Thursday, August 26, 2010

News and Notes for Thursday

Below, some news and notes for Thursday...
  • A pair of Cornell's 2010-2011 opponents have cracked's Top 144 Teams with Bucknell (121) and Princeton (135) making the list.
WBNG: They were the best basketball team in Cornell history. And now arguably their best player has finalized his professional future. Today Ryan Wittman signed a contract with a team in Italy. He becomes the 4th member of the Big Red to sign overseas, joining Lou Dale, Jon Jaques and Jeff Foote. Wittman lead the Big Red with 17.5 points per game last season and set an Ivy record for most career 3-pointers. He then played for the Knicks and Celtics in the NBA summer league.

Cornell's Ryan Wittman reacts after hitting a3-point shot during the first half of a semifinal in the East Regional of the NCAA college basketball tournament on March 25, 2010, in Syracuse.

Cornell's Wittman gives Italian team a shot

The fourth and, unless something unforeseen occurs, final Cornell men's basketball player from the heralded class of 2010 has decided his playing career will continue in Italy.

Ryan Wittman, a 6-foot-7 small forward who departed Cornell last spring as the program's all-time leading scorer, and as the Ivy League's all-time leading three-point shooter, has signed a one-year contract with Forli in Italy's second division, Lega 2.

Wittman confirmed the move to the Cornell Sun on Wednesday, and said in a text message to The Ithaca Journal that he'll talk about his impending move Thursday. Forli's team website posted a release on the signing on Wednesday.

Wittman joins former teammates Jeff Foote and Jon Jaques (Israel), and Louis Dale (Germany), as professional basketball players. The four were starters on last season's Ivy League championship team that reached the Sweet 16 in the NCAA tournament.

A sign of the strength of Italy's second division is that a rival team, Prima Veroli, recently signed Villanova standout Scottie Reynolds. Former Penn star Ibby Jaaber will play for Milano, a team in Italy's top division, Seria A.

Forli begins its season on Oct. 3.

Wittman was the Ivy League player of the year as a senior, and finished his career with 2,028 points. He was named to's Mid-Major All-Decade Team.

He played on the New York Knicks' and Boston Celtics' NBA summer teams, but maintained throughout the process that he'd be comfortable playing in Europe.

The Italian job: Former men’s basketball star forward Ryan Wittman ’10 became the fourth member of last year’s senior class to ink a professional contract when he signed with Forli.. 2009-10 Ivy League Player of the Year (unanimous); Three-time First-team All-Ivy selection.

Ryan Wittman Signs Contract With Italy's Forli

Cornell all-time leading scorer and reigning Ivy League Player of the Year Ryan Wittman ’10 yesterday confirmed to The Sun that he has signed a contract to play for Fulgor Libertas Forli in Italy.

While Wittman admitted that he didn’t know much about the team, he did mention that “I know they’re in Italy’s second division, which is a very good league compared to other first divisions in other countries.”

He also referenced that former Villanova standout and AP First-team All-American Scottie Reynolds will be “playing for a different team in the same league” –– that being Italian club Prima Veroli.

Wittman, who has never been to Italy before, will be living about 30 minutes away from one of the country’s most notable metropolises, Bologna.

“From what I hear, [Forli] is an amazing city,” he said.

Wittman was one of the driving forces behind Cornell’s record-breaking 2009-10 season and unprecedented NCAA tournament run, and is the fourth member of the class of 2010 to sign a professional basketball contract overseas. He will be departing for Italy on Sept. 5, in time to prepare for the upcoming LegaDue championship.

Since Forli’s schedule is not finalized, Witt is uncertain if he’ll be able to make it back to Ithaca for Cornell’s home opener on Nov. 17, during which the Sweet 16 banner will be raised to the rafters.

According to the team’s press release, the difference between Wittman and the other players Forli has signed as of late: “Wittman is not a gamble; Wittman is already a wonderful reality.”


Anonymous said...

The Italian first division must be damn good if not one of those teams had a spot for Wittman.

Anonymous said...

It is very hard to believe that CHN projects Bucknell to be better than Princeton, let alone in the Top 144 this year.