Thursday, July 31, 2008

Schedule Update: Big Red Face Bobcats

The Quinnipiac University Athletics Website confirms that Cornell will host Quinnipiac on New Year's Eve. Here is our latest update on the upcoming 2008-2009 Big Red schedule. Underlined links are provided to the public sources of information.
  • Preseason NIT-The Big Red are reportedly invited to the Dick's Sporting Goods Season Tip-Off/Preseason NIT. Sixteen teams are invited to the NIT with four "high major" schools each hosting three teams for the first two rounds and consolation games. The four regional winners advance to New York City and Madison Square Garden for the semifinals, third place game and championship. A new format in 2008, the 12 teams that do not advance to New York will will be reseeded and assigned to three campus sites for two more games each. Accordingly, participants in the 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 will play a total of 31 regular season games in 2008-2009. Cornell is expected to open the NIT against either Boston College or St. John's in Boston, Massachusetts. Click here to view recent posts referencing the NIT field.
  • at Siena-November 22, 2008, 1 p.m.
  • at Syracuse-December 3, 2008-This game is confirmed by confidential sources. Jim Boheim previously implied Syracuse would play Cornell every year, so long as there is no scheduling conflict. Boheim told ESPN, "We're still going to...play Cornell. We're going to play them for 100 years." Sounds good to us, Jim.
  • at Indiana-This game is not yet confirmed but could be a homecoming for Cornell's Adam Gore and Adam Wire. In addition, Ryan Wittman's father, Randy Wittman played for the Hoosiers before embarking on an NBA career.
  • at Minnesota-Two public source confirmed Cornell's meeting with the University of Minnesota in 2008-2009. The first source to report the game was Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Thereafter, the Pioneer Press/TwinCities.com also confirmed the game, reporting that the "Gophers men's basketball team, which already has North Dakota State, South Dakota State, Cornell and Louisville on its schedule next season, is close to adding Cleveland State."
In addition...

14 Ivy League Games

4 Additional Nonconference Games-- rumored opponents include Fairfield.

Cornell Basketball in the News: Storming the Floor Picks Penn in '08-'09

Not everyone is picking Cornell to repeat as Ivy League Champions. The folks at the Storming the Floor blog are picking Penn to capture the title. If the Quakers win the title they will have to overcome an experienced Cornell squad which returns its top five players in scoring and minutes as well as the top three rebounders. The Big Red also added more depth during the offseason. Storming the Floor writes:
Pennsylvania Quakers
2008 Record: 13-18 (8-6 Ivy)
The Upside: The Quakers are recovering from their uncharacteristic swoon faster than rival Princeton is, so they get the edge. Cornell's dominance of last year is unlikely to be repeated, so we're throwing in with the experience and recruiting savvy (and the Palestra).
Pictured above, Cornell's Alex Tyler shoots in the lane at the Palestra last year.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

New Poll

Vote in The Cornell Basketball Blog's latest Poll (see the right side of the Blog). We want to know what you think Cornell's realistic goal should be for the 2008-2009 season. How far can Ryan Wittman (pictured above) and the Big Red go? Let us know.

Big Red Roster Report

Cornell's 2008-2009 roster lists nineteen players, but only seventeen will play this season. Khaliq Gant is not expected to play this season due to injury while UMass transfer Max Groebe is also expected to sit out the year per NCAA transfer rules.

Four members of the 2008-2009 Big Red, Brian Kreefer (pictured above), Jason Battle, Conor Mullen and Gant are seniors graduating in May 2009. Two additional academically classified seniors, Adam Gore and Jeff Foote, both retain one additional year of eligibility beyond the 2008-2009 season and are expected back with Cornell for 2009-2010.

Several other Ivy League teams, including Harvard and Penn, may carry rosters this season of twenty active players.

Recruiting News

Pictured above, Cornell Head Coach Steve Donahue (kneeling) and Cornell Assistant Coaches Zach Spiker (far right) and Nat Graham (second from right).

We recently added several new names to our list of Cornell's 2009-2010 recruiting prospects and targets. The list should continue to expand into the fall season as Cornell's coaching staff concludes its summer scouting period at the various AAU tournaments and camps. The coaching staff is hoping to secure some recruiting verbal commitments during the early fall signing period.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Schedule Update

Cornell's Louis Dale rebounds against Binghamton University on November 27, 2007.

In a July 23 entry in his ESPN.com blog, Andy Katz discusses some of the recent turmoil in Binghamton University's basketball program. Cornell defeated Binghamton last season, 73-68 and could potentially play the Bearcats again on the 2008-2009 schedule.

In the same blog entry, Katz references Cornell's December 22, 2008 meeting at St. Joseph's (Pa).

Cornell Basketball in the News

Cornell women's basketball player, Jeomi Maduka is the feature of an article today appearing on ESPN.com (click here).

Recruiting News

Pictured above, Cornell's Adam Gore shoots over Harvard's Jeremy Lin last season in Ithaca. With the win over the Crimson, Cornell clinched the 2008 Ivy League Championship.

Although Harvard never formally announced its recruiting class, Harvard Athletics has updated its roster and included the incoming freshmen. The Crimson roster will have 20 active players, while Cornell has a roster of 19 players. Two of Cornell's players (Khaliq Gant and Max Groebe), however are red-shirts sitting out this season.

In other Ivy League recruiting news, according to ZagsBlog.net, Tamir Jackson, a 6-foot-2 guard at St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, New Jersey said he is decommitting from the University of Alabama-Birmingham and has reopened his recruiting. Jackson is now considering Miami, Penn, Harvard, Virginia Tech, Rice, Davidson and Arizona. It is not known whether other Ivy League schools such as Cornell are attempting to get involved.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Jon Jaques Finishes Strong in Summer League Action

Cornell's Jon Jaques (pictured above) scored 7 points and grabbed 6 rebounds on Saturday as his Team Future shocked Rico's Franchise Boys 77-70 in Rico's Get Better Summer League action. The loss was the first defeat of the summer for Rico's Franchise Boys (9-1) as Team Future improved to 6-5 on the summer season. Penn's Andreas Schreiber finished with 13 points and 9 rebounds for Rico's Franchise Boys.

On Sunday, Jaques collected 12 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists to lead Team Future to 82-51 victory over Team Heat. Team Future finished the regular season in second place with a 7-5 record and will participate in the playoffs on Saturday against the #7 seed Team Heat.

Jeff Foote Guides Central New York to Surprise Bronze Medal

In Empire State Games action, Central New York defeated Hudson Valley, 78-76, on Sunday to win a bronze medal. Cornell center Jeff Foote scored eight points against Hudson Valley after scoring 16 points in Central's 107-101 loss to New York City on Saturday. Foote averaged 15 points per game in the four games in which he appeared. It was Central New York's first medal in basketball since 2002.

Foote was coached by Dave Pasiak, Head Coach of the Central New York Team and at Onondoga Community College.

Cornell Basketball in the News: TheHoopsReport.com Ranks Cornell No. 41 in the Nation for 2008-2009

Ryan Wittman and the Big Red will try to repeat as Ivy League champs.


By Ryan Feldman
TheHoopsReport.com
July 26, 2008

Cornell Big Red
Last Season: 22-6 (14-0)

Key Losses: None

Head Coach: Steve Donahue


Projected Starting Lineup

PG: Louis Dale 5-11 Jr.
SG: Adam Gore 6-0 Sr.
SF: Ryan Wittman 6-6 Jr.
PF: Alex Tyler 6-7 Jr.
C: Jeff Foote 7-0 Sr.
Key Reserves: Marc Van Burck 6-11 Jr. C, Jason Battle 6-4 Sr. SG, Andre Wilkins 6-5 Jr. SF, Geoff Reeves 6-5 Jr. SG, Brian Kreefer 6-7 Sr. SF

Cornell fans had to wait 20 years in between NCAA tounament appearances, but the Big Red made sure they would receive their third ever berth into the Big Dance (1954, 1988, 2008) by going undefeated in Ivy League play in 2007-08. Now, Steve Donahue's squad returns their top four leading scorers as they attempt to take the next step and not just reach the NCAA tournament but hopefully win their first ever NCAA tournament game in Cornell history.

Returning starters Ryan Wittman, Louis Dale, Adam Gore and Alex Tyler will lead an experienced Cornell team that was unbeatable for Ivy League foes last season. Dale, who averaged nearly five assists per game last season, runs the offense but can also score when he needs to. Wittman is the offensive leader on the team. The 6-foot-6 junior averaged over 15 points per game and shot about 46 percent from 3-point range in 2007-08. Gore can also step up and knock down shots for the Big Red. The senior guard averaged 10 points per game and shot over 40 percent from 3-point range last season. Tyler returns as a starting big man who provides a big body inside. The 6-foot-7 junior is undersized a bit, but four rebounds per game is not sufficient enough. This Cornell team already lacks the physial and athletic players it takes to compete against the big boys outside of the Ivy, so its big men have to play more physical inside. Tyler spends a lot of time in the paint, so Big Red fans will expect him to increase his rebounding numbers. Jeff Foote, a lanky 7-footer, averaged about eight points and six rebounds per game last season. He is very valuable as a quality 7-footer in a mid-major conference.

The four returning players who will be important off the bench for Cornell are seniors Brian Kreefer and Jason Battle, and juniors Geoff Reeves and Andre Wilkins. Each of them will likely be called upon to play more minutes than they did last season. Reeves is capable of catching fire and nailing a few long balls off the bench. He had his best game against Brown when he scored 14 points and connected on all four of his 3-point attempts. Kreefer is also capable of providing a big spark. He scored 21 points on 8-for-10 shooting early in the season against Army.

Cornell will add three new players this season. Freshmen recruits Alex Hill, a 6-foot-4 small forward from Toronto, and Chris Wroblewski, a 6-foot-1 guard from Illinois, may find it difficult to find playing time this season on an experienced team. Junior transfer Marc Van Burck, a 6-foot-11 center who started his collegiate career at Colorado, may get some quality playing time in the frontcourt. With the lack of depth at center, Van Burck will be needed immediately to back up Foote.

If Cornell is ever going to be an important college basketball program nationally, this is the year. A year after reaching their first NCAA tournament in 20 years, the Big Red will bring back all of their key players as they try to build on that success. This is the time for Cornell. It's now or never. Dale and Wittman represent the golden era for Cornell basketball. It's obvious that the Big Red can dominate the Ivy League, but only time will tell if they can compete with the rest of the nation.

Alumni News: Jason Hartford ('08)

Statesman Journal
July 28, 2008

Former Chemeketa and Tillamook standout Jason Hartford has signed to play professional basketball in Finland with Aanekosken Huima of the Finnish first division.

Hartford averaged 15.5 points and 7.2 rebounds while shooting 68 percent from the field en route to first-team all-league honors as a sophomore at Chemeketa in 2004-05.

During his senior season at Cornell, Hartford helped the Big Red advance to the NCAA tournament for the first time in 20 years. Hartford averaged 7.5 points and 4.2 rebounds while shooting a team-high 58 percent from the floor in 26 games during his senior season.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Jeff Foote Scores 14 in Empire State Games Victory

In Empire State Games action last night, Penn State's Talor Battle had 31 points for his Team Adirondack, but Central New York prevailed 91-89. Central New York evened its record to 1-1 in the tournament and will face New York City tonight at 8 pm in the Binghamton Events Center. In last night's victory, Cornell's Jeff Foote finished with 14 points, but was only 2/6 from the free throw line. Pictured above and below, Foote in action in the first game against Hudson Valley on Thursday night.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Jon Jaques Blogs for the NY Times (Again)


By Jon Jaques
New York Times-The Quad
July 25, 2008

Cornell’s Jon Jaques gave Quad readers an inside look at the N.C.A.A. tournament in March. Now he’s back to tell us how some Division I basketball players spend their summers. Jon is back in his Southern California home this summer, where he is interning for Think Cure, the official charity of the Los Angeles Dodgers which benefits cancer research in local hospitals. He is also playing in “Rico’s Get Better League,” which features college players from all levels. He’ll be checking in with The Quad from time to time to let us know what he’s up to. In this first installment he talks about the importance of conditioning. Be sure to check back for more from Jon in the next few weeks.

For sports fans, mid-July is not lacking in any excitement or anticipation like some parts of the year: the baseball trade deadline quickly forces teams to decide if they are buyers or sellers, college football and Saturday morning tailgates are a mere month away, and N.F.L. followers, Patriots and Dolphins fans alike, are brimming with the optimism of another new season. But even though sports enthusiasts obviously have a lot on their plate right now, July is as good a time as any to make room for college basketball. In fact, the summer is just as, if not more, important to your favorite program’s success as the season itself.

Summer makes college basketball players. For a program to take the next step, its players must improve, and the best time to do that is during the summer. The season is for the team. There’s no real time to make vast improvements in individual strength and conditioning, dribbling or shooting when practices are appropriately devoted to putting the team in the best position to win. Summer, on the other hand, is for the individual. After our N.C.A.A. tournament loss to Stanford, our coach, Steve Donahue, told us that in order for us to repeat as league champions every member of the team would need to use the summer to improve individually. In college basketball the accumulation of each individual’s off-season improvements goes a very long way in determining whether the team makes a corresponding leap forward or whether it stands pat and watches its rivals jump ahead.

With that in mind, even the casual sports should be intrigued as to how his or her favorite college program’s players are keeping busy during these crucial summer months.

Here’s one answer: lifting and conditioning. During the season, lifting is mainly done to stay in shape during the gruel of a 28-32 game schedule. During the summer, you have all the time in the world to get stronger, jump higher, or become quicker, depending on what the coaches identify as your most glaring need or weakness. And as you might expect, college basketball programs take summer lifting very seriously. Our strength and conditioning coach at Cornell, Jay Andres, sends us off for the summer with an individual booklet detailing which exercises and how many repetitions of each to do every day. My description doesn’t do justice to just how precise and meticulous our summer training program is, but I’m positive that almost every college basketball program has their players on similar schedules because they can’t afford not to. The nature of college basketball (and sports in general) is in large part geared towards outworking the competition, so if a player decides to take a day off or an entire program decides to ease off on the weights for the summer, the opposition will fly past them.

But it’s really hard to let that happen. As anyone who works out daily can attest to, that habit of going to the gym every day becomes such a part of your life and routine that it feels really strange to break it. At least for me, the unsettling feeling that results from breaking the daily routine plays a bigger role in keeping me in the gym and improving than the fear of being outworked by another player.

While basketball is all about competition there’s ample opportunity to pick up a thing or two from fellow players in the weight room. One morning this summer, I noticed Minnesota Timberwolves center Jason Collins doing abdominal/core exercises across the room. He and I graduated from the same high school and I had seen him work out before, but this particular workout was new, something I had never seen before. He’s the one making millions, so I decided what he was doing must be all right and added it to my own routine. Just like on the court, where you need to embrace teammates’ or other players’ moves and ideas to expand your own game, the weight room is full of opportunities to look around and pick up new ways to improve.

No matter how much work a college basketball player puts in in the weight room, there is no substitute for testing those improvements in real game situations, which I’ve been lucky enough to do this summer by playing in a N.C.A.A.-sanctioned summer league. Check back into The Quad in a few days for a rundown of the Los Angeles summer league and pickup basketball scenes to get an idea of the high level of competition keeping college athletes around the country in game shape during the summer.

Foote Looks Strong in Empire State Games

Pictured above, Cornell's Jeff Foote cuts down the net after capturing the 2008 Ivy League Championship.

Although Jeff Foote's Central New York team fell 97-84 to Hudson Valley yesterday during the Empire State Games, Central New York and in particular, Foote played extremely well against long odds. Foote contributed 22 points on 11/16 shooting, eight rebounds, four assists and one block in the loss as Central New York's only Division I player. Meanwhile, Hudson Valley received 23 points from former Louisville Cardinal and current Iona Gael transfer, 7’0” Jonathan Huffman and 12 points from Marist’s 6’7” power forward Ryan Schneider. Hudson Valley's All-Division I backcourt of former Seton Hall Pirate and current Iona Gael, 6’4” Kashif Pratt and Loyola (Md.)’s 6'1" Brett Harvey had 20 and 9 points respectively.

Central New York and Jeff Foote return to action tonight when they face the Adirondacks at 8 pm.

Cornell Basketball in the News: Jeff Foote at Empire State Games

Central's Jeff Foote, a Spencer-Van Etten graduate who plays for Cornell, attempts a layup over the defense of Hudson Valley's Jonathan Huffman in the second half of a men's open basketball game Thursday at Binghamton University during the Empire State Games. (Photo Ithaca Journal)

By Brian Delaney
The Ithaca Journal
July 25, 2008

The Central Region hasn't won a Men's Open basketball game since the 2004 Empire State Games in Binghamton. The region has only one gold medal to its credit in 30 years, earned in 1979.

So Jeff Foote knows a gold medal this year is probably a long shot. Any medal, for that matter, may be a long shot for a region that has earned just two since 1993.

With Hudson Valley, Long Island and New York City — three regions annually stacked with Division I talent — usually at the forefront, the Games have instead become somewhat of a litmus test for Foote's rapid development as a basketball player.

Foote's line on Thursday — 22 points on 11-of-16 shooting, eight rebounds, four assists and one block against just two turnovers — was easily his best yet at New York's annual amateur summer spectacle. Hudson Valley inevitably pulled away late for a 97-84 victory, but it was clear the 2007 runner-ups and 2006 gold medalists were significantly concerned about Foote's presence.

“This year I feel a lot more confident,” said Foote, who earned a second-team all-Ivy League nod last winter after helping Cornell to a 22-6 season and its first league championship since 1988. “I feel like I'm one of the better players here. I just feel a lot more comfortable with my game, with what I'm supposed to do.”

Foote was matched up throughout with Hudson Valley 7-footer Jonathan Huffman, whose college career began at Louisville before a transfer landed him at Iona. The quick-footed Huffman certainly had his moments, mostly when he pulled Foote away from the basket, but he was no match for Foote on the low block.

“I actually thought I had a pretty bad game today,” said Foote with a laugh. “Offensively I'm pretty comfortable with my moves. I know I'm a pretty tough player to stop.”

Foote is spending his summer in Ithaca, working an internship through Cornell and working out several times a week in hopes of adding bulk, stamina and agility. He played the 2007-08 season at around 225 pounds. He hopes to be 250 when next winter rolls around.

Cornell coach Steve Donahue said during a phone interview Wednesday that he's been “very pleased” with Foote's work ethic this offseason, considering the bulk of his workouts have been done solo.

“The important thing for Jeff this summer is to get another year in the weight room,” Donahue said. “He's probably put on almost 30 pounds. He looks bigger, stronger, more confident. If we can get him in that 245 range, it'll be much different than (where he was last winter).”

The addition of 6-11 center Marc Van Burck, who will transfer to Cornell this fall after one year at the University of Colorado and one at Salt Lake Community College, should help Foote immensely. At nearly 260 pounds, Van Burck has the size and strength to push Foote every day in practice.

Central's next two games are both at 8 p.m., today and Saturday. The medal rounds will be contested Sunday morning at the Events Center.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Cornell Basketball in the News: Hooplife Canada Covers Cornell Recruiting Class

Hooplife Canada posted an article about Cornell's two Canadian recruits, Marc Van Burck and Alex Hill.

Schedule Update: NIT Field Takes Shape

The University of Oklahoma announced its region in the Preseason NIT. The Sooners will host Elite Eight participant Davidson, James Madison and NCAA Tournament participant Mississippi Valley State. The Delta Devils of Mississippi are a surprise entrant to the field. Cornell is expected to land in the Boston College region. Cornell could potentially play teams from Oklahoma's region in the Big Red's 3rd and 4th games of NIT. Pictured above, Cornell's Alex Tyler.

Schedule Update

An article in today's Albany Times Union references Cornell's scheduled game this season against Siena. Pictured above, Cornell's Louis Dale in action against Siena last season in Ithaca. Cornell prevailed over the Saints 83-77.

Cornell Basketball in the News

By Brian Delaney
The Ithaca Journal
July 24, 2008

Steve Donahue and his staff got an unusually late start on the after-season recruiting trail this year, although you'll hear no complaints from the architects of the 2007-08 Ivy League men's basketball championship team.

Donahue and assistants Nat Graham, Zach Spiker and Woody Kampmann, who oversaw the transformation of a young, vastly inexperienced Cornell team to a 14-0 championship juggernaut — by Ivy standards, at least — still found enough time to lock down two final important pieces to their incoming recruiting class despite the rest of the Ivy's three-week head start on the spring trails.

A pair of Division I transfers and late commits, 6-foot-11 center Marc Van Burck (Salt Lake Community College by way of the University of Colorado) and 6-4 shooting guard Max Groebe (University of Massachusetts), will join freshmen-to-be Alex Hill, a 6-4 wing player out of Toronto, and Chris Wroblewski, a 6-1 combo guard from Highland Park, Ill., on campus this fall.

“We were very aggressive, as we always are, with spring recruiting,” Donahue said.

There's little question that Cornell's tapas menu of returning talent just got deeper. With so many minutes expected back next year — starting forward Jason Hartford was the team's lone senior — chemistry issues were critical for this incoming class.

Donahue said he's confident this foursome fits the necessary mold.

“Juniors and seniors, that's our bread and butter for the next couple of years,” Donahue said. “It's critical that we replace those 13 guys over a two-year span.”

Van Burck, a 6-11, 255-pound center, fills arguably the most critical void — a wide body to bang on the blocks daily in practice with returning 7-foot all-Ivy center Jeff Foote, while providing much-needed size and depth in the frontcourt.

Alex Tyler (6-6), Brian Kreefer (6-7), Aaron Osgood (6-9) and Pete Reynolds (6-8) are Cornell's other returning big men, but none boast the combination of bulk and height that Van Burck does.

“The thing that Marc does well is he assimilates well into what you're doing,” Donahue said. “That's what I liked about him in Colorado. He's a perfect fit for what we've got going here.”

Groebe played in 19 games for the 25-11 Minutemen, averaging 2.1 points over 5.5 minutes, before departing the team late in the season. A member of the German national team, Groebe will sit out the 2009-10 season in accordance to NCAA transfer rules. He can practice with Cornell this winter, and he'll have three years of eligibility remaining starting in 2010-11.

Both Groebe and Wroblewski carry reputations as lethal sharpshooters, which should only bolster Cornell's already deep core of perimeter marksmen. The Big Red finished the 2007-08 season ranked fourth in Division I in three-point field-goal percentage (40.9 percent).

“It's critical that we have guys who can make shots,” Donahue said. “And that's obviously a key thing with the way we play and the things we do. They're not only good shooters but they know how to play.”

Hill can also shoot the 3 while adding a little more athleticism and length into the fold.

“He can really shoot in transition,” Donahue said. “He can finish with dunks. I think the thing with Alex is how quickly can he fit into the college game? Physically, judging his talent, I think he's got the opportunity to be a very good player in the Ivy League.”

CU men’s basketball Incoming recruits

* Max Groebe, G, 6-4, 185 (Transfer from University of Massachusetts; 3 years of eligibility remaining)

* Alex Hill, G/F, 6-4, 215 (Eastern Commerce Collegiate Institute, Toronto, Ont.)

* Marc Van Burck, C, 6-11, 255 (University of Colorado/Salt Lake Community College; 2 years of eligibility remaining)

* Chris Wroblewski, G, 6-1, 170 (Highland Park H.S., Highland Park, Ill.)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Recruiting News Around the Ivies

Rhyf Murphy, a 6’7” combo forward, from Lee Academy in Maine told Rivals.com that he's heard from Cornell, Oregon State, and Xavier. Murphy is reportedly a good athlete with perimeter skills.

Christian Webster, a 6’4” 190 lb. forward from the Landon School near Washington, D.C. told Rivals.com that he is hearing from the entire Ivy League, but did not specifically mention Cornell. He is related to incoming Harvard freshman, Max Kenyi and implied that Harvard could be his top choice.

GopherIllustrated.com reports that Princeton really likes Kevin Noreen from Minneapolis Transition Charter School. Noreen, a 6’8” forward is already holding scholarships from Gonzaga, William & Mary, Northern Illinois, and Wisconsin-Green Bay with Butler expected to offer very soon.

Scout.com notes that Asauhn Tatum, an intriguing 6’10” but rail thin 190 lb. post player from Anderson, Indiana’s Highland High School already has an offer from Columbia. Meanwhile, Cornell is showing some interest as are other Ivies.

MinnesotaPreps.com reports that Yale has offered Chris Halvorsen, a 6’8” forward from Sibley High School in Mendota Heights, Minnesota. The Yalies have competition as Halvorsen already holds more than a half dozen scholarships including offers from Kent State, Pepperdine and Valpo.

Recruiting News: Ohio Forward Wants an Offer from Cornell

Josh Claytor (pictured back row, far right), a 6'7" forward from Ohio wants to attend Cornell.

Claytor Seeks First Offer

OhioVarsity.com
July 23, 2008


While Josh Claytor, a 6-foot-7, 210-pound forward from Talawanda High School in Oxford, Ohio, is gearing up for his senior season, a decision also lies ahead as to what schools he will visit, and more importantly which ones will extend a scholarship offer.

"I've talked to Cornell a lot, the University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Elon, and Army" Claytor told OhioVarsity.com. "I'd say those are the schools that have the most interest."

While the reigning Fort Ancient Valley Conference Player of the Year spent the majority of the summer playing AAU ball on the Adidas All-Ohio Force team, he also was able to make it to a couple elite camps as well, as he gauged his interest in a couple programs that have made his list of favorites.

"I went to the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell's elite camps," Claytor said as he proceeded to talk about the opportunity to meet with both school's coaching staffs. "I felt like I clicked well with both of them. They seemed very helpful and they seemed like they knew what they were talking about."

Although he hasn't officially been offered by any of the five schools that have shown the most interest, he has been given reason to believe at least one will soon, perhaps leading others to follow suit.

"Dartmouth said they plan to offer me this fall, and I hope Cornell too," he said. "Dartmouth has told me they want to make an in-home visit in the fall and an official in the winter, and Cornell has talked about it, but they haven't made anything official. Army has asked me if I could come down and look at the campus and we'd have to work out a time. Elon wants me to visit too."

With the ability to play four spots on the floor, Claytor, who averaged 18.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in his junior season, believes his versatility has much to do with the increased attention he is receiving from Division I programs.

"I can shoot the ball well from the outside and I have pretty good post moves," he explained, focusing on the advantages of the forward position. "I like being able to choose, you're not stuck in the post and not stuck on the perimeter; you're able to choose whatever the match-up dictates."

Already having a solid grasp of how to use his frame as well as his perimeter game, Claytor isn't satisfied and has continued to work on a couple different areas, both offensively and defensively.

"I worked on being a threat off the dribble," he admitted. "I (also) worked on being able to guard different positions whether it's a big guy or a smaller guard."

While awaiting word on if his improvements will earn him an offer with the schools on his list, Claytor knows there's at least one school he's hoping will give him something to think about regarding his decision on where to attend college in 2009.

"My first choice would probably be Cornell," he said. "I like the campus a lot. I've grown up in a college town, and it's a small town college and a small town atmosphere."

Finishing with a record of 18-5 in 2007-08, the Braves' big man has even bigger plans for both his senior season and his future on the basketball court.

"I'd like to win the league again and do it three out of four years," Claytor said. "I'd like to get first-team all-district and Player of the Year again for the conference; that would be great."

Claytor reports a 3.6 GPA with a SAT score of 1740. He is currently undecided on a major.

Cornell Basketball in the News: Foote in Empire State Games

Pictured above, Cornell's Jeff Foote dunks on the Duke Blue Devils on January 6, 2008 in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Foote will play in this summer's Empire State Games in Binghamton.


The Ithaca Journal
July 23, 2008

Although Binghamton is the official host city for this year's Empire State Games, several events will be contested at venues within a short drive from Tompkins County...

Big Red's Big Man

Jeff Foote, Cornell's 7-foot center via St. Bonaventure and nearby Spencer-Van Etten, will play on the Central Men's Open basketball team. Central's first game is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Thursday at the Events Center, where Binghamton University's basketball teams play.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Recruiting News: Oh Canada!

Canada Basketball, the governing body of basketball in Canada, announced Cornell's addition of Canadians Marc Van Burck and Alex Hill to the Big Red's recruiting class. They join fellow Canadian, Andre Wilkins on the Cornell 2008-2009 roster.

Since 2000, Cornell has successfully recruited seven Canadians into the program, they include:
  • Chris Vandenberg 6'11" Buford School-Harley, Ontario
  • David Lisle 6'4" Madill School-Wingham, Ontario
  • Stevan Marcetic 6'9" Vaughn Secondary School-Ontario
  • Graham Dow 6'0" Nelson Lords School-Burlington, Ontario
  • Andre Wilkins 6'5"Emery High School-Toronto, Ontario
  • Alex Hill 6'4" Eastern Commerce Collegiate-Toronto, Ontario
  • Marc Van Burck 6'11" Luther College High School-Saskatchewan

For a list of Cornell and Ivy League Recruiting Targets and Commitments, click here.

For our archived stories on Cornell and Ivy League Recruiting News, click here.

Schedule Update: Rematch with Bucknell Confirmed

A Bucknell University press release confirms that the Bison will visit Ithaca on December 6, 2008. Last season, Bucknell hammered Ryan Wittman and Cornell (pictured above) 88-75 in Lewisberg, Pa on December 19, 2007.

Here is our latest update on the upcoming 2008-2009 Big Red schedule. Underlined links are provided to the public sources of informati
on.
  • Preseason NIT-The Big Red are reportedly invited to the Dick's Sporting Goods Season Tip-Off/Preseason NIT. Sixteen teams are invited to the NIT with four "high major" schools each hosting three teams for the first two rounds and consolation games. The four regional winners advance to New York City and Madison Square Garden for the semifinals, third place game and championship. A new format in 2008, the 12 teams that do not advance to New York will will be reseeded and assigned to three campus sites for two more games each. Accordingly, participants in the 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 will play a total of 31 regular season games in 2008-2009. Click here to view the projected NIT field. Cornell is expected to open the NIT against either Boston College or St. John's in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • at Siena-November 22, 2008, 1 p.m.
  • at Syracuse-December 3, 2008-This game is confirmed by confidential sources. Jim Boheim previously implied Syracuse would play Cornell every year, so long as there is no scheduling conflict. Boheim told ESPN, "We're still going to...play Cornell. We're going to play them for 100 years." Sounds good to us, Jim.
  • at Indiana-This game is not yet confirmed but could be a homecoming for Cornell's Adam Gore and Adam Wire. In addition, Ryan Wittman's father, Randy Wittman played for the Hoosiers before embarking on an NBA career.
  • at Minnesota-Two public source confirmed Cornell's meeting with the University of Minnesota in 2008-2009. The first source to report the game was Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Thereafter, the Pioneer Press/TwinCities.com also confirmed the game, reporting that the "Gophers men's basketball team, which already has North Dakota State, South Dakota State, Cornell and Louisville on its schedule next season, is close to adding Cleveland State."
In addition...

14 Ivy League Games

5 Additional Nonconference Games-- rumored opponents include Fairfield.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Schedule Update: FAU in NIT Field

A surprise team has been added to the Preseason NIT field. According to the Florida Atlantic University website, the Owls are in the NIT. Accordingly, one of the sixteen teams previously discussed here (and on other blogs) must have dropped out of the field.

Cornell Roster Updated

With the official press release from Cornell announcing the new recruiting class, the Athletics Department has also updated the official roster. There were no late changes to the class differing from what was previously reported here on The Cornell Basketball Blog.

Cornell Basketball in the News

The Ithaca Journal added a story about Cornell's incoming basketball recruiting class, mostly quoting the official press release from the University. Pictured above dunking the ball, Alex Hill, an incoming Cornell freshman is a member of the newcomers joining the Big Red.

Recruiting News: Cornell Officially Announces Recruiting Class

July 21, 2008

ITHACA, N.Y. – Following its first Ivy League championship in 20 years, the Cornell men’s basketball team will add four players to the program this fall, including two high school seniors, as well as a pair Division I transfers. Head coach Steve Donahue announced that Alex Hill and Chris Wroblewski will enroll at Cornell in the fall as freshmen, while sophomore Max Groebe will join the Big Red family from the University of Massachusetts and junior Marc Van Burck enrolls after one season each at the University of Colorado and Salt Lake Community College.

"This is one of the most individually talented groups we’ve ever had," Donahue said. "This addresses some of our needs in the backcourt and gives us three more outstanding shooters, while also addressing a need in the backcourt for a big, physical presence. Our two freshmen will have an opportunity to earn minutes next year while being surrounded by a strong group of leaders in our upperclassmen. Marc is a good rebounder and a skilled big man who will provide a significant defensive presence. Max brings valuable experience to our roster and will help us in our quest for our second straight Ivy title next year before joining the team on the court in 2009-10. I fully expect these players will help upgrade our roster."

G Max Groebe – 6-4/185 — North Miami Beach, Fla. (Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior HS/Univ. of Massachusetts)
A transfer from the University of Massachusetts and a member of the German national team, Groebe will become eligible in the fall of 2009 and will have three seasons of eligibility remaining. He saw action in 19 contests off the bench for the 25-11 Minutemen, averaging 2.1 points in 5.5 minutes per game for the NIT runner-up. Known as a standout shooter, he connected on 14-of-35 field goals (.400) and 10-of-28 3-pointers (.357) as a freshman, recording six rebounds, six assists, three steals and a blocked shot in 104 minutes. Groebe had a career-high 11 points in a win over Central Connecticut State, hitting 3-of-4 shots from beyond the arc. Prior to his time at UMass, Groebe was a McDonald’s All-American nominee as a senior at Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior HS after averaging 22.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists as a senior. He was invited to play in the Florida All-Star Game and captured all-Miami Dade first-team honors and was named a Miami Broward All-Star in each of his final two seasons. Groebe averaged 19 points as a junior. He averaged 18 points per gane as a sophomore at Chaminade-Madonna HS in 2005, earning Newcomer of the Year honors. He ended his career at Krop as one of the school’s top five all-time scorers in just two varsity seasons, scoring over 1,000 points. He also set a school record for 3-pointers in a game with nine. His team went 56-9 in two seasons.

F Alex Hill – 6-4/215— Toronto, Ont. (Eastern Commerce Collegiate Institute)
Hill led Eastern Commerce Collegiate Institute in scoring as a senior on a team that featured three Division I prospects, averaging 14.0 points and 3.0 rebounds. Hill won gold medals at the U15 and U17 national championships and also played on the Toronto Mission team that won the prestigious 2007 international junior invitational in Milan, Italy. An all-Ontario Academic team selection, Hill was named a top five small forward in Ontario by Hoop-La Canada. He was a member of Eastern Commerce team that won the Ontario silver medal at the OFSAA championships in 2007.

C Marc Van Burck– 6-11/255 — Star City, Sask. (Luther HS/University of Colorado/Salt Lake C.C.)
Van Burck arrives at Cornell after spending the last season at Salt Lake Community College. The 6-11 center averaged 2.0 points and 1.3 rebounds for his 32-4 national junior college runner-up squad, playing 6.0 minutes per game and shooting 59 percent from the floor. He played at the University of Colorado as a freshman in 2006-07, averaging 0.3 points and 1.0 rebounds in nine games off the bench. Van Burck missed the majority of the season with a foot injury. He was highliy recruited out of Luther College HS, averaging 24 points, 15 rebounds and four blocked shots per game as a senior. The three-year letter winner was a member of the 2005 Regina All-Star team, was invited to compete in the Nike All-Canadian Camp and for the U17 Developmental National Team. He was a member of Saskatchewan’s 2005 Canada Games U17 summer team that captured a bronze medal. A two-year member of the Canadian Junior National Team, Van Burck was a two-time Provincial All-Star. He won MVP honors at the 54th Luther Invitational Tournament after averaging 33 points and 16.7 rebounds a game, including a 50-point effort in the semifinal. He was also named an all-star at the Sugar Bowl tournament in Raymond, Alta. Van Burck averaged 17 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots per game as a junior. He also lettered in football as the team’s starting left tackle that won a city and provincial title, as well as for the volleyball squad.

G Chris Wroblewski – 6-1/170— Highland Park, Ill. (Highland Park HS)
Wroblewski was a McDonald’s All-America nominee as a senior at Highland Park HS, earning conference Player of the Year honors for his 22-6 squad. The third-team all-state selection averaged 17.9 points and 4.5 rebounds per game while earning recognition as one of the top 3-point shooters in the state. Wroblewski was selected to participate in the Chicago Classic All-Star Game and the 3-point shootout after earning all-conference and all-county honors. A two-star prospect according to scouting service Scout.com, he graduated as the school’s No. 2 career scorer (1,363 points) and the top 3-point shooter (211 3-point field goals). The four-year starter averaged 16.5 points per game as a junior, capturing all-conference and all-county honors while being tabbed as an honorable mention all-state selection by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association in Class AA. Wroblewski earned MVP honors at the second annual Academic All-American Showcase. In a camp featuring more than one hundred Ivy League, Patriot League and Division III academic-minded college basketball prospects, he averaged 24 points per game in the five-game showcase while leading his team to the title.

Cornell closed its 2007-08 season after setting school records for wins (22) and consecutive wins (16), while also establishing marks for season points and 3-pointers made, as well as free-throw percentage. Cornell became the 13th team in conference history to finish with a perfect league slate (14-0) and was the first non-Penn or Princeton team to accomplish that feat. The Big Red will return four of its five starters and all four All-Ivy League selections into the 2008-09 campaign when it will attempt to defend its Ancient Eight title.

ESPN Ranks Cornell No. 225 in Basketball Prestige

ESPN.com is asking, what is a "prestigious" college basketball program? This summer, ESPN decided to come up with a numerical point system to provide an "unbiased" ranking of every college hoops program's success since the start of the 1984-85 season. ESPN ranks Cornell No. 225, but both Penn and Princeton are expected to finished ranked in the Top 50. See the ESPN story by clicking here. Below, ESPN's prestige rankings for six of the eight Ivy programs.

Ivy
???. Penn/Princeton
T-225. Cornell
T-241. Yale
T-266. Brown
T-284. Dartmouth
T-284. Harvard
T-294. Columbia

New Poll

Vote in The Cornell Basketball Blog's newest Poll (see the right side of the Blog)! We want to know which Cornell newcomer you want to see play most. All four newcomers are expected to be on display during the annual preseason intersquad Red-White game. Pictured above far left, future freshman, Alex Hill sports his Cornell shirt during "signing day" at his high school, Eastern Commerce Collegiate in Toronto, Canada.

Nineteen on the Roster

There will be at least nineteen (19) players on the 2008-2009 Cornell Big Red basketball roster, including two inactive players-- Khaliq Gant (out indefinitely with injury) and Max Groebe (transfer red-shirt). This total also excludes potential additional recruits.

Recruiting News: Cornell Recruits Wroblewski's Former Teammate

ChicagoHoops.com reports that Cornell, Penn, Holy Cross, Bucknell, and Princeton are all recruiting Josh Bartlestein (No. 33 pictured above), a 6'3" point guard and postgraduate student at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. Bartlestein played last season with incoming Cornell freshman recruit, Chris Wroblewski (No. 10 pictured below) at Highland Park High School in Highland Park, Illinois before commencing his postgraduate year at Exeter.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Schedule Update: Boston U. Visits Cornell

One of The Cornell Basketball Blog readers notified us that the Big Red are hosting Boston University on December 29, 2008. BU's press release notes:
Highlighted by seven home games and road match-ups against two defending conference champions, the Boston University men's basketball non-conference schedule for 2008-09 - the Terriers' 100th season in program history - has been announced by head coach Dennis Wolff…. BU hosts Delaware on Sunday, Dec. 21, before tipping off with Cornell, the 2008 Ivy League champion, on Monday, Dec. 29, at 7 p.m. in Newman Arena. The Big Red collected its conference title with a perfect 14-0 league record and ended the year with a 22-6 mark after falling to No. 3 seed Stanford in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Cornell returns the 2008 Ivy League Player of the Year in Louis Dale, who averaged 13.8 ppg and 5.0 apg during last season.
Here is our latest update on the upcoming 2008-2009 schedule. Underlined links are provided to the public sources of information.
  • Preseason NIT-The Big Red are reportedly invited to the Dick's Sporting Goods Season Tip-Off/Preseason NIT. Sixteen teams are invited to the NIT with four "high major" schools each hosting three teams for the first two rounds and consolation games. The four regional winners advance to New York City and Madison Square Garden for the semifinals, third place game and championship. A new format in 2008, the 12 teams that do not advance to New York will will be reseeded and assigned to three campus sites for two more games each. Accordingly, participants in the 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 will play a total of 31 regular season games in 2008-2009. Click here to view the projected NIT field. Cornell is expected to open the NIT against either Boston College or St. John's in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • at Siena-November 22, 2008, 1 p.m.
  • at Syracuse-December 3, 2008-This game is confirmed by confidential sources. Jim Boheim previously implied Syracuse would play Cornell every year, so long as there is no scheduling conflict. Boheim told ESPN, "We're still going to...play Cornell. We're going to play them for 100 years." Sounds good to us, Jim.
  • at Indiana-This game is not yet confirmed but could be a homecoming for Cornell's Adam Gore and Adam Wire. In addition, Ryan Wittman's father, Randy Wittman played for the Hoosiers before embarking on an NBA career.
  • at Minnesota-Two public source confirmed Cornell's meeting with the University of Minnesota in 2008-2009. The first source to report the game was Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Thereafter, the Pioneer Press/TwinCities.com also confirmed the game, reporting that the "Gophers men's basketball team, which already has North Dakota State, South Dakota State, Cornell and Louisville on its schedule next season, is close to adding Cleveland State."
In addition...

14 Ivy League Games

6 Additional Nonconference Games-- rumored opponents include Bucknell (home) and Fairfield.

Jon Jaques in LA Summer League Action

Cornell's Jon Jaques (pictured above) has returned to the line-up of his Team Future in the Rico's Get Better Summer League. Since his return, Team Future has won two straight games, evened its record to 5-5 and sits in second place in the L.A.-based summer league's standings. Below are some highlights, including some of Jaques, in Team Future's 91-70 win over Rico's Young Franchise Boys on Thursday, July 17.

Jeff Foote Returns to Empire State Games

For the second consecutive season as a member of the Cornell Big Red, All-Ivy League big man, 7'0" Jeff Foote will participate in New York's Empire State Games as a member of the Central New York basketball team. Foote's Central New York Team will be in action between July 24 and July 27 at Binghamton University. Last year's games were held at Iona College in New Rochelle.

The Empire Games is a multi-sport event for amateur athletes, patterned after the Olympic program with teams broken down into regions of New York State. Athletes must be residents of the State of New York to compete. Many of the basketball teams in the Empire Games feature multiple Division I players, and virtually all of the players compete at the collegiate level.