Tuesday, April 5, 2011

News and Notes: Tuesday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Tuesday...
  • On the Miami (FL) coaching search, the Palm Beach Post writes, "Boston College wanted Richmond's Chris Mooney last year but he withdrew his name from consideration, so the Eagles hired Steve Donahue of Cornell instead."
  • The Dartmouth writes, "Before Kentucky lost to UConn in the Final Four, 13th-seeded Princeton University played the Jayhawks tougher than any of their other opponents. Last year, Cornell University shocked the world by advancing to the Sweet 16. We do more than study at [Ivy] League institutions and it’s time for the rest of the country to recognize that." (emphasis added by The Cornell Basketball Blog)
  • The Sports Prof blog writes of Princeton coach, Sydney Johnson's career move to Fairfield and notes, "now, it would appear, that he's cashed in, as it has to be the case that Fairfield offered him a lot more money than Princeton could. Cynics would argue that he also jumped as Harvard loaded itself up so much that it looks primed to make a Cornell-like run over the next three years."


Anonymous said...

So the guy from the Dartmouth is writing a column about how he "takes pride" in his knowing his NCAA hoops, and then he calls UK the Jayhawks? Lol.

As for Pton, I really suspect that this might indeed have been Johnson's peak for a while, but it wasn't a high enough peak to make a BCS move. Princeton is losing key guys; Harvard is bringing everyone back. Princeton's recruiting class is considered much weaker than Harvard's and even weaker than Yale's. It might've been his best chance to bolt in a while, with Fairfield looking likely to win it's conference next year and give Johnson some exposure.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Princeton administration handcuffed S.J. with an Academic Index that was far more demanding than say at Harvard. SJ was losing recruiting battles and could not win going forward.

Anonymous said...

So how does our Academic Index compare to the rest of the league?

Anonymous said...

The Academic Index policy of the Ivy League requires that each school keep the mean AI score (based upon SAT scores and high school class rank) of its non-football varsity athletes within one standard deviation of the mean AI of its entire student body. (Football has its own separate AI system.)

Roughly speaking, the schools can be ranked by the 25th percentile SAT score for all of its students. Yale Princeton and Harvard are clustered at the top, then Columbia Penn and Dartmouth, a drop down to Brown and then a further drop down to Cornell.

However, within the broad confines of the AI policy, each school has tremendous leeway in terms of how to allocate its low-scoring athletes.

As CBB suggested, it appears that Harvard has given Amaker virtual carte blanche to recruit any player who clears the league minimum, which I believe is a score of 172 on a scale of 240. Princeton may not have granted Johnson anywhere near the same latitude, which would represent a significant recruiting problem for him even though Princeton's AI threshold might be only marginally higher than Harvard's.

Anonymous said...

I really think people might be putting too much blame on the Princeton administration rather than considering that maybe Johnson just wanted to leave. Maybe he is really ambitious, wants to be a big time coach one day, and thinks being at a team that is likely to win its league gives him a better shot at being a BCS coach someday. The guy he's replacing just left for a Big East post afterall.

Anonymous said...

All this chatter about big bucks, the AI, Hahvahd, and Princeton's administration is distracting.

There is a practical matter of demonstrating preparedness for a job at the BCS level. Just as important in Coach Johnson's move is the fact that a stint at Fairfield will offer him the opportunity to demonstrate how well he recruits and manages true scholarship athletes. For instance, he will now have the privilege of dealing with the intermittently-motivated Rakim Harris, who jumped ship from BC in Apr-2010.

The main BCS jobs directly available to the non-family/region-connected, successful Ivy basketball coach are at academically-selective universities such as Berkeley, Boston College, Duke, Georgia Tech, Michigan, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Stanford, Vanderbilt, and UVa.

Coach Donahue had always said that it would take one of these home run jobs to move him from Ithaca. He was fortunate that the BC job came open at the end of Cornell's three-year run to the Sweet 16.

A successful tenure for Coach Johnson at Fairfield opens a much wider array of opportunties a few years down the road, just as it did for his predecessor, Coach Cooley. However, Coach Johnson will have to do much more than win the MAAC in 2011-12. The Stags' schedule needs some upgrading and he'll have to win consistently with his guys, get in the NCAA tournament, and win some games there, to garner BCS attention.