Monday, September 10, 2012

News and Notes: Monday Edition

Above, Brian Kreefer ('09) at Duke during the 2007-2008 season.  Below, some news and notes for Monday...
  • The Ithaca Journal covers Jeff Foote's (Cornell '10) signing in Europe.  The Journal writes:
Former Cornell center Jeff Foote, a member of the Big Red's 2010 team that advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16, is pictured in action for the NBA Development League's Springfield Armor on Dec. 2, 2011, against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Foote, a graduate of Spencer-Van Etten High, is averaging 15.4 points and 8.9 rebounds for the Armor. 
ITHACA — Jeff Foote, a 2010 Cornell University graduate and three-time All-Ivy League center for the Big Red, has signed a contract to play with Lithuanian professional basketball team Zalgiris Kaunas for the upcoming season.
Foote, who played with the New Jersey Nets in the Orlando Pro Summer League, was introduced by the team Friday. In addition to competing in its national professional league, Zalgiris Kaunas is a member of the Euroleague, Europe’s 18-team elite professional league.
The news of Foote’s signing follows reports of Zalgiris’ starting center last season, Robertas Javtokas, expecting to be sidelined for an extended period of time after requiring surgery for a stress fracture in his foot. Foote was listed at 7 feet, 265 pounds on the Nets’ summer league roster.
Foote, a Spencer-Van Etten High graduate, attended the Nets’ free agent camp May 21-23, and was called up by the New Orleans Hornets on a 10-day NBA contract last March. Also during the season, he had a successful campaign with the Springfield Armor of the NBA Development League, the affiliate of the Nets, where he averaged 15.1 points and 8.9 rebounds in 39 games.
At Cornell, Foote was a part of three Ivy League championship teams (2008-10) and was a key piece in the Big Red’s run to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in 2010. He was named Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 and 2010, and as a senior averaged 12.4 points while leading the league in field goal percentage (.633) and rebounding (8.1 per game).
  • Foote was formally introduced by Zalgiris on its official website.  Foote was in street clothing this weekend while his team captured the championship of the preseason Butautas Cup.
  • Jeff Aubry (Cornell '99) had 10 rebounds to go along with 8 points off the bench to help his Halcones Rojos pick up an 82-67 win over Osos in Mexico's LNBP action.  Halcones is 2-1 on the season.
David Onuorah is a 6’8 physical specimen that saw his stock rise after impressive showings during the April recruiting period. The Nigerian-born power forward was on the recruiting list of several high-major Colleges, but made a verbal Commitment to Cornell University after attending the Cornell’s Prospect Camp in June. In regards to his game, David brings toughness and high energy to the court, he is able to finish around the rim and his midrange game is improving all the time. The basketball court is not the only place that David excels, he is also a high academic student and had options to attend various Ivy league programs. TNB recently caught up with David for an interview where we touched on his background, basketball prospects, aims for the future, and more….Special thanks goes out to David for making this interview happen….
TNB: Firstly, tell us a little bit about your background, and how you got into basketball?
David Onuorah: Both My Parents were born and raised in Nigeria in the Ibo Tribe. I was born in the America, in Atlanta, Ga. Growing up, basketball was always been a part of me. I remember when I was a kid, I loved watching basketball. My favorite team back then was Lakers because they had Kobe and Shaq, who were my two favorite players at the time. I remember for my 5th birthday my parents got me this outdoor basketball hoop and I would shoot on it everyday until it got dark and I had to go inside. I’ve always loved the game.
TNB:Who has been the biggest influence in your sports career and why?
David Onuorah: The biggest influence in my sports career would be my mom. My mom works so hard to provide for me and my siblings that I have no excuse but to give my best effort in basketball, school, and everything I do. She truly inspires me to be great.
TNB:You signed for Cornell early on this year, what was the overall deciding factor that made you choose Cornell?
David Onuorah: I verbally committed to Cornell, I have not signed yet. And there were multiple factors involved with my decision. I first and foremost wanted a school where I can get a great education and earn a priceless degree. I also wanted to go somewhere where I could come in and start making an immediate impact, and ultimately leave my imprint on the program when I’m done. And lastly I wanted to go somewhere where I feel comfortable with the team and the coaching staff. All these factors were present at Cornell and they had been recruiting me for a full 2 years now so I feel that they know me best and can help me reach that next level.
TNB:What would you say are your strengths on the basketball court, and what will you like to improve on?
David Onuorah: I would say my strengths are my athleticism, ability to run the floor, strength, finishing around the basket, rebounding, defending, and playing physical. I would say that I have a solid post game and a midrange jumper that I’m improving to make
more consistently. I’m also working to improve knocking down the 3 ball with more consistency as well.TNB:What would you like to accomplish during your college sports career?
David Onuorah: I would like to achieve multiple conference championships and ultimately win a national championship. Personally, I
want to be recognized as one of the best players in the conference and ultimately one of the best in the nation. I want to be remembered as
one of the most hard-working and determined student-athletes at my school (Cornell).TNB:You are from a Nigerian background, will you ever consider representing the Nigerian team in future, and what will it mean to you?
David Onuorah: I would definitely consider the opportunity to play and represent Nigeria on the Nigerian Team. It would mean alot to me and all my family to play for Nigeria. My parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and many friends of mine all share my same Nigerian background. To play and represent all of my family and the great nation of Nigeria would be an honor.
TNB:Your ritual before a basketball game?
David Onuorah: Before games, I like to get a good meal about an hour and a half before the game to give myself time to digest it. I like to stretch for about 15 minutes before I begin shooting and warming up. I have a gametime music playlist that I listen to while I’m doing all this. I also have a pregame workout I like to do but I’m not always able to do.
TNB:Durant or D.Wade?
David Onuorah: As much of a D-Wade fan I really am, I would have to say Durant. Durant is a 6’10 small forward. He can shoot, go by you, pull up, post, catch and shoot, and so much more. He’s virtually unguardable and he’s one of the best scorers to ever play the game. Additionally his length and quickness on the defensive end allows him to get a lot of blocks and alter a lot of shots.
TNB:Rebounds or Blocks?
David Onuorah: Blocks are more exciting than rebounds, but rebounds are more important towards winning so I would say rebounds.
TNB:If you were not a basketball player you would be a?
David Onuorah: If I were not a basketball player, I would probably be a swimmer or a football player.
TNB:Last Nigerian food you ate?
David Onuorah: The last Nigerian meal I enjoyed was rice with stew.


Anonymous said...

I've noticed that this blog has almost completely ignored recruiting for some time. That's one of the best parts of the college basketball off-season.

Anonymous said...

Sports Illustrated is reporting on its website that Kyle Casey plans to withdraw from school for the 2012-13 academic year and that "at least one other" men's basketball player is being reviewed by the Administrative Board.

Harvard should be absolutely loaded for 2014 Ivy race but, for now, it's possible that the Crimson is no longer the favorite for the 2013 title. At a minimum, Harvard is no longer the runaway favorite. Figure that Princeton is at least a 1/3 chance to edge out Harvard for the NCAA bid.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

How do you figure Harvard is loaded for 2014? They could lose Casey, Giger, Webster and Curry this May to graduation.

Anonymous said...

Kyle Casey is not leaving Harvard permanently. He's just withdrawing for one year. He'll be back for the 2014 season. How do you figure that Harvard WON'T be loaded for 2014, especially if Brandyn Curry also takes a year off?

If Zena Edosomwan even comes close to living up to his billing as the first Ivy Top 100 recruit in a generation, Harvard's second team in 2014 might be more athletic than any of the other seven squads in the League.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

The odds of Kyle Casey ever returning to Harvard are very slim. Zena should be very good. But he will likely play on a team without Keith Wright, Oliver McNally, Christian Webster, Brandyn Curry and Kyle Casey. Harvard will be looking to replace a whole lot of talent in 2013-2014.

Anonymous said...

Of all the various mainstream and blogger media opining on the Harvard situation, you are the only one predicting that Kyle Casey will never play for Harvard again. Why do you believe that?

To me, it appears highly likely that he will be back. The path of least resistance for Casey was to go ahead and play this season, taking his chances that he would not be suspended academically. The fact that he did not want to even risk one season of eligibility even though there is at least some probability of not being suspended tells me that he is motivated to complete his career in Cambridge. How do you conclude otherwise?

Also, how do you figure that Harvard might have to vacate its 2012 title? The alleged cheating took place in a spring 2012 final exam, well after last season was concluded. What sequence of dots would have to be connected to force the Crimson to vacate the championship?

Is it possible that your schadenfreude is clouding your judgment?

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

First, CBB writes, "The odds of Kyle Casey ever returning to Harvard are very slim." This is not a prediction or a guarantee.

Second, if Kyle Casey is confident he did not cheat (and will not be punished), he would play this season. This is the path of least resistance.

If Casey is concerned about his eligibility at Harvard, he takes the year off so he can possibly play at a new school rather than play part of the year and become suspended mid season.

If Casey is exonerated, he will still need the Ivy to approve the 5th year and demonstrate there was a need for him to leave school.

Look to NCAA precedent on retroactive punishments.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure that a lawyer will draw a meaningful distinction between saying that "the odds of any particular outcome occurring are very slim" and making a prediction that it won't happen. The rest of us who don't make a career out of splitting hairs in syntax would say you made a prediction that Casey will not return to Harvard. I'm guessing -- excuse me, predicting -- that he comes back for 2014.

If Casey does re-enroll at Harvard for 2013-14, why would the Ivy League need to approve his participation on the basketball team? He would only be enrolled for four academic years and playing for four athletic seasons. As far as the Ivy League is concerned, this year he could be teaching doing field research on his thesis. LOL.

What are some of the NCAA precedents on retroactive punishments for those of us who do not know them off the top of our heads?

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Go look at the fact patterns of retroactive punishment to USC and Ohio St.

Anonymous said...

Can you elaborate upon your tweet about half an hour ago that "it is a mistake to label any of [the Ivy] teams as the favorite"?

Do you mean that, as a matter of policy, no team in any conference should ever be called a favorite while we're still settling into football season? That you will withhold your assessment until the leaves change color and we've had the first hot chocolate of the season?

Or do you mean that, in your opinion, neither Harvard nor Princeton is a favorite to win the 2013 Ivy League title because other teams are better?

By the way, I'm not sure that I would cite the NCAA's pronouncements in the Penn State mess as a precedent for any future decisions coming out of Indianapolis or the Ivy League office. The Penn State situation was a one-off situation. To call it unique would be an understatement. Mark Emmert was reacting to a public firestorm and trying to revive his own personal damaged PR.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

There appears to be just too much parity for a favorite.

Let's not forget that Harvard won the league last year by 1 game (while sitting in their dorms watching another game play out).

Yes, the rest of the league lost a lot of talent (Rosen, Mangano, Wroblewski etc).

But Harvard appears to be losing the following: Kyle Casey, Keith Wright, Brandyn Curry, Corbin Miller, Oliver McNally, Andrew Van Nest, and Max Hooper.


Is there any team in the league that lost nearly as much?

As for the PSU reference, it shows that the NCAA or Ivy do not have to rely on specific rules to impose some type of sanction.

Should Harvard vacate 50 years? Of course not. But losing its Ivy title is not impossible. We will see how this all shakes out. Just as in 2008 we waited 2 more years to see the NCAA hit Harvard in 2010 with a sanction.

Anonymous said...

If the same NCAA staff which reviewed the Harvard situation in 2008-10 ends up taking a look at the current mess, the NCAA could take a harsher tack than might otherwise be expected. The NCAA was clearly ticked off at Harvard in 2008. If the same staff investigators get assigned here, as they said about the Jaws sequel, "this time it's personal."

But knowing what we know now, it doesn't seem likely to me that the NCAA would stick its nose in here.