Wednesday, November 30, 2011

News and Notes: Wednesday Edition

Above, our Tweets of the Day from the world of Cornell Basketball on the twittersphere. Below, some news and notes for Wednesday...
  • In Ivy League Roster Report news, Brown has added a pair of walk-ons to its roster (Tellef Lundevall, a junior and Patrick Donnelly, also a junior). Meanwhile at Dartmouth, two players have left the program (Jenieri Cyrus, So. and Gediminas Bertasius, So.)
  • Cornell assistant coach Mike Blaine is participating in the Shots from the Heart Tournament. The event is designed to help "create more awareness for the growing problem of Heart Disease and to raise money to benefit the Skip Prosser Foundation. and the Skip Prosser Foundation are working with the American Heart Association, which will be a beneficiary of the Skip Prosser Foundation, to further promote "Shots from the Heart" and the educational aspects of heart disease. ...There will be two 64-coach fields (one for head coaches and one for assistant coaches). Participating coaches will compete in a free throw shooting contest."

Springfield Armor add 7-footer Jeff Foote as D-League rosters expand

SPRINGFIELD – The Springfield Armor got bigger Tuesday, in more ways than one.

The Armor signed two-time Ivy League defensive player of the year Jeff Foote from the NBA Development League’s available-player pool, and have the opportunity to add a 12th player under a temporary expansion of the roster.

The D-League on Monday allowed teams to expand the maximum roster limit from 10 to 12 players, all 12 of whom can dress for games until a week after NBA training camps begin, when rosters have to go back to a maximum of 10 players.

Foote, a 7-footer who played three years at Cornell after transferring from St. Bonaventure, was a three-time All-Ivy League choice and helped the Big Red win three Ivy League titles with three appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including a Sweet 16 run in 2010.

Foote played professionally in Israel, Spain and Poland over the last year.

“He’s extremely mobile, runs the floor well, he’s long, he’s athletic and his best basketball days are ahead of him, so we’re real excited he’s with us,” Armor coach Bob MacKinnon Jr., said. “When Jeff became available, it was a no-brainer. He’s a hard-working guy, he fits exactly the way we want to play and we feel like he’s a potential NBA player, so he fits into our hybrid model as well.”

Foote, 24, becomes the tallest player on the Armor roster and the only true center. Forward Jamar Brown (6-10) played the pivot in the first game and rookie Dennis Horner did a lot of work under the glass in the opening-night win over Maine last Friday.

MacKinnon said there are no plans in place to add a 12th player, but if the right player presents himself the Armor would certainly take advantage of this window for expansion.

Once NBA camps have been under way for a week, the Armor will have to reduce their roster back to 10, but they could have help with the decision process.

“With the NBA starting training camp, we may lose a couple of guys to camp, so things happen,” MacKinnon said. “We’re always on the lookout for good players.”

The Armor (1-0) return to the court Friday when they host the Fort Wayne Mad Ants at the MassMutual Center.
  • Also mentioning Foote's signing is the Nets Daily. The site writes, "Jeff Foote, the seven-footer who helped Cornell get to the NCAA Round of Sixteen in 2010, has been signed by the Armor who has been without a true center since Chris Taft hurt his knee and was waived a week ago. Foote has played for Maccabi Tel Aviv and was signed this summer by Zastal in the Polish League, where he was replaced by Jordan Williams."
  • John Gaseway of Basketball Prospectus writes a special feature for ESPN Insiders and and suggests that Harvard might be the best Ivy League team ever. His argument relies almost exclusively on the point that Harvard could potentially achieve the highest Ken Pomeroy ranking ever by an Ivy League team. He writes, " If a team from the Ivy League is knocking off ranked opponents, it must have come up with some inscrutable and fiendishly effective offensive scheme, right? (Think Cornell 2010.)... In the brief but detailed history of my colleague Ken Pomeroy's website, no Ivy League team has ever rated out higher than No. 52 in the country (again, Cornell 2010). Harvard appears to be on track to smash through that ceiling with ease." To us, Cornell's 2010 team will remain the best Ivy League team in the last 3o years until the following feats can be matched or exceeded by another Ivy League team. First, Cornell in 2010 won two NCAA Tournament games, reaching the Sweet Sixteen against a pair of teams both ranked in the FINAL 2010 Top 25 (Temple and Wisconsin). Cornell also defeated three teams from BCS Conferences along the season (Alabama, St. John's, and of course Wisconsin), as well as four A-10 teams (Temple, La Salle, UMass, St. Joseph's). Of Cornell's five total losses during 2010, three of the defeats were at hands of teams ranked in the nation's final Top 10 (Kentucky, Kansas and Syracuse). For this performance, Cornell finished 2010 in the final Top 25 poll ranked No. 17 nationally. Time will tell if Harvard or anyone else can match or exceed these feats. So far, no other team is even close.

Junior forward Eitan Chemerinski talked about his longtime love of basketball and what it was like being a freshman during the Sweet 16 run

Chemerinski Makes a Name for Himself on the Court

Cornell men’s basketball junior forward Eitan Chemerinski is a go-to example of everyone having his or her day — and not just a day to impress teammates by solving a Rubik’s Cube. Hidden deep on the bench of the 2009-10 Sweet 16 squad during his freshman year, Chemerinski built a foundation last season and has started all six games so far in 2011-12.

The son of Argentinian immigrants, Chemerinski was born and raised in Potomac, Md. Like most unusually tall athletes, the 6-8, 218-pound forward drifted towards basketball at an early age, and he has not looked back.

“I’ve been playing basketball probably since I was about 10 and it’s always been my favorite sport,” Chemerinski said. “I’ve just been playing a lot ever since then. I was always relatively one of the tallest kids in my grade.”

Chemerinski turned his raw talent into elite production at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, Md. After averaging 19 points, nine rebounds and four assists per game as a junior, he posted nearly identical numbers as a senior along with six blocked shots per contest. The Maryland Gazette named Chemerinski an all-state honorable mention in each of his final two seasons, and as a senior, the forward was a McDonald’s High School All-America nominee.

Chemerinski earned the accolades while honoring his religious duties — something No. 55 continues to do in Ithaca.

“[Religion] is a big part of my life — it’s always something that’s going to be very important to me. I’m just trying to do the best I can in finding the right balance between playing a sport that’s pretty demanding for time and also … fulfilling as many religious obligations as I can.”

Chemerinski discovered Cornell through his older sister Anat, who graduated from the University in the spring. After getting in touch with former head coach Steve Donahue, Chemerinski attended a summer camp for top-tier high school players and decided Cornell was the school for him.

In his freshman year, Chemerinski first took the floor in the Red’s fourth outing of the 2009-10 season at Syracuse in the Carrier Dome. The Orange pulled away in the second half to win, 88-73, allowing Donahue to insert Chemerinski into the game with the outcome already decided. The forward recorded a rebound in one minute of action.

“At the time, just grabbing a rebound or just being out there for a split second was an amazing moment,” he said. “It was pretty exciting to be in my first real game in college.”

Chemerinki played in nine more games his freshman season, finishing with three points and eight rebounds in only 27 minutes of court time. Aside from his on-court action, fans caught the most memorable glimpses of the reserve forward in videos of Chemerinski humoring teammates by rapidly completing Rubik’s Cubes. Chemerinski enjoyed the year on the star-studded club from a basketball perspective, too, largely because 7-0 forward Jeff Foote ’10 helped him develop.

“Just being able to practice with all those guys and trying to help in any way I could was a great time for me,” he said. “Just being around and learning was a great experience … Jeff is a really great guy and he was always really nice. I was just trying to learn as much as I could from him in practice, and that helped me quite a bit.”

Chemerinski increased his production slightly last year as a sophomore, but was stuck behind forwards Mark Coury ’11, Adam Wire ’11 and Aaron Osgood ’11 on the Red depth chart. As a sophomore, Chemerinski totaled 33 points and 23 boards in 106 minutes, highlighted by an 11-point, six-rebound performance in a loss at Yale on Feb. 4. Over the off-season, the Red coaches continued to push Chemerinski and the rest of the front-court to replace the trio.

“The whole coaching staff has been so helpful,” he said. “During all the practices and all the workouts, they really try to get the best out of all the players. They make me really want to be the best player that I can be.”

The hard work has paid off at the beginning of the 2011-12 season, as Chemerinski accomplished a difficult task under second-year head coach Bill Courtney — maintaining a spot in the starting lineup. Chemerinski has played more total minutes in the six contests this year than in all 28 games of his sophomore season.

The junior ranks second on the team with 10.2 points per game, while shooting 64.1 percent from the field and 78.6 percent from the free-throw line. He has also tallied 17 rebounds, eight steals and six assists.

For Chemerinski, everything and nothing has changed since his first year in Ithaca. Despite an exponentially larger role, it is still all about hustle and scrappiness for the Applied Economics and Management major.

“All I can say is that I’ve been trying to work as hard as I can,” he said. “Every opportunity that I have to be out there, I’m going to try as hard as I can to make the most of it. I’m really just trying to play hard — playing good defense, getting rebounds, and the usual stuff. I’m going to keep working hard and keep getting better.”

  • Game Recaps-Below are links to our game recap sections from each of Cornell's games this season.
  1. November 11, 2011 at St. Bonaventure L 58-79
  2. November 14, 2011 vs. Binghamton W 76-61
  3. November 16, 2011 at Buffalo L 59-68
  4. November 20, 2011 vs. Boston University W 71-66
  5. November 22, 2011 at Delaware L 68-76
  6. November 27, 2011 vs. American L 63-65
  • 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 30 is No. 308 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. 173 in the nation, while the USA Today Sagarin rankings have Cornell at No. 245. Both sites are predominantly used by fans and the media.

Friday, November 11

Johnson & Wales 66 Brown 86 (Box Score - Recap)
Columbia 57 Connecticut 70[ESPNU] (Box Score - Recap)
Cornell 58 St. Bonaventure 79 (Box Score - Recap)
MIT 49 Harvard 76 (Box Score - Recap)
Dartmouth 56 Rutgers 62 (Box Score - Recap)
Penn 59 Maryland-Baltimore County 45 (Box Score - Recap)
Yale 73 Central Connecticut State 69 (Box Score - Recap)

Saturday, November 12
Wagner 73 Princeton 57 (Box Score - Recap)

Monday, November 14
Albany 77 Brown 68 (NIT Tip-Off-1st Round@Syracuse, N.Y.)[ESPN3] (Box Score - Recap)
Temple 73 Penn 67 OT (Box Score - Recap)
Furman 58 Columbia 62 (Box Score - Recap)
Binghamton 61 Cornell 76 (Box Score - Recap)

Tuesday, November 15
Harvard 73 Holy Cross 64 (Box Score - Recap)
Yale 62 Quinnipiac 68 [SNY] (Box Score - Recap)
Brown 52 Manhattan 54 NIT Tip Consolation@Syracuse, N.Y. [ESPN3] (Box Score - Recap)

Wednesday, November 16
Cornell 59 Buffalo 68 (Box Score - Recap)
Vermont 65 Dartmouth 53 (Box Score - Recap)
Princeton 58 North Carolina State 60 [ESPNU] (Box Score - Recap)

Thursday, November 17
Penn 78 Rider 72 OT (Box Score - Recap)
Lyndon State 37 Yale 101 (Box Score - Recap)

Saturday, November 19
Buffalo 53 Princeton 61 (Box Score - Recap)
Hartford 52 Brown 59 (Box Score - Recap)
American 66 Columbia 58 (Box Score - Recap)
Bryant 62 Dartmouth 66 (Box Score - Recap)
Robert Morris 60 Penn 66 (Box Score - Recap)
Harvard 77 Loyola Marymount 67 (Box Score - Recap)

Sunday, November 20
Boston University 66 Cornell 71 (Box Score - Recap)

Sunday, November 20
Boston University 66 Cornell 71 (Box Score - Recap)

Monday, November 21
Brown 48 George Mason 74 (NIT Consolation Fairfax, VA) (Box Score - Recap)

Tuesday, November 22
Brown 79 Monmouth 71 (NIT Consolation Fairfax, VA) (Box Score - Recap)
Columbia 53 Stony Brook 67 (Box Score - Recap)
Cornell 64 Delaware 72 (Box Score - Recap)
Wagner 71 Penn 65 (Box Score - Recap)
Elon 56 Princeton 55 (Box Score - Recap)
Yale 62 Seton Hall 73 (Box Score - Recap)

Thursday, November 24
Dartmouth 69 San Francisco 71 (Great Alaska Shootout) (Box Score - Recap)
Harvard 75 vs. Utah 47 [HDNet] (Battle 4 Atlantis Bahamas) (Box Score - Recap)

Friday, November 25
Dartmouth 64 vs. Alaska-Anchorage 52(Great Alaska Shootout) (Box Score - Recap)
Harvard 46 vs. Florida State 41 [VERSUS] (Battle 4 Atlantis Bahamas) (Box Score - Recap)
Princeton 56 Bucknell 62 (Legends Classic, Lewisberg, PA) (Box Score - Recap)
Pittsburgh 78 Penn 58 [TCN] (Box Score - Recap)

Saturday, November 26
Yale 84 Army 75 (Box Score - Recap)
Columbia 59 Manhattan 41 (Box Score - Recap)
Princeton 56 Morehead State 68 (Legends Classic, Lewisberg, PA) (Box Score - Recap)
James Madison 60 Penn 58 [TCN] (Philly Hoop Group Classic) (Box Score - Recap)
Dartmouth 48 vs. Western Michigan 65 (Great Alaska Shootout) (Box Score - Recap)
Harvard 59 vs. Central Florida 49 [VERSUS] (Battle 4 Atlantis Bahamas) (Box Score - Recap)

Sunday, November 27
Brown 64 Sacred Heart 77 (Box Score - Recap)
Princeton 66 West Alabama 66 (Legends Classic, Lewisberg, PA) (Box Score - Recap)
American 65 Cornell 63 (Box Score - Recap)

Monday, November 28
Swarthmore 42 Columbia 104 (Box Score - Recap)

Tuesday, November 29
Manhattan 72 Penn 75 (Box Score - Recap)
Yale 74 Hartford 69 (Box Score - Recap)

Wednesday, November 30
Dartmouth at New Hampshire, 7 pm
Lafayette at Princeton, 7 pm
Rhode Island at Brown, 7:30 pm [myRITV]

Thursday, December 1
Harvard at Vermont, 7 pm

Friday, December 2
Columbia at Loyola Marymount, 10 pm (Doubletree Los Angeles Westside Centennial Classic)

Saturday, December 3
Vermont at Yale, 2 pm
Brown at Iowa, 3 pm
Lehigh at Cornell, 7 pm
Penn at Villanova, 7 pm [ESPN3]
Columbia vs. North Texas, 8 pm (Doubletree Los Angeles Westside Centennial Classic)

Sunday, December 4
Columbia vs. La Sierra, 2 pm
Seattle at Harvard, 2 pm


Anonymous said...

This may sound terrible, but I would hate to see Harvard achieve the kind of success Cornell did in 2010, as this might diminish the team's accomplishments. Hoping for a loss tomorrow night against the Catamounts!

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Until Harvard wins two NCAA games, there is just no debating this point.

Anonymous said...

1. This may sound terrible, but I'd like to see the current Cornell players start playing better and accomplishing their own stuff, or it will diminish what the Class of 2010 stood for (hard work and not being intimidated by anything).

2. There is some Argentianian basketball fan or something on Twitter who is always tweeting about each of Eitan Chemerinski's performances. I was really confused about that until now.

3. So Brown convinced a guy who left the program to come back, and now they've added two new players who, according to BBu, are football players who played bball in HS. Desperately looking for ways to bulk up their meager roster. Pilfering other Ivy's recruits must not have been successful this year.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Brown needed replaces for Rafael Maia who is academically ineligible.

Anonymous said...

Maia is academically ineligible three months into his freshman Brown!?!? I thought that was impossible.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

It has nothing to do with his grades or qualifications for the Ivy League. It had to do with the number of seasons he played high school basketball (he exceeded the number and therefore lost his freshman season eligibility). He is eligible next year at Brown as a sophomore with 3 seasons of eligibility in total.

Anonymous said...

I think it DOES sound terrible that you don't want to see the Crimson succeed. If Harvard can raise their level of competitiveness on a national scale, so can we, so can the rest of the league. We've already done it, we have good recruits, there's no reason why it can't happen. The league as a whole will get more respect if there are more good teams. There's no reason why the Ivy can't send 2 teams to the NCAA tournament.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anon 4:19. There's more room at the table than just one Ivy team, provided that second team beats some legit competition during its season. That better be the case, because Harvard is already loaded and continues to load up with blue chip recruits.