Friday, March 16, 2012

News and Notes: Friday Edition

Above, the banner that remains the standard for the Ivy League. Below, some news and notes for Friday...
  • Jeff Foote (Cornell '10) did not any floor time last night as his New Orleans Hornets fell to the Washington Wizards in NBA action. The last game of Foote's 10-day contract is Saturday at the New Jersey Nets.
  • The Pittsburgh Post Gazette notes of committed Cornell recruit, Nolan Cressler (Plum HS) Plum, PA, 6-4, G, "The Roundball Classic at Geneva College's Metheny Fieldhouse in Beaver Falls will take place April 21 and there will be four games, two for the boys and two for the girls. Highlands High School's Micah Mason and Plum's Nolan Cressler, the top two leading scorers in he WPIAL this year during the regular season, are expected to play in this all-star affair -- Mason (29.1 points per game) for the Class AAA all-stars and Cressler (25.7 ppg.) for the Class AAAA team -- but they won't being going head-to-head. In a format change, the boys games will have Class AA vs. Class AAA at 6 p.m. with Class A going against Class AAAA at 8 p.m. Although the rosters have not yet been finalized, it looks as if Lincoln Park's 6-foot-10 Devontae Watson and North Catholic's 6-11 Jon LeGrande will be playing for the Class A team and going against Gateway's 6-10 Barnett Harris and North Hills' 6-8 Steve Hearty."

Mental edge drives Mischler, Marian

There's something to be said for the value of a two-sport athlete.

Development in one sport can be an asset in another.

As quarterback for Marian High School's option-oriented football offense, Robert Mischler was constantly challenged to make split-second decisions. Read. React. Live with the consequences.

"Over the past couple years, Robert has developed as a leader," said Knights football coach Reggie Glon. "He became a coach on the field."

The Marian basketball team is reaping the rewards of that development.

Mischler, a 6-foot-2, 180-pound senior, is more than just a long-distance shooter in the scope of the Knights' seven-man rotation. His 13.9-point average is critical, but it's what he does when he's not shooting that makes him even more valuable.

He will be a key component for the seventh-ranked Knights (22-3) when they take on No. 4 Norwell (23-2) Saturday in the Class 3-A Huntington North semistate.

"Demetrius (Jackson) is our leader, but Robert's taken on a more vocal role this year," said Marian basketball coach Robb Berger. "Nobody had to tell him to do it. He just took it on himself."

"Last year, I was just a shooter," said Mischler, the fella fans and teammates call "Bobby Buckets." "This year, my rebounding's better; my defense is better; and, I'm still that shooter."

That shooter was frustrated last year after a four-point sectional loss to Culver Military. The Eagles took the momentum from that win all the way to the Class 3-A state championship game.

"It happened to us twice (St. Joseph's won sectional matchups over Marian the last two years on its way to the state finals) in football, too," Mischler said. "I hate the way that feels.

"We weren't ready to win last year. We needed that extra year to help us mature. We've all grown a lot together over the past two years."

"Last year laid the groundwork for what we're going through this year," said Berger. "I don't know if we were ready a year ago. That experience gave us a lesson that helped the growth."

The added maturity helps the Knights play fearlessly. Season on the line. Game in the balance. No problem, hoist the long one.

"Nobody's afraid to shoot the ball," Mischler said. "That goes back to the coaching staff. 'If you're open, take it.' "

A four-year contributor to the Marian program, Mischler has the credentials to take the shot whenever he sees fit. He's one good game -- 24 points -- away from reaching the 1,000-point milestone.

Mischler is shooting 51 percent (125 of 246) from the field and 42 percent (60 of 143) from 3-point -- along with 4.4 rebounds a game.

He's also smart enough to realize the situation.

With a 4.37 GPA (out of 4.0, ranking sixth in his class), Mischler will continue his basketball career next year at Cornell. With a dream to be a doctor, Mischler is looking for an Ivy League combination of athletics and academics.

"(Cornell's) top three shooters graduated this year," Mischler said. "I might get a look."

But, first things first. All Mischler will be looking for Saturday is enough space between him and the defender to get off his next 3-pointer.

"Being part of Marian history means a lot," Mischler said of the school's first semistate appearance. "We'll have time to think about this later. All year we've taken one step at a time. This isn't any different. We won't look beyond what we have to do Saturday."

Focused leaders make a coach's life much easier.

In any sport.


Anonymous said...

Mischler seems like a good kid and player. I get the impression that he and his coaches think he is going to be all-Ivy. We all hope he is that caliber - but I don't think either party really understands what the other is about yet. Every time I see the name Mischler now, I chuckle at his old coach's post that he will be Cornell's all-time 3-point leader. Gotta love the homer enthusiasm that we see every year. There is serious depth and athleticism at guard, and I'm looking forward to how Mischler fits into Courtney's scheme. I hope he doesn't become discouraged when his eyes are opened.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Adam Gore proved that you don't need to be an uber athlete to succeed in the Ivy League.

Another great example is Oliver McNalley.

Mischler can shoot the ball for sure. If he proves that he can defend and help the point guard handle the basketball, he can definitely find minutes.

Anonymous said...

ANON 10:15AM-
With the departure of two double digit scorers who each played over 30min/g this year, I actually think Cornell is thin at guard heading into next season.

I agree that Johnny had some good games for us last year. And, I agree that Galal learned alot in his nearly 600 minutes on the court. In the time he played, Miles showed considerable improvement over Years 1 and 2.

While Cornell may have "serious depth and athleticism" in the backcourt, as for returning proven performers, the truth is that Cornell is, at best, not quite up to the middle of the Ivy pack, and will certainly struggle to reach the level of guard play it has had in the past couple years. The Red needs help in the backcourt.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

I am not sure what to make of the guards (and neither do the coaches).

The guards could be dynamite or they could struggle.

With the frontline of Peck and Miller along with a big man inside-- primarily Bunce, Lamore and Eitan--- Cornell is going to get a lot of offense from easy baskets inside.

The guards in the offense will not need to carry a huge scoring like they did the last two years.

Ferry and Ski scored in bunches because they NEEDED to score.

In particular next year, the point man needs to only break ball pressure and settle the team into its offense. Scoring is not major need.

Both Galal and Miles are more than capable of this task.

Off the ball, there is a buzz of excitement in the program about both Nolan Cressler and Devin Cherry. The staff believes they are All Ivy guys before they are done in Ithaca. Throw in Gray and a more experienced Scelfo and Cornell has a nice group of 6 guards who can all handle the ball and make plays.

It would be a mistake to classify the guard group as anything more or less than simply a question mark.

But with so many options, odds are the Big Red are going to find a very solid combo.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully they can figure that out early in the season rather than later. It can be tough with a lot of options to sift through. Not a bad problem to have.

Anonymous said...

CBB- We fans out here are talking proven performers. When you said "question mark" for our guard group, I think you actually hit the nail squarely on the head.

Based on the number of D-1 minutes played, then you again speculate positively about guys who might be (D. Cherry [174 mins]), guys who need more experience (Scelfo who was on the D-1 court for less than an hour this year), and guys who haven't even taken a college class yet (Cressler). That's OK, it really is. But let's just be sure to make the distinction between proven on-court performance and speculation.

IMO, Galal and Miles' past performances do not prove that they can "handle" PG. They are going to be playing the position, but their past performances do not convince me they can actually "handle" it in anything like the manner to which we have recently been accustomed.

In all honesty, we also need to see the post-injury Peck in a few games, too, before we begin to load his broad shoulders up with expectations. Noone ever gave details of his injury. It sounded pretty serious or at least non-standard... and the fact that he did not see the court this year would seem to confirm that. I am glad he took the year off. I don't want to hear any of this "could have played" stuff, because he didn't.

Guardwise, what may save us in the league is that Penn, Princeton, and Dartmouth are every bit as thin coming back guard-wise as we are. One can also question the quality of Yale's returning backcourt, but at least a bunch of them saw time.

Anonymous said...

The truth is that none of the speculation about the returning guards or incoming freshmen guards really matters. All that matters is who improves between now and October 15 and who produces when given a legitimate chance. The "buzz" is just hype and speculation. The only thing that is predictable is that there will be an abundance of hype and speculation on this blog but I suppose that is one of its purposes.

Anonymous said...

Anon March 17 8:47 nailed it. A lot of speculation. Noone had more hype coming into the program than Cancer. And he got legit minutes to show what he could do. He had a respectable freshmen year. However I dare say that every guard in the program could have equaled or bettered his season stat line in 600 minutes of court time. There has to be a "start from scratch" wide open competition across the board so that the guard rotation gets better across the board.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Minor point, but Cornell's top rated recruit heading into this year was in fact Shonn Miller.

Cancer had about a half dozen scholarship offers. In contrast, Miller had about two dozen.