Tuesday, March 8, 2011

News and Notes: Afternoon Edition

Below, some afternoon news and notes for the late afternoon...

Incoming Cornell recruit, Shonn Miller.
  • Incoming Cornell recruit, Shonn Miller (St. Ignatius HS) Cleveland, OH, 6-6, F, is back in action on Thursday against Warren Harding in the District semifinals. Meanwhile, Eric Medved of the Albany Times Union named fellow Cornell recruit, Galal Cancer (Christian Bros. Academy) Albany, NY, 6-2, G, his New York State Section II Class AA most valuable player. Cancer and Christian Brothers face Bishop Magnin tonight in the Albany Times Union Center in the NYSHSAA Section II Class AA final (aka, the big school championship for the Capital region). The Albany Times Union also named Cancer a runner-up for Athlete of the Week. The Times Union writes, "Galal Cancer, CBA boys' basketball: Scored 30 points Tuesday, including 10 in overtime, in the Brothers' 65-62 victory over Albany in the Class AA semifinals -- helping propel CBA to its ninth consecutive Section II title-game appearance."
  • WEEI of Boston profiles Boston College's upcoming participation in the ACC Tournament. WEEI writes:

When it comes to conference tournaments, Boston College’s first-year coaching staff hasn’t had much experience.

Steve Donahue spent the previous 20 seasons in the Ivy League — the first 10 as an assistant at Penn and the following decade as head coach at Cornell. His top two assistants, Joe Jones and Nat Graham, also came to BC after stints in the Ivies — Jones was Columbia’s head coach for seven seasons; Graham assisted Donahue at Cornell the past five years.

The fact that the Ivy League does not have a conference tournament, however, does not mean this staff doesn’t know how to prepare its players for the rigors of playing up to four games on consecutive days, Donahue said Monday. Fifth-seeded BC opens ACC tournament play Thursday against 12th-seeded Wake Forest.

“I think my 20 years in the Ivy, in all honesty, we had six conference tournaments every weekend,” Donahue said, referring to the league’s scheduling of back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday nights throughout the conference season. “When I was in there, I think 13 times the Ivy League was won by one loss or zero losses. You couldn’t afford a loss in the Ivy League. You still can’t.

“I approached every weekend — and we played back-to-back every weekend. We did this situation that I have every year right now, where we played a team, had to come and play our travel partner, like we’re going to do with Wake. I think those experiences enabled me to focus on what you have to do with your team, not get overwhelmed with the things you could tend to talk about in this situation.”

With his team coming off an 84-68 rout of the last-place Demon Deacons on Sunday, Donahue said he also must confront his players’ natural tendencies to be overconfident heading into the rematch.

“I think your biggest concern as a coach is human nature,” he said on the ACC coaches teleconference. “I told you those times we played Columbia, Joe Jones seven of those times, back to back. Human nature, when you beat somebody, to make sure you understand how difficult this game is going to be. Just because you beat them is wonderful, but what I will stress to the guys is, my experience is the games are going to be totally different in every aspect. Even though the same teams are playing four days later, the games are totally different. You have to expect it. As a coach I expect it. I know it’s going to be a difficult game. I know there’s going to be different challenges. There’s going to be things that did not even occur in this game.

“I think if you go in with that mindset, understand that, I think you’re ready to coach that type of game. I don’t expect anything less.”

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