Monday, November 7, 2011

Cornell Athletics Game Notes: Cornell at St. Bonaventure (11.11.11)

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Game #1: Cornell at St. Bonaventure
Tip off: Friday, Nov. 11, at 7:00 p.m.
Site: Bob Lanier Court at The Reilly Center (5,480), Olean, N.Y.
2011-12 Records: Cornell (0-0, 0-0 Ivy); St. Bonaventure (0-0, 0-0 Atlantic 10)
Series Record: Cornell leads 8-4
Last Meeting: St. Bonaventure won 56-54, November 19, 2010 in Ithaca, N.Y.
Radio: HITS 103.3 FM (Barry Leonard)
TV: None
Live Stats: available at
Live Video: available at
Tickets: available by calling (607) 254-BEAR

Cornell head coach Bill Courtney is in his first season at Cornell (10-18, .357) ... Courtney became the fifth Robert E. Gallagher '44 Coach of Men's Basketball at Cornell on April 23, 2010.

ITHACA, N.Y. — The Cornell men's basketball team will test itself right away in one of the most hostile environments around when it opens the 2011-12 season at St. Bonaventure on Friday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. at Bob Lanier Court at the Reilly Center in Olean, N.Y. Barry Leonard will provide the call on HITS 103.3 FM, which can be heard live on the internet as part of the RedCast subscription service.

With three Ivy League titles in the last four seasons, Cornell basketball has high expectations, and those aren't unwarranted under second-year head coach Bill Courtney. Despite losing much of its frontcourt strength due to graduation, the Big Red returns arguably the top backcourt in the Ivy League in seniors Chris Wroblewski and Drew Ferry. Wroblewski, a second-team All-Ivy pick and a third-team Capital One Academic All-American a year ago, returns as the conference's leader in steals and was second in assists while averaging 14.2 points per game. Ferry led the Ivy League in 3-point field goals made (80) and is one of three double figure scorers back for the Big Red (11.9 ppg.). The third remaining double figure scorer is junior forward Errick Peck (11.0 ppg.), Cornell's top returner in the frontcourt and one of the most talented players in the Ancient Eight.

Cornell is coming off a 10-18 season that saw Courtney's team drop a number of close games throughout the season while adjusting to a new style of play. In all, that team lost 10 contests by five points or less, including games to eventual NCAA tournament teams Boston University and Princeton, nationally ranked Minnesota and the Bonnies. However, the Big Red closed the season as one of the hottest team in the Ancient Eight, winning six of its final nine contests.

• 2010-11 Record: 16-15 (8-8 Atlantic 10).
• Conference: Atlantic 10.
• Head Coach: Mark Schmidt (Boston College '85), 54-68, fifth season at St. Bonaventure; 136-158, 11th season overall.
• St. Bonaventure returns four starters from last year's squad that posted the school's first winning record (16-15) and postseason appearance (CBI) since 2001-02. That team featured just 10 scholarship players.
• Senior center Andrew Nicholson is an All-America candidate and returns as one of the nation's top returning scorers (20.8 ppg.).
• St. Bonaventure is picked to finish fourth in the league preseason poll, the highest since SBU was slotted second in the East division prior to the 2002-03 campaign.
• The Reilly Center, home of the Bonnies, is widely considered to be one of the top homecourt advantages in the country. SBU has won 68 percent of its games all-time on its home court.
• Head coach Mark Schmidt has done a fine job turning around the fortunes of a downtrodden program and has posted a 54-68 record in his first four seasons.

CORNELL VS. THE ATLANTIC 10: Cornell is 18-19 all-time against current members of the Atlantic 10. The Big Red is 8-4 all-time against St. Bonaventure and has also faced Dayton (0-1), Duquesne (0-2), Fordham (4-4), La Salle (3-2), Massachusetts (1-0), Richmond (0-1), Saint Joseph's (0-3), Saint Joseph's (1-3), Saint Louis (0-1), Temple (1-0) and Xavier (0-1). Cornell has never played Charlotte, George Washington or Rhode Island. The Big Red was a perfect 4-0 against Atlantic 10 teams in 2009-10, topping Massachusetts and La Salle on the road, knocking off Saint Joseph's at home and defeating A-10 champ Temple in the first round of the NCAA tournament in Jacksonville, Fla. The Big Red has won six of the last nine meetings against Atlantic 10 squads dating back to its 58-54 victory at St. Bonaventure in 2004-05, but dropped last year's contest to the Bonnies 56-54 in Ithaca, N.Y.

THE SERIES: The Big Red leads the all-time series 8-4, with the last win coming in Olean during the 2004-05 season, a 58-54 Cornell victory at the Reilly Center. The Big Red had its five-game win streak in the series snapped a year ago in a 56-54 last-minute victory for the Bonnies. The teams first met on Jan. 1, 1923, a 28-16 win for Cornell in Olean.

• Head coach Bill Courtney enters his second season at the helm of a Big Red program. His team finished the 2010-11 season strong, winning six of its last nine contests. Cornell will attempt to improve on a 10-18 record from a year ago by turning around 10 losses that came by five points or less.
• Cornell has had a tough preseason, as 10 different players have missed varying amounts of time due to injuries.
• The Big Red are flying under the radar despite winning three of the last four Ivy League championships and advancing to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2010.
• Cornell had won six straight season openers, including the last two on the road (2009 at Alabama, 71-67, and 2010 at Albany, 65-61).
• Leading scorer Chris Wroblewski is considered one of the top point guards in the country. He led the Ivy League in steals, ranked second in assists and sixth in scoring a season ago en route to earning third-team Capital One Academic All-America honors. He is a nominee for the Bob Cousy Award as the nation's top point guard for the second straight season.

SEASON OPENERS: The Big Red has posted a 73-41 all-time record in its previous 114 season openers. Cornell has won six consecutive openers, including a 71-67 win at Alabama in 2009-10 and a 65-61 victory at Albany in 2010-11, and is now 12-19 on the road to open a year, 53-16 at home and 8-6 in neutral site/unknown site games.

WROBLEWSKI NAMED TO CAPITAL ONE ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICA THIRD TEAM: Chris Wroblewski was named to the Capital One Academic All-America third-team for his performance on the court and in the classroom during the 2010-11 season. He was one of two Ivy League players to earn the honor, joining Brown's Garrett Leffelman, a second-team member. Wroblewski was the fourth Cornellian to earn a spot on the Academic All-America team and the first non-senior. Jeff Gaca was a third-team pick in 1993, Lenny Collins was a third-team member in 2006 and Graham Dow earned first-team accolades in 2007.

WROBLEWSKI NAMED FINALIST FOR LOWE'S SENIOR CLASS AWARD: Senior guard Chris Wroblewski has been named one of 30 finalists for the Lowe's Senior Class Award it was announced today by the committee. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. He joins Penn's senior guard Zack Rosen as the only Ivy League players on the list. Wroblewski was a third-team Capital One Academic All-American as a junior and has twice been named to the academic all-district team. The two-year team captain has been involved in numerous charitable endeavors and has been a four-year starter on the court. His teams have won two Ivy titles and is a two-year member of the Bob Cousy Award Watch List as the nation's top point guard. A second-team All-Ivy pick as a junior, he was the conference's leader in steals and was second in assists and assist-to-turnover ratio and sixth in scoring. He has twice led the conference in 3-point field-goal percentage.

• Cornell is 82-39 in the last four seasons.
• The Big Red is 44-12 in its last 56 Ivy League contests over the four three years.
• The team is 24-17 in its last 41 games away from Newman Arena and 18-15 in its last 33 true road games.
• Cornell is 47-9 over its last 56 home games and 30-7 in the last three seasons and 42-8 in the last four years.
• The Big Red has won its last six season openers.
• In non-conference games, the Big Red is 38-27 over the last four seasons.

TALL IVY: Over the last five seasons, Cornell's 53-17 record is the best among Ivy League teams in conference action. Penn, who claimed the 2006-07 title, is second at 40-30, followed by Yale (39-31), and 2010-11 Ivy champions Harvard (36-34) and Princeton (36-34). Rounding out the field is Columbia (32-38), Brown (29-41) and Dartmouth (16-54).

STATING THE STATES: Members of the Cornell basketball team represent 16 states and one Canadian province.

CORNELL BEYOND THE ARC — 600 AND COUNTING: The Big Red hit nine 3-pointers vs. Yale on March 5, its 627th consecutive game with a made trey. With five 3-pointers at Seton Hall on Nov. 14, Cornell extended its streak of games with at least one 3-pointer to 600. The last time Cornell did not hit a 3-pointer was against Denison in the 1988-89 season opener (0-for-2). Since the 3-point shot came into effect in NCAA play during the 1986-87 season, Cornell has hit at least one shot behind the arc in 676 of 680 games, connecting on 4,202 treys, an average of 6.2 per game. Cornell has set records for treys in a season in each of the previous three years, going from 228 in 2007-08 to 241 in 2008-09 and to 326 a year ago. Cornell has hit at least 10 3-pointers in a game 28 times in 62 games over the last two years, including an Ivy League single-game record 20 at Brown in 2009-10.

BOMBS AWAY: Cornell made 251 3-pointers in 28 contests during the 2010-11 campaign. The 9.0 3-pointers per game ranked second all-time in a season for the Big Red (behind only the 9.6 per game in 2009-10) and ranked sixth among all Division I teams a season ago. Last season, Cornell ranked first nationally in 3-point percentage (.430) and third in 3-pointers made per game in 2009-10, and ranked in the top 20 nationally in 3-point percentage in 2008-09 (fourth, .411), 2007-08 (fourth, .409) and 2006-07 (18th, .396).

RED-WHITE SCRIMMAGE: Senior Drew Ferry scored 19 points and Chris Wroblewski finished just two rebounds shy of a triple-double to help White top Red 76-41 on Oct. 22 at Newman Arena in Bartels Hall in the annual Red-White Scrimmage. Ferry connected on five 3-pointers and had three assists and two steals without a turnover, while backcourt mate Wroblewski controlled the game with 17 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds. The duo led four double figure scorers, as Dwight Tarwater chipped in with 17 points and Josh Figini notched 10. Both players also recorded five rebounds. Freshman Galal Cancer also had a strong debut with seven rebounds and five assists. The White team posted 21 assists and just six turnovers in picking up the win for assistant coach Marlon Sears. The Red team's lone double figure scorer was Johnathan Gray with 10 points. Miles Asafo-Adjei scored nine points and had five assists and four rebounds. Jake Matthews scored eight points for assistant coach Mike Blaine's squad.

WHAT WAS LOST: Cornell said goodbye to three seniors last spring, as Mark Coury, Aaron Osgood and Adam Wire closed out their Big Red careers.
• Coury was one of the team's top post players in his two seasons on the court at Cornell, first as a reserve on last year's Sweet 16 squad in 2009-10, and last year as a regular in the rotation. A transfer from the University of Kentucky, Coury's biggest highlight came when he beat the shot clock to hit the game-winning basket with 35 seconds left at the Palestra to help Cornell sweep Penn a year ago.
• A team captain in 2010-11, Osgood was expected to be a major factor in the post, and was when healthy. One of the team's top scorers (7.3 ppg.) and rebounders (4.5 rpg.), Osgood played in 43 career games with eight starts, shooting 52 percent from the floor and averaging 3.0 points and 2.0 rebounds.
• Another team captain, Wire was a four-year letter winner who ranked among the top 20 all-time in steals and field goal percentage in school history. He totaled more that 100 steals and 100 assists and set career highs in scoring, rebounding and assists in his final season.

• Men's basketball games will be broadcast on HITS 103.3 FM for the 2011-12 season. Longtime voice of the Big Red Barry Leonard returns on the call with the play-by-play, while former All-Ivy center Eric Taylor'05 is on board to do color analysis. A half-hour pregame show and postgame analysis will enable Big Red fans to follow Coach Bill Courtney's team throughout the season. The audio of all games will also be available as part of the RedCast subscription service.
• The Big Red's home contests will all be broadcast live with streaming video as part of the RedCast subscription service. Visit for all the latest information on Cornell broadcasts.
• Cornell will use SIDEARM Live Stats for each of the Big Red's home games in 2010-11. Visit for all of the official statistics.
• You can follow the team on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Highlights, interviews and features on all 36 of Cornell's varsity sports can be found at, or

NEXT UP: The Big Red will open its 2011-12 home season against Binghamton on Monday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. at Newman Arena in Bartels Hall.


Anonymous said...

The Bonnies project to be a solid middle tier A-10 team that will knock heads successfully with the likes of Dayton, Richmond, and Rhode Island.

This opening game will clearly be a challenge. I know we're all about wins, but, realistically, if Cornell can stay on the court with these guys, particularly in Olean, it will be a great beginning.

Let's go, Red!

Anonymous said...

without Peck this is going to be a beatdown unfortunately. Hopefully we can stay within 20 points.

Anonymous said...

You Cornell guys really need to look at the stats from last year.

Errick Peck gave you 3.5 boards and 11 pts per game with more negatives than anyone in the league except Noruwa Agho. That's all he's shown you (and us). C'mon. If you can't replace that kind of productivity, you're in worse shape than the rest of us think you actually are.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

There are people that know basketball and then there are people that just read stat sheets (which simply do not capture all the contributions from a player).

You might fall into the latter.

Anyone that watched Cornell play last year knows that Cornell went on its run at the end of the season at least partially in part by the inspired play and intensity of Errick Peck.

There is not a coach in the league that would not start Noruwha Agho on their team.