Saturday, April 16, 2011

News and Notes: Saturday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Saturday...
  • Later in the weekend we will provide our full weekly update on Cornell's alumni playing professionally overseas. In action last night, Jeff Foote ('10) finished with 4 points and 4 rebounds in an 82-71 defeat to Girona in Spanish 2nd Division action. Melilla was eliminated from qualifying for the playoffs last week. Meanwhile, in Portugal, Jason Harford ('08) powered in for 19 points and 13 rebounds as his Ginasio club was defeated by Academia, 75-71 in game 1 of the quaterfinals round of the LPB (Portuqal's national league) playoffs.
  • Below, some extended highlights of incoming Cornell recruit, Shonn Miller (St. Ignatius HS) Cleveland, OH, 6-6, F. The video highlights were produced by CityLeagueHoopsTV, a blog that covers high school basketball on the national scene with a special focus on prospects from Ohio. The highlights were taken from the Villa Holiday Classic on January 9, 2011 hosted at Cleveland State University. In a loss to Strongsville, Miller finished with 19 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocked shots.


Anonymous said...

Certainly good around the hoop -- can he shoot anything other than a dunk or layup?

Anonymous said...

when are you going to release the schedule info?

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Shonn Miller's game is very much like Scottie Pippins.

As you can see, he is very long armed, bouncy and athletic.

Not only can he dunk with ease by standing underneath the basket, he is an excellent three-point shooter.

He is also tremendous in transition and is a stalwart defender intimidating and blocking shots with his long reach. He will be a handful for Ivy opponents.

The three areas he needs the most work:

(1) Add strength

(2) Became more aggressive. He is so talented, but he sometimes disappears and forgets to assert himself.

(3) Work on his ball handling. He is already very comfortable putting the ball on the floor and shooting beyond the arc. But added work his ball handling will just make him that much more dominant.

Overall, arguably the best wing forward coming into the Ivy League next year. Harvard's Saunders is stronger and more assertive, but not as good of a defender as Miller and lack's Miller's shooting game.

Miller's shooting game can be seen here in a game against Warren Harding:

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Schedule coming out soon.

Anonymous said...

I'm a CU fan of longstanding and I assure that I am cheering hard for this young man. But, to be honest, the average length of his shots in this video is less than three feet.

This particular video makes him look just like any of several thousand kids nationwide who are two or three inches taller than everyone else on their HS floor and can "bounce" a little bit. Their HS coaches are happy to call them "centers" and "power forwards" and have them hang out under the basket and stuff points into the basket at will, when they should be working full blast on a perimeter game.

The question is why fans even take the time to look at (or even post) this drivel. It doesn't teach us a thing.

All that counts is how well guys like this compete on the court against D-1 athletes of similar stature and ability. And we won't know that until next winter at the earliest.

No reason to beat the drum... or even listen to it getting beaten. Even more worrisome is that if the young man believes even 1% of the hype, it could somehow encourage him to believe he has already "arrived" as a D-1 player. And that just isn't true.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

The coaches scout these kids at elite camps and AAU events where they face Division I level and even future pro prospects in competitive settings.

Miller emerged as an elite prospect when he squared off against the highest level of competition.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

It is also worth noting (and neglected to mention above) that No. 30, a red head, on the Stongsville team is 6'8" Aaron White who is going to play next year for Iowa in the Big 10. Another big body in the video for Strongsville is 6'5" 250 lb. Ray Hamilton (No. 45). He will play tight end for Iowa in football.

Stongsville is one of the top teams in Ohio. So to pretend that Miller put up this performance against a bunch of smallish scrubs is laughable.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't conclude too much from a one-minute snippet of videotape but it is true that the one shot Miller took from as far away as six feet, he missed.

Anonymous said...

In another post, the accuracy of scouts’/coaches’ rankings of basketball players in the intensely-covered SoCal market is downplayed. I couldn’t agree more about biases/shortcomings in HS Bball player rankings. Ranking HS basketball players to predict reliably how they will perform in their freshman year is nearly impossible. Here are two approaches, one subjective and one experience-based, to understand why.

When fans watch AAU, Traveling League, and post-season awards’ HS games, does anyone see something resembling D-1 basketball? For the most part, I don’t. On offense, I see a bunch of individuals taking their turns at slashing to the hoop or popping an open 18/22-footer or some other variety of shots. Gas gets passed more often than the ball. On defense, I see a bunch of guys resting up to play offense. There’s no chance to see how well young men can make contested layups and 12/15-footers, because there is little “contesting.” Granted that some athleticism is on display, and fans may miss finer points that scouts learn from, but the contests do not closely resemble D-1 basketball.

When coaches and scouts rank someone in this environment, it is doomed to be a guess, because the skills that make a D-1 player are not being directly tested. The same is true of traditional school-on-school high school games. The levels of ability among the players are too variable and too low. Rating a HS player at how well he will play D-1 basketball, when there is no real stage on which he can perform the tasks of D-1 basketball, is hopeless in a practical sense. For better or worse, there is no basketball SAT.

Second. Just for fun, check this out: Bray (79); MaBrown (84); Cartwright (90); Clement (80); Frankoski (79); Harris (85); Hazel (76); Lyles (71); McGonagill (73); Melville (80); Pritchard (76); Rennard (70); Rivard (87); Salafia (73); Scelfo (76); Starks (86). It’s the ESPN rankings of the alphabetically-arranged Ivy guards from the Class of 2014. You pick out the 2010-11 Ivy ROY. The rankings nailed the solid rookie performances by Cartwright and Rivard, but they completely missed McGonagill… and Starks… and Harris… and MaBrown and Salafia. For this one example, ESPN ranking is actually not far from random when trying to predict differences among recruited players. One can say that McGonagill had playing opportunities that Cartwright and Rivard didn’t have, but that’s debatable, because Cartwright played similar minutes on a Penn team that differed little from Brown in overall talent. Rivard worked his way in as the fourth guard on a fairly small Harvard squad that played a six-man rotation.

The point is that the ranking of frosh that builds hype around them, has inherent shortcomings in predicting how things play out in real time during their freshman year. There is both a theoretical basis and actual experience that supports the case. All fans should know that.

So, why cling to the rankings for young Miller to validate him as an "elite" player? Why not just wait until he has the chance to earn such status on a D-1 floor?

Anonymous said...

Matt Brown had a good freshman year. He started late because he played a lot on the Harvard Football Team. Rivard played 20 minutes a game all year long.
I would agree that McGonagill was far better than his ESPN/Scouts Inc number would suggest.
Opportunity and coaching are the biggest factors in the success of freshman basketball players.

Anonymous said...

Don't really see the Scottie Pippen comparison. Not sure why'd you want to exaggerate like that.

Anonymous said...


I think it's fair to say that, for whatever the reason, Matt Brown's basketball season-long feats as a freshmen did not live up to his 84 ESPN ranking, another miss for the ESPN ranking system. More than a dozen other frosh around the league outperformed him.

Truthfully, there's an obvious logjam at guard on Amaker's team over the next few years. With Matt Brown's now-proven ability at wide receiver on the football team, and his 6'3" 200+ frame, he might be well-advised to choose football if he really wants to have an impact on Harvard sports.

Anonymous said...

Can we reserve our comments about the incoming freshmen until they have had chance to get on campus, practice, compete and play the game of basketball for the Big Red.

Whatever you think or don't think about their basketball game, skill set ability or otherwise will be solidified or disproved at that time.

Let's not tear them apart so soon. Let's go BIG RED.