Wednesday, August 3, 2011

News and Notes: Wednesday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Wednesday...

  • Congratulations to Jeff Aubry ('99) (No. 42 above) as his Arecibo Capitanes defeated Quebradillas 79-74 on Tuesday to capture their second consecutive BSN title, the premier basketball league of Puerto Rico. Aubry, a former Cornell captain, played several seasons in the NBA D League in the early part of his career with the Fayetteville Patriots and Florida Flame and earned Honorable Mention All D-League in 2002. During his more than a decade of pro experience, Aubry has also played professionally in the ABA and abroad in Mexico, Poland, Argentina, Uruguay and Peru.
  • In an article on the David Salinas investment scandal, the Quad City Times notes that former Cornell head coach, Scott Thompson, "retired from coaching during a bout with cancer in 2000 and now is senior director of the health sciences development team at the University of Arizona Foundation in Tucson." Thompson coached at Cornell between 1996 and 2000 following head coaching stints at Rice and Wichita State.
  • The Daily Pennsylvanian writes, "File this under things you should mildly care about: Cornell announced its 2011-12 men's basketball schedule... highlights on Cornell's non-conference schedule include early season matchups with America East champ Boston University and American University. They'll then take a tough December road trip with stops at Illinois, Penn State, Patriot League champ Bucknell and concluding with ACC powerhouse Maryland."
  • The Washington Times notes, "The Maryland basketball team will face Cornell on Jan. 3 at Comcast Center. The Big Red released their schedule Tuesday. It will be the second meeting between the teams. Maryland won 92-41 in a November 1993 game at Cole Field House. It will also be Maryland's first game against an Ivy League school since a BB&T Classic defeat of Princeton on Dec. 2, 2001."
Cornell basketball coach Bill Courtney

CU's basketball challenge: Improve vs. better competition

One word came to mind for second-year coach Bill Courtney when asked to describe the 2011-12 Cornell men's basketball schedule:


"We tried to make sure we had a few more home games this year in the beginning, so we are happy about that," he said. "But there is a daunting stretch there where we are on the road and play three BCS teams. That will really challenge our guys and give us a great idea of where we are at heading into Ivy League play."

The schedule was released Tuesday by the athletics communications office. Cornell opens on Nov. 11 at St. Bonaventure, a team that finished 16-15 last season, 8-8 in the Atlantic 10 and lost in the opening round of the College Basketball Invitational. Cornell returns to Ithaca for its home opener against Binghamton on Nov. 14. The Bearcats are coming off an 8-23 season.

Missing from Cornell's schedule is a matchup with nearby Syracuse University. Cornell typically schedules a road game against the Orange, but this year the teams could not find a date that worked, Jeremy Hartigan, director of athletic communications, said.

The daunting stretch Courtney referred to tips off Dec. 19 with two straight road games against Big Ten teams. The Big Red will play at Illinois Dec. 19 and then travel to University Park, Pa. to play Penn State, Dec. 21. Illinois and Penn State tied for fourth in the Big Ten a season ago, with each squad earning an NCAA tournament bid. Cornell wraps up the five-game road trip with a game at Maryland.

In between the Big Ten games and the game in College Park, Md. Cornell will play at Bucknell -- a team Courtney said could be the toughest on the entire Big Red schedule.

"Bucknell returns everyone from an NCAA tournament team last year," said Courtney, who played for the Bison. "They have a tremendous team and could be one of the best, if not the best, team on our schedule. A lot of people do not know how good they are."

Other non-league opponents include University of Buffalo, Boston University, Delaware, American, Lehigh, Albany, Stony Brook, and Division III Albright.

Three seniors -- Aaron Osgood, Adam Wire and Mark Coury -- graduated for the Big Red. The team finished 10-18 overall and 6-8 in the Ivy League. Courtney said he knows the team will improve, but the goal is to have a better record.

"It will be difficult because almost every team in the league returns everyone," he said. "We will be much improved, but we still need to make another jump because the league is so improved. But I do think experience is the most underrated thing in college basketball and now that we all have one year together, that will help."

Cornell will play eight of its first 13 games on the road. League play will open Jan. 14 at Newman Arena against Columbia. Cornell and Columbia tied for fifth place a year ago. Princeton and Harvard shared the regular season title. The Tigers beat Harvard in a one-game playoff to earn the NCAA bid.

After a four-game stretch of away league games, Cornell will finish the season with a two-game home stretch against Dartmouth and then Harvard on March 3. Courtney said Harvard is probably the favorite to win the league.

1 comment:

BigRed1965 said...

The Coach is being realistic, and giving a balanced assessment, of the season's prospects. The Big Red should be improved, but as the Coach points out, so will most of the opponents. Still, Cornell could easily have been 20-8 last year instead of 10-18 if the team could have put some games away at the end. So with some fine tuning a winning record is certainly in the cards.