Friday, October 1, 2010

Bill Courtney on the New Role for Wroblewski

By Brian Delaney
Ithaca Journal
October 1, 2010

Time for an October basketball post, in between football writings.

There were a number of quality reasons for Bill Courtney to pursue the Cornell job once Steve Donahue left for Boston College. One that might not have come up at the time of his hiring, but which was nonetheless important, was this: despite the program losing probably the best senior class in Cornell's history, Courtney would take over with a proven, big-time player (for the Ivy League) at the college game's most important position: point guard.

The fact that Chris Wroblewski has two years left, not one, makes it a near-perfect situation for Courtney. He has an orchestrator, a leader, a proven winner, a great shooter, and one of, if not the most, poised guards in the league to build around. Of course, Wroblewski's role will need to change considerably.

"Even the guys like Chris that played and started last year, he has a new role," Courtney said. "We're expecting Chris now to go from role player, the fourth leading scorer on the team, to the main guy or one of the main guys. We've had several conversations already; he has to be a leader for this team. Mostly because of the position he plays, but his personality lends itself to being vocal and one of the leaders on this team."

In short, Wroblewski will need to prove he can score consistently. Off the dribble. Away from the ball. He'll need to be a guy who can score in tight spots when the opponent knows Cornell wants him to score in a tight spot. (He won't be the only guy capable; but right now, it appears safe to assume that he'll be the first option.)

"He's going to have to pick it up a lot," Courtney said. "His stats are going to have to improve: scoring, assists, every area. And I think he understands that. Again, he's in a whole different role right now. He's had the progressions though. He was Ivy League rookie of the year, to starter on a Sweet 16 team, and now it's time for him to take that next step."

Courtney obviously believes Wroblewski is capable of making that jump - which, put specifically, is an MVP, first-team all-league caliber player. Even if he didn't, he wouldn't say otherwise. But the truth is, Courtney does believe it. When asked why he was confident Wroblewski could, he pointed to a few specific areas: Wroblewski's "great" decision-making, off-ball movement in scramble situations, experience against big-time guards, and the way he frees himself up off screens.

"That lends me to believe that with more opportunity, he's going to have bigger numbers," Courtney said. "Because he's a guy who's been there. He's had more experience than the other guys, he's been in the wars. It'll be easier for him to improve himself than it will be for other guys who haven't played before."


Anonymous said...

I think Ski will be able to pick up his numbers. He already was kind of a big scorer for Cornell in the first half of last season. He was 3rd highest scorer, averaging double-digits, until Lou really started to pick up his game at around Kansas. It seemed Lou and Ski were sort of sharing the same pool of points, because as Lou's went up, Ski's went down. Anyway point is he can be a big scorer.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Not a big believer that Wroblewski has to score much more.

Sure his offense must pick up, but he doesn't need to be the team's offensive focal point.

Zach Rosen was asked to take control last year for Penn because the Quakers really didn't have any shooters on the team after the injury to Bernardini.

But with Wroblewski, he has a lot of guys around him that knock down long shots--- particularly Groebe, Gatlin and Ferry.

Then you have a guy like Peck who can just get his own offense.

The major area where Cornell could struggle is in the middle.

During the last three years, Cornell could dump the ball into Foote and teams would double down and collapse on him.

Cornell doesn't have that 7'0" presence anymore.

But as 6'8" Matt Mullery and John Baumann showed the last few seasons, you don't need to be 7'1" to be a star in the Ivy.

If Osgood and/or Coury can become offensive presences, this team can be very good.

Osgood has the soft touch to be a double figure scorer and one of the surprise players in the league.

Anonymous said...

Wittman will still find a way to drop 20 a game.

Anonymous said...

I think Courtney will find that there are many more scoters on this team. Wrobo is a great distributor and shooter but don't expect him to start beating top level defenders off the dribble and slash to the hole. He is an excellent pg and will keep ilus from turning the ball over, which is more important for his role on the team.

Not At The Table Carlos said...

ski will be able to score, just didn't have to on previous teams...besides being a sniper from the outside he showed a great pull up jumper and uncanny ability to get to the hole for the deuce!