Thursday, August 12, 2010

News and Notes: Afternoon Edition, Big Red. Big Ticket.

Below, some afternoon news and notes.
  • Details on a new book commemorating Cornell's 2009-2010 season will be posted early this evening on The Cornell Basketball Blog. We've taken a peak and it looks great.
  • Josh Figini's final Howard Pulley Summer Pro League scoring average was 15.8 points per game in six games. The 6'9" inside-outside threat could be a surprise addition to Cornell's playing rotation next season.
  • OrangeandBlueNews.com, an Illinois site previews the Illini schedule and notes, "November 23rd Yale (12-19) The Ivy Leaguers come to town to give Illinois a breather after their tough pair of games in NYC. Make no mistake, these guys are not Cornell. It should be quick and painless"
  • Cornell is a marketing big ticket and highlight game for its opponents in 2010-2011. Stony Brook announced its schedule today with its athletic department press release noting, "Road contests against Big East Conference opponents University of Connecticut and University of Notre Dame, as well as Ivy League champion and Sweet 16 participant Cornell University, highlight the 2010-11 non-conference schedule for the Stony Brook University men's basketball team as released today by head coach Steve Pikiell... The Big Red of Cornell will host the Seawolves on Jan. 8. Cornell won its third straight Ivy League title last season and then advanced to its first ever NCAA Sweet 16." See also ESPN New York's coverage noting, "The [Stony Brook] schedule is highlighted by the team's season opener, at UConn, on Friday, Nov. 12. The Seawolves will also travel to play at Notre Dame on Sunday, Dec. 19. And they'll play at defending Ivy League champ and Sweet 16 participant Cornell on Saturday, Jan. 8. Stony Brook earned its first Division I postseason berth a year ago, hosting Illinois in the first round of the NIT, falling 76-66. The program went Division I in 1999."
  • In annoucing Virginia Commonwealth's schedule, the VCU Athletics Department writes, "Wake Forest, Cornell and Richmond highlight the possible seven postseason qualifiers that the Black & Gold could face during the 2010-11 campaign. The trio combined for 75 wins last season and all made trips to the NCAA Tournament. Wofford and Winthrop also made trips to the 'Big Dance' to put a possible five tournament teams on the Rams’ slate... [VCU' will be opening up a new trend at the Verizon Wireless Arena with a Christmas tournament, which features Wofford, Cornell and New Hampshire this year. VCU will open the tournament against a very talented Wofford squad that went 26-9 last year and nearly pulled an upset of Wisconsin in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Big Red became the story of the NCAA Tournament after posting a 29-5 record and making a run to the Sweet 16 last year. New Hampshire returns its top four scorers from a year ago and will be picked among the top teams in the America East."
  • The official blog of VCU Athletics, Around the Horns, previews the VCU Tournament in December, as follows:

VCU TOURNAMENT: WOFFORD (Dec. 29, 2010 – Verizon Wireless Arena)
2009-10 Record:
26-9 (15-3 Southern Conference)
2009-10 RPI: 73
Top returnee to heckle: Noah Dahlman, Sr., F (16.6 ppg, 6.3 rpg)
Comments: Sure, this game takes place the week of Christmas against a team you pull a Houdini on this one, you might miss one of the best home games of the season. Wofford is kind of like Susan Boyle. On the outside, she looks like the bag lady outside the flea market, until she starts singing.
The Terriers captured the SoCon title last year and came within five points of upsetting Wisconsin in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Terriers also beat Georgia and South Carolina, while losing close games at Pitt and Bradley. Five of Wofford’s six top scorers return in 2010-11.
Fun with facts: Wofford, with an enrollment of about 1,500, is the second smallest Division I school in the country. My high school was bigger. I’m dead serious.

VCU TOURNAMENT (Dec. 30, 2010)
CORNELL
2009-10 Record: 29-5 (13-1 Ivy)
2009-10 RPI: 37
Top returnee to heckle: Chris Wroblewski, Jr. G (8.9 ppg, .454 3pt FG).
Comments: Cornell is coming off the best season in school history, one that included a Sweet 16 berth and a third straight Ivy League championship.
That’s nice and all, but the 2010-11 Big Red are something else entirely. Cornell lost eight lettermen, including four starters, as well as Coach Steve Donahue, who took the Boston College job. Bill Courtney, who was a VCU assistant coach for all of a month last year, and happened to be the subject of my very first Around The Horns feature, has taken over for Donahue.
Fun with facts: The character Andy Bernard from the Office, played by Ed Helms, is a Cornell graduate. So are Robert Atkins, creator of the Atkins Diet, Dick Schaap, Jimmy Smits, Bill Maher, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Christopher Reeve and a gaggle of U.S. senators and judges. Both Ann Coulter and Keith Olberman attended Cornell, although not at the same time, or the universe would have imploded.

OR

NEW HAMPSHIRE (Dec. 30, 2010 – Verizon Wireless Arena)
2009-10 Record: 13-17 (6-10 America East)
2009-10 RPI: 244
Top returnee to heckle: Alvin Abreu Sr., G (14.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg).
Comments: The Wildcats didn’t have a great 2009-10, but they do return their top four scorers, including the 1-2 backcourt punch of Alvin Abreu and Tyrone Conley. That duo combined for 26.1 points and 106 3-pointers last year. They’ll need an improvement on that offensive effort in 2010-11. New Hampshire ranked next to last in the nation in field goal percentage last year (.375).
Fun with facts: According to Wikipedia, New Hampshire offers “themed housing options for students interested in choosing a living environment that best suits their personality.” Great, which way to the happy hour, Sportscenter, Atlantic City road trip dorm?

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