By Brian Delaney
January 8, 2011
Bill Courtney got the attention of his starters when he brought them off the bench -- except for sophomore Errick Peck, who started -- in last week's game against Wofford.
After Monday's loss to Buffalo, in which Peck and junior guards Drew Ferry and Chris Wroblewski combined for 50 of the team's 66 points, Courtney took aim at his bench.
The six players who saw time combined to go 3-for-17 from the floor for just 10 points. Even if the offense wasn't great, Courtney said, their play in other facets, collectively, wasn't good enough either.
"We really need our bench to step up," he said. "They really hurt us against Buffalo. ... We were really hurt by the ineffectiveness of our bench. It's nothing I haven't said to them, so I can say it. We need those guys to step up. Not necessarily to score, but you can't go in and miss blockouts, you can't miss defensive assignments, you can't go in and take wild shots. You can't do those things against a quality opponent and expect to win.
"Right now, I have to play Chris, Andrew and Errick too many minutes. If I have to play them 35 minutes a game and we're expecting them to play at that kind of level, at some point it's going to be the law of diminishing returns."
Cornell (3-10) hosts Stony Brook (6-7) at 2 p.m. Saturday.
This and that
* Cornell has struggled from the free throw line this season. As a team, it's shooting 66.7 percent. The last Cornell team to shoot less than 70 percent was the 2003-04 roster (.681), while the 2002-03 group shot 62.9.
In its last two games, Cornell is 23 for 42.
* Peck has turned his season around. After averaging 4.2 points on 23 percent shooting in his first six games, he's averaging 16.3 points on 49 percent shooting in seven games since.
CU gets a recruit
The Cornell basketball blog reported Friday that the Big Red received a verbal commitment from Nenad Tomic, a 6-foot-7, 240-pound power forward from North Royalton, Ohio.
Tomic will be the sixth member of Courtney's first recruiting class, according to numerous reports. Cornell coaches can't comment on prospective recruits until their first semester deposits are received by the university.
* Freshman guard Dominic Scelfo had successful surgery over the holiday break to repair a torn MCL in his knee, Courtney said. Scelfo will miss the season, but will have four years of playing eligibility remaining should he choose to pursue it. In the Ivy League, a player needs an academic reason to qualify for an extra season. ... freshman forward Dwight Tarwater (mono) does not have a specific return date set. ... Junior guard Max Groebe (concussion) is questionable for Stony Brook. ... Sophomore forward Josh Figini (thumb) is expected to dress against Stony Brook.
The Ivy League schedules -- affectionately known as the 14-game tournaments -- for both men and women are scheduled to commence Saturday. On the women's side, Penn visits Princeton and Harvard visits Dartmouth at 4 p.m.
If Cornell/Stony Brook doesn't completely whet your appetite for men's college basketball, Ithaca College hosts St. John Fisher at 4 p.m.
Heading into Friday's games, both teams were 2-0 in the Empire 8 Conference. Ithaca (9-2) was coming off a 107-97 upset of No. 13 Franklin & Marshall on Monday. Fisher (6-5) has won five straight games.
The Bombers have four of the E8's top 10 scorers: Jordan Marcus (first, 19.3 ppg), Phil Barera (fourth, 17.1), Chris Cruz-Rivas (eighth, 14.5) and Andrei Oztemel (10th, 14.1).