"ESPN.com columnist Dana O'Neil wrote recently about the challenge facing new Cornell head coach Bill Courtney. He takes over an Ivy League team on a rare high, but he's losing most of the players who made a Sweet 16 run possible. So what's in store for the Big Red?
For one thing, there are still talented returnees on the Cornell roster. Rising junior Chris Wrobelewski poured in 12 points in Cornell's tournament victory over heavily-favored Wisconsin; he's an experienced starter and a 45 percent shooter from deep. Of course, there's no room on the perimeter if there's nobody banging inside, so the fact that 6-foot-9 returnees Aaron Osgood and Josh Figini showed nothing last year (even against Penn State-Behrend) is a major problem.
The impact of the incoming recruiting class is tough to figure. Even in the best of times, Cornell never had any buzz about prospects, and this year is no different. 6-foot-3 point guard Dominic Scelfo is the highest-rated recruit to sign with the Big Red, and he's rated No. 173 at his position. The Cornell Basketball Blog calls Canadian recruit Manny Sahota a "gem", but he's still one notch above No. 200 when compared to other small forwards of his class. That's the reality of the situation for Ivy teams, even those who ended the season ranked in the top-25: kids don't choose Cornell to play basketball; they hope to become Supreme Court justices and titans of industry despite spending valuable study time on the hardwood.
With no stars returning, and precious little practical experience alloted to even the remaining upperclassmen, Courtney's team is bound to struggle. Harvard or Penn may win the league this year, but there's no doubt Cornell has something to build on. After all, who else can show a hoops-loving future spinal surgeon a DVD of a Sweet 16 run?"
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
ESPN Rumor Central "Evaluates" Cornell for Next Season
A recent post on ESPN's Rumor Central questions Cornell's likelihood of success next season. The author is clearly not a knowledgeable journalist (or even fan) of Ivy League basketball. Not only does the article incorrectly attribute a quote to The Cornell Basketball Blog (the quote cited to us actually came from a Toronto Raptors blog), but in raising issue with Cornell's returning talent, ESPN's Rumor Central fails to mention several of Cornell's top returning players (including Errick Peck, Mark Coury, Max Groebe, Adam Wire, Anthony Gatlin, just to name a few). In low-balling Cornell, ESPN Insiders also relies exclusively on its own recruiting rankings to evaluate Cornell's incoming recruits. The full ESPN post is as follows: