Friday, January 21, 2011

News and Notes: Friday Edition

Get all the information you need about Cornell's game against Columbia in Newman Arena on Saturday with The Cornell Basketball Blog's Game Preview Center. The game will be televised on Time Warner Cable Sports throughout the New York metro area. Catch the game live on Saturday, January 22 at 4:30 pm. Time Warner will replay the game on Sunday, January 23 at 6 pm.

Below, some news and notes for Friday...

Although no team looks as strong as last year’s Cornell squad, which made a run to the Sweet 16, Ivy League men’s basketball, as a whole, has been great this season. It currently ranks 14th among Division-I conferences, according to – great for a league that usually finishes in the 20s – and Princeton and Harvard, the top two preseason contenders, have looked impressive in nonconference games... The Ivy is notoriously fickle, as the back-to-back nature of conference play involves many Saturday evening games between tired teams. That has never been truer than it is this year, when the top squads generally have thin benches. Upsets will happen – as we saw last year, when Penn knocked off then-No. 22 Cornell and Brown won at Princeton – and the champion may finish with only 11 or 12 league wins...

Cornell (4-11, 0-1) After three consecutive Ivy League championships, three NCAA Tournament appearances and a run to the Sweet 16, Cornell basketball is on the national radar. But after the graduation of several key players, including Ryan Wittman, Jeff Foote, and Louis Dale, the program has regressed significantly, currently holding the worst overall record in the Ancient Eight. The Big Red opened its conference season with a four-point loss at Columbia; even if it wins Saturday’s upstate return trip, it will have to dig out of a hole in the Ivy race.

The Big Red gave Minnesota a tough game in early December, but has since lost to bottom-feeder programs such as New Hampshire and Binghamton. Chris Wroblewski, the only returning player to average more than 12 minutes per game last season, leads the conference with 6.1 assists per game while scoring 15.5 points and making 42 percent of his threes.

The game plan for Cornell is largely the same as last year: shoot a lot of three-pointers. While nowhere near last year’s nation-best 43 percent shooting from the outside, Cornell still hits threes at a pretty good clip (37 percent). But its percentage on two-point attempts has dropped 10 percentage points to 41 percent, better than just a handful of Division-I teams.

The Big Red gives up a major advantage at the foul line, shooting eight fewer freebies per game than its opponents. And without the 7-foot Foote in the paint to collect misses, Cornell has fallen from second to seventh in the league in defensive rebound rate. The defending champions will win some games and could upset one of the top two teams if the shots are falling, but the chances of a fourth consecutive title are slim...

Columbia (10-5, 1-0) Picked to finish seventh in the preseason, Columbia is the biggest surprise of the Ivy League.. Columbia opened its conference season with a 79-75 home victory over Cornell, its first victory in its last 10 games against its travel partner, but will have to play better to compete against the likes of Princeton and Harvard.
  • Daily Pennsylvanian writers debate whether Penn can defeat St. Joseph's in a Big 5 game on Saturday. Kevin Estevez writes, "Sure, in a seven-game series, superior talent and depth will be hard to overcome on a consistent basis. But we're talking about one game here. This is college basketball where a team like Cornell can advance to the Sweet 16. The point is, on any given night, hard work and effort can beat superior talent (and St. Joe's isn't exactly Duke right now)." Of course, Estevez chose a bad example. Not only did Cornell win more than one game in the 2010 NCAA Tournament (they won two in a row to advance to the Sweet 16), but they dominated two Top 25 opponents along the way. Bad example Mr. Estevez. A better example would be Santa Clara "upsetting" an unranked and rebuilding Gonzaga team last night on Santa Clara's home court.
  • The Cornell Rebounders Club has announced via Twitter, "Please note Sat's Rebounder reception is at 6:30 (after men's game) after all, not between men's & women's games as previously advertised!"

Employee Celebration

Tickets for the winter Employee Celebration, Feb. 12, are on sale until Feb. 4.

Sporting events will include wrestling vs. Princeton University, 1 p.m.; gymnastics vs. Ithaca College, 1 p.m.; women's ice hockey vs. Yale University, 4 p.m.; men's basketball vs. Princeton University, 7 p.m.

A Cornell community dinner will be held in the Ramin Room, Bartels Hall, 4:30-7 p.m. and will feature chicken parmesan, baked ziti with Italian cheeses and children's activities. Free parking at Hoy Garage and Crescent Lot.

Tickets are $5 and include the dinner and admission for the athletic events. For either the dinner or the athletic events, tickets are $3. For tickets, visit the Athletics Department Ticket Office, Bartels Hall (bring CU ID) or call 607-255-4247.

Those of us who carefully follow sports trends around campus are starting to pay attention to the men’s basketball team.

It now holds a 10-5 overall record, and fans are starting to get excited. The Lions have won seven out of their last eight games. They are 7-1 at home. On Saturday, they knocked off Cornell, last year’s Ivy champion, by a four-point margin after a finish that was way too close. And star junior guard Noruwa Agho is leading the Ancient Eight with 17 points per game and has a legitimate shot to win Ivy League Player of the Year. But it’s too early to get our hopes up...

...Columbia plays Cornell again tomorrow, this time in Ithaca. This game will be a huge bellwether. Cornell is not the same team that reached the Sweet 16 last year, but the Big Red will have a strong home crowd. Chris Wroblewski, Cornell’s dynamic junior guard, probably won’t turn in a second straight disastrous performance. And the Big Red will be out for revenge.

But if Columbia can pull one out—if the Lions can sweep the Big Red, if they can win a big one on the road—then maybe, just maybe, we can start to get our hopes up.

  • 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: 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 21 is No. 242 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 site ranks Cornell No. 205 in the nation, while the USA Today Sagarin rankings have Cornell at No. 229 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 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
  15. at Columbia L 75-79

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 [] 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 [ 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 69 Brown 64 Box Score - Recap
Harvard 67 George Washington 62 Box Score - Recap
*Cornell 75 Columbia 79 Box Score - Recap

Monday, January 17
Quinnipiac 78 Brown 87 Box Score - Recap
Dartmouth 64 Colgate 67 Box Score - Recap

Wednesday, January 19
Penn 56 Temple 73 Box Score - Recap

Saturday, January 22
*Brown at Yale, 2 pm
*Dartmouth at Harvard, 2 pm
*Columbia at Cornell, 4:30 pm [Time Warner]
Saint Joseph’s at Penn, 7 pm [The Comcast Network]

Sunday, January 23
College of New Jersey at Princeton, 2 pm


Anonymous said...

You're awfully defensive in reacting to the piece in the Daily Pennsylvanian. Estevez' overall point is that, in a one-game showdown, an underdog has a greater chance of winning than it does in a seven-game series. That's simple common sense.

The fact that Cornell comfortably beat both Temple and Wisconsin last year doesn't detract from Estevez' point. If Cornell 2010 were to play either Temple 2010 or Wisconsin 2010 again, we would still be an underdog according to Las Vegas oddsmakers, especially so if it were a seven-game series.

Nobody is claiming that Cornell did not have a great year and a remarkable tournament run last season. For some reason, you find objectionable any writer who doesn't equate Cornell 2010 with the Los Angeles Lakers. Why so serious, Batman?

Anonymous said...

Las Vegas oddsmakers who actually watched the first games in the tournament would not pick Cornell as underdog. Easy victories proved that. Anybody in the stadium understood that Cornell was not just the best team those two days but the better team at the end of the year.

Estevez is right, underdogs have a better shot in one game than they do over an extended series. His I'll conceived shot at Cornell however was offbase.

Anonymous said...

Definitely disagree with Anon 11:12. Cornell beat Temple and Wisconsin easily and would be favored this time around, even in a 7 game series. Boeheim and Self recognized how good Cornell was early on- the oddsmakers missed it. They wouldn't make the same mistake again. Cornell even showed well against Kentucky- down 6 with 5 minutes to go.

Anonymous said...

In addition to being on WVBR 93.5 FM and online at, the Columbia game will be broadcast on Sirius XM Radio.

Anonymous said...

ignore the DP, their writers are just jealous that we managed to make the Sweet 16 last year, something Penn hasnt done since before they were born