By Jonah Hecht
WVBR, The Voice of the Big Red
June 30, 2010
- Goalday.gr, a Greek website, reports that Aris, a club from Greece's A-1 League is reportedly interested in acquiring Jeff Foote on loan from Maccabi Tel Aviv for one season. Maccabi coach, Dave Blatt, reportedly is interested in finding a club where Foote can earn a season of quality playing minutes before reporting to Maccabi on a full-time basis.
- In an article discussing where most high majors find their coaches, Rivals.com writes, "For a traditional one-bid conference, the Ivy League has been kind to the power conferences, supplying them with four coaches: Northwestern's Bill Carmody (Princeton), Boston College's Steve Donahue (Cornell), Oregon State's Craig Robinson (Brown) and Georgetown's John Thompson III (Princeton)."
- UMHoops.com references Ryan Wittman's competition for a roster spot with the Boston Celtics.
Overall, the Cornell prospect camp was a good experience for me. There was good competition and a handful of coaches from various D2 and D3 college evaluating us. It was a typical camp with limited team ball played, but when the ball did move it was good basketball. I had a pretty good camp, even though I was not awarded a spot in the All-Star game that I felt I deserved. Everyone played hard and seemed to give everything they had. The campus was unbelievable. It is the most impressive that I have seen so far in my college search. The camp was definitely worth the trip and I am excited for the Cornell team in the upcoming season.
Graduated senior Ryan Wittman '10 has signed an NBA Summer League deal with the reigning Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics. The Celtics, who lost in seven games to the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2010 NBA Finals, will play in the AirTran Airways Pro Summer League in Orlando, Fla., beginning on July 5.
Second-round draft pick Luke Harangody, an All-American out of Notre Dame, is expected to be among Wittman's teammates in Orlando.
Speaking of teammates, Cornell's Jeff Foote '10 has signed a three-year professional contract with Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv, a team that plays in the top European and Israeli first leagues, the highest division in Europe.
Both players were familiar faces on the NBA workout circuit this summer, but went undrafted in last Thursday night's NBA draft.
Manny Harris, Sylven Landesberg, A.J. Ogilvy, Brian Zoubek, Jon Scheyer, Sherron Collins, Jerome Randle, Matt Bouldin, Scottie Reynolds, Samardo Samuels, Tyler Smith, Courtney Fortson, Armon Bassett, Ryan Wittman, and Omar Samhan. I could have missed somebody, but this group is a pretty good mix of players who either led their teams to successful seasons in 2009-10 or played huge four-year roles at their colleges of choice. In some cases, they did both. And every NBA team passed on all of them... Samhan and Wittman just led their teams to brilliant Sweet 16 runs...
Jeff Foote: "Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv just gained the most motivated player in the class of 2010. Yet again at the bottom of the totem pole."Louis Dale: "This draft is so disappointing!!!! Ivy League gets no R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Did we not make the Sweet 16?...BS."
Jon Jaques (in response to Dale): "Hearrrd that."
The Ivy League was shut out of the 2010 NBA Draft on Thursday night.
Cornell's Jeff Foote and Ryan Wittman, and Harvard's Jeremy Lin were considered long shots to hear their names called in one of the NBA's two drafting rounds, and those indicators proved true.
Sixty total picks went by over the course of four-plus hours, but the Ivy League went without a player getting drafted for the 15th straight season. Penn's Jerome Allen was drafted in the second round of the 1995 draft.
Foote signed a three-year deal with the high-profile Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv club in Israel. Maccabi plays in the top European and Israeli leagues.
Foote, Wittman and Lin each worked out for multiple teams in the weeks leading up to the draft. Wittman said earlier in the week that it would not be a bad thing to go undrafted and be able to pick a team that might be a better fit for him.
Second-round draft picks are not guaranteed contracts, and must beat out other undrafted free agents for roster positions.
at Seton Hall
vs. St. Bonaventure
at Virginia Commonwealth Tournament (with VCU, Wofford, and New Hampshire)
at Boston University
vs. Stony Brook
14 Ivy Games
Jeff Foote – Cornell - Senior
7/14/87 – 7’0” – 265 lbs – Center | Draft Profile
Ryan Wittman - Cornell (Ht. 6-7, Wt. 210)
- Son of former Wolves coach Randy Wittman
-Consistent perimeter jumper - always balanced
-Hard working and aggressive
"He can shoot it. He understands how to play. It's good to see local guys like that come in. He's a kid that someone can look at as a specialty player, come off the bench and make shots." -- Tony Ronzone
The hometown kid had his time to shine today, and that he did. Wittman probably made around 60% of his shots, including a flawless trip around the arc from three-point land.
Wittman is a true three-point specialist but also showed some flashes off the dribble. He had trouble getting around James, though – as did everybody – which resulted in multiple blocked shots. But he shook George once on a fake to the right and then pulled up right in his face from 18-feet.
Wittman would be a great pick in the second round for many teams. His three-point shooting could add another dimension to the Wolves that they desperately need. Though, he would never be a starter in this league, he could play a very similar role to J.J. Redick of the Orlando Magic.
NCAA tournament fans will surely remember the name Jeff Foote, the 7-foot-0 center who helped lead Cornell on a surprising run this past March. Well, Foote is now officially a pro, having signed a three-year contract with Israeli power Maccabi Tel-Aviv, the team announced Friday. Prior to signing the deal, Foote had a couple of workouts for the New York Knicks. He very well could be a second-round pick in the upcoming draft -- especially for a team that doesn’t mind letting him work on his game oversees for a few seasons.
ITHACA, N.Y. -- Jeff Foote, a two-time Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year and a three-time All-Ivy pick, has signed a three-year professional contract to play for Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv. Maccabi Tel Aviv plays in the top European and Israeli first leagues, the highest division in Europe.
Maccabi has won the prestigious European Cup five times since 1977 with eight additional runner-up finishes, the last in 2008. The club has won 48 Israeli National Championship titles (including 23 straight from 1970-92) and 37 Israeli State Cups. Among the NBA players who have suited up for the club over the years are Tom Chambers, Anthony Parker, Omri Casspi, Beno Udrih, Šarunas Jasikevicius and Maceo Baston. In all, 32 former members of the club have enjoyed an NBA career.
Other Americans currently playing for Maccabi include USC's David Blumenthal, West Virginia's D'or Fischer, South Carolina's Chuck Eidson, Santa Clara's Doron Perkins and South Florida's Derrick Sharp.
Foote was a first-team All-Ivy and second-team NABC All-District selection after leading the conference in field goal percentage (.625) and rebounding (8.1) also ranked second in blocked shots (1.9). The 7-0 center averaged 12.3 points and 2.3 assists on the offensive end. He anchored a defense that allowed opponents to shoot just 42 percent from the floor and outrebounded opponents by more than three boards per contest. The three-time Ivy League Player of the Week in 2009-10 was especially effective against high major opponents, recording 19 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks at St. John's, 17 points, seven rebounds and three blocks at Alabama, 12 points and 10 rebounds at Syracuse and 12 points, six rebounds and three assists at Kansas. He was named the tournament MVP at the MSG Holiday Festival.
Malcolm Gilbert (Academy of the New Church) Bryn Athyn, PA, 6-11, C, visited Harvard and Princeton last year before his stock took off. He is visiting Ohio State this weekend and is hearing from the likes of Duke, Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, Georgetown, Miami, Ohio State, Penn State, La Salle, St. Joe’s, as well as Cornell, Penn, Harvard, and Princeton per SNY. He told Northstar Basketball that his favorites are Georgetown, Ohio State, Duke, and Penn.
OC Booker (Whitehaven HS) Whitehaven, TN, 6-6, F told Northstar Basketball he is hearing from Brown, East Tennessee State, Memphis, Oregon State, Siena, Richmond, Temple, Niagara, and Southeast Missouri State. He has offers from East Tennessee State and Southeast Missouri State.A.J. Mathew (Huron HS) Ann Arbor, MI, 6-3, G, visited Cornell, Colgate, Columbia, Holy Cross, Fairfield, Lehigh this month during an east coast recruiting trip. Mathew told Next Generation Sports that Cornell was his first stop and met with Coach Bill Courtney and his staff and came away impressed. “I was extremely impressed with the campus and the coaching staff. The facilities were nice… they had the nicest weight room throughout the trip,” stated Mathew.
"...his willingness to take a shot that would have been Jerome Allen's or Matt Maloney's last season demonstrates his assumption of the leadership role and bodes well for the future of the Red and Blue. Heading into the game, inexperience was a big concern, but several players, who came into the game as relative unknowns to much of the Quakers faithful, should calm some fears about the upcoming season. Impressive minutes by Donald Moxley, Jamie Lyren and Bill Guthrie should dispel the worries of those who debate Penn's ability to compete for the Ivy title this year."
"The Airwaves Plymouth Raiders are delighted to announce the signing of shooting guard Cody Toppert (193-G-83, college: Cornell) for the 2010/11 season. The 6'4"- 27 year old Toppert, an American, comes to the Raiders with a very impressive resume, and importantly, a European passport. Through family links, Toppert has both German and American nationality, which means that [the] Raiders are still permitted to bring in three American players.
'I'm over the moon with getting Cody on board,' said Raiders new coach Gavin Love . 'He brings a very high basketball IQ, and he's played for a lot of very high profile teams internationally. Ive spoken with Cody a lot, and I think he's going to be a great fit for this team. He can really shoot the ball, and he's going to bring a lot of experience to the team.'
Toppert graduated from Cornell University in the USA in 2005, averaging just over 11 points and 3 rebounds per game. But it was his career in basketball after leaving Cornell that really excited Love. He went on to play for the Albuquerque Thunderbirds in the NBA Development League, exciting fans with his long range shooting ability. After a season in New Mexico, he moved to New Zealand's top league where he played for the Taranaki Mountain Airs and finished the season as the third highest scorer in the league. He then moved to Portugal where he played in the premier league for Barreirense and put up some impressive statistics. Last season, Toppert played in the German league for MEG Goettingen in the Bundesliga and BC Scholz Recycling Weissenhorn in Pro B.
'He certainly has the pedigree that were looking for,' said Raiders Chairman Bob Widdecombe. 'He comes highly recommended to us, and his resume speaks for itself. He's going to be an integral part of the team next year, so it was important that we got him signed quickly. The fact that he's got a European passport will allow Gavin to keep looking for another 3 American players, and were hopeful that we can get another player signed by the end of the week.'
'He's played for some great teams, and with some excellent players so far, added Love. But what has really excited me was his enthusiasm to come to Plymouth. He has done a lot of research into the city and the team, and he's really looking forward to joining up with the team in late August when we'll assemble everyone for pre season training.'"
"ESPN.com columnist Dana O'Neil wrote recently about the challenge facing new Cornell head coach Bill Courtney. He takes over an Ivy League team on a rare high, but he's losing most of the players who made a Sweet 16 run possible. So what's in store for the Big Red?
For one thing, there are still talented returnees on the Cornell roster. Rising junior Chris Wrobelewski poured in 12 points in Cornell's tournament victory over heavily-favored Wisconsin; he's an experienced starter and a 45 percent shooter from deep. Of course, there's no room on the perimeter if there's nobody banging inside, so the fact that 6-foot-9 returnees Aaron Osgood and Josh Figini showed nothing last year (even against Penn State-Behrend) is a major problem.
The impact of the incoming recruiting class is tough to figure. Even in the best of times, Cornell never had any buzz about prospects, and this year is no different. 6-foot-3 point guard Dominic Scelfo is the highest-rated recruit to sign with the Big Red, and he's rated No. 173 at his position. The Cornell Basketball Blog calls Canadian recruit Manny Sahota a "gem", but he's still one notch above No. 200 when compared to other small forwards of his class. That's the reality of the situation for Ivy teams, even those who ended the season ranked in the top-25: kids don't choose Cornell to play basketball; they hope to become Supreme Court justices and titans of industry despite spending valuable study time on the hardwood.
With no stars returning, and precious little practical experience alloted to even the remaining upperclassmen, Courtney's team is bound to struggle. Harvard or Penn may win the league this year, but there's no doubt Cornell has something to build on. After all, who else can show a hoops-loving future spinal surgeon a DVD of a Sweet 16 run?"
"Oh, and I think Ryan Wittman is Randy Wittman's son. As far as I know, neither are related to Walt Whitman. The big story here (relatively speaking) is that this will be Foote's second visit. The call-back could mean nothing at all, but Foote is the first prospect to return for another look. Considering that he's not mentioned at all in most mock drafts, it would be surprising if New York had genuine interest in the Cornell big man at the 38th or 39th pick. Maybe they just like him as a legitimate 7-footer against whom they can pit other prospects? Maybe he left something behind the first time he visited?"
On why he chose Bucknell:
"There’s gonna be 14 kids on the basketball team; you don’t have to deal with 24 kids. I think at one point, Penn had nine kids coming in next year. If me and Carson [Sullivan] were still here, there would be 25 kids on the basketball team with one senior. I just don’t understand that. What are you gonna do if the coaches threaten us that they’re gonna cut half the team? If I was a junior or sophomore, I’d probably stay, but I’m a freshman. I had other places to go, schools that would take me."
"I feel like at Bucknell, they recruit more. They find guys that are the right fit, whereas at Penn, they’re like, 'Let’s bring them all in. Let’s see what happens. We don’t really need him, but bring him in, and see if he works hard, he might pass the other guy that we thought was better at one point.' I just don’t agree with that ... It’s just good that I found a better fit for me, and Jerome [Allen] can go get somebody else or whatever. I don’t know."
On the expanding roster:
"I wouldn’t be surprised if they kept the roster at 20-something guys; I wouldn’t be surprised if they cut kids; I wouldn’t be surprised if kids transfer; I wouldn’t be surprised if kids quit. That’s the way it’s gonna work."
On whether the other freshmen felt the same way he did:
"Carson left mid-year for similar reasons. … They [the freshmen] thought they deserved a chance too. We didn’t really have a backup point guard, so I think Malcolm [Washington] sometimes felt like he deserved a shot."