Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cornell and Ivy League Basketball News

Ok, so we too are also watching the clocks for midnight madness to strike in October. But in the meantime, here is just a bit of Cornell and Ivy League Basketball news for all of us hoops starved fans:
  • On the recruiting front, Barry Hayes of HoopStars Canada reports that former Cornell recruiting prospect Adam Folker, a 6'7" wing forward from Markham, Ontario signed a national letter of intent with Cal-Irvine. Meanwhile, the Deseret News reports that 7'0" Marc Van Burck from Salt Lake Community College and previously the University of Colorado lists Binghamton, Denver and Portland State as his leaders for his services. Both players were previously mentioned as Cornell prospects here on The Cornell Basketball Blog. Have no fear though as the Cornell basketball staff will span the country yet again this summer at literally dozens of camps and AAU tournaments seeking out and recruiting the best true student-athletes in the land.
  • The Hampton Daily Press reports that former Brown University recruit, Bill Weaver committed to Liberty University after Brown's head coach Craig Robinson took the head coaching job at Oregon State. Weaver previously said that he had contacted Cornell after his decommitment from Ivy League rival Brown. Brown expects to announce a new head coach within the next two weeks.
  • Cornell Head Coach Steve Donahue will not spend all of his time on the recruiting road this summer. The Binghamton Press reports that "Coach D" will participate in the fourth annual Don Hengel Memorial Classic charity golf tournament on June 19 in Union, New York.

Recruiting News: Cornell Recruits Transfers

Max Craig, a seven-footer and potential Division I transfer, visited Cornell last week.

By our count, since September 6, 2000 when Steve Donahue was hired as the Robert E. Gallagher '44 Coach of Men's Basketball at Cornell University, the Big Red have utilized the services of nine transfers, four of which came directly from other Division I programs and five via junior colleges. The following is a list of Cornell’s transfer recruits during Coach Donahue's tenure along with the season the transfer joined the Big Red.

  • 1999-2000-Greg Barratt 6’9”- Utah Valley State College via Univ. of Utah
  • 2000-2001-Ryan Cheesman 6’6” Utah Valley State College
  • 2003-2004-Stevan Marcetic 6’9” Bradley University
  • 2004-2005-Ryan Rourke 6’8” Mesa College via Air Force
  • 2005-2006-Ugo Ihekweazu 6’5” Wofford College
  • 2005-2006-Jason Hartford 6’9” Chemeketa Community College
  • 2007-2008-Collin Robinson 6’0” University of Southern California
  • 2007-2008-Jeff Foote 7’0” St. Bonaventure (currently active)
  • 2007-2008-Andre Wilkins 6’5” Blinn College (currently active)

Cornell's commitment to the recruitment of transfers apparently remains strong. On Monday, May 19, the Big Red hosted on campus for a recruitment visit, Max Craig (pictured above), a 7’0” 260 lb. center from Loyola Marymount University. Craig opted to transfer following a recent coaching change at LMU.

A French-Canadian native originally from Montreal, Craig played high school basketball for national power St. Thomas More School in Oakdale, Connecticut. Coming out of high school, before signing with Loyola Marymount, he we was recruited by the University of San Francisco, Lafayette, as well as several Big East schools including Providence.

As a freshman during the 2006-2007 season, Craig appeared in 26 of the Lions' 31 games, averaging 8.0 minutes per contest in the tough West Coast Conference. He averaged 1.8 points and 1.2 rebounds per game. During the summer of 2007, Craig played for the Canadian Junior National Team and then returned to Loyola Marymount for 2007-2008 during which he appeared in 25 of 31 games for an average of 10.1 minutes per game. He contributed 2.0 points and 1.4 rebounds per game.

Sources close to the situation have reported that Columbia is the leader for Craig's services. Wherever the big man lands, he will sit out the 2008-2009 season per NCAA requirements. Craig will have two years of eligibility commencing the 2009-2010 season.

Cornell has also been mentioned as involved with the recruitment of Justin Davis (pictured below) a 6'9" 240 lb. rising sophomore from Division I Mercer University. Davis played in 21 of Mercer's 30 games last season and averaged 5.5 minutes and 1.7 rebounds per game. In addition to Cornell, Davis is reportedly considering transferring to Emory, Washington University in St. Louis, and Rollins College in Florida.

The Big Red may also be in discussions with additional transfers.



Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Collin Robinson: "No one recognized my efforts at all [at Cornell]"

Former Trojans guard says he will enroll in the fall as a broadcast journalism major and has no plans to walk on with basketball team, but would consider it if Coach Tim Floyd asked.

By Ben Bolch
Los Angeles Times
May 27, 2008

Collin Robinson is returning to USC, and this time he's coming to talk sports instead of play them.

The former Trojans shooting guard said Monday that he plans to enroll in the Annenberg School for Communication this fall and major in broadcast journalism, after spending the previous two years at Cornell.

Any basketball played by the 6-foot, 170-pounder will be of the recreational variety. Rumors circulating on Internet message boards that he would attempt to walk on at USC aren't true, he said.

"Academics is the focus right now, trying to get my degree and get some really good internship opportunities and good job opportunities," Robinson said.

But what if Trojans Coach Tim Floyd approached Robinson about rejoining the team as a walk-on?

"I would consider it. I still love the game," the 20-year-old Robinson said. "It's always going to be a part of me, but I'm not sure if I could walk into the same situation I did two years ago."

Robinson initially enrolled at USC on a conditional scholarship in fall 2005. The terms of the deal: Prove that he could play at a level worthy of a top-flight Pacific 10 Conference program, and the scholarship would be extended for a second year.

Although Robinson barely played as a freshman, averaging only 1.4 points in nine games, he said he felt he could have compelled Floyd to extend his scholarship through a university hearing process. Instead, he chose to look elsewhere.

"I thought I would never play here and it was apparent in the way I was treated my freshman year," Robinson said. "I don't think [Floyd] wanted to give me my scholarship back but he would have been forced to, so instead of being somewhere where I wasn't wanted I thought I could go somewhere else and have a better opportunity."

That didn't exactly work out either. After departing for Cornell and sitting out a year because of NCAA transfer rules, Robinson quickly grew unhappy with his role as the team's sixth man. Robinson averaged 10.6 points in 13 games before quitting because he felt his sacrifices as a team player went unappreciated.

"My coach knew that I could have basically averaged 20 points easily in that league, but I reduced my role for team chemistry and cohesiveness and no one recognized my efforts at all or appreciated it," Robinson said.

At the time of Robinson's January departure, Cornell Coach Steve Donahue told the Providence Journal that he was "pleased with his play and disappointed that he left."

The Big Red went on to win 14 consecutive games without Robinson on the way to capturing its first Ivy League title since 1988. Cornell advanced to the NCAA tournament, where it lost to Stanford, 77-53, in the first round.

Even though his college career may be over, Robinson hasn't given up on professional basketball. He said he received several offers from European pro teams after Cornell played several exhibition games last summer in France.

"They're still interested," Robinson said. "I don't know if they will be after I graduate."

Robinson said he probably would still be considered a junior academically next year because the majors at Cornell and USC are so different and he may have to take extra classes to satisfy graduation requirements.

When it comes to watching the team he once played for next season, Robinson said he didn't think it would be difficult.

"It will be the first time I can watch a game and not really feel anything, knowing I'm settled where I'm at," he said. "I think I'll enjoy them for once."

Friday, May 23, 2008

Reports of Collin Robinson Back to Southern Cal

Several sources have reported that former Cornell basketball player, Collin Robinson will be returning to the University of Southern California for the 2008-2009 season. The decision was made several months ago. While his basketball future remains uncertain, it is reported that he will attempt to walk-on the USC basketball team.

Robinson played as a freshman at USC during 2005-2006, but then transferred to Cornell after Head Coach Tim Floyd pulled his scholarship. Robinson sat out during 2006-2007 as a red-shirt transfer in Ithaca per NCAA rules. During 2007-2008 for Cornell, he averaged 10.6 points and 4.4 assists per game in a sixth-man reserve role, while playing 26.9 minutes per game in 13 contests. Robinson's minutes and production, however lessened as Cornell's season wore on. The Big Red finished the year 14-1 without Robinson on the roster, the lone loss to Stanford in the NCAA Tournament.

Due to his decision to transfer, Robinson has only one year of eligibility remaining and will be required to sit out 2008-2009 as a transfer. He could potentially petition the NCAA for a second year of eligibility as a sixth-year senior during the 2010-2011 season.


Recruiting News: Columbia Announces Recruiting Class

Cornell's Ivy League rival, the Columbia Lions, announced their recruits for the class of 2012. Columbia graduated six seniors this season and replaces them with six incoming freshman and at least one transfer.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Cornell Teams Capture Ivy League Championships During 2007-2008


The Cornell Big Red captured eight Ivy League Team Championships this season, second only to Princeton's nine championships. Additionally, the Big Red achieved national rankings in several sports, including men's lacrosse, wrestling and lightweight rowing. Congratulations to the following Cornell teams which captured Ivy League titles during 2007-2008.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Former Cornell Assistant Coach is Candidate for Brown Vacancy

By Bob Condotta
Seattle Times
May 20, 2008

ESPN's Andy Katz reports on his Insider blog today that Washington assistant Paul Fortier is among the candidates to become the new head coach at Brown.

That's the job that was held by Craig Robinson before he became the head coach at Oregon State last month.

Fortier has an in because he spent two years as an assistant at Ivy League rival Cornell from 2003-2005 before coming to UW, helping lay the ground work for a program that last season went undefeated in league play.

Katz says others expected to be on the list of candidates include Illinois assistant Jay Price, Brown assistant Jesse Agel and Williams College head coach Dave Paulson.

Fortier is a former UW player (1982-86) who has spent the last three years as an assistant with the Huskies, his duties including working with the big men.

Fortier replaced Ken Bone, who is the last UW assistant to leave, becoming the head coach at Portland State after the 2004-05 season.

Katz says interviews are expected to begin this week.

Brown went 19-10 this year, losing in the first round of the CBI to Ohio.

Coach Steve Donahue to Speak at Family Services


The Ithaca Journal
May 20, 2008

Cornell University's 2007-08 Ivy League champion basketball coaches Steve Donahue and Dayna Smith will give a keynote address on Youth Development titled “Developing a Winning Attitude with Youth” at 8 a.m. today at the Country Club of Ithaca, 189 Pleasant Grove Road.

Their remarks will be part of Family & Children's Service of Ithaca's 2008 Annual Meeting. The event is open to the public and will come with a breakfast buffet. A $10 per person donation is requested, payable at the door. A RSVP is requested by calling Family & Children's Service of Ithaca at 273-7494 or via e-mail to jryan@fcsith.org.

Family & Children's Service of Ithaca provides a wide range of mental health, home health care, employee assistance, and youth services programs to individuals, families and children in Ithaca and Tompkins County.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Recruiting News: Cornell Extends Camp Invite to Iowa Forward













IowaPreps.com is reporting that Cornell is showing recruiting interest in 6'8" forward, Gabe Knutson of Waukee High School in Iowa. Knutson told IowaPreps.com with respect to his planned college recruiting visits, "I will be going to Drake and I might try to make a swing through some of the Ivy League schools. I guess Princeton has an Elite Camp that I plan on going to. Cornell and Penn invited me to their camps but I'm not too sure. It depends on the dates. I was also invited to the Iowa State Elite Camp as well." Penn State, Wichita State, Indiana State, and Creighton are among the other schools involved with his recruitment.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

CollegeHoopsNet.com: Cornell a "Safe Bet"

CollegeHoopsNet.com ("CHN") projects Jeremy Lin (right) and Harvard as the Ivy League's biggest "turnaround" team for the upcoming 2008-2009 season. CHN notes however that Cornell is still the team to beat. Pictured left is the Big Red's Ryan Wittman. CHN writes:
With the off-season now upon us and the spring signing period well under way, this is a good opportunity to attempt to forecast some of the teams who could make the jump next season...

Ivy: Harvard

2007-08 Record: 8-22 (3-11)

Tommy Amaker’s first season at Harvard was highlighted by their home win over his former employer Michigan. Unfortunately for the Crimson, they received more attention for an article on their recruiting in the New York Times than they did their play in within the league. But with a lot of Ancient Eight rivals (Cornell pretty much has everyone back) losing key contributors to graduation, maybe they can move up a couple of slots. Jeremy Lin, a second-team all-conference selection, will lead the charge in 2008-09, and he’ll be helped out by the likes of Pat Magnarelli, Evan Harris and Drew Housman. By no means is this a prediction that the Crimson will compete for the Ivy’s automatic bid (I think Cornell’s a safe bet on that), but they should be drastically improved.

Recruiting News: Dartmouth Announces Recruiting Class, Princeton Loses Recruit


Dartmouth became the first of the Ivy League schools to formally announce its entering 2008-2009 basketball recruiting class. Dartmouth Coach Terry Dunn commented on each of his new recruits in the school's press release.

In other news, the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Chris O'Brien, a 6'4" guard from Northwood, California was unable to gain admission to Princeton and will instead enroll at the University of San Francisco.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Schedule Update: Big Red Likely Headed to Boston College for Preseason NIT

Jeff Goodman of FoxSports.com reprts that the Preseason NIT field includes the following teams:

Purdue regional host site – Georgia, Loyola (Ill.), Eastern Michigan
Arizona regional hote site – Santa Clara, Drake and a likely WAC team
Oklahoma regional host site – Davidson, James Madison and one more team
Boston College regional host site – St. John’s, Cornell and Loyola (Md.)

As previously reported, under the brand new NIT format, the four regional winners advance to New York City and Madison Square Garden for the semifinals, third place game and championship. The 12 teams that do not advance to New York for the semifinals will will be reseeded and assigned to three campus sites for two more games each. Accordingly, participants in the 2008 Preseason NIT are guaranteed four games. In addition, participation in the NIT only counts towards one of the Big Red's Ivy League permitted 28 regular season games, as such Cornell could play 31 regular season games in 2008-2009.

In addition to the NIT opponents, Cornell is also projected to play Syracuse, Indiana, Minnesota and Siena during the 2008-2009 schedule.

Monday, May 12, 2008

2008-2009 Cornell Roster Online

Cornell Athletics has updated the 2008-2009 Cornell Big Red roster on CornellBigRed.com. Newcomers have not yet been listed.

Schedule Update

During 2007-2008, the Big Red played a pair of nonconference games on the road in January as preparation for the commencement of Ivy League play. Cornell will attempt to play on the road again in mid-January 2009 as yet another tune-up for the Ivies.

Recruiting News: Columbia Adds Point Guard













Columbia University has added a seventh member to its 2008-2009 recruiting class. The Lions received a verbal commitment this week from Chris Crockett, a 5'11" 190 lb. point guard from Columbus, Ohio, Columbus Academy.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Recruiting News


The Cecil Whig is reporting that 6'6" Josh Bennett, a combo forward from Cecil College is expected to make a college decision as early as next week. As previously reported by JucoJunction.com, Cornell and Robert Morris were among Bennett's late college suitors.

Coach Donahue on the Princeton Offense

Cornell Head Basketball Coach, Steve Donahue was quoted in a blog when asked his opinion of the famed "Princeton Offense" run by the Tigers. "Everyone has caught up," said Donahue. "It's easier to guard." Cornell has defeated Princeton in seven of their last eight meetings.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Alumni News: Dave Bliss '65 Featured on ESPN

Dave Bliss, Cornell '65, is the feature of an ESPN.com story published today. For all stories related to Cornell Basketball Alumni, click here.

Recruiting News

A dose of recruiting news from around the internet...

A pair of high school recruiting prospects previously mentioned to be involved with Cornell appear to be headed off the Big Red radar. Jim Thomas of the Hoop-La.com reports that 6'7" Adam Folker, a guard from Markham, Ontario is taking visits to Cal-Irvine and Cal-Davis and seems inclined to sign with a school in a warm weather climate. This would seem to eliminate Cornell, assuming that the Big Red had continuing interest in Folker.

Scout.com is reporting that 2009 prospect, Josh Elbaum, a 6'4" guard from St. St. John The Baptist High School in West Islip, New York has received an offer from Western Michigan. Scout.com's Mike Sullivan also reports that Elbaum has strong interest from the Naval Academy in addition to Lehigh, Holy Cross, Siena, and Yale. Elbaum previously mentioned interest from Cornell and Davidson.

Recruiting News: Jordan Allard Visits Cornell But Commits to UND

According to the Grand Forks Herald, Jordan Allard, a 6'7" guard from Fargo, North Dakota gave a verbal commitment to new Division I member, the University of North Dakota. Allard committed to the Sioux just two days after returning from a recruiting visit to Cornell. “In the end, it came down between UND and Cornell,” Allard said. “After I went on my visit (to UND), I knew it’d be a good fit for me. I realized I wanted to stay in North Dakota and play before my family and friends. I really like the guys there and the coaches.” “Jordan can play four, maybe five, positions at the college level,” Fargo South coach Mike Hendrickson said. “There were probably 20 to 25 Division I programs that had contact with Jordan.” Allard expects to red-shirt his first season.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Recruiting News: Cornell Still Courting Former Big 12 Player

JucoJunction.com is reporting that Cornell is in the recruiting mix for Marc Van Burck, a 6'11" 280 pound rising-junior center from Salt Lake Community College in Utah. Van Burck played his freshman year in Boulder for the University of Colorado. While UPenn was previously involved in his recruitment, it appears Van Burck is narrowing his college suitors to the Big Red, the University of Denver and IUPUI.

Salt Lake finished the season 32-4. Four players from the team have already accepted Division I scholarships. On the season, Van Burck appeared in 31 games for an average of 6 minutes per game. He averaged 2 points and 1.3 rebounds per game while shooting 59% from the floor and 68% at the free throw line.

Cornell Daily Sun's Top Seniors

The Cornell Daily Sun named Jason Hartford as an honorable mention selection among Cornell's top senior athletes.

Recruiting News: Columbia Adds Recruit, Cornell Scouts Guards

Yet another Cornell rival has added to its recruiting class. The Tulsa World is reporting that Columbia landed its sixth verbal commitment in Blaise Staab, a 6'6" forward from Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Scout.com is reporting that Cornell along USC, St. Bonaventure, Baylor, and Stanford are showing early interest in Bakari Turner, a 6'3" guard from Plano, Texas. Turner does not graduate high school until 2010. Meanwhile, TexasHoops.com reports that are also showing interest in another Texan point guard, Blake Jolivette from Houston's St. Thomas High School. Jolivette is a member of the class of 2009.

Cornell returns 14 letter-winners in 2008-2009 but has just two reported members in its incoming recruiting class while the other seven Ivy League schools each have at least four incoming recruits.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Cornell Daily Sun's Top Juniors


The Cornell Daily Sun selected its top Cornell athletes from the junior class. A pair of Cornell basketball players were selected to the group. However, it is worth noting that both selections are eligible per NCAA Rules for a fifth year of competition and they are not expected to graduate until 2010. Pictured is Cornell's Adam Gore from the Big Red's first round NCAA Tournament game against Stanford.


By Meredith Bennett-Smith
Cornell Daily Sun

May 1, 2008


Each year, the Sun chooses the top athletes from each class. Below are the 20 best juniors as selected by the members of the Sun's Sports Department. On Friday, the Sun will reveal its choice for Athlete of the Year.

Jeff Foote — Men's Basketball

Immediately recognizable around the Hill, Foote is loved as much as for his big man personality as well as his consistently impressive performances. The 7-0 center is not just tall, however—he’s a skilled big man whose enthusiasm, team spirit and passion are always on display on the court for the Red. A transfer from St. Bonaventure, (your loss, Bonnies) Foote competed in his first game in a Cornell uniform in December. A good passer and post player, Foote can also run the court during important transitions. Despite not playing collegiate ball for over two years, Foote has established himself as Newman favorite and consistently makes the clutch plays—whether it’s a put-back, assist or timely block.

Adam Gore — Men's Basketball

Gore is a 6-0 guard with strong instincts on both sides of the court and the ability to play either guard position. He has good ball-handling skills that complement his passing abilities. This year he made All-Ivy second team, after missing the majority of his sophomore season with a knee injury. Gore averaged just over 10 points per game, with 2 rebounds and 1 assists, while shooting an astounding .929 percent from the free throw stripe — No. 1 in the Ivy League. Gore has also proved himself a high percentage 3-point shooter, ranking second on the team in shooting percentage from behind the arc at .459. Over the course of the Ivy championship season, Gore scored in the double figures 15 times and led the team in scoring five times and in steals 10 times.