Tuesday, September 11, 2012

News and Notes: Tuesday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Tuesday...
  • Cornell Basketball's Alumni Weekend is November 9-11.  During the weekend, the Big Red host Western Michigan on November 10.  During the game, for their 25th anniversary, Cornell's 1987-1988 Ivy League Championship and NCAA Tournament team will be honored.  Register to attend.


Anonymous said...

Harvard should struggle this year, but their future in 2014 is very bright, when they'll have a more seasoned Mike Hall, Kenyatta Smith, and Siyani Chambers, their two now-withdrawn players back (assuming they return), and Zena E. That's size, skill, and athleticism that no one in the Ivies can match, if those above players develop as expected.

So, unless Harvard takes this latest violation as being directly linked to the basketball program's reduced admission standards (which is questionable, because 150 students allegedly cheated, and only 2, maybe 3, were basketball players) and cans Amaker, I don't see this as having much of an effect on their team after this season. The bottom line is that Amaker is pulling in players that no one else in the Ivy League has been able to get, at least so far.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Fairly evident you do not have a clue what is on the rosters around the League. Very uneducated poster.

Anonymous said...

Really? Zena E. had confirmed offers from many top, top tier programs and was a top 100 recruit. Harvard out-recruited Cornell for both Kenyatta Smith and Mike Hall (who also had offers from Cal and V. Tech). I don't see how you can say that they aren't going to be loaded in 2014, if their cheating players return. That reeks of homerism. Then again, this is the blog that said Jeremy Lin was a circus act that had no place in the NBA. So let's look in the mirror before you start making accusations that someone is "uneducated."

Anonymous said...

CBB - there is no reason to be so disrespectful to the last poster. I believe people enjoy the blog because it is a good source of information. In my opinion, responses like your last one do not serve the blog well. I will also say that the poster's opinion that Harvard may be extremely strong in 2014 may be accurate. We really don't know how these events will play out. I am a big Cornell fan and I am hopeful that Cornell will be the champs in 2013 and 2014. We shall see.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

And Braxston Bunce was recruited by Harvard for its class of 2012. He turned down the entire Ivy and opportunity to play in the Pac12 for Cornell. Harvard also recruited David Onuorah. Same story. He turned down the SEC for Cornell.
Harvard is getting BCS level guys, but so is Cornell. And let's not forget from which school the Ivy League Rookie of the Year came...

Not taking anything away from Harvard's kids, but if you think they have won every recruiting war in the Ivy, then you just are not inside the recruiting scene.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:51 PM: well put. I also read the first comment to an observation, with a major proviso ("if those players develop"). There's no need for such an attack from a blog that likes to represent itself as an authority on Big Red basketball and one that's closely associated with the program. It's unbecoming of the team and the University. At the end of the day, let's hope Harvard's misstep lets Cornell step into the title fray and back to the NCAA tournament.

One point of clarification: CBB, you said previously that Harvard never offered Bunce b/c they were holding the last spot for Zena E., but that they would have otherwise. If that statement is correct, then it's not quite accurate to say he turned them down. I do hope that Bunce is able to step in an play a significant role. I can't remember the last time that we had a 7 footer that's physically developed enter as a freshman.

Anonymous said...

I'm hearing some reports that the class does kind of have an athletics theme, and conflicting reports that there were just a few athletes involved and it was many "regular" students.

There were only 3 basketball players involved, but basketball rosters are small. There were supposedly many football players involved, and the football team is bracing for an onslaught.

I've heard that it was one of those "easy A" classes and that a large proportion of the class was student athletes. While it might not be linked to basketball in particular, it might be linked to an athletic culture of student athletes in general.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Bunce and Zena E. were not directly connected in their slots at Harvard. In fact, Harvard took 3 more kids in its recruiting class after Bunce committed to Cornell. One of the kids, Agunwa Okolie did not make the Canadian national team that Bunce was on.

Zena did accumulate a number of BCS offers, but he remained open in his recruiting process throughout his entire senior year of high school.

Bunce and Onuorah did have BCS opportunities before they played a single game of their senior years.

Offers would have multiplied if they stayed on the board.

Anonymous said...

CBB: Can we assume that Harvard is not going to fire Tommy Amaker over this scandal and they are not going to stop him using the academic index to his advantage and if not, could Harvard's Basketball program eventually defect from the IVY league and leave all of the other sports intact?

Anonymous said...

He is gone. Too much nonsense. His history is awfull. Now this. If you were the president of Harvard would you keep him? No upside. So far all bad publicity. Two prior violations. Blakeny leaving witout explanation. Harvard will not tell you AI of the team. 17 players quiting in 3/4 years. Players committting to Cornell i nstead of Harvard. Harvard is now a verfified joke. If you are a recruit would you pick Harvard now? No way. Wait until you see the signs in the crowd. If you are an employer what is the first thing you thinknof when you say Harvard basketball player? Please excuse spelling errors.

Anonymous said...

Does Harvard really want to jeopardize its rep with Amakerr?

Anonymous said...

@ 9:17 PM,

You ask a very good question: What, if anything, will Harvard do differently now?

My guess is informed by what Bob Scalise did after the first New York Times article critical of the "new" Harvard was published in 2008. The Crimson AD basically doubled down.

If anything, Amaker increased his aggressiveness afterwards: cutting a number of players that he did not recruit and, most notably, starting to go after even higher profile high school prospects.

At the risk of overusing the casino analogies, I think Scalise is all in at this point. He's tasted success in the final missing piece in Harvard's athletic portfolio, men's basketball, and he wants more. Had this scandal not occurred, it appeared that Amaker was going to aim even higher and higher over time; top 100 prospect Zena E would have been the first of many.

If there is to be any diminishment in Harvard's pushing of the basketball envelope, it's going to have to come from Massachusetts Hall. Faust made some pretty strong statements about academic integrity in the original press release about the Government 1310 scandal. She's probably the only one who can rein in Scalise and Amaker now.

Anonymous said...

Yes. Keep Amaker so Harvard can look like a community college.

Anonymous said...

Amaker has such a prestine reputation from his work at Seton Hall and Michigan. I woukd want him to represent my school. I trust him.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

We do not believe that Tommy Amaker will be terminated due to the incident.

While he takes some blame, they are the kids he recruited, he must own up to their character, it is not entirely his fault. Further, most Harvard administrators like Coach Amaker.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Want to point out some factual errors that have been posted here and on Twitter regarding Harvard's recruits (and current players).

With the exception of Kenyatta Smith (who played 17 minutes and 8 games last year, the same amount as Matt Brown) and Zena Edosomwan, no player on the Harvard roster had more than 2 BCS offers coming out of high school.

Zena had more than a dozen BCS offers. Smith had 4 BCS offers.... from Northwestern Vandy and Virginia.

Steve Moundou Missi had 1 BCS offer -Iowa- and that was after a coaching change when the program was in ruins. Moundou Missi was a late commitment to Harvard.

Wes Saunders had 2 BCS offers-- Colorado and USC.

Cornell has players with BCS offers. Braxston Bunce was offered by Washington State. David Onuorah was offered by Auburn. Both committed before their senior years started and had other BCS schools on them. In fact, Onuorah committed during June--- well before the AAU circuit.

Shonn Miller was a lock for several BCS offers if he stayed on the board. His play last year speaks for itself and makes the case. He too was an early commit.

Harvard has done well with its recruiting, as has Cornell and Penn.

Neither Harvard nor Cornell have a PG with a BCS offer. And only one of the programs have a true center with a BCS offer.

Anonymous said...

Surely CBB is not suggesting that Tommy Amaker has not been successful in recruiting.

Harvard has had the highest rated recruiting class in the Ivies every year since Amaker arrived. End of story.

The rest of us Ivies are very fortunate that Amaker is such a poor game-day coach. Imagine if Sydney Johnson had Amaker's roster; Johnson would win the title every year.

Harvard's talent advantage is such that, even with Casey and Curry now sitting out a season, some national commenters are still calling Harvard the favorite this year.

Harvard may rebound from the current scandal, it may not. Harvard may never win another Ivy championship. Amaker may do less with more talent than any coach in Ivy history. But you cannot argue with the man's recruiting ability. He has outrecruited the seven other Ivies -- including Cornell -- every year he's been here in the League. Thank goodness he can't tell his X's from his O's.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

And some called Cornell the favorite headed into 2010-2011.

Anonymous said...

I don't see how Harvard is the favorite after losing almost its entire starting lineup. It's certainly possible that they could win the Ivy title, but that would mean that Siyani Chambers is able to man the point as a freshman, Kenyatta Smith and Mike Hall become dominant post players, and they find someone who can consistently hit threes. They don't have a Shonn Miller, Erick Peck, or J. Gray coming back (this season, well see about 2014).

On the recruiting front, there's no question that both Amaker and Courtney have established reputations as strong recruiters. Amaker has his trophy, so to speak, in Zena E. Courtney has had some strong recruits (Bunce, David O., Miller), but no one on the caliber of Zena in terms of recruiting profile (bummer K. Johnson went elsewhere). There's also no question that Amaker is regularly recruiting alongside he big 6, which is unprecedented in the Ivy League. Of course, the big X factor is whether these players develop and how they play as a team. It's not always the best recruits that win.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Cornell has some big time recruits visiting on campus homecoming weekend. More BCS offers than any of Cornell's current players/commits.

For all intensive purposes, Bunce had offers to Marquette and Virginia Tech. The week he committed, both extended campus visit offers.

Typically, during the visit, the coach will make an offer in his office.

And Bunce (and Holt Harmon) had offers from midmajors that have had far more basketball success than BCS schools such as Colorado, USC, Nebraska, Rutgers etc.

Harmon was close to headed to Utah State of the WAC. USU is one of the most successful programs in the country over the last decade.

Harvard is loaded at the 3/4 this year with lots of good 6'6" tweener types.

Harvard does not have many shooters (nor does Cornell), aside from Rivard and possibly Webster.

Harvard lacks a true proven center.

Okum is big, but still raw. Smith is wide, but short (generously listed at 6'7"). Hall is raw (similar to Deion Giddens).

Harvard is in bad shape at point guard. Chambers struggles to shoot and is a pass first and second PG with limited scoring ability. His back-up is a walk on, Alex Nesbitt. Chambers is of course a freshman. His top offer was from Saint Louis, the same school which offered Cornell's Dom Scelfo.

Yes, Harv has some bouncy 6'6" guys (Moundou Missi, Travis, Wes Saunders). But they've never defended 6'9"+ kids. And in order for them to rebound and block shots, they will need to jump. A defender that must jump is always a potential liability for fouls and fakes.

You have to love Harvard's speed and athleticism, but they lack size, they lack a PG, they lack experience for go-to scorers, they lack shooters.

Lots and lots of question marks for them (and they will be fighting negative media attention).

Can Harv win the title? Yes. But not a safe bet.

Anonymous said...

on the topic of recruits, is there anything to report? haven't heard anything about cornell or any other ivy on this website.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

See above, big weekend coming up.

Anonymous said...

sweet. fingers crossed.

Anonymous said...

Any top 150 kids visiting?

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Can't give out any more details.