Thursday, October 25, 2012

News and Notes: Thursday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Thursday...

  • Today is the Ivy League Men's Basketball Media Day and the release of the media's preseason poll.
  • The Ithaca Journal previews Cornell:
By Ed Boulat
The Ithaca Journal 
ITHACA — It happens every year.
For a just handful of days every 365, the fall and winter sports calendars converge, creating what can best be described as a local sports fan’s all-you-can-eat buffet.
Between Cornell University and Ithaca College football, Big Red men’s and women’s hockey and high-level college soccer on both hills as well as at TC3 — not to mention the start of championship season for high school football, soccer, cross country and volleyball — sports fans in the area certainly have had their pick as to how to spend recent afternoons and weekends.
But just in case you weren’t a fan of long touchdown passes and bone-jarring tackles, or acrobatic saves and half-volleys, or even powerful slap shots and spikes, last Saturday decided to sweeten the deal for you — with a little bit of basketball.
The Cornell men’s annual “Red-White” scrimmage at Newman Arena drew a couple hundred interested spectators, eager for an early fix of dunks, crossover dribbles, blocks and jump shots. It gave fans an early look at Coach Bill Courtney’s squad before its season and home-opener on Nov. 10 against Western Michigan.
Assistant coach Marlon Sears came away with the bragging rights after his Red team rode a 15-point halftime lead to a 66-58 win over fellow second-in-command Mike Blaine’s White squad. But, more important, coaches and fans alike got a good idea of what the 2012-13 season has in store for Cornell and, all in all, things look promising.
For starters, 6-foot-6, 224-pound senior forward Errick Peck — the team’s best player two years ago before missing all of last season to a knee injury — looks to not only be back to full strength, but possibly better than ever. In the offseason, Courtney had mentioned that a season on the bench may not have been a complete loss for Peck, as his senior big man now approaches the game with more knowledge and more “like a coach.”
Peck, considered one of the team’s best passers, scored 16 points and added three rebounds and two assists for the White team on Saturday. He will give the Big Red some added muscle inside as well as the ability to stretch a defense with long 2-point shots.
Most likely to join Peck on Cornell’s starting front line are 6-8 senior center Eitan Chemerinski and 6-7 sophomore Shonn Miller, last year’s Ivy League Rookie of the Year. Both are reported to have had outstanding offseasons and both were active on Saturday, scoring seven points apiece and generally controlling the basket area.
The backcourt is where Cornell has the most question marks, with the graduation of all-everything point guard Chris Wroblewski, the program’s all-time assist leader, and sharp-shooter Drew Ferry leaving massing voids to fill.
Most likely, the players who’ll be asked to step into those roles will be nothing like their predecessors. Sophomores Galal Cancer and Devin Cherry, while lacking the precision shooting and experience of Wroblewski and Ferry, bring plenty of play-making ability and athleticism to Courtney’s scheme, along with the ability to affect a game at either side of the court.
Senior guard Jonathan Gray, an honorable mention All-Ivy League pick from a year ago, will step into the team’s “veteran” role hoping to provide points in bunches. And junior forward Dwight Tarwater and senior guard Miles Asafo-Adjei will also be relied on heavily for both on- and off-court contributions.
So while you enjoy all the sights and sounds of this fall sports extravaganza, here is my advice: stay hungry, more is on the way.

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