Friday, November 30, 2012

News and Notes: Friday Edition

Above, Cornell vs. Colgate at Barton Hall in 1964.  Below, news and notes for Friday...
  • Bleacher Report writes of Duke, "The Blue Devils’ next six games are against Delaware, Temple (neutral location), Cornell, Elon, Santa Clara State and Davidson (neutral location).  Delaware, Cornell and Elon are the closest thing to gimmes, but Duke would do well to not overlook any of their upcoming opponents."
I’m going to be blunt. Cornell is struggling. A 23-point home loss to Stony Brook will make people say that. The Seahawks’ 23-point victory marked the first 20+ point defeat for Cornell at Newman Arena since falling to Georgia Tech by 21 points on November 23, 2003. Stony Brook may not be the eventual national runner-ups like Georgia Tech was in 2003-2004, but they were good enough to expose many of the Big Red’s deficiencies. This game was more than Cornell going cold from the field at the same time that Stony Brook was heating up. It was a game where statistical tendencies took over. It didn’t start like that though. From the tip, it looked like Cornell may have turned a corner. Two consecutive wins in Vegas, ten strong opening minutes against a good Stony Brook team. It was 19-19 and Cornell’s ball movement looked much improved. The Red was taking high percentage shots, shooting 54.5% from the field. Then at the 9:48 mark in the first half, everything changed. The disparity between an efficient defense and a flawed offense became apparent. Losing by 23 at home to a team Cornell historically has had success against should raise eyebrows, but it’s something I wouldn’t be all too concerned with.
This team is young, but flawed. Athletic, but raw. Skilled, but undisciplined. It’s fine to say these things in November as long as they’re not repeated in February. In a year where most, if not all of the Ivy League is struggling out of the gate, the room for growing pains with the expectation of improving is there. At the end of the day, it’s not the non-conference season that the Big Red should be worried about. It’s learning from the loss to Stony Brook to have a better offensive showing against Duke, Bucknell, and Princeton, the only three teams left on the schedule with a defensive efficiency rating better than Stony Brook’s. To do so, this team has to find an offensive identity. Right now, offensive sets look rushed and out of control. Fast and controlled is where this team needs to be. The first step towards a controlled offense is defining roles. In the first eight games of the season, Cornell has had six different game high scorers. The last time Cornell had that much fluctuation in the scoring column in such few games was the start of the 2006-2007 season, another young team. That team had an equally eye-opening loss at around the same point in the season, falling to a mediocre Lehigh team by 19 points. That team grew, improved, and ultimately ended the season with a 9-5 conference record, good for third in the Ivy League. The potential is there, again, but it won’t happen easily. The first thing that needs to change is turnovers: 124 turnovers through eight games, 29% of which have come from the point guard position, is unacceptable. Cornell’s three worst losses have come when it has turned the ball over 17 times or more, an average margin of defeat of 22.3 points. It doesn’t matter how much talent is on the roster, no basketball team at any level will win games if they turn the ball over that much.
Everyone knows Ivy League basketball is unique, but it’s especially so this season. Every team appears to be flawed and every team will enter conference play with a bad loss or two on its resume. Unlike past years in which league champions were all but crowned in the preseason (i.e. Cornell 2010, Harvard 2012), the best team at the end of February/beginning of March will look much different from how it currently looks. What this means is that even after losing in as ugly a way as one can lose, Cornell still has a shot. A good shot.
  • Below, links to our recap sections from each of Cornell's games during the 2012-2013 season.
    1. 11/10/12 vs. Western Michigan W 63-55
    2. 11/14/12 vs. St. Bonaventure L 68-72
    3. 11/16/12 vs. St. Peter's  L 64-68
    4. 11/18/12 at Wisconsin (Las Vegas Invitational) L 40-73 
    5. 11/20/12 at Arizona State (Las Vegas Invitational L 53-64
    6. 11/23/12 vs. Presbyterian (Las Vegas Invitational) at Las Vegas W 89-55
    7. 11/24/12 vs. Longwood (Las Vegas Invitational) at Las Vegas W 84-78
    8. 11/28/12 vs. Stony Brook L 53-76
  • Cornell RPI WatchThe RPI (Rating Percentage Index) is a measure of strength of schedule and how a team does against that schedule. It does not consider the margin of victory, but only whether or        not a team won and where the game was played (home/away/neutral court). The formula is 25% team                 winning percentage (WP), 50% opponents' average winning percentage (OWP), and 25% opponents'              opponents' average winning percentage (OOWP). (See: for a further explanation of the formula.) The RPI may be the most influential factor in NCAA Tournament seeding. Cornell's RPI rank as of November 30 is No. 230 out of 344 total Division I teams. While neither the Ken Pomeroy or the Sagarin Rankings (USA Today) are used by the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee, the site ranks Cornell No. 239 in the nation, while the Sagarin Rankings (USA Today) have Cornell at No. 252. Both sites are predominantly used by fans and the media.

Friday, November 9
MIT 54 Harvard 69 Box Score - Recap
UMBC 75 Penn 80  Box Score - Recap

Saturday, November 10
Western Michigan 55 Cornell 63 Box Score - Recap
Princeton 57 Buffalo 53 Box Score - Recap
Yale 82 Sacred Heart 85 (OT) [SNY] [Conn 6] Box Score - Recap  
Columbia 68 Furman 47 Box Score - Recap
Maine 54 Dartmouth 67  Box Score - Recap

Sunday, November 11
Brown 58 Binghamton 49 Box Score - Recap

Monday, November 12
Yale 35 Saint Joseph’s 61 (Coaches v. Cancer) 
Box Score - Recap
Penn 69 Delaware 84 (Preseason NIT)
 Box Score - Recap

Tuesday, November 13
Harvard 64 Massachusetts 67 (ESPN Tip Off Marathon) [ESPN]
 Box Score - Recap
Penn 53 Fairfield 62 
(Preseason NIT) [ESPN3] Box Score - Recap
Northeastern 67 Princeton 66 Box Score - Recap
New Hampshire 72 Dartmouth 58 
Box Score - Recap
Haverford 40 Columbia 74
 Box Score - Recap

Wednesday, November 14
St. Bonaventure at Cornell [NBCSN]
 Box Score - Recap

Thursday, November 15
Brown 71 Central Connecticut State 86 
Box Score - Recap

Friday, November 16
Saint Peter’s 68 Cornell 64
 Box Score - Recap
Rutgers 58 Princeton 5
Box Score - Recap
Manhattan 45 Harvard 79 Box Score
Yale 56 Evansville 66 
(Coaches v. Cancer) Box Score - Recap

Saturday, November 17
 61 Penn 59 Box Score - Recap
Yale 63 Buffalo 59 (Evansville, Ind.) (Coaches v. Cancer) Box Score
Brown 70 Maine 68 Box Score - Recap
Marist 67 Columbia 62 Box Score - Recap

Sunday. November 18
Yale 47 Western Illinois 59 (Oakland City, Ind.) 
Box Score - Recap
Cornell 40 Wisconsin 73 (Las Vegas Invitational) [ESPN3]  
Box Score - Recap

Monday, November 19
Penn 68 Fordham 70 (Preseason NIT, Bethlehem PA) Box Score - Recap

Tuesday, November 20
Columbia 75 Villanova 57 [ESPN3] Box Score - Recap
Harvard 56 Saint Joseph’s 75 [NBCSN] Box Score - Recap
Penn 66 Lehigh 73 (Preseason NIT) Box Score - Recap
Cornell 53 Arizona State 64 (Las Vegas Invitational) [PAC-12 Sports Network] Box Score - Recap

Wednesday, November 21
Bryant 68 Brown 61 Box Score - Recap
Princeton 53 Syracuse 73 [TIME WARNER] Box Score - Recap
Yale 52 Vermont 65  Box Score - Recap

Friday, November 23
Cornell 89 Presbyterian 55 (Las Vegas Invitational at Las Vegas) Box Score - Recap
Columbia 75 Wayland Baptist 63 (SF Hilltop Classic) Box Score - Recap

Saturday, November 24
Saint Francis (N.Y.) 76 Brown72 (OT) Box Score - Recap
IPFW 70 Dartmouth 66 Box Score - Recap
Princeton 72 Lafayette53 Box Score - Recap
Army 83 Yale 86 (2OT)  Box Score - Recap
Cornell 84 Longwood 78 (Las Vegas Invitational at Las Vegas) Box Score - Recap
Columbia 59 San Francisco 79 (SF Hilltop Classic) Box Score - Recap

Tuesday, November 27
Dartmouth 49 Bucknell 62 Box Score - Recap
Vermont 85 Harvard 78 [NBCSN] Box Score - Recap

Wednesday, November 28
Columbia 61 LIU Brooklyn 70 Box Score - Recap
Stony Brook 53 Cornell 76 Box Score - Recap
Binghamton 54 Penn 65 Box Score - Recap
Princeton 42 Wagner 48 (OT) Box Score - Recap

Thursday, November 29
Sacred Heart 56 Brown 69 Box Score - Recap
Hartford 60 Yale 51 Box Score - Recap
Saturday, December 1
Brown at New Hampshire, 1 pm [WBIN/FCS]
Fordham at Harvard, 1 pm
Dartmouth at Longwood, 2 pm
Penn at Penn State, 2 pm [ESPN3]
Colgate at Cornell, 4 pm
Bucknell at Columbia, 7 pm
Princeton at Kent State, 7 pm


Stump said...

Mastbaum and I are on the same page.

Anonymous said...

I think Jake Mastbaum is right on the money. This team has lots of talent which has to learn to play together. BC has to turn them loose and let them play so they can find themselves and coach can find out what they can really do and build around that!!! They appear not 2 b comfortable in that offense and most have good abilities to score. That's the upside!!!!!! Playing D they seem more comfortable but have to learn to fight harder and not worry about foul trouble. To suppositly have high pressure D there has not been much foul trouble, a sign that they should turn the pressure up even higher. Let's Go Big Red. Play with more desire, more fire and more toughness!!!!!! Less turnovers and all will b well.

BigRed1965 said...

Was at the Colgate game at Barton Hall in 1964 as pictured. That is center Steve Cram on the left, and forward Bob McCready on the right. Could be guard Dave Bliss in the middle.

BigRed1965 said...

Have to admit I was not sorry that I passed on watching Stony Brook game on Redcast, and instead went to see Cornell women play at St. Francis (Brooklyn) not far from home. They were impressive in a 74-56 win. That helped compensate from steady texts from my son about the dismal game up in Ithaca. Hopefully we come back against Colgate and get on track.

Anonymous said...

It does not look like they are running an offense most of the time. Players are out of control and rushing their shots after a defensive board. I see no screens being set for outside shots. Cressler needs to play 30 minutes and i would try Harmon to help with the rebounding. It seems like we are out rebounded every game. I think BC should pick 8 players and stick with them. Too many quick subs.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:13. Cressler doesn't need to play 30 mins. He takes to many threes and isn't anywhere near consistent enough. His shooting percentage in the mid 300's as far as his overall field goal percentage. (370). Not very good after 9 games. A little inexperience on D and has been getting beat by his man and giving up and1's. With his increase in mins has also been associated with his increased turnovers. Not to b 2 hard on young Cressler I think he is a piece of this puzzle but not 30 mins a night worth.........