Friday, November 11, 2011

News and Notes: Season Opening Friday Edition!

Get all the information you need about the Big Red's season opener tonight (11.11.11) at St. Bonaventure with The Cornell Basketball Blog's Game Preview Center. Also, JOIN THE MESSAGE BOARD and discuss the game with your fellow fans. Below, some news and notes for Friday...

  • Previewing tonight's St. Bonaventure-Cornell game, J.P. Butler of the Olean Times Herald writes, "The St. Bonaventure men’s basketball team remembers all too well how Cornell shot from beyond the arc last year. The Big Red, in an early-season match-up with the Bonnies, made just 17 field goals, but hit a red-hot 12-of-26 from 3-point range, including a 6-for-9 effort from guard Chris Wroblewski. And it was nearly enough to win, before a Demitrius Conger dagger with just over a minute remaining gave Bona a 56-54 victory on the road. Wroblewski, one of the top guards in the Ivy League, is back this season, as are the Big Red’s other top marksmen, seniors Max Groebe and Drew Ferry. And so the primary concern when the Bonnies open their much-anticipated 2011-12 season against Cornell tonight (7 o’clock, WPIG-FM, WHDL-AM) in the Reilly Center? Get to the shooters."

  • Cornell assistant coach Mike Blaine has published his first diary entry on He writes:

The post-Halloween sugar rush has subsided, the leaves in Ithaca have turned, and there is a nice breeze coming in off Cayuga Lake. All of this means it is time for another exciting season of Cornell Basketball!

The beginning of our second year under Coach Courtney has brought with it many positive changes. Our system, our terminology, and our core values are firmly in place. Fortunately for the coaches, the values of unselfishness, trust, team work, and passion have been entrenched in Cornell Basketball for many years. They have been passed down from the outstanding coaches and players that have been a part of this program in the past and helped make Cornell what it is today. We hosted our Cornell Basketball Alumni Weekend back in October and it was really special to see our alumni (some from as far back as 1955!) come back and share their experiences playing for the Big Red.

With the arrival of Year Two, our upperclassmen are now thoroughly familiar with our expectations. They know what and who to look for on the court. They know how to “speak our language” and how to effectively communicate. Most importantly, they know how to teach our freshmen what we do and how we play. Last season our staff had to teach the whole team new drills, new sets, and new rotations. This year we are a step faster on the court because our habits have been built. Our captains, Chris Wroblewski and Drew Ferry, have set the example of what it means to be a Cornell Basketball player. Our younger players see this and are rapidly following their lead.

Amidst the ever shifting landscape of college athletics, Cornell Basketball is looking forward to another exciting season in the Ivy League. The Halloween edition of the Cornell Daily Sun had some fun with its readers about Cornell changing its affiliation, but our program is thrilled to be a member of the Ivy League. The League has grown in profile on the court a great deal in the last five years, and obviously its academic reputation remains second to none. Cornell’s run to the Sweet 16 in 2010 showed what the champion of this league is capable of. Recent improvements in programs across the Ivy League have made our games tougher than ever before. We are fortunate to be able to attract some of the finest student-athletes in the country to Cornell University!

As we head into the holidays, it is important to remember those whose sacrifice makes it possible for us to enjoy this great game of college basketball. I am happy to see events like Operation Hardwood and this year’s 2011 Carrier Classic which honor then men and women of our armed services. Two major events take place this week for our military. I hope that you wish all the members of our Armed Forces a safe and Happy Veteran’s Day. Also, a reminder to all that yesterday marked the 236th birthday of the United States Marines Corps. I am proud to count my dad, my uncle, and soon my youngest brother, in their numbers.

I wish all the coaches, players, and fans of college basketball an outstanding start to this season!

Go Big Red!!!

  • Binghamton's Pipe Dream writes, "The Bearcats will then travel to Cornell University for their first away game of the season. Like Colgate, the Big Red returns four starters from last year's squad and was selected to finish in sixth in 2011-12 Ivy League preseason media poll. Cornell finished last season tied for fifth in the Ivy League standings, posting an overall record of 10-18. The Big Red would fail to capture the Ivy League crown for the first time since 2007-08. The Bearcats' season-opener against Colgate is set for 7 p.m. tomorrow at the Events Center. Tip-off against Cornell is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday at the Newman Arena."
  • Barry Leonard is all set to call Cornell's game at St. Bonaventure. Tune into Cornell Athletics Redcast or Hits 103 Ithaca (free of charge) for audio of the game. Fans can also watch free video of the game via St. Bonaventure Athletics. Barry Leonard's pre-game show starts 30 minutes before tip-off. As usual, Leonard will interview Head Coach Bill Courtney before the game and obtain a scouting report from one of Cornell's assistant coaches. An interview with Chris Wroblewski is also scheduled before tip off. At halftime, there may be an interview with Greg Gary, an administrator in Cornell's financial aid office who played with Hall of Famer Bob Lanier at St. Bonaventure. Gary was a 1971 draft pick of the Golden State Warriors.
  • The Boston Herald writes, "For a college basketball coach, Steve Donahue is unusually patient. Twenty years coaching in the Ivy League will do that. Donahue spent 10 years as an assistant at Penn and another 10 as head coach at Cornell, which fostered an understanding of the time it takes to build a program. Donahue brought that attitude to Boston College, where he begins his second season... Donahue rose to prominence after his Cornell teams made three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances from 2008-10. Less attention was paid to the six consecutive losing seasons that began Donahue’s tenure. 'I think I’m much better now than I was 5-10 years ago,' Donahue said. 'I learned a great deal from the failures we had at Cornell, and I can see where we go and anticipate that if we continue to do these things, we’re going to be very good at some point.'"
  • On the same topic of Steve Donahue, Bleacher Report writes, "Donahue saw success creating an Ivy League powerhouse in Cornell, so he might be able to the same thing for Boston College."
  • The Trentonian writes of Princeton, "The Ivy League starts before the annual exam break with Cornell and Columbia on the road on the 13th and 14th of January."
  • Cornell RPI Watch: The RPI (Rating Percentage Index) is a measure of strength of schedule and how a team does against that schedule. It does not consider the margin of victory, but only whether or not a team won and where the game was played (home/away/neutral court). The formula is 25% team winning percentage (WP), 50% opponents' average winning percentage (OWP), and 25% opponents' opponents' average winning percentage (OOWP). (See: for a further explanation of the formula.) The RPI may be the most influential factor in NCAA Tournament seeding. Cornell's RPI rank as of November 10 is No. 18 out of 344 total Division I teams. While neither the Ken Pomeroy or Jeff Sagarin rankings are used by the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee, the site ranks Cornell No. 120 in the nation, while the USA Today Sagarin rankings have Cornell at No. 134. Both sites are predominantly used by fans and the media.

Friday, November 11

Johnson & Wales at Brown, 5 pm
Columbia at Connecticut, 7 pm [ESPNU]
Cornell at St. Bonaventure, 7 pm
MIT at Harvard, 7 pm
Dartmouth at Rutgers, 7:30 pm
Penn at Maryland-Baltimore County, 7:30 pm
Yale vs. Central Connecticut State, 8 pm

Saturday, November 12
Wagner at Princeton, 5 pm


Admin said...

free stream of the game? sweet. now there's is one reason i like st bonaventure

Anonymous said...

that season notes pdf you posted still refers to Donahue as the coach on page 5

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Thanks for the catch. Those notes were prepared by Cornell Athletics. And we have notified them. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Just watched a bit of the second half. It's gonna be a long season.

Anonymous said...

I would agree with you but there was a lot of promise in the 1st half, too early to tell. There were a lot of freshman, inexperienced players playing, need to be patient as they adjust to college basketball