- If you follow The Cornell Basketball Blog on Twitter, you may have read our online discussion yesterday with national recruiting analyst, Dave Telep of ESPN. Telep suggests that all college basketball coaches need to "brand" their programs. In our opinion, Cornell already has a unique brand. Set in an appealing college town, on a picturesque and sprawling campus, Cornell is an elite education with more course offerings and programs of study than any other Ivy League or rival institution. Cornell also offers a basketball program that has very recently cracked the national top 25 poll, appeared in the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16, and clinched three of the last four Ivy League titles and NCAA Tournament automatic bids. More specifically, Cornell head coach, Bill Courtney has branded his program with a style of play that emphasizes defense, scrappiness, playing hard, pushing the offensive tempo and never letting up on any possession, regardless of the score. This last point of "never letting up" is illustrated by Cornell's late season hot streak during '10-'11 in which Cornell won four of its last five games. Cornell is the team that does not quit.
- A note on Cornell's 2011-2012 schedule. It appears that as many as four of Cornell's opponents next season will have new head coaches. Princeton is among them.
- The Ithaca Journal covered the announcement of Cornell's recruiting class and writes:
ITHACA -- The first recruiting class of Cornell men's basketball coach Bill Courtney was unveiled Thursday, featuring six players to join four returning starters for the Big Red when it kicks off the 2011-12 campaign in November.
"With the improvement of the Ivy League over the last few years and the addition of these young men, along with returners, we have a great foundation for the next few years," Courtney said in a news release.
The new class features two guards, two forwards and two post players.
Guard Devin Cherry (6-foot-3, 170 pounds) won a high school state championship as a senior at Meridian, Miss., where he was also named the state's Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
The other incoming guard, Galal Cancer (6-2, 175), hails from Albany, where he was a two-time all-state selection at Christian Brothers Academy. He also was ranked among the top 150 high school guards in the country as a senior by ESPN.com.
"We think he has a chance to be a special player here," Courtney said. "We feel like he is one of the top incoming point guards in the country."
Ohio residents Ned Tomic (6-7, 250) and Shonn Miller (6-7, 200) are the forwards. Tomic was his league's MVP as a senior at North Royalton H.S., also garnering all-state honorable mention with 22.3 points and 12.3 rebounds per game.
Miller also earned honorable mention for all-state despite an injury-plagued senior season at St. Ignatius H.S. in Cleveland.
"Shonn will be one of the most athletic players ever at Cornell," Courtney said. "He also has a growing skill set, and his potential is limitless."
Deion Giddens (6-9, 185) and Dave LaMore (6-9, 230) also will join Cornell's frontcourt.
Giddens, a native of Germany, was a McDonald's High School All-America nominee as a senior at Willow Canyon H.S. in Arizona with averages of 11.2 points, 8.7 rebounds and 4.2 blocks per game.
LaMore is a two-time first-team and three-time all-league member from Dexter H.S. in Michigan. He was named to the AnnArbor.com Dream Team as a senior.
- Cornell's Bill Courtney spoke with WPIE ESPN Radio Ithaca on Thursday afternoon about the Big Red's incoming recruiting class. Below is the full podcast interview:
- Colgate Athletic Director, David Roach told ESPN in discussing his decision to hire Matt Langel as the Raiders' new head coach, "In the sport of basketball, it doesn’t take a lot to turn a program around... As mid-major teams have proven throughout the country now, you never can tell.... Cornell did it a year ago, so any school like us can do it, too.’’