Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

News and Notes: Friday Edition

Above, the Cornell Athletics logo from the 80s and the early 90s. Below, some news and notes for Friday...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Date in Cornell Basketball History

Above, the special freshman issue for an August 1954 printing of the Cornell Daily Sun recaps the achievements of the 1953-1954 Cornell team which captured the '54 EIBL/Ivy League title and the NCAA Tournament automatic bid. The EIBL (Eastern Intercollegiate Basketball League) was the predecessor to today's Ivy League.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

News and Notes: Tuesday Edition

Above, the cover of a November 19, 2005 game program from Cornell's visit to Penn State. Below, some news and notes for Tuesday...
  • According to EuroBasket.com, during the 2010-2011 season, Cornell's 8 alumni playing professionally is the most by any Ivy League team. The Big Red have alumni playing professionally in the NBA D-League, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Portugal, Israel, and Puerto Rico.
  • The Chicago Basketball Blog advocates a MAC-Horizon League Challenge. ESPN's Eamonn Brennan comments, "In many ways... it's a natural fit. Not only do the two conferences already meet frequently, but the Horizon and MAC are evenly matched from top to bottom in most seasons, including last year." For similar reasons, it would seem to make sense that the Ivy League and Patriot League do the same.
  • The Newark Valley Basketball Club references Cornell's Elite Basketball Prospect Camp which is being held for potential recruiting targets between June 25-26, 2011.
  • While we frequently see numerous references in the social media to Cornell's 2010 Sweet Sixteen Run in the NCAA Tournament, we still think the Big Red's best performance of the 2009-2010 season was the 71-66 defeat at No. 1 Kansas on January 6, 2010 during which Cornell led 64-63 with just 49 seconds remaining. Kansas ultimately survived and advanced their home court winning streak to an incredible 51 straight games.

  • And speaking of dates in Cornell Basketball history...
Each spring and summer when Ivy League teams reveal their respective nonconference schedules, fans often debate which team has the most challenging slate. Cornell's 1992-1993 nonconference opponents have stood the test of time as one of the toughest schedules in the last 20 years among the Ivies. Five of Cornell's first eight non-league opponents were BCS teams, four of them ranked in the Top 25, two of them in the Top 10. During these first eight games, the Big Red fell on December 1 at No. 17 Syracuse (65-97), on December 21 at Pittsburgh (72-80) and on December 29 at No. 7 Seton Hall (75-59) before Cornell shocked No. 19 Cal, 74-54 in the Meadowlands on December 30. Cornell would wrap-up the first 8-game stretch of the '92-'93 season with a 98-60 defeat at No. 6 North Carolina. Above, the Associated Press recaps Cornell's shocking win over Jason Kidd's No. 19 ranked Cal team (Kidd was injured and did not play) while below, the A.P. recaps Cornell's struggle the following week at North Carolina.

Monday, May 23, 2011

News and Notes: Monday Edition

A date that will long live among the most glorious moments in Cornell's basketball history, December 28, 1966, the Cornell Big Red marched into Lexington, Kentucky and crushed Adolph Rupp, All-American Pat Riley and the U.K. Wildcats 92-77. Above, an original ticket stub, game program and recaps from the AP and UPI the following day. Below, some news and notes...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

News and Notes: Saturday Edition

The announcement of Cornell's schedule is always an exciting event. Above, a 1903 New York Times clipping reveals the Big Red's opponents for the season. Below, some news and notes for Saturday.

  • The Arizona Republic writes, "Arizona's high-school sports season officially came to a close on Monday in Surprise with an awards banquet that feted some of the best and brightest student-athletes, officials and athletic programs in the state... One of those student-athletes receiving a plaque was Surprise Willow Canyon basketball player Deion Giddens. Giddens was a finalist for the Class 4A-5A Scholar Athlete Award. The tall basketball player is headed to Cornell University next year and will graduate with a 4.12 GPA. 'I thought it was a great accomplishment,' Giddens said of being a finalist. 'I couldn't have done it without my coaches and Mr. (Arthur) Greenway (Willow Canyon's athletic director). I thought it was a fun event.'"
  • Bruce Schoenfeld (Sports Illustrated) writes a piece on the life of a college basketball assistant coach on the recruiting trail. The article will give fans some insight into the recruiting life of Cornell's head coach, Bill Courtney and the assistants, Marlon Sears, Mike Blaine and Ricky Yahn.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Recruiting News

Below, some recruiting updates from around the Ivy League.

News and Notes: Friday Edition

Above, game programs from the 1956 and 1957 Queen City Invitational hosted by Canisius in Buffalo, New York. Participants included Canisius, Cornell, Minnesota, Xavier, Iowa and Syracuse. Cornell also participated in the tournament in 1964 and 1971. Below, some news and notes for Friday...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

News and Notes: Thursday Edition

Above, a score sheet from a 1996-1997 Cornell game program. Below, some news and notes for Thursday...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

News and Notes: Wednesday Edition

Above, a 1938 program page for a Cornell-Canisius tilt. Below, some news and notes for Wednesday...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

News and Notes: Tuesday Edition

Above, a 1981-1982 Big Red schedule card for men's basketball. Below, some news and notes for Tuesday...
  • Stats lovers might enjoy the analysis prepared by Cracked Sidewalks which ranks Cornell's Chris Wroblewski, Andrew Ferry and Errick Peck among the 1,500 most valuable returning players in college basketball. Wroblewski is ranked No. 167, Ferry No. 245 and Peck No. 1,111. As a point of reference, with more than 340 Division I teams, there are more than 1,700 "starters" alone in Division I. Overall, there are more than 5,000 active Division I men's basketball players.
  • Incoming Boston College recruit, Dennis Clifford (Milton Academy) Milton, MA, 6-11, C, told B.C. Athletics in an interview, "While Coach [Steve] Donahue was recruiting me, I watched a lot of the Cornell film and he really uses his big men a lot to come outside and set picks or screens. His big guys were really moving a lot in the offense and they were very involved and I really liked that. It seems like he's doing the same thing at BC."

Monday, May 16, 2011

News and Notes: Monday Edition

Above, a program and an A.P. recap of Cornell's game against Syracuse on December 28, 1979 in Rochester, New York. The game was played at the War Memorial in the Rochester Classic which also featured Villanova and St. Francis (PA). Below, some news and notes...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Thursday, May 12, 2011

News and Notes: Thursday Edition

During the 1977-1978 and 1978-1979 seasons, Cornell hosted its own on-campus tournament, the Cornell Pepsi Classic. Above, the game program from the '77-'78 Cornell Pepsi Classic with participating teams, CUNY, Buffalo and Colgate. Below, some news and notes for Thursday...
  • ESPN published an update on the continuing troubles for Cornell alum, Dave Bliss ('65). RivalsYahooSports also ran a story.
  • The Cornell Chronicle notes that it spotted some Newman Nation jerseys at Slope Day last Friday.
  • Below, some photos from Louis Dale's ('10) completed rookie season in Europe with Germany's Goettingen club.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

News and Notes: Wednesday Edition

With most of Europe's pro leagues concluding their regular seasons, in our news and notes for Wednesday, below we highlight Cornell's alumni that finished in and among top statistical categories in their respective pro leagues overseas.

Jeff Foote ('10) (above) officially finished as the Spanish second division's league leader in blocked shots, averaging 2.0 per game in just 22.0 minutes per game. Foote also averaged a solid 7.7 points and 6.6 rebounds in his role off the bench.

In Germany, Louis Dale ('10) finished his season ranked 31st in the Bundesliga in assists with 2.1 per game. Dale completed the regular season also averaging 8.2 points and 2.4 rebounds per game off the bench.

In Portugal, a trimmed down and quicker Jason Hartford ('08), finished 10th in the league with 1.8 steals per game. Hartford concluded his season averaging 14.8 points and 7.1 rebounds per game

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Recruiting News: Columbia Adds Recruit (UPDATED)

Below, some recruiting updates from around the Ivy League.

News and Notes: Tuesday Edition

Above, a 1976-1977 Cornell game program. Below, some news and notes for Tuesday...

Monday, May 9, 2011

News and Notes: Monday Edition

Above, a game program from the '80-'81 season. Below, some news and notes for Monday...

Friday, May 6, 2011

Cornell Alumni Magazine: "Still Sweet"

Above, photos of some of Cornell's Ivy League championship and NCAA Tournament banners hanging in Newman Arena. Altogether, Cornell has won eight Ivy League (and EIBL) championships. Below, a recent article in the Cornell Alumni Magazine remembering the Big Red's run to the Sweet Sixteen of the 2010 NCAA Tournament.

One year ago: Head coach Steve Donahue and Ryan Wittman '10 (hand on Donahue's shoulder) watch the clock run out at the end of Cornell's defeat of Wisconsin in the NCAA Basketball Tournament. The victory advanced the Big Red to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in school history.

Still Sweet: Players and coach recall Cornell's remarkable 2009-10 basketball season

By Zach Schonbrun
Cornell Alumni Magazine
May/June 2011

As NCAA Tournament brackets were being analyzed in March, Jon Jaques '10 would smile as he kept hearing the same question: who will be this year's Cornell? "Teams were aspiring to do what we had accomplished," Jaques, who is playing professionally in Israel, wrote in an e-mail. "That's a great feeling."

More than a year has passed since the end of the Big Red's run to the Sweet Sixteen. Four players—Jaques, Ryan Wittman '10, Louis Dale '10, and Jeff Foote '10—have continued their basketball careers professionally, while former head coach Steve Donahue was hired to be the head coach at Boston College. We caught up with them to talk about their lives post-Sweet Sixteen.

Ryan Wittman, Cornell's all-time leading scorer, joined the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA Development League in February after several months playing for the Italian professional team in Forli, about an hour south of Bologna. Joining the Fort Wayne team late in the season, he says, was not easy.

"Being at Cornell and playing with those guys—we had such familiarity on the court, such great chemistry," says Wittman, who's averaging 5.6 points per game. He followed Cornell's progress this year, staying up late in Italy to watch their games. And when March came around, Wittman says, he began feeling nostalgic. "For all of us who have graduated and moved on, we kind of realize how special a team we had. The friendships we made, the experiences we went through together—you don't get that with every team."

Louis Dale signed with BG Goettingen, a first-division German club. He said via e-mail that he chose Goettingen over teams in Belgium and Australia, though he admitted the adjustment has been tough. "There is greater pressure to win games and perform well," Dale wrote. "The wear and tear on your body is another thing I've had to adjust to."

Dale is averaging 18.1 minutes and 8.1 points per game as a starting guard. He says that he chats with his three former teammates regularly via Skype. "In many cases, if one guy was dealing with a certain situation, it was great to know that three of your best friends are going through it, too," he reports.

Lately, Dale has caught himself reflecting more and more on what he achieved in his four-year Cornell career. "Coach Donahue would often tell us that the experience we were having playing together would be some of the best moments of our lives. Not being able to play in the tournament this year has really made me appreciate the time I had playing Cornell basketball."

Jeff Foote has been playing for the Spanish club Melilla Baloncesto since mid-November, on what he calls a "loan" from the Israeli pro team Maccabi Tel-Aviv. "I feel like a freshman in college again," Foote wrote in an e-mail. "Every day is a new adventure."

Foote signed a two-year deal with Maccabi. Because he was not expected to play much in Israel, Maccabi lent him to Baloncesto for the season. Foote says he had not felt homesick until early March, when the NCAA Tournament brackets were being announced. "Not a day passes where I don't think of the Kentucky game, and how I know we were capable of more," Foote wrote. "The memory of that game will always drive me."

Jon Jaques has been playing for the Ironi Ashkelon basketball team in the Israeli Super League, the top division of Israeli basketball since August. Getting playing time has been a struggle, but Jaques views this opportunity to continue his career as a blessing. He wasn't expecting to get a call from a club overseas. "I figured I couldn't pass it up," he says. "Playing basketball for a year abroad is a once-ina-lifetime kind of thing."

Jaques has contributed articles to the "Quad" blog of the New York Times and to SportsIllustrated.com, and he currently writes for the online edition of Slam magazine. Watching from afar has not always been easy, though. "I wish I was still playing college basketball," Jaques wrote. "Watching these games just reminds me of how I felt during our run last year and how unreal those few weeks were."

Steve Donahue says he has no regrets about leaving Cornell after a 21-13 first season at Boston College. But reflecting on that decision still stirs up emotion.

"My wife and I talked about that last week—we sat back and thought about how fortunate we were to go through that," Donahue says of his ten-year stay in Ithaca. "There's a little sadness because it was such a special time. It was special for a lot of reasons, but the main reason was the great people around the program, in the program, in the Cornell community."

Donahue's BC team finished in a tie for fourth place in the ACC and was not invited to this year's NCAA tournament. They lost to Northwestern in the second round of the NIT. Donahue says that he and his family have enjoyed living in Boston, and they might soon expect a few summer visitors—four of them, at least. For Wittman, Dale, Jaques, Foote, and Coach Donahue, it's never too soon for a reunion. "I follow their careers daily, and they follow mine," Donahue says. "And we all follow Cornell."

Barnes Leaves West Point

A source close to the situation informed The Cornell Basketball Blog that Ka'ron Barnes (Cornell '04) has left the coaching staff of Army in order to pursue a career outside of coaching. Army is coached by former Cornell assistant Zach Spiker. Still serving on the Cadets' bench is Kevin App (Cornell '07).

News and Notes: Friday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Friday...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

News and Notes: Thursday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Thursday...
  • For the first time, SlopeTV has published a Cornell women's team season highlight video. Check it out.

Chris Wroblewski (men's basketball) Position: Guard, Stats: • Second-team All-Ivy selection • Averaged 14.2 points and 5.7 assists per game to lead team

Andrew Ferry (men's basketball) Position: Guard, Stats: • Scored career-high 25 points against Wofford on Dec. 30 • Averaged 11.9 points per game in first season at Cornell

  • Above far left, Louis Dale (Cornell '10) and his Goettingen team fell Wednesday night in game number 2 of their first round playoff series with the DB Skyliners in the German BBL playoffs, 76-67. Goettingen, the 7 seed, is now down 2 games to none and the series shifts sites to Goettingen and the teams meet in game 3 on May 8. Dale finished with 2 points and 2 assists last night in 13 minutes.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Recruiting News: Dartmouth Nabs '12 Recruit

Below, some recruiting updates from around the Ivy League.

News and Notes: Wednesday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Wednesday...
  • Louis Dale ('10) and his Goettingen club (Germany BBL) play game number 2 tonight in their first round playoffs series with the Deutsche Bank Skyliners.
  • The Cornell Daily Sun named Errick Peck to its list of Top 15 Sophomore Athletes. The Sun writes, "Errick Peck (men's basketball) Position: Forward, Stats: -Averaged team best 13.3 points on 45-percent shooting over final 22 games -Scored career-high 22 points against Dartmouth Feb. 19."

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

News and Notes: Tuesday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Tuesday...
  • Above, a look back at the Final 2010 ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Top 25 Poll in which Cornell finished No. 17 in the country. USA Today published an interactive chart on its website revealing each of the ballots cast by the voting coaches prior to the start of the 2010 NCAA Tournament.
  • ESPN's College Basketball Nation Blog discusses former Cornell assistant coach, Jay Larranaga's decision to remain as head coach of the NBA D-League's Erie Bay Hawks rather than join his father's staff at Miami. Larranaga, who was an assistant coach at Cornell for six months before taking the head coaching position with Erie, was reportedly offered a competitive six figure salary to serve on his Jim Larranaga's Miami staff.

Monday, May 2, 2011

News and Notes: Monday Edition

Last week marked the one year anniversary of Cornell's hiring of William "Bill" Courtney as the Robert E. Gallagher '44 Head Coach of Cornell Men's Basketball. Below, some news and notes for Monday...