Monday, November 5, 2012

Cornell Athletics Game Notes for Western Michigan


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CORNELL INFORMATION
Roster I Schedule & Results I 2011-12 Statistics I History

WESTERN MICHIGAN INFORMATION
Roster I Schedule & Results I Statistics

GAME INFORMATION
Game #1: Western Michigan at Cornell
Tip off: Saturday, Nov. 10, at 12:00 p.m.
Site: Newman Arena (4,473), Ithaca, N.Y.
2011-12 Records: Western Michigan (14-20, 6-10 MAC); Cornell (12-16, 7-7 Ivy League)
Series Record: First meeting
Last Meeting: No prior meetings

Radio: HITS 103.3 FM (Barry Leonard, Eric Taylor)
TV: None
Live Stats: available at www.CornellBigRed.com
Live Video: available at www.CornellBigRed.com
Tickets: check availability by calling (607) 254-BEAR

HEAD COACH BILL COURTNEY
Cornell head coach Bill Courtney is in his third season at Cornell (22-34, .393; 13-15 Ivy, .464) ... Courtney became the fifth Robert E. Gallagher '44 Coach of Men's Basketball at Cornell on April 23, 2010.

STORY LINES: With the 1987-88 Ivy League championship team celebrating the 25th anniversary of its magical run, the 2012-13 Cornell men's basketball team will take its first step toward matching that team's accomplishments when it plays host to Western Michigan on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 12 p.m. at Newman Arena. Live video of the game will be available as part of the RedCast subscription service.

Cornell will celebrate Alumni & Friends Weekend by honoring members of a senior-laden squad that reeled off 11 straight Ivy wins en route to its first Ivy title in 34 years. It took another 20 years before the Big Red would celebrate another title, but just two years later, the Big Red would reach unprecedented heights with a third consecutive Ivy title and a Sweet 16 appearance in 2009-10. Now, just six players from that team remain.

Cornell and third-year head coach Bill Courtney haven't forgotten that success, but know forging a new identity starts with the 2012-13 opener.

Gone are seniors Drew Ferry, Anthony Gatlin, Max Groebe and Chris Wroblewski. Wroblewski, a 1,000-point scorer and first-team All-Ivy League pick, was a three-year starter and graduated as the school's career assist leader. Ferry played two seasons for the Big Red, leading the Ivy League in 3-pointers made both years, while Groebe and Gatlin played key roles on the Sweet 16 team in different ways. While Wroblewski started for Cornell and ranked among the team leaders in assists and steals, Groebe was a 3-point marksman off the bench. Gatlin, a transfer from Centenary College, was a key member of the scout team while sitting out a year in residence as a Division I transfer.

The cupboard is far from bare, however. Reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Year Shonn Miller (8.9 ppg., 6.1 rpg., 1.7 bpg., 1.3 spg.) is back for the Big Red, as is senior forward Errick Peck. Peck missed the entire 2011-12 campaign due to injury after ranking second on the squad in scoring the prior year. He will join with Miller to form one of the most productive and athletic frontcourts in the Ancient Eight. Senior Eitan Chemerinski (5.9 ppg., 2.8 rpg., .625 field goal percentage) returns as the man in the middle, along with classmate Josh Figini (4.3 ppg., 2.1 rpg.).

Returning All-Ivy selection Johnathan Gray (8.8 ppg., 3.1 rpg.) joins classmate Miles Asafo-Adjei (2.7 ppg., 2.0 apg.) as the most experienced members of a young backcourt. Junior Dominick Scelfo (1.4 ppg) is a shot-maker and will be a 3-point threat off the bench, while sophomores Galal Cancer (6.1 ppg., 2.7 apg., 2.5 rpg., 1.0 spg.) and Devin Cherry (1.9 ppg.) have the ability to get in the lane and finish or find open teammates while swinging between backcourt positions. Freshman Nolan Cressler could also play a key role off the bench.
Several other members of the Big Red's 20-man roster will be called upon as the season moves along, with a number of those players having significant varsity experience to rely on.

A WIN OVER WESTERN MICHIGAN WOULD:
• give the Big Red a win in the first-ever meeting with the Broncos.
• be the seventh win in the last eight season openers.
• even the Big Red's record against members of the Mid-American Conference to 32-32.
• extend its win streak in home openers to three games and give the Big Red wins in its home opener in eight of the last nine years.
• be the 1,197th in program history (1196-1308 in 114 seasons).

ABOUT WESTERN MICHIGAN: The Broncos return just one starter among its nine letter winners back from last season's 14-20 squad that went 6-10 in MAC play. WMU was picked to place third among the MAC West teams in the preseason media poll. Senior forward Nate Hutcheson was named a preseason All-MAC West selection after averaging 9.4 points and 4.1 rebounds per game last season. Head coach Steve Hawkins has led Western Michigan to five MAC West titles since Steve Hawkins became the Broncos' head coach before the 2003-04 season. Western Michigan will feature eight freshmen making their collegiate debut against the Big Red.

THE CORNELL-WESTERN MICHIGAN SERIES: This is the first-ever meeting between Cornell and Western Michigan on the hardwood.

CORNELL VS. THE MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE: Cornell is 31-32 all-time against current members of the Mid-American Conference. The Big Red has never met Western Michigan, but has played Ball State (0-1), Bowling Green (0-3), Buffalo (27-15), Eastern Michigan (1-2), Kent State (0-1), Miami (OH) (1-0), Northern Illinois (0-2), Ohio (1-3) and Toledo (1-5). Cornell has never played Akron or Central Michigan. This is the only scheduled meeting between the Big Red and a member of the MAC in 2012-13. Cornell's last win over a MAC team in 2009-10, a 78-60 win over Toledo in the consolation rounds of the Legends Classic at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pa.

SEASON OPENERS: The Big Red has posted a 73-42 all-time record in its previous 115 season openers. Cornell is now 12-20 on the road to open a year, 53-16 at home and 8-6 in neutral site/unknown site games. It had its six-game season opening win streak snapped last year when it dropped a 79-58 decision to eventual Atlantic 10 tournament champion and NCAA qualifier St. Bonaventure.

WELCOME HOME: Cornell will honor the 1987-88 Ivy League championship team during the Western Michigan game on Saturday, Nov. 10, as part of Alumni & Friends Weekend. The 1987-88 team won 11 consecutive Ivy games to take home the program's first league title in 34 years. The Big Red lost to eventual NCAA Final Four participant and No. 1 seed Arizona in the first round to finish its season with a 17-10 overall record (11-3 Ivy).

TALL IVY: Dating back to the 2004-05 season (nine years), Cornell's 76-36 record is the best among Ivy League teams in conference action. Penn is second at 75-37, followed by Princeton and Yale, each tied at 62-50. Rounding out the field is Harvard (50-52), Columbia (43-69), Brown (42-70) and Dartmouth (28-84). Going back to the 2006-07 campaign, the Big Red is a full 10 games better than anyone else in the league with its 60-24 mark. Penn is second (50-34), followed by Yale and Harvard (48-36), Princeton (46-38), Columbia (36-48), Brown (31-53) and Dartmouth (17-67).

CORNELL IN OVERTIME: Cornell went 3-1 in overtime in 2011-12, moving head coach Bill Courtney's record to 4-1 in overtime games during his three seasons. All-time, dating back to the first overtime game against Penn way back in 1922, Cornell is 38-45 in games that go an extra period. Cornell is 5-9 in multiple overtime games, with the longest game for the Big Red being a five overtime contest against Princeton, won by the Tigers 66-61 on Feb. 24, 1979 at Barton Hall. Cornell is 29-15 in home overtime games, 2-2 in neutral contests and 8-27 in road games.

THE STREAKS
• Cornell is 93-55 in the last five seasons.
• The Big Red is 51-19 in its last 70 Ivy League contests over the last six years.
• Cornell is 56-12 over its last 68 home games, including 39-10 in the last five seasons and 51-11 in the last six years.
• In non-conference games, the Big Red is 42-36 over the last five seasons.

MILLER WITH ROOKIE RECORDS: On his way to Ivy League Rookie of the Year in 2011-12, Shonn Miller set a pair of freshman records. He ended his rookie campaign with 48 blocked shots, good for 10th best in school history and more than doubling the previous freshman record of 22 by Jeffrion Aubry during the 1995-96 campaign). He also established a new freshman rebounding record with 170, surpassing Lenny Collins' 139 in 2002-03. He closed his year with 250 points to sit 10th all-time among Cornell freshmen.

CORNELL BEYOND THE ARC — 600 AND COUNTING: The Big Red hit seven 3-pointers against Harvard on March 3, its 655th consecutive game with a made trey. With five 3-pointers at Seton Hall on Nov. 14, 2010, Cornell extended its streak of games with at least one 3-pointer to 600. The last time Cornell did not hit a 3-pointer was against Denison in the 1988-89 season opener (0-for-2). Since the 3-point shot came into effect in NCAA play during the 1986-87 season, Cornell has hit at least one shot behind the arc in 703 of 707 games, connecting on 4,419 treys, an average of 6.3 per game. Cornell has hit at least 10 3-pointers in a game 37 times in 89 games over the last four years, including an Ivy League single-game record 20 at Brown in 2009-10.

TEAM NOTES:
• Cornell's 3-point season totals in the last five years represent the top five single-season marks in school history. The Big Red's 217 3-pointers a year ago ranks fifth on the chart. Prior to 2007-08, when the run began, Cornell had made more than 200 treys in a season just once.
• The Big Red has reached double figures in victories in nine consecutive years, the most since hitting that mark 10 consecutive times from 1981-82 through 1990-91. The school record is 12 straight years beginning in 1944-45 and stretching through the 1955-56 season.
• Cornell hasn't allowed a non-conference team to shoot 50 percent in 13 straight games, including contests against eventual postseason teams American (CIT), Lehigh (NCAA), Stony Brook (NIT) and Bucknell (NIT), as well as nationally ranked Illinois and BCS schools Mayland and Penn State. The last non-Ivy to shoot 50 percent or better was St. Bonaventure in the 2011-12 opener. The Bonnies made exactly 50 percent of its shots (27-of-54).
• The Big Red allowed opponents to hit just 72 3-pointers a year ago in non-league play (5.1 per game) on .268 shooting (72-of-269). Only once in 14 games a year ago did a team make better than 33 percent from beyond the arc.
• Cornell lost 141 player games due to injury in 2011-12 (Asafo-Adjei - 15; D.Cherry - 4; Gatlin - 26; Groebe - 6; LaMore - 3; Matthews - 28; Peck - 28; Sahota - 28; Scelfo - 3).

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES:
• Sophomore big man Dave LaMore is from Whitmore Lake, Mich., which is approximately 100 miles East of Western Michigan's Kalamazoo campus. LaMore played in 17 contests off the bench for the Big Red as a freshman in 2011-12, averaging 1.9 points, 1.2 rebounds and 0.4 blocks per game while shooting 48 percent from the floor.
• Senior Johnathan Gray was a member of the U.S. Virgin Islands national team this summer, competing in the 2012 FIBA Centrobasket Championship from June 18-24 in Puerto Rico. He averaged 8.5 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists while hitting 10-of-21 3-pointers (.476) from the international 3-point line to rank fourth on the team in scoring. The Virgin Islands team went 1-3 with a win over Costa Rica (92-64) behind Gray's 12 points and five assists.
• Gray is a former walk-on who served as team manager during the 2009-10 Sweet 16 season until midseason, when he joined the varsity roster during Christmas break.
• Junior forward Dwight Tarwater's brother, Davis, earned a gold medal in the 4x200 meter freestyle relay at the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London, England. Dwight was there to see his brother, a three-time NCAA champion and 13-time All-American swimmer at Michigan. At the Olympics, Tarwater swam the third leg of the preliminary round of the 4x200. His time of 1:46.33 was a personal best, and the second fastest leg for Team USA, which turned in the fastest preliminary swim. His leg was the third fastest among all 64 swimmers in the prelims.
• Freshman center Braxston Bunce earned his second straight appearance on Team Canada's Under-18 national team this past summer, competing at the 2012 FIBA Americas Championship from June 16-20 in Brazil. Canada went 4-1, with Bunce averaging 1.5 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists in two contests,
• Men's basketball was one of 11 Cornell teams honored by the NCAA in its annual Division I Academic Progress Report (APR). The APR measures semester-by-semester records for every individual team in Division I with regard to each team members' continuing eligibility, retention and progress toward graduation. The NCAA “commends” teams that have APR scores in the top 10 percent within their sport, with the minimum necessary score ranging from 975 to a perfect mark of 1000 depending on the range of team scores within that sport.
• As a team, Cornell sports a 3.2 cumulative grade point average.
• Senior Eitan Chemerinski (Applied Economics and Management) has been a member of the 400 Club, joining an exclusive group of Cornell student-athletes to post a grade point average of 4.0 or better.
• Chemerinski solved the Rubik's Cube in 2 minutes and 43 seconds during a road trip in 2009-10, a video that went viral on YouTube. Chemerinski speaks five languages, including Mandarin.
• Cornell has had four Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-Americans this decade, including a first-teamer in Graham Dow '07, who was a Rhodes Scholar candidate.
• Recent Cornell graduates have attended Harvard Law (Lenny Collins '06), Cornell medical school (Ugo Ihekweazu '07), Georgetown medical school (David Lisle '06) and Stanford graduate school (Graham Dow '07, biology).
• Cornell has been represented on the five member All-Ivy first team four times in the last five years, with three of those years placing multiple players on the first team.
• The Big Red has had four Ivy League Rookie of the Year selections in the last 10 years, including Shonn Miller in 2011-12.
• Over the last three seasons, Cornell has graduated three of the school's top 13 scorers, the top two assist-makers all-time, two Ivy League Players of the Year, two Associated Press honorable mention All-Americans, an Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year, a Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American, three Academic All-Ivy picks and six players who competed in more than 100 career games.

NEXT UP: Cornell returns to action on Wednesday, Nov. 14, when it faces St. Bonaventure at 7 p.m. at Newman Arena in Bartels Hall. The Big Red and the Bonnies will square off in front of a nationally-televised audience, with NBC Sports Network broadcasting the game.

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