Monday, August 20, 2012

News and Notes: Monday Edition

Above, a collection of program covers from preseason tournaments and headlining doubleheaders during the course of Cornell basketball's 115-years of history.  The collection includes some of the following game programs: the Rainbow Classic, the All College Classic, the Dixie Classic, the Coaches vs. Cancer Holiday Classic, the MSG Holiday Festival, the Cornell Pepsi Classic, the Queen City Invitational, and the Rochester Kodak Classic.  Below, news and notes for Monday...

  • Not a member of Twitter? See what The Cornell Basketball Blog is tweeting and retweeting each day by visiting our Twitter Timeline.
  • Cornell Basketball's Alumni Weekend is November 9-11.  Below is the itinerary for the weekend. Register to attend!
Friday, November 9th
8:00pm – 10:00pm - Social Gathering
- Site is TBD
Saturday, November 10th
12:00pm – 2:00pm – Cornell Big Red Basketball vs. Western Michigan at Newman Arena
- Honoring the 1987-1988 Ivy League Championship Team during the game
- Post-game Reception
- Site is TBD
Sunday, November 11th
10:30am - 11:30am – Alumni Basketball Game
- Newman Arena
  • Gene DeFillipo, the Boston College athletic director who hired Steve Donahue away from Cornell as B.C.'s basketball coach during April 2010, announced his retirement last week.
  • The Bleacher Report lists Yale's Austin Morgan among the nation's Top 20 guard under 6'0" tall and writes in reference to the 2010-2011 season, "Morgan has shown a flair for the dramatic, finishing a 10-point comeback against Cornell as a sophomore."
Former Dexter star LaMore catching on at Cornell
It didn’t matter the opponent or what the scoresheet said at the end of the game, Dave LaMore always stood out and was usually the subject of conversation after one of his high school basketball games.
At 6-foot-9, 230 pounds, LaMore could dominate a game. He also could be a non-factor, which was surprising considering his size, strength, athletic ability and potential – and that’s why he always stood out and why Division I college basketball coaches came calling.
The results in high school almost didn’t seem to matter because it was only a matter of time before LaMore became more of the player everyone expected to see every night. It appears his time is arriving sooner than later. And that’s great news for not only LaMore but Cornell basketball.
The Big Reds landed the big kid from Dexter and despite an early season setback, LaMore stepped on the floor more times than not during his freshman season in the Ivy League.

“I played center for the whole season, playing a little bit of power forward occasionally,” said LaMore, back home in Michigan for the summer. “Basically in the offense, my role was to get our shooters wide open shots with my screens. Along with that, I was to finish buckets when they were dropped down to me. Towards the end of the year, I was used to hit wide open mid range jumpers whenever the defense broke down.

“This coming season we will have a lot of really good big men who are all improving a lot. If I can build off next year and get more conditioned, I am confident I can earn more minutes in our system. I have a long way to go though.”
He certainly had a long way to go early on in his freshman season. The 2011 Dexter High School graduate sprained his ankle during a practice in October. While there were no thoughts of red-shirting him, LaMore felt the pressure of trying to catch up to the rest of the team.
“I only missed around two to three weeks of practice, but I did not play until December,” he said. “Once I was able to practice, I didn't play right away because I had to prove myself in practice. I was way out of shape and had to learn the system playing with our guys.

“It took me awhile to feel comfortable with my ankle and play how I was capable of playing.”
He was finally capable of playing at 100 percent in December and stepped onto the floor for first time in a game on Dec. 17 against Albany. It’s a moment in his life he will never forget.
“I can remember sitting on the bench, waiting for coach to call my name, but I felt like I would never get called to be put in,” he said. “When he called my name, it was a huge relief. I had to wait at the table to be waved in by the refs. It really felt like forever.

“Once I got in the game, I just tried to not do too much and play as hard as I could. I was too excited to play, and eventually get the win at the end of the game. I was surprised though that I didn't feel nervous. I felt like I was ready to play.”
LaMore ended up playing 17 games for the Big Reds, averaging 8 minutes, two points and 1.2 rebounds – not bad for a freshman. Cornell finished 12-16 overall and 7-7 in the Ivy League.
“Dave did a nice job as a freshman acclimating to Division I basketball, and it became evident as his playing time increased as the year went on,” said Cornell coach Bill Courtney. “As he continues to develop, Dave has a chance to be an important part of what we’re building here at Cornell.

“He has great size, but is also very skilled and can set a physical tone for our team.”
Overall, LaMore was pleased with his first season on the basketball court at the highest of collegiate levels.
“It went well,” he said. “I wish that I could've been healthy in the beginning of the season so I could've become ready to play at an earlier stage, but I feel like I really improved from the beginning to the end.

“Although our team did not perform as well as we would have liked, I feel like we learned a lot as a team and will use last year for knowledge of how to win games. There were definitely many struggles through my first year, but my teammates and coaches helped me get through them.”
Off the court, things also went well. Leaving home, moving out of state, taking Ivy League classes and playing Division I basketball is certainly a full schedule of challenges.
“The two biggest challenges with juggling school and basketball are time and energy,” said LaMore, who is studying communications. “Especially in-season, there's not much free time. So I had to make sure that I had a specific time of where I would study each day. Time management was definitely key to doing well in school.”
LaMore put up impressive numbers in the classroom, finishing his freshman year with a 3.25 grade-point average.
“I came in expecting classes to be almost impossible to do well in, so I would say classes were actually easier than I thought they were going to be,” he said. “That being said, classes are still really hard, especially ones that stray far from my major. I actually had to do hours of studying in all of my classes that I never needed to do in high school.”
LaMore also enjoyed his teammates, the school and the town of Ithaca.

“The thing I love the most about Cornell is definitely our group of guys we have on the team,” he said. “I would already consider them family, and it's nice being around people who share the same interests. They're always there for support and just fun on and off the court.
“I love the feel to Ithaca and the campus when school is in session. The city of Ithaca is beautiful and definitely a lot
different from Dexter and Ann Arbor. The scenery is great. I stayed in the dorms this year that are on our North Campus where all of the other freshmen stay, and I really enjoyed it. Staying with all of the other freshmen in the dorms allowed me to socialize with kids and meet many new people from completely different backgrounds
from mine.”
The former Dreadnaught has set some big goals for next year. And why not, he now knows what it takes to succeed at this level and he’s not afraid of hard work or big challenges.
“My goals for next year are set pretty high,” he said. “As a team, our goal is to win the Ivy League championship and make it to the NCAA Tournament. We have the pieces to do it, but need to finish out games down the stretch.
“Personally, I would like to get better conditioned so I can play longer minutes next year. There's not an area of my game that doesn't need work, but I really am focusing on finishing around the rim, rebounding outside of my area, and getting quicker with my lateral speed. I want to become a consistent finisher on my team so they can count on me to score through contact on the inside.
“I know that I have a lot of work to do until next season still to become the player I want to be. I feel confident with my game now and how far I have come, but I want to prove all of the people who have doubted me wrong and become a successful player at Cornell.”


harry '59 said...

send this article to all our recruits. It's spot on about what it takes to be a "scholar athlete".

Anonymous said...

My favorite play by Dave was in the last game against Harvard where, with time running out, he catches the inbound pass, turns, shoots, and hits. It gave us a chance to win that game.