Tuesday, January 18, 2011

News and Notes: Tuesday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Tuesday...
  • The online Italian newspaper, Romagna Oggi, is among several Italian media sources referencing Ryan Wittman's ('10) desire to leave his pro club, Forli, in order to return to the United States and join the NBA D-League. Wittman's contract was reportedly terminated by Forli at Wittman's request and by mutual agreement. Arguably the team's most valuable player, Wittman was Forli's 2nd leading scorer and 3rd leading rebounder and led the team in minutes played.

Wittman’s cookie crumbles. Last week we discussed the plummet of former Ivy powerhouse Cornell to near obscurity: From Sweet Sixteens to Sweet Nothings.

This week the Big Red’s woes continued both on and off the Ivy court.

Forli, a second-tier Italian League basketball team, axed the contract of Cornell star and recent graduate Ryan Wittman due to a “disagreement.” (Cake vs. pie, anybody?)

While Forli sits in second-to-last place in the ol’ LegaDue, Wittman’s Big Red sit in dead last after opening Ivy play with a loss to Columbia in The Basement, a.k.a. Columbia’s Levien Gymnasium. And though they may have left the Big Apple, it’s hard to see the Big Red climbing out of the basement any time soon. They play Columbia again on Saturday.

Go go gadget Agho. The Lions’ win over Cornell marked the first time Columbia beat the Big Red in four years. With 25 points, junior Noruwa Agho led the charge as Columbia continues to be on the up.

Why, you ask, is a team that finished 5-9 last year in the League all of a sudden a contender?

Because first-year coach Kyle Smith is devoting night and day to his program, except for when he’s seeing Jersey Boys with his in-laws, as the Columbia Spectrum blog reports he did over winter break.

  • The Columbia Spectator expands their coverage of the Lions' win over Cornell last Saturday. The Spectator writes:
By Jim Pagels

Starting off Ivy League play with two games against Cornell each season has always been a struggle for the Lions. In fact, they haven’t beaten the Big Red since 2006, opening up the past four seasons in an 0-2 hole.
Saturday at Levien Gymnasium, those “Beat Cornell” shirts all around campus finally came through with their prediction. The Light Blue defeated the defending Ancient Eight champions 79-75 in front of a packed house of 2,104 fans.
After jumping out to a 37-23 halftime lead, the Lions struggled in the second half, allowing Cornell to sneak back into the game, cutting it to 76-75 with only one minute left. The Light Blue held on for the win thanks to some clutch 3-pointers and free-throw shooting late in the game.
The Lions shouldn’t have been surprised that the game ended up being so close. Each of Columbia’s last 10 games has been decided by six points or fewer.
“We’ve had leads of 14 points or more and let them slip, so I think everyone’s a little more comfortable,” point guard Brian Barbour, who matched his career high with 21 points, said. “Everyone’s a little less nervous. We’re like ‘we’ve been here before, and we can pull this one off.’”
Barbour, who was playing with a swollen ankle for most of the game, didn’t seem to be affected by the injury, relentlessly driving to the paint from the top of the key for most of his buckets.
The Lions jumped out to the 14-point lead thanks to 11 points from junior shooting guard Noruwa Agho, who eventually finished with a team-high 25 points in his third straight game with 20 or more points. The second team all-Ivy Leaguer was awarded Ivy League Player of the Week honors for the second consecutive week for his efforts.
His most critical contribution to the game was his 3-pointer with just over a minute to play that put the Lions up by four points and guaranteed that the Big Red would need to start fouling.
The Lions also held the Big Red to 29.4 percent shooting from the field in the first 20 minutes, a feat highlighted by Cornell junior guard Chris Wroblewski’s 0-for-11 performance to start the game. This was a stunning shutdown for the Ivy League’s third leading scorer, especially following his last game against Stony Brook, where he shot 8-13 from the field for a 29-point eruption.
“We tried to focus on his tendencies. We had a great scout, we kinda knew what he liked, and guys played good solid defense. We didn’t try to do too much, just keep the ball in front and get a hand on the shot,” Agho said. “You know he’s a great player, and I’m sure he won’t start 0-11 the rest of the season.”
The comeback was largely fueled by Cornell guard Drew Ferry, whose hot hand led the Big Red with 23 points—21 of which came off his 7-11 three-point shooting.
“The only thing you can really do is switch [the run around the pick],” Agho said. “Sometimes there’s only so much you can do.”
Head coach Kyle Smith agreed.
“That was one of the best performances I’ve seen in this gym,” he said.
Of course, Smith hasn’t seen too many games at Levien in his first season sitting on the bench, so he wasn’t around last year to watch Cornell’s dominating center Jeff Foote in action.
“Last year they gave it to Jeff Foote, and he takes the ball and makes a move,” Columbia sophomore center Mark Cisco said. “This year they have a lot more ball screens so you’re focusing on the plays instead of just him.”
Perhaps the biggest key for the Lions was their shooting, though. The Ivy League’s No. 1 scoring offense put up 70 points for the 10th time this season—already doubling its total from last year. The Light Blue also shot 47.2 percent from the field, where they are 7-0 when surpassing the 45 percent mark.
Columbia will hope to continue its success next week when it travels up to Ithaca, N.Y. for a rematch. If things once again go the Lions’ way, Cornell could very well be the New York team to start off the conference season in an 0-2 hole this time around.
  • 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 18 is No. 240 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. 217 in the nation, while the USA Today Sagarin rankings have Cornell at No. 226 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
  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 [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 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 at Temple, 7:30 pm

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...

Stay classy Penn

Anonymous said...

Too late.