Friday, December 23, 2011

News and Notes: Friday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Friday...
  • Here is a link to a must read article in the New York Times about the changing financial aid policies in the Ivy League. The article notes, "Cornell’s wrestling team was No. 1 throughout the same winter, one year after the Cornell men’s basketball team advanced to the final 16 of the N.C.A.A. tournament."

  • Jeff Foote (Cornell '10) finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds as his Springfield Armor took down the Dakota Wizards last night, 98-94 in NBA D-League action. The Springfield Republican notes, "The Armor spent much of the first quarter trying to establish 7-foot center Jeff Foote down low. Foote had six points and five rebounds in the first period, which ended in a 25-25 tie, and was still the focal part of the office in the second quarter...Foote ended the night with 12 points and 11 rebounds. "

Courtney sees positives despite Big Red's close loss

Wednesday's result: Penn State 74, Cornell 67

Record: 4-6

Next game: Wednesday at Stony Brook (3-6), 7 p.m.

ITHACA -- For the second game in a row, the Cornell men's basketball team made a Big Ten opponent sweat on its home floor, but could not make enough plays down the stretch.

Two nights after taking No. 25 Illinois to the wire, the Big Red lost 74-67 to Penn State on Wednesday at the Bryce Jordan Center, dropping coach Bill Courtney's team to 4-6 overall and 0-2 on its five-game holiday road trip.

After a week of rest, Cornell will travel to Stony Brook (3-6) on Dec. 28 to face the Seawolves at 7 p.m., before squaring off with Bucknell in Lewisburg, Pa., at 2 p.m. on New Year's Eve.

"One of the things we wanted to do coming into this road swing is continue to try and get better," Courtney said. "Of course you're disappointed when you don't come up with wins when you have winnable games, but any time you're an Ivy League school and you go on the road to two Big Ten opponents and a top-25 team and have a chance to win, I think you can look at that and say you've gotten better."

As it did against the Illini, Cornell got off to a positive start against the Nittany Lions, taking a 21-13 lead on a pair of free throws from freshman Shonn Miller and leading 31-30 at halftime.

Already shorthanded due to various injuries and an illness to starter Miles Asafo-Adjei, the Big Red found themselves in a precarious situation early in the second half. Point guard Chris Wroblewski and top post players Josh Figini and Eitan Chemerinski were in foul trouble, forcing Courtney to go with three freshmen for much of the final 20 minutes.

Still, the Big Red hung tough, tying the score at 55 with 6:26 left on a tip-in from freshman Dave LaMore, playing in his second collegiate game, and knotting it again at 64 with less than two minutes left on a Wroblewski 3-pointer.

But Cornell would see the game slip away late, as Penn State first benefited from a foul call on what appeared to be a block by Miller before pushing its lead to six points with 27 seconds left on a layup and two more free-throws.

Senior Drew Ferry hit his sixth 3-pointer of the night with 20 seconds remaining to cut the hosts' lead to six, but that is as close as Cornell would get.

Cornell was whistled for 29 fouls to 13 for Penn State. The Red limited the Nittany Lions to 37.5 percent shooting, but was forced into 16 turnovers and outrebounded 40-33.

"To be able to fight through that and still have a shot to win despite not really playing you're best really gives us a sense of the kind of spirit and fight that we have," Courtney said. "I think all of us feel pretty good about the team we've become. We still have some kinks to work out, but I think we're getting there."

Ferry finished with a game-high 20 points, while Miller recorded a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds, and added two assists, two blocks and two steals. Freshman Galal Cancer chipped in 10 points and seven assists.

  • Former Slope Sports reporter and now blogger, Jake Mastbaum provides his take on the loss at Penn State as follows:

Let me preface this by saying, I’m tired of moral victories. I can deal with them to a point, but after that line is crossed, it’s just an excuse for not finishing games. Illinois and Penn State are not your typical opponent on an Ivy League schedule, I get that. However, once the ball is tipped, it doesn’t matter what name is on the front of the jersey. What I saw was two winnable basketball games.

With this said, after watching Cornell fall 74-67 to Penn State, I find myself smiling ear-to-ear. Yes, a victory would have been all that much sweeter, but with the way events transpired, this is a result I can live with, maybe even feel confident about. Consider the following:

-Cornell was unexpectedly without their defense stopper Miles Asafo-Adjei who would have created a more favorable defensive matchup against star Penn State guard, Tim Frazier.

-Cornell has the ability to shoot their way into any game, but Penn State actually out-shot the Big Red from behind the arc.

-Cornell had a -7 rebounding differential and was outrebounded 16-9 on the offensive glass.

-Cornell was whistled for 29 fouls. Penn State, just 13.

Tough to stay in a game against a Big Ten team with all those factors working against you, but Cornell was able to do more than just hang around. This was a 2-point game with under 1:30 to go.

The reason why I can accept this loss as a moral victory is because of the way Cornell handled this misfortune titled ‘Foul Trouble’. Chris Wroblewski, Josh Figini, and Eitan Chemerinki were affected the most by the quick whistle. To understand the extent of Cornell’s foul problems:

-First half, Eitan plays 4 minutes, commits 3 fouls. He picked up his 4th after less than 2 minutes of 2nd half action.

-Wroblewski whistled for his 4th personal foul with 9:34 left to play.

-Figini follows suit and picks up his 4th foul with 9:31 to play.

Eitan checked out at the 14:07 mark, never returned. Figini checked out at the 9:31 mark, never returned. Wroblewski took a seat with 9:34 to play and sat for over 4 minutes. That 4-minute span was a potential death sentence for Cornell. The score was 49-49, but Penn State was getting hot. The Big Red had three Freshman on the floor, including Dave LaMore who has played a grand total of 3 minutes of college basketball before Wednesday night. Drew Ferry was on the court, but Penn State was not going to let Ferry beat them, especially with so few perceived weapons in at the time. Every time Ferry touched the ball, no matter how far from the basket, two defenders jumped out on him, making it almost impossible for him to launch one of his famous quick-trigger threes. The offense had to come from somewhere else, and it did. When Wroblewski checked back into the game 4 minutes and 7 seconds later, the Red trailed by just 1.

The youth of Cornell had to grow up quickly and they had to do so against a Big Ten team. Shonn Miller, who has been struggling since the 13-day exam break stepped up as Cornell’s offensive go-to-guy. Galal Cancer was forced to run the offense without the crutch of having the steady hand of Chris Wroblewski next to him. Dave LaMore had to learn what college basketball is all about.

The term “moral victory” gets thrown around way too much in sports. It is loosely applied to games to help fans feel better about close losses. However, if there is any game that can be labeled a moral victory, this is it. We watched Miller, Cancer, and LaMore grow up on the court. This won’t be the last game that Bill Courtney’s squad is limited by foul trouble. There also will come a time when his main offensive weapons just don’t have it. What Coach Courtney found Wednesday night were guys he can count on. Saturday night games in the Ivy League are notorious for tired legs, poor officiating, and let downs. Wednesday’s performance should give him the confidence to call upon any one of these freshman to play a leading role once the 14-game tournament is upon us.

  • 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
  7. December 3, 2011 vs. Lehigh W 81-79 (OT)
  8. December 17, 2011 vs. Albany W 85-82 (OT)
  9. December 19, 2011 at Illinois L 60-64
  10. December 21, 2011 at Penn State L 67-74
  • 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 December 23 is No. 215 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. 176 in the nation, while the USA Today Sagarin rankings have Cornell at No. 222. 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 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 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 Western Michigan 65 (Great Alaska Shootout) (Box Score - Recap)
Harvard 59 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 50 New Hampshire 53 (Box Score - Recap)
Lafayette 69 Princeton 54 (Box Score - Recap)
Rhode Island 56 Brown 65 [myRITV] (Box Score - Recap)

Thursday, December 1
Harvard 55 Vermont 48 (Box Score - Recap)

Friday, December 2
Columbia 69 Loyola Marymount 61 (LA Westside Centennial Classic) (Box Score - Recap)

Saturday, December 3
Vermont 52 Yale 68 (Box Score - Recap)
Brown 54 Iowa 75 (Box Score - Recap)
Lehigh 79 Cornell 81 (OT) (Box Score - Recap)
Penn 65 Villanova 73 [ESPN3] (Box Score - Recap)
Columbia 72 North Texas 57 (Box Score - Recap) (LA Westside Centennial Classic)

Sunday, December 4
Columbia 78 La Sierra 56 (Box Score - Recap) (LA Westside Centennial Classic)
Seattle 70 Harvard 80 (Box Score - Recap)

Monday, December 5
Brown 49 Providence 80 [ESPN3/SNY] (Box Score - Recap)
Yale 73 Sacred Heart 71 (Box Score - Recap)

Tuesday, December 6
Holy Cross 45 Columbia 46 (Box Score - Recap)

Wednesday, December 7
Delaware 60 Penn 69 (Box Score - Recap)
New Hampshire 69 Brown 56 (Box Score - Recap)
Princeton 59 Rutgers 57 (Box Score - Recap)
Bryant 59 Yale 76 (Box Score - Recap)

Thursday, December 8
Harvard 53 Connecticut 67 [ESPN2] (Box Score - Recap)

Saturday, December 10
Central Connecticut State 80 Brown 90 (Box Score - Recap)
Long Island 53 Columbia 63 (Box Score - Recap)
Harvard 76 Boston University 52 (Box Score - Recap)
Princeton 60 Drexel 64 (Box Score - Recap)
Penn 73 UCLA 77 [DirecTV] (Box Score - Recap)
Dartmouth 47 Notre Dame 65 [ESPN3] (Box Score - Recap)

Tuesday, December 13
Dartmouth 51 IPFW 56 (Box Score - Recap)

Wednesday, December 14
Princeton 72 Rider 71 OT (Box Score - Recap)

Saturday, December 17
Elon 54 Dartmouth 62 (Box Score - Recap)
Albany 82 Cornell 85 OT (Box Score - Recap)

Sunday, December 18
Princeton 71 Northeastern 62 (Box Score - Recap)
Yale 68 Rhode Island 65 [COX RI] (Box Score - Recap)

Monday, December 19
Cornell 60 Illinois 64 [ESPN3] (Box Score - Recap)
Dartmouth 55 Colgate 61 OT (Box Score - Recap)

Wednesday, December 21
Dartmouth 64 Army 67 (Box Score - Recap)
Cornell 67 Penn State 74[Big Ten Network] (Box Score - Recap)

Thursday, December 22
Florida Atlantic 51 Harvard 63 (Box Score - Recap)
Princeton 59 Siena 63 (Box Score - Recap)

Friday, December 23
Maine at Brown, 2 pm
Dartmouth at Albany, 2 pm
Marist at Penn, 7 pm


Anonymous said...

Chris Wroblewski has performed poorly in 9 out of 10 games now. He does contribute in other ways, and was all-Ivy for three years straight, but overall he is doing rather badly this year. I hate to join the "benching" contingent, but I can't help thinking that his 25% shooting would not have been tolerated from anyone else, and I can't help wondering if a one or two game benching won't send him a message that this has to stop. Right now, if he keeps getting loads of PT no matter how badly he's playing, there'll be no real message that he has to change.

Anonymous said...

basically the only thing wrong with ski is his shooting. so by your logic benching him will suddenly make him realize he should start shooting better? What, do you think he's out there trying to miss?? Benching him is absolutely ridiculous, no matter how he's shooting he brings things to this team that no one else does. But maybe you're right anon 11:45, maybe when he's sitting on the bench all of a sudden a light bulb will go off in his head and he'll decide to start shooting better. unbelievable

Anonymous said...

First, Chris is not playing badly, he is shooting poorly compared to other years. He is definitely contributing in other ways, he is leading in assists and steals and is second in rebounds. So, he is not playing badly. Contrary to what most believe, there are other important roles to play during the basketball game besides being a scorer and by the way, he is tied for second in scoring thus far.

He is definitely a player who understands that when you can't shoot, you MUST do other things. What you should be questioning is why you have two big men whose combined total for rebounds so far (61) is only 17 more than Chris' total (44).

Chris will be okay

Anonymous said...

Last year, at the Wofford game, the coach benched Chris for the first ten or so minutes and let Jake Matthews play instead. Chris had been in a three or four game slump and was the last "regular" off the bench; Delaney speculated he was being punished in some way. When the coach finally let him play, his shooting troubles suddenly disappeared. It WAS pretty unbelievable.

Slumps often arise from a lack of focus. Players get wrapped up in their heads about other things. A few things might indeed force them to get out of their heads and focus.

Anonymous said...

Many of us have had jobs that have gone well. The tasks just suited us to a "T." Everything worked like a charm.

BUT, in the midst of our personal success, the company is not doing great... and there's a bigger future to consider.

So, the boss comes in, has an idea, and rewrites our job description. For the overall good of the company, we assume a new role.

A new guy with skills well-suited to our old job is hired. We move on to a different position that is somewhat less familiar and possibly less suited to our skills. We struggle to learn the new role, the new guy works out pretty well in our old position, and the company does better.

Happens every day.

Wrobo has been all about "team" since the day he arrived at Cornell. Coach Donahue opened his freshman year with Chris running the point in place of an injured Lou. We went 4-4 against a not too shabby schedule. He played shooting guard later that year and the next year when we were loaded with offensive weapons. Last year, of necessity, he was the featured point/shooting guard.

All things considered, Cornell is playing better this year than last. Scoring stats not withstanding, Wrobo is a big part of that. He is doing it by playing shooting guard when Galal is at PG and playing PG when Galal is resting.

Wrobo is about team, not stats. I think we need to recognize that and watch this team develop on the current track.

Anonymous said...

Well said anon 4:45