Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ithaca Journal Previews Cornell at Syracuse



By Brian Delaney
Ithaca Journal
November 30, 2010

Cornell's players who've logged minutes against Syracuse in recent seasons understand the importance of keeping the Orange from stretching its sprinting legs.

"We're going to have to take care of the ball," junior guard Chris Wroblewski said. "Because any time you give them transition, it's going to mean dunk opportunities for them."

The Orange are typically lethal on the break, and Cornell coach Bill Courtney said this year's no different. Guards Scoop Jardine, Brandon Triche and Dion Waiters are the tempo-pushing catalysts. Kris Joseph and a host of other mobile wings can finish well above the rim.

In past matchups, Syracuse has turned Cornell turnovers and misses into a clinic of runouts. Limiting those will be critical for the Big Red on Tuesday night.

"Their guards are so big, their big guys are big, man they're big all around," Courtney said. "They all do so well in transition. Scoop is the catalyst. He's the head of the team and he pushes the ball. You've got to stop the ball, get back and match with wings and keep (Rick) Jackson off the glass."

Of course, that's not all. There's more.

"(Rebounding's) our toughest challenge," Courtney said. "We've got to block out; we've got to block out on every single possession. Get a body on somebody. We can't afford to make it a jumping contest."

Osgood out

Aaron Osgood suffered a knee injury during a Thanksgiving day practice. He missed Saturday's game at Boston University, and Courtney said Osgood isn't expected to return until at least after Cornell's two-week break for finals.

Osgood had an MRI on his knee Monday, but results weren't immediately known. A team spokesman said Saturday that the injury isn't considered to be serious. Osgood, a 6-9 center, started Cornell's first five games.

After Saturday's game at No. 15 Minnesota, Cornell doesn't play again until Dec. 18 at Binghamton.
Upper hand to Ivy

All that was missing was some hokey name to headline what was essentially an unofficial Ivy League/Patriot League men's basketball challenge last week.

Cornell's players who've logged minutes against Syracuse in recent seasons understand the importance of keeping the Orange from stretching its sprinting legs.

"We're going to have to take care of the ball," junior guard Chris Wroblewski said. "Because any time you give them transition, it's going to mean dunk opportunities for them."

The Orange are typically lethal on the break, and Cornell coach Bill Courtney said this year's no different. Guards Scoop Jardine, Brandon Triche and Dion Waiters are the tempo-pushing catalysts. Kris Joseph and a host of other mobile wings can finish well above the rim.

In past matchups, Syracuse has turned Cornell turnovers and misses into a clinic of runouts. Limiting those will be critical for the Big Red on Tuesday night.

"Their guards are so big, their big guys are big, man they're big all around," Courtney said. "They all do so well in transition. Scoop is the catalyst. He's the head of the team and he pushes the ball. You've got to stop the ball, get back and match with wings and keep (Rick) Jackson off the glass."

Of course, that's not all. There's more.

"(Rebounding's) our toughest challenge," Courtney said. "We've got to block out; we've got to block out on every single possession. Get a body on somebody. We can't afford to make it a jumping contest."
Osgood out

Aaron Osgood suffered a knee injury during a Thanksgiving day practice. He missed Saturday's game at Boston University, and Courtney said Osgood isn't expected to return until at least after Cornell's two-week break for finals.

Osgood had an MRI on his knee Monday, but results weren't immediately known. A team spokesman said Saturday that the injury isn't considered to be serious. Osgood, a 6-9 center, started Cornell's first five games.

After Saturday's game at No. 15 Minnesota, Cornell doesn't play again until Dec. 18 at Binghamton.

Upper hand to Ivy

All that was missing was some hokey name to headline what was essentially an unofficial Ivy League/Patriot League men's basketball challenge last week.

Teams from the two leagues played each other in seven games. Lehigh opened with a 60-57 win over Cornell on Nov. 22, but that was the PL's lone victory.

Last Tuesday, Princeton beat Bucknell (66-55), Penn beat Lafayette (74-65) and Columbia defeated Colgate (76-63). Over the weekend, Yale, Dartmouth and Columbia picked up three more wins over Army, Colgate and American, respectively.
Happy Sunday

Ivy teams picked up three quality wins Sunday.

* Harvard got 19 points, nine rebounds and six assists from player of the week Keith Wright to beat visiting Colorado, 82-66. The Buffaloes are a member of the Big 12, one of the country's power-six conferences. Harvard is now 4-1.

* Dan Mavraides forced overtime with a 3-pointer with 1 second left, and Princeton (3-3) pulled away from host Siena in the extra session for an 86-77 win. Senior Kareem Maddox had 30 points.

* Columbia rallied from a double-digit, second-half deficit to hand American (5-1) its first loss, 64-62. American played without leading scorer Vlad Moldoveanu (21.8 ppg).


By Brian Delaney
The Ithaca Journal

TV: Time Warner Ch. 11.

Radio: WVBR (93.5). Online: Follow Brian Delaney's in-game updates on twitter (@BDelaneyIJ) at www.ithacajournal.com/twitter.

Coach: Jim Boeheim (35th season).

Last time out: On Saturday in Atlantic City, Syracuse won the Legends Classic title with an 80-76 win over Georgia Tech. Rick Jackson (MVP) and Kris Joseph (19 points) were named to the all-tournament team.

Probable starters: Kris Joseph (6-7, 210, Jr., F), Scoop Jardine (6-2, 190, Jr., G), Rick Jackson (6-9, 240, Sr., F), Brandon Triche (6-4, 205, Soph., G), Fab Melo (7-0, 244, Fr., C).

Key reserves: Baye Moussa Keita (6-10, 213, Fr., C), Dion Waiters (6-4, 215, Fr., G), C.J. Fair (6-8, 203, Fr., F), James Southerland (6-8, 210, Soph., F)

Statistically: Leading scorers are Joseph (14.3 ppg), Jardine (12.8 ppg) and Jackson (12.0 ppg). Jackson averages 13.0 rebounds a game and has 13 blocks. ... SU is holding opponents to .369 field-goal shooting, and .277 three-point shooting. ... SU is shooting .325 from the three-point arc. ... As a team, SU is averaging more than six blocks per game. ... Jardine has 42 assists to just 15 turnovers.

Outlook: This series is back to being a pure mismatch on paper -- at least for now -- but Syracuse hasn't exactly been sharp despite opening with a 6-0 record. William & Mary played the Orange tough on Nov. 21, only to lose by three, and in general Boeheim has been fairly critical of his team's play.

That aside, Syracuse owns an immense size advantage over the Big Red, which has yet to outrebound any of its six opponents. The Orange is a fairly good defensive team right now, and they've exhibited composure by winning three games decided by four points or less. Cornell, meanwhile, has lost three straight by a combined 10 points.

All signs lead to a lopsided result. When Cornell fell behind big early at Seton Hall, it played like its fate had already been sealed. Coach Bill Courtney will want to see his team be more assertive and, in doing so, make Syracuse work harder for what it wants. If Cornell can do that, it'll be a good sign of progress.

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