Tuesday, July 19, 2011

News and Notes: Tuesday Edition

Below, news and notes for Tuesday...
  • Courtney's son, Billy, was a member of the 5th grade Ithaca travel basketball team which won the USA Nationals tournament in Erie, PA during 4th of July weekend. The younger Courtney was the only 4th grader on the Ithaca team. Do not laugh, but several major basketball recruiting services actually begin to nationally rank kids as early as the 6th grade and several Division I programs have been known to make scholarship offers to kids in just the 8th grade.
  • As we head into the 2011-2012 Ivy League season, we look back at an article from the Daily Pennsylvanian from March of 2010 which argues that the bar for Ivy League teams is now higher than just making the NCAA Tournament and even winning just one game in the first round. The DP article notes:
1980 marked the beginning of the modern NCAA Tournament. Since then, no Ivy League team has made it past the second round. Until now.

With this weekend’s victories over Temple and Wisconsin, Cornell became the first Ivy squad to reach the Sweet 16 in the modern era. But the accomplishment transcends coach Steve Donahue’s squad; the 2010 Big Red may have changed the Ivy League forever.

Gone are the assumptions that the Ivy League can no longer compete on the national stage. Gone are the arguments that athletic scholarships are necessary to beat major conference teams, and gone is a great deal of the League’s basketball obscurity.

...Even more impressive than the Big Red’s presence in the Tournament’s second weekend is how they did it. They didn’t squeeze past No. 5 Temple and No. 4 Wisconsin; they dominated them.

From the opening whistle to the final buzzer in each game, they played less like a Cinderella squad and more like the No. 4 seed that Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said they deserved after his team narrowly won over the Big Red.

“They didn’t just beat Wisconsin, they beat them by 20 points,” [Penn's Zach] Rosen said. “It wasn’t even a game. What they’re doing now is proving … that it’s the guys that are playing together and playing hard that are going to win.”

...Cornell’s success will raise the bar for every other team in the conference

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