Saturday, February 5, 2011

Ithaca Journal Scouts Cornell at Brown


Not including Friday's games

Matchup: Cornell (4-14, 0-4) at Brown (7-11, 0-4), 7 p.m. Saturday

Radio: WVBR (93.5).

Coach: Jesse Agel (third season)

Last time out: Brown was swept on the road last weekend at Princeton (78-60) and Penn (80-78, OT). The Bears hosted Columbia on Friday night.

Probable starters: Dockery Walker (6-7, 215, Fr., F), Tucker Halpern (6-8, 220, Soph., F), Matt Sullivan (6-5, 205, Soph., G), Sean McGonagill (6-1, 180, Fr., G), Garrett Leffelman (6-4, 210, Sr., G).

Key reserves: Andrew McCarthy (6-8, 210, Soph., F), Adrian Williams (6-1, 180, Sr., G), Josh Biber (6-5, 210, Fr., G/F), Chris Taylor 6-8, 225, Sr., F).

Injury note: Brown senior Peter Sullivan, the program's 11th all-time leading scorer, suffered a shoulder injury last weekend at Princeton and is listed out indefinitely.

Statistically: With Sullivan out, Halpern is Brown's leading scorer at 11.2 points per game. ... McGonagill is third in the Ivy League in assists per game (4.9), and had 10 in last Saturday's loss at Penn. ... Brown shoots 73.7 percent as a team from the free throw line. Cornell shoots 66.3 percent, last in the Ivy League. ... The Bears are one of the worst teams in Division I in two areas: forcing turnovers (10.9), and offensive rebounding percentage (.154).

Outlook: Agel said before Ivy League play began that for Brown to win, it'll "take a village." But the loss of Sullivan is tough. He was an experienced player who topped an opposing team's scouting report and was capable of making positive plays in close games down the stretch. His presence opened things up for teammates. He's Brown's leading scorer and rebounder.

The objectives for Cornell don't change, regardless of opponent: the Big Red needs more inside-out balance offensively and a more consistent effort on the defensive glass. Errick Peck should prove a difficult matchup for the Bears. But Peck alone won't be enough. If Cornell can get offensive production from its top three players, this game becomes winnable.

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