Part 1: In The Post
Part 2: On The Wing
Part 3: In The Backcourt
ITHACA, N.Y. -- Like everywhere else on the court, the frontcourt will have a brand new look in 2010-11 with the graduation loss of Jeff Foote, Jon Jaques and Alex Tyler. Foote was a two-time Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year and a go-to scoring option in the post. Jaques and Tyler each brought a different skill-set which propelled Cornell, with Jaques an outside shooter and versatile defender, while Tyler was a physical presence and outstanding post defender.
Highlighting the returners down low are seniors Mark Coury, Aaron Osgood and Adam Wire.
The only true center on the roster, Coury is looking to earn a starting spot in his final season with the Big Red. The 6-9, 230-pound transfer from Kentucky is one of the top post defenders in the Ancient Eight and was a primary factor in the offensive development of Foote. He is strong and aggressive in the post with active hands. Offensively, Coury's post game wasn't called on often a year ago, but he has a solid jump-hook and can finish around the basket. A good offensive rebounder, he finished behind only Foote on the team in field goal percentage a year ago (.529) and finished the year averaging 2.4 points and 2.4 rebounds per game. He scored eight points in a physical win at Drexel a season ago and posted seven rebounds against a talented Kansas frontline.
Osgood has been singled out my many observers as a player who could have a breakout campaign, much like Jaques did a year ago. An athletic and physically gifted player, he also ha sa soft shooting touch from 15 feet in. Osgood has gained strength and confidence during his first three years and is expected to take more of a leadership role within the dynamics of the team. In limited action in 2009-10, Osgood scored 10 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and dished three assists in just 30 minutes of action.
No player in the Ivy League may be quite as unique as Wire. Built like a tight end, Wire can effect a game without scoring a point thanks to his high rebounding rate and his high motor on defense. He has unbelievably strong and quick hands, plays the passing lanes and can defend all five positions on the floor. Despite standing just 6-5, the durable forward ranked among the team leaders in offensive rebounds (35) and steals (25) for the second straight season. Wire ripped down a career-best 13 rebounds in a win over Vermont and scored 11 points against Seton Hall. He also has the ability to play a little point-forward thanks to his ability to distribute the basketball and limit turnovers (25:9 assist:turnover ratio in 2009-10).
Sophomores Josh Figini and Eitan Chemerinski spent their freshman seasons adjusting to the speed and size of the college game and will have opportunities to show what they've learned this year. Figini is an athletic and skilled four-man who gained strength and confidence as a rookie. He had an outstanding summer and returned to campus ready to contribute. Figini is a skilled shooter with range out beyond the college arc. Chemerinski is more of a true post player. After developing physically over the last year, Chemerinski is already skilled enough to step into the lineup offensively. He has a variety of post moves and can be difficult to defend thanks to his passing. As both players learn to be more aggressive on both ends of the court, they will become key contributors.