- From Brian Delaney of ESPN 1160 Radio on Cornell's potential starting five:
Cornell's Tarwater, Gray hope to provide rebounding answers
An extensive list of injured players means Cornell men's basketball athletic trainer Marc Chamberlain is earning his Christmas bonus (hopefully, he at least gets a one-year membership to the Jelly of the Month Club). Since that list includes three players (Errick Peck, Shonn Miller and Anthony Gatlin) capable of playing the "four" in Bill Courtney's up-tempo system, it leaves the Big Red with some serious concerns in the categories of rebounding and interior depth.
It also presents the team's healthy players with an opportunity. Two guys immediately impacted are 6-foot-3 junior guard Johnathan Gray and 6-6 sophomore forward Dwight Tarwater. At this stage, both are first-unit players who've had strong preseasons - Gray at the three and Tarwater at the four. Both separately said they're entrenched in a whatever-coach-wants-me-to-do mold.
"If coach needs me to guard some bigger guys, I'm all for it," Tarwater said. "As long as I'm contributing to the team and helping."
Tarwater played seven games a year ago before mononucleosis sidelined him for the rest of the season. If he had played one more game, he said, he would have qualified for a year of eligibility. Instead, he has four years of eligibility remaining. Like classmate Dominic Scelfo, Tarwater said he plans on playing for four years.
On the court, Tarwater is athletic, physical and tough. His perimeter shot has improved and he's mobile. His defense, though, is a work-in-progress.
"He understands that that's a big part of his game he needs to improve upon because he can be asked to guard a three-man on the perimeter and try and contain dribble penetration, or he can be asked to guard a four where he'd have to really do the job and work in the post," Courtney said.
Gray showed flashes of brilliance as a sophomore. He also showed flashes of maddening inconsistency, particularly with questionable shot selection. In short, he was a young player maturing. But he's as good a rebounding guard as Cornell has on its roster, his long wingspan can be bothersome on defensive traps and he has an unwavering confidence in his ability to score.
"(I'm looking to be) a guy who's going to contribute, on the boards, hustle, scoring," Gray said. "We need somebody that can incorporate some scoring within the offense sometimes. And also when stuff breaks down, we need a guy who can score when there's really nothing (there)."
Gray certainly can be that guy. In practice, he regularly hits at-the-buzzer shots in drills that make teammates shake their heads. The key is knowing when to shoot when the shot clock isn't bearing down. Last year, that part of the game was an ongoing learning curve for Gray.
If the season started tomorrow (it starts Nov. 11), Gray and Tarwater would likely start alongside Chris Wroblewski, Drew Ferry and Eitan Chemerinski. Gray and Tarwater's rebounding responsibilities are paramount in taking pressure off Chemerinski, Josh Figini and the Big Red's thin cast of bigs.
"It's just an opportunity," Gray said. "It's an opportunity for us to stand up and show coach what he has. Of course we'd like to get Errick, Shonn and Gat back, but at the same time, it's an opportunity for us to stand up and show coach what he's got on the bench."
- UBBullRun.com previews the Big Red, a Buffalo opponent in 2011-2012 and writes:
Who the Heck are we playing? Cornell
The Big Red had one heck of a letdown last year after their 2009-2010 season featured some really impressive wins in the NCAA tournament. While last season they finished with a mere ten wins it should be noted that six of those were in the last nine games. The Big red were a team that found their feet late in the year who hope that some momentum will spill over into this fall.
But the media does not see it that way, in fact they are picked sixth out of eight ivy league teams. They finish just ahead of Columbia, a team that beat them twice last season. On the Harvey Birdman Warning System Cornell qualifies as a code Blue. They might be the only blue of the season but they have earned it.
In addition to a pretty bad season last year they are dealing with worse personnel problems than Buffalo and this year we have them at Alumni.
If I am wrong about Cornell it is because senior Chris Wroblewski, an He’s an All-Ivy candidate, will step up to fill a leadership gap that never quite got worked out last season. What Cornell did have last season, decent inside play, is up in the air as the team lost some major role players to graduation.
If you want to follow Cornell Hoops a little closer go [ahead] and check out "The Cornell Basketball Blog"
Wednesday, November 16, 2011 Venue Allumni Arena Opponent Cornell Conference Ivy League 2011 Record 10-18 (6-8 Ivy) All Time vs UB Buffalo 14 Cornell 27 Last Game 1/3/11 Buffalo 78 @ Cornell 66
- For those who missed the Red-White Game on October 22 and did not see the full recap, here it is below:
ITHACA, N.Y. -- 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 Saturday afternoon at Newman Arena in Bartels Hall in the annual Red-White Scrimmage. The game was the first opportunity for fans to see the Cornell men's team in action prior to the 2011-12 regular season.
Ferry connected on five 3-pointers and had three assists and two steals without a turnover, while backcourt mate Wroblewski controleld 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.
Cornell opens the 2011-12 season on Friday, Nov. 11 when it visits St. Bonaventure at 7 p.m. in Olean, N.Y. The Big Red opens its home slate three days later when it plays host to Binghamon on Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. at Newman Arena.