Thursday, December 2, 2010

Chatting with Delaney and the Ithaca Journal

(Photo Cornell Daily Sun)
Below, the full transcript of today's open chat session with Brian Delaney of the Ithaca Journal:

College basketball chat with The IJ's Brian Delaney
Thursday December 2, 2010
11:49

Good afternoon and welcome. Brian Delaney will be along at 1 p.m. today to answer questions and chat college basketball. Begin submitting your questions now by entering them in the submission box below.
Thursday December 2, 2010 11:49
1:02

Hey everybody, thanks for joining in today. We've got more than a few questions already, so let's get going. Two weeks ago we went about 75 minutes on this thing, so stay patience with me.
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:02
1:03

[Comment From Barry L.Barry L.: ]
As a renowned Cornell basketball expert, who would make up an 8-person rotation of Big Red basketball players from the last decade or so. Doesn't need to be an all-star team. How far could that team go in the present NCAA basketball landscape?
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:03 Barry L.
1:03

Is this the real Barry Leonard?
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:03
1:03

Anyway...
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:03
1:03

My Cornell experience goes back to 2003-04 or thereabouts, so you're going to have to settle for my all-six year Cornell team.
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:03
1:04

Dale, Wroblewski, Wittman, Jaques, Foote, Gore, Reeves, Naeve and I really want to have
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:04
1:04

a ninth guy so you throw Ka'Ron Barnes in there.
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:04
1:05

Who's that leave out? Eric Taylor, Toppert, Tyler ... Some tough calls there. ... Who's the towel-waving guy at the end of the bench?
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:05
1:06

[Comment From CollinCollin: ]
Jeremy Lin is still a baller, right? We love him here in Cali ...
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:06 Collin
1:06

yes, still a baller.
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:06
1:06

[Comment From guestguest: ]
What are IC's chances at winning the E8?
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:06 guest
1:08

I would think pretty good. Conference play begins next week - IC starts with Elmira and Nazareth. The IC coaches, back in October, believed Fisher, RIT, IC would be in the mix. They liked Hartwick as a surprise team.

IC beat Cortland the other night. Phil Barera had 33 points on 16 of 18 shooting. Pretty sick option inside.
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:08
1:08

[Comment From whatwhatwhatwhat: ]
How worried should we be about Cornell right now? They're not playing too good.
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:08 whatwhat
1:13

I understand the concerns. I reserve the right to change my answer after the Binghamton through Stony Brook stretch, but as for now, I still think they'll be a very competitive Ivy League team. Rebounding is the biggest worry, and it's a team-wide concern. From Coury to Peck to Ferry/Groebe, everybody's got a piece of that. That was essentially what Coury said after the Cuse game, so they know it too.

Defensively, they're already very good despite being a little heavy-handed with fouls. Offense needs work, and that comes with more practice. They've played 7 games in like 18-19 days. That's a lot of action without enough practice time to work on their own selves.
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:13
1:14

[Comment From TJTJ: ]
Thanks for the excellent coverage of CU hoops Brian. Do you know why Gaitlin is not seeing more minutes? He seems to be doing very well on the defensive end. And his size and athleticism seem would be very useful additions.
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:14 TJ
1:20

Love the job TJ. Appreciate you following.

My understanding from the start, and this dates back to Donahue, is that he's still in the process of trying to master what coaches want him to do in both offensive and defensive sets. I've liked what I've seen out of him in these short bursts. He was particularly effective against Lehigh defensively, blocking shots and hustling. He, like everyone else, needs to rebound better on both sides of the court. I'm interested in seeing where his minutes go from here. He brings value for sure.
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:20
1:20

[Comment From CornellianCornellian: ]
Was Colorado a big deal or not? Reports, even from Fox Sports and ESPN, are mixed.
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:20 Cornellian
1:23

My belief in general is that if an Ivy League team can beat a power-six conference team in that fashion - Harvard was up 20 or so in the second half - it's a very good showing. Is Colorado good? Probably not. But beating them handily like that should garner respect. The Crimson have mine at this point.
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:23
1:24

[Comment From Snoop Bloggy BlogSnoop Bloggy Blog: ]
True or false ... St. Bonaventure, Lehigh and Boston University would all be competing near the top of the Ivy League?
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:24 Snoop Bloggy Blog
1:25

Don't know about Lehigh. I think any Ivy team can knock them off, especially if McCollum has an off-night.
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:25
1:26

[Comment From AndrewAndrew: ]
Late to the party. How do you leave Wire off that all-last-6-years CU team?
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:26 Andrew
1:26

Probably can't right? He's got to find a way on there.
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:26
1:26

[Comment From whatwhatwhatwhat: ]
how much should we be concerned about harvard?
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:26 whatwhat
1:32

Not much different from last year in a sense. They're competitive. Keith Wright's been playing at a high level, and that's really important. The book on H last year was to be very physical with them. Last year at Newman, if you recall, Cornell all but (legally) mauled the Crimson. It was like watching Penn play Cornell under Glen Miller. Anyway, Cornell and Princeton both did that and saw success. If H, with all those young guys a year older, can win a few more of those physicality battles, they'll be difficult to beat.
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:32
1:32

[Comment From AndrewAndrew: ]
CU runs the rest of the pre-Ivy table except probably loses second game in VCU tourney. Do you agree?
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:32 Andrew
1:34

After Minnesota on Saturday, I assume you mean.

But yes, I think Cornell must beat Binghamton/Bucknell/New Hampshire/Buffalo/Stony Brook to show they're ready to make a run at an Ivy title. Those are all winnable games, though I really respect what Bucknell has. Still, that game is at Newman and Cornell plays so much better there.

VCU/Wofford will be a difficult matchup for sure.
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:34
1:34

[Comment From CornellianCornellian: ]
Does that mean we should be lucky we didn't schedule Bryant?
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:34 Cornellian
1:36

Hah. No. You probably would be comfortable having Bryant on the schedule. If anything, that further goes to show how difficult it is for Ivy teams to win on the road. If I learned nothing else covering Steve Donahue for 5-6 years, it was that.
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:36
1:36

[Comment From AndrewAndrew: ]
Is Peck permanently in the starting lineup again?
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:36 Andrew
1:38

I think he has to be. He needed a game like he had Tuesday night, even though it wasn't perfect (0 rebounds). He got a lot of his stuff off flashing to the foul line, which you may see Cornell do a little more in the coming weeks. I know no one else is going to play that 2-3 matchup, but Courtney said afterward that area is probably where Peck can be most effective offensively.
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:38
1:38

[Comment From AndrewAndrew: ]
Yes, after Minny. I'm getting a little ahead of myself :)
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:38 Andrew
1:38

[Comment From AndrewAndrew: ]
If you were in Cleveland tonight, would you #laughatlebron or boo him?
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:38 Andrew
1:39

I'd boo. Hated The Decision. I have a tough time liking the NBA
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:39
1:39

[Comment From CornellianCornellian: ]
What's up with Groebe? And can Aro improve?
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:39 Cornellian
1:41

Groebe's shot at Lehigh was really off, and then it seemed to carry over and become a mental thing with BU and Syracuse. Courtney said he is seeing Groebe be effected by not hitting his first shot. Even if that's the case, Groebe has to find a way to get some scoring inside - backdoor layups, pull-ups, something.

Sure Osgood can get better. Before his injury he was really trying to focus on rebounding, and he actually boarded pretty well against Lehigh despite struggling in other areas. Cornell needs him to be productive every night.
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:41
1:42

[Comment From Holly MacHolly Mac: ]
If I could only get tickets for one game the rest of the year, what game should that be?
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:42 Holly Mac
1:42

Harvard at Cornell
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:42
1:42

[Comment From mrjamesmrjames: ]
Cornell's among the worst in the nation in 2 PT FG%, offensive rebounding and getting to the line - all things that bigs have a large impact on. How much of this issue is not having Osgood and how much of this is just not having the offensive talent up front?
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:42 mrjames
1:52
I think it's even more multi-layered than that, though both those reasons play a small part. I think the schedule hasn't been kind in that there's been minimal practice time since the season started. Within that, Wroblewski's been limited so initially you're practicing without him, and then when he comes back he's not going full bore at practice. Add on top of that, this group - in which a lot of guys are playing real minutes for the first time - is adjusting to new offensive philosophies. That matters. In moments of uncertainty, they've tended to lean too much toward their security blanket - the 3-pointer.

I also think in certain games, at least with rebounding, it's been a basic breakdown of focus/effort. I've seen too much of this: 3-pointer goes up, 3-4 guys turn (everybody but Wire) and start running back to the defensive end when the ball nears the rim. That kind of stuff is fixable. Follow-ups welcome Mr. James. It's a complex answer and one I've thought a lot about since it's probably the most glaring flaw right now.
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:52
1:52

[Comment From Andrew Andrew: ]
After 7 games, what is the most surprisingly thing about this team? You can't use Peck's spotty play as an answer.
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:52 Andrew
1:54
I think Ferry's a great addition. He was well-thought of by both the previous coaching staff and the current one, but you're just never sure until you see a transfer play. He's been very good.
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:54
1:54

[Comment From McStinky McStinky: ]
Is this a season where a team like Cornell could struggle out of conference and then play the easier conference schedle and get to 10-4 or 11-3 and win the thing?
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:54 McStinky
1:57
Cornell's out-of-conference struggles need to end on Saturday. After the Minnesota game, they need to string some wins together against beatable teams. I've said all along I think this Cornell team can go 6-1 or so at home in the league. If that's the case, you go 4-3 on the road and you're 10-4 and in the middle of it. Is that enough? Don't know. Princeton and Harvard are good enough to go 12-2 and 11-3, depending. Penn/Columbia/Yale will all have a say with those jump-up-and-bite-you style wins.
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:57
1:58

[Comment From Holly Mac Holly Mac: ]
Do you think Bill Courtney's substitution patterns allow Cornell to sustain an offensive flow?
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:58 Holly Mac
1:59
I think it's been important for him to run as many guys as he has to this point, to figure out how they play in real live games, and what each guy brings. I'd expect the second semester schedule will bring with it a tightened rotation.
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:59
1:59

[Comment From Cornell Basketball Blog Cornell Basketball Blog: ]
Brian, thoughts on Aaron Osgood so far and down the road?
Thursday December 2, 2010 1:59 Cornell Basketball Blog
2:01
He needs to be better, and he's capable of being better. His size, wisdom, experience and athleticism on a frontcourt that's fairly thin dictates he needs and should have an important role. He just can't disappear for stretches like he did against Delaware/Bona/Lehigh. Cornell needs more out of him.
Thursday December 2, 2010 2:01
2:01

[Comment From qnis qnis: ]
Because of their talent, I hink Wire and Peck need to log heavy minutes. when they play together, however, it means one has to play the three. So far, the three has been peck. I think that has not worked well. Any thoughts on how they can mesh better
Thursday December 2, 2010 2:01 qnis
2:04
Play a little more through Peck around the FT area? Again, I know it was against the 2-3, but Peck was awful good when he got the ball in that area. He goes right or left, he passes well and he can pull the trigger from there. I got the sense from Courtney that they may run some more things through him around that area. I do think they're also going to post up Peck more when not playing opponents with a steady rotation of 6-10 guys.
Thursday December 2, 2010 2:04
2:04

[Comment From Cornell Basketball Blog Cornell Basketball Blog: ]
Do you think there is still some competition for the back-up point guard?
Thursday December 2, 2010 2:04 Cornell Basketball Blog
2:06
At this point not that I can see. Miles is the only real true backup PG with Scelfo out. Matthews/Ferry/Gray are both better suited playing off the ball. With Miles defending the way he does, he's still the guy. His minutes have dipped though, and will probably even out in that 10-12 area. Just a guess.
Thursday December 2, 2010 2:06
2:06

[Comment From Andrew Andrew: ]
Re: Mr. James observation. Is there one guy who can slash into the lane, lay the ball in and draw the foul? That hurts two of three categories he listed. I don't see one on the floor right now unless Peck's game comes around.
Thursday December 2, 2010 2:06 Andrew
2:08
Peck and Osgood, and Johnny Gray showed a little bit of that against Seton Hall.
Thursday December 2, 2010 2:08
2:09

[Comment From Cornell Basketball Blog Cornell Basketball Blog: ]
Do you think the former staff made this schedule a bit too difficult for this young/inexperienced group?
Thursday December 2, 2010 2:09 Cornell Basketball Blog
2:12
I don't. I think the BCS opponents are important to play from a confidence standpoint. You drive and score on Fab Melo (Peck), you believe you can drive and score on anybody. That's the thinking at least. Former players have repeated that to no end. After Minnesota, there are a lot of games this team has a very good chance of winning.
Thursday December 2, 2010 2:12
2:12

[Comment From Andrew Andrew: ]
Re: the schedule. There's only 3 really hard games -- SH, SU and Minny. Not that difficult.
Thursday December 2, 2010 2:12 Andrew
2:12

[Comment From Andrew Andrew: ]
And SH was a return game from 09-10.
Thursday December 2, 2010 2:12 Andrew
2:13
The Seton Hall game ended up being poorly timed because of Wroblewski's injury.

I will say this: Donahue loved the two-week break for finals. It's where he felt his teams made the most improvements, because it brought a long respite from the rapid fire nature of November games and allowed the team to get healthy and get better. Talking with Courtney, he's very much looking forward to that break.
Thursday December 2, 2010 2:13
2:14

[Comment From Wrobo or Ski? Wrobo or Ski?: ]
Which nickname is better? And if you were Barry Leonard, what would you nickname Drew Ferry?
Thursday December 2, 2010 2:14 Wrobo or Ski?
2:15
I'm awful with nicknames. But wasn't Wroblewski "Little Fruit" at some point? Ski's what his friends call him; he's Wrobo to the fans. To Barry, he's like the son he never had. Kidding.
Thursday December 2, 2010 2:15
2:16
Alright everybody, that's another good 75 minutes. Thanks for the great questions, and we'll do this again next Thursday.

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