Sunday, January 30, 2011

Paul Cormier Comments on Wittman and Foote Pro Potential

Dartmouth coach, Paul Cormier's comments with regard to recent Ivy graduates, Jeremy Lin, Ryan Wittman and Jeff Foote during WVBR's halftime show on Friday night in Hanover.


Anonymous said...

Huh. My initial interpretation was that this comment was overblown, but after listening to it twice, it totally depends on your interpretation of Cormier's use of the word "but".

The exact quote:

"I actually recommended that they take the kid Lin, and Golden State actually did take him, BUT I think it had something to do with his location and probably the fact that he would attract people to the game, that type of thing, but he was a heck of a player."

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...


Lin is in some regard the last man on the roster (has only appeared in 17 games) and has had 2 send-downs to the D-League.

Thus, one could conclude that the "motivating factor" which kind of tipped him onto the roster in the first place was his Bay Area connection.

Nobody is suggesting that Lin is not a good player... he is, but there are a lot of point guards out there that are damn good and probably better than Lin, including Louis Dale who achieved more than Lin (Dale was the 2008 Ivy Player of the Year and a 3 time 1st Team selection).

But Lou Dale won't sell tickets.

Now, if another team signs Lin, this theory becomes less plausible. But again, any team that wants to sell some tickets to Chinese-Americans would love to have Lin. He is a big draw to that ethnic group, no doubt about it.

Anonymous said...

Lin is a better pro prospect than Dale: better size and equal quickness. All the other skills are the same between the two players. Time will prove that point.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

True on the quickness and size, but Lin can't shoot from the perimeter. He was never a good shooter and probably never will be. Some guys just don't have a jumper and he is not a strong shooter, he is a slasher.

No reason to expect him to make the league any more than any other struggling 12th man.

Anonymous said...

And you are saying Dale is a good shooter from the perimeter? I dont know what the stats are but my perception was always that Dale was a good PG but a poor 3pt shooter

Anonymous said...

Lin's eFG% in 2010: 57.1%, 119th in the nation
Dale's eFG% in 2010: 55.0%, 224th in the nation

If you're more into TS% we have:

Lin: 62.6%, 46th in the nation
Dale: 58.4% 228th in the nation

I don't think he's going to be much better than a 12th man at the NBA level but the idea that he wasn't, at least, a better shooter than Dale is demonstrably untrue.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Lin shot less than 30% beyond the arc 2 of his 4 seasons at Harvard and only shot better than 34% as a junior.

In short, Lin was not a good perimeter shooter and in the NBA, with a wider arc and better defenders... do the math.

Dale shot 39% or better from the arc 2 of his 4 seasons and never shot less than 37%.

Debate over. Dale was the far superior shooter.

Anonymous said...

I remember Lin being a poor distance shooter and very turnover-prone.

Anonymous said...

You can use statistics in all sorts of ways. If you take offensive rating, which takes into account not just scoring but also things like turnovers i.e. things that players do to cost their team, Dale was 20 spots higher than Lin nationally in the same possessions category. We know Lin had a turnover problem; I thought maybe it was because of his surrounding players but it went on in the NBA and D-League.

All I know is that the way I saw Dale play at the tourney, where he averaged 21 points a game, was insane. He was on fire after Kansas and in the end I began to wonder if he wasn't our best 2010 player period, although the Big 3 were in vastly different positions.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a Lin or Harvard fan-boy, but GS wasn't the only team looking at Lin. We all know the Mavs were seriously considering him too. There he probably would have gone straight to D-League, but they wanted to develop him, so at least one more team saw something in him.

Also, wasn't Lin the co-performer of week this week or last week or something. The stat line for him was amazing. The article did mention he was on a very stacked team, which would definitely help a PG put up numbers.

Fact: Lin is on an NBA roster.
Fact: Dale is not on an NBA roster.
Fact: Wittman is not on an NBA roster.
Fact: Foote is not on an NBA roster.

No matter how good we think our guys are, Lin is the only one to get to say he cracked the rotation.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Fact: Wittman and Dale were Ivy POYs.
Fact: Wittman and Foote played in the national all star game.
Fact: Lin was never an Ivy POY
Fact: Lin was not invited to the national all star game
Fact: Lin WAS on an NBA team because he attracts the Asian American community in the Bay Area
Fact: Lin is in the D-League.
Fact: D-League is a rookie league for players 1-3 years out of college.

mrjames said...

Which National All-Star game? Didn't all three of them go to Portsmouth?

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

The only national all star game is run by the NABC and is sponsored by Reese's and is held at the Final Four and is nationally televised.

Lin did not go, Wittman and Foote did.

Portsmouth is a pre-draft camp and is not nearly as prestigious.

Only 24 guys go to Reese's as opposed to nearly 50 for Portsmouth.

mrjames said...

Is that the one where they play against the Globetrotters?

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

No, East vs. West All-Stars. Go educate yourself. Google. Use it.

Anonymous said...

Several NBA teams recently tried to make trade offers to Golden State for Lin. GS said no. They want to keep him. He's mostly been in the D-League so he can play regularly. Young players don't develop sitting on the bench.
This constant reference to Lin's "ethnic market" value is insulting and done to dismiss his abilities. If he were a slow moving Asian jump shooter, with a game like Wittman's, he would not have been signed by Golden State.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

First off, there were no reported reported trade offers. Golden State said they had interest.

What were the terms of the trade? Who was being offered for Lin? What was being offered for Lin?

There are no hard facts out there to demonstrate that any team at any time wanted to sign Lin or trade for Lin other than Golden State, which has sent him to the minor leagues twice.

Finally, the ethnicity is a legitimate issue and was raised by a Golden State scout, Paul Cormier.

Lin himself loves to talk about his ethnicity and how "overcame" stereotypes.

Ok, so Lin opened the door. Let's discuss it.

We now have a quote from a Warriors staffer acknowledging that a motivating factor to sign Lin was just to sell tickets.

You know what is akin to? A cheerleader or a mascot.

Anonymous said...

Fact: We were talking about Lin in the NBA, not college awards.

What's next...
Fact: In 3rd grade Ryan Wittman had a quadruple double against Roosevelt Elementary.

How about this:
Fact: Our guys were good.
Fact: Our guys are still good.
Fact: Most of us would still draft one of our guys if we were a GM over that of Lin.

But, Fact: Lin made it to the NBA. Lin scored points. Lin made assists. Lin sat on the bench in the NB-fricking-A.

Going to the sweet 16 must have been amazing for our guys and they legitimately did it with their best friends, who they will probably stay friends for life with, and there can't be much more wanted out of that. However, if you're telling me that Dale, Foote, or Wittman doesn't dream of getting that cup of coffee that Lin has had and still has at his fingertips, then I think you are horribly mistaken.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Lin's cup of coffee is now in Reno with a minor league team.

mrjames said...

I went and educated myself. And, as I seemed to remember, yes, this game indeed had a college all-star team play the Globetrotters.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

You found the wrong game. At least a half dozen posts on it on this Blog including video highlights. Rosters from the game were:

Hershey’s Team (East)
Scottie Reynolds (Villanova)
Deonta Vaughn (Cincinnati)
Jermaine Beal (Vanderbilt)
Rodney Green (LaSalle)
Edwin Ubiles (Siena)
Lazar Hayward (Marquette)
Ryan Wittman (Cornell)
Adam Koch (Northern Iowa)
Jeff Foote (Cornell)
Gerald Lee (Old Dominion).

The Reese’s Team (West)
Jerome Randall (California)
Tre'von Hughes (Wisconsin)
Chris Kramer (Purdue)
Michael Roll (UCLA)
Tyren Johnson (UL-Lafayette
Aubrey Coleman (Houston)
Patrick Christopher (California)
Dominic Calegari (UC-Davis)
Art Parakhouski (Radford)
Eric Boateng (Arizona State)
Bryan Davis (Texas A&M)

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Forgot to add Foote to the roster.

mrjames said...

No. I know the game isn't All-Stars vs. Globetrotters anymore. I'm just saying that I remember the game when it used to be.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Ok. But here is one of the many posts...

DC said...

The Blog says "Lin can't shoot from the perimeter. He was never a good shooter and probably never will be", when in fact, Lin is shooting 42% from 3 in the D-League.

Lin is also ranked #22 in scoring at 17.9 pts/game.

Similar to what he did in college, he ranks 5th in the D-League in steals at 2.2/game.

Among D-league guards, he ranks 7th in rebounding at 5.9/game.

You can check the stats for yourself:

Meanwhile, Louis is avg 7.7 pts/game and shooting 28% from 3 in Germany.


Is the Blog going to argue that the German league provides a higher level of competition than the D-League? I hope not because people in the know recognize that Germany is 2nd tier compared to Spain, Italy, and Israel basketball.

The Blog could try to argue that Dale is better and that Lin only got the Warriors job because of race, but the numbers don't lie. Lin is performing and Dale is not.

Nobody is gifting Lin his pts and steals because he is Asian. He's getting numbers and he's in the NBA because he is a better player.

And this is coming from a Cornell alum.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it possible to be of the opinion that Lin is a very good player who is getting a slight advantage from his background? The Warriors cut players with better stats than Lin, I believe I read this even in the Harvard Crimson. What's more, they hired a new backup PG, indicating that they were not satisfied with Lin, while cutting some poor sap in a different position who was putting up better stats than Lin. I think he was a good player but surely you can't think that everyone who believes he is getting a slight advantage due to his background is just filled with vitriolic hatred. If his jersey often sells out, his fans shake the arena, and he gets the 2nd most media requests per team, ya betcha he's a good business investment. I think in situations where other players would be cut -- HAVE been cut -- Lin is given every opportunity to succeed in hopes that it pays off big time down the line.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Love the D-League, and would like to see some Cornellians back in it, but it is a well known fact that it is far inferior to most of the EuroLeague's including Germany.

This is not even worthy of a debate.

The D-League is essence a showcase for players to get better. It is made up of kids 1-3 years out of college. The European leagues, including the Bundesliga, are made up of top veterans who have developed over many years.

Dale is playing against 10 year vets. Lin is playing against rookies.

Lin shot 31% in his 17 games with the Warriors. His numbers with Reno far execeed anything he has done at Harvard or in the NBA.

DC said...

In Germany, Louis is facing such experienced veterans such as Dru Joyce, Lebron's former high school teammate who played at Akron.

Meanwhile in the "weak" D-League, Lin gets to play against former 1st team All-American, Scottie Reynolds, former lottery pick, Joe Alexander, former SEC 1st-team, Chris Lofton, and Mustafa Shakur from Arizona who just got called up to the NBA.

I don't see very many guys from Germany getting calls to the NBA, but I do see a lot from the D-League.

I understand the Blog's desire to defend Louis because we all love Cornell, but to so blatantly try to tear down Lin because a) he's from Harvard and b) because he's Asian is sad.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Virtually no players get "call ups" from Europe because they can't. They are under contract.

The D-League is owned by the NBA and call-ups are encouraged and facilitated.

Nobody is tearing Lin down because he is Asian or because he went to Harvard. But we are explaining the reality of the situation, which Coach Cormier, perhaps inadvertently, mentioned.

Not sure how well you know your German premier teams, but they have a lot of former All Americans, and former 1st Teamers from Big East, Pac 10, SEC etc. Even some guys there that played in the NBA such as Casey Jacobson who played 5 years in the NBA.

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it that Lin was signed because he was foisted upon Warriors coaches by a new team owner whom many felt had limited basketball knowledge but who now won't back down due to pride. Lin was the first player he insisted upon as a brand new owner and he truly believed Lin was talented.

However, Lin's performance when it actually came time to play was not very good, and the coaches found themselves in a tough situation. They had to (a) limit roster size by certain deadlines and (b) find a guy to replace Lin as backup PG. But they couldn't cut Lin himself, due to his guaranteed contract, so they had to cut guys who had put up better stats.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Comcast Sports interviewing Joe Lacob, owner of Golden State:

Steinmetz: You said Jeremy Lin was your call. There are some people who think you signed a guy who couldn’t play in the league and that you wanted to show people you knew basketball …

Lacob: I wasn’t trying to show anybody anything. I just know the kid. I know he can play and I think it was a phenomenal signing and still think it is. We’re getting offers for Jeremy Lin. More than one. This week alone. I’m just going to tell you we think it was a very good signing. Not just me, the rest of the organization.

I don’t know if you noticed but he went down to the D-League … he’s not going to get the minutes here. He’s gone down there and done a good job. He was an all-star in the showcase. His numbers were pretty astonishing.

He’s getting better, gaining some confidence. We think Jeremy is going to be a good player. His strength is that he’s a very good defensive player because he anticipates very well.

He’s got size. He’s reasonably athletic. People don’t think so but he is. His driving is good. It needs to improve. He goes right all the time. We shouldn’t say he can’t go left, but he just hasn’t so far. And he clearly has to improve his shooting.

I’m very happy. He wasn’t drafted. He’s a minimum, inexpensive asset. You need to look at him as a developing asset. Is he going to be a superstar? No.

Anonymous said...

I have seen Lin play some limited minutes in the NBA and he looked good- quick, and he penetrated well and created uncontested shots for the big men. I also happen to know that Lin had interest from other teams. In addition to the Mavs the Lakers liked Lin and wanted him, but didn't make as an offer as attractive as Golden State- I don't recall if it was the salary level, the amount guaranteed, or some other issue.

Anonymous said...

Lin got signed because he's a damn good player, not because of anything else. He held his own, if not out-played John Wall and was overly impressive in the Summer League, while Wittman massively struggled. Lin was never a great fit in the Ivy because he's a better run-and-gun type player due to his quickness than the typical half court game of the Ivy. His game just suits the NBA better than Wittman, who is little more than a great shooter, and Dale. If Lin had the talent that Dale had around him, he would have probably been at least a 2-time Ivy POY. He had offers from the Lakers and other teams too, so stop being such a hater. It's not like Wittman and Dale didn't get their chance.

And Lin is only in the D-League so he can get minutes instead of sitting on the Warriors bench, it's not like he was demoted for poor play. And in the D-League, he's dominating, having won POW and a first-team award already at the showcase. So don't act like him being in the D-League, on an NBA contract, is the same as Wittman or anyone else being in the D-League with D-League contracts.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

I love Harvard fans, they will say anything to convince themselves the world is flat.

Anonymous said...

You can try to dismiss the previous comment because you run this blog, but everything he said is true. It's pretty ironic that you just spent this afternoon dissing the D-League because Lin is playing well there. I wonder what you have to say about the D-League now that Wittman just signed.

What are you gonna say about Wittman when he is putting up big numbers in D-League? That is the question.

You don't think Lin's numbers mean much in D-League but I'm guessing you're gonna make a big deal when Wittman is going off.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Opinion on the D-League has never and will not change.

It is the best way to get to the NBA because of the cooperation agreement, but the pay is terrible for those players not under NBA contracts.

In terms of competition level, the D-League is inferior to most of the elite Euro Leagues (Italy, Spain, Greece, Germany, France, Israel, Russia etc).

You can make more cash in Europe, play against better competition in Europe, play in front of actual fans and tv coverage in Europe, but on the downside, getting to the NBA is tougher while under contract with a foreign club. And you are far from your friends and family.