- Blue Ribbon Yearbook's preview of Army begins as follows:
Zach Spiker didn't even have time to unpack before his first season as Army's head coach.
Spiker who had been an assistant to Steve Donahue at Ivy League power Cornell got the job, his first head-coaching gig, less than two weeks before the official start of practice last season, replacing Jim Crews, who was fired abruptly in late September.
Seven seniors helped smooth Spiker's landing, but a 10-4 non-conference start disintegrated into a 4-10 league mark and another Army early exit from the Patriot League Tournament.
A final 14-15 mark squandered the Black Knights chance for Army's first winning season since 1985.
"Last year was a complete roll-in," said Spiker, who inherited Crews' assistants and stuck with a lot of the system that was already in place.
"This year we are all able to be on the same page," Spiker said, after hiring his own staff in the offseason. "Everybody understands the direction our staff is heading."
- Brown released its season preview, noting, "Stephen Albrecht, a transfer from Toledo, who averaged 11.2 points per game for the Rockets and scored 20 points vs. Michigan State and Cornell... will sit out the 2010-11 season and will be eligible in 2011-2012." Albercht was originally a Cornell commitment, however, with the additions of new recruits Devin Cherry and Galal Cancer, Cornell appears to have filled his role. Further, the entire backcourt of the '10-'11 Cornell team will return for 2011-2012, including, Chris Wroblewski, Andrew Ferry, Max Groebe, Miles Asafo-Adjei, Jake Matthews, Dominick Scelfo and Jonathan Gray.
- Mike LaPlante of ESPN writes as follows on Harvard's recruiting efforts:
Princeton and Penn have dominated the court in the illustrious history of the Ivy League. Since 1960, Penn or Princeton has won or shared the conference championship 43 times in 50 years. Other teams have had their runs (Cornell the past three seasons), but no one has been able to duplicate the consistent level of talent and success of Penn or Princeton.
Harvard has been playing basketball for 110 years and in that time they have only participated in one NCAA Tournament (1946). Although it is generally considered one of the most, if not the most, prestigious learning institutions in the world that glowing fact has not translated into attracting top level basketball players to campus. Enter head coach Tommy Amaker, who, like most coaches do, said at his introductory press conference, "I'm looking forward to the challenges ahead and to creating some special moments for Harvard basketball."
It seems like he is on the verge of delivering.
Amaker has been steadfastly stockpiling talent in recruiting class after recruiting class at Harvard in unprecedented fashion and the results are beginning to show. Last season's 21-8 record was the first 20-win season in school history and future projections look even better with the talent level that Amaker & Co. have procured. The 2010 Class was considered by many to be the top incoming class in the league (which has been a rarity at Harvard) and the 2011 class is shaping up to be even better. Harvard has already received commitments from three three-star prospects (which is another rarity in the Ivy League) in Corbin Miller (Sandy, Utah/Brighton), Jonah Travis (Minneapolis, Minn./De La Salle) and Kenyatta Smith (Brea, Calif./Flintridge Prep), along with two-star Wesley Saunders (Los Angeles, Calif./Woodward).
What does all this talent guarantee for Harvard's future basketball success in the Ivy League? Absolutely nothing. They have to earn it on the court, but it should give the Crimson the ability to consistently compete in the upper echelon of the conference.
It will be interesting to watch what kind of long term affect this will have on Harvard's basketball program. One thing is for certain, Harvard has raised the bar within the conference in regards to the level of talent that the competition is going to have to attract in order to keep pace. If they don't we could very easily be seeing the beginning of the makings of a new dynasty era within the Ivy League.
- Cornell's visit to Syracuse on November 30 will be televised on the Big East Network. We previously announced that Cornell's visit to Seton Hall on November 14 will be televised on SNY while Cornell's December 4 visit to Minnesota will be televised on the Big Ten Network. Stay tuned for additional television information.