The Sports Xchange and YahooSports have published updated team reports for each of the Ivy League schools. Below are links to each of team reports as well as the full report for Cornell.
- Penn team report-" at Cornell, Feb. 11. Key Matchups: The Big Red is a far cry from the squad that won three titles in a row, but it still has shown flashes of that championship flavor. What it hasn’t done is sustain that through 40 minutes, so the Quakers could easily find themselves in a situation like the Harvard game, having to mount a comeback from a Cornell surge."
- Princeton team report-"at Cornell, Feb. 12-Key Matchups: Cornell is obviously a shadow of its former self, and its position in the standings reflects that. The Big Red have enough talent to be dangerous, however, particularly in Chris Wroblewski and Errick Peck. Both have the skills and basketball sense to cause problems for Princeton."
- Yale team report-"Yale had a huge weekend to begin February, coming back from 10 down in the final two minutes to stun Cornell and squeaking past Columbia by five. That ability to take care of business at home has the Bulldogs in position to contend for the Ivy crown down the stretch."
February 8, 2011
The Big Red became the final Ivy League team to secure a win in conference play when it knocked off Brown 91-79 on Feb. 5. A key to that victory was the play of the reserves.
Strong bench play has been a cornerstone of the Big Red’s success in recent years. Thanks to former coach Steve Donahue’s excellence in recruiting, Cornell has always seemed to have someone to turn to when a starter gets in foul trouble or needs a rest, and most tough matchups had an answer from the reserve corps. Fans have gotten used to a backup five as talented as some of its rivals’ starters.
That hasn’t been the case for much of this season, a natural result of the graduation of most of the 2009-10 squad’s core players. Those backups—the ones that didn’t graduate already—are now in the starting lineup. As a result, the bench play has been uneven at best, apart from Drew Ferry who essentially functions as a starter in terms of both minutes and crunchtime role even when he doesn’t happen to be on the court for the opening tip.
It was outstanding against Brown, however. Johnathan Gray scored a season-high 13 points and made three three-pointers. Max Groebe broke out with 11 points, the first time he’s been in double figures in the 2011 calendar year. Center Mark Courey added 10, and was just short of a double-double with nine rebounds.
That was enough to finally stop Cornell’s skid. Though it won’t win another Ivy League crown, it will look to prove it has turned the corner when it hosts a couple of the conference favorites on Feb. 11-12, when Pennsylvania and Princeton come to town.
• Cornell was the worst free-throw shooting team in the Ivy League heading into the Yale-Brown weekend. It came up big against the Bears, however, sinking 19 of its 23 attempts from the stripe.
• Junior G Drew Ferry has become one of the most dangerous three-point shooters in the Ivy League. He had made three or more three-pointers in 11 of his last 15 games through Feb. 5.
By The Numbers: 46.7—Cornell’s shooting percentage from beyond the arc against Brown. It made 16 of its 34 attempts on its way to scoring a season-high 91 points.
Quote To Note: “We made shots, that was a big part of it. When we make shots, everything else is easier.”—Cornell coach Bill Courtney to the Ithaca Journal, on what helped the team earn its first Ivy League victory against Brown on Feb. 5.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
This Week's Games:
• vs. Pennsylvania, Feb. 11
Key Matchups: The Quakers’ stars are the guards, but forward Jack Eggleston is having a great senior season and is going to be a challenge for the Big Red big men inside. The Chris Wroblewski-Zack Rosen matchups are always classic, and this one should be no exception.
• vs. Princeton, Feb. 12
Key Matchups: Princeton was the only unbeaten left in the Ivies entering the week, with the most firepower that coach Sydney Johnson has had in his tenure at the school. It will be a test of the Cornell discipline to see how well the squad stays with the Tigers.
• Senior C Aaron Osgood missed the games against Yale and Brown with a knee injury suffered in practice. There was no word on how much additional time he was expected to miss.
• Sophomore F Josh Figini had seen his playing time slashed thanks to the combination of a thumb injury and the Ivy League schedule. He got time against both Yale and Brown thanks to Aaron Osgood’s injured knee, however, starting both contests.