Saturday, February 12, 2011

News and Notes: Saturday Edition

Above, in the background from left to right, Cornell's injured players, Aaron Osgood, Dwight Tarwater, Dominick Scelfo and Anthony Gatlin react to Cornell's final shot in regulation against Penn on Friday night. (Photo Ithaca Journal) Get all the information you need about the Big Red's game tonight vs. Princeton with The Cornell Basketball Blog's Game Preview Center. Below, some news and note for Saturday.

  • Ryan Wittman ('10) and his Ft. Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA D-League made the trip last night to Reno to face the Big Horns. What was expected to be a reunion meeting between Wittman and Jeremy Lin (Harvard '10) did not happen as Lin was recalled to the Golden State Warriors earlier this week. Wittman earned his first career start, but Ft. Wayne fell 102-91. Wittman played 29 minutes 50 seconds, finishing 2/7 on FGs and 2.6 beyond the arc for 6 points, 2 rebounds and 1 assist. The Ants face Reno again tonight in Reno.
  • It was also a busy Friday night for Cornell's incoming recruits. Devin Cherry (Meridian HS) Meridian, MS, 6-3, G, scored 13 points as No. 1 ranked Meridian defeated Brandon HS 81-70 to capture the Division 5-6A championship. See recaps at the Meridian Star and Clarion Ledger. Cherry is often overlooked and must share attention with teammate and top 10 national player and Mississippi State signee, Rodney Hood. Dave LaMore (Dexter HS) Dexter, MI, 6-10, C, was "held" to 18 points last night as Lincoln defeated Dexter, 52-50. See for the recap. Ned Tomic (North Royalton HS) North Royalton, OH, 6-7, F, a bruising 235 pound power forward, led all scorers with 21 points by North Royalton was upset by Normany, 56-55. See the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Also in action last night, Shonn Miller (St. Ignatius HS) Cleveland, OH, 6-6, F. Ignatius fell to city rival, St. Edward's, 73-65. See the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
  • Brian Delaney of the Ithaca Journal blogs today:

Reflecting on Cornell-Penn; photos of the Coury sequence

Let's start with the talk of last night's game at Cornell: the push-off foul call on Mark Coury with 1.3 seconds remaining. A quick recap: the game was tied at 63. Cornell had the ball for the final possession. Chris Wroblewski dribbled off about 20-plus seconds, pulled up and tried a 3 over the hand of Zack Rosen. The ball went down and out. Coury leapt, put the ball back and in for what appeared to be the game-winning bucket. However, the ref underneath the basket, who had a great view of Coury and Conor Turley underneath, immediately called off the bucket and whistled Coury for pushing off. The foul gave Turley a one-and-one at the other end to likely win the game. Turley missed, and Cornell went on to win in overtime, 82-71.

Our photographer from last night's game, Dave Burbank, sent in a series of shots from that last play, beginning with Wroblewski's release. At best, these photos are inconclusive. But I figured you'd want to have a look anyway. [See the Ithaca Journal Website]

I covered reaction to that play in last night's game story, which you can find by clicking here. Long after the game ended, Newman Arena was empty and I was finishing off some responsibilities for online when I started marveling at this fact: do you realize how rare it is for this Cornell team not to have already put its opponent in the double bonus by the last minute of regulation?

Figure this what-if: Coury gets called for that foul, and it's Cornell's 10th. Turley gets an automatic two. You gotta think, as he's a 70-percent foul shooter, he's making at least the second attempt after missing the first, right? Instead, Coury's foul was only Cornell's seventh of the half. Turley missed, Wire rebounded, overtime, Max Groebe, Chris Wroblewski, game over, 6-15, 2-5.

Remember: In 20 games before last night, Cornell had commited 20-plus fouls in 16 games. In seven Ivy games now, Cornell's foul totals have been 23, 23, 20, 23, 20, 13, 19* with the last number including last night's OT. Interestingly enough, I'd wager that part of the reason Cornell's foul totals were low in the second half was because its defensive breakdowns at the mid-stages of that half were so thorough (Penn put on an offensive clinic for a stretch there; backdoors galore, high pick-and-roll's; etc.) there was no one underneath the rim to contest the many layups Penn was getting.

Cornell's players and coaches made light of that defensive stretch afterward. Bill Courtney said it was like Penn was running dummy offense (as in, a walkthrough with no opponent on the floor), and Wroblewski made a similar remark.

Anyway, Cornell regrouped, and one of the key reasons it got back in the game was because Courtney went with Wire and Coury inside. Those two were terrific defensively down the stretch. Wire held Jack Eggleston to three free throws and zero field goals in the final 15:26. There were several times when Eggleston caught a ball in rhythm at the three-point line (where he's shooting above 50 percent on the year), only to have Wire get back in position, low, with a hand near the ball to disrupt the shot attempt. Eggleston - at least three times that I can remember - then had to pass off because his shooting rhythm was disrupted. Those were huge plays for Wire, and Cornell.

* Courtney said Max Groebe's defense was improved enough last night that he could keep him on the floor. Groebe's had a difficult season with shooting confidence/concussion/flu, but his playing time has been most affected by inconsistent defensive play. Cornell needs him on the floor. If Groebe plays well, Cornell is a much better team, as last night showed.

* Errick Peck only played five minutes after halftime. Courtney said the lack of playing time was effort related. It was difficult to argue down the stretch, considering Wire's effectiveness on Eggleston. "If some guy doesn't have it that night, then it's up to the guys on the bench to pick them up. The guys have done a great job of picking each other up, and they did that for Errick tonight," Courtney said.

* Thought Chris Wroblewski outplayed Zack Rosen last night in a matchup of probably the league's two best point guards (when healthy), particularly down the stretch. Wroblewski hit several big shots in the final 3 minutes to bring Cornell back from a 63-58 deficit. Rosen was 0-for-2 during that time, and committed a foul that led to the game-tying free throws with 1:28 left in regulation. Wroblewski finished with 21 points, 4 boards, 4 assists and 3 steals on 5-13 | 2-5 | 9-11. Rosen was 15-6-1, 2 turnovers, 1 block, 1 steal on 4-9 | 3-6 | 4-6.

* Penn really struggled on defense at times last night. In crucial spots, they gave up way-too-good looks to Cornell. If you want a clear answer for what separates Penn from Harvard and Princeton, it's defense.

* Cornell felt it wore down Penn last night. Eggleston played 45 minutes, Cartwright - who had 9 turnovers, 7 of which came after halftime - played 42, Rosen 41. Wroblewski played 37, Ferry 38, Wire 24, Coury 24, Groebe 28, Peck 19, Gray 20. Wire said specifically in the post-game he felt he was fresher than Eggleston down the stretch. Thought Courtney's deep rotation was the difference.

* If Johnathan Gray can play with a little more caution, he can really help Cornell. Last night, he just made too many negative plays because he was trying too hard to make a play. As he's said this year, he needs to be consistent.

* Cornell is now 6-2 on the year when it attempts as many or more free throws than its opponent. When an opponent gets to the stripe more, Cornell is 0-13. Last night's FTs: Cornell 20-26, Penn 15-22.

* Penn had 20 assists on 25 field goals. At times, particularly in the second half, its offense was sensational. An absolute clinic. The Quakers are really tough to guard.

* Cornell built a 16-point lead in the first half because its bigs outplayed Penn's. Eitan Chemerinski, Josh Figini and Coury combined for 12 points in the first half (four each), giving Cornell better balance. Jerome Allen spent the first half mixing and matching his bigs looking for a better answer, which didn't come until the second half.

* Did you notice? Opponents have tried putting a bigger defender on Chris Wroblewski all season. Last night, Rob Belcore (6-6) spent a good chunk of time defending Wroblewski.

* Cornell continues to struggle on defending inbounds plays underneath. Penn hit a couple of 3's off set plays last night, one against a Cornell 2-3 that went to soft mush.

* Points off turnovers were critical. Cornell had 25 points off Penn's 18 turnovers; Penn had 11 points off 12 Cornell turnovers.

* Courtney started Wroblewski, Jake Matthews, Miles Asafo-Adjei, Peck and Figini for the third straight game. He said afterward he likes starting with that lineup for two reasons: it's Cornell's best energy lineup, and that energy has helped the Big Red get off to better starts; two, it allows him to find limits for Drew Ferry's minutes - he'll get at least 3 minutes on the bench at the start of each half.

* Fair warning on Princeton tonight: this team is excellent. Length, versatility, toughness. Last year, Cornell ended the Ivy's 12-year losing streak in the NCAA tournament. I fully expect this Princeton team to give the Ivy two wins in a row, should it outlast Harvard for this year's race. Kareem Maddox remains my mid-Ivy season Player of the Year. No one can talk me out of that.

Enjoy the weekend.

  • The Ithaca Journal notes, "At 7 p.m., the Cornell men's basketball team will face Princeton at Newman Arena. Students serving as [United Way Tompkins County] campaign ambassadors will be presenting a check representing the gifts made to date from the Cornell community to James Brown, President of UWTC, and Alan and Nancy Pedersen, UWTC Campaign co-chairs."
  • The Daily Pennsylvanian lists "the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" of last night's Cornell win over Penn:

Game 20 – Cornell: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Another game, another devastating overtime loss for the Quakers. Penn's first two overtime losses — to Harvard and Princeton — in this three-game losing streak were understandable, and, if anything, they were encouraging for Penn's prospects in the Ivy League. But Penn played down a level to Cornell Friday night. This one's got to be tough for the team, but for some context:

The Good: Not much here, but Jack Eggleston's line was once again impressive: 21 points, nine rebounds, and five assists Captain Jack is starting to make these type of lines look routine (averaging 19.2 points and nine boards over his last five games). Probably the lone bright spot for Penn, Jack brought it all game — logged 45 minutes — and you have to feel for him, as he's valiantly pulling out these big-time games, yet receiving "L's" at the end of the night. Another "good" that I completely forgot about during the game? Rosen's 15 points pushed him over the 1,000 career points mark (he entered the game sitting on 999), the 36th player to do so in Penn history. I'm sure he wasn't feeling good about this one though post-game.

See more after the jump.

The Bad: Penn's lack of focus to start the game. I don't know if it's just me, but I was expecting Penn to come out firing on all cylinders, getting back to the basics and cruising to a nice victory to lift their morale. You have to give Cornell credit, though. The Big Red came out of the gates on fire and Penn really had no answer for Max Groebe, who torched Penn for six threes off the bench. To give some context, my favorite stat of the first half was that nine different players for Cornell had scored in the first half. NINE! When Cornell eventually cooled off, Penn was able to climb back in it and even take a nine-point lead with 8:41 remaining, but ultimately, the duo of Chris Wroblewski and Groebe was too much. I talked to Wroblewski after the game and not surprisingly, he told me that Coach Bill Courtney had emphasized in practice that the Big Red needed to take it to a Penn team that would be mentally and physically exhausted, and they sure did. So did Penn lose due to their mental and physical fatigue? I can't say for sure (and I'll toss that out to you guys), but the Quakers certainly had their chances to win the game and they didn't execute down the stretch — they were outscored 8-3 in the final four minutes of regulation.

The Ugly: Is it Turley's missed 1-and-1 free throw that could have given Penn the lead with 1.3 seconds remaining ? Miles Cartwright's 9 turnovers? Or Penn's bench getting outscored 54-15?

All three were pretty ugly, but I'm sure the ugliest part of it all must just be the sick feeling the Quakers have in their stomachs. Three-straight overtime losses — I can't think of a team that has gone through that. Can you?

  • In Rush The Court's "Other 26" weekly feature, the site mentions Cornell's loss at Yale last weekend. The site writes, "Cornell has struggled this year—many thought they would following the graduation of the most talented class in school history along with head coach Steve Donohue—but they had a great opportunity to earn a solid road win in New Haven against Yale. Instead, they squandered a 10 point lead in the final 1:58 to lose 71-70."
  • 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 February 12 is No. 246 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. 206 in the nation, while the USA Today Sagarin rankings have Cornell at No. 220. 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
  16. Columbia L 66-70
  17. at Dartmouth L 57-64
  18. at Harvard L 57-78 (video recap)
  19. at Yale L 70-71
  20. at Brown W 91-79 (video recap)
  21. vs. Penn W 82-71

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 51 Yale 59 Box Score - Recap
*Dartmouth 50 Harvard 59 Box Score - Recap
*Columbia 70 Cornell 66 [Time Warner] Box Score - Recap
Saint Joseph’s 61 Penn 73 [The Comcast Network] Box Score - Recap

Sunday, January 23
College of New Jersey 40 Princeton 73 Box Score - Recap

Friday, January 28
*Brown 60 Princeton 78 [Verizon FiOS 1] Box Score - Recap
*Cornell 57 Dartmouth 64 Box Score - Recap
*Columbia 66 Harvard 77 Box Score - Recap
*Yale 58 Penn 66 [The Comcast Network] [SIRIUS] Box Score - Recap

Saturday, January 29
*Cornell 57 Harvard 78 Box Score - Recap
*Yale 63 Princeton 67 Box Score - Recap
*Brown 78 Penn 80 OT Box Score - Recap
*Columbia 66 Dartmouth 45 [SIRIUS] Box Score - Recap

Friday, February 4
*Dartmouth 47 Penn 78 Box Score - Recap
*Harvard 61 Princeton 65[ESPNU] [SIRIUS] Box Score - Recap
*Columbia 79 Brown 87 Box Score - Recap
*Cornell 70 Yale 71 Box Score - Recap

Saturday, February 5
*Dartmouth 53 Princeton 68 Box Score - Recap
*Cornell 91 Brown 79 [SIRIUS] Box Score - Recap
*Columbia 67 Yale 72 Box Score - Recap
*Harvard 83 Penn 82 (2OT) Box Score - Recap

Tuesday, February 8
*Penn 59 Princeton 62 OT [Verizon FiOS 1] Box Score - Recap

Friday, February 11
*Brown 75 Dartmouth 66 Box Score - Recap
*Princeton 76 Columbia 46 [SIRIUS] Box Score - Recap
*Penn 71 Cornell 82 OT Box Score - Recap
*Yale 75 Harvard 78 Box Score - Recap

Saturday, February 12
*Brown at Harvard, 7 pm
*Penn at Columbia, 7 pm
*Princeton at Cornell, 7 pm
*Yale at Dartmouth, 7 pm [SIRIUS]

No comments: