Saturday, February 28, 2009

News and Notes for 2.28.09 (updated 1:03 pm)

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CORNELL RPI WATCH

As of February 28, 2009, Cornell's RPI (according to Rivals.com) is No. 114 out of 343 Division I teams nationwide. Cornell is also ranked No. 96 according to Ken Pomeroy's Ranking and No. 115 in Jeff Sagarin's USA Today Ranking.

As Ivy League Champions last season, Cornell finished 2007-2008 with a final RPI of No. 65 out of 341 Division I teams.

BIG RED BRACKETS

The Cornell Basketball Blog monitors the Big Red's bracket projections until the 2009 NCAA Tournament Selection Sunday. Click Big Red Brackets to view the latest projections.

SCHEDULE, RESULTS, STANDINGS

Cornell Big Red 2008-2009 Results
19-8 Record Through February 28, 2009

Date Opponent Result



Fri, Nov 14 South Dakota W 79-69



Mon, Nov 17 at St. John's L 75-86



Tue, Nov 18 at Loyola (MD) W 82-72



Sat, Nov 22 at Siena L 56-74



Mon, Nov 24 Loyola Chicago W 78-53



Tue, Nov 25 East. Michigan W 67-54



Sun, Nov 30 at Indiana L 57-72



Wed, Dec 3 at (16) Syracuse L 78-88



Sat, Dec 6 at Minnesota L 54-71



Sat, Dec 20 La Salle W 79-70



Mon, Dec 22 at St. Joseph's L 67-71



Mon, Dec 29 Boston U. W 89-59



Wed, Dec 31 Quinnipiac W 73-70



Sat, Jan 3 Ursinus W 99-45



Tue, Jan 6 Bucknell W 75-64



Mon, Jan 12 at Bryant W 69-46



Sat, Jan 17 at Columbia W 71-59



Sat, Jan 24 Columbia W 83-72



Fri, Jan 30 Brown W 90-58



Sat, Jan 31 Yale W 64-36



Fri, Feb 6 at Princeton L 41-61



Sat, Feb 7 at Pennsylvania W 88-73



Fri, Feb 13 Harvard W 96-75



Sat, Feb 14 Dartmouth W 79-76



Fri, Feb 20 at Yale L 60-72



Sat, Feb 21 at Brown W 85-45



Fri, Feb 27 at Dartmouth W 75-57



Date Opponent Time



Sat, Feb 28 at Harvard 7:00 pm



Fri, Mar 6 Pennsylvania 7:00 pm



Sat, Mar 7 Princeton 7:00 pm



IVY LEAGUE STANDINGS
Through February 28, 2009

Cornell 9-2 19-8
Yale 7-4 12-13
Princeton 6-4 11-12
Columbia 6-5 11-14
Dartmouth 6-5 8-17
Pennsylvania 4-6 8-16
Harvard 4-7 12-13
Brown 1-10 7-18

here are the recent results and upcoming games around the Ivy League...

Friday, February 27
*Brown 48 Princeton 56 (Box Score - Recap)
*Yale 87 Penn 79 (Box Score - Recap)
*Columbia 63 Harvard 72 (Box Score - Recap)
*Cornell 75 Dartmouth 57 (Box Score - Recap)

Saturday, February 28
*Yale at Princeton, 6 pm
*Brown at Penn, 7 pm
*Columbia at Dartmouth, 7 pm
*Cornell at Harvard, 7 pm

Friday, March 6
*Dartmouth at Yale, 7 pm
*Harvard at Brown, 7 pm
*Princeton at Columbia, 7 pm
*Penn at Cornell, 7 pm

Saturday, March 7
*Dartmouth at Brown, 7 pm
*Harvard at Yale, 7 pm
*Penn at Columbia, 7 pm
*Princeton at Cornell, 7 pm

Tuesday, March 10
*Princeton at Penn, 8 pm

Thursday, March 12
Ivy Playoff (if necessary)

Saturday, March 14
Ivy Playoff (if necessary)

Thursday-Friday, March 19-20
NCAA First Rounds

Cornell Athletics Game Notes for Harvard



Game notes supplement vs. Harvard

Game Information Cornell at Harvard
Tip off: Saturday, Feb. 28, at 7:00 p.m.
Site: Lavietes Pavilion (2,050), Cambridge, Mass.
2008-09 Records: Cornell (19-8, 9-2 Ivy League); Harvard (12-13, 4-7 Ivy League)
Series Record: Cornell leads 88-67
Last Meeting: Cornell won 96-75, February 13, 2009 in Ithaca, N.Y.


Head Coach Steve Donahue Cornell head coach Steve Donahue is in his ninth season at Cornell (115-131, .467) ... 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 will attempt to clinch a share of its second consecutive Ivy League title when it meets Harvard on Saturday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. at Lavietes Pavilion. The Big Red (19-8, 9-2 Ivy) face a Crimson team (12-13, 4-7) fresh off a 72-63 win over Columbia on Friday. The contest will have Barry Leonard providing the call locally on 1160 ESPN Radio as well as part of the RedCast subscription service.

The Big Red methodically took apart Dartmouth on Friday evening, capturing a 75-57 victory that eliminated the Big Green from contention. Cornell hit 50 percent of its shots, including 11-of-19 from 3-point range. Ivy League Player of the Year candidate Ryan Wittman netted 20 points and connected on 4-of-5 from beyond the arc in the victory. Louis Dale added 14 points, while both Jeff Foote and Chris Wroblewski each had 11.

WIth a victory over the Crimson on their senior day, the Big Red would guarantee itself no worse than a share of the title and would have a two game lead with two to play vs. the winner of tonight’s Yale-Princeton contest. The loser of that game will be eliminated from contention for the championship. The Big Red could then claim the outright title with either combination of a victory against either Penn on March 6 or Princeton on March 7, or a loss by the winner of tonight’s Yale-Princeton contest.

Sports Network Preview of Cornell at Harvard

DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 28th, 7:00 p.m. (et).

FACTS & STATS: Site: Lavietes Pavilion (2,195) -- Cambridge, Massachusetts. Television: None. Home Record: Cornell 11-0, Harvard 6-6. Away Record: Cornell 5-7, Harvard 6-7. Neutral Record: Cornell 3-1, Harvard 0-0. Conference Record: Cornell 9-2, Harvard 4-7. Series Record: Cornell leads, 86-67.

GAME NOTES: The Cornell Big Red try to draw closer to repeating as Ivy League champions as they stop in to face the Harvard Crimson at Lavietes Pavilion tonight. Last night Cornell paid a visit to Dartmouth and used that meeting to log a 75-57 win and move to 9-2 in league play. While a victory tonight will not assure the Big Red the outright title in the Ancient Eight, it will put them in a commanding seat when it comes to vying for a spot in postseason play. Meanwhile, Harvard picked up its second win in a row last night with a 72-63 decision over Columbia in this very building. Unfortunately for the Crimson, the team is now just 4-7 in conference and has trips to Brown and Yale waiting on the horizon next week. Cornell moved its advantage in the all- time series against the Crimson to 86-67 thanks to a 96-75 blowout in the first meeting of the season back on February 13.

Ryan Wittman scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Big Red to the 18-point win over Dartmouth at Leede Arena last night. Also scoring in double figures for the Big Red, now one win away from clinching at least a share of their second straight league title, were Louis Dale with 14 points and Jeff Foote and Chris Wroblewski with 11 apiece in the team's second straight triumph. Cornell finished the evening knocking down an impressive 11-of-19 shots out on the perimeter. Wittman, a 40.9 percent shooter behind the three-point line and an 82.2 percent marksman at the free-throw line, accounts for 18.3 ppg to pace the program this season. But more than that, Wittman is also responsible for a team-best 72 assists and is clearing just over three and a half rebounds per game as well. Dale and Foote account for 13.9 and 12.2 ppg, respectively, as well.

Jeremy Lin posted 14 points and nine rebounds to help lead the Crimson to the nine-point win over the Columbia Lions at Lavietes Pavilion just last night. Lin, who shot 6-of-10 from the field, added five assists for the Crimson as they squad won for the second straight game. Keith Wright added 14 points, six boards and four blocked shots for the home team, followed by Drew Housman and Oliver McNally with 10 points apiece. Harvard overcame 16 turnovers and just 4-of-16 shooting beyond the arc by ruling the glass, 39-27. Lin leads the team in scoring this season with his 17.9 ppg, the lone double- digit scorer on the roster through 25 games. He is shooting not only 51 percent from the floor, but also 41.9 percent behind the three-point line, all while leading the program with 5.4 rpg and 109 assists, not to mention 63 steals which tells the story of a player who puts every ounce of effort into his play at both ends of the floor.

Both of these teams has a singular star who is capable of carrying his squad into the win column. However, in the case of the Big Red there is also a strong supporting cast that is unlike anything Harvard can put on the floor so expect Cornell to inch closer to the postseason with a win.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cornell 77, Harvard 65

Cornell Basketball in the News

Cornell Basketball in the news --from the Daily Pennsylvanian:

Penn’s five remaining games still mean a lot to the program, of course. But for Ivy League basketball as a whole, what matters is sending a strong representative to the NCAA Tournament. That team’s showing in the first-round Tournament game ultimately determines its place in Ivy League lore, and a good showing — even, dare I say it, a win — would do more to raise the league’s national profile than any hypothetical conference tournament on ESPNU ever could.

In that regard, it’s best if Cornell wins the league again this year, which it is nearly a lock to do. The Big Red’s current RPI is 116, according to realtimerpi.com; the next closest Ivy is Yale, at 227, out of 343 Division I teams. So, as any Ivy League fan, I’ll be rooting for Steve Donahue’s club to win its four remaining games. Their magic number is three.

Ithaca Journal: Delaney on Playing Rotation, Recap of Cornell Victory at Dartmouth, Scouting Harvard


By Brian Delaney
March to Madness Blog
February 27, 2009

Steve Donahue is planning on dipping into his bench more this weekend, a result of that Yale loss last Friday. On Saturday, Adam Gore's minutes spiked to 15, and Jason Battle played a bigger role.

Here's what Steve had to say on the subject:

"For one, Gore’s come around a lot more; his presence is felt by our other guys and you can’t measure it. It’s there and you can feel it. And Jason Battle is playing better and maybe he’s a better matchup in the league than say Adam Wire – not that he can’t – but Battle may give you things that Adam Wire doesn’t. And they both can help you. I think it keeps us fresher this time of year; I think they’re all good players; I think that’s an advantage we have, and I think it’s foolish if we don’t (use it). I sense that the guys are fired up that more guys are playing and we’re getting more energy throughout the game.”

I asked if he felt that played a role in the Yale loss. His response:

"I felt that a little bit. I wish I went a little deeper into the bench early and gave guys breaks, because we’re up seven with 15 to go in the game and we’re just not playing with the energy that I would like. I think that may have helped, and Kreef’s another guy. Those veteran, senior guys knows what it takes in the league, and I don't want to underestimate that so they’re going into the rotation, helping guys, probably more often that we’ve had the last seven, eight games.”

Junior Jon Jaques has simulated Alex Barnett this week in practice. I'll say this about Jaques - the kid can flat out hit tough, tough shots. I saw a few shots drop Wednesday that I'm not sure Barnett can make.

Lou Dale's take on Jaques' work in practice:

"I think he’s really good because he makes hard shots and he’ll make hard shots. That’s what helps get us ready for Barnett. He might not be as athletic, but at the same time he can shoot those same shots, make hard ones and fadeaways, and it definitely helps us in practice.”


HANOVER, N.H. — After sitting out the bulk of this season rehabbing a knee injury, then playing minimal minutes since his return last month, Adam Gore can now tell himself his fingerprints are all over an important win.

In a pivotal three-play sequence early in the second half that blew open the game, the Cornell senior guard pump-faked a defender to set up a Chris Wroblewski 3-pointer, then knocked down consecutive triples to spark the Big Red to a 75-57 victory at Leede Arena.

"It felt pretty good," Gore said. "Reminiscent of some of those old days from last year and past years."

Said Cornell coach Steve Donahue: "I really can't put a word out that describes how much he means to this team. He's incredible in terms of his energy and his leadership."

Cornell moved one giant step closer to its second straight Ivy League championship. With a win tonight at Harvard (12-13, 4-7), the Big Red can clinch at least a share of the title with the opportunity to win it outright against Penn on March 6 at Newman Arena.

Because Princeton (11-12, 6-4) and Yale (12-13, 7-4) both won Friday night, and play each other tonight at Jadwin Gymnasium, Cornell (19-8, 9-2) can't lock down the league's NCAA automatic berth until next weekend at the earliest. Harvard beat Columbia (11-14, 6-5) on Friday, all but eliminating the Lions from contention.

Ryan Wittman continued his torrid shooting of late, scoring 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including 4-of-5 marksmanship from behind the arc. Louis Dale finished with 14 points, and Chris Wroblewski and Jeff Foote each added 11.

Donahue credited three of his seniors, Gore, Jason Battle and Brian Kreefer — each of whom saw extended minutes — for making important contributions.

"After that Yale (loss last weekend), I thought they were guys that needed to be out there, and they needed to be apart of finishing their careers the right way," Donahue said.

Cornell led 37-34 early in the second half when Gore set up Wroblewski's 3-pointer. On the next possession Gore drained a long trey from the right wing, forcing Dartmouth into a momentum timeout. It didn't work, because a Foote offensive rebound set up Gore again, and his aim was true.

Dartmouth clawed back to within eight, but two 3's from Wittman and another from Wroblewski broke the Big Green's spirit with just under 10 minutes to play.

On the night, Cornell shot a sizzling 57.9 percent (11 for 19) from beyond the arc. They outrebounded Dartmouth, 34-30, and defended Alex Barnett well enough that the 6-6 senior finished with 19 points, an average night by his standards.

Dartmouth was coming off a historic road sweep of Penn and Princeton, but couldn't extend its streak of wins.

"The last weekend Dartmouth played as good as anyone I've seen play at Penn and Princeton," Donahue said. "Terry Dunn has done a terrific job. ... I'm thrilled we were able to win this basketball game on their home court."

Notes: In other Ivy men's action, Princeton beat Brown, 56-48; Harvard beat Columbia, 72-63; and Penn fell to 0-5 in the league at the Palestra with an 87-79 loss to Yale.

Scouting Harvard

(not including Friday's games)

Coach: Tommy Amaker (2nd season)

Record: 11-13, 3-7 Ivy League

Last time out: Harvard won at the Palestra for the first time since 1991, getting 22 points from senior Drew Housman in a 66-60 victory on Feb. 21.

Last time vs. Cornell: Cornell set a new record for assists in a game with 31, and freshman Chris Wroblewski established career-highs of 17 points and seven assists in the Big Red's 96-75 victory on Feb. 13 in Ithaca.

Probable starters: Evan Harris (6-8, 230, Sr., F), Keith Wright (6-8, 240, Fr., F), Jeremy Lin (6-3, 200, Jr., F), Drew Housman (6-0, 185, Sr., G), Andrew Pusar (6-2, 200, Sr., G).

Statistically: Lin leads the Crimson in scoring at 18.1 points per game, and ranks 10th in rebounding (5.3), first in steals (2.6) and second in assists (4.3) in the league. ... Harvard is 0-4 in the first of back-to-back games, and 2-2 in the second of back-to-back games. ... Harvard is 1-8 when its opponent scores 70 or more points.

Outlook: The Crimson were overwhelmed by Cornell's massive height advantage two weeks ago in Ithaca, as the Big Red passed through, around and over its counterpart in a 21-point win.

Harvard's been a much better team at home, and was the team that came closest to handing Cornell an Ivy League loss last year. The Big Red needed six points in the final 30 seconds from Alex Tyler to win by a point.

That said, Harvard is hands down the league's worst defensive team, and unless Amaker's young kids catch lightning in the bottle, Cornell should be able to outscore them in a repeat of that Feb. 13 game.

With two wins this weekend, Cornell would capture at least a share of its second straight Ivy League title.

Cornell Athletics Recap of Cornell's Win at Dartmouth

Box Score

HANOVER, N.H. -- In a matchup between two of the leading contenders for Ivy League Player of the Year, Ryan Wittman's cool efficiency topped Alex Barnett's explosive play as Cornell topped Dartmouth 75-57, moving the Big Red within one win of clinching its second straight Ivy League title. Cornell improved to 19-8 (9-2 Ivy), while the Big Green fell to 8-17 (6-5 Ivy) with the loss.

Wittman scored 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range, and added six rebounds to lead four players in double figures. Louis Dale added 14 points and five rebounds, while both Jeff Foote and Chris Wroblewski chipped in with 11 points. Wroblewski added two rebounds, two assists and two steals without a turnover, while Foote grabbed six rebounds and dished off three assists. The visitors shot 50 percent from the floor and made 11-of-19 from 3-point range in the victory. The Cornell defense also limited Dartmouth to 35 percent shooting, including 5-of-19 from beyond the arc.

The Big Green got 19 points and nine rebounds from Alex Barnett, while Ronnie Dixon chipped in 12 points off the bench. Dartmouth was outrebounded 35-31 and had 19 points off Cornell's 11 turnovers. David Rufful had eight points, but was just 2-of-8 from the field.

Dartmouth jumped out to a quick 8-2 lead as Barnett scored the Big Green's first six points to force a Big Red timeout. The Big Red quickly got right back in the game with five quick points and eventually took the lead at 14-13 on a Kreefer putback of an Adam Gore miss with 10:19 left. Barnett continued his hot streak by hitting a 3-pointer on the other end, but Wittman quickly responded with a 15-footer to knot the score at 16-16.

The Big Red started to pull away thanks to its defense, limiting the Big Green to just one field goal, a desperation 3-pointer at the end of the shot clock by David Rufful, over a 6:54 span late in the first half, turning the game from a 16-14 deficit to a 27-16 advantage. The basket was the only made shot in seven first half attempts for the reigning Ivy league Rookie of the Week. Wittman had seven poitns during the run, while Foote had both of his baskets. The lead grew to 10 (33-23) before Robbie Pride's 15-footer with 32 seconds left sent the home team into the break trailing 33-25.

Cornell shot 48 percent from the floor after a slow start and turned the ball over just four times while dishing off eight assists. Dartmouth held a 19-15 advantage on the boards led by a game-high seven rebounds by Barnett, who added 11 points, two assists a blocked shot and a steal in the first 20 minutes.The Big Red defense limited Dartmouth to 35 percent shooting (10-of-29), including 3-of-13 from beyond the arc.

Dartmouth was able to close the gap to three early in the second half at 37-34 on a layup by Elgin Fitzgerald, but the Big Green's 9-4 run to open the second 20 minutes was answered by a flurry on Big Red 3-pointers. Wroblewski knocked down an open trey on a feed from Adam Gore, then Gore drained consecutive 3-pointers to push the lead to 12. Wittman then connected on treys on consecutive possessions, followed by Wroblewski nailed a triple, giving the road team six straight 3-pointers in the span of 5:10 to essentially seal the game. Gore's 3-pointers, in particular, quieted a crowd of 1,572 partisans who had all the momentum with 15 minutes left in regulation.

With both Yale and Princeton winning their Friday evening games, Cornell can't clinch the league's automatic bid on Saturday regardless of its result. A win over Harvard, a 72-63 victor over Columbia on Friday, would give the Big Red at least a share of the Ancient Eight crown.

The Big Red returns to action tomorrow [Saturday] when it faces Harvard at 7 p.m. at Lavietes Pavilion.

Dartmouth Athletics Recap of Big Red Victory in Hanover

Boxscore

HANOVER, N.H. — Dartmouth got 19 points and nine rebounds from senior star forward Alex Barnett (St. Louis, Mo.), but Cornell launched a barrage of three-pointers in the second half to pick up a 75-57 victory on the road at Leede Arena on Friday evening. Ryan Wittman had 20 points and hit 4-of-5 behind the arc to lead the Big Red (19-8, 9-2 Ivy) to help put some space between them and the rest of the Ivy League. The loss dropped Dartmouth (8-17, 6-5 Ivy) from a tie for second into a tie for fourth in the league standings. Joining Wittman in double figures were Louis Dale with 14, and Jeff Foote and Chris Wroblewski with 11 apiece. Wroblewski was about as deadly from deep as Wittman with a trio of triples in five attempts. For the fourth time this year, Barnett finished one rebound shy of a double-double. On a night when he was honored for becoming the 25th Big Green player to score 1,000 points in his career, Barnett was 7-of-15 shooting the ball while handing out four of the team’s six assists. His 19 points bring his career total to 1,321, moving him into ninth all-time on the Dartmouth scoring charts.

Sophomore Ronnie Dixon (Danville, Ill.) was the only other Dartmouth player to score in double figures with 12 points, while sophomore Clive Weeden (Stow, Mass.) snared a career-high eight rebounds on the boards. Cornell enjoyed an eight-point lead at the half, 33-25, but the Big Green cut that deficit down to three a little more than five minutes into the final period. But a Wroblewski three-pointer was followed by a two Adam Gore triples to quickly boost the advantage to 12. Free throws from Barnett and freshman David Rufful (Warwick, R.I.) got Dartmouth back within single digits, but Wittman responded with back-to-back trifectas. After Rufful shot back with his own three-pointer, Wroblewski drilled another from downtown for a 55-41 advantage. All told, Cornell drained six three-pointers for 18 points in a span of barely five minutes, and the Big Green never got closer than 12 the rest of the way. The Big Red not only shot an even 50 percent from the floor (26-of-52), but a sizzling 57.9 percent (11-of-19) from long range. Seven of those threes came in the decisive second half. Meanwhile, Dartmouth could not find its shooting touch, going just 18-of-52 (.346) overall and 5-19 (.263) behind the arc. At the free throw line, the Big Green right around their season average at 64 percent (16-of-25). Rebounding was a Big Green strength in the first half with a 19-15 edge. But Cornell hit the boards hard in the second half with 20 to Dartmouth’s 12 for an overall advantage of 35-31 on the boards. Dartmouth led early in the game, jumping out to a six-point lead at 13-7 following a three-pointer from Dixon. The Big Red scored the next seven points to take a lead, but Barnett drilled a trey for the last lead of the night for the Big Green. Runs of 9-2 and 8-0 in the opening stanza allowed Cornell to open up the eight-point lead at the half. Dartmouth will honor the 1958-59 team on the 50th anniversary of its Ivy League crown as it tries to avenge its loss at Columbia two weeks ago when the Big Green host the Lions tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. Cornell tips off tomorrow night as well at Harvard at 7 p.m.

Senior Night for the Cornell Women on Saturday


In his second season as a contributor to The Cornell Basketball Blog, "T.J." provides and update on the Cornell women's senior weekend send-off.

Senior Night for the Cornell Women on Saturday


On Saturday, February 28, at 7pm, Big Red fans in Newman Arena will say goodbye to two dedicated seniors on the Cornell Women's basketball team. Shannon Scarselletta, a 6-1 forward from Buffalo, NY, and Lacey Workman, a 5-8 guard from Indianapolis, Indiana. Both will suit up in Red for the last time at home.

Scarselletta has been a true leader of this team. The big forward plays tough in the post and is the Red's go-to option when Cornell really needs a hoop. She has a variety of post moves, can finish under the basket in traffic, and she can hit a 15-18 footer to keep the defense honest. On the defensive end she is a position-holding defender in the post and is not willing to yield her spot on the floor to any opponent. She is leading the team in scoring (11 ppg), rebounding (5.7 rpg), and blocks (with 16 so far for the season). Shannon defines tough. She is not afraid of contact and is quick to the basket, despite being the strongest player on the team.

Workman has come off the bench this year to provide that needed spark to ignite a significant number of runs for the Red. She lives up to her name on the defensive end, is an excellent rebounder, but her primary contribution has been from deep on the offensive end. She is a 3-point shooter with deadly accuracy. Some 46 of her shot attempts have been from outside the arc, as compared with only 14 from inside the arc. And she has hit for 39% from 3-point-land and 40% overall. Lacey missed a number of games this year due to injury, but she is back and looking good.

The women put themselves in a very good position to enjoy stheir enior night by taking the zero off of Dartmouth's 9-0 record on Friday night. With their overtime defeat of the first-place Big Green, Cornell showed that they are better than their 6-5 record and showed Dartmouth that they still have their number (following up on last year's win for the Ivy League Championship in the playoff game at Morningside Heights).

This year at Newman Arena the Cornell women put together an incredible defensive effort and a strategy that kept Dartmouth from getting into their rhythm. Meanwhile, the Red was lights out on the offensive end when they could get open for threes (with senior Workman plus Virginia McMunigal and Allie Fedorowicz, leading the way), Point-guard- extraordinaire Lauren Benson directed traffic and controlled the ball, and senior Shannon Scarselletta put on an offensive show on the blocks in overtime.

Come out and support the Cornell women's team on Saturday night at 7pm as they take on second place (and very tall) Harvard, and as they try to make the Crimson see Red.

Chat with Barry Leonard

The Cornell Basketball Blog had an opportunity to chat with Barry Leonard, Cornell Basketball’s play-by-play commentator on 1160 ESPN Radio, WPIE and on Redcast, Cornell’s streaming internet audio/video service. Below is an excerpt of our lengthy conversation with Barry.

(originally published 2.26.09)

Maybe you can tell us a little about how you got into the broadcasting for Cornell Basketball.

Ironically, one summer I went to a basketball camp which was run by the old New York Knicks Center Willis Reed. The director of the camp was a guy by the name of Dave Bliss and of course he is a Cornell alum. I remember at the end of the camp when we’re saying goodbye and getting our certificates, he looked at me and he said, “look, stay in basketball.” So reading between the lines, Coach Bliss back then said, you know, you have a love of the game. You may not be able to play it, but stay with the game… But in terms of how it got me to Cornell University and announcing. I went to Ithaca College, and my best friend there set me up with an internship doing Cornell basketball. Ultimately, I came back to Ithaca as a professional sports broadcaster. I’ve been doing the basketball games for 12 consecutive years now.

I guess in your time, Cornell has travelled to play nonconference games in some pretty incredible venues. Any particular road experiences that stand out for you?

Playing in the Rainbow Classsic in Hawaii… and then this year, to go to Assembly Hall in Indiana Gives you the chills. Minnesota also had one of the most amazing facilities. I also enjoyed going with Cody Toppert and that team to New Mexico and play at the Pit. Michigan State, I think that was Steve Donahue’s first year. I got to meet Tom Izzo before the game. He sat down, did like a 25 minute interview with me, a total class act. Of course, Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium last year. The fans are crazy there. I mean, it’s not much of a gym from an aesthetic standpoint but when the fans get loud, it’s a very impressive sight. Georgia Tech was great. We’ve been down there twice. Of course, Syracuse in the Carrier Dome every year. I just love the fact that Coach D. challenges this team outside of the league and he was challenging this team even before they became a title contender. We’ve gone to some nice venues over the years. and see those championship banners and to watch Ryan Wittman walk on the court where his dad was a great All American.

Did you always travel with the Cornell basketball team or at one point were you just doing home games in Ithaca?

The nice thing about working in a smaller market where you don’t have any pro influence, Cornell is pretty much it for Division 1 here and the University has always been very generous in allowing the announcers, whether it’s football, basketball, hockey or lacrosse, to travel with the teams. So, if they go by bus, I go by bus. If they fly, I fly. So, you know, it’s a nice relationship because you get a little bit more personal at this level. I eat with the guys, travel with guys, and we share all the ups and downs together you might say.

Can you tell us a bit more about the Ivy double-header travel schedule for road weekends?

I think Coach Steve Donahue treats these guys like men. He gives them a tremendous amount of flexibility and leeway and in return they show a tremendous amount of devotion to him.

Typically, for example, I’m talking to you now here on Thursday, they’re practicing until about 5:30 – 5:45 pm on the travel day. They’ll shower quick after practice, get on the bus and we’ll leave at 6:15. Now, kind of a tradition that we started, we’ll stop at this Italian Restaurant in a small little town called Whitney Point, which is about 40 minutes outside of Ithaca called Aiello’s. We’ll eat, dinner and then get right back on the bus and it’s usually anywhere from 4 to 6 hours from there to travel to our first Ivy opponent with the game the following night.

So, a typical bus ride will be a couple of DVD movies that are either picked up by the players or either approved or disapproved by the coaches. They’ll watch some DVD’s. Some of the players still study, some put their headsets on, listen to music. Some bring their own DVD players and watch what they want. It’s a pretty laid-back leisurely bus trip.

After a long trip, typically you get in on Thursday night, players get their keys and go right up to their hotel rooms. Sometimes if we get there a little bit earlier, players will go off and watch a small amount of scouting film. Maybe 5-15 minutes. So the coach gets them in that mindset of, you know, let’s take a little look at who we’re playing tomorrow.

And then the next morning usually breakfast anywhere from 9 to 10 am depending on when the shoot around is, after breakfast, they usually have ½ hr to 1 hr before we’ll go the opposing gym for you know, a shoot around and a walk through. They’ll do, you know, different shooting drills and then receive the scouting report on the opponent were the assistant coaches extensively looked at and broke down game film on the opponent and they’ll be on the court actually doing a walkthrough, you know, going through their offenses and defensive sets. And the shoot-arounds are usually about an hour, give or take.

They’ll go back to the hotel, have some down time. On that Friday night, they usually eat four hours before tip off. So for the 7 o’clock pm Friday game, they’ll eat at 3 o’clock. That’s usually pretty much set in stone.

For the most part, not the most exciting dinners. These are young athletes, so it’s a lot high carbs, chicken, pasta, vegetables. These guys don’t starve. They eat very well. For the most part, we’ll eat in the hotel, but if we’re out at a tournament a lot of times they’ll set up something at a restaurant the night before and go from there or we might get hosted by an alumni group.

After the Friday night game, we try to get out of the gym within the hour and get moving to the Saturday night destination.

So, you see that’s why this is the toughest conference in the country. I think, you know, you talk to coaches in other conferences, with the exception of their post-season tournaments; you don’t have anything like this where you have virtually a 24-hr turnaround before you play next

When you travel with the team, are you with them most of the time and how do you spend your time on the road?

Pretty much when you travel with Cornell, you know, you’re on their schedule in terms of when the players eat, when the players go to the shoot-a-rounds at the opposing teams’ gyms and I like to go to those because it kind of give you like an insiders look at specifically how they’re gonna prepare for that night’s opponent. Each coach that I work with, whether it’s football, basketball or lacrosse, has pretty much given me an open locker room policy in terms of what I see on the road, whether it’s practice, film session and the like, it’s up to my judgment how I wanna use it. I’m not gonna say I lost my objectivity, but you get close to the players and coaches. But it is sort of like when I travel with the team, I’m part of the team. And quite honestly, while a lot of people may have some down time, for the players studying or what not, I’m usually prepping. My motto is those who fail to prepare, prepare to fail. I may only use 30% of the stuff that I put down that night but my feeling is if you don’t have it, there’s gonna come a time when you wish you would have had it.

What’s your perspective on your role with the program? Do you view yourself more as an objective journalist or more of a fan who is sharing the action for those who can’t be there in person and providing them the commentary?

Absolutely, I am first and foremost an objective broadcaster. Even though I’m a subcontractor, I get paid by Cornell to announce their games first and foremost. Here your job is to objectively call the action descriptively and to best of your ability. I think for the most part, I try to do a balanced broadcast.

But I think, you know, if you listen to the broadcast, it’s a reflection of who I am, you know, I’m a type A personality. I get excited at certain times but I think over the course of the game, you know, you get a pretty balanced broadcast.

Now, being the Cornell announcer, do I at times, you know, give extra praise maybe to Cornell? Well of course you, because, you know you’re travelling with them and you’re a part of it. But I think, you know, for me, the best compliments come not just from the parents who listen around the county, but also from the opposition. For example, last year after the Columbia game at home. The Columbia sports information director Darlene came up to me and told me that Coach Joe Jones wants to see me in the locker room. And I had no idea why, because, you know, I thought I done a pretty balanced broadcast. I don’t think I had said anything, you know, excessively negative about the game. And when I went into the locker room he looked at me and he said, “I’ve been a fan of yours for a long time. I listen to the tapes that come in on the Cornell games and you do a tremendous job. You’re a credit to our League.” So, I’m the Cornell guy but at the same time I think I try to do a job of promoting the other teams around the League when we play them. These are truly unique student athletes in the Ivy League.

I think we noticed in the last year or so that you’re basically becoming more and more a “TV man” at least with respect to the post-game interviews on the Redcast video internet service. Now the cameras are right there on you as you interview the players following the game. Do you see yourself becoming more of a video personality in the years to come?

No. I don’t think so. I just think it shows the technical advances that all the Ivy Schools can do now to offer the live video, particularly on home games. No, I don’t consider myself transitioning into the video full time. To me, radio is the pure medium and that’s what I really enjoy doing.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Video of Men's Basketball Game At Dartmouth Available on RedCast


ITHACA, N.Y. -- Live video of tonight's men's basketball game at Dartmouth will be available as part of the RedCast subscription package. The game, scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight from Leede Arena, will feature audio of the Dartmouth broadcast. The Cornell radio feed, featuring Barry Leonard's call on WPIE, will also be available as part of the RedCast service. To sign up for a RedCast subscription, click here.

News and Notes for 2.27.09

WEEKEND GAME PREVIEW CENTER

Get all the information you need about Cornell's games this weekend at Dartmouth and Harvard with
The Cornell Basketball Blog's Game Preview Center. Also, come join the discussion of Cornell and Ivy League Basketball by posting a message on The Cornell Basketball Blog's Community Forum and Message Board (click here, free membership).

WATCHING THE GAMES AT DARTMOUTH/HARVARD

* Live video at Dartmouth (Dartmouth subscription required)
* Live stats at Dartmouth
* Live video at Harvard (Harvard subscription required)
* Live stats at Harvard
* Cornell Redcast Audio/Video Coverage (Redcast subscription required)


CORNELL RPI WATCH

As of February 27, 2009, Cornell's RPI (according to Rivals.com) is No. 116 out of 343 Division I teams nationwide. Cornell is also ranked No. 99 according to Ken Pomeroy's Ranking and No. 119 in Jeff Sagarin's USA Today Ranking.

As Ivy League Champions last season, Cornell finished 2007-2008 with a final RPI of No. 65 out of 341 Division I teams.

BIG RED BRACKETS

The Cornell Basketball Blog monitors the Big Red's bracket projections until the 2009 NCAA Tournament Selection Sunday. Click Big Red Brackets to view the latest projections.

SCHEDULE, RESULTS, STANDINGS

Cornell Big Red 2008-2009 Results
18-8 Record Through February 27, 2009


Fri, Nov 14 South Dakota W 79-69



Mon, Nov 17 at St. John's L 75-86



Tue, Nov 18 at Loyola (MD) W 82-72



Sat, Nov 22 at Siena L 56-74



Mon, Nov 24 Loyola Chicago W 78-53



Tue, Nov 25 East. Michigan W 67-54



Sun, Nov 30 at Indiana L 57-72



Wed, Dec 3 at (16) Syracuse L 78-88



Sat, Dec 6 at Minnesota L 54-71



Sat, Dec 20 La Salle W 79-70



Mon, Dec 22 at St. Joseph's L 67-71



Mon, Dec 29 Boston U. W 89-59



Wed, Dec 31 Quinnipiac W 73-70



Sat, Jan 3 Ursinus W 99-45



Tue, Jan 6 Bucknell W 75-64



Mon, Jan 12 at Bryant W 69-46



Sat, Jan 17 at Columbia W 71-59



Sat, Jan 24 Columbia W 83-72



Fri, Jan 30 Brown W 90-58



Sat, Jan 31 Yale W 64-36



Fri, Feb 6 at Princeton L 41-61



Sat, Feb 7 at Pennsylvania W 88-73



Fri, Feb 13 Harvard W 96-75



Sat, Feb 14 Dartmouth W 79-76



Fri, Feb 20 at Yale L 60-72



Sat, Feb 21 at Brown W 85-45



Date Opponent Time



Fri, Feb 27 at Dartmouth 7:00 pm



Sat, Feb 28 at Harvard 7:00 pm



Fri, Mar 6 Pennsylvania 7:00 pm



Sat, Mar 7 Princeton 7:00 pm


IVY LEAGUE STANDINGS
Through February 27, 2009

Cornell 8-2 18-8
Columbia 6-4 11-13
Yale 6-4 11-13
Dartmouth 6-4 8-16
Princeton 5-4 10-12
Pennsylvania 4-5 8-15
Harvard 3-7 11-13
Brown 1-9 7-17

Here are upcoming games around the Ivy League...

Friday, February 27
*Brown at Princeton, 7 pm
*Yale at Penn, 7 pm
*Columbia at Harvard, 7 pm
*Cornell at Dartmouth, 7 pm

Saturday, February 28
*Yale at Princeton, 6 pm
*Brown at Penn, 7 pm
*Columbia at Dartmouth, 7 pm
*Cornell at Harvard, 7 pm

SportsNetwork Previews Cornell at Dartmouth

The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Friday, February 27th, 7:00 p.m. (et).

FACTS & STATS: Site: Leede Arena (2,100) -- Hanover, New Hampshire. Television: None. Home Record: Cornell 11-0, Dartmouth 5-8. Away Record: Cornell 4-7, Dartmouth 3-7. Neutral Record: Cornell 3-1, Dartmouth 0-1. Conference Record: Cornell 8-2, Dartmouth 6-4. Series Record: Dartmouth leads, 101-96.

GAME NOTES: Needing at least one win this week to secure a share of the Ivy League title, the Cornell Big Red takes its first shot with a meeting against the Dartmouth Big Green tonight at Leede Arena in Hanover. Cornell enters action tonight with a two-game lead against the rest of the league and could sew up the crown if it swept meetings with both Dartmouth and Harvard and also got some help from other school along the way. Nevertheless, the Big Red was rather impressive in its most recent outing last Saturday with an 85-45 blowout of Brown on the road, the fourth win in the last five games for the program. As for Dartmouth, it is coming off a historic weekend in which it defeated both Penn and Princeton in the same weekend for the first time in half a century. Saturday's 66-63 win in Princeton's Jadwin gym was just the third in the last 41 years for the Big Green. In terms of the all-time series between these two programs, Dartmouth owns a 101-96 advantage dating back to 1900-01, but in recent years Cornell has been dominant with seven straight wins and victories in 10 of the last 11 overall, including a 79-76 double- overtime affair in the first meeting of this season.

Five players scored in double figures in Cornell's lopsided win against Brown last weekend, led by Jeff Foote and his 16 points, to go along with a team- best nine rebounds. Ryan Wittman chipped in 15 points and handed out four assists, followed by Louis Dale with 12 points as he became the 23rd player in program history to log 1,000 points for his career. Not to be forgotten were Alex Tyler and Brian Kreefer with 10 points apiece. Wittman has been putting up strong numbers all season for the Big Red, leading the way with his 18.2 ppg on 44.2 percent shooting from the field. In addition, Wittman is also the top passer for the group with his 70 assists and has knocked down 79 three- point baskets in 26 starts to place himself among the best in the league in that department. Dale (13.9 ppg) and Foote (12.2 ppg) help give the squad a scoring advantage of 9.4 ppg over the competition.

Alex Barnett was a machine at the free-throw line in the final minute of play for the Big Green as he knocked down six attempts to secure the win for the squad on the road against the Tigers in New Jersey. Barnett finished a perfect 7-of-7 at the stripe and came up with a team-best 22 points, followed by Marlon Sanders and David Rufful with 13 and 12 points, respectively, as the squad made good on all but two of 15 chances at the stripe. Barnett, the leading scorer in each of the last four games for Dartmouth, is one of the league's most productive shooters with his 19.6 ppg. Barnett has converted 42.9 percent of his three-point tries and has made nearly twice as many free throws (86-of-103) as his closest teammate even has attempts. However, his impressive 83.5 percent accuracy at the charity stripe has done little to help the squad with its mere 64.3 percent effort at the line over the course of 24 games this season.

Although the teams played a tight matchup in their most recent meeting a few weeks back, don't expect Cornell to need a couple of extra periods this time around to pick up the win.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cornell 77, Dartmouth 68

Dartmouth Athletics Game Notes for Cornell Game

Notes

History in Many Forms
• Dartmouth pulled off a couple historical accomplishments last weekend. Both Penn and Princeton succumbed to the Big Green on the same weekend for just the fourth time — and first outside of Hanover — since the current Ivy weekend format was adopted in 1957-58. And the victory over Penn completed a season sweep of the Quakers for the first time in 50 years.
• Coincidentally, Dartmouth is honoring that very 1958-59 squad that swept Penn this weekend on the 50th anniversary of the team winning the Ivy League and advancing to the NCAA Tournament.
• Once again, senior Alex Barnett scored at least 20 in both games, giving him 13 for the season and eight in 10 Ivy contests. He currently leads the league in scoring at 21.2 in conference games.
• Barnett converted 6-of-6 free throws in the final minute each of the games to secure the victories, earning Ivy Player of the Week accolades.
• Freshman David Rufful continued his emergence as another offensive weapon, reaching double figures for the fifth straight game at Princeton. He received the other Ivy weekly award as the loop’s top rookie.
• Dartmouth, two games behind Cornell in the standings, needs a win on Friday to stay in the hunt for the league crown.

Series vs. Cornell (18-8, 8-2)
• Dartmouth has played Cornell more than any other opponent with this being the 198th meeting. The Big Green hold a slim 101-96 lead overall.
• The Big Red have won the last seven games in the series, with the last Dartmouth victory coming in Leede Arena on Feb. 19, 2005, 67-54.
• Coach Terry Dunn is 1-8 all-time versus the Big Red.
• The Big Green are 13-8 versus Cornell in Leede Arena but have lost the last three.
• Dartmouth suffered a heart-breaking 79-76 double-overtime loss at Cornell on Valentine’s Day after rallying from 19 points down in the second half.

Scouting the Big Red
• Cornell has won 13 of its past 15 games, including a 40-point blowout at Brown last Saturday. Only one of its 10 Ivy contests have been decided by single digits — the double-overtime victory over the Big Green on Feb. 14.
• Despite that big margin of victory, the Big Red have been inconsistent on the road this year with a 4-7 mark and 3-2 record in the Ivy League.
• The Cornell offense is the most potent in league games at 75.7 points per game, and its scoring margin of 13 in the league tops the circuit.
• Guard Ryan Wittman is second only to Barnett in the Ivy League in scoring at 18.2 points per game, plus leads the league by far in threes made with 79.
• Also scoring in double figures are guard Louis Dale — the reigning Ivy Player of the Year who missed the first eight games this season — at 13.9 points per game and 7-0 center Jeff Foote at 12.2 ppg.
• Foote also leads the league in rebounding at 7.0 per game and blocks by a wide margin with 58.
• Dale led Cornell to the victory two weeks ago over Dartmouth with 18 points, including six free throws in the overtime periods, while Geoff Reeves had 15 points with a trio of triples. Foote led the Big Red with nine rebounds and five assists.

Big Red Brackets: Friday, Feb. 27 Edition


The Cornell Basketball Blog monitors the Big Red's bracket projections until the 2009 NCAA Tournament Selection Sunday.

Updated today, both Rivals.com and ESPN have Cornell projected as a No. 14 seed in the NCAA Tournament. ESPN projects Cornell as the top 14 seed, just outside of the 13 seed. CBS Sports also projects Cornell in the 14 seed as does Bracketography.com.

Rivals.com writes today as follows:

No. 14 seeds




53. American
54. Weber State
55. Binghamton
56. Cornell

The buzz: American and Weber State have clinched the regular-season titles in their leagues, and each will play their conference tourney games on its home court. If Binghamton wins the America East title, it would host the league tourney final if it's in the game. Cornell is in good position to win the Ivy League, the only conference without a tournament.

GAMES OF INTEREST:

Siena at Niagara, 7 p.m., ESPNU: Siena already has wrapped up the regular-season title in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, and Niagara is going to finish second in the league. But this remains an important game for Siena. Can the Saints get into the NCAA tournament as an at-large candidate should they lose in the MAAC tourney? The chances would be better in that scenario if they win this game. Siena beat the Purple Eagles by 17 points at home last month

Cornell at Dartmouth, 7 p.m.: Cornell owns a two-game lead in the Ivy League, which is the only conference without a tournament. Dartmouth is one of three teams tied for second. In a meeting two weeks ago, the Big Red (that's Cornell) beat the Big Green (that's Dartmouth) by three in double-overtime. Both of Cornell's losses in league play have come on the road, by an average of 16 points per game. A win in this one and Cornell looks as if it will be in the NCAA tournament for the second season in a row.
Below are links to updated projections of the 2009 NCAA Tournament brackets.

For The Cornell Basketball Blog's prior "Big Red Brackets" posts, click here.