Friday, December 31, 2010

No. 1 Draft Pick

Throughout the holiday weekend, The Cornell Basketball Blog will be posting memorable photos of Cornell Basketball from 2010.

A Coach

Throughout the holiday weekend, The Cornell Basketball Blog will be posting memorable photos of Cornell Basketball from 2010.

Battle in the Paint

Throughout the holiday weekend, The Cornell Basketball Blog will be posting memorable photos of Cornell Basketball from 2010.

School Spirit

Throughout the holiday weekend, The Cornell Basketball Blog will be posting memorable photos of Cornell Basketball from 2010.

Taking the Charge

Throughout the holiday weekend, The Cornell Basketball Blog will be posting memorable photos of Cornell Basketball from 2010.

R-E-D

Throughout the holiday weekend, The Cornell Basketball Blog will be posting memorable photos of Cornell Basketball from 2010.

The Sniper

Throughout the holiday weekend, The Cornell Basketball Blog will be posting memorable photos of Cornell Basketball from 2010.

All Smiles

Throughout the holiday weekend, The Cornell Basketball Blog will be posting memorable photos of Cornell Basketball from 2010.

The 6th Man

Throughout the holiday weekend, The Cornell Basketball Blog will be posting memorable photos of Cornell Basketball from 2010.

Newman Nation Training Program

Throughout the holiday weekend, The Cornell Basketball Blog will be posting memorable photos of Cornell Basketball from 2010.

"As Good As It Gets"-- Sports Illustrated

Throughout the holiday weekend, The Cornell Basketball Blog will be posting memorable photos of Cornell Basketball from 2010.

You Can Only Hope to Contain Him

Throughout the holiday weekend, The Cornell Basketball Blog will be posting memorable photos of Cornell Basketball from 2010.

A Bounce, A Bear and A Barry

Throughout the holiday weekend, The Cornell Basketball Blog will be posting memorable photos of Cornell Basketball from 2010.

Behind Enemy Lines

Throughout the holiday weekend, The Cornell Basketball Blog will be posting memorable photos of Cornell Basketball from 2010.

We Got This

Throughout the holiday weekend, The Cornell Basketball Blog will be posting memorable photos of Cornell Basketball from 2010.

Alley Oop!

Throughout the holiday weekend, The Cornell Basketball Blog will be posting memorable photos of Cornell Basketball from 2010.

The Run Begins

Throughout the holiday weekend, The Cornell Basketball Blog will be posting memorable photos of Cornell Basketball from 2010.

We Can Dance

Throughout the holiday weekend, The Cornell Basketball Blog will be posting memorable photos of Cornell Basketball from 2010.

Cheerful Joy

Throughout the holiday weekend, The Cornell Basketball Blog will be posting memorable photos of Cornell Basketball from 2010.

An Eye for the Basket

Throughout the holiday weekend, The Cornell Basketball Blog will be posting memorable photos of Cornell Basketball from 2010.

Game Recap: Cornell Snaps Winless Streak, Defeats Wofford

Below, game recaps from Cornell's win over Wofford on Thursday night.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sports Network Picks Wofford

Game! Of! The! Night!

Tonight's Cornell-Wofford game is the MidMajority.com's Game of the Night.

News and Notes: Thursday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Thursday...
  • Get all the information you need about Cornell's participation in VCU's Christmas Tournament (December 29-30 with New Hampshire, Wofford and host Virginia Commonwealth) with The Cornell Basketball Blog's Game Preview Center. Today, Cornell faces Wofford in the consolation game.
  • Today's game against Wofford tips off at 5 pm. Here are your multimedia links:
--Live stats via VCU

--Live Video via VCU

--Live WVBR.com Audio

Cornell Athletics Game Notes for Big Red vs. Wofford

Game Recap: Cornell Falls to UNH

Below, recaps of Cornell's defeat last night to New Hampshire...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Game Preview Center is Online

Get all the information you need about Cornell's participation in VCU's Christmas Tournament (December 29-30 with New Hampshire, Wofford and host Virginia Commonwealth) with The Cornell Basketball Blog's Game Preview Center. Today's game against New Hampshire tips off at 5 pm.

Harvard Back in the News Again

The Sports Network Takes UNH Big Over Cornell

(Photo Cornell Daily Sun)
Below, the Sports Network's UNH-Cornell preview...

News and Notes: Wednesday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Wednesday...

Ithaca Journal Previews Cornell at VCU Tournament


VCU's Tournament Central

Visit's VCU's Tournament Central for the Richmond Marriott Holidays Hardwood Classic.

Ithaca Journal Male Athlete of the Year


By Brian Delaney
Ithaca Journal
December 29, 2010

In college basketball -- and nowhere is this more true than the Ivy League -- coaches believe great guard play, with the right supporting cast, can win championships. But great guard play coupled with a great big man usually translates into something special.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Date in Cornell Basketball History: Harvard and Cornell of '60-'61 and the Downeast Classic

Fifty years ago to this very day, between December 28-30, 1960, Cornell participated in a three-game tournament in Bangor, Maine known as the Downeast Classic.

Cornell opened the tournament on December 28 with a 67-46 win over Bowdoin College. The following day, in the semifinals, Cornell fell to the University of Maine, 68-58. Awaiting Cornell in the tournament's 3rd place consolation game was Ivy conference rival, Harvard. The Crimson took home an 84-73 win on the neutral floor on December 30.

Of course, Harvard and Cornell still needed to face each other in Ithaca and Cambridge in Ivy League round robin play. On January 14, 1961, the Big Red returned the favor with a 68-62 win at Lavietes. But Harvard would "clinch the series" with a 72-65 overtime win in Ithaca on February 11, 1961.

Above, the December 29, 1960 issue of the Lewiston (ME) Daily Sun headlines Cornell's advancement to the Downeast Classic's semifinal game.

Cornell Clubs Head to VCU

News and Notes: Tuesday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Tuesday...

Around the Rim with Brian Delaney and the Ithaca Journal

UNH Athletics Department Game Notes for New Hampshire-Cornell at Richmond, VA

Monday, December 27, 2010

Peck to Ivy Honor Roll

The Ivy League's Office has named Cornell's Errick Peck to the weekly Ivy League Honor Roll. The League office notes:
Errick Peck, Cornell, Sophomore, Forward (Indianapolis)
21 pts., 8 rebs. vs. Bucknell
2010-11 AWARD WINNERS

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
November 15-Keith Wright, Harvard, Jr.
November 22-Christian Webster, Harvard, So./Austin Morgan, Yale, So.
November 29-Keith Wright, Harvard, Jr.
December 6-Ian Hummer, Princeton, So.
December 13-Noruwa Agho, Columbia, Jr./Kareem Maddox, Princeton, Sr.
December 20-Kareem Maddox, Princeton, Sr.
December 27-Zach Rosen, Penn, Jr.

ROOKIES OF THE WEEK
November 15-Miles Cartwright, Penn, Fr.
November 22-Sean McGonagil, Brown, Fr.
November 29-Miles Cartwright, Penn, Fr.
December 6-Laurent Rivard, Harvard, Fr.
December 13-Steve Frankoski, Columbia, Fr.
December 20-Gediminias Bertasius, Dartmouth, Fr.
December 27-Miles Cartwright, Penn, Fr.

Recruiting News

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

News and Notes: Monday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Monday...

Journal Selects Donahue as Ithaca Area Coach of the Year

Cornell head coach Steve Donahue led the Big Red to a pair of wins in the NCAA Tournament last season. Donahue is now the coach at Boston College.


By Brian Delaney
Ithaca Journal
December 27, 2010

Perhaps no sentiment better described the difficulty of playing the 2009-10 Cornell men's basketball team than the words of Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan, spoken before the Badgers' NCAA second-round tournament game against the Big Red in March.

"I got some messages from some coaching friends who said, 'A coach's worst nightmare is to prepare for this Cornell team in one day,'" Ryan said. "They've played together so long and in such competitive environments with pretty much the same players, not just this year but over the past few years, their timing and how synchronized their offense is on their reads, it's as good as any team I've seen. And I've been around a couple years."

About 24 hours later, Ryan's words rang true in the wake of an 87-69 loss to Cornell. The Big Red executed its offense at an off-the-charts level that day in Jacksonville, shooting 61 percent as a team and ringing up 87 points on what was, at the time, one of Division I's top defenses. The reward was a trip to the NCAA Sweet 16, a feat not before accomplished by a non-scholarship Ivy League team in the era of the three-point shot.

At the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, in front of a crowd dominated by Cornell fans, the Big Red's season ended with a 62-45 loss to a Kentucky team that would, a few months later, set a record with five players being selected in the first round of the NBA Draft. Weeks after that, when the final 2009-10 national rankings were released, 29-5 Cornell was voted the 17th-best team in the country.

The architect of that memorable run was Steve Donahue, who spent the 1990s grinding his way up the coaching ladder in his native Philadelphia area for an opportunity to run his own program. A coach who, in his early volunteer coaching days under Fran Dunphy at Penn, sold paint on the side to scratch a few bucks when he could.

Twenty years later, his mentality had changed little. Donahue was a blue-collar coach that connected with players, fans and alums, earned their respect and then delivered for them in the largest of ways.

For all that his team accomplished over the 2009-10 season, Donahue was selected as The Ithaca Journal's 2010 Kenny Van Sickle Male Coach of the Year. He also won the honor in 2008, after the first of his three straight Ivy League championship seasons.

"The alumni interest in our basketball program and in Steve Donahue's leadership has been strong for at least the past five years and probably before that, but certainly within the last year and in the NCAA run, the interest and appreciation for what Steve did for our program was over the top," Cornell director of athletics Andy Noel said last March, just before Donahue was hired away to the land of major conference basketball by Boston College of the ACC. "Steve did it the right way from the very beginning. He never yielded, and ended up with a group of players that took the country by storm."

There was little question that Cornell was the most physically talented Ivy League team over the past few years. But that didn't make Donahue's job easier in certain aspects.

Princeton and Harvard fielded strong squads and joined Cornell in giving the Ivy League three 20-win teams for the first time in 2009-10. The Tigers were a top defensive team that lost a pair of three-point games to the Big Red. Harvard, coached by gifted recruiter and former Duke standout Tommy Amaker, was led by the sensational Jeremy Lin, now a member of the Golden State Warriors in the NBA.

Cornell ensured it would live up to its lofty preseason expectations when it won back-to-back road games against those two teams last February — on the heels of its lone league loss suffered on a Friday night at Penn.

"Unfortunately in college basketball, the difference between winning and losing, even when you're the best team in the league or the worst team in the league, is not that (big)," Donahue said. "So if you don't play really well, and play your game and do the things that you have to do whether it's the level intensity, defense, execution ... you're not going to win."

More often than not, with Donahue making the decisions, this Cornell team won. Consider:

* Beginning with the 2009 NCAA tournament game against Missouri, Donahue paired point guard Louis Dale with a second point guard, Chris Wroblewski. For Cornell, it meant consistent ball security and an inability for opponents to focus on getting the ball out of Dale's hands. For Geoff Reeves, it meant a reduced — but no less important — role that the 6-4 swingman embraced.

* When it was clear that the addition of senior Jon Jaques to the starting rotation made the Big Red a more difficult team to guard, Donahue stuck with the 6-7 sharpshooting senior at the expense of playing time for another senior. But interior post player and three-year starter Alex Tyler handled the transition without creating turmoil.

* Cornell beat a number of higher-profile opponents along the way, beginning with the season-opener at Alabama, a successful trip to UMass and a win over St. John's at Madison Square Garden in December. But it was a high-profile loss, a 71-66 defeat to No. 1 Kansas in early January, that awakened the country to the Big Red's potential.

* Cornell was one of the most efficient offenses in college basketball. It led the country in three-point shooting (.429). But the system was played through 7-foot center Jeff Foote, whose passing and decision-making ability were rare for a player of his size and mobility.

* Cornell ended the Ivy League's 12-year winless streak in the NCAA tournament with two victories, beating nationally ranked Temple and Wisconsin by double-digit margins. Not since the 1997-98 Princeton team had an Ivy school won in the Big Dance.

Donahue spent 10 years at Cornell, and four years went into molding the Sweet 16 team that won over the hearts of college basketball fans. By the end of the run, he said he could go the rest of his coaching career without leading a group as special as that one.

"A strength of this team was its consistency," he said. "Whether we were home versus a Division III team, whether we're on the road against Kansas, I just thought this group was very mature in their approach to every game, especially the senior class. Very rarely (was) I disappointed in their approach."

Saturday, December 25, 2010

News and Notes: Saturday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Saturday...

Cornell at VCU Christmas Tournament (12/29-12/30) Game Preview Center

Get all the information you need about Cornell's participation in the VCU Christmas Tournament (December 29-30 with New Hampshire, Wofford and host Virginia Commonwealth), right here with The Cornell Basketball Blog's Game Preview Center. As the games approach, we will be adding relevant links to this space. Let us know your thoughts on the upcoming games by either leaving a comment to this post, sending us an email (CornellBigRedFan@gmail.com), or posting a message on The Cornell Basketball Blog's Community Forum (click here). GO BIG RED!

RELATED LINKS

Multimedia Links
Cornell Basketball Related Links
New Hampshire Basketball Related Links
Wofford Basketball Related Links
VCU Basketball Related Links

Thursday, December 23, 2010

News and Notes: Thursday Edition

(Photo Michael King)
Below, some news and notes for Thursday...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

News and Notes: Wednesday Edition

(photo, Michael King)
Below, some news and notes for Tuesday...