Wednesday, February 9, 2011

News and Notes: Wednesday Edition

(Photo Cornell Daily Sun)
Get all the information you need about the Big Red's games this weekend vs. Penn (2/11/11) and Princeton (2/12/11) with The Cornell Basketball Blog's Game Preview Center. Below, some news and note for Wednesday.

  • A pair of Cornell recruits were in action last night. Skyline defeated Dexter in Michigan, 58-52. Dave Lamore (Dexter HS) Dexter, MI, 6-10, C, finished with 26 points, 11 rebounds and 5 blocks in the defeat. See the recaps on and Meanwhile in Ohio, Ned Tomic (North Royalton HS) North Royalton, OH, 6-7, F, finished with 19 points in a 55-52 win over Mayfield. North Royalton is ranked No. 19 in the Cleveland Plain Dealer Top 25 while Shonn Miller (St. Ignatius) Cleveland, OH, 6-6, F and his St. Ignatius team sits at No. 17.
  • After Cornell played five of its six Ivy games on the road, including its lone Ivy home game during the winter break session, Hoopville published the following post on their site:

Cornell Perseveres, Gets to Head Home At Last

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Say this much for first year Cornell head coach Bill Courtney: he hasn’t lost his team at all, despite the season going in such a way that a lot of coaches might. It hasn’t been the kind of storybook season recent years were for the Big Red, who got their first Ivy League win of the season on Saturday night when they pulled out a 91-79 decision at Brown.

No one realistically expected the Big Red to win a fourth straight Ivy League title this season. Too many key players from last season are gone and the coaching staff is new. Close losses have dogged the Big Red all season, as they have been close too many times to mention while falling short. Courtney has seen the team lose confidence late in games at times, the cumulative result of the close losses. Cornell entered Saturday night’s game with a 3-10 mark in games decided by single digits as part of their 4-15 overall record.

Even with all of the close losses, the Big Red brought a little extra baggage into Saturday night’s contest. A night earlier, they had a 10-point lead with less than two minutes left at Yale, only to come away with a 71-70 loss. There are close losses, and then there’s Friday night.

“It’s like you snatched defeat from the jaws of victory,” said Courtney. “Anything that could go wrong, went wrong in that run. They had three-point plays, we turned it over, missed free throws.”

“We’ve lost a lot of close games,” junior guard Chris Wroblewski added after the win at Brown. “The accumulation of that is really hard to take, and last night was like a cherry on top but not in a good way. To be up ten with two minutes left in the game, you think you pretty much have a victory there, and to give it away like we did was very hard on us.”

Part of Cornell’s identity this year has been that they keep battling, and that showed up the last two weekends as each Friday night game has left something to be desired. A week earlier, 19 turnovers keyed a disappointing loss at Dartmouth, and not helping is that a stomach bug was going around the team as well. This time around, they competed on Saturday night like any other time, and although they trailed a fair amount, they were never down by much in getting the win on Saturday night.

Courtney has sensed all along that this team is a very together unit, led by holdovers from the title teams like Wroblewski, Adam Wire, Mark Coury and emerging wing Errick Peck. Wroblewski has been playing through an injury to the pelvic region of late, while Peck put up nice numbers last Saturday in minutes that were limited by being one of the victims of the aforementioned stomach bug. There aren’t any chemistry issues with this team, a key reason they haven’t gone down easily.

“Winning by ten points with less than two minutes left and losing is very difficult, so to bounce back like these guys did today shows a lot of character,” said Courtney. “That’s what we talked about, the character of this team.”

Saturday’s win came in part from having great balance. Six players scored in double figures, led by Drew Ferry’s 20 points. The other five all scored between 10 and 13 points, with Wroblewski adding five assists and Peck having just two but figuring in more baskets in the second half, when he didn’t score. He helped other plays develop, and the Big Red were 16-34 from long range in a building where, as Wroblewski remembered, they went 20-30 from behind the arc in last year’s clinching game for the Ivy League title.

“There must be something to the rims here, they’re treating us well,” Wroblewski said with a smile.

Peck has made a nice improvement in the last couple of weeks to expand his game. Already athletic enough to be a good scorer and the player on the team with the most upside, he’s now making shots from long range. He went 5-8 in last weekend’s games and 5-11 this weekend, pushing his season percentage over 40 percent. Courtney has seen this development come along and feels he’s maturing as a player. For the sophomore wing, it was a matter of seeing how he was being defended and adjusting.

“A lot of teams would just set somebody up to take a charge,” said Peck. “So with guys playing off me, I’m just trying to work with my shot and become more confident in taking the shot.”

Besides the close losses, Cornell has been on the road quite a bit. In part, that’s the nature of being an Ivy League team as far as non-league play goes, but the league schedule maker wasn’t very kind to this team early on as well. They have been on the road the last two weekends, and five of their first six Ivy League games have been on the road. They will be at home for the next two weekends, which should help their fortunes. Sure enough, because of inclement weather that was expected on the way back to Ithaca, they couldn’t go home so fast. The team spent Saturday night in Providence before heading back on Sunday.

“We’ve been on the road so much. Getting a win and getting to go home will be a tremendous boost for us,” said Courtney.

The bottom line hasn’t reflected the quality of this team, and it probably won’t by the end of the season. But with some home games to come and the team very much together, there might be a few more wins to come. No matter what happens, they’ll be a tough out and have a chance to impact the league since all of the contenders still have to go to Ithaca before the season is over.

  • Rush The Court likes Princeton's chances to win the Ivy title and writes, "The caveat is that all five of their Ivy wins have come at home, but with no Cornell juggernaut to compete with, Princeton is well-positioned to make a run at the Ivy title for the first time since 2004."
  • writes, "Jadwin Gym was packed for a battle for first place between Princeton and Penn [last night]. With the Cornell Era in the Ancient 8 now over, it’s back to business as usual. With Tuesday night’s overtime win, Sidney Johnson’s Tigers have the lead in the Ivy and wins over their two most serious challengers, the Quakers and Harvard."
  • With the Penn-Princeton game palyed last night, Penn alum Dave Zeitlin writes for CSN, "Since the Ivy League’s inception in 1954, the powerful programs have won 25 conference championships, making it a two-horse race just about every season. Cornell’s recent ascent – combined with concurrent slumps from Penn and Princeton – led to a three-year reign atop the Ancient Eight for the Big Red. But after losing all of its top players – and head coach Steve Donahue – Cornell has stumbled to the bottom of the league standings, just as Penn and Princeton appear poised to reclaim glory." The Tiger Blog also notes, "The last three Ivy League men's basketball titles belonged to Cornell; of the 37 before that, 34 belonged to Princeton or Penn." Of course, the Ivy League began in 1954 in name only with the the predecessor EIBL organizing competition between the Ivy members in basketball since the early 1900s.
  • Wrapping up the weekend's Ivy action, Calder Silcox of the Daily Pennsylvanian writes, "[Sean McGonagil of Brown] is still going to have a hard time transfigurating Brown (1-5 Ivy) into a decent team — a k a one that can beat Cornell (1-5)....[Brown] lost by 12 to the Big Red Saturday at home, giving the Ithacans their first Ivy League win of the year. It may have taken six games, but those Cornellians are finally on their way to recreating last year’s magic! If only there were 12 more games for them to play... The Bulldogs of Yale seem to think they can compete with the big boys in the League, posting a 4-2 record through three weeks of Ivy play. But Friday’s one-point, come-from-behind win over Cornell would seem to disagree."
  • After Brown's Sean McGonagil lit up Columbia last Friday for an incredible 39 points and became the first rookie in the Ivy League this season to win Player of the Week honors, we would like to take some credit for saying this and this when he was recruited. We have said it numerous times here. The best way for casual fans to evaluate incoming high school recruits is to speak and collect opinions from coaches, preferably Division I coaches. Another and indirect way to evaluate recruits is to consider the number and quality of the scholarship offers that the recruit received, while also taking into account the recruit's level of exposure. ESPN Insiders/Scouts Inc., once again grossly under evaluated a talented recruit, ranking McGonagil a low 73. Golf clap ESPN.
  • 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 8 is No. 253 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. 210 in the nation, while the USA Today Sagarin rankings have Cornell at No. 224. 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)

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 at Princeton, 7 pm [Verizon FiOS 1]

Friday, February 11
*Brown at Dartmouth, 7 pm
*Princeton at Columbia, 7 pm [SIRIUS]
*Penn at Cornell, 7 pm
*Yale at Harvard, 7 pm

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


Penn makes me wanna puke said...

Penn & Princeton poised to reign at the top again?

Come on Penn. Princeton is 5-0. You are 3-2. That isn't exactly an earth shattering start. Do something before you claim to be good again. Princeton impressed last year and is now impressing this year. You lost two games in overtime, logic says a good team should have won one of them. You didn't. Go home and read more articles of the glory days, just don't try to say you're back on top. Not yet. Not right now.

Anonymous said...

back to back OT losses for the Quakers with not a lot of rotation to the bench.

They should be a tad tired this weekend - let's steal one at Newman.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

This Penn team had a war at home with bad Brown team and lost at Marist and Manhattan (two terrible teams). Penn is a very up and down team which probably explains why they have about a .500 record.

Anonymous said...

I would be curious whether Cornell has a greater home court advantage than the other Ivies because of the long bus ride to Ithaca. Similarly, we probably play worse on the road, especially on Friday night. CBB, one day when you're bored and looking for something to do, could you slice the data to see whether Cornell's home record is better than its road record by a larger margin than those of the other Ivies?

grain of salt said...

Over past 5 years

Team - Home Wins, Road Wins
Cornell - 29,26 (+3)
Penn - 23,21 (+2)
Yale - 22,16 (+6)
Princeton - 21,13 (+8)
Columbia - 19,11 (+8)
Brown - 18,13 (+5)
Harvard - 17,12 (+5)
Dartmouth - 13, 6 (+7)

So, Cornell's home record isn't much better than road record, but that's because the data is skewed where our championship teams lost so infrequently, so i don't know what that will tell you. However, the home winning % for Cornell is 83% which is much higher than the next highest Penn at 66%.

Someone who has a better method could go back many more years, this is looking only at the last 5.

Anonymous said...

i think dartmouth is one of the hardest trips, so I am not surprised to see them +7 (with travel-partner harvard at +5). Also, maybe Columbia is the big beneficiary of the arduous trip to Ithaca, as it gets an opponent on Saturday night that is tired?

Anonymous said...

I seem to remember that the bus ride to Dartmouth was no bed of roses either.

For what it is worth, Cornell always has the long Wed/Thu trip for the Friday away game - even our travel partner is a hike.

I'm sure that, especially over the last three years, the Cornell Saturday night game is a pain for other teams.

Here is a better question: when is the last time that Cornell lost an Ivy Saturday night game at home? Only one home loss period in the last four seasons.

Anonymous said...

Last time that Cornell lost an Ivy Saturday night game at home?

Brown over Cornell in Ithaca 69-64 Sat 25-Feb-2006.

Not counting Columbia games...