Sunday, November 30, 2008

Scout.com (Hoosier Nation) Preview: Cornell at Indiana

A program building a basketball tradition and a program with an established basketball tradition collide tonight. Below, the Scout.com preview for today's game. Get all the information you need about the Cornell' Big Red's game at the Indiana Hoosiers with The Cornell Basketball Blog's Game Preview Center!

From Scout.com:
The Hoosiers return home following their seventh-place finish at the Maui Invitational to take on Cornell at Assembly Hall at 4 p.m. HoosierNation.com previews the match-up with IU’s Ivy League foe …

Game Particulars: Indiana (3-2) vs. Cornell (4-2)
Indiana and Cornell square off Sunday afternoon at Assembly Hall following each team’s participation in elite early season basketball tournaments. Indiana returns to the hardwood following its recent trip to the Maui Invitational, where it topped Chaminade Wednesday to claim seventh-place in the event. Cornell, meanwhile, lost its NIT Preseason Tip-Off opener to St. John’s before bouncing back with consolation wins against Loyola (Md.), Loyola (Chi.) and Eastern Michigan in the event. This marks the first time the two teams have faced off.

IU is coached by Tom Crean, who is in his first year as Indiana’s head coach and 10th year overall. Crean owns a 193-98 career mark and led Marquette to the NCAA Tournament five times. Cornell, meanwhile, is coached by Steve Donahue, who is in his 9th year at the Ivy League school and owns a 100-125 career mark. That includes a 22-6 record last season when Cornell went a perfect 14-0 in Ivy League play to win its first conference crown in 20 years and earn an invite to the NCAA tourney.

The game will be televised by the Big Ten Network with Mark Nealy (play-by-play) and John Laskowski (color commentary) calling the match-up.

Indiana 2008-09 Schedule

Cornell 2008-09 Schedule

PROBABLE STARTERS
Indiana (3-2)
PG- Daniel Moore (5-11, 167, Fr.) – 4.0 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 4.0 apg, 50% FG shooting
SG- Devan Dumes (6-2, 188, Jr.) – 12.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 25.8% 3 pt. shooting
WG – Verdell Jones (6-5, 176, Fr.) – 9.8 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.8 apg, 11.1% 3 pt. shooting
SF – Nick Williams (6-4, 211, Fr.) – 86.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 45.7% FG shooting
C – Tom Pritchard (6-9, 242, Fr.) – 14.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 0.8 bpg, 59.6% FG shooting

Cornell (4-2)
PG- Chris Wroblewski (6-0, 180, Fr.) – 6.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.2 apg, 35.3% FG shooting
SG – Geoff Reeves (6-4, 180, Jr.) – 15.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.2 apg, 50% (20-40) 3 pt. shooting
WF – Ryan Wittman (6-6, 215, Jr.) – 19.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.3 apg, 33.3% (14-42) 3 pt. shooting
PF – Alex Tyler (6-7, 235, Jr.) – 7.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 0.8 apg, 44.2% FG shooting
C- Jeff Foote (7-0, 245, Sr.) – 14.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 3.0 apg, 4.0 bpg

Indiana 2008-09 Final Statistics

Cornell 2008-09 Statistics

WHAT TO WATCH FOR
A special opportunity for the son of a former IU great – The 2008 Ivy League champions have been without reigning conference Player of the Year Louis Dale and two-time All-League pick Adam Gore due to injuries, but Ryan Wittman has picked up the slack. A unanimous All-Ivy League pick a year ago in his own right, Wittman is averaging a team-high 19.8 points entering the contest and needs just 21 points against IU to become the 22nd Cornell player join the 1,000-point club for his career. The son of former IU great Randy Wittman, Ryan has scored in double figures in all six games this season, including 25 against both South Dakota and St. John’s. Wittman is actually one of two Cornell players with special family ties to the IU program. Legendary IU coach Branch McCracken is the great uncle to Gore, who is a native of Monrovia. A knee injury will keep Gore from playing on the court named after his relative. Gore was third-team All-State selection as a senior at Monrovia H.S., where he scored 1,671 career points.

How will Tom Pritchard match-up against Cornell’s 7-footer Jeff Foote? - One of the most pleasant surprises of the early portion of IU’s schedule has been the rapid improvement of Tom Pritchard, who leads the team in scoring (14.4), rebounding (7.6), blocks (0.8) and field goal percentage (59.6). He’s scored in double figures in all but one game dating back to the exhibition contests, and has clearly been the team’s most reliable offensive weapon. Pritchard will get a test against Foote, a 7’0”, 245-pounder who has blocked 24 shots in Cornell’s first six games. While that might seem like a tall order for Pritchard, he went up against three talented big men in Maui. Pritchard had 14 points and six rebounds against Notre Dame’s Luke Harangody, before being limited to seven points and three rebounds in 17 minutes against St. Joe’s Ahmad Nivins. Pritchard bounced back against Chaminade’s Mohamed Tangara (a transfer from Arizona) with 19 points and nine rebounds. With those tough match-ups under his belt, expect to see Pritchard go right at Foote when he gets the ball in the post.

Will Indiana continue to rotate its defenses, or will it stick to man-to-man against Cornell? - While man-to-man defense has long been a staple of Tom Crean’s teams, he’s utilized some zone this season due to the team’s lack of size. As IU prepares for Cornell, though, don’t be surprised if man-to-man is the defense of choice throughout. Cornell ranked fourth in the nation in 3-point shooting a year ago and are currently making 38.5 percent of their shots from behind the 20’9” arc this season. Ryan Wittman led the team a year ago with a 42. percent success rate from deep, and this season Geoff Reeves is also converting 50 percent (20-of-40) of his 3-point attempts. The absence of Dale and Gore have taken away two other reliable 3-point shooters, but Wittman and Reeves figure to combine for anywhere from 12-15 attempts from deep Sunday afternoon.

QUOTABLES
“Without question, I think it is a special game for Ryan and his family. Randy has been great to our staff and I am sure Ryan will have plenty of support in the stands. I’m sure Cornell is going to come in here like every other team has and believes they want to come in here and come away with a win. We have to be at our best, both physically and mentally, to prevent that.” – Tom Crean

“We are in a stretch of games where we are playing six of eight away from home in a 19-day span. This schedule, with the exception of the TCU game, was something we inherited and I am sure was put together with a veteran team in mind. That being said, we will look at each challenge and try to get better for it. Cornell is an NCAA Tournament team that has a veteran group that has grown together. They are a very efficient team who understands where each other is supposed to be.” – Crean

SportsNetwork Picks Indiana Over Cornell


The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Sunday, November 30th, 4:00 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Assembly Hall (17,357) -- Bloomington, Indiana. Television: Big Ten Network. Home Record: Cornell 1-0, Indiana 2-0. Away Record: Cornell 0-1, Indiana 0-0. Neutral Record: Cornell 3-1, Indiana 1-2. Conference Record: Cornell 0-0, Indiana 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.

GAME NOTES: Non-conference meet in Bloomington this afternoon, as the Indiana Hoosiers host the Cornell Big Red at Assembly Hall. The Big Red have been something of a surprise thus far, winning four of their first six games. The last time out, Cornell posted a 67-54 victory over Eastern Michigan. The Big Red have not enjoyed much success against teams from the Big Ten over the years, logging just a 12-29 mark all-time. The Hoosiers put the brakes on a two-game slide with a thrilling 81-79 victory over Chaminade the last time out. Indiana is just 3-2 on the year, but two of those wins have come at Assembly Hall where the team posted a tremendous 17-2 ledger last year. The Hoosiers do not have much experience against opponents from the Ivy League, going 8-3 all-time. This bout marks the first-ever meeting between Cornell and Indiana on the hardwood.

The last time the Big Red were on the floor the team shot a solid 51.8 percent from the field en route to a strong 13-point win over Eastern Michigan. Cornell, however, connected on just 5-of-19 three-point attempts and made only 4-of-6 shots from the foul line. Ryan Wittman led the way in the victory with 19 points, while Jeff Foote and Geoff Reeves tallied 15 points apiece. Foote also collected six rebounds for Cornell, while Reeves dished out six assists. So far, Wittman and Foote have been a dangerous duo in the frontcourt, with the former pacing the club with 19.8 ppg and 20 assists, while the latter nets 14.0 ppg to go with a team-best 7.5 rpg and 25 blocks. As for Reeves, he has been lights out from long range this year, connecting on 50 percent of his attempts, and because of that is averaging 14.0 ppg.

The Hoosiers have been extremely inconsistent at the offensive end of the court in the early stages of this season, as the squad is posting a mere 65.6 ppg while shooting 44.7 percent from the field. Tom Pritchard has been the top scoring option thus far for Indiana, as the big man is netting 14.4 ppg to go along with a team-high 7.6 rpg. Devan Dumes is only shooting 37.7 percent from the floor, but that has not stopped the guard from posting 12.2 ppg. Indiana exploded offensively in its recent win over Chaminade, shooting a staggering 58.8 percent from the field, and that included a 7-of-17 effort from beyond the arc. Pritchard paced the team with 19 points and nine rebounds, while Dumes added 14 points and Verdell Jones the III contributed 13. Malik Story added 12 points off the bench against the Silverswords, while Daniel Moore chipped in 10 points.

The Hoosiers have been up and down all year offensively, but the homecourt advantage is huge here and that should be enough to propel Indiana to victory.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Indiana 75, Cornell 72

Indiana Athletics Game Notes vs. Cornell

Below, the official game notes from Indiana Athletics for today's game. Get all the information you need about the Cornell' Big Red's game at the Indiana Hoosiers on November 30 at The Cornell Basketball Blog's Game Preview Center!

Nov. 29, 2008

Complete Game Notes in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

INDIANA (3-2) VS. CORNELL (4-2)
Sunday, Nov. 30, 2008, 4:00 p.m. ET
Assembly Hall (17,357)
Series Record: First Meeting

Coverage Big Ten Network-(Mark Neely, John Laskowski, Janean Ford)
IU Radio Network-(Don Fischer, Todd Leary and Joe Smith)

THE OPENING TIP

AGAINST THE IVY LEAGUE
This will be the first meeting between the Hoosiers and the Big Red, who hail from the Ivy League. All-time, IU holds an 8-3 mark against the Ivy League with three wins over Penn and two wins against Princeton. The last time IU played an Ivy League opponent was Nov. 20, 1996 when Princeton paid a visit to Bloomington. In that game, IU pulled out a 59-49 win over the Tigers.

IS PRITCHARD TOP BIG TEN ROOKIE
Freshman Tom Pritchard is the lone Big Ten freshman to be ranked in scoring (10th, 14.4), rebounds (4th, 7.6) and field goal percentage (7th, 59.6).

HOOSIER TIES FOR THE BIG RED
Cornell's Ryan Wittman is the son of former IU All-American Randy Wittman. Currently the head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Randy is IU's all-time leader in games played (133) and is 13th on the Hoosier all-time scoring list (1,549 points). Adam Gore's great uncle is legendary Hoosier Coach Branch McCracken, and Adam Wire's great grandfather played for Coach McCracken.

THE COACHES
Indiana named Tom Crean as its 28th men's basketball coach on April 2, 2008 and he is 3-2 with the Hoosiers. He came to Indiana from Marquette where he was 190-96 (66.4) in nine seasons and made five NCAA Tournament appearances, including the 2003 Final Four. And just like the Hoosiers, Crean has never coached against Cornell in his career as a head coach. Big Red head coach Steve Donahue is in his ninth year as head coach of Cornell is 100-125.

UP NEXTIndiana will take part in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Dec. 3 when the Hoosiers travel to Winston-Salem, N.C. to take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. The game will be on ESPN.

Cornell Basketball in the News: More on Cornell at Indiana

http://www.topdrawersoccer.com/images/logos/423_cornell%20logo.jpg AT. http://www.indiana.edu/~kenkel/img/Interlocking.Crimson.Black.IU.gif
Below, a pair of articles appearing in today's news on the Cornell at Indiana game, set to tip-off at 4 p.m. Get all the information you need about the Cornell' Big Red's game at the Indiana Hoosiers on November 30 at The Cornell Basketball Blog's Game Preview Center!

News from the Evansville Courier & Press:

Indiana happy to return to Assembly Hall

Sometimes, getting home can be the best part of a vacation. And while the Maui Invitational certainly was no day on the beach for the Indiana Hoosiers basketball team, they should be happy to be back in Bloomington today.

That's when IU (3-2) hosts Cornell (4-2) at 3 p.m. CST at Assembly Hall (Big Ten Network).

Maui was a tough trip. While the Hoosiers did get good news from the NCAA, with their self-imposed sanctions basically upheld, they also went 1-2 — blowout losses to No. 8 Notre Dame (88-50) and Saint Joseph's (80-54) and a hard-fought win over Division II host Chaminade (81-79).

Now they start another not-so-easy stretch with Cornell, followed by games with Gonzaga in Indianapolis, at Wake Forest, TCU and at Kentucky.

"I think the biggest thing is we learned how to bounce back," said freshman guard Verdell Jones. "We lost two tough games ... (but) I think that showed we can bounce back from adversity."

The young Hoosiers are hurting about where they expected: in ball-handling (91 turnovers to 68 assists) and rebounding (outboarded 37.4-33.0 on average, with opponents pulling in 73 offensive rebounds). But they also haven't shot as well as expected, hitting 44.7 percent of their field goals, 27.7 percent of 3-pointers and 63.6 percent of free throws.

"We're a pretty good shooting team. It just hasn't really come alive yet, but I think it will," coach Tom Crean said.

Freshman forward Tom Pritchard has been the most consistent Hoosier, averaging 14.4 points (on 59.6 percent shooting) and 7.6 rebounds. Junior guard Devan Dumes averages 12.2 points, Jones 9.8, and freshman guard Nick Williams 8.0.

"I think we got better every day (on the Maui trip), and that's the objective we've got to be able to measure by," Crean said. "We can't go home and dwell on the losses that we had ... we've got to learn from it.

"They're learning so many different things, so many different experiences. But the greatest thing they've learned is how to bounce back.

"Nobody's discouraged. They get disappointed, we move on. That's got to be one of our calling cards this year. We're young. There's no reason to think that we shouldn't be able to get that way. I'm proud of how they've improved, no question."

No game will be easy for the Hoosiers, including Cornell. The Big Red are the reigning Ivy League champs and preseason favorites, have wins over South Dakota, Loyola, Md., Loyola of Chicago and Eastern Michigan. The losses were at St. John's and Siena.

Cornell's top player is 6-foot-6 junior forward Ryan Wittman (19.8 points per game), the son of former IU great Randy Wittman. Also in double figures are 6-4 junior guard Geoff Reeves (15.8) and 6-foot senior center Jeff Foote (14.0, 7.5 rebounds, 4.0 blocks).

News from the Indianapolis Star:

IU needs better play around arc

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Three-point shooting continues to be an area of concern for the Indiana University basketball team . . . both when the Hoosiers have the ball and when they do not.

As IU (3-2) prepares to play today against defending Ivy League champion Cornell (4-2) at Assembly Hall, the Hoosiers need to figure out how to knock down more shots from beyond the arc, and slow the opposition.

"It's just an area where we need to do a better job,'' said IU coach Tom Crean. "It isn't that we haven't been getting good looks on offense, because we have. We just haven't been able to knock them down consistently.

"And defensively, our weak-side defense hasn't been where we want it, and teams are getting some good shots against us when they reverse the ball quickly. That's just an area where we need to improve.''

Indiana is shooting 28 percent from 3-point range and allowing opponents to make nearly 40 percent of their shots from beyond the arc. In the three-day

EA Sports Maui Invitational, which concluded Wednesday, IU was 11-of-43 shooting (25.6 percent).Opponents made 31-of-65 in the tournament against Indiana (47.7 percent).

Now comes a Cornell team that, one season after ranking fourth nationally in 3-point field goal percentage, is shooting the ball well again from 3-point range.

Through six games, the Big Red has made 40-of-104 (38.5 percent). The school has a streak of 539 consecutive games with at least one 3-pointer.

Junior Geoff Reeves has made 20-of-40 3-pointers for Cornell.

Another Cornell player who is hitting 3s and leading his team in scoring this season has a name familiar to Indiana fans. Ryan Wittman, son of former IU All-American and current Minnesota Timberwolves coach Randy Wittman, leads the Big Red with a 19.8 scoring average. The junior forward is second on the team in 3-point shooting at 33 percent.

Wittman needs 21 points today to become the 22nd player in Cornell history to eclipse 1,000 career points. His dad, Randy, still ranks as the 13th highest scorer in Indiana history with 1,549 points.

"Without question, I think this is a special game for Ryan and his family,'' Crean said. "Randy has been great to our staff, and I'm sure Ryan will have plenty of support in the stands.''



Cornell Basketball in the News: Albany Coach on Penn/Cornell


Following Penn's 73-63 loss last night to the Albany Great Danes, Albany Head Coach Will Brown had the following to say about Penn:
I think they'll run through the Ivy League, with the exception of (defending champion) Cornell, so it's a really good win for us.

HoosierReport.com Previews Cornell at Indiana

Get all the information you need about the Cornell' Big Red's game at the Indiana Hoosiers on November 30 at The Cornell Basketball Blog's Game Preview Center!

Below is the Cornell at Indiana game preview from the HoosierReport.com.


Cornell Big Red
Current record: 4-2
Current RPI: 135
Current Sagarin: 127
Current Pomeroy: 103
2007-08 record: 22-6 (lost to Stanford in first round of NCAA Tournament)
2007-08 RPI: 67
2007-08 Sagarin: 113
2007-08 Pomeroy: 135
Series: first meeting
Pomeroy gameplan
TV: 4 pm, BTN

IU returns to the mainland with what could be a really tough game against the Cornell, the defending Ivy League champion. Last season, Cornell went 21-5 and lost to Stanford in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Big Red were one of the most efficient offensive teams in the country last year. They were #37 in the nation in offensive efficiency, averaging over 1.1 points per possession, and shot 40.2 from three point range (#7 in the nation) and 52.6 percent from two point rsange (#32 nationally). They shot 76 percent from the line, #10 nationally.

The Cornell Basketball blog has an impressive amount of coverage of this one. The Athlon preview noted in this post shows that the Big Red return three all-Ivy selections from last season, including Ryan Wittman, a first team all-conference player who is the son of former IU great Randy Wittman. Witman is about 10 percent off his 43 percent career three point average, but certainly he will be looking forward to playing on his dad's old homecourt.

So far, Cornell has lost to St. John's and Siena and has wins over South Dakota, the Loyolas of Maryland and Chicago, and Eastern Michigan. Cornell has continued to shoot well, but isn't a great rebounding team. On paper, this looks like a challenging post-Hawaii matchup for the Hoosiers, who have been overmatched by both major opponents and competitive with some low major or worse programs.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

News and Notes: Around the Ivy League, Recruiting News, Alumni News

A whole lot to report here. A bit of news around the Ivies, some recruiting news and a bit of alumni news. Lets start with some scores around the Ivy League.

Brown pulled off a hard fought 53-51 home win over Eastern Michigan (Box Score - Recap). Of relevance to Cornell, on November 25, the Big Red easily defeated the EMU Eagles 67-54 on a neutral court and without the services of Louis Dale and Adam Gore.

Columbia caved late in a 62-60 loss to Stony Brook in New York City (Box Score - Recap).

At home, Dartmouth fell 73-60 to a much improved Lehigh squad (Box Score - Recap).

Harvard earned a 66-54 home win over Army (Box Score - Recap). The Crimson are off to a 3-1 start while Army drops to 1-5.

Outside of the Ivy League, Loyola (Md) was narrowly edged out at Vermont 64-62 (Box Score - Recap). Cornell previously beat Loyola (Md) 82-72 on November 18 in Boston during NIT action.

Loyola-Chicago picked up a 58-53 win over Holy Cross (Box Score - Recap). On November 24 in New York City, Cornell cruised past Loyola-Chicago 78-53.

Apparently the folks at Penn are a bit discouraged with outsiders referring to the University as UPenn or Pennsylvania. Looks like Penn has bigger concerns to worry about. The Quakers just fell at Albany 73-63. Hard to figure out this 1-4 Quaker club. Villanova is up next for UPenn, oops, we mean, Penn.

In recruiting news, Dartmouth received a verbal commitment this week from Matt Labove, a 6'9" center from Shrewsbury, Massachusetts and St. John's High School.

Lastly, in Cornell Basketball Alumni News, a couple of former Cornell players have seen early action with other Division I teams since transferring from Cornell.

Will Scott has played in both of Louisville's first pair of games, while former Cornell teammate, Shawn Oliverson, a 6'11" center for Louisiana Tech has made a few appearances for his new Bulldog squad. Louisiana Tech is off to a horrid 2-4 star this season, including losses to Seattle University and Division II Alaska-Anchorage.

Cornell Basketball in the News: Big Red Featured on Peegs.com

Ryan Wittman earned All-Ivy League honors his sophomore year.

IU faces Ivy League champion Cornell

Andy Romey
Peegs.com & Inside Indiana
November 29, 2008

The contingent of mid-major powerhouses have found a good Ivy League representative in Cornell.

The Big Red, which was many analysts' preseason pick to win the Ivy League, is coming off a 22-6 season, which saw them go undefeated in conference play and qualify for their first NCAA Tournament bid in 20 years. Cornell was blown out by Standford in the tourney's first round but is looking to avenge the lopsided loss with a return to the postseason this year.

And with a trio of proven veterans returning, the Big Red stands a good chance of doing so. The team is led by last season's Ivy Leage Player of the Year, junior point guard Louis Dale. Dale is joined by fellow all-conference picks Jeff Foote (center) and Ryan Wittman (forward). Wittman is the son of legendary Hoosier Randy Wittman, who is currently the head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The three players earned a considerable amount of laurels for their play last season. Dale became just the second sophomore in league history to be named player of the year, and Wittman earned a spot on the Ivy League first team after averaging 15.1 points and earning recognition as one of the top three-point shooters in the nation. Foote, who is 7-0, 245 pounds, averaged 7.3 points and 6.3 rebounds last year and was named to the conference's second team.

"Cornell is an NCAA Tournament team that has a veteran group that has grown together," head coach Tom Crean said in a statement. "They are a very efficient team who understands where each other is supposed to be."

Despite having to play without Dale, who is out with a hamstring injury, Cornell has gotten off to a 4-2 start after winning three of four games in the Preseason NIT Tournament. With the trip to Bloomington, the Big Red is kicking off a challenging five-game swing which includes stops at Syracuse, Minnesota, Lasalle and St. Joseph's.

Cornell's trip to Bloomington is a homecoming of sorts because of the ties a couple of players have to IU and state of Indiana. Wittman's father, Randy, played for Bob Knight, won a national championship with the Hoosiers in 1981 and earned Big Ten Player of the Year honors in 1983. The younger Wittman was quoted as saying that he has returned to Assembly Hall since attending a Bob Knight basketball camp as a youth.

"Without question, I think it is a special game for Ryan and his family," Crean said. "Randy has been great to our staff and I am sure Ryan will have plenty of support in the stands."

Injured guard Adam Gore also has some connection to the IU progam. He is a native of Monrovia, Ind., and his great-uncle is former Hoosier coach Branch McCracken. Gore, however, won't get to play on the floor that dons the name of his legendary great-uncle. He will have to watch from the sidelines, as he is currently out with a torn ACL.

The loss of Gore, a two-time all-conference selection, initially appeared problematic for Cornell. But guard Geoff Reeves (15.8 ppg.) has really stepped up to pick up the scoring slack. Freshman point guard Chris Wroblewski has done an adequate job filling in for Dale as well. Dale is questionable for Sunday's game, but he did participate in his first full practice Friday.

Reeves is currently second on the team in scoring to Wittman. Wittman is averaging 19.8 points and has scored in double figures in each game this year. Foote is logging 14 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.

"I'm sure Cornell is going to come in here like every other team has and believes they want to come in here and come away with a win," Crean said. "We have to be at our best, both physically and mentally, to prevent that."

Visit the Game Preview Center


Get all the information you need about the Cornell' Big Red's game at the Indiana Hoosiers on November 30 at The Cornell Basketball Blog's Game Preview Center!

The Ithaca Journal is reporting that 2008 Ivy League Player of the Year and All-American Louis Dale could potentially be returning to the Cornell line-up.

They Said It! Quote to Remember.











Penn's Jack Eggleston and Cornell's Louis Dale take part in the Ivy League's most meaningful rivalry.

Here is a quote in the Albany Times Union from Will Brown, the Head Coach of the Albany Great Danes as his squad prepares for a home game against Penn tonight:

I think it’s a coin flip for Penn or Cornell to win the Ivy League this year. Penn’s that good and I think Cornell’s good as well, and they’re by far the two best teams in their league this year.

Cornell Basketball in the News

Some references to Cornell Basketball in the news media today...

Alex Tyler (pictured above) gets some mention in a local hometown newspaper, the Public Opinion. The article notes:
Alex Tyler (Clear Spring, MD/Mercersburg Academy) is averaging 7.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per game for Cornell University. On Tuesday, the junior starting forward/center recorded 10 points and 5 rebounds in a win over Eastern Michigan that improved Cornell to 4-2.
Also, here is an announcement in today's Ithaca Journal:
CU basketball teams to hold youth clinic

The Cornell men's basketball team will be running a free clinic for elementary-aged children from 10-11 a.m. on Dec. 13 at Newman Arena. Members of the team will work with the children on several different fundamentals.

Following the clinic, members of both the men's and women's teams will have a free throw shooting competition for charity. Each participant will shot 100 free throws and whoever makes the most wins. People can sponsor any of the players and all money raised goes to the United Way.

Cornell Basketball in the News: Ithaca Journal Previews Cornell at Indiana

Cornell forward Ryan Wittman, left, chases down the ball during the Big Red's 82-72 win over Loyola on Tuesday. Wittman is one of a few Cornell players with connections to Indiana, which is where the Big Red will take on the Hoosiers on Sunday afternoon.

All eyes on Big Red's Wittman in return to Indiana

By Brian Delaney
The Ithaca Journal
lNovember 29, 2008

ITHACA — Ryan Wittman knows this won't be easy.

The sweet-shooting junior has done nothing but play through unique situations in his two-plus years at Cornell, but this one is different. This one is special.

Around 4 p.m. Sunday, the name Wittman, after a 25-year absence, will be included in the starting lineup announcements over the loudspeakers of Assembly Hall at Indiana University. He will be dressed, fittingly, in red and white. The crowd is expected to do what it has always done for that name, in that building — cheer.

Wittman's father, Randy, donned Indiana red for Hall of Fame coach Bob Knight in the early 1980s, winning an NCAA championship in 1981 and earning Big 10 Player of the Year honors in 1983.

“I would imagine they'll know (Ryan) and give him a good round of applause,” Cornell coach Steve Donahue said. “Just because I think they respect Randy and what he's done for the University.”

Although plans weren't finalized Friday night, Ryan said he was hopeful his dad — now the head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves — would be able to make the game. Cornell is aiming to become the first Ivy League team to ever win at Assembly Hall.

Ryan said he hasn't been in that revered gymnasium since attending a Bob Knight basketball camp as a youth.

“Obviously you're a little more excited because growing up I was a fan of Indiana, watching their games and stuff,” Wittman said. “I want to say it'll be just like another game, try to stay calm and see what happens.

“It probably won't be, but you try and prepare for it like it is.”

Still, the trip is a bittersweet one for the Big Red. Scheduled initially as a homecoming game for senior guard Adam Gore, who hails from Monrovia, Ind., and whose great-uncle is IU Hall of Famer Branch McCracken, Cornell will take the floor with Gore watching from the sidelines. The two-time all-Ivy League selection is out 4-6 months after suffering a left ACL tear in mid-September.

For Cornell (4-2), there's no better time to have Indiana on the schedule. The Hoosiers were rocked a year ago by recruiting violations committed by coach Kelvin Sampson, leading to a mass exodus of players and coaches from the program. Tom Crean left his head coaching job at Marquette to take over, and is currently overseeing one of the most drastic rebuilding jobs in recent NCAA major conference history.

The Hoosiers, who return only two letter winners from last year's team, took their lumps at the Maui Invitational this week, losing by 38 and 26 points to Notre Dame and St. Joseph's, respectively. They rebounded for a 81-79 win over Division II Chaminade to improve to 3-2.

“They're going through a lot of changes, but I think you can tell they're getting more and more confident each game,” Wittman said. “They're playing a lot of guys and I think they're starting to find out what their roles are on the team. It should be a tough challenge for us.”

The matchup starts a challenging five-game swing for the Big Red, which visits Syracuse on Wednesday, Minnesota on Dec. 6 and then plays a pair of Atlantic 10 teams in LaSalle (Dec. 20 in Ithaca) and St. Joseph's (Dec. 22 in Philadelphia).

Despite the absence of Gore and point guard Louis Dale (hamstring), Cornell is 4-2 after wrapping up the NIT Season Tip-Off Tournament with three wins in four games, including Tuesday's 67-54 victory over Eastern Michigan at Carnesecca Arena in New York. Through six games, Wittman (19.8 ppg), Geoff Reeves (15.8 ppg) and Jeff Foote (14.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg) have picked up the scoring slack. Freshman guard Chris Wroblewski has been a pleasant surprise in Dale's absence.

All eyes in Assembly Hall will be on Wittman, who must immediately push aside the emotional distractions when the game begins.

“I'm kind of unsure what it's going to be like,” Wittman said. “They're obviously going to have a lot of fans there. It's a great basketball school with great basketball tradition.”

Notes: Dale, who sat out the first six games with a hamstring injury, participated in his first full practice Friday. “We'll know better tomorrow how he felt after today,” Donahue said. ...The game, originally scheduled for 7 p.m., was changed to 4 p.m. to accommodate the Big 10 Network. The Big 10 Network can't be viewed through Time Warner Cable, but is available on most DirecTV packages. Online, a subscription video feed can be found at www.IUHoosiers.com.

Cornell's Hoosier Connections

* Ryan Wittman. Father, Randy, won a national championship at Indiana in 1981 under Bob Knight, and was the 1983 Big 10 Men's Basketball Player of the Year.

* Adam Gore. Hails from Monrovia, Ind. Great-uncle Branch McCracken coached Indiana to national championships in 1940 and 1953. The court at Assembly Hall is named after McCracken.

* Adam Wire. Spent early part of childhood in Indiana. Great-grandfather played for McCracken.

SCOUTING INDIANA

Indiana's last outing: The Hoosiers finished 1-2 at the Maui Invitational this week, beating host Chaminade, a Division II team, 81-79, on Wednesday.

Indiana this season: The Hoosiers, picked to finish last in the Big 10, showed glimpses why during a pair of blowout losses this week at the Maui Invitational. No. 8 Notre Dame beat them, 88-50, before unranked St. Joe's delivered an 80-54 knockout punch. The team's other two wins have come against Northwestern State and IUPUI. Said first-year coach Tom Crean after the 60-57 win over IUPUI, “Any win is just a monstrous achievement for us right now.”

Probable starters: A little less certain than most, as Crean has eight different players with at least one start so far. Against Chaminade, the Hoosiers opened with four freshmen and a junior — all of whom are first-year players at Indiana — Tom Pritchard (6-9, 242, Fr., F), junior college transfer Devan Dumes (6-2, 188, Jr., G), Nick Williams (6-4, 211, Fr., G), Daniel Moore (5-11, 167, Fr., G) and Verdell Jones III (6-5, 176, Fr., G).

Outlook: The unceremonious departure of Kelvin Sampson last season for recruiting violations has turned the Hoosiers program on its head, and Crean — who came from Marquette — has been tabbed to pick up the pieces.

Indiana's penalty — three years probation — was handed down this week by the NCAA. Crean has already inked a top five class for next season, but that doesn't help much now. And for the first time in recent memory, maybe ever, Indiana is ripe for the picking by an Ivy League champion like Cornell.

The Hoosiers return just 30 total points from a year ago, and carry five walk-ons, five scholarship freshmen and two junior college transfers. Pritchard is the leading scorer through five games at 14.4 points and 7.6 rebounds, with Dumes averaging 12.2 ppg. Indiana shoots just .277 from beyond the arc and .636 from the free-throw line.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Game Preview Center (Cornell at Indiana 11.30.08)

Get all the information you need about the Cornell' Big Red's game at the Indiana Hoosiers on November 30, right here, at The Cornell Basketball Blog's Game Preview Center. As the game approaches, we will be adding relevant links to this space. Let us know your thoughts on the upcoming game by either leaving a comment to this post, sending us an email (CornellBigRedFan@gmail.com), or posting a message on The Cornell Basketball Blog's Community Forum (click here).

The Big Red will square off against the Hoosiers on the Big 10 Network. The Big 10 Network is available on most DirecTV packages (Channel 610 in most markets). Tip off is 4 pm.

Go Big Red!

RELATED LINKS


Indiana Hoosiers Basketball Related Links

Cornell Basketball in the News

Below are links to some references to Cornell Basketball in the News...

Cornell's Adam Gore is mentioned in the Reporter Times after his cousin, Dawson Gore, a freshman at Eminence High School scored 14 points in a losing effort to Adam's alma mater, Monrovia High School in Indiana.

A writer for FanHouse.com predicts a victory for Indiana over Cornell on Sunday in Assembly Hall.

HoosiersHQ.com writes as follows:

IU released a few comments today from Tom Crean on Sunday’s 4 p.m. game against Cornell at Assembly Hall. Here’s what Crean had to say about playing Cornell, an Ivy League school that had a 22-6 record last season, including a 77-53 loss to Stanford in the first round of the NCAA Tournament:

On the fans:

“I think it is going to be critical at home that we have a loud and supportive crowd. I know the response we received in Maui helped us immensely and the enthusiasm that has been shown to us in Assembly Hall this year has been outstanding.”

On playing Cornell:

“We are in a stretch of games where we are playing six of eight away from home in a 19-day span. This schedule, with the exception of the TCU game, was something we inherited and I am sure was put together with a veteran team in mind. That being said, we will look at each challenge and try to get better for it. Cornell is an NCAA Tournament team that has a veteran group that has grown together. They are a very efficient team who understands where each other is supposed to be.”

On the tie to the Wittman family:

“Without question, I think it is a special game for Ryan and his family. Randy has been great to our staff and I am sure Ryan will have plenty of support in the stands. I’m sure Cornell is going to come in here like every other team has and believes they want to come in here and come away with a win. We have to be at our best, both physically and mentally, to prevent that.”

Will you be taking advantage of the break from school to work more with your players?

“We have to have a fresh team and the travel certainly can take its toll. We have to judge this as a time to be ready for each game. However, we do have to take into consideration the amount of time we will be on the road and schedule accordingly.”

InsideTheHall.com published a brief preview of Cornell for its loyal Indiana fans:
Indiana will return to Assembly Hall on Sunday for a matinee matchup with the Cornell Big Red (4-2).

After capturing their first league title in 20 years a season ago, Cornell was the unanimous pick to win the league again by Ivy League coaches.

It’s the first meeting between the two schools, but three Cornell players have Indiana ties.

The Big Red’s leading scorer is junior Ryan Wittman, the son of IU Hall of Famer and Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Randy Wittman. Ryan was a first team All-Ivy League selection last season and is averaging 19.8 ppg this season.

Senior Adam Gore, who will miss the entire pre-conference season with a knee injury, is from Monrovia and has a famous IU coach for a great-uncle: Branch McCracken. Sophomore Adam Wire’s great-grandfather played for McCracken.

Besides containing Wittman, the Hoosiers will have their hands full with 7-footer Jeff Foote (14.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg) and Geoff Reeves (15.8 ppg).

After a 74-56 loss to Siena in the preseason NIT, the Big Red bounced back in the consolation round of the NIT with a 78-53 win over Loyola-Chicago and a 67-54 win over Eastern Michigan.

An NCAA Tournament team a season ago, Cornell has the experience to cause plenty of problems for IU and they’re looking to become the first Ivy League school ever to win in Assembly Hall.


Cornell Basketball in the News: Blogging with Brian Delaney

From Brian Delaney's November 26 blog entry in the Ithaca Journal following Cornell's win over Eastern Michigan on November 25:

Through six games, Cornell's resilient nature continues to serve itself well. Consider that without guards Louis Dale and Adam Gore, the Big Red is 4-2 largely behind a backcourt combination of freshman Chris Wroblewski, senior Jason Battle and junior Geoff Reeves. In last night's win over Eastern Michigan, as an example Cornell turned it over only four times. Reeves has 41 points in two games.

That aside, Cornell's ability to mentally get over a loss like Saturday's 74-56 drubbing against Siena was a major positive. With that suddenly extremely difficult Dec. 3 game at Syracuse looming (the Orange just beat Florida and Kansas back to back), and just the general difficulty of this year's schedule, that's an important quality.

Another good sign - Cornell's players who aren't used to playing 30-38 minutes per game on back-to-back nights handled that situation well this week. Reeves played 36 on Monday and 37 on Tuesday, while Wroblewski went 30 and 36.

"That's a great sign," Steve Donahue said. "Geoff Reeves had a great two games. He put the ball on the floor, he made plays, had six assists and had ... great energy."

Defense was another topic that had Donahue happy. Last year at this time, defense was "an achilles heel" to use Donahue's term.

This year's much improved.

"We're way further along defensively," Donahue said. "I think we were disappointed in the first couple games, but reality in this team is this is going to be a very good team defensively. Now it's starting to show."

Judging by Indiana's recent losses - an 88-50 defeat to No. 8 Notre Dame and an 80-54 loss to St. Joe's, both in the Maui Invitational - Cornell should probably be considered a slight favorite in Sunday's game at Assembly Hall. If you're not aware, the Hoosiers were gutted by transfers and loss of scholarships last year after the Kelvin Sampson recruiting fiasco. Indiana was put on three years probation yesterday, which is a good thing for new coach Tom Crean. He's got a heckuva job in front of him, but he's a good one. Stalks the sideline and works the refs like few can, and he can recruit.

Hoosier Homecoming Highlights Matchup With Indiana

* Game notes vs. Indiana
* Listen to the game (Cornell Redcast subscription needed)
* Live stats vs. Indiana
* Purchase tickets online

GAME INFORMATION
Game #7: Cornell at Indiana
Tip off: Sunday, Nov. 30, at 4:00 p.m.
Site: Assembly Hall (17,357), Bloomington, Ind.
2008-09 Records: Indiana (3-2, 0-0 Big Ten); Cornell (4-2, 0-0 Ivy)
Series Record: First Meeting
Last Meeting: Teams have never met
Radio: 1160 ESPN Radio, WPIE (Barry Leonard)
TV: Big Ten Television Network
Live Stats: available at www.IUHoosiers.com
Live Video: available at www.IUHoosiers.com
Tickets: available by calling (607) 254-BEAR

HEAD COACH STEVE DONAHUE
Cornell head coach Steve Donahue is in his ninth season at Cornell (100-125, .444) ... Donahue became the fourth Robert E. Gallagher ‘44 Coach of Men’s Basketball at Cornell on Sept. 6, 2000.


ITHACA, N.Y. — The Cornell men’s basketball team (4-2) will play one of the storied programs in college basketball history in Indiana (3-2) on Sunday, Nov. 30 at 4:00 p.m. at Assembly Hall. The game will be broadcast nationally on the Big Ten Network. Barry Leonard will provide the call on 1160 ESPN Radio, while live audio of the game will be available on the RedCast subscription service.

The Big Red swept a pre-Thanksgiving neutral site series with Loyola-Chicago (78-53) and Eastern Michigan (67-54) in the consolation round of the NIT Preseason Tip-Off tournament. Cornell used an offensive explosion in the victory over the Ramblers, hitting on 60 percent of its field goals, while holding onto the ball (four turnovers) in knocking off the Eagles.

Junior forward Ryan Wittman (19.8 ppg.) leads three double figure scorers, with classmate Geoff Reeves (15.8 ppg.) and senior Jeff Foote (14.0 ppg., 7.5 rpg., 4.0 bpg.) also scoring at least 14 points per game. Wittman, whose father Randy was an All-American and Big Ten Player of the Year for the Hoosiers, enters the game 21 points shy of becoming the 23rd player in school history to surpass 1,000 points. Cornell’s 4-2 start is especially impressive when considering it has been without the service of one of the top mid-major backcourts in the country in reigning Ivy League Player of the Year Louis Dale and two-time All-Ivy selection Adam Gore due to injuries.

The Indiana game starts a brutal three-game road stretch for Cornell before finals that continues with games at Syracuse on Dec. 3 and Minnesota on Dec. 6, two teams that have combined to go 10-0 through Nov. 27.

ABOUT INDIANA: The storied history of college basketball has a whole chapter just on Indiana, and first-year head coach Tom Crean is attempting to rebuild the program to that level. His Hoosiers, with just one returning letter winner from last year’s Big Ten champion, is off to a 3-2 start, including a 1-2 record at last week’s Maui Invitational. After suffering losses to Notre Dame (88-50) and Saint Joseph’s (80-54), the Hoosiers squeaked by host school Chaminade 81-79. Tom Pritchard (14.4 ppg., 7.6 rpg.) and Devan Dumes (12.2 ppg.) lead the squad in scoring. Indiana has shot just 28 percent from 3-point range and has allowed 40 percent shooting from beyond the arc in the team’s first five games. It will be the first-ever meeting between Cornell and Indiana, with the Big Red attempting to become the first-ever Ivy League opponent to capture a win in Assembly Hall. IU is 445-69 (.877) all-time in the building’s 38-yer history.

CORNELL VS. THE BIG TEN: The Big Red holds a 12-29 all-time record against current members of the Big Ten Conference, but will be meeting Indiana for the first time. The Big Red has also faced Illinois (1-3), Iowa (0-3), Michigan (0-3), Michigan State (1-5), Minnesota (1-3), Northwestern (1-2), Ohio State (3-5), Penn State (5-4) and Purdue (0-1), while never meeting Wisconsin. Cornell snapped a 39-year stretch without a Big Ten victory when it defeated Northwestern 64-61 on Nov. 10, 2006.

A WIN OVER INDIANA WOULD ...
• improve Cornell’s record to 5-2 and extend the team’s win streak to three games.
• make the Big Red the first-ever Ivy League team to win at Assembly Hall.
• continue its alternating streak of wins-losses to seven games.
• give the Big Red 23 wins in its last 27 games.
• be the 1,129th in school history.

HOOSIER CONNECTIONS: Three Cornell players have direct connections to the state and/or Indiana basketball program.
• Team leading scorer and 2007-08 first-team All-Ivy selection Ryan Wittman is the son of Indiana Hall of Famer Randy Wittman, the 1983 Big Ten Player of the Year. Randy, currently the head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves and a nine-year NBA veteran as a player, was a two-time Academic All-American, an All-American as a senior and ranks 13th on the school’s career scoring list (1,549 points), while holding the school record for career games played (133).
• Senior Adam Gore, the 2005-06 Ivy League Rookie of the Year and a two-time All-Ivy selection, is related to another IU all-time great, Hoosier Hall of Fame coach Branch McCracken. McCracken, who led Indiana to a pair of national titles (1940, 1953), is Gore’s great-uncle. Gore won’t be able to play on the court named after his great-uncle, as he suffered a preseason knee injury that will keep him off the floor for the non-conference season. He was a third-team all-state selection as a senior at Monrovia HS in Monrovia, Ind., scoring 1,671 career points.
• Sophomore Adam Wire’s great-grandfather played for head coach Branch McCracken at Indiana. His parents, Mike and Cheryl, were born in Indiana.

NEW LINE NOT BOTHERING CORNELL MUCH: Despite struggling from beyond the arc against Siena in a 7-of-24 night, Cornell doesn’t look to be affected much by the new 3-point line. After finishing fourth nationally in 3-point field goal percentage a season ago, Cornell proved it could bury shots behind the arc at 19-9. This year the line moved back a foot to 20-9 and the Big Red has barely noticed. Cornell hit on 8-of-18 from 3-point range for 44 percent in the season-opening win over South Dakota, including a 5-of-8 performance by junior Geoff Reeves. Through six games, head coach Steve Donahue’s team has hit 40-of-104 3-point shots, good for a .385 shooting percentage. Leading the way has been junior Geoff Reeves at 50 percent (20-of-40), while classmate Ryan Wittman has connected on 14-of-42 (37 percent). That effort comes despite missing the second and third-leading 3-point shooters by percentage in Cornell history on Louis Dale and Adam Gore (both tied for second behind Wittman at .420). The duo has missed the first six games due to injury.

TREY BIEN: The Big Red has hit at least one 3-pointer in 539 straight games entering the Indiana 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 590 of 594 games, connecting on 3,419 treys, an average of 5.76 per game. The Big Red has hit a 3-pointer in all 225 games coached by Steve Donahue.

NIT SUCCESS: Cornell posted a 3-1 record in the NIT Preseason Tip-Off, earning consecutive victories over Loyola (MD) (82-72), Loyola-Chicago (78-53) and Eastern Michigan (67-54) after opening the tournament with a loss to St. John’s (87-75). Of the 16 teams in the tournament, Cornell joined a who’s who of college basketball programs that includes Arizona, Davidson, Georgia, Oklahoma, Purdue and St. John’s, as well as the winner of Boston College and UAB, all of whom earned at least three wins in the tournament.

ANOTHER FINAL FOUR TARGET: Cornell has defeated some of the most stories and well-known programs in NCAA history. When the Big Red faces Indiana, it will be trying to knock off its 28th school that has reached a Final Four. The list includes Arkansas, California, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Dartmouth, Georgetown, Holy Cross, Illinois, Kentucky, La Salle, Loyola-Chicago, Michigan State, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Princeton, Rutgers, St. Bonaventure, Stanford, Syracuse, Villanova, Wake Forest, West Virginia and Western Kentucky.

THAT’S MORE LIKE IT: The Big Red offense has come alive in the last two victories after struggling shooting the ball in the first four games, hitting on 56 percent of its shots overall (59-of-106) and 42 percent from 3-point range (14-of-33). Cornell made 30-of-50 shots from the floor in the win over Loyola-Chicago, the first time it hit 60 percent of its shots in a game since knocking off Buffalo in the 2005-06 season opener when it also went 30-of-50. Cornell did not hit the 50 percent mark in its first four contests, but has made half of its shots in each of its last two games.

CENTURY MARKED: Head coach Steve Donahue picked up his 100th career coaching victory with a 67-54 triumph over Eastern Michigan in the final contest of the 2008 NIT Preseason Tip-Off on Nov. 25. The 2007-08 USBWA and NABC District Coach of the Year has a 100-125 overall record in nine seasons at Cornell, but is 42-20 (.677) in his last three seasons, including last year’s Ivy League title. His teams have matched or surpassed its win totals overall and in league play each of the last six seasons (only school in the country) and has finished in the top three of the Ancient Eight standings for four straight years.

WITTMAN’S SCORING GRAND: Junior forward Ryan Wittman enters the game against Indiana needing 21 points to become the 22nd player in school history to reach the 1,000-point milestone. He enters the contest with 979 points in his first 62 games (15.8 ppg.).

BIGGER, STRONGER WITTMAN: Junior Ryan Wittman has come back for his junior season with a vengeance, opening the year with three consecutive 20-point efforts and averaging a team-high 19.8 points in Cornell’s 4-2 start. In the 2008-09 season-opening win over South Dakota, Wittman poured in a career-best 25 points, the most by a Cornell in a season opener since Eric Taylor notched 30 points on 14-of-16 shooting in a 78-72 victory at Buffalo to open the 2002-03 campaign. He responded by again matching that high of 25 in the loss to St. John’s and putting up 24 more in the win over Loyola (MD). Wittman gained 10 pounds of muscle in the offseason and has shown his strength early on, scoring 64.8 percent of his points from inside the 3-point arc and from the free-throw line this season compared to 40.4 percent in his first two seasons.

LINE ‘EM UP, KNOCK ‘EM DOWN: Junior Ryan Wittman has made 21-of-22 shots from the free-throw line so far this season, good for a .955 percentage through six contests. That ups his already school-record pace to .889 (128-of-144).

MORE THAN JUST THE SCORING: While his 19.8 points per game is spectacular, so are junior Ryan Wittman’s other contributions through six games. The 6-6 forward is averaging 3.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.3 steals and has posted a 2.2:1 assist-turnover ratio while playing 36.2 minutes per game. All of those numbers are career highs except for his rebounding average, which was at 4.2 rpg. a season ago.

ADDING ANOTHER FOOTE: Senior center Jeff Foote has turned into a dominating force in the paint this season, ranking third on the team in scoring (14.0 ppg.) and pacing the squad in rebounding (7.5 rpg.) and blocked shots (4.0 bpg.) in six contests. He is also shooting 60 percent from the floor and averaging a career-high 3.0 assists per contest.

BRING IT ON, NIT: The NIT Preseason Tip-Off was the coming out party for senior center Jeff Foote, who ripped through both St. John’s and Loyola (MD). In those two games, Foote averaged 19.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 6.0 blocks and 2.0 assists while getting to the line 18 times. He set a career-high with 20 points and five blocked shots to go along with seven rebounds and three assists against the Red Storm, then answered with 19 points, eight rebounds and seven blocks against the Greyhounds. In his four games in the preseason NIT, Foote averaged 16.0 points, 7.8 rebounds, 4.5 blocked shots and 2.8 assists while shooting 61 percent from the floor in Cornell’s 3-1 tournament run.

BLOCK TO BLOCK: Senior center Jeff Foote has blocked 24 shots in just six games after posting 30 blocks a season ago in 22 contests. After just 28 varsity contests, he already ranks eighth on the career list.

AND THOUGH HE’S A SENIOR: Senior center Jeff Foote will be eligible to compete again in the 2009-10 season after sitting out a full season after transferring to Cornell from St. Bonaventure in the winter of 2006. A former walk-on for the Bonnies, he never played a varsity contest in his year-and-a-half with the program.

MOST IMPROVED?: Few players in the country have seen a bigger scoring jump that junior Geoff Reeves this season. The 6-4 guard is averaging 15.8 points in the team’s first six games a year after posting an average of 3.5 points per game. A 51 percent shooter thus far, Reeves has connected on 20-of-40 shots from beyond the arc (50 percent) and is also second on the team in assists (19) while averaging 35.0 minutes per game.

20-20: Junior Geoff Reeves has already posted a pair of 20-point games this season, including a career-best 26 points in a win over Loyola-Chicago. He made 10-of-14 shots overall, including 5-of-6 from beyond the arc in the contest. The 26 points are the most by an active Cornell player and the most since Lenny Collins netted 27 points against Long Beach State on Dec. 30, 2005. Reeves also scored 21 points on 8-of-17 shooting and 5-of-8 from beyond the 3-point arc.

SMART BOMBER: While classmate Ryan Wittman entered the season with much of the publicity of being one of the nation’s top shooters, junior Geoff Reeves is out to prove he is fully capable of joining Wittman atop that list. Reeves has made 20-of-40 3-pointers this season (3.3 per game, 50 percent) and is now hitting 47 percent from beyond the arc for his career (48-of-102).

TYLER MORE: Junior Alex Tyler has been his strong, steady self in the first six games of 2008-09, as the two-year starter at power forward is averaging 7.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.0 blocks while playing 23.3 minutes per game. Tyler has reached double figures in scoring twice and posted a season-high 10 rebounds in the season opener against South Dakota. He is coming off his best game of the season with 10 points, five rebounds, two blocks and two steals in 25 minutes vs. Eastern Michigan, hitting on 5-of-9 shots from the floor.

TYLER MAKING CAREER MOVES: Senior Alex Tyler ranks among the school’s career leaders in field goal percentage (10th, .520) and blocked shots (21st, 25). He needs one blocked shot to move into the top 20 and four to move all the way to 17th.

ROBO-POINT GUARD: When Ivy League Player of the Year Louis Dale went down with an injury in the preseason, freshman Chris Wroblewski was forced to take over running the offense from the point guard position and so far has been exceptional. His averages of 6.3 points, 3.2 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game don’t adequately reflect his poise through six games, including four starts. The freshman has posted a 1.7:1 assist-turnover ratio (19a, 11 t), averaging just 2.6 turnovers per 40 minutes. He ranks second on the team in assists this season.

BIG MINUTES FOR THE FRESHMAN: Freshman Chris Wroblewski has averaged 31.5 minutes per game in the last four contests since taking over the starting position at point guard and is averaging 6.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.0 steals per game over that span. Wroblewski had a career-high six assists and posted a career-best 13 points to go along with five rebounds and three assists in the win over Loyola-Chicago.

BATTLE, KREEFER PLAYING KEY ROLES AS CAPTAINS: Old stalwarts Jason Battle and Brian Kreefer have played outstanding basketball in the first six games of the season while providing excellent leadership. Battle has started two contests and is averaging 2.7 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 13.2 minutes per game, shooting 55 percent from the floor in the process. Battle had six points and three rebounds in a win over Loyola (MD). Kreefer has played 19.5 minutes per game off the bench and has picked up 4.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists while making 46 percent of his shots from the field. Kreefer had a career-high six assists in the win over Loyola-Chicago

COMING IN WIRED: Sophomore Adam Wire didn’t play in the team’s first two games of the year, but made quite an impact off the bench against Loyola (MD). The 6-6 forward corralled seven rebounds, including five on the offensive end, and added two points and two steals in 15 minutes of action. He entered the game midway through the first half and in his 3:05 of action he had four rebounds, including three offensive boards, and a steal. When he left, Cornell had an eight point lead that it would never surrender despite playing its second game in 19 hours. Wire has averaged 1.8 points and 3.3 rebounds while playing 10.3 minutes in four appearances. Seven of his 13 rebounds on the season have been on the offensive end.

HOME SWEET HOME: Cornell finished the 2007-08 season with a 12-1 record at home, including seven straight triumphs in front of the Newman Nation crowd. The Big Red fans came out in droves to support the team, averaging 3,992 fans for conference games and posting crowds of more than 4,000 in four of the final five home games, including sell-outs for wins over Penn (2/9) and Harvard (3/1). Cornell extended its home win streak to eight with the season-opening 79-69 win over South Dakota in front of 3,679 fans.

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 8-6. The last time the Big Red at least broke even out of league play in consecutive seasons was in the 1983-84 (7-5) and 1984-85 (6-6) campaigns.

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

DONAHUE NAMED COURT COACH FOR U-18 NATIONAL TEAM TRYOUTS: This summer, Cornell head coach Steve Donahue spent a week in July as a court coach for the U.S. Under-18 national team tryouts in Washington, D.C. The team, under the direction of Davidson’s head coach Bob McKillop, also featured VCU’s Anthony Grant and Georgetown’s John Thompson III as assistant coaches. The team won the silver medal at the 2008 FIBA U18 championship in Formosa, Argentina, falling to the host team 77-64 in the gold medal game.

WITTMAN NAMED ALL-DISTRICT BY USBWA AND NABC IN 2007-08: Sophomore Ryan Wittman was named to the USBWA All-District 2 team and to the NABC All-District 2 second-team. Wittman is the 10th player in school history to be honored by the NABC and the first since Ka’Ron Barnes was also a second-team pick in 2004.

WITTMAN NAMED ONE OF NATION’S TOP 10 SHOOTERS BY ESPN.COM: Junior Ryan Wittman was named one of the nation’s top 10 shooters in a special article about the NCAA 3-point line being moved back from 19-9 to 20-9 this coming season according to ESPN.com college basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla. Fraschilla placed Wittman No. 10 on his list that also included Davidson’s Stephen Curry, Notre Dame’s Kyle McAlarney, Miami’s Jack McClinton, Texas’ A.J. Abrams, Drake’s Josh Young, UAB’s Robert Vaden, Cal State Fullerton’s Josh Akogmon, American’s Garrison Carr and Rhode Island’s Jimmy Baron. In two seasons, Wittman has connected on 171 3-pointers at a 44 percent clip. His total of 93 as a freshman set a school record and the 6-6 sophomore has paced the Ancient Eight in 3-pointers made in each of his first two years. He already ranks fourth on the school’s career 3-point list and is first in career percentage.

DALE NAMED HONORABLE MENTION ALL-AMERICAN: Louis Dale capped off an outstanding sophomore season in 2007-08 by earning honorable mention All-America accolades by the Associated Press. Dale is the first Cornell player to earn All-America honors from the AP since Ken Bantum was also an honorable mention pick in 1985. Prior to Bantum, Cornell hadn’t had an All-American since Robert Gale was named to the second team by Helms in 1948. Dale is the Big Red’s seventh All-American, with Gil Halstead earning first team honors twice (1913 and 1914).

DONAHUE NAMED NABC, USBWA DISTRICT COACH OF THE YEAR: Cornell men’s basketball coach Steve Donahue was named the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) District II and the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) Coach of the Year in 2007-08. Donahue was chosen in a vote by his peers by the NABC and was one of 16 coaches who were finalists for the NABC National Coach of the Year. The USBWA also named him the top coach and was one of nine candidates for Coach of the Year. Additionally, Donahue was named the Ivy League Coach of the Year by CollegeInsider.com and was a finalist for the Hugh Durham Mid-Major Coach of the Year.

GETTING UP THERE: Cornell head coach Steve Donahue entered the 2008-09 campaign with the second-longest tenure at the helm of their current team in the Ivy League. Only James Jones at Yale (10th year) has been at his current school longer than Donahue has directed the Big Red (nine years).

TALL IVY: Over the last four seasons, Cornell’s 39-17 record is second-best among Ivy League teams in conference action. Penn claimed the previous three Ancient Eight titles and has posted a 43-13 mark in conference over the same span.

225 AND COUNTING: Cornell head coach Steve Donahue was on the sidelines for his 219th career game during the NCAA first round a season ago, moving him into third on the school’s all-time list. He has now coached in 225 contests. Donahue coached in his 200th career game when the Big Red defeated Stony Brook 66-50 on Dec. 29 and earned his 100th career win with a 67-54 win over Eastern Michigan on Nov. 25, 2008.

2008-09 CAPTAINS: Cornell’s four-year senior class of Jason Battle, Adam Gore, Brian Kreefer and Conor Mullen will represent the Big Red as team captains for the 2008-09 season. It will be the second year as captain for both Battle and Gore and the first for Kreefer and Mullen.

BIG RED PICKED TO REPEAT IN PRESEASON POLL: After capturing its first Ivy League title in 20 years, the Ivy League media picked the Cornell men’s basketball team to repeat as Ivy League champions by a unanimous vote in the 2008-09 preseason poll. The Big Red is the first team in the League’s storied history not named Penn or Princeton to garner a unanimous first-place selection. Cornell returns four starters and seven of its top eight scorers from last season’s 22-6 squad that ran through an undefeated league campaign (14-0) en route to its third NCAA tournament appearance in program history. Directly behind Cornell is traditional Ivy League power Penn, who received 110 votes as a near-unanimous second-place choice for the 16 voters. Each of the eight schools had two media representatives who cover Ivy League basketball eligible to vote. Yale (80 points) was picked third, followed by a resurgent Harvard squad (77 points) led by coach Tommy Amaker. Brown, last year’s runner-up, was close behind the Crimson with 75 points for fifth place. Rounding out the poll was Columbia (45), Dartmouth (33) and Princeton (28).

RED-WHITE GAME: Junior Andre Wilkins drained a 3-pointer with two seconds to play to lift the Red over the White in the annual Cornell men’s basketball Red-White game on Nov. 8 at Newman Arena. The victory gave the Red team four wins in the last five intrasquad matchups. Red was led by sophomore Max Groebe’s 21 points, including a 4-of-5 effort from beyond the arc, while Jeff Foote had 18 points and seven rebounds and Geoff Reeves chipped in with 16. Pete Reynolds had seven points and tied Foote with his team-best seven boards. Junior Ryan Wittman led the White team with 30 points and added four assists, three rebounds and three steals, while Alex Tyler (17 points, five assists) and Chris Wroblewski (12 points, 4-of-7 on 3-pointers) were also in double figures. Senior Brian Kreefer chipped in with a game-high nine rebounds and six assists, as the team’s starting frontcourt combination of Kreefer and Tyler combined for 11 assists and just one turnover.

BIG RED ON THE RADIO: For the second straight year, the Cornell University men’s basketball games will be broadcast live on WPIE-1160 AM out of Elmira, N.Y., with Barry Leonard on the call. A half-hour pregame show and postgame analysis will enable Big Red fans to follow Coach Steve Donahue’s team throughout the season.

LIVE VIDEO: The Big Red’s home contests will all be broadcast live with streaming video as part of the RedCast subscription service. Visit www.CornellBigRed.com for all the latest information on Cornell broadcasts.

LIVE STATS: Cornell will use SIDEARM Live Stats for each of the Big Red’s home games in 2008-09. Visit www.CornellBigRed.com for all of the official statistics.

NEXT UP: The Big Red will face another major conference foe on the road when it visits Syracuse on Wednesday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m. at the Carrier Dome. Cornell trails the all-time series against the Orange 84-31 and has lost 30 consecutive games to its Central New York foe. The latest matchup came last year, an 80-64 SU win behind 21 points from Jonny Flynn.