Monday, January 17, 2011

News and Notes: Monday Edition

(Photo Cornell Daily Sun)
Below, some news and notes for Monday and a weekend wrap-up...
  • SlopeTV's Sam Aleinikoff recaps Cornell's trip to New York. He writes:

The Big Red (4-11) was one play away on Saturday night. One play from a tenth straight victory over in-state rival Columbia (10-5). One play from a fourth consecutive 1-0 start to Ivy League play. One play from drastically changing the tone of the 2010-2011 campaign.

The opportunities were there at the end. Miles Asafo-Adjei couldn’t convert a pair of free throws that would’ve cut the Lions lead to one with just shy of four minutes remaining. Errick Peck missed an open three from the corner, which would have tied it, with 1:19 left in the ballgame. Chris Wroblewski was just long on a deep triple that would have knotted the score with only 13 seconds on the clock.

Truth be told though, this game was lost at the end of the first half, not the second, as Columbia went on a 20-5 run in the final 9:20 of the opening period. Wroblewski played his least effective minutes of the season in that stretch going 0-8 with a turnover. The one thing each of the eight misses had in common? All jump shots.

From the wings, from the elbow, from beyond the arc, one blocked, others contested, some wide open – regardless of the defense or spot on the floor, the junior guard could not buy a bucket. Even great shooters will have bad shooting nights, but – as former teammate Ryan Wittman seemed to discover last season – when the shots aren’t dropping, it helps to go at the basket. Whether it’s simply seeing the ball go through the net or forcing the defender to back off and respect the drive, the change of pace often helps shot makers find a rhythm.

But it wasn’t just the Red’s leading scorer that may have benefited from a more balanced attack. The entire squad could have used more equal production late in the first half. In the opening 10:40, Cornell got nine points from it’s starting frontcourt, Mark Coury and Adam Wire, and contributions from Peck in the paint as well. In the final 9:20 of the period though, the Red totaled just four points in the lane, a pair from reserve forward Josh Figini and the other two on a putback by reserve guard Johnathan Gray.

Foul trouble no doubt played a part in the discrepancy. Wire sat out the final six minutes and change, and Coury was on the bench for the last 11+ minutes of the first half, each with a pair of personals. Aaron Osgood, who has largely come off the bench since returning from injury last month, contributed four offensive rebounds and two steals over a four-minute span. Even Osgood though was on the pine for the final 10 minutes of the opening period with two fouls of his own. Combined, Cornell’s top three frontcourt options saw about three and a half minutes of court time in the final 9:20 of the first period – not Coach Courtney’s ideal recipe for interior production nor the ideal recipe for a Big Red win.

Each of Cornell’s four wins this year has two common elements: solid offensive production from a post player and a close rebounding margin. Backcourt scoring has also been there in each victory, but guard play has been solid in losses as well. On nine occasions a Big Red perimeter player has scored at least 15 points and seen his team lose. Saturday was one of those games.

Drew Ferry put on a dazzling second-half performance scoring 20 of his 23 points in the final period on 6-7 shooting from the arc. Wroblewski also found his touch scoring all 14 of his points and dishing out five assists without a turnover. Cornell guards shot a combined 12-15 in the second half (80%) while the post players went 2-8 (25%).

On Saturday night the Red was one play away. One stop in the final nine minutes of the first half to shift the momentum ever so slightly. One clean block or strip rather than a foul by Wire, Osgood or Coury, to allow them a few more minutes on the court. One play by Wroblewski going at the basket rather than settling for a jumper to shift his 0-11 start to the ballgame.

Being one play away has been a trend for Cornell this year. Seven of the Red’s 11 losses have come by five points or less. Each of those seven losses has been a one-possession game down the stretch.

Through the first half of the season though, the Red has been one player away - one post player away to be exact. Osgood has shown potential to fill that role with 14 and 19-point performances to open the season and a pair of double-digit outings at the VCU tournament. Wire’s been on the verge of double-doubles at both Albany and BU. And Coury, the least likely suspect of the three, posted 12 points and 12 rebounds against Binghamton. Among the bigs, there has been no consistency though, merely flashes.

Establishing that presence could make all the difference for the Red. A 4-11 record thus far could just as easily have been 11-4 with reliable frontcourt play. Rebuilding could be reloading. And a team that seems to have found ways to lose could be a team that just has a knack for winning.

One play each game for one post player each game. It’s that simple and the Red are that close. With the 14-game tournament now underway finding that extra push must be the focus. Otherwise, Cornell is just one year away.

  • 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 17 is No. 238 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. 215 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 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 at Brown, 1 pm
Dartmouth at Colgate, 4 pm

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

  • Throughout the season we will provide periodic updates on Cornell's eight (8) overseas alumni playing professionally. Below, some updates:
-John McCord ('97) (SIG Strasbourg, Pro A France)-Through January 17, the 6'6" forward and long time veteran of the European leagues is averaging 10.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. Strasbourg sits at 6-8 and in 12th place in the 16 team league. McCord is a former 1st Team All Ivy League selection.

-Jeff Aubry ('99) (Halcones, LNBP Mexico)-Through January 17, Aubry, a 6'11" center, is averaging 5.7 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Halcones is 25-11 in the Mexican League, sitting in 4th place out of 18 teams. Aubry played several seasons in the NBA D League in the early part of his career.

-Cody Toppert ('05) (Forli, LegaDue Italy)-Through January 17, Toppert, a 6'4" shooting guard is averaging 10.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per game for Forli. He previously played this season with the Plymouth Raiders of the British Basketball League. Like Aubry, Toppert is a veteran of the NBA D League, a former Albuquerque Thunderbird. Forli is 4-12 and in 15th place out of 16 teams.

-Jason Hartford ('08) (Ginasio, LPD Portugal)-Through January 17, the 6'9" Hartford is averaging 13.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Ginasio is 6-5 and in 5th place in the 12 team league.

-Louis Dale ('10) (Gottingen, Bundesliga Germany)-On January 11, Dale finished with 12 points and 5 rebounds along with 3 assists in a 65-53 with over Trier. Through January 17 Dale is averaging 7.9points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. Goettingen is 10-8 on the season and in 8th place out of 18 teams in the Bundesliga. Goettingen advanced to stage 2 of the EuroCup and is one of 16 remaining teams in the tournament.

-Ryan Wittman ('10) (Forli, LegaDue Italy)-Through, January 17, Wittman is averaging 14.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game. He has not played in Forli's last two games. Forli is 4-12 and in 15th place of 16 teams.

-Jeff Foote ('10) (Maccabi Tel Aviv, Israel Winner's League/Melilla, Spanish 2nd Division)- On January 14, Foote recorded 9 points and 12 rebounds in a 77-63 defeat to Obraoiro. Through, January 17, Foote is averaging 7.3 points and 6.9 rebounds. Melilla is 9-10 and in 9th place out of 18 teams.

-Jon Jaques ('10) (Ashkelon, Israel Winner's League)-Through January 17, Jaques is averaging 3.5 points and 2.0 rebounds per game. Ashkelon is 4-9 and in 9th place in the 10 team Israeli league.
  • Below is an updated directory listing of some Twitter feeds associated with the Cornell basketball program. You can also follow The Cornell Basketball Blog on Twitter.
-Josh Wexler ('88)
-Steve Cobb ('05)
-Andrew Naeve ('07)
-Jason Canady ('08)
-Khaliq Gant ('09)
-Conor Mullen ('09)
-Ryan Wittman ('10)
-Pete Reynolds ('10)
-Jon Jaques ('10)
-Louis Dale ('10)
-Alex Tyler ('10)
-Geoff Reeves ('10)
-Jeff Foote ('10)
-Andre Wilkins ('10)
-Max Groebe ('10)
-Aaron Osgood ('10)
-The Cornell Rebounders Club
-Andrew Ferry ()
-Peter McMillan ()
-Errick Peck ()
-Dominick Scelfo ()
-Jake Mathews ()
-Dwight Tarwater ()
-Manny Sahota ()
-Dave LaMore
-Shonn Miller
-Assistant Coach Ricky Yahn ()
-Assistant Coach Mike Blaine ()
-Assistant Coach Marlon Sears ()
-Brian Delaney, Ithaca Journal ()
-Cornell Daily Sun Sports ()
-Slope Sports ()
-WVBR Sports ()
-Former assistant coach, Jay Larranaga ()

And a few reminders....

Visit The Cornell Basketball Blog's Community Forum and Message Board to interact with other fans of Cornell and Ivy League basketball. Membership is free! You may also follow us on Twitter.

Blueprint for Success, the yearbook commemorating Cornell's 2009-2010 season is now on sale and available for delivery. Visit the Cornell Athletics website to order your copy today! Or pick up a copy sold in the Cornell Store on campus.

Fans of the basketball program in the Ithaca area should not miss the opportunity to join the Cornell Rebounders Club.


Anonymous said...

Great analysis by Slope. I think Ski and Drew do try a variety of things now and then, but great catch by Slope about how they missed jumper after jumper yet didn't change up, and how Witt would always change up when his stroke was off.

Another thing Witt always did: he always said that it didn't matter who had had their umpteenth double-digit game or record setting game if the team had ended up losing. Last year's team always seemed to be of the attitude that it was never a "great" game if it was an L; they had to get better.

Tip of the hat to Columbia. Cornell blames a lot of their problems on lack of past PT and on adjusting to a new coach. The Columbia rotation that defeated Cornell consisted of Agho, two sophomores who averaged 9 and 13 minutes per game last year, and a couple of freshmen, all of whom have a new coach. Yet they do a great job of finishing out narrow games and hitting their free throws. Even down low, their more impactful big lately has been a 6-9 soph who played 13 min a game last year, only 2 min more than our senior big Coury, yet managed 14 pts against us. They deserve a lot of credit for that win.

Anonymous said...

It pains me to say it but this year I'll be rooting for Princeton, even when they play the Big Red. Why? It's pretty clear that Cornell will not be winning the title this season. Normally, if we're not going to win, I'm fairly agnostic as to who does.

But now I actually do care. I don't want Harvard to win. That's not just a petty spillover from a hockey rivalry. I think that a Harvard championship would send all the wrong messages to the rest of the Ivy League.

With no Academic Index to enforce academic standards as we have in football, every other Ivy championship sport is essentially on the honor system. Amaker's aggressive recruiting is the most obvious breach of this honor system that I can remember.

This is not just sour grapes. Plenty of Ivy teams flourish on the national stage, including Yale men's hockey right now, and there is no apparent violation of academic standards. Good luck to the Bulldogs.

But what Harvard is doing in men's basketball threatens competition in all the non-AI sports, that is, every sport except football. By the way, because we do in fact have the AI in football, I say cheers to Harvard's success on the gridiron.

So, for as long as Amaker is stretching academic standards and breaking recruiting rules in this conference, I'm going to root for the team most likely to keep him from winning his first championship. Gulp, go Princeton.

Anonymous said...

Note to the Ivy League: Start giving kids scholarships - they deserve them, they earn them, and they help the school.

This does not mean lower academic standards. Stanford and Duke put a lot of good kids on the floor, and scholarships have done zero to hurt their reputations.

It is time for the Ivy league to come into this century.

Anonymous said...

Cornell might be 0-1 but, maybe I'm too lazy to change, but I don't even have the energy to toss them aside and find another team to replace them with in getting my support. No mental energy to be give any strong thought towards H vs P or whoever.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2...How can you call yourself a Cornell fan and root for Princeton to win the championship? You can't possibly count them out of the running from an 0-1 start and there is a lot of basketball left to play...and you are already giving up on "your" team...thats sad and pathetic and shows zero Cornell spirit...everyone wants to be a fan when its all great but when times get tough..."your" team still needs your aint over til its over

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous 2" here. First of all, I don't think that whom I root for has much of an effect on anything. But assuming for the sake of argument that it does, we don't play Princeton until Ivy game 8. If we've got three losses or more by then and Harvard/Princeton only have one between them, would you then concede that it's over? If so, come on and join me on the Princeton bandwagon for the second half of the Ivy season.

Anonymous said...

You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. Osgood was 1 for 3 in 17 minutes of play. Where is the inside game? 3 opportunities? If he had scored 9 points, as noted earlier, Cornell would have won. Keeping Coury, Wire and Osgood on the bench so long compromises any opportunity to get a rhythm or momentum. Even if it means fouling out, it's a shame to lose by 3 when you haven't "thrown it all out there". And what's with all the fouls? Too many fouls too soon. Decrease fouls, increase FT % and give your bigs more scoring opportunity and the tide will change.

Anonymous said...

Anon2, I'm not Anon 6:18pm who initially responded to you. I understand that you're backing H over P on principles unrelated to who you think will win and you are free to do so, but I don't think you understand that many people who frequent this blog care about the team and hence are incapable of abandoning them in hard times. Not only is it not over, I can't imagine jumping on any other team's bandwagon even if it was.

Anonymous said...

@ ANON 1:32 PM - there is in fact an AI requirement for Basketball in the Ivy league. However it is an IVY LEAGUE rule and not an NCAA rule, therefore, it is much harder to enforce as there are no real consequences. It is up to Harvard admissions ppl to enforce this rule so that there is equality for recruiting within the league.

Anonymous said...

You'll have to provide more details if you think that there is an Academic Index minimum for basketball, because I believe you're mistaken. Of course you are correct that all AI rules are Ivy League policies, not NCAA requirements. That goes without saying.

The AI rules for football are very detailed. As far as I know, outside of football, each Ivy athletic department merely needs to keep the average Academic Index of all non-football recruited athletes within one standard deviation of the mean AI score for all students at that college.

Thus, any Ivy can recruit lower-scoring basketball players as long as that school also recruits sufficient high-scoring squash and tennis players to make the total non-football AI score high enough. Because a basketball roster is so small in relative terms, it's easier still to stock full the hoops team with marginal students than it is, say, the lacrosse team. A low-scoring 14-member basketball roster simply does not pull down the school-wide average that much. I think that there is some absolute floor beneath which *no* athlete can score, but let's assume that it's low enough to not cramp Amaker's style too much.

Do you believe otherwise about Ivy academic requirements for basketball?