Friday, January 14, 2011

News and Notes: Friday Edition

Get all the information you need about Cornell's upcoming Ivy League opener at Columbia on Saturday with The Cornell Basketball Blog's Game Preview Center. Below, some news and notes for Friday...
  • The Cornell Chronicle notes that Cornell's Employee Day will be February 4 for Cornell's home game against Princeton.
  • Congratulations to the following Cornell recruits nominated to the McDonald's All-America Game: Deion Giddens (Arizona), Dave LaMore(Michigan), Devin Cherry (Mississippi), Gala Cancer (New York), and Shonn Miller (Ohio).
  • The Troy Record previews the rematch between Troy High School and Galal Cancer's Christian Brothers Academy.
  • With respect to league titles, the Washington Examiner notes that since the inception of the modern version of the Ivy League in 1955, "Penn owns 23. Princeton has 21. Cornell (four), Yale (two) and Dartmouth (two) have their share. Even Brown and Columbia have one. But there's one team since Ivy League basketball competition officially began in 1955-56 that has never captured a championship -- Harvard."
  • The Yale Daily News writes of the Ivy League race this season, "After three-time defending champion Cornell graduated its three top players and lost coach Steve Donahue to Boston College, the race is wide open. Yale expects to be in the thick of things." Yale coach James Jone was quoted as saying during the Ivy Midseason Media Day, "“I look at the league and Penn has a short rotation, Harvard and Princeton have short rotations. Those are the teams that were picked above us along with Cornell. We can finish anywhere from one to six. It’s going to be interesting to see how it all pans out.”
North Royalton basketball player Ned Tomic to attend Cornell

North Royalton senior boys basketball player Ned Tomic has made an oral commitment to Cornell.

The 6-7 post player, who is ranked first academically in his class of more than 400, chose Cornell over Case Western Reserve, Chicago and several Ivy League schools, North Royalton coach Tim Matus said.

He becomes the second area player to commit to Cornell, joining St. Ignatius senior Shonn Miller.

Tomic has recorded a double double in each of North Royalton's nine games this season and is averaging 21 points and 14 rebounds in leading the Bears to a 7-2 record.

Cornell has struggled as Ivy League looms

ITHACA (AP) -- Playing top-seeded Kentucky with visions of the Final Four seems like a lifetime ago for the Cornell Big Red.

The stark reality of the loss of eight seniors quickly set in this season, and new coach Bill Courtney's team hasn't been so formidable.

Off to a 4-10 start, this isn't the squad he saw firsthand last winter during a tournament in Philadelphia - not with six sophomores, five freshmen and only four seniors on the roster.

"Nothing's the same, and the coach is different," said Courtney, an assistant at Virginia Tech last year. "I probably underestimated it (the loss of the seniors) a little bit. "You have veteran guys here, but yet you've got to realize they're not really veterans because they haven't played, and they certainly haven't played in the roles that they are in now. That's been the biggest challenge - trying to put it all together, get everybody to kind of learn new roles."

An ankle injury to star junior guard Chris Wroblewski and injuries to a couple of other players has made Courtney's job more difficult. The Big Red won the season-opener by four points at Albany, then lost nine of 10 - seven by six points or fewer - as they struggled to find any sort of rhythm.

"At the beginning of the year, he was trying to get a feel for us and how we approach practice and who we are as players and people," Wroblewski said. "We were used to coach (Steve) Donahue. That's who brought us in here, that's who we thought we'd be playing for."

Last season under Donahue, the Big Red were awfully good. They won an Ivy League-record 29 games, 18 away from home (13-3 road, 5-1 neutral) - the most in the country - and their 12 non-league triumphs away from home were the most of any Division I school.

That was enough to land Donahue a new job at Boston College after a decade building the Big Red into something special in the annals of the Ivy League.

Led by a core of seniors that included Ivy League player of the year Ryan Wittman and two-time defensive player of the year Jeff Foote, Cornell won its third straight league title and surpassed 20 wins for the third consecutive season, the first time that had been done in the 111-year history of the men's program.

As the 12th seed in the East Region of the NCAA tournament, the Big Red upset Temple and Wisconsin - the school's first triumphs in the tournament - before Kentucky ended their storybook run. That magic in March also was uplifting for the Cornell campus in the aftermath of six student suicides.

Talk about a tough act to follow.

"The season has definitely not been going according to plan," said Wroblewski, the new focal point of the offense who's almost fully recovered from the ankle injury he incurred during a preseason scrimmage. "We lost a lot of close games, but I think it's going to help us come the Ivy League season. Down the road, I think the ball's going to start to bounce our way."

Cornell which opens Ivy League play at Columbia (9-5) on Saturday night, beat Delaware 75-61 in its first home game of the season, then two nights later lost to St. Bonaventure, 56-54. That snapped a 12-game home win streak at Newman Arena.

Also mixed in were a three-point loss at Lehigh, a five-point loss at No. 15 Minnesota, a one-point loss at Binghamton and a two-point loss to New Hampshire.

"We're this close between losing and winning games," Errick Peck, who's averaged 15 points in the last eight games, said as he held the index finger and thumb on his right hand less than an inch apart.

At least the four former stars - including Louis Dale and Jon Jaques - have been able to offer encouragement from afar through text messages while playing this season for pro teams in Italy, Germany and Israel. Even Donahue has sent a couple of his own.

In his stellar career, the 6-7 Wittman set an Ivy League record with 377 3-pointers. Courtney has asked the 6-foot, 170-pound Wroblewski to assume that role.

"It's been an adjustment, definitely," Wroblewski said. "I got used to just sitting in the corner and having Louis (Dale) pass me the ball. There would be no one within five feet of me. I shoot a far better percentage that way than taking off-balance shots. I was kind of not in the rhythm with the injury at the start of the season. But now, I'm starting to get more comfortable and more confident. That's the big thing."

It shows.

Wroblewski, a career 44.7 percent 3-point shooter, is 12 of 17 from beyond the arc in the past three games and leads the team in scoring at 15.6 points per game.

More importantly, the Big Red are winning again with high-energy senior Adam Wire leading the team in rebounding as a reserve and classmates Aaron Osgood (eight points and 4.5 rebounds per game) and Max Groebe (6.5 ppg) excelling, often as starters.

In an 86-80 victory two weeks ago over Wofford, which returned seven of its eight top scorers from the defending Southern Conference championship team, Cornell made 18 consecutive field goal attempts and was 14 of 17 from 3-point range as juniors Wroblewski, Peck and Drew Ferry combined to hit 13 of 14 from beyond the arc.

"That's the way the team is built," Courtney said. "Hopefully, it will continue. Now I think we're starting to figure out our offense a little bit, figure out where we're going to get our shots, feel confident in knowing that we're going to knock that down."

  • Cornell RPI Watch: The RPI (Rating Percentage Index) is a measure of strength of schedule and how a team does against that schedule. It does not consider the margin of victory, but only whether or not a team won and where the game was played (home/away/neutral court). The formula is 25% team winning percentage (WP), 50% opponents' average winning percentage (OWP), and 25% opponents' opponents' average winning percentage (OOWP). (See: CollegeRPI.com for a further explanation of the formula.) The RPI may be the most influential factor in NCAA Tournament seeding. Cornell's RPI rank as of January 14 is No. 236 out of 347 total Division I teams. While neither the Ken Pomeroy or Jeff Sagarin rankings are used by the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee, the KenPom.com site ranks Cornell No. 212 in the nation, while the USA Today Sagarin rankings have Cornell at No. 225 Both sites are predominantly used by fans and the media.
  • Game Recaps-Below are links to our game recaps from each of Cornell's games this season. Associated press recaps courtesy of Rivals.com/YahooSports.com are always available by clicking on Cornell's schedule/results on the right column of this blog.
  1. at Albany W 65-61 (video recaps)
  2. at Seton Hall L 68-92
  3. vs. Delaware W 75-61 (video recap)
  4. vs. St. Bonaventure L 54-56
  5. at Lehigh L 57-60
  6. at Boston University L 61-66
  7. at Syracuse L 58-78
  8. at Minnesota L 66-71 (video recap)
  9. at Binghamton L 68-69
  10. vs. Bucknell L 64-75
  11. vs. New Hampshire (@ VCU) L 66-68
  12. vs. Wofford (@VCU) W 86-80
  13. vs. Buffalo L 66-78
  14. vs. Stony Brook W 60-52
IVY LEAGUE COMPOSITE SCHEDULE

Friday, November 12
Columbia 71 La Salle 82 Box Score - Recap
Rutgers 73 Princeton 78 OT Box Score - Recap
Cornell 65 Albany 61 Box Score - Recap
Brown 69 Fordham 65 Box Score - Recap

Saturday, November 13
Harvard 53 George Mason 66 Box Score - Recap
Davidson 64 Penn 69 Box Score - Recap
Dartmouth 52 Providence 87 Box Score - Recap
Yale 75 Quinnipiac 84 Box Score - Recap

Sunday, November 14
Cornell 68 Seton Hall 92 Noon [SNY/ESPN3/ESPN Full Court] Box Score - Recap
Princeton 60 Duke 97 [ESPNU] Box Score - Recap

Monday, November 15
Maryland-Eastern Shore 74 Columbia 108 Box Score - Recap
Yale 55 Providence 58 Box Score - Recap

Tuesday, November 16
Brown 67 Rhode Island 92 Box Score - Recap
New Hampshire 55 Dartmouth 53 Box Score - Recap

Wednesday, November 17
Delaware 61 Cornell 75 Box Score - Recap
Holy Cross 49 Harvard 72 Box Score - Recap
Penn 54 Manhattan 59 Box Score - Recap
Columbia 66 St. John’s 79 Box Score - Recap

Thursday, November 18
Yale 75 Boston College 67 Box Score - Recap

Friday, November 19
St. Bonaventure 56 Cornell 54 Box Score - Recap
Dartmouth 71 Hartford 57 Box Score - Recap

Saturday, November 20
Harvard 75 Mercer 69 Box Score - Recap
Sacred Heart 67 Brown 81 Box Score - Recap
Columbia 76 Longwood 95 Box Score - Recap
Drexel 77 Penn 56 Box Score - Recap

Sunday, November 21
Dartmouth 59 Loyola (Md.) 73 Box Score - Recap

Monday, November 22
Cornell 57 Lehigh 60 Box Score - Recap
Princeton 64 James Madison 65 Box Score - Recap

Tuesday, November 23
Bucknell 55 Princeton 66 [at JMU] Box Score - Recap
Colgate 63 Columbia 76 Box Score - Recap
Quinnipiac 69 Dartmouth 52 Box Score - Recap
Lafayette 65 Penn 74 Box Score - Recap
Yale 47 Illinois 73 [ESPNU] Box Score - Recap

Wednesday, November 24
St. Francis (N.Y.) 63 Brown 67 Box Score - Recap
Harvard 69 Bryant 66 Box Score - Recap
Presbyterian 69 Princeton 67 [at JMU] Box Score - Recap

Saturday, November 27
Brown 66 New Hampshire 70 Box Score - Recap
Army 79 Yale 87 Box Score - Recap
Colgate 63 Dartmouth 80 Box Score - Recap
Cornell 61 Boston University 66 Box Score - Recap
Penn 58 Pittsburgh 82 [ESPN3.com] Box Score - Recap

Sunday, November 28
Colorado 66 Harvard 82 Box Score - Recap
Columbia 64 American 62 Box Score - Recap
Siena 77 Princeton 86 Box Score - Recap

Tuesday, November 30
Cornell 58 Syracuse 78 [ESPN3.com/Big East Sports Network] Box Score - Recap
Maryland-Baltimore County 59 Penn 71 Box Score - Recap
Princeton 82 Lafayette 64 [Lafayette Sports Network] Box Score - Recap
Hartford 76 Yale 81 Box Score - Recap

Wednesday, December 1
Columbia 68 Bucknell 73 Box Score - Recap
Dartmouth 53 Vermont 80 Box Score - Recap
Fordham 57 Harvard 80 Box Score - Recap

Thursday, December 2
Brown 46 Hartford 58 [Connecticut Sports Network] Box Score - Recap

Saturday, December 4
Army 52 vs. Penn, 68 Box Score - Recap
Harvard 62 Michigan 65 [Big Ten Network] Box Score - Recap
Yale 78 Vermont 82 Box Score - Recap
Brown 62 Maine 54 Box Score - Recap
Stony Brook 72 Columbia 73 Box Score - Recap
Cornell 66 Minnesota 71 [Big Ten Network] Box Score - Recap

Sunday, December 5
Saint Joseph’s 65 Princeton 74 Box Score - Recap

Monday, December 6
Brown 64 Providence 91 Box Score - Recap
Albany 53 Yale 74 Box Score - Recap

Tuesday, December 7
WPI 54 Harvard 69 Box Score - Recap
Wagner 71 Columbia 77 Box Score - Recap

Wednesday, December 8
Princeton 64 Monmouth 61 Box Score - Recap
Yale 75 Bryant 53 Box Score - Recap
Villanova 65 Penn 53 [The Comcast Network] Box Score - Recap

Saturday, December 11
Boston University 71 Harvard 87 Box Score - Recap
Bryant 72 Columbia 76 Box Score - Recap
Army 68 Dartmouth 71 Box Score - Recap

Sunday, December 12
Princeton 82 Tulsa 78 (2 OT) Box Score - Recap

Tuesday, December 14
Dartmouth 61 St. Francis (N.Y.) 69 Box Score - Recap

Friday, December 17
Princeton 69 Wagner 57 Box Score - Recap

Saturday, December 18
Cornell 68 Binghamton 69 Box Score - Recap

Sunday, December 19
Dartmouth 42 Iowa State 71 Box Score - Recap
Sacred Heart 71 Yale 62 Box Score - Recap

Monday, December 20
Bucknell 75 Cornell 64 Box Score - Recap

Tuesday, December 21
Army 88 Brown 86 Box Score - Recap
Dartmouth 67 Drake 59 Box Score - Recap

Wednesday, December 22
Princeton 75 Towson 65 Box Score - Recap
Harvard 52 Connecticut 81 [SNY] Box Score - Recap
Penn 78 Delaware 68 Box Score - Recap

Tuesday, December 28
Yale 44 Stanford 60 [Comcast SportsNet Bay Area] Box Score - Recap

Wednesday, December 29
New Hampshire 68 Cornell 66 [at VCU] Box Score - Recap
Monmouth 69 Harvard 74 Box Score - Recap
Brown 51 Central Connecticut State 67 Box Score - Recap
Penn 57 Marist 66 Box Score - Recap
Princeton 65 Northeastern 63 [at UCF] Box Score - Recap

Thursday, December 30
Cornell 86 Wofford 80 [at VCU] Box Score - Recap
Princeton vs. Furman/Central Florida, 5/7:30 pm [at UCF]
Columbia 74 Maine 71 Box Score - Recap
Dartmouth 57 Bucknell 74 Box Score - Recap

Friday, December 31
Bryant 71 Brown 84 Box Score - Recap
Lehigh 62 Yale 57 Box Score - Recap
MIT 58 Harvard 84 Box Score - Recap

Sunday, January 2
Elon 70 Columbia 69 Box Score - Recap

Monday, January 3
Buffalo 78 Cornell 66 Box Score - Recap
Dartmouth 47 Army 67 Box Score - Recap
Penn 62 Kentucky 86 [ESPNU] Box Score - Recap
Brown 67 American 77 Box Score - Recap

Wednesday, January 5
Columbia 76 Lafayette 73 Box Score - Recap
Harvard 78 Boston College 69 Box Score - Recap
Marist 57 Princeton 68 Box Score - Recap
Yale 77 Holy Cross 76 OT Box Score - Recap

Saturday, January 8
Stony Brook 52 Cornell 60 Box Score - Recap
Baruch 57 Yale 85 Box Score - Recap
*Harvard 68 Dartmouth 53 Box Score - Recap
Lyndon State 55 Brown 88 Box Score - Recap
Union (N.Y.) 59 Columbia 64 Box Score - Recap

Wednesday, January 12
Penn 83 La Salle 89 OT [The Comcast Network] Box Score - Recap

Saturday, January 15
*Yale at Brown, 2 pm
Harvard at George Washington, 2 pm
*Cornell at Columbia, 7 pm

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As most Ivy fans know, it's actually an understatement to say that Harvard has not won a title during formal Ivy play since 1956. The Crimson have never won a conference championship at all, going back to the 1901 origins of the predecessor to the Ivy basketball association, the Eastern Intercollegiate Basketball League.

By the way, both Penn and Princeton have more formal Ivy titles that the 23 and 21 with which they are respectively credited here. I think that they both have about 25, counting ties which is of course how they are nominally totalled in all sports in the Ivies.