Where have you gone, Mr. Robinson? The Big Red nation turns its lonely eyes to you (departed USC transfer), woo woo wooBy Brandon MoyseThe Daily Pennsylvanian
January 29, 2008
The more things change, the more things stay the same.
As coach Steve Donahue has brought his Cornell squad from worst to first in the Ivy League over eight seasons, he has still not been able to escape his bad luck.
Chris Vandenberg. A.J. Castro. Steve Cobb. Dane Williams. Stevan Marcetic. Gabe Stephenson. And the list goes on.
All their Big Red careers ended by injury, quitting the team or transferring.
Now, Donahue can add another name to his Wall of Shame.
The 6-foot junior guard told the team he was leaving for "personal reasons," and Cornell Athletic Department spokseman stated that he "will not return," as The Ithaca Journal reported on Jan. 18.
Despite coming off the bench this season, he was third on the team in minutes per game (26.9) and points per game (10.6) and second in assists per game (4.4)
This isn't the first time that he's left a program: Robinson was a transfer from the University of Southern California in 200-07.
All in all, he suited up for just 13 games while at Cornell, as he had to redshirt his first season due to NCAA transfer rules.
It was a short - and for Donahue, not all that sweet - stay by Robinson.
Not that it matters… Despite what was likely some initial shock over Robinson's abrupt departure, Cornell had no problem dispatching intra-state rival Columbia over the weekend, 72-54.
The Lions' front-line went an embarrassing 1-16 from the field, as only Ben Nwachukwu hit a shot (1-5 in 10 minutes of action).
But Columbia's poor play was not the only reason behind the Big Red's win. Donahue and his staff also deserve credit for the adjustments they made.
The week before, Cornell had to give its all against the same Lions squad to win 70-64.
In preparation for this past weekend's game, Donahue clearly focused on sealing off the inside. During the first matchup, Columbia's frontcourt duo of John Baumann and Nwachukwu combined to go 11-21 from the field.
Penetration by Lions guards was also limited despite their 9-19 mark from downtown - further compounding the problems on the inside.
So while it is still early in the Ivy season, Cornell's combination of talent and coaching (a rare combination in the Ancient Eight) has clearly cemented it as the frontrunner.
Bear backcourt. In another Ivy replay, the Bears set out last weekend to get revenge over Yale for a 66-63 overtime loss they suffered on Jan. 19.
And they did, with a more decisive 77-68 win in Providence on Saturday.
Brown's guards Damon Huffman and Chris Skrelja combined for 69 points during the team's season series versus the Bulldogs.
They even outdueled the speedy Eric Flato, the trendy pick for Ivy League Player of the Year, in the first meeting.
It will be interesting to see Brown take on Cornell, in a battle of what may be the two strongest and most consistent backcourts in the league.
And when the Bears come to the Palestra, the inexperienced Penn perimeter players may find themselves with their hands full.