Wednesday, June 30, 2010

WVBR: 40 Minutes of Hell at Cornell?


By Jonah Hecht
WVBR, The Voice of the Big Red
June 30, 2010

Talk in the Cornell Athletics Department several weeks after Cornell hired Bill Courtney surrounded the fact that the Red's new basketball coach was considering using the full-court press next season. Some in the department, however, worried that Cornell would be too tired on Saturday nights during Ivy play, particularly on the road, to use the press effectively. In his recent interview with WVBR's Jase Bernhardt, Courtney talked about seeing if Cornell will need to change its style of play since the Red has lost so many great players. Courtney sounded as though he were considering a whole host of changes and hasn't decided on what changes, if any, he will make.

That being said, the full-court press is something worth considering, given Cornell's roster. Cornell will have 19 players on its roster this season. The Red will have a great deal of depth, but not a clear talent advantage over the rest of the league the way it did with Ryan Wittman, Jeff Foote, and Louis Dale. True, the Red have more talent returning than many realize. Errick Peck was offered a full scholarship by Butler and may be the league's most athletic player. Chris Wroblewski is proven, and former Cornell coach Steve Donahue called Max Groebe the best three-point shooter he had ever coached. Nonetheless, Harvard has a lot of young talent, Princeton returns everyone from a team that nearly beat Cornell twice last season, and Penn's Tyler Bernardini, a former Ivy League Rookie of the Year, will be back from injury this year to complement Zach Rosen.

After Wroblewski, Peck, and possibly Groebe, the Red have a lot of pretty good players, each of whom have particular strengths. Cornell's players individually are not clearly better than those on some other Ivy rosters, but they are numerous. Courtney could rotate them in and out quickly and maintain the same level of play. The press can wear down the opposition, and force some turnovers to give Cornell easy buckets and open threes, negating any advantage the opposition would have. One can wonder if players will be tired Saturday, but opponents, who would likely have a shorter rotation and be unaccustomed to facing the press, would probably be even more tired. Cornell's advantages are its selflessness, work ethic (what Courney calls Cornell's “winning culture”), and its depth. The press would take advantage of all three.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a ridiculous article. Shows how besides Barry Leonard how useless WVBR is in terms of Cornell BBall coverage.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

WVBR has both interviewed Courtney and published an article in the last week. Give WVBR credit for doing more offseason Ivy basketball coverage than any other student publication from any Ivy institution.

Glad WVBR is out there doing some work during the offseason.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:40, what about it offended you?

Anonymous said...

kinda agree that it does seem like a stupid article but appreciate the effort.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Rather than post general, vague and ambiguous complaints about WVBR's work, readers would be better off actually providing specific constructive criticism.

Without specific suggestions, media sources like WVBR, the Cornell Sun and Slope can't improve.

q'nis said...

I thought the article was fine, but it didn't really shed light on anything. The article talked about how much depth we have, but then only mentioned Groebe-Wrobo-Epeck. Name some names. The article also didn't answer the question it posed in the title? It would have helped if there was a lengthier quote from Courtney.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Just a reminder that comments will not be published if they become personal attacks. We will, however, publish constructive criticism.

Anonymous said...

wake me up when Groebe gets a handle and learns to hit a midrange jumper

Bill '05 said...

it just sucks that the comments critiquing this stuff are anonymous. if you're going to critique something, at least have the stones to sign your name or something.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Wittman and Reeves had very little "handle" as rookies and they both turned out to be pretty damn good offensive players by the time they were seniors.

Considering that Groebe has not played much, it may be worth waiting to see what he can do as a junior and senior.

From what told, the kid can be a star. He just doesn't miss. Hell, he had the highest shooting percentage on the team, a Cornell team that had the best three-point shooting accuracy in the country.

Anonymous said...

I second that I totally expect Max Groebe to be a star on the team.

His 3-pt skills are rare and the problems within the arc can be fixed. Furthermore, he also seems to exude an attitude or hard work, team spirit, and optimism; I've read great things about his work ethic, his being a good friend to his teammates, etc; and he was ever so humble and team-oriented in interviews after he was the lead scorer against Dartmouth. I really think he will emerge as someone fans grow to be care for deeply next year.