- Dartmouth team report-"On the positive side... [during 2010-2011, Dartmouth] was not the worst free-throw shooting team in the conference … just the second-worst, ahead of Cornell."
October 24, 2011
For once, Cornell won’t begin the basketball season surrounded by great expectations.
The Big Red had won three titles in a row heading into 2010-11, but lost most of its team and its coach prior to that campaign. The result was a squad that started slow and didn’t catch fire until too late, and a 6-8 Ivy League record.
Graduation again plagued the team during the offseason, particularly in the frontcourt. Injuries left coach Bill Courtney without a sizable chunk of his roster as practice began. Nevertheless, he’s optimistic that better things are in store for his squad in 2011-12.
For starters, he has Chris Wroblewski, the veteran guard who’s seemingly been with the program forever but is just entering his senior season. He’s an All-Ivy candidate again who can provide the on-court stats and off-court leadership that this young program needs.
Errick Peck is a capable scorer in the frontcourt, though he was one of the many Big Red players battling injuries in October. Drew Ferry is a top shooter, and the guard depth means Courtney will be able to run like he had his team do down the stretch a year ago.
The big question marks come on the inside. Most of the rebounding left on graduation day, so forwards Dwight Tarwater and Eitan Chemerinski, as well as freshman center Dave LaMore, will get a chance there.
Given the team’s strength on the wing and weakness in the middle, it’s no surprise that Courtney plans to have his team play uptempo again this year. It’s going to be tough to get back into the NCAA Tournament, but Cornell has a chance to at least be relevant again in the Ivy League title race.
• Cornell’s place among the statistical leaders a year ago reflect its quality guard play. The Big Red topped the conference in both assists and steals, but paid for it on the boards. The team was seventh among the eight Ivy teams in rebounding margin.
• Senior guard Chris Wroblewski filled up the stat sheet in his junior year. He led the Ivy League in steals, was second in assists and assist/turnover ratio, fourth in three-point shooting percentage, fifth in made three-pointers and sixth in scoring and free throw percentage.
• Sophomore forward Dwight Tarwater is looking for more luck than he had in his freshman campaign. Tarwater played in seven games before losing the rest of the season to mononucleosis, but could find himself starting the first game of his sophomore campaign with a good few weeks of practice.
Last Year: 10-18 overall, 6-8 in the Ivy League
Head Coach: Bill Courtney, 2nd year as head coach (10-18 at Cornell; 10-18 career)
Quote To Note: “We’ll be a team that competes very hard on every play and will be unselfish. We’re going to play faster than we did a year ago, and making the extra pass and being unselfish will really help us.” - Cornell coach Bill Courtney.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
Probable Starting Lineup: PG Chris Wroblewski, SG Drew Ferry, SG Max Groebe, F Errick Peck, C Dave LaMore
Lineup Breakdown: It’s hard to get a sense of the starting lineup, given the volume of players nursing injuries as Cornell began its practice schedule in 2011-12. Apart from Chris Wroblewski and Errick Peck, the competition will be fierce for the other three slots. Dwight Tarwater and Eitan Chemerinski both were impressive early in practice and could win starting spots in the frontcourt, particularly if Dave LaMore’s sprained ankle doesn’t allow him to pick up the system soon enough. Miles Asafo-Adjei could get one of the backcourt starting slots, and Jonathan Gray and Jake Matthews will play.
Scouting The Newcomers: The six players joining the squad in 2011-12 give some size and athleticism to the squad. Center Dave LaMore could start soon after the season begins depending how quickly he recovers from a sprained ankle. Shonn Miller is also battling an injury, while Nenad Tomic and Deion Giddens are both likely a year or two away from cracking the rotation.
Guards Galel Cancer and Devin Cherry are both top talents, though Bill Courtney wants to see some defensive improvement before penciling them into the lineup.
• Freshman center Dave LaMore was limited early in the practice schedule by a sprained ankle.
• Sophomore guard Dominic Scelfo is still recovering from a knee injury that sidelined him in 2010-11. He was able to practice in October, but had to sit out certain drills.
• Freshman forward Shonn Miller is likely out until November with a stress fracture in his foot.