Thursday, April 14, 2011

News and Notes: Thursday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Thursday...
  • The Harvard Crimson quotes a Harvard booster as indicating that Miami's $1.1M annual compensation offer to Tommy Amaker "vastly surpassed Amaker’s yearly salary at Harvard." The Daily Princetonian examines the possible reasons why Harvard was able to retain Amaker while Princeton was unable to keep Syndey Johnson from leaving for Fairfield.
  • Despite Ithaca's rural location, the Brown Daily Herald reports that Cornell's coaches are the highest compensated coaches in the Ivy League.
  • The Daily Pennsylvanian wonders if the Quakers' roster has expanded beyond a manageable size. As of today, the Quakers project a roster of 19 players, none of which are walk-ons, each recruited by the staff. Since 2008-2009, the Quakers have experienced tremendous roster disturbances witnessing 10 players leave the program prematurely for reasons other than exhaustion of eligibility. This total is only surpassed by the 14 players that have left Harvard's program during the same time span. (For related Roster Report information, see our prior post on offseason roster transactions)
  • As we look towards the 2011-2012 season, below is a comprehensive list of the scholarship offers presented to each of Cornell's incoming recruits before they committed to the Big Red. Because each of Cornell's recruits committed during the early signing period, the listing of the offering schools would have expanded for each recruit had they remained on the uncommitted and available board throughout their senior year of high school. Also listed are the schools that had not yet offered, but were interested in these recruits prior to their commitments to Cornell. In each instance, the following information was verified by The Cornell Basketball Blog in multiple interviews with the recruits' respective high school and AAU coaches among other sources)
    • Nenad "Ned" Tomic (North Royalton HS) North Royalton, OH, 6-7 235, F (OFFERS: Lafayette, Dartmouth; INTEREST: Penn)
    • Dave LaMore (Dexter HS) Whitmore Lake, MI, 6-10 240, C (OFFERS: Tulane, James Madison, Navy, Bowling Green; INTEREST: Penn, Harvard, Detroit, Evansville, Loyola-Chicago, Holy Cross, UNC Wilmington, Old Dominion, Eastern Kentucky, Central Michigan, Western Michigan, Pacific)
    • Deion Giddens (Willow Canyon HS) Surprise, AZ, 6-9 210, C (OFFERS: Columbia, Dartmouth, Princeton, Yale, Bucknell, Houston Baptist; INTEREST: Utah, Washington State, UC-Riverside, Pacific, UT San Antonio, Montana, Northern Arizona, Boise State, Pepperdine, San Francisco, Lamar)
    • Shonn Miller (St. Ignatius HS) Cleveland, OH, 6-6 200, F (OFFERS: Columbia, Duquesne, Akron, Miami (OH), Toledo, Western Michigan, Central Michigan, Bucknell, Northeastern, James Madison, Cleveland State, and Louisiana-Lafayette; INTEREST: Notre Dame, Miami (Fl), Xavier)
    • Galal Cancer (Christian Brothers HS) Albany, NY, 6-2 180, G (OFFERS: Brown, Columbia, Albany, Citadel, Navy and Manhattan; INTEREST: Penn, Stanford, Rice, Northeastern, Davidson, Wichita State, Lafayette, Lehigh, Colgate, Army, Bucknell, Elon, Furman, LIU, Wagner, Quinnipiac)
    • Devin Cherry (Meridian HS) Meridian, MS, 6-3 185, G (OFFERS: Penn, Wofford, Jackson State, SE Louisiana; INTEREST: Princeton, Western Kentucky, Murray St., Bucknell)


Anonymous said...

I look forward to this class rivaling the exploits of THE Class of '10.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Not suggesting that this class will absolutely better, but here is a fact:

Dave Lamore had more scholarship offers on the table when he committed than Ryan Wittman, Jeff Foote and Louis Dale had COMBINED.

Wittman's only scholarship offer at the time of his commitment was Eastern Kentucky.

Anonymous said...

Cornell's coaching salaries look even better adjusted for the cost of living in Ithaca compared to other Ivy cities.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Cornell's salaries are really boosted by the lax, hockey and wrestling programs.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand where the DP gets its numbers. I see 17 on next year's roster, including Harris (who's trying to get his scores into admittance range) and Brooks (with his ACL that was just repaired). That includes the European contingent. Maybe one counts Gordon? James is gone.

Regardless of what Silcox says, Penn can actually use a couple more quality players, not less. They've got five rotation spots to fill to field a competitive team. Sure, Belcore, Dougherty, and Howlett come to mind as candidates, but only Dougherty is going to be better than previous years. Belcore and Howlett are what they are. The other two spots will likely go to frosh.

OTOH, Cornell has an ample 21 slated to report, with eight guys returning to try to claim rotation spots.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Cornell's total includes transfers and walk-ons added mid-year to the roster.

Cornell also never cut a single player in the last 5 years.

Penn has 19 for next season. This number is exact.

Anonymous said...

Penn has 20 players if:

- 2 seniors successfully apply for a 5th year (Gordon and Bernardini)
- One rising soph doesn't transfer (James)
- One incoming frosh gets his SATs up (Harris)

All these things have to happen for them to have 20. I'm guessing James will probaby successfully transfer, the other 3 will sort stuff out, and they'll end up with 19.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

ESPN's ratings are a joke. College coaches don't even look at them. The people that imput the rankings do so based on never seeing some of the players.

Look at the schools that offered scholarships to determine the level of the player.

Going by scholarship offers, Cornell's class is far and away stronger than 6 of the Ivies.

Anonymous said...


"ESPN's ratings are a joke. College coaches don't even look at them. The people that imput the rankings do so based on never seeing some of the players."

Did you honestly believe that Adam Finkelstein, Dave Telep, Paul Biancardi, Reggie Rankin, Joel Francisco, John Stovall et al are not showing up at AAU and HS showcase events for ESPN? Or are you attempting to imply that they are simply making up their evaluations?

As someone who works for a different organization, I can assure that they blanket events and attempt to cover them regionally. They are constantly in contact with coaches throughout the year and particularly in July.

I appreciate your site as an aggregation of Ivy-related sports material, but please don't mislead your readers.

Anonymous said...

From my understanding of the recruiting process some of these kids already had a good idea of the couple of school they wanted to attend. I imagine the list of interests and offers could have bin a lot bigger if they did not specifically want to attend Cornell or other Ivy schools. After all many of these kids are top of their class.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

I can assure you that none of the names you mentioned have seen any of Cornell's recruits play in the last 10 months, nor could they identify these kids in a police line-up.

So yes, ESPN's rankings are indeed a joke, the colleges they list in their database are also full of errors.

And you will never hear a college coach quote ESPN's rankings as any sort of source.

Anonymous said...

Not sure I understand your point.

Wittman, Foote, and Dale were all somewhat special cases. If Whittman had one offer, that means the 3 together had a TOTAL of one offer.

The three of them obviously turned out to be very special players.

But by your yardstick, if they were committed to say, Brown this year, you would rank them very poorly due to the absence of other offers.

And it is clearly true that some kids collect offers, and others winnow their list prior to getting to that point.

No question a player having offers from good teams is telling positive sign - but the number of offers can be misleading or meaningless.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

If you can't evaluate the prospect yourself, the quantity/quality of scholarship offers are the best indicator of a players' talent (not rankings) because they reflect the opinions of the college coaches, not the journalists. Of course, one must also realize that kids from major cities and on premier high school/AAU teams get the most exposure.

Dale did have a few offers, but he was not interested in attending Jackson State. He went to an elite academic high school and wanted the Ivy League. Many schools passed on him because they thought he was too small and should be playing Division II.

Wittman was overlooked because teams did not think he had enough athleticism. They also did not see much of him during the summer because he was out with an injury during key AAU season.

Foote was completely overlooked and ignored. Teams did see he had height, but he was pretty uncoordinated as a high school senior. He had two red-shirt seasons (one at St. Bona and one at Cornell that allowed his body to catch up).

Foote did not have any Division I scholarship offers in high school or as a college transfer. In fact, an Ivy coach once called him a "Division III" player.

Anonymous said...

Princeton is 25-7, won the league playoff, and went to the NCAA. Harvard is 23-7, lost the league playoff, and went to the NIT.

Shouldn't Princeton be above Harvard in the ivy standings table you have on the blog?

Anonymous said...

"Love the transfer game.Just when you lose one to a BCS team,another one pops up and becomes a possibility.One special player can change all."

What are you hinting at? Are we looking at some transfers?

Anonymous said...

Recruiting at the mid-major level can be a very subjective thing. So many kids are recruited at that level based on projected contributions down the road instead of immediate impact.
The hype about recruits is fun and creates excitement. However, talent and ability are conclusively determined by competition. That competition begins October 15, 2011.

I would much rather new recruits begin their careers with lower expectations commensurate with the reality of it being tough for a freshman to be a major contributor at any level (and thus less pressure on them), instead of high expectations based on offers and interest from other schools.

History suggests that the low hype approach worked well for Dale, Wittman and Foote. And, after all, even "can't miss" transfers from high majors (like USC) don't always work out when rubber hits the road. Its best just to let it happen.

Anonymous said...

It's kind of sad to see all of our guys not having one BCS offer, while Harvard has Saunders who was offered by USC & Colorado (and SDSU), plus Smith who was offered by Vandy and Northwestern. Damn Amaker.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Saunders and Smith live in LA and play with a ton of exposure. There are several and editors that live within an hour of them and that write continuous articles about them.

Smith definitely deserves his attention although there has been some rumblings of "overrated" with respect to the other.

I am betting Cornell fans would rather have Shonn Miller than Saunders... and there is no way Miller was going to get a BCS offer from his local Ohio St.

But Notre Dame and Miami Fl. might have offered if he was still available.

Anonymous said...

To the guy referencing the USC transfer not working out, aka Colin Robinson.

He didn't not work out because he wasn't good. He was actually exceptional and could create his own shot like few can in the league. Good size, good ball handling ability, good leap. The problem was buying into the system. He would definitely have started at every other school in the Ivy league. He was definitely good enough to be a POY candidate. However, Donahue had a system, and he didn't like coming off the bench. He would probably never get more than 10-12 points per game, and he wanted 20-22.

Bottom line, the kid was good, and it wasn't a talent issue.

Anonymous said...

I thought college coaches didn't pay any attention to rivals or scout?

From what you have said, this kind of coverage would impact rankings (and fans), but not offers.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes they have no bcs offers. Cherry and Cancer should give up already; they're sad and they're gonna lose. You know Witt and Foote had no BCS offers and they were crushed by all those BCS Wisconsin guys; what hope is there???

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

For anyone who is not aware of Collin Robinson's impact (go check out his stats). He was Cornell's 3rd leading scorer when he left. But he wanted to be a starter instead of a 6th man. But more critical, he left because of homesickness. He returned back to USC and his hometown of LA. He did not seek other playing opportunities.

As for Smith/Saunders, they received a lot of publicity and hype because of the many scouting services in their area.

With respect to scholarship offers, both played on premier AAU programs and received invites to a lot of top camps. In short, they had a lot of exposure to college coaches. Further, with several dozen D-I programs in California, both had easy opportunities to earn scholarships.

Wes Saunders is a very strong kid, definitely athletic. But he has struggled shooting the basketball.

Most successful Ivy players are good shooters. Unless you are a freakish athlete, which Saunders is not, you can't dominate on the dribdle-drive alone (as he did in high school).

Both Shonn Miller and Devin Cherry are much better shooters (in fact, Cherry is a net burner).

Galal Cancer, on the other hand, definitely needs to improve his stroke from outside. But unlike Saunders, Cancer is a point guard, so outside shooting is not a requirement. He can still flourish distributing the basketball and creating in transition.

Saunders is a trmendous pick-up, so please don't misinterpret this post. But he definitely has his limitations and will need to improve his shooting if he wants to be an effective college wing player. Otherwise, he will have to be an undersized power forward.