Friday, April 23, 2010

News and Notes: Friday Edition

Above, Penn's student section at the Palestra. Below, some news and notes...

  • Get ready for a major Ivy recruiting war in the mid-Atlantic region. Harvard's primary recruiting territory is the D.C./Virginia and Carolina areas, led by top assistant, Kenny Blakeney (a Maryland native). In recent recruiting classes, Harvard brought in the following players from the mid-Atlantic- Brandyn Cury (North Carolina), Christian Webster (Maryland), Dee Giger (North Carolina), Keith Wright (Virginia), Spencer DeMars (Virginia), and Max Kenyi (Maryland). Cornell's new head coaching hire, Bill Courtney is also an ace recruiter in those areas.
  • The Washington Post writes:

Virginia Tech assistant coach Bill Courtney was hired as the next coach at Cornell, becoming the second member from the Hokies' staff to leave program this offseason.

Courtney said in a text message that he would be introduced at Cornell at 3 p.m on Friday. Courtney replaces Steve Donahue, who led Cornell to the NCAA tournament's Round of 16 in March before leaving to take over at Boston College.

The move adds some instability to Virginia Tech's program and leaves it without a talented recruiter. Coach Seth Greenberg will have to replace two of his three assistant coaches. Also, Ryan Odom left in April to take an assistant coaching job at Charlotte.

Courtney, 39, has never previously been a head coach. Courtney, who interviewed at Cornell last week, has been at Virginia Tech since June 2009. He previously has been an assistant coach at Virginia and George Mason, among other stops, where he burnished a reputation as a strong recruiter.

  • Some additional quotes from Bill Courtney in the article below from the Richmond Times Dispatch:

Va. Tech aide Courtney takes Cornell job

BLACKSBURG -- Virginia Tech men's basketball assistant coach Bill Courtney yesterday accepted the head coaching job at Cornell, he said. He replaces Steve Donahue, who was hired by Boston College to replace Al Skinner, who was fired.

A press conference announcing Courtney's hiring is scheduled for 3 p.m. today.

Courtney, 39, has never been a head coach. He was at Tech for one season after working at Virginia from 2006-09. He was briefly an assistant at Virginia Commonwealth, after last season, when Virginia coach Dave Leitao resigned under pressure. But he took the job at Tech before he could coach a game at VCU.

"It's an opportunity of a lifetime," Courtney said last night.

Hokies coach Seth Greenberg must replace two assistants this summer. Ryan Odom left last week to become an assistant at Charlotte. Greenberg's third assistant, James Johnson, interviewed to be the coach at Gardner-Webb, but the school announced yesterday that Ohio assistant Chris Holtmann got the job.

Meanwhile, Courtney will take over a program coming off a landmark season. The Big Red went 29-5 and lost to Kentucky in the NCAA tournament's Sweet 16, becoming the first Ivy League team to advance that far since 1979. Cornell is 38-4 in the Ivy over the past three seasons.

Though the Big Red is losing four of its five starters and its top three scorers, Courtney hopes to build on last season's success.

"Especially recruiting, I think you've got to take advantage of it," he said. "You see Cornell University, they equate it with being a good basketball program."

Greenberg said he will meet today with athletic director Jim Weaver to discuss the two openings, among other topics. He said he was "ecstatic" for Courtney. "He's good with people," Greenberg said. "I think he's got a good way about himself."


Anonymous said...

Don't head to head recruit.

We will lose badly.

Learn the lessons of Reeves, Dale, Wittman, etc.

Kids in metro areas are seldom overlooked.

Look at what Cornell was able to recruit form the middle of the country. IMO, this is our strength. A typical mid-Atlantic recruit will not consider Ithaca. Midwesterners, in general, will.

Anonymous said...

This guy puts out a text message before the official announcement???

What is up with that?