Thursday, November 15, 2012

News and Notes: Thursday Edition

Below, some news and notes for Thursday...  
  • The Ithaca Independent writes on Wednesday, "The Big Red has six televised contests coming up in the next two weeks, the first of them tonight's midweek men's basketball homestand against Saint Bonaventure, nationally televised on the NBC Sports Network. Cornell's cagers will be on the road next week, but their games will be televised; on November 18th they'll play at the University of Wisconsin, with video coverage on and ESPN mobile apps, and on the 20th they visit Arizona State University, with the game on the Pac 12 Network.  'The NHL lockout isn't any good for hockey fans,' says Cornell director of athletic communications Jeremy Hartigan, 'but it leaves networks looking for midweek games' like college basketball."
Nolan Cressler was known as a sharp shooter for the Plum varsity boys basketball team, and the 2012 graduate, who finished as the school’s all-time leading scorer, could light up the scoreboard from anywhere on the court.
Now, fans of the Cornell University men’s basketball team — and those from Western Michigan, as well — know a little more about what Cressler can do on a basketball court.
Cressler debuted for the Big Red on Saturday, as the team opened its season against Western Michigan from the Mid-American Conference and honored the school’s 1987-88 Ivy League Championship squad.
He didn’t start, but he made his 18 minutes off the bench count.
Cressler scored a game-high 20 points, as three Cornell players finished in double figures in the 63-55 nonconference victory.
He did almost all of his damage from the perimeter, as he sank six 3-pointers and missed only two for 18 of his 20 points.
Cressler also converted a field goal from inside the 3-point arc; grabbed two rebounds; and recorded one block, one assist and one steal.
He entered the game for the first time at the 16:06 mark of the first half, and he drained his first 3-pointer 28 seconds later.
That field goal was the first Big Red basket of the season, and it cut Western Michigan’s early lead to 4-3.
Cressler added a fast-break layup at 14:51 to give Cornell a 7-4 lead, and the Big Red went on a 9-0 run overall to move ahead 9-4.
Cressler finished the first half with 11 points, including a trio of threes.
Cornell held a slim 26-24 lead at halftime and outscored Western Michigan, 37-31 in the second half.
While Cressler was 6 of 8 from 3-point range, his teammates were 2 of 17 from long range.
The Big Red was scheduled to return to the court Wednesday with a home game against St. Bonaventure.
The game was to be broadcast on the NBC Sports Network and was to be contested past the deadline for this week’s edition.
  • 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
    • 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 15 is No. 164 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. 187 in the nation, while the Sagarin Rankings (USA Today) have Cornell at No. 178. 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 at Central Connecticut State, 7:30 pm

    Friday, November 16
    Saint Peter’s at Cornell 7 pm 
    Rutgers at Princeton, 7 pm
    Manhattan at Harvard, 7:30 pm
    Yale at Evansville, 8:35 pm 
    (Coaches v. Cancer)

    Saturday, November 17
    Drexel at Penn, 4 pm
    Yale vs. Buffalo (Evansville, Ind.), 6 pm 
    (Coaches v. Cancer)
    Brown at Maine, 7 pm
    Marist at Columbia, 7 pm

    Sunday. November 18
    Yale vs. Western Illinois (Oakland City, Ind.), 3 pm
    Cornell at Wisconsin, 6 pm (Las Vegas Invitational) [ESPN3] 


    Anonymous said...

    Oh puh-leeze CBB. "Yes they look choatic on the floor but it is all part of the plan...." Pssh please they looked like a mess. What kind of plain is it to dig yourself into a hole and throw desperation threes early in the clock? Please. Heaven help Bill Courtney, he clearly still has a ways to go before refining whatever style/strategy it is he's tryna establish.

    The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

    Did you read the stat sheet?

    Cornell took 14 threes all game. 7 in each half.

    For the sake of comparison, Harvard took 11 against UMass.

    To suggest Cornell took just desperation threes is inaccurate. Cornell was attacking the basket in the 2nd half and the runs were led by Peck, Cancer and Cherry all scoring inside.

    jimboinelmira said...

    i dont so much care about the careless 3pt shots as much as i detest the ridiculous "drive into the paint and blindly launch a prayer"shots that cornell was tossing up all game long. the mark of a bad mid-major is this stupid driving shot pattern. long long season my friends unless courteney figures out some semblace of an inside/outside disciplined approach to offense

    Anonymous said...

    until this team stops tossing up blind floaters from inside the paint its gonna be a loooooooong season.

    Anonymous said...

    Watching the game provides more information than reading the stat sheet, my friend. When they finally pulled to a tie in the second half, instead of calmly penetrating they chucked up like 3 threes in that stretch, early in the clock. Even the announcer was like "why??? they will look back at that period as when they lost the game."

    And the first half was complete horror. It wasn't a finely orchestrated or meaningful anything. Look, I understand that it will take time for Courtney to build a winning team, but stop excusing the horribleness that characterized significant portions of that game.

    Anonymous said...

    First half was complete chaos on offense -- amazing we were only down by 11. Second half we did a far better job attacking the rim, especially Cherry and Cancer. Let to some acrobatic hoops and many more free throws.

    As Dalen Cuff said on the broadcast, we were standing around way too much. I think it's a valid criticism that the offense needs to show more fluidity and ball movement, rather than just one-on-one throw it up style.

    Anonymous said...

    The announcers were harshhhhh, especially that guy from Columbia. Or was it brutal honesty? 1st half was undeniably bad, I suppose they had to say it. Made the team look incompetent.

    The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

    Think Dalen was a little bit of everything. He was giving his honest opinion, somewhat fair opinion, but with a bit of anti-Cornell flavor in there. Fact is that he bleeds light blue, played for Columbia and still announces for them. He's a CU homer for sure. But that all said, he did not like the style of play.

    Well, he may not like Cornell's style of play, but how did the Lions do in comparison to Cornell last year? How will they do in comparison this year?

    Proof is in the results.

    Anonymous said...

    If Courtney is trying to build a defensive team, I can understand the poor offense but what I can't understand is the poor defense. Poor help defense, poor rotation, gave away easy lay-up, poor rebounding, stupid fouls and just out hustled in all areas.

    Miller with 6 pts in 36 min, come on!..

    I hope we are not seeing more of the same last 2 years, good individual skill players under-performing as a team. This is a purely and classic coach/leader problem.

    My opinion; bright spot was Cherry, loved his energy...

    Anonymous said...

    How can anyone like Cornell's style of play? What is our style of play? It reminds me of the early Donahue days where the ball just zips around the perimeter with little purpose. Our team can barely get penetration in the half court. Courtney won't last 2 more seasons.

    Anonymous said...

    Let's not go nuts over one game. This was a close, if sloppy, game that Cornell could have won had things gone their way.

    Yes, there were some issues, including questionable shot selection, too much isolation play and standing around, and inconsistent execution of the dribble-dribble-drive. St. Bona's center made a huge difference, which poses issues when Cornell plays teams with legit big men. Watching Eitan play makes one want to pull his/her hair out.

    But, this team will improve. Even if they struggle out of conference (which I suspect they will), they can play tough in the Ivy League given how mediocre it is this year (thanks Casey!). It seems odd to place so much emphasis on an injured and unproven frosh, but Bunce could be a difference maker in the league if he can rebound and clog lanes.

    If the freshman bigs develop, the team starts playing more fluid team ball on offense, and they limit stupid fouls, they could do some damage.

    Anonymous said...

    Anybody know why Cressler didnt play more? They need his shooting eye somewhere in the rotation.

    Anonymous said...

    Cornell fans tend to freak out a bit. It was one game, and yet it was so familiar to what we have been seeing for two years that it incited a level of dread.

    I don't know what to think. Was not expecting the same old same old after believing the hype that he finally had the athletic roster to carry out his style. Was almost happy that the announcers were being so cruel and pointing out how unintelligible the plays were, because anyone who brought it up here was attacked. In past years, we've hoped for improvement by league time only to watch them look clueless at Columbia and lose by 30 at Yale. If they continue to play erratic like this, the games will continue to have erratic outcomes.

    It's early in the year. Please let this not be another year of the same.

    Anonymous said...

    Your constant defense of Courtney (on the forum) makes me sick. You can defend him, but must you totally reach for illogic?

    Even Courtney admitted in the pregame interview for WMU that the roster is now full of guys who've played only for him, except Errick. Courtney's own words listen on RedCast. He said it's finally HIS team.

    Yeah Errick's classmates were around, but they barely played, certainly not enough to be inculcated with Coach D's system.

    Everywhere it is repeated, everywhere in all the previews it has been said, that Courtney finally has his own roster. Everywhere it is said that this year he should be able to implement his style. Now that yesterday looks awful, you now want to keep up the "Poor Bill doesn't have the right personnel to implement his plan" angle.

    We are not still wanting him to revert to Donahue's system. We waited patiently for this, year 3, with an athletic roster that's played for only him, to see what he could finally do. Yesterday, to put it plainly, was not an auspicious beginning.

    David B. Cronheim, Esq. said...

    Eitan had a rough, rough game last night. He looked totally out of place.

    The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

    Anonymous 4:05, you do just do not understand. Bill Courtney did not recruit a single senior or junior on the roster.

    Just because the juniors only played for him, does not make them HIS kids for his system.

    They were pre-selected for him. But he is doing a nice job in year 3. He is 1-1 with a narrow loss to an A-10 team.

    Anonymous said...

    And what was so wrong with that senior class? Errick and Miles not athletic enough for you? Johnny insufficiently electric, perhaps? Poor Bill Courtney, he is saddled with such unathletic leftovers.

    Courtney has stopped blaming his roster and so should you.

    Anonymous said...

    I agree with those who say this was only one (very early) game and there is little -- perhaps absolutely no -- reason to panic at this point.

    But where I think posters get most aggravated with CBB's explanation is his unyielding insistence that everything is developing according to some master plan that only he can divine. While there's scant reason to panic, there's also no reason to explain away every little thing which should and does give most objective fans pause for concern.

    It's CBB's inability to see the world through anything other than Big-Red-colored glasses which makes the rest of us so frustrated and disappointed from time to time.

    I laughed out loud when CBB stood by his contention that Cornell is ranked by US News in more categories than any other university, even after another poster counted Princeton and Harvard with triple and quadruple the number of mentions. We all expect CBB to be a bit of a homer because, after all, that's the name of the blog, but at some point his refusal to recognize the reality that the rest of us can see causes him to lose credibility.

    The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

    Miles is not an offensive weapon like Cancer and Cherry (who can also defend).

    Peck is a stud the most highly rated recruit during Donahue's years.

    Anonymous said...

    Anon 6:39- Its Carnelian colored glasses...

    A lot of people already claiming the team has hit an ice berg and are taking on water.

    I'm gonna stay on board for a bit longer and see if the captain can't keep us afloat.

    Anonymous said...

    Blaming Courtney is silly a couple games into the season. The team Courtney inherited his first year was unquestionably weak. Last year, the team improved to a .500 record in Ivy play even though it relieved heavily on freshman (and Wrobo, of course). This year, we can expect a top half finish in the division and a better than .500 record.

    That's improvement, folks. Give it time. Courtney still hasn't really put his thumbprint on the program yet. For example, at least with recruiting, it takes years to develop relationships with kids that you want in the program. That's part of why I'm so curious about the 2013 class -- if CBB is right about Cornell possibly landing "game-changing" recruits, that makes for a much better program in 2 years.

    I agree CBB can be a bit of a homer, but I think CBB is right on the money on defending Courtney. Donohue took 5 years to get anything going. Changing regimes comes with growing pains, even at BCS schools that don't have to worry about AI.

    Let's see how this unfolds. I expect a rough non-conference schedule that will prepare this team really well to play in a weakened Ivy League. If we end up in the top 3, I think that's a pretty successful year.

    Anonymous said...

    Apparently CBB isn't much of a "homer" when it pertains to this year's "preselected" junior and senior classes. (See CBB comment at 5:16pm) What, because they were recruited by one of the brightest offensive minds the Ivy League has ever seen, they dont fit into the "robotic, jam up the middle, high ball screen late in the shot clock, throw up a desperation shot" offensive philosophy? Those "preselected" guys are no doubt grateful for that flattering label. Maybe they should all make T Shirts with the printed words "Preselected".

    But that's ok. Those kids have been undervalued and underestimated their entire careers and my guess is that kind of a comment is just fuel for their fire. Still love ya Manny.

    Fans, be patient. It IS early and the players need your support no matter what. Please support all of them unconditionally. They put in ridiculous hours and really do care and want to succeed.

    The coaches also care immensely and will get it figured out offensively. Not many teams look polished this early in the season.

    The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

    Those of you who are blasting this team and its coach are the worst kind of fans there are on the street. You live in the moment and make your evaluations prematurely.

    We are in Year 3. 2 games in. Give me a break. No coach in America is expected make his team a champion in 2 years after losing 8 seniors. Unless of course you have "Kentucky" on your jerseys and you commit every NCAA violation possible.

    Those of you who are overly critical, go take your medication and relax.

    Bill Courtney will be evaluated by Andy Noel once Bill Courtney has had a fair opportunity to build HIS program.

    He has nice kids with great character who play hard for each other. Bill is engaging and is working his butt off to bring this program back to the Top 25.

    You should support this team rather than try to tear it down...

    Anonymous said...

    What kind of offense do they use in practice?

    Anonymous said...

    The game was lost by the big's, or lack of.
    I was impressed with LaMore last year, even with his limited playing time. How about we put LaMore and Bunce in and see what a couple of highly recruited young players can do.
    Doubt if they let that many easy points in the paint against those two kids.

    Anonymous said...

    Well, there's nothing inconsistent about supporting the program and questioning Courtney's strategy. Certainly our athletic ability is improved, but last night the team seemed like a rudderless ship for most of the night. I do have confidence that Courtney can pull it together, however, and am looking forward to seeing progress on the court.

    BigRed1965 said...

    I'm with the blog. One cannot jump to sweeping negative conclusions based on one inept half of play in the second game of the season. Look to the bright side: The team fought back to make a run at winning. Errick Peck looked smooth as silk. Shonn Miller is tough. Galal Cancer penetrated well. Devin Cherry had a nice eye. The admittedly weak spot is in the middle. Chemerinski and Figini will have good games, but they are really better as true forwards than centers, and the question is whether they can contend with 7-footers. Anyway, let's see if the team rebounds back vs. St. Peter's.

    Anonymous said...

    Denial and blindness are as detrimental and unhelpful as panic and impatience.

    Two games in is too early to panic, there is no doubt about that. My concern is how some people are so determined to be positive that they become downright unreasonable. "Give him time" is supportive. Denying that large portions of the Bonnies game were anything but horrible basketball and instead some beautiful chaos that was part of a master plan that we couldn't see is just ridiculous. Blaming it on the current roster is also really stretching it; we have one of the most athletic rosters in the league who have only ever played for Courtney and have had years to bond with him. Oh no, my favorite is when, a year or two ago, people could find no reason behind the terrible free-throw shooting, and CBB cited Foote's absence because that made TOTAL sense you guys, TOTAL sense.

    Some of us have also have trouble characterizing that team from Courtney's first year as "unquestionably weak". Ski, Coury, Groebe, and Peck had been anything but weak the previous year, and Ferry seemed a talented get. We eventually accepted that perhaps they didn't fit into the coach's system, but in the same way you shouldn't insult this year's "preselected" seniors, please don't call those guys "unquestionably weak" just because the new coach didn't know what to do with them.