Friday, July 30, 2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Recruiting News

As Sports Illustated's Seth Davis points out this week, "For the most part, all the college coaches working the summer circuit know whom they want to recruit by now. Their presence is a way for them to advertise their interest to the players. Generally speaking, they come less to see and more to be seen." Below, some buzz around Ivy League recruiting circles. For a list of committed players to attend Ivy League schools, including profiles of incoming Cornell recruits, and a listing of Cornell's prospective recruiting targets, click here. For a list of general Ivy League prospective recruiting targets, click here. Please note that we update these lists daily.

News and Notes: Thursday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Thursday...
  • The Harvard Crimson writes, "In hoops news, the Cornell men’s basketball team’s “tentatively projected 2010-2011 non-conference schedule” was released by the Cornell Basketball Blog. The Big Red is expected to square off against such elite opponents as Seton Hall, Syracuse, and Minnesota. The Harvard men’s basketball team is expected to take on at least four opponents from the power six conferences. The Crimson will host Colorado and visit Connecticut, Michigan, and Boston College. Also on the schedule for Harvard are the Atlantic 10’s Fordham and George Washington and the Colonial Athletic Association’s George Mason."
  • In a Boston College recruiting update, the Bleacher Report writes, "Boston College fired former head coach Al Skinner and eventually found a replacement in the Ivy League's hottest coach, Steve Donahue. Donahue guided Cornell to the Sweet 16 this past season, but now has his work cut out for him in Chestnut Hill."

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

News and Notes: Wednesday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Wednesday...
  • notes, "The University of Wisconsin men’s basketball team will face Manhattan in the first round of the Old Spice Classic in Orlando on Nov. 25, sources say. Manhattan was 11-20 last year and has six incoming freshman, including four from New York City. The winner of that game will take on the winner of the Boston College/Texas A&M first-round game. BC is coached by Steve Donahue, who was the coach of the Cornell team that was the darling of the 2010 NCAA Tournament and defeated the Badgers 87-69 in a second-round game in Jacksonville. BC was 15-16 last year."

  • For those already concentrating on next season, Penn, Yale, Cornell, Columbia, and Dartmouth have posted their 2010-2011 rosters. Penn, Yale, Columbia and Dartmouth, have formally announced their incoming recruiting classes. We previously posted a sneak peak at Cornell's tentative schedule.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Feature on Incoming Transfer, Andrew Ferry

See the story of incoming Cornell recruit, Andrew Ferry. The feature was recently produced by journalist Mark Concannon.

Schedule Update: Big Red Opponents Present Off the Court Drama

Above, Drexel's Jamie Harris (No. 12, left), defended by Cornell's No. 12, Louis Dale ('10) on November 29, was arrested this week for armed robbery along with a Drexel teammate, Kevin Phillip. Cornell beat Drexel in Philadelphia, 61-54.

Cornell faces two teams, Saint Bonaventure and Seton Hall on the 2010-2011 schedule also facing their own legal problems involving team members.

Alumni News: Foote Joines Torrance in Israel

Alabama's Mikhail Torrance (No. 2, far right) and Cornell's Jeff Foote (left) will be teammates in the EuroLeague with Israel's Maccabi Tel Aviv. The undrafted Torrance was considered a likely second round pick by several experts. Foote finished with 17 points and 7 rebounds in Cornell's 71-67 victory over Alabama in Tuscaloosa on November 15, 2009. Torrance finished with 16 points and 6 rebounds.

News and Notes: Tuesday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Tuesday...

Recruiting News

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

Monday, July 26, 2010

Will the Ivy League's banner season attract better recruits?

By Jeff Eisenberg
Julu 26, 2010

Cornell captivated TV viewers this past March when it became the Ivy League's first Sweet 16 team in more than three decades.

News and Notes: Monday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Monday...
  • After inuring his hand a month ago at Cornell's Elite Camp, incoming Cornell freshman, Jake Matthews, a 6'2" guard from the Pittsburgh area tweets, "hand feels great. still have a couple weeks though. anxious to get on the court!" He adds, "More motivated than ever right now...and it won't stop." Matthews impressed observers at the Big Red's Elite Camp with his ability to create his own shots and score the ball off the dribble against Division I level prospects. And in the continued tradition of Cornell guards, Matthews can shoot from long range.
  • The Wall Street Journal writes, "[Jeremy] Lin may not be the NBA's only Ivy rep next year. Cornell's Ryan Wittman, who played in seven NBA summer-league games this month, could be next in line."
  • You may want to make plans to be in Ithaca on Tuesday, November 17. As we previously reported, the date is expected to be Cornell's home opener for 2010-2011 (against the CAA's Delaware) and will likely included the raising of Cornell's 2010 Ivy League Championship and Sweet Sixteen banners. It should be a magical night. Get those cameras ready.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The 2010-2011 Schedule Sneak Peak...(UPDATED 7/23/10)

Below, Cornell's tentatively projected 2010-2011 nonconference schedule.

Nov. 12-at Albany
Nov. 14-at Seton Hall
Nov. 17-vs. Delaware
Nov. 19-vs. St. Bonaventure
Nov. 22- at Lehigh
Nov. 27- at Boston University
Nov. 30- at Syracuse
Dec. 4-at Minnesota
Dec. 18- at Binghamton
Dec. 20- vs. Bucknell
Dec. 29/30- at Virginia Commonwealth Tournament (with VCU, Wofford, and New Hampshire)
Jan. 3-vs. Buffalo
Jan. 8- vs. Stony Brook
Jan. 15.- at Columbia
Jan 22.-vs. Columbia
Jan 28.-at Dartmouth
Jan 29-at Harvard
Feb. 4- at Yale
Feb. 5- at Brown
Feb. 11-vs. Penn
Feb. 12-vs. Princeton
Feb. 18-vs. Harvard
Feb. 19-vs. Dartmouth
Feb. 25- at Princeton
Feb. 26- at Penn
March 4-vs. Brown
March 5-vs. Yale

Recruiting News

Below, some recruiting news around the Ancient Eight...

News and Notes: Evening Edition

Below, some news and notes for Thursday evening...

News and Notes: Thursday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Thursday...

Monday, July 19, 2010

Recruiting News

Below, some buzz around Ivy League recruiting circles. For a list of committed players to attend Ivy League schools, including profiles of incoming Cornell recruits, and a listing of Cornell's prospective recruiting targets, click here. For a list of general Ivy League prospective recruiting targets, click here. Please note that we update these lists daily.

News and Notes: Monday Edition

Above, a photo of the Cornell Daily Sun's special freshman issue recapping Cornell Basketball's 2009-2010 season. Below, some news and notes for Monday...
  • Chicago Now speculates that Cornell might join Northwestern and St. John's in the 2010 MSG Holiday Festival. However, as we have previously posted in our "Schedule Updates", the defending MSG Holiday Festival champions, the Cornell Big Red will not return to the Garden this year.
  • The Ithaca Journal notes, "Ryan Wittman finished his tour with the New York Knicks at the Las Vegas Summer League, playing seven-plus scoreless minutes in a 109-107 overtime victory over the Washington Wizards. Wittman, a 6-foot-7 small forward, was 0-for-2 from the field on Saturday with two rebounds and a turnover in 7 minutes, 22 seconds of playing time. Seventeen different players saw time for the Knicks, which finished league play with a 3-2 record. Wittman has said previously that if an offer with an NBA team didn't initially pan out, he'd be comfortable playing overseas. Cornell teammates Louis Dale, Jeff Foote and Jon Jaques have already inked contracts to play across the Atlantic."
  • asks after New Jersey high school senior prospect, Luke Piotrowski visited Boston College, "[L]ast year [Steve] Donahue turned Cornell big man Jeff Foote into a force. Could Luke be the next Jeff Foote"

Pete Carril's 80-year-old eyes twinkled when asked what he thought of Cornell's surprise run to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament last season.

"I wasn't doing too much thinking," the former Princeton coach said. "I was doing a lot of enjoying."

The Big Red's march to become the first Ivy League school in more than 30 years to reach the Sweet 16 did more than give people like Carril, the most successful coach in league history, something to smile about.

It raised awareness of the Ivy League among NBA executives, and that dynamic is in play this week in Las Vegas. Former Harvard guard Jeremy Lin (Mavericks), Harvard center Brian Cusworth (Hornets), Cornell forward Ryan Wittman (Knicks) and Pennsylvania guard Ibrahim Jaaber (Lakers) have earned playing time in the NBA Summer League.

... "I think we're starting to get some respect, for sure," Lin said of Ivy Leaguers. "Look what Cornell did, what Harvard did (last season). Just getting a lot of players to advance in the NCAA Tournament for Cornell, I think that was huge."

What would it mean to you as someone coming out of the Ivy League to be able to make it in the NBA? What would it mean to have an Ivy League guy playing in the NBA?

It would mean a lot to me, because it hasn't been done in a while. I think it'd be great for the League. I think the Ivy League has good players. We're looked down upon when it comes to basketball, but I think with what Cornell did this past year, people are starting to realize that players in the Ivy League can play as well. I think it'd be great for the conference.

Is the Ivy League producing better NBA-ready players then we're giving it credit for?

I think it's better then most people will give it credit for. And I think Cornell's Sweet Sixteen run is a good example of that and I think other teams have also beaten some bigger name opponents from bigger conferences. So I think the Ivy League should get a little more respect but obviously I'm biased because I played in an Ivy League.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

News and Notes: Saturday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Saturday...

  • Cornell's 2009-2010 season is widely regarded as the best performance by an Ivy League team since the creation of the 64-plus team NCAA Tournament format. Not only did Cornell capture its third consecutive Ivy League title, but the Big Red advanced to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament and earned a final No. 17 national ranking in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Top 25 Poll. Along the way, Cornell picked up wins against two Top 25 teams and knocked off the likes of Alabama, St. John's, Temple, Wisconsin, La Salle, St. Joseph's, UMass, Drexel, Davidson, Bucknell and Vermont. Cornell also captured the MSG Holiday Festival trophy and swept through the Legends Classic 4-0 while earning the final No. 4 ranking in the Coaches' Mid Major Top 25 Poll.
  • RELIVE THE MAGIC of '09-'10. CBS College Sports is replaying the entire 2010 NCAA Tournament. They started the feature last week, but there are still plenty of Cornell games still to be shown.
    Monday, Jul 19 4:30pm
    Cornell vs. Wisconsin (2nd Round)

    Tuesday, Jul 20 10:00am
    Cornell vs. Wisconsin (2nd Round)

    Tuesday, Jul 20 5:00pm
    Cornell vs. Kentucky (Sweet Sixteen)

    Wednesday, Jul 21 3:30am
    Cornell vs. Kentucky (Sweet Sixteen)
  • The Ithaca Journal notes, "Ryan Wittman did not play in the New York Knicks' 92-80 NBA Summer League victory over the Detroit Pistons on Friday in Las Vegas. Wittman, a 2010 Cornell grad, was one of four Knick players who didn't play. Syracuse grad Andy Rautins played just over 30 minutes and scored nine points on 4-for-9 shooting.Former Georgetown player Greg Monroe had a game-high 27 points." Wittman's final summer league game is today vs. Washington.
  • is not buying into all the offseason hype surrounding Harvard. The site notes:
    "The people in Cambridge, Massachusetts seem to think that Tommy Amaker has turned things around and that the success will carry into this season and beyond because of Amaker’s ability to recruit and the school’s “name.” While we think there is a better chance of fielding a solid basketball team than a solid football team at an Ivy League school because of the pure numbers — getting five to commit is easier than 23 (or 11 if your players are going two ways) — but we just don’t see that happening, at least on a consistent basis (Cornell last year was a little bit like catching lightning in a bottle). Our favorite part of the article is Andy Katz crediting Amaker with guiding Harvard to its first postseason appearance since 1946 last year, when they qualified for the Tournament created just a year earlier. What’s next? Saying that a team is ranked just because Ken Pomeroy has them ranked even if they are 347th?"
  • Speaking of Harvard, former Crimson recruiting commitment, Monty Brown (Hotchkiss School) Lakeville, CT, 6-11, C has decommitted and will instead attend Mercer. Harvard visits Mercer on November 20.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Thursday, July 15, 2010

News and Notes: Thursday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Thursday evening...

Jon Jaques Blogs Again...

He’s three months removed from playing in the Sweet 16. He played four seasons of DI hoops, averaging 45 percent from three during his senior year. Without further ado, we’re pleased to present SLAMonline’s newest college blogger, Jon Jaques, Cornell Big Red graduate and current forward for Israel’s Ironi Ashkelon club.–Ed.

by Jon Jaques

I’m finding out more and more that basketball is a stubborn itch that won’t go away but feels pretty good to scratch. When my memorable career at Cornell ended, I thought for certain I was headed in to the real world, Ivy League education in hand, to get a “real job,” but the itch in my shooting hand led me to Ashkelon, Israel, where I’ll be playing professionally next season. That same itch plagues my typing hand as well. During my four years in Ithaca, I had the opportunity to blog about Cornell, Ivy League, and Division I basketball for the New York TimesQuad Blog, and in doing so, discovered a way to merge my definitely unhealthy obsession with basketball with my steadily increasing passion for journalism. So while I can’t escape the urge to play basketball (at least for one more season while my vertical leap still pushes 30 inches), it’s even more obvious I need to write about the sport.

I’m ready to branch out and write about other teams, though. I think one blog devoted to an Ivy League basketball team is probably enough, and though I will forever remain fond of Ivy League basketball, I do acknowledge that there are 339 other teams in Division I basketball outside the Ancient Eight that deserve some attention. I know all those Dartmouth and Brown hooligans out there are already dusting off their clubs and sharpening their knives, but the Big East and the ACC deserve some love also.

Vote Big Red.

Vote for Cornell as your national Team of the Year on The Dagger blog on YahooSports/ Cornell is nominated alongside Duke, Butler, Kansas and Kentucky.

News and Notes: Thursday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Thursday...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Vote for Cornell as Team of the Year!

Vote for Cornell as your national Team of the Year on The Dagger blog on YahooSports/ Cornell is nominated alongside Duke, Butler, Kansas and Kentucky.

News and Notes: Wednesday Evening Edition

Below, some evening news and notes...
  • The Dagger blog on YahooSports/ has nominated Cornell for several 2009-2010 "awards" in its own ESPN-ESPY style of honoring the best of college basketball. Visit The Dagger and vote for Cornell. The Big Red are nominated for the following categories:
Nominee National Coach of the Year-Steve Donahue (Cornell)- The Dagger notes, "Although Syracuse's Jim Boeheim won many of the national coach of the year awards, some other noteworthy contenders emerged in the postseason. Duke's Mike Krzyzewski piloted the Blue Devils to the national championship, Butler's Brad Stevens led the Bulldogs on a shocking run to the title game and Cornell's Steve Donahue took the Big Red to their first Sweet 16. The pick: Steve Donahue."

Nominee for Upset of the Year-Feb. 12: Penn 79, Cornell 64-The Dagger notes, "This one might be the biggest no-brainer of all these. Ohio University upsetting third-seeded Georgetown and a 6-22 Penn team toppling Cornell were both shockers, but Northern Iowa taking down pre-NCAA tournament favorite Kansas in the second round would be my clear choice."

Nominee for Team of the Year-Cornell-The Dagger notes, "Duke fans have every right not to like this choice since their team won the national championship, but to me this has to be Butler. In five years, we'll remember this season for Butler's run to the national title game just like we remember 2006 for George Mason's miracle Final Four run. The pick: Butler."

  • In a real head scratching move, former Cornell Basketball player, Shawn Oliverson, transferred from Ivy League Cornell to Louisiana Tech five years ago. After completing a two-year Mormon-LDS mission, Oliverson has played sparingly in his two seasons for the Bulldogs, averaging 0.8 points and 1.2 rebounds with 10 blocks while playing 6.9 minutes per game in 52 contests. Oliverson was named Academic All District by the NABC this season. Unfortunately for Oliverson, he has yet to appear with his Bulldogs in the NCAA Tournament. Meanwhile, Cornell has made three appearances in the Tournament, advanced to a Sweet Sixteen, finished with a No. 17 national ranking and earned three straight Ivy titles. No comment on the academic comparisons between Cornell and Louisiana Tech.
  • Above, Cornell's Ryan Wittman (class of 2010), lines up (third from left) before a New York Knick Las Vegas Summer League game. Wittman finished with 4 points and 1 rebound in 4 minutes tonight in New York's 102-89 loss to the Toronto Raptors. Wittman and the Knicks return to action this weekend with games on Friday and Saturday against Detroit and Washington.

News and Notes: Wednesday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Wednesday...
  • Penn, Yale, Cornell, Columbia, and Dartmouth have posted their 2010-2011 rosters. While only Yale lists incoming recruits on its roster, Penn projects to have the Ivy League's largest roster in recent years, consisting of 22 players. Yale, Columbia and Dartmouth, have formally announced their incoming recruiting classes.
  • In an interview with Dime Magazine, Dennis Clifford, a 6'11" center from Massachusetts was asked the following Q&A in connection with his commitment to attend Boston College next season:
Dime: First off, before you were contacted by Steve Donahue, what other schools were interested in you?
Dennis Clifford: Providence, Sienna, Northeastern, Princeton, Harvard, Cornell, UMass, and other Ivy League schools and mid-majors.
  • WETM (NBC Elmira, NY) posted on Tuesday night the following on Jon Jaques' ('10) signing with a pro-Israeli club:
ITHACA - Make it four Cornell players in pro basketball from this year's senior class. Jon Jaques is the fourth to sign, agreeing to a contract with Ironi Ashkelon in Israel. He'll be playing in the same league as Jeff Foote, meaning the former teammates will likely take the court as opponents this year. Jaques barely saw the court his first three years at Cornell, but emerged as a starter his senior year, giving the Big Red another three-point threat. He joins Foote, Louis Dale, and Ryan Wittman in signing pro contracts this summer. Dale will play in Germany, while Wittman is on the Boston Celtics' summer league team.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Recruiting News

Below, some recruiting buzz around the Ivy League...

News and Notes: Tuesday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Tuesday...
  • published its summer version of bracketology and picks Princeton to win the Ivy League and earn a 15 seed.
  • The Ithaca Journal notes, "After sitting out Sunday's game against Denver, Ryan Wittman saw nine minutes of action Monday in the New York Knicks' 81-73 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers at the Las Vegas Summer League.Wittman hit one of his three shot attempts -- a 3-pointer -- and finished with three points. The Knicks play Toronto at 6 p.m. Wednesday." Wittman and the Knicks return to action on Wednesday against Toronto with additional games on Friday and Saturday against Detroit and Washington.
  • writes in an article, "BC Welcomes Donahue's Fresh Approach," as follows:

When Cornell reached the Sweet 16 in March, Boston College guard Reggie Jackson wasn't shocked by the idea of an Ivy League team in the regional semifinals.

Instead, he was enthralled watching Cornell score a combined 165 points on stout defensive teams Temple and Wisconsin. Jackson saw the Big Red launching 3-pointers, running up and down the court, penetrating and cutting through the Owls' and Badgers' defenses.

How does all this work? Jackson wondered.

"Normally, I can read an offense, but it was harder with Cornell," Jackson said. "There was just complete chaos."

Jackson now will be part of that chaos, as his new coach is Cornell's Steve Donahue. BC hired Donahue to inject some life into the program.


If Boston College plays the way Cornell did during the NCAA tournament, the Eagles will find it a little easier to draw local attention.

Cornell's offense was at its best in its two tournament wins. The Big Red, who were a No. 12 seed, shot 56.3 percent from the floor against Temple, which had held teams to 37.9 percent shooting going into the tournament. In the second round, Cornell scored 87 points on Wisconsin, a team that had allowed 56.2 points per game. The Big Red shot 61.1 percent from the field and hit eight 3-pointers. The Badgers had held opponents to 41.8 percent shooting and 4.1 3s per game before running into Cornell.

In the Sweet 16, Cornell finally ran into another up-tempo team. Top-seeded Kentucky ended the Cinderella run with a 62-45 victory in the regional semifinals.

Those results might be a few years away for BC, though. Cornell was a senior-laden team that had made two previous tournament appearances.

Monday, July 12, 2010

News and Notes: Monday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Monday...
  • lists the low and mid-major coaches that could make the jump to high majors next season and the listing includes Princeton's Sydney Johnson. notes, "As for the idea that a "big" school wouldn't take a chance on an Ivy coach, there are four former Ivy coaches now working in a Big Six conference -- Donahue in the ACC, Northwestern's Bill Carmody in the Big Ten, Oregon State's Craig Robinson in the Pac-10 and Georgetown's John Thompson III in the Big East. Johnson was on Georgetown's staff when he was hired away by Princeton -- and Thompson was Princeton's coach when he was hired away by Georgetown."
  • Incoming Cornell recruit, Dwight Tarwater is averaging 5.5 points per game for his Richardson Construction team in the Knoxville Rocky Top Summer League.
  • In the New York Knicks' opening summer league game in Las Vegas against Denver, on Sunday Ryan Wittman (Cornell '10) did not get off the bench. The Cornell Daily Sun notes, "Wittman did not play in Sunday's game against the Denver Nuggets, per coach's decision. He will need to wait another day to make his debut on the floor with the Knicks. Despite trailing by as much as 17, New York battled back to tie things at 70 with 1:48 remaining in the third quarter before ultimately falling to Denver, 100-90." In the Knicks' second game, the Sun notes, "On Monday, Wittman...shot 1-for-3 with a 3-pointer in just over nine minutes of action, as the Knicks evened their summer league record at 1-1 after taking down the L.A. Lakers, 71-63."
Above, the Knicks misspelled Wittman's last name on the back of his No. 25 jersey. Photo courtesy of Jon Jaques ('10) who was in attendance at the game with Jeff Foote ('10).

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cody Toppert ('05) Ready to Shoot in the U.K.

This Is Plymouth
July 7, 2010

CODY TOPPERT may not make jaw-dropping slam-dunks at the Pavilions next season.

But the new Plymouth Raiders shooting-guard intends to take your breath away with his ability to bury three-pointers.

Raiders were poor from the three-point line last season (shooting only 29 per cent) and, as a result were overly reliant on fast-break points.

News and Notes: Wednesday Edition

Below, some news and notes...
  • Several media sources including, The Hoops Market and One were first in reporting that the Israeli club, Ironi Ashkelon has signed Jon Jaques (Cornell '10). Jaques is the fourth memeber of Cornell's class of 2010 to sign a professional basketball contract, joining Ryan Wittman (summer contracts with Boston Celtics and New York Knicks), Jeff Foote (Israel-Maccabi Tel Aviv), and Louis Dale (Germany-BG Göttingen). Macklin and Lovett represents Jaques and confirmed the signing. Meanwhile, Dale is signed with World Wide Hoops while Wittman is signed with Mark Termini Associates Inc. Dale's agent also confirmed his signing.

Wittman Debuts

Former Cornell basketball player Ryan Wittman scored six points in his NBA Summer League debut with the Boston Celtics on Tuesday in Orlando, Fla.

Wittman went 3-for-4 from the field in 10 minutes, 35 seconds of playing time in the Celtics' 86-69 loss to Philadelphia.

He missed the first shot he took -- a 3-pointer in the first quarter -- and connected on his next three field goals, all late in the fourth quarter.

He also recorded an offensive rebound, a steal and a turnover.

Wittman, who graduated in May, did not play in Monday's AirTran Always Pro Summer League game against Oklahoma City.

Boston plays Charlotte at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Evan Turner, the No. 2 overall pick in the NBA Draft last month, had 13 points and four assists for the 76ers.

  • The blog, Celtics Town added, " Ryan Wittman only played a few minutes, but hit some tough shots. I’m pretty sure his passion bucket was filled to the brim."

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Wittman Scores first Career Points in NBA Uniform

In ten minutes of action tonight for the Boston Celtics in NBA Summer League action in Orlando, Ryan Wittman (Cornell '10) finished with 6 points, 1 rebound and 1 steal on 3/4 shooting. The Celtics fell to Philadelphia 86-69. Above, The Philadelphia 76ers’ Jrue Holiday makes a move to get between the Celtics' Wittman, left, and Ryan Thompson (right) during the second half.

News and Notes: Tuesday Edition

Below, some news and notes from the long holiday weekend...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Wittman is a Knick too...

In addition to playing for the Boston Celtics in the Orlando summer league, Ryan Wittman will also play for the Knicks in the Las Vegas summer league.

YahooSports on Harvard Recruiting Violations

The Dagger blog of YahooSports comments on the NCAA's finding that Harvard committed recruiting violations during 2007. The Dagger writes, "The ruling seems to be fair considering the New York Times report made it pretty clear that [Harvard assistant, Kenny] Blakeney [improperly] tried to influence prospective recruits to Harvard."

More on Harvard Recruiting Violations

Harvard's basketball program has declared that it committed a secondary recruiting violation in the summer of 2007, the Ivy League office said today in a statement.

This is big news to people who follow the Ivy League, as you may remember that Harvard was originally cleared of any wrongdoing by the league during its initial investigation in 2008.

The investigation was launched after the New York Times reported on some recruiting tactics that may have violated NCAA and Ivy League recruiting rules. Those tactics included potential attempts to skirt the Ivy League's Academic Index rules on recruits' academic profiles, and visits to prospective Harvard recruits by current Crimson assistant coach Kenny Blakeney before he was hired by the program.

The former issue was rendered irrelevant when the recruits in question did not enroll at the school. Most notable among those players is Frank Ben-Eze, who ended up at Davidson.

But the Blakeney issue was never fully resolved in the eyes of many observers, myself included. Although the Ivy League's original conclusion in 2008 stated that no violations had occured, the Times story made a pretty clear inference that Blakeney had tried to influence potential Harvard recruits before he became an employee of the basketball program.

News and Notes: Friday Edition

Below, some news and notes...
  • Josh Figini is playing once again in the Howard Pulley Summer Pro Am City League in Minneapolis. Figini, a 6'9" forward, has posted scoring totals of 10, 27 and 12 in his first three games for his team, IIG, including pulling down 6 rebounds on June 30.
  • Through five games in the Rocky Top Summer League in Knoxville, TN, incoming Cornell recruit, Dwight Tarwater is averaging 3.4 points per game. Tarwater's teammates, C.J. Watson and Renaldo Wooldridge, have combined to average more than 48 points per game for their Richardson Construction Team.
  • Well, Max Groebe earned at least one postseason honor. The Gazette of Massachusetts named Groebe to its Honorable Mention All Transferers Team, a list of the best players to transfer out of the UMass program. We will see if this honor makes it into the 2010-2011 Cornell Basketball Media Guide. Speaking of Groebe, his former AAU program, the Miami Tropics, still has him listed among their notable alumni, but has not updated his bio to list his current team as Cornell.
  • Full Package Athletics founder Steve Pratt told that he recalls bringing a 6th grade AAU team to the Illinois State AAU championship game, led by Cornell's Chris Wroblewski and Michigan walk-on, Josh Bartlestein. "We took a team with Chris and Josh and played for the state championship in sixth grade and lost in the finals," Pratt said. "Then, in seventh grade, they won the state championship. Then they went on to have great high-school careers."
  • The University of Delaware becomes the second 2010-2011 Cornell opponent to officially announce its schedule. The Blue Hens will visit Cornell on November 17. The UD press release notes, the Blue Hens face "a Big Red team coming off an appearance in the 2010 Sweet Sixteen." Cornell's 28-game schedule includes the following opponents. Some of Cornell's unofficial game dates are also listed.

    Nov. 12-at Albany
    Nov. 14-at Seton Hall
    Nov. 17-vs. Delaware
    Nov. 19 vs. St. Bonaventure
    Dec. 18 at Binghamton
    Jan. 3-vs. Buffalo
    TBA at Minnesota
    TBA at Syracuse
    TBA at Virginia Commonwealth Tournament (with VCU, Wofford, and New Hampshire)
    TBA at Lehigh
    TBA at Boston University
    TBA vs. Bucknell
    TBA vs. Stony Brook
    TBA 14 Ivy Games
  • Yale becomes the third Ivy program, joining Columbia and Dartmouth, to formally announced its recruiting class. There are no surprise names.
  • writes with respect to Steve Donahue at Boston College, "Fresh off a season in which he guided the Big Red to the Sweet 16 – the first Ivy League squad to get that far in 31 years – Donahue is one of the rising stars in the industry. His Cornell teams, which made three straight NCAA Tournaments, were expertly coached and made equally well-coached big-conference outfits like Temple and Wisconsin (programs that, unlike Cornell, feature scholarship players) look like JC squads in first- and second-round blowout victories this March. Now just imagine what Donahue will be able to do in the ACC, with 13 scholarships at his disposal."
  • The Ivy League published Cornell's press release on Ryan Wittman's signing with the Boston Celtics.
  • The Ithaca Journal writes:
Despite not being selected in the NBA Draft, recent Cornell graduate Ryan Wittman's professional basketball aspirations just got a little closer to reality.

Wittman has been signed by the Boston Celtics to play for their Summer League team. The Celtics compete in the AirTran Always Pro Summer League in Orlando, Fla. Play begins Monday.

All-American Luke Harangody, a second-round pick from Notre Dame, is expected to be one of Wittman's teammates.

Games are played at the RDV Sportsplex in Orlando but are not open to the public.

The Celtics fell in seven games in the NBA Finals to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Wittman, a 6-foot-7 forward and the Ivy League Player of the Year, was an Associated Press honorable mention All-American while averaging 17.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists during his senior season.
(edited 12:05 p.m.)

Recruiting News: Harvard Admits to Basketball Recruiting Violations

7/1/10-PRINCETON, N.J. -- The Ivy League and Harvard University announced today that Harvard has declared an unintentional secondary violation in connection with conversations in the summer of 2007 between current Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach Kenny Blakeney and members of the Harvard coaching staff that occurred before Mr. Blakeney was employed by Harvard.

“Secondary violations” are by NCAA definition “inadvertent” and deemed to provide at most a “minimal advantage” to the institution. They are also routine for all Division I members, including Ivy League institutions; the NCAA processes over two thousand secondary violations annually. While Harvard and the Ivy League do not ordinarily release information related to secondary violations, they are doing so in this case in view of prior publicity in 2008, when the Ivy League released a statement that its inquiry into these matters found no violations of Ivy League or NCAA rules.

This revised conclusion reflects conversations between Harvard and the NCAA subsequent to Harvard’s submission of the initial report to the Ivy League on this matter and its acceptance by the Ivy League Office. The NCAA staff agreed with the Ivy League’s and Harvard’s original conclusions that at the time of the conversations Mr. Blakeney had not been offered employment and did not have an employment agreement, and that any violation was “secondary”. However, under the NCAA’s interpretation of its rules, Mr. Blakeney’s conversations with the Harvard coaching staff during a time when he was independently observing prospective student‐athletes required a finding of improper recruiting assistance to Harvard. After these discussions with the NCAA, Harvard elected to acknowledge a secondary violation and to self‐impose recruiting limits for the 2010-2011 academic year.

During the Ivy League inquiry in 2008 current Ivy League Executive Director Robin Harris, while in her previous position with the Ice Miller law firm, represented a Harvard coach. Ms. Harris’s role in this case ended in September 2008, at the conclusion of the Ivy League’s initial review, before she applied for the Executive Director position. She recused herself from any consideration of the NCAA matter and has not been involved in any manner in subsequent developments or decisions.