per game.

WILKINS BRINGS THE EXCITEMENT: Sophomore Andre Wilkins, a transfer from Blinn College, has already become a fan favorite at Newman Arena thanks to his hustle and athleticism. He has also been a key player off the bench for the Big Red, averaging 2.0 points and 1.5 rebounds. He made his Cornell debut against Lehigh, posting nine points, six rebounds and two steals in 25 minutes off the bench. Wilkins had six points and five rebounds in the win over Army.

DALE NAMED IVY LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE WEEK (Nov. 26): Dale helped Cornell to wins over Army and Siena, averaging 18.5 points, 6.5 assists and 6.5 rebounds in the two games. He shot 48 percent from the floor, 55 percent from 3-point range and on 9-of-11 free throws (82 percent). Dale opened the week with 17 points, seven assists and four rebounds in a 93-78 win over the Black Knights. The 5-11 guard was even better as Cornell topped the preseason Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference favorite Saints, going for a season-high 20 points and nine rebounds, along with six assists in the 83-77 victory. Dale scored 15 of his points in the second half, ending the evening 4-of-6 on 3-pointers.

WITTMAN A PRESEASON MID-MAJOR ALL-AMERICAN: Sophomore Ryan Wittman was named a preseason Mid-Major All-American by collegeinsider.com. He was the only sophomore and one of just three underclassmen on the 25-man squad. Wittman is also the only Ivy League representative.

NOVEMBER REIGN: Cornell closed out its first winning month of November since 1998 with its victory over Siena, finishing with a 4-1. That 1998-99 team went 3-2 in November en route to an 11-15 finish. The four wins in November is a school record.

GETTING UP THERE: Cornell head coach Steve Donahue enters the 2007-08 campaign with the second-longest tenure at the helm of their current team in the Ivy League. Only James Jones at Yale (ninth year) has been at his current school longer than Donahue has directed the Big Red.

2007-08 CAPTAINS: The Big Red men’s basketball team will be led by a pair of junior captains. Jason Battle and Adam Gore will represent Cornell as captains for the 2007-08 season.

KAMPMANN JOINS BIG RED COACHING STAFF: Woody Kampmann, formerly on the staff at Hobart under former Big Red assistant coach Izzi Metz, joins the Cornell men’s basketball coaching staff. Kampmann helped the 2006-07 Hobart squad to an 11-14 mark and a 7-7 conference record in 2006-07, helping the team improve throughout the season. The Statesmen won their final four games and five of their final six games overall. He helped in the development of first-team all-league selection John Grazioli and second-team pick Mike Manning. Prior to his stint at Hobart, Kampmann spent the 2005-06 season as an assistant coach at Williams. While at Williams, Kampmann helped the Ephs to a 17-8 record while working primarily with the perimeter players. He also served as head coach of the junior varsity program.

ASSORTED NOTES:
• Seven members of this year’s squad earned first-team all-state recognition in high school. Senior Jason Hartford (Oregon), juniors Brian Kreefer (Ohio) and Conor Mullen (Washington) and sophomores Louis Dale (Alabama), Geoff Reeves (Kansas), Pete Reynolds (Nebraska) and Ryan Wittman (Minnesota) were placed among the very top players in their respective states as seniors.
• Hartford was named Oregon’s Class 3A Player of the Year as a senior, while Wittman was one of five finalists for Mr. Basketball in Minnesota.
• Junior Geoff Reeves is a triplet along with sisters Erica and Alyssa.
• Junior Ryan Wittman is the son of Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Randy Wittman. Randy was a part of Indiana University’s 1981 NCAA championship team, was Big Ten Player of the Year in 1983, and played in the NBA.
• Junior Jeff Foote’s father, Don, played college basketball at Niagara (1976-79).
• Junior Louis Dale speaks fluent French.
• Senior Khaliq Gant has been doing an online journal recapping his neck injury at www.thecampusword.com.

FOR OPENERS: The Big Red has posted a 70-41 all-time record in season openers after beginning this season with an 87-83 triumph over Lehigh on Nov. 10.

NEXT UP: The Big Red visits Yale on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. The two squads were ranked 1-2 in the preseason media poll and have split the last six meetings with each team holding home court.

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