Wednesday, June 30, 2010

WVBR: 40 Minutes of Hell at Cornell?


By Jonah Hecht
WVBR, The Voice of the Big Red
June 30, 2010

Talk in the Cornell Athletics Department several weeks after Cornell hired Bill Courtney surrounded the fact that the Red's new basketball coach was considering using the full-court press next season. Some in the department, however, worried that Cornell would be too tired on Saturday nights during Ivy play, particularly on the road, to use the press effectively. In his recent interview with WVBR's Jase Bernhardt, Courtney talked about seeing if Cornell will need to change its style of play since the Red has lost so many great players. Courtney sounded as though he were considering a whole host of changes and hasn't decided on what changes, if any, he will make.

News and Notes: Late Morning Updates

Some added news and notes...
  • In previewing Steve Donahue's Boston College team, Observations from Above the Rim, a Charlotte Observer blog, writes, "Donahue...took Cornell to the Round of 16 in 2010 and three straight NCAA trips. And don't dismiss that accomplishment as 'Oh, it's the Ivy League,' because before Donahue got there, Cornell hadn't won an Ivy title since 1988.Under Donahue, Cornell led the country in 3-point field goal percentage and ranked third in 3-pointers per game last season." Cornell was also in the nation's top five for three point shooting in each of the last three seasons.

News and Notes: Wednesday Edition

Below, some news and notes...
  • 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.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Recruiting News

Below, some recruiting news from around the Ivy League...

News and Notes: Tuesday Edition

Below, some news and notes...
  • Former Cornell assistant coach and current Navy assistant, Joe Burke, was named head coach of Skidmore College. The Saratogian notes, "After leaving Cornell, his recruits helped the Big Red continue their upward trend toward their recent dominance of the Ivy League."
  • One has to wonder if Stephen Albrecht is regretting his decision not to attend Cornell after originally committing to the Big Red last winter. Since the 6'3" guard decided to transfer from Toledo to Brown University, the Bears have lost two assistant coaches. First, Kyle Cieplicki left the Bears two weeks ago to head to Vermont, now this week assistant Lamar Barrett takes a job at American University.
  • Incoming Cornell recruit, Jake Matthews, a 6'3" guard suffered a fractured metacarpal during Cornell's Elite Camp. He is expect to miss 6-8 weeks with rehab, but should be ready to go when the team returns to campus during late August.
  • The Celtics Blog lists Boston's summer league roster, which includes Ryan Wittman.
  • WEEI also references Wittman's signing with Boston.
  • WVBR recaps the signing of Wittman by the Celtics and Jeff Foote with Israel's Maccabi Tel Aviv, one of Europe's elite club teams.

Monday, June 28, 2010

News and Notes: Monday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Monday...
  • After attending Cornell's Elite Prospect Basketball Camp this weekend, Chris Dorgler (Archbishop Malloy HS) Jamaica, NY, 6-3, G, told Gotham Hoops:

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.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Celtics Fans: Meet Ryan Wittman

For Celtics fans interested in seeing footage of Ryan Wittman. Below, the Ryan Wittman career highlights video produced by SlopeMedia and MTA Entertainment International.

News and Notes: Sunday Edition

Below, some Sunday afternoon news and notes...
  • The Minneapolis Star Tribune writes, "When 6-foot-7 former Eden Prairie and Cornell scoring star Ryan Wittman went undrafted by the NBA on Thursday, it was the 15th straight year that the Ivy League went without having a player taken in the draft. The last Ivy League player taken in the NBA draft was Jerome Allen from Penn in the second round in 1995. Look for Wittman, who is being represented by Mark Termini, and also represents Washington Wizards coach Flip Saunders, to play for the Boston Celtics' summer league team in Orlando, Fla."

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.

  • The Harvard Crimson notes, "Cornell’s Jeff Foote, who ... went undrafted... has already signed with the top Israeli club, Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv."

Wittman Signs Summer League Deal With Boston Celtics


ITHACA, N.Y. -- The ultimate dream of anybody who has ever laced up their basketball sneakers is to play in the National Basketball Association. For Ryan Wittman, that dream became just a little closer to reality.

Wittman, a 6-7 forward and the reigning Ivy League Player of the Year, was signed by the Boston Celtics to play for their Summer League team when the squad plays in the AirTran Airways Pro Summer League in Orlando, Fla., beginning on July 5. Among his teammates is expected to be Celtics' second round pick Luke Harangody, an All-American out of Notre Dame. The Celtics made the NBA Finals in 2010 after claiming the NBA title in 2008. That was the organization's record 17th NBA crown. Among the roster are All-Stars Ray Allen Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo.

Wittman, an Associated Press honorable mention All-American in men's basketball as a senior, became the third Cornelian to earn Ivy League Player of the Year honors, doing so unanimously, and was picked to the first team by each of the Ivy coaches for the third straight season. The school’s career scoring leader (2,028 points) became the Ivy League’s fifth 2,000-point scorer with his 24-point effort in the NCAA tournament win over Wisconsin. He holds school and Ivy records for 3-pointers in a season (109 in 2009-10) and career (377) and was named to the collegeinsider.com’s Mid-Major All-Decade team. Wittman helped the Big Red to three Ivy titles, three NCAA tournament appearances and the school's first-ever spot in the Sweet 16 during his final campaign. The USBWA and NABC first-team all-district pick averaged 17.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists while setting an Ivy League record with his 109 3-point field goals as a senior. The eight-time Ivy League Player of the Week during his career was the MVP of the Legends Classic Regional and an all-tournament pick at the MSG Holiday Festival in 2009-10. He ended his career as a three-time NABC and two-time USBWA all-district honoree after capturing Ivy League Rookie of the Year accolades in 2006-07.

Games are played at the RDV Sportsplex but are not open to the public. The official site of the Orlando Magic, www.nba.com/magic, has provided live webcasts in previous years and select games will appear on NBA-TV.

Harvard's Jeremy Lin has been invited to the Dallas Mavericks' minicamp at the end of June, while Cornell's own Jeff Foote will next be playing overseas for European power Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Camping with the Best in the Ivy League

All weekend Coach Bill Courtney and his staff are hosting the Cornell Basketball Elite Prospect Camp. Many of Cornell's top recruiting targets are on campus as well as the Big Red's incoming 2010-2011 freshman class. Cornell's star studded team of counselors includes Louis Dale, Ryan Wittman, Jeff Foote and Anthony Gatin.

The Big Red will also host a one-day clinic later this summer for prospects that miss this weekend's camp.

Friday, June 25, 2010

News and Notes: Afternoon Update

Below, some late afternoon news and notes...
  • SB Nation notes with respect to the Knicks' draft last night, "I'd reach out to for summer league [roster]: Scottie Reynolds, Omar Samhan, Jeremy Lin, Ryan Wittman. Reynolds could stick at point guard, Samhan has a much more developed game than Zoubek, Lin is an intriguing player (though likely a tweener), and Wittman could be a Rautins-like shooter as well."
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...

News and Notes: Morning Update

Above, Andy Rautins (front) and Ryan Wittman (back). The New York Knicks drafted Rautins over Wittman after both players worked out for the team. Below, some additional news and notes for Friday.
  • After the Knicks selected Andy Rautins in the second round, YahooSports' Jeff Eisenberg asks, "If the Knicks were going to go for a hometown kid, would they not have been better off with Cornell's Ryan Wittman?"
  • Below are some the Twittersphere reactions to last nights NBA Draft:
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."
  • Speaking of Twitter, Aaron Osgood tweets, "got to play and workout with jhart [Jason Harford, Cornell '08] the past couple days.. been a good time. man he can shoot."

News and Notes: NBA Draft Friday Hangover Edition

Below, some news and notes from last night's NBA Draft:
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.
  • The Minneapolis Star Tribune also noted, "Twin Cities prep player, Cornell senior guard and Eden Prairie grad Ryan Wittman, went undrafted."

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Recruiting News

Below, some recruiting news from around the Ivy League...

News and Notes: Draft Night

Below, some afternoon quick hitters as Draft Night approaches...
  • Steve Vesey of WETM (NBC News Elmira) writes, "It seemed like a little bit of a head-scratcher when I first heart about it, but SVE-grad & former Cornell star Jeff Foote really is making the right move by signing to play basketball overseas. Odds of Foote getting drafted Thursday weren't great. He almost certainly would have gotten picked up for an NBA summer-league team, & most likely would have started his pro basketball career in the D-League. Here's the thing, though. While Foote has done a great job of adding weight to his frame over the last four years or so, he still has some work to do in that area. He's a great passer, shot-blocker, and defensive player. He can finish at the rim and has a decent variety of post moves. Still, you need to be able to bang with the big boys in the NBA. While the European game is much different in that respect, he'll have a chance to develop at the pro level, while making what is almost certainly much more than he would in the D-League. Give him time. If he really is going to be an NBA player at some point, he would have had to earn it anyway. Cornell isn't exactly full of NBA success stories, historically. This could be one, though. All you have to do is wait for it to happen."

News and Notes: Thursday Edition

Above, the media storm for Cornell's class of 2010 could continue if one of them is drafted tonight by an NBA franchise. Below, some news and notes...
  • BucksDen.com references Jeff Foote's workout yesterday with Milwaukee. With the NBA Draft scheduled for tonight, Foote has also worked out for the Knicks (twice), the Pistons and the Blazers, while Ryan Wittman has worked out with the Nets, Knicks, Wizards, Kings and Wolves. Louis Dale has also reportedly worked out for Bucks.
  • The Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin notes that Cornell will visit Binghamton on December 18 at 2 p.m. during the 2010-2011 schedule. As we've disclosed previously, Cornell's 28-game schedule includes the following opponents:
at Syracuse
at Minnesota
at Seton Hall
vs. St. Bonaventure
vs. Buffalo
at Virginia Commonwealth Tournament (with VCU, Wofford, and New Hampshire)
at Albany
vs. Delaware
at Lehigh
at Boston University
vs. Bucknell
at Binghamton
vs. Stony Brook
14 Ivy Games

"Draftee or not, Cornell's Wittman ready to continue career"

Above, Cornell class of 2010 graduates, Louis Dale, Jeff Foote, and Ryan Wittman have all worked out for several NBA teams and hope to hear their name called in tonight's NBA Draft. Below, a story from the Ithaca Journal on the three seniors.


By Brian Delaney
Ithaca Journal
June 23, 2010

If Ryan Wittman doesn't hear his name called in the second round of the 2010 NBA Draft on Thursday night, that's fine with him.

"I know it's a big possibility I don't get drafted, and that's fine," he said. "A lot of times it can almost be better not to get selected anyways because if you don't get drafted you can pick a spot that would be a good situation for you."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Foote Completes Workout with the Bucks

Below, Jeff Foote's profile from the Milwaukee Bucks' website following his workout today with the team. Foote previously worked out for the Trailblazers as well as twice for the Knicks.

Jeff Foote

Jeff Foote – Cornell - Senior
7/14/87 – 7’0” – 265 lbs – Center | Draft Profile



  • Career Highlights: Won back-to-back Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year awards his junior and senior seasons. He won the award in the first two years it was given. Helped lead Cornell to Sweet 16 his senior season. Led the Ivy league in field goal percentage (.633) and rebounding (8.1 rpg) as a senior.
  • Strengths: True seven-footer with excellent hands. Can score in the post on jump-hooks and short jumpers. Uses his length to be an effective rebounder and shotblocker, despite some athletic limitations.

"Maccabi Tel Aviv's Blatt aims to put big man from Cornell on solid footing "


By Jerry Mittleman
Haaretz.com
June 23, 2010

Earlier this week, Maccabi Tel Aviv signed Cornell center Jeff Foote to a multi-year contract as returning coach David Blatt leaves no stones unturned in strengthening Maccabi for both the long-term and immediate future.

News and Notes: Wednesday Edition

Below, some news and notes...
  • There was a very positive turnout last evening at the Ithaca Country Club for the public meet-and-greet reception with Coach Bill Courtney and his staff, which now officially includes assistants Marlon Sears and Jay Larranaga.
  • Speaking of recruiting prospects, the Big Red's incoming recruiting class is not officially complete. Cornell could be adding between one to two more players. Wink, wink.
  • The Daily Pennsylvanian mentions Jeff Foote's signing with Maccabi Tel Aviv. Like Wittman, Foote has had workouts with several NBA teams. Some points to keep in mind with respect to Foote. His Israeli contract does not preclude him from being drafted, nor would it preclude an NBA team from buying out his contract, which is not substantial in cost by NBA standards. Finally, since second round draft choices are virtually all long-term investment projects, Foote could easily be drafted by a team with the hope of signing him 1-3 years down the line.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Recruiting News: Yale Receives Second Verbal in Class of 2011

Below, some recruiting news from around the Ivy League...

NY2LASports.com reports that Yale received its second verbal commitment from the class of 2011 with the commitment of Javier Duren (Oakville High School) St. Louis, Missouri, 6-2, G. He joins in the class with Matt Townsend (Chappaqua High School) Chappaqua, New York, 6-6, F. Duren had interest from Princeton and Columbia.

BearTerritory.net reports that Stephen Domingo (St. Ignatius HS) San Francisco, CA, 6-5, F, camped at Princeton last week and will also attend camps at Stanford and Cal. He is a member of the class 0f 2013.

After receiving an offer from Steve Donahue to play at Cornell next season and subsequently committing to Air Force, Gabe Moton (St. Petersburg High School) St. Petersburg, FL, 6-2, pulled his commitment from the Academy and instead committed to Donahue's new Boston College program. Moton also had offers from Zach Spiker's Army program, which he visited this spring, as well as Denver, Tennessee-Martin, and Tennessee Tech among others. Moton told EagleAction.com, "They had wanted me at Cornell real bad, and I really wanted to go there, but in my freshman year of high school I got a D in one of my classes. I took the class over again and got an A, but it was still on my transcript that I had a D. Cornell's admissions weren't having any of that so I couldn't get into Cornell." EagleAction.com noted that Moton's 3.7 GPA was good enough for Air Force so he decided to commit there and was fully intending on playing there. However, once Donahue got to BC he gave Moton a call and he was instantly interested in hearing what the former Cornell coach had to say. Moton's trust in Donahue was a big reason why he listened with an open mind. "With every other coach that I talked to, when I mentioned Coach Donahue they all had something real good to say about him. Nobody could say anything bad about him. He's down to earth and genuine and to tell you the truth he doesn't lie to you and I like that," said Moton.

News and Notes: Monday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Monday...



  • The Pinoneer Press' Charley Waters writes, "The Wolves fired Randy Wittman as coach. Monday, they [had] his son, Ryan Wittman, the record-setting scorer from Cornell and Eden Prairie, in for a workout. Ryan was wearing out the nets during a Saturday morning shooting workout in Hopkins [High School]." Wittman has also worked out for the Knicks, Nets, Wizzards, and Kings. Above, the Timberwolves' assistant general manager Tony Ronzone discusses Wittman.
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
  • HowlineTWolf.com attended Wittman's workout and noted, "

    Ryan Wittman:

    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.

  • Cornell Athletics announced, "ITHACA, N.Y. -- Fans of the Big Red men's basketball team can meet new head coach Bill Courtney and his staff on Tuesday, June 22 from 5-7 p.m. at the Country Club of Ithaca. This free event is sponsored by the Rebounders Club." Courtney will introduce his new staff to the Ithaca community and will visit with alumni, fans and students in attendance. A cash bar and snacks will be available.
  • Incoming Cornell freshman, Dwight Tarwater will participate this summer The Pilot Rocky Top League, comprised primarily of collegiate and pro players. Tarwater will play on Richardson Construction along with C.J. Watson of the Golden State Warriors.
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.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Mazel Tov! Jeff Foote Signs with Israeli Club

Below, an official press release from Cornell Athletics:

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, Ĺ arunas 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.

More from Jeff Foote in Portland



The Portland Trailblazers posted some additional coverage from Jeff Foote's workout with the team this week.

News and Notes: Friday Edition, Foote Signs with Israeli Club

Below, some news and notes for Friday...
  • ACCSports.com notes that Wake Forest A.D., Ron Welman "was sitting courtside [during the 2010 NCAA Tournament] while coaches such as Steve Don[a]hue (Cornell) and Brad Stevens (Butler) made their marks. Most would argue that those coaches were doing it with less talent than Wake had. Wellman couldn’t help but notice [Cornell's and Butler's] crisp offenses, tight defenses and team spirit."

Thursday, June 17, 2010

News and Notes: Offseason Ivy Roster Report

Below, some roster news and notes from around the Ivy League...
  • Penn will lead the league with the largest roster during the 2010-2011 season in terms of number of players. The Quakers return 15 players from this past season, while adding 8 freshman for a combined roster of 23 players next year. Not surprisingly, Penn has witnessed a parade of players quitting and/or transferring out of the program in the last twelve months, including: Tommy McMahon, Remy Cofield, Garvin Hunt, Harrison Gaines, Carson Sullivan and Brian Fitzpatrick, with the latter two leaving even after Jerome Allen took over head coaching responsibilities.
  • The rest of the league roster sizes in 2010-2011 are as follows: Columbia (20), Cornell (19), Dartmouth (18), Harvard (17 with no seniors), Princeton (16), Yale (15), and Brown (13).
  • Cornell's roster features four former Division I transfers, including Anthony Gatlin (Centenary), Mark Coury (Kentucky), Andrew Ferry (Valparaiso) and Max Groebe (UMass).
  • Princeton's 2010-2011 roster dips to 16 players following freshman Gus Gabel's decision to quit the team.
  • Looking two years down the line...both Penn and Harvard project to have at least 17 players on their 2011-2012 rosters and that is without adding any future recruits from the high school class of 2011.
  • Cornell, Columbia, and Dartmouth have posted their 2010-2011 rosters, but do not include incoming recruits.

Recruiting News

Below, some recruiting news from around the Ivy League...

The L.A. Daily News reports that Nick de Bonfilhs
(Buckley HS) Sherman Oaks, CA, 6-4, F, will attend the elite camps this month at Penn and Cornell.

Tommy Carpenter (Northfield Mount Hermon School) Northfield, MA, 6-7, F, will camp at Princeton this week.

Mike Zangari (Red Land HS) Harrisburg, PA 6-9 205 has a scholarship offer from Rutgers and is receiving interest from Cornell, NC State, Penn State, St. Joseph's, Siena, Virigina Tech and Boston College according to the WolfPacker.com. He told the site, "I've already been to elite camps at Siena and St. Joseph's. I'm expecting to be at Virginia Tech, Cornell and Boston College sometime soon."

Garrett Jones (Evanston HS) Evanston, IL, 5-11, G told ChicagoHoops.com, "Cornell and Toledo are the top schools for sure. I might go to Cornell’s Elite Camp coming up. I haven’t decided yet but I’ve have many conversations with Coach Courtney their new head coach and he sounds like a great person to play for. Wisconsin-Green Bay, Loyola, Bradley, Illinois State, and Columbia are all recruiting me as well."

Cole Krizancic (Mentor HS) Mentor, OH, 5-11, G, is blogging this summer for his local newspaper and writes, "Not only is June an important month for high school basketball, it is also an important month for college. Right now, I'm deciding on which schools I want to visit and which prospect camps I want to attend. Over the weekend, I visited the University of Toledo, the first Division I school I visited. In the next month, I'm planning on visiting Cornell, Miami (Ohio) and Navy. I'm trying to attend the prospect camps at both Cornell and Miami (Ohio) when I make my visits. After June, I hopefully will be a little closer to knowing what school I will play for in college."

Jack Ryan (Glenbrook South HS) Glenbrook, IL, 6-6, F, told the Pioneer Local that he was invited to attend Stanford's Elite Camp but expects to visit Cornell within the next week." They have looked at me hard and I love that school," Ryan said with respect to Cornell.

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.

Joshua Richardson (Santa Fe HS) Edmond, OK, 6-5, G, told ASUDevils.com that he likes Arizona State, Auburn, Georgia, Indiana, Ole Miss, Providence and UCLA, but noted he received an offer from Harvard.

TheTimesNews.com reports Jack Isenbarger (Zionsville HS) Zionsville, IN, 6-2, G, committed to Elon after receiving offers from Miami of Ohio, Western Michigan, Army, Cornell, Eastern Illinois and IPFW (Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne).

Jabril Trawick (Abington Friends School) Abington, PA, 6-4, G, has a lengthy list of more than a dozen schools, including Yale, Penn and several A-10 schools. He claims offers from Drexel and LaSalle.

News and Notes: Thursday Edition

Below, some news and notes...
  • The BBC provides additional coverage of the Cody Toppert (Cornell '05) signing with the Plymouth Raiders of the BBL.
  • Harvard's Jeremy Lin told NBADraft.net, "It would be nice for a team such as our selves [Harvard] get consideration next year [for the 2011 NCAA Tournament], in particular with the success Cornell had in the NCAA tournament."
  • Crown Magazine references Manny Sahota's (Cornell) appearance in the All Canada Classic on June 14.
  • OregonLive.com references Jeff Foote's (Cornell) workout yesterday with the Portland Trailblazers.
  • Many of Cornell's top recruiting prospects will attend Coach Courtney's Cornell Basketball Prospect Camp between June 26-27. For fans interested in meeting Coach Courtney, The Cornell Rebounders Club will host on June 22 from 5-7 p.m. at the Country Club of Ithaca, a meet-and-greet with the coach.
  • New Penn assistant, Rudy Wise told the Daily Pennsylvanian with regard to Penn's overloaded 23-player roster next season, “I think the numbers will take care of themselves." Brian Fitzpatrick, the second freshman to elect to transfer out of the program told the D.P., “I just can’t imagine what next year’s going to be like. Just imagine practice. You only play 10 guys on the court, so you have 13 guys waiting to get in? It’s crazy; it’s really crazy,”
  • ESPN's Page 2 pokes fun with the concept of a newly expanded Super Ivy League.
  • Below an archived excerpt from a fall 1995 issue of the Daily Pennsylvanian following Penn's 1995-1996 season opening game. During the prior May, the Quakers graduated five All-Ivy League starters, including two players that would eventually appear in NBA games-- namely Jerome Allen and Matt Maloney. Although the annual season preview magazines for the '95-'96 season dismissed the Quakers as title contenders, Penn would go on to clinch a share of the Ivy League championship. The D.P. had the following reaction to the season opener, which happened to be a loss for Penn. Perhaps followers of the Ivy League today may see some parallels with Cornell's present situation:
"...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."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Jeff Foote Workout Coverage from the Portland Trailblazers

Below, is a video interview with Cornell's Jeff Foote following his workout today with the Portland Trailblazers, along with the opinions of Chad Buchanan, Portland's director of college scouting. Above, Foote does battle during his workout. Also pictured, Samardo Samuels (Louisville), Dominic Waters (Portland State), Matt Bouldin (Gonzaga), Luke Harangody (Notre Dame) and Larry Sanders (Virginia Commonwealth).



Buchanan's take: "Cornell big man. Has kind of gotten better every year he's been there. His team had a terrific season this year. He's a big body, keeps his game very simple, which is something we like from those centers. Joel is kind of the same way; they keep the game real simple. Low turnover guy, low mistake guy. Not very athletic, but he's got good lateral agility for a guy his size. I think he'll get some looks in the second round simply because big men .. it's hard to find big men."

Stepping Foote in the Holy Land

Sport5 an Israeli media source reports that Jeff Foote will sign a multi-year contract with the club, Maccabi Tel Aviv. (Note: the source is in Hebrew. For non-Hebrew speakers, we suggest using Google translation.)

News and Notes: Wednesday Edition

Below, some news and notes...
  • This Is Plymouth writes about the signing of Cody Toppert (Cornell '05) by the Plymouth Raiders of England's BBL.
  • The Cornell Daily Sun notes some of the NBA workouts in which Ryan Wittman and Jeff Foote have participated. Foote has worked out twice for the Knicks and vists Portland today. Wittman has worked out for the Nets, Knicks, Kings and Wizards.
  • A history lesson and word of caution to college basketball journalists and fans writing off Cornell next season. Do not assume that simply because Cornell graduates several of the league's top players that the balance of the returning roster is lacking in star power. Past dominant Ivy teams have weathered such mass graduation losses and returned the following year as title contenders. For example, during the 1994-1995 season, Penn finished 22-6 (14-0) Ivy League. Like Cornell's current three-peat run, the end of the 1994-1995 season marked the Quakers' third consecutive title. Penn entered the 1995-1996 season labeled as "rebuilding" following the graduation of some of the greatest Ivy players of all time. The legendary senior class included All Ivy League stars-Jerome Allen, Matt Maloney, Eric Moore, Scott Kegler and Shawn Trice. Notwithstanding the loss of these five All-Ivy League players, the Quakers tied for the 1995-1996 Ivy League title. Lesson here: consider the returning and incoming personnel, not just the departed graduates.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

News and Notes: Tuesday Evening Edition

Below, some news and notes for Tuesday evening...
  • Cornell's Jeff Foote will workout for the Portland Trailblazers on June 16 per the franchise's twitter feed. Foote had his second workout with the Knicks today. Former teammate, Ryan Wittman also participated in the evaluation with the Knicks.
  • We've heard raving reviews about incoming Cornell recruit, Manny Sahota's performance last night at the All-Canada Classic.
  • The Daily Press notes that Steve Donahue gave Chrisopher Newport University's newest head coach his first position in coaching.

Alumni News: Toppert to the U.K.

Euro Basket.com is reporting that Cody Toppert (Cornell '05) has signed with a team in the British Basketball League:
"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.'"

Ferry on Fox Milwaukee

Incoming transfer to Cornell, Andrew Ferry gets a brief appearance in a story this week by Fox Milwaukee in the below video. Ferry arrives at Cornell this fall via stops at Valparaiso and Palm Beach State College. The video features Jake Barnett, a former Cornell transfer prospect, who is landing at Saint Louis after spending his first season at Toledo. Ferry and Barnett are summer workout partners. Barnett was also a former teammate of Stephen Albrecht at Toledo, a former Cornell committed transfer recruit now headed to Brown.

ESPN Rumor Central "Evaluates" Cornell for Next Season

A recent post on ESPN's Rumor Central questions Cornell's likelihood of success next season. The author is clearly not a knowledgeable journalist (or even fan) of Ivy League basketball. Not only does the article incorrectly attribute a quote to The Cornell Basketball Blog (the quote cited to us actually came from a Toronto Raptors blog), but in raising issue with Cornell's returning talent, ESPN's Rumor Central fails to mention several of Cornell's top returning players (including Errick Peck, Mark Coury, Max Groebe, Adam Wire, Anthony Gatlin, just to name a few). In low-balling Cornell, ESPN Insiders also relies exclusively on its own recruiting rankings to evaluate Cornell's incoming recruits. The full ESPN post is as follows:

"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?"

News and Notes: Tuesday "Knick Day" Edition

Below, some news and notes for Tuesday...
  • Numerous sources are reporting that Cornell's Ryan Wittman and Jeff Foote will workout for the Knicks today. For Foote it is his second visit to the Knicks, while Wittman was scouted by the Knicks last week at the Nets' open workout in New Jersey. PostingandToasting.com comments:
    "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?"

Monday, June 14, 2010

Tuesday Knicks to Host Foote and Wittman for Additional Workouts

The Knicks Blog reports that Cornell's Jeff Foote will be brought in for his second workout with the Knicks. And this time, Foote will be bringing a friend. The Knicks will also take a look at Ryan Wittman, who they also previously scouted last week at the open workout session hosted by the New Jersey Nets. This news suggests that the Knicks are very serious about both Cornell prospects.

News and Notes: Monday Edition, New Assistant Hired

Above, Manny Sahota, an incoming Cornell recruit, suits up tonight in the All-Canada Classic All-Star Game. RaptorsHQ.com refers to Sahota as a "gem" headed to Cornell. Below, some news and notes for Monday...
  • Cornell has reportedly filled its third and final assistant coaching slot. Sources tell the The Cornell Basketball Blog that George Mason video coordinator, Ricky Yahn will join Bill Courtney's staff. Yahn began his playing career in high school where he played at Wheeling (West Virginia) Central. He was named First-Team All-State and his team won the state championship his senior season. He played under Dave Wojcik, now an assistant coach at Wake Forest. After the successful high school career, Yahn went on to play college basketball at Division II Wheeling Jesuit University and later professionally in England. As a two-year captain at Wheeling Jesuit, he led the team to the NCAA Tournament twice, including the conference championship in 2005. He was named first-year All-WVIAC and the team MVP. His college coach, Jay DeFruscio, is currently an assistant coach in the NBA with the Indiana Pacers. After graduating from Wheeling Jesuit in 2007 with a degree in psychology, Yahn joined the staff of Saint Vincent College as an assistant coach.
  • GonzoBall.com, a Seton Hall blog writes, "when your most impressive non-conference game is a win over Cornell, that's one weak S.O.S (strength of schedule), even though the Big Red competed with the likes of Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament." Cornell will face Seton Hall in New Jersey during the 2010-2011 season.
  • The Ithaca Journal notes, "The Rebounders [Club] will hold an open house to introduce the new Cornell men's basketball coaching staff. It will be held from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, June 22, at the Country Club of Ithaca.
  • HokieHaven.com evaluates the additions and subtractions to the Virigina Tech Basketball program and writes, "Bill Courtney, Assistant Coach - After just one season in Blacksburg, Bill Courtney left to become the head coach at Cornell University. It is definitely a job where success is possible, as the Big Red made the Sweet 16 just this past season. It is probably the best job in the Ivy League, and Courtney landed it thanks to strong recommendations from both Seth Greenberg and Jim Larranaga, his boss at George Mason. Courtney never was in Blacksburg long enough to really establish any strong ties between Virginia Tech and a region, so the recruiting impact was minimal. On the bench, the Hokies should have more than enough knowledge to make the adjustments between experienced coaches Dennis Wolff, James Johnson, and of course Greenberg."
  • The Flat Hat, the students newspaper of the College of William & Mary references the commitment of Minnesotan Tom Schalk's to attend W&M. He drew some interest from Cornell.
  • Former Penn forward, Brian Fitzpatrick continues to bash Penn's coaching staff for overstocking the Penn roster. As a result of Penn's overcrowding, Fitzpatrick left Penn and transferred to Bucknell, while his classmate, Carson Sullivan, also transferred earlier in the season. Penn currently projects to have a roster of 22 players next season. Below some additional quotes from Fitzpatrick. The quotes were given to the Daily Pennsylvanian, which did a fair job of allowing a player to speak his mind:

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."

  • Curious to see some Cornell Big Red highlights? Check out some of the following videos produced by SlopeMedia
-Cornell Big Red 2009-2010 Season Highlights
-Jeff Foote's Career Highlights Video
-Louis Dale's Career Highlights Video
-Ryan Wittman's Career Highlights Video