Wednesday, December 29, 2010

News and Notes: Wednesday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Wednesday...
  • VCU Athletics has confirmed for The Cornell Basketball Blog that VCU will provide a video feed of the Cornell-UNH game with "one camera" likely zoomed out for a full court view. There will be no audio via VCU. Thus, Cornell fans may want to listen simultaneously to Barry Leonard's call via Redcast/WVBR.com as they watch the video feed. Tip off is at 5 pm.
  • The Redcast/WVBR halftime interview with Barry Leonard for Wednesday's game will be assistant coach, Ricky Yahn. Thursday's halftime interview is with Mark Goldberg of Momentum Media, the chief publisher of the book, Blueprint for Success. Mark will discuss the book and its production.

...VCU plays 2010 NCAA tournament entrant Wofford (5-6) tonight at 7:30 in the first round of the Holidays on the Hardwood Classic at the Siegel Center. The 5 p.m. game matches New Hampshire (5-5) and Cornell (2-8), one of the darlings of the 2010 NCAA tournament.

The Rams will play at 7:30 Thursday, regardless of whether they are in the championship game or the consolation game.

...Cornell, which lost four starters from last year's team that advanced to the Sweet 16, is under the direction of first-year coach Bill Courtney. Courtney joined Smart's VCU staff after Smart was hired following the 2009 season. He left after two months to become an assistant at Virginia Tech. He previously was an assistant at Virginia and George Mason.

  • The Columbia Spectator notes of the Lions, "The men’s basketball team will stay in the Northeast, heading up to middle-of-nowhere Maine to take on a hot Black Bears team that has won four in a row. After a brief stop at Levien Gymnasium, they’ll head ninety minutes west to Lafayette College before starting Ivy League play on the 15th against Cornell."
  • The Daily Item of Danville, Pa. writes, "Bucknell went 3-1 on a difficult road trip to La Salle, Cornell, Boston College and Loyola, and are back to level on the season at 7-7."

THE GAP BETWEEN the Ivy League and Atlantic Coast Conference is about the biggest in college basketball. With conference seasons about to begin in earnest, Steve Donahue is negotiating it about as well as possible.

Donahue parlayed the three consecutive Ivy titles and the unforgettable 2010 Sweet 16 run at Cornell into the Boston College job and games with Duke, North Carolina and the rest of the ACC minefield.

BC is 10-2. The Eagles have won seven straight. They won their ACC opener at Maryland. They have wins over Texas A & M (the Aggies' only loss), California, Indiana, Massachusetts and Providence. They have a star guard in Reggie Jackson. And Donahue loves every minute.

"We have one really good player and a bunch of other pretty solid offensive basketball players," Donahue said. "We've got to mask it a little bit on defense. There's not a real understanding or passion for that side of the ball. We're a very good offensive team."

The numbers bear out the coach's assessment. BC is scoring 1.19 points per possession, sixth nationally. The Eagles have a 1.54/1 assist/turnover ratio, seventh in the nation.

Jackson is good at everything. He averages 19.2 points, 5.0 assists, 4.4 rebounds, shoots 54.0 percent overall, 50.9 percent from the arc, and 80.4 percent from the foul line. He has 60 assists and just 20 turnovers.

"He's got a [great] feel for the game and has a real good poise about him throughout a game," Donahue said. "He's extremely explosive. He's the whole thing."

The talent level is obviously different at this level. So are some of the intangibles. And not necessarily in a good way.

"Their lack of attention to detail is not something they worried about," Donahue said. "They just kind of play basketball. They don't listen as well."

By the end at Cornell, everybody knew what everybody else was doing. All the coach had to do was point the way.

Now there is more teaching. There are also planes for league road trips instead of buses.

"They picked up the offense incredibly well and it helps having Reggie Jackson," Donahue said. "If you have one guy like that, all the other guys can fill in a role."

This seems counterintuitive, but the ACC schedule won't be nearly as perilous as the Ivy. You can lose games in the ACC (and everybody except maybe Duke is going to lose games) and survive. But you can't survive in the Ivy with very many losses.

There will be no game on BC's schedule like the one Cornell faced last season at Princeton when its whole season was on the line, a night after being upset at Penn. The Big Red won that one at the finish and did not lose again until Kentucky got them in the Sweet 16.

"I hope I never see them again," Donahue said of Princeton. "I played them 41 times in my career [Penn assistant, Cornell head coach]."

The Tigers will not be on the BC schedule anytime soon.

"The good thing is it feels the same to me," Donahue said. "Good academic school. People care about that. The media stuff isn't overwhelming. It's a good place for me."

And for his family.

They live 10 miles from campus in a nice Boston suburb. They get into the city as often as possible, seeing all the history there, not unlike what he might have done as a kid coming in from Delaware County to the city.

BC, however, is 0-1 against the Ivy, losing to Yale in the season's second game on Nov. 16, an unfamiliar result for Donahue in recent seasons. The Eagles were missing one of their better inside players for that game. And a walk-on, who wasn't playing much, is now playing 30 minutes per game.

So adjustments were made. What has needed no adjustment so far in the coach's move from the Ivy to the ACC is the record.

  • The Cornell Review writes of the ten biggest stories at Cornell University during 2010:

After a near perfect season in the Ivy League, the Cornell men’s basketball team advanced to the NCAA tournament as the 12th seed in the East Region. Amidst one of the most difficult weeks for Cornell students in recent memory, the team took to the court against 5th seeded Temple University. The Owls proved no match for Big Red’s high powered, 3-point shooting offense. Led by Louis Dale, the Big Red established an early lead and never looked back, finishing the game with a solid 78-65 win. This was the first victory for an Ivy League team in the tournament since Princeton beat UNLV in 1998.

Up next was 4th seeded Wisconsin. Many Big Red fans would have been accepting of a loss in the second round- nobody expected the team to beat a 5th seed and a 4th seed in consecutive games. But once again, Wisconsin was unable to handle Cornell’s high octane offense. The Big Red defeated Wisconsin by an even larger margin, 87-69, and advanced as the lowest-seeded team remaining in the tournament.

The next game against #1 seeded Kentucky had all the makings of a true David versus Goliath matchup. The press got all over comparing the drastically different school profiles and sports programs, and the game became one of the more anticipated (definitely most intriguing) matchup of the Sweet 16. But even though most fans realized that the show was probably over, there was still a glimmer of hope. And for about five minutes, as the Big Red began draining 3-pointers at the beginning of the game, it looked like maybe there was a chance that the unknown Cornell men’s basketball team could knock out the best team in the country. But the Kentucky offense quickly took off, putting together a 30-6 run to close the half with a 16 point lead. Cornell put up a valiant fight in the second half, cutting Kentucky’s lead to 6 points with five minutes left, but ultimately losing the game 62-45.

The run was over. Cornell did not even get the satisfaction of losing to the eventual national champion- Kentucky lost to West Virginia in their next game.

The season ended on a sour note, with coach Steve Donahue leaving for the ACC to coach Boston College. They’re doing alright, by the way, with the exception of a sloppy loss to Yale at home.

Perhaps Big Red fans can still find some solace in the fact that all of the Kentucky starters were drafted in the first round of the NBA Draft, or that John Wall is already tearing it up in the big leagues after tearing up the Big Red’s defense. But the Sweet 16 run will always be remembered for the way the men’s basketball team left an unmistakable sense of triumph lingering on a campus that was still reeling from tragedy. An equally successful tournament doesn’t look likely this year- the team has lost seven in a row; but perhaps there’s still a chance that the sports pendulum will continue to swing east towards the Ivies.

  • Cornell RPI Watch: The RPI (Rating Percentage Index) is a measure of strength of schedule and how a team does against that schedule. It does not consider the margin of victory, but only whether or not a team won and where the game was played (home/away/neutral court). The formula is 25% team winning percentage (WP), 50% opponents' average winning percentage (OWP), and 25% opponents' opponents' average winning percentage (OOWP). (See: CollegeRPI.com for a further explanation of the formula.) The RPI may be the most influential factor in NCAA Tournament seeding. Cornell's RPI rank as of December 29 is No. 230 out of 347 total Division I teams. While neither the Ken Pomeroy or Jeff Sagarin rankings are used by the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee, the KenPom.com site ranks Cornell No. 204 in the nation, while the USA Today Sagarin rankings have Cornell at No. 215. Both sites are predominantly used by fans and the media.
  • Game Recaps-Below are links to our game recaps from each of Cornell's games this season. Associated press recaps courtesy of Rivals.com/YahooSports.com are always available by clicking on Cornell's schedule/results on the right column of this blog.
  1. at Albany W 65-61 (video recaps)
  2. at Seton Hall L 68-92
  3. vs. Delaware W 75-61 (video recap)
  4. vs. St. Bonaventure L 54-56
  5. at Lehigh L 57-60
  6. at Boston University L 61-66
  7. at Syracuse L 58-78
  8. at Minnesota L 66-71 (video recap)
  9. at Binghamton L 68-69
  10. vs. Bucknell L 64-75
IVY LEAGUE COMPOSITE SCHEDULE

Friday, November 12
Columbia 71 La Salle 82 Box Score - Recap
Rutgers 73 Princeton 78 OT Box Score - Recap
Cornell 65 Albany 61 Box Score - Recap
Brown 69 Fordham 65 Box Score - Recap

Saturday, November 13
Harvard 53 George Mason 66 Box Score - Recap
Davidson 64 Penn 69 Box Score - Recap
Dartmouth 52 Providence 87 Box Score - Recap
Yale 75 Quinnipiac 84 Box Score - Recap

Sunday, November 14
Cornell 68 Seton Hall 92 Noon [SNY/ESPN3/ESPN Full Court] Box Score - Recap
Princeton 60 Duke 97 [ESPNU] Box Score - Recap

Monday, November 15
Maryland-Eastern Shore 74 Columbia 108 Box Score - Recap
Yale 55 Providence 58 Box Score - Recap

Tuesday, November 16
Brown 67 Rhode Island 92 Box Score - Recap
New Hampshire 55 Dartmouth 53 Box Score - Recap

Wednesday, November 17
Delaware 61 Cornell 75 Box Score - Recap
Holy Cross 49 Harvard 72 Box Score - Recap
Penn 54 Manhattan 59 Box Score - Recap
Columbia 66 St. John’s 79 Box Score - Recap

Thursday, November 18
Yale 75 Boston College 67 Box Score - Recap

Friday, November 19
St. Bonaventure 56 Cornell 54 Box Score - Recap
Dartmouth 71 Hartford 57 Box Score - Recap

Saturday, November 20
Harvard 75 Mercer 69 Box Score - Recap
Sacred Heart 67 Brown 81 Box Score - Recap
Columbia 76 Longwood 95 Box Score - Recap
Drexel 77 Penn 56 Box Score - Recap

Sunday, November 21
Dartmouth 59 Loyola (Md.) 73 Box Score - Recap

Monday, November 22
Cornell 57 Lehigh 60 Box Score - Recap
Princeton 64 James Madison 65 Box Score - Recap

Tuesday, November 23
Bucknell 55 Princeton 66 [at JMU] Box Score - Recap
Colgate 63 Columbia 76 Box Score - Recap
Quinnipiac 69 Dartmouth 52 Box Score - Recap
Lafayette 65 Penn 74 Box Score - Recap
Yale 47 Illinois 73 [ESPNU] Box Score - Recap

Wednesday, November 24
St. Francis (N.Y.) 63 Brown 67 Box Score - Recap
Harvard 69 Bryant 66 Box Score - Recap
Presbyterian 69 Princeton 67 [at JMU] Box Score - Recap

Saturday, November 27
Brown 66 New Hampshire 70 Box Score - Recap
Army 79 Yale 87 Box Score - Recap
Colgate 63 Dartmouth 80 Box Score - Recap
Cornell 61 Boston University 66 Box Score - Recap
Penn 58 Pittsburgh 82 [ESPN3.com] Box Score - Recap

Sunday, November 28
Colorado 66 Harvard 82 Box Score - Recap
Columbia 64 American 62 Box Score - Recap
Siena 77 Princeton 86 Box Score - Recap

Tuesday, November 30
Cornell 58 Syracuse 78 [ESPN3.com/Big East Sports Network] Box Score - Recap
Maryland-Baltimore County 59 Penn 71 Box Score - Recap
Princeton 82 Lafayette 64 [Lafayette Sports Network] Box Score - Recap
Hartford 76 Yale 81 Box Score - Recap

Wednesday, December 1
Columbia 68 Bucknell 73 Box Score - Recap
Dartmouth 53 Vermont 80 Box Score - Recap
Fordham 57 Harvard 80 Box Score - Recap

Thursday, December 2
Brown 46 Hartford 58 [Connecticut Sports Network] Box Score - Recap

Saturday, December 4
Army 52 vs. Penn, 68 Box Score - Recap
Harvard 62 Michigan 65 [Big Ten Network] Box Score - Recap
Yale 78 Vermont 82 Box Score - Recap
Brown 62 Maine 54 Box Score - Recap
Stony Brook 72 Columbia 73 Box Score - Recap
Cornell 66 Minnesota 71 [Big Ten Network] Box Score - Recap

Sunday, December 5
Saint Joseph’s 65 Princeton 74 Box Score - Recap

Monday, December 6
Brown 64 Providence 91 Box Score - Recap
Albany 53 Yale 74 Box Score - Recap

Tuesday, December 7
WPI 54 Harvard 69 Box Score - Recap
Wagner 71 Columbia 77 Box Score - Recap

Wednesday, December 8
Princeton 64 Monmouth 61 Box Score - Recap
Yale 75 Bryant 53 Box Score - Recap
Villanova 65 Penn 53 [The Comcast Network] Box Score - Recap

Saturday, December 11
Boston University 71 Harvard 87 Box Score - Recap
Bryant 72 Columbia 76 Box Score - Recap
Army 68 Dartmouth 71 Box Score - Recap

Sunday, December 12
Princeton 82 Tulsa 78 (2 OT) Box Score - Recap

Tuesday, December 14
Dartmouth 61 St. Francis (N.Y.) 69 Box Score - Recap

Friday, December 17
Princeton 69 Wagner 57 Box Score - Recap

Saturday, December 18
Cornell 68 Binghamton 69 Box Score - Recap

Sunday, December 19
Dartmouth 42 Iowa State 71 Box Score - Recap
Sacred Heart 71 Yale 62 Box Score - Recap

Monday, December 20
Bucknell 75 Cornell 64 Box Score - Recap

Tuesday, December 21
Army 88 Brown 86 Box Score - Recap
Dartmouth 67 Drake 59 Box Score - Recap

Wednesday, December 22
Princeton 75 Towson 65 Box Score - Recap
Harvard 52 Connecticut 81 [SNY] Box Score - Recap
Penn 78 Delaware 68 Box Score - Recap

Tuesday, December 28
Yale 44 Stanford 60 [Comcast SportsNet Bay Area] Box Score - Recap

Wednesday, December 29
New Hampshire vs. Cornell, 5 pm [at VCU]
Monmouth at Harvard, 7 pm
Brown at Central Connecticut State, 7 pm
Penn at Marist, 7:30 pm
Princeton vs. Northeastern, 9:30 pm [at UCF]

Thursday, December 30
Cornell vs. Wofford/Virginia Commonwealth, 5/7 pm [at VCU]
Princeton vs. Furman/Central Florida, 5/7:30 pm [at UCF]
Columbia at Maine, 7 pm
Dartmouth at Bucknell, 7 pm

Friday, December 31
Bryant at Brown, 12:05 pm
Lehigh at Yale, 2 pm
MIT at Harvard, 2 pm

Sunday, January 2
Elon at Columbia, 4 pm

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lackluster Yale performance last night against a more athletic, but beatable, Frosh laden, Stanford squad.....Yale was ahead at the half.

Magnano out of sync, fouled out, was 0-8 from the field, missed three open 3-point looks.

The Freshman Kreisberg looked better than expected and is contributing quality minutes - if not this year, he will make a difference in the league in years to come.

Strong guard play - stopping penetration is key. Morgan and Braswell will make mistakes. Very easy team to guard in the second half....bigs had some key TOs....