Above, the Big Red coaching staff will host their annual Elite Cornell Basketball Prospect Camp for potential recruiting targets between June 25-26, 2011. Several incoming recruits for Cornell and other Ivy League programs attended the Cornell Camp a year ago. The Cornell Big Red and the Duke Blue Devils had the lone distinction in 2010 as the only Division I college basketball programs in the United States ranked in both the top 25 of the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll and the U.S. News & World Report academic rankings of America's Best Colleges. Below, some news and notes for Thursday...
- At this point we are still unable to go ahead with the full release of Cornell's 2011-2012 schedule as contracts must be signed with some of the nonconference opponents. However, one of Cornell's nonconference opponents did release a preview of their schedule and we can confirm that Cornell will visit the University of Delaware during '11-'12 as a return game for the Blue Hens' visit to Ithaca last fall.
- Cornell Athletics announced, "The Cornell and Ithaca College men's and women's basketball programs, in conjunction with the Ithaca Youth Bureau, will host the Shooting for the Stars 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament to benefit the College Discovery Program on Saturday, April 16 for 1-5 p.m. at Newman Arena. The tournament, open to players ages 18 and up, costs $40 for a team of four. There are prizes for the winning teams, which will then play the varsity coaches. There will be a halftime performance of Greek Strolling. You can register for the tournament at www.collegediscoveryprogram.com/basketball. For more information, call (607) 273-8364 x151, or email email@example.com."
- After Princeton coach Sydney Johnson bolted for Fairfield this week, the Daily Pennsylvanian noted, "Seven of the eight current Ivy coaches were hired within the last four years, and the list of departures for supposed greener pastures is growing: Bill Carmody from Princeton to Northwestern (2000), Craig Robinson from Brown to Oregon State (2008), Steve Donahue from Cornell to Boston College (2010)." The Daily Pennsylvanian also published the following graphic showing some recent Ivy League head coaches that made moves to new conferences. The graphic does not include recent coaching moves by Bill Carmody (Princeton) to Northwestern, Joe Scott (Princeton) to Denver, or Robinson (Brown) to Oregon State. The DP writes, "[Fran] Dunphy was here [at Penn] for 17 years, [Steve] Donahue at Cornell for 10, [Joe] Jones at Columbia for seven, and Sydney Johnson at Princeton for just four years. Dunphy also amassed 10 Ivy League titles, Donahue three, and Johnson just one before abandoning ship. Does three make a trend?" Of course, Donahue was the only coach to have his team ranked in the final top 25 poll (Cornell finished No. 17 in the nation a year ago and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament).
- The Sun Post Herald mentions incoming Cornell recruit, Shonn Miller (St. Ignatius HS) Cleveland, OH, 6-6, F and writes, "At St. Ignatius, head coach Sean O’Toole didn’t exactly begin the year the way he wanted to, and he certainly didn’t want to start the campaign without his top player in senior Shonn Miller. An off-season injury kept Miller out of action until late in the season. But the Wildcat 'big man' returned and helped the team pick up some momentum heading into tournament play." The Sun Post Herald also notes that Miller and fellow incoming Cornell recruit, Ned Tomic (North Royalton HS) North Royalton, OH, 6-7, F, both appeared in the Greater Cleveland Basketball Coaches Association All Star game. Miller led all scorers with 27 points while Tomic chipped in 13.
- The Ivy Gate blog discusses Cornell's Duff Ball and remembers last year's promo video which featured former Cornell basketball players-- Ryan Wittman, Jeff Foote and Louis Dale.
- Italian club, Fulgor Libertas Forli (Italian 2nd Division, LegaDue) announced the cut of Cornellian Cody Toppert ('05) (pictured above). The Herald of Plymouth, England writes, "ITALIAN Division Two club Forli have confirmed they have released former [Plymouth] Raiders guard Cody Toppert. The 28-year-old American, who has dual German nationality, left [the British Basketball League's Plymouth Raiders] at Christmas for Forli. However, following seven appearances for the second division strugglers, he was cut. In his place, Forli, who are battling immediate relegation back to Italy's division three, recruited 6ft 6in forward Shawn Huff to add more muscle. In a statement, Forli told The Herald: 'We appreciated Cody as a professional, but we needed something different.' Toppert averaged 14.2 points in 26 minutes per game for Raiders. In Forli, he averaged 9.9 points in 28 minutes per game, but in seven losses and struggled, shooting only 26 per cent from the three-point arc. He was Raiders' leading three-point threat earlier this season, shooting 46 per cent." Toppert is a veteran of the NBA D League, a former Albuquerque Thunderbird. During his pro career, Toppert also played in the CBA as well as in Germany, Portugal, and New Zealand.