Wednesday, January 23, 2013

News and Notes: Wednesday Edition

(Photo: Cornell Daily Sun)
Get all the information you need about the Cornell Big Red's game at Columbia, Saturday, January 26, 2013, 7 pm, with The Cornell Basketball Blog's Game Preview Center.  Below, news and notes for Wednesday...

  • Cornell Basketball's "Let's Go" video recently made appearances on NBC Sports and USA Today sites.  USA Today's Big Lead writes, "This is the Cornell basketball team. You may remember Cornell from their 2010 trip to the Sweet 16. This season, the team is 8-10 so they’ve had a chance to focus on things like making videos where the team sings Ne-Yo to let fans know… “Lets go.” Because the Ivy League portion of the season is getting started. You’re starting to miss Call Me Maybe, aren’t you? Admit it." NBC added, "Cornell basketball gets into the Ivy League spirit by singing some Neo. Of course they do."
  • Previewing the January 25 EuroLeague game between Zalgiris (Lithuania) and Anadolu Efes (Turkey),  the EuroLeague writes, "Jeff Foote and Mario Delas give [Zalgiris head coach, Joan] Plaza almost unparalleled depth at those [low post] positions."
For most of nonconference play, the men’s basketball team used a bigger lineup on the court. It frequently featured both senior center Mark Cisco and sophomore center Cory Osetkowski—who are 6-foot-9 and 6-foot-11, respectively—in an attempt to practice using its height advantage relative to other Ivies .
But opening its Ivy slate in Ithaca against a Cornell team that plays with a smaller lineup and at a quick pace, Columbia opted for something else. Head coach Kyle Smith decided to rely on his backcourt, playing three guards for most of the game.
Instead of putting too much pressure on the Lions’ guards, this strategy seemed to help the Light Blue.
Smith pointed to senior point guard Brian Barbour’s rest as key to aiding the Light Blue’s performance late in games—a situation in which the team struggled at times last season . Barbour averaged 37.5 minutes per conference game in 2012, second to Penn guard Zack Rosen, who was the unanimous Ivy Player of the Year.
Smith speculated that a rested Barbour could have turned the tide in the team’s narrow Ivy-opening home losses to Penn and Princeton last season. The Tigers, for example, focused on Barbour late in a game in which he played all but two minutes. By contrast, Barbour got three breaks against Cornell on Saturday, totaling eight minutes. Once he returned for good, with the Lions up by 12 in the second half, he helped Columbia maintain a comfortable lead and take the win.
The Lions did not even seem to miss Barbour’s presence on the floor very much. They scored five unanswered buckets during his second-half break, with freshman guards Grant Mullins and Isaac Cohen each picking up two assists in Barbour’s stead, turning a slim one-point lead into a solid 12-point advantage.
“Every time Brian doesn’t bring the ball up the floor during the game, it’s like a cell phone charger,” Smith said, a joke he tells to his staff during games. “It’s like we get a little more battery, a little more juice.”
Even with Barbour on the court, Cornell’s full-court press sometimes gave Columbia trouble. After the Big Red opened the scoring, the Lions failed to inbound the ball quickly and were called for a five-second violation, resulting in a turnover.
At other points in the game, though, the Light Blue moved the ball up the court easily with the dual threat of Mullins and Barbour—especially in the second half.
“Grant, going forward in the future, is going to have to handle hard pressure,” Smith said. “Brian handles it a lot, but it’s a nice relief, I’m sure, for Brian to just be able to throw it to him when we’re seeing full-court pressure.”
Smith also said sophomore guard Steve Frankoski’s solid decision-making with the ball meant Columbia has at least three “studs” in the backcourt. The team is the sixth stingiest in the country in terms of turnovers per game, averaging just over 10, and also which is first among Ivies.
The smaller lineup did have its shortcomings, notably in rebounding. The Lions were outrebounded 31-25, including 13-5 offensively. Moreover, Smith said it is difficult to both aggressively go for offensive rebounds and limit Cornell’s quick transition attack—the Lions ended up doing the latter better on Saturday, limiting the Big Red to just three fast-break points—and the team does practice the situation while trying to emphasize both ideas.
Going forward, Smith said that the team would adjust the lineup according to whatever best matches up against its opponent.
  • The Cornell Daily Sun is trying to play catch up with Cornell Basketball's games over winter break.  Here are pair of new articles:  

Two days before the New Year, the Red celebrated a tough road win, 79-77, over in-state rival Binghamton in Vestal, NY. The squad got off to a hot start, outscoring the Bearcats 41-26 in the first half, but allowed Binghamton to crawl back into the game in the final twenty minutes.
Sophomore forward Shonn Miller started off the game with a 3-point play and after forcing a turnover, senior guard Johnathan Gray followed suit by knocking down a triple from beyond the arc. Three minutes later, senior forward Eitan Chemerinski got hot, scoring five straight points to give the Red an early 10-point lead. Consistent shooting by Gray, senior guard Dominick Scelfo and freshman guard Nolan Cressler kept the Red in a comfortable lead in the first half.
However, the Bearcats came out of the locker room on a mission, continuing to chip away at the Red’s lead with their 3-point shooting. With 2:30 left in the game, Binghamton cut the deficit to seven points. After another layup by Chemerinski, Bearcats guard Jordan Reed scored five straight points to shrink the Red’s lead to just three with 50 seconds left. After a timeout, sophomore guard Galal Cancer knocked down a big free throw to narrowly put the game away.
The Red was unable to follow up this intense victory in its first game of the new year against Bucknell on Jan. 2.
“We’ve had ups and downs, been trying to figure ourselves out,” said head coach Bill Courtney. “We’ve struggled with turnovers and missed open shots, but as our guards get used to different roles, they’ve understood what we want out of them.”
In the 72-56 loss to Bucknell, the Red struggled to connect from the field. The squad shot 36 percent from the floor, compared to the Bisons’ 62 percent. Senior forward Josh Figini scored a team high 15 points and Miller put up 14 but was held to just one rebound. Bucknell’s physical forward Mike Muscala scored 13 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for a double-double, and Cameron Ayers led all scorers with 16 points. 
The squad then traveled to Washington, D.C. to take on American — the team with which Courtney began his coaching career — and escaped with a 68-60 victory. Balanced scoring was key for the Red against the Eagles, with four players — Gray, Miller, Scelfo and Cressler — reaching double figures. American was able to take a short-lived one-point lead two minutes into the second half, but afterward the Red never looked back. Miller started off the run with a 3-pointer, and a layup by Scelfo on the next possession put the Red up by four. Cressler’s five-point streak midway through the half then gave Cornell a comfortable 14-point lead. 
Cressler — who has been a key scorer for the Red as both a starter and reserve — began to put up more consistent numbers over the break. He scored in double figures in three of the final four games of the break, including a 15-point performance against Old Westbury. 
“He is a big guard who can really shoot the basketball and is extremely intelligent on the floor,” Courtney said of Cressler. “He’s gone through some typical ups and downs as a freshman guard but he’s back on track and we expect him to be a big contributor as we go into Ivy League play.”
Returning to Newman for the final game of the break, the Red gave its fans a historic performance with a 103-84 rout of the Panthers. It was only the second time in the past 20 years that the squad has put triple digits on the scoreboard. Gray led the way with 24 points, followed by senior forward Errick Peck with 16 and Cressler with 15. The Red shot 72 percent from the floor in the second half, including 62 percent from beyond the arc.

During winter break, the Cornell men’s basketball team embarked on a tough road trip that covered four states in four road games and included a game against then-No. 1 Duke (16-1). The trip began with a 66-55 loss on Dec. 17 against Vanderbilt (7-9) at Nashville, Tenn. The Commodores stormed out to an early 12-point halftime lead, but Cornell responded with a 14-4 run out of the locker room to cut it to two. Vanderbilt then went on a 12-2 run to expand the lead to 12 and never looked back. Sophomore forward Shonn Miller led the Red with 15 points and 13 points, and senior forward Eitan Chemerinski went 4-4 from the field for 10 points off the bench.
The Red next played Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium and realized why the Blue Devils were ranked No. 1 in the country, as they blew out the Red, 88-47. Duke forward Mason Plumlee, a candidate for Player of the Year, scored 18 points on 8-8 from the field and grabbed nine rebounds. Turnovers proved key in the game, as the Red coughed the ball up a season-high 26 times and the Blue Devils converted those turnovers into 35 points.
The Red then visited Boston University (9-10) and lost its third game in a row, 70-57. The starters struggled this game, scoring just nine of the Red’s 57 points. Sophomore guard Devin Cherry, junior forward Errick Peck and junior forward Dwight Tarwater all were in double digits off the bench, although Peck committed eightturnovers. The Red had a great start as it led the Terriers, 35-30, at the half. However, Boston pulled away in the second, outscoring the Red 40-22. Turnovers were again a problem, as the squad turned the ball over 19 times.
The Red finished its trip on a positive note, beating St. Francis (Pa.) (1-16), 79-67. Senior guard Johnathan Gray and Peck led the way with 21 points each. Junior guard Dominick Scelfo played a then-season high 19 minutes in the game and contributed five points, two rebounds and one assist. St. Francis was led by a balanced effort, as five players all reached double digits.
  • 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
    9. 12/1/12 vs. Colgate W 70-63
    10. 12/17/12 at Vanderbilt L 55-66
    11. 12/19/12 at Duke L 47-88
    12. 12/22/12 at Boston U. L 57-70
    13. 12/28/12 at St. Francis (PA) W 79-67
    14. 12/30/12 at Binghamton W 79-77
    15. 1/2/13 vs. Bucknell L 56-72
    16. 1/6/13 at American W 68-60
    17. 1/12/13 vs. SUNY Old Westbury W 103-84
    18. 1/19/13 vs. Columbia L 58-67
  • 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 January 23 is No. 243 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. 262 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 50 New Hampshire 63 [WBIN/FCS] Box Score - Recap
Fordham 64 Harvard 73 Box Score - Recap
Dartmouth 61 Longwood 53 Box Score - Recap
Penn 47 Penn State 58 [ESPN3] Box Score - Recap
Colgate 63 Cornell 70 Box Score - Recap
Bucknell 65 Columbia 57 Box Score - Recap
Princeton 50 Kent State 62 Box Score - Recap

Tuesday, December 4
Dartmouth 49 Elon 71 Box Score - Recap
Harvard 79 Boston College 63 [ESPN3] Box Score - Recap

Wednesday, December 5
Yale 64 Bryant 62 Box Score - Recap

Friday, December 7
Harvard 49 Connecticut 57 [SNY] Box Score - Recap

Saturday, December 8
Yale 56 New Hampshire 64  Box Score - Recap
Drexel 64 Princeton 57 Box Score - Recap
Dartmouth 56 Holy Cross 67 Box Score - Recap
Brown 57 Notre Dame 84 [ESPN3] Box Score - Recap
Villanova 68 Penn 55 [NBCSN] Box Score - Recap

Sunday, December 9
Columbia 54 American 42 Box Score - Recap

Tuesday, December 11
Boston University 64 Harvard 65 Box Score - Recap

Wednesday, December 12
Dartmouth 50 Vermont 52 Box Score - Recap

Saturday, December 15
Princeton 60 Fordham 63 (Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival) [YES] Box Score - Recap
Dartmouth 42 Arizona State 61 Box Score - Recap

Monday, December 17
Cornell 55 Vanderbilt 66 [ESPNU] Box Score - Recap

Tuesday, December 18
Albertus Magnus 63 Yale 112 Box Score - Recap

Wednesday, December 19
Cornell 47 Duke 88 [ESPNU] Box Score - Recap

Thursday, December 20
Rider 45 Princeton 62 Box Score - Recap

Friday, December 21
Penn 60 Delaware 83  Box Score - Recap

Saturday, December 22
Cornell 57 Boston University70 Box Score - Recap
Dartmouth 66 Bryant 79  Box Score - Recap
Holy Cross 65 Harvard 72  Box Score - Recap
Elon 70 Columbia 79 Box Score - Recap
Bucknell 67 Princeton 79 Box Score - Recap

Sunday, December 23
Brown 42 Northwestern 63 [] Box Score - Recap

Friday, December 28
Providence 68 Brown 69 [NBCSN] Box Score - Recap
Cornell 79 Saint Francis (Pa.) 67  Box Score - Recap
Yale 75 Nevada 85 Box Score - Recap

Saturday, December 29
Manhattan 58 Columbia 69 Box Score - Recap
Penn 63 Wagner 68  Box Score - Recap
Harvard 67 California 62 [PAC-12] Box Score - Recap

Sunday, December 30
Cornell 79 Binghamton 77 [TIME WARNER SPORTS] Box Score - Recap
Yale 62 Saint Mary’s (Calif.) 78 Box Score - Recap
Princeton 58 Akron 62 Box Score - Recap

Monday, December 31
Dartmouth 58 Boston College 79 [ESPN3] Box Score - Recap
Brown 50 Albany 57 Box Score - Recap
Harvard 69 Saint Mary’s (Calif.) 70 [ESPN2] Box Score - Recap

Tuesday, January 1
Yale 70 Iowa State 80 Box Score - Recap

Wednesday, January 2
Colgate 59 Columbia 66 Box Score - Recap
Bucknell 72 Cornell 56 Box Score - Recap
Penn 57 Butler 70 Box Score - Recap

Friday, January 4
Brown 47 Rhode Island 59 [OSN] Box Score - Recap
Yale 61 Holy Cross 54 Box Score - Recap

Saturday, January 5
Princeton 74 Elon 64 Box Score - Recap
Penn 57 La Salle 74 Box Score - Recap
Columbia 64 Army 52 Box Score - Recap
Rice 62 Harvard 92 Box Score - Recap
Colgate 78 Dartmouth 62 Box Score - Recap

Sunday, January 6
Cornell 68 American 60 Box Score - Recap
Florida 79 Yale 58 [NBCSN] Box Score - Recap

Tuesday, January 8
Niagara 74 Brown 75 Box Score - Recap
Columbia 69 Holy Cross 78 Box Score - Recap
Army 58 Dartmouth 75 Box Score - Recap
Lafayette 85 Penn 83 Box Score - Recap

Saturday, January 12
Daniel Webster 34 Brown 71 Box Score - Recap
College at Old Westbury 84 Cornell 103  Box Score - Recap
Oberlin 39 Yale 104 Box Score - Recap
*Harvard 75 Dartmouth 65 Box Score - Recap
*Penn 53 Princeton 65 [NBCSN] Box Score - Recap

Thursday, January 17
Colby-Sawyer 42 Dartmouth 80 Box Score
Penn 54 NJIT 53 Box Score - Recap

Saturday, January 19
Harvard 50 Memphis 60 [FSN] Box Score - Recap
*Columbia 58 Cornell 67 NBCSN] Box Score - Recap
Saint Joseph’s 79 Penn 59 [ESPNU] Box Score - Recap
*Yale 51 Brown 65 Box Score - Recap

Wednesday, January 23
Penn at Temple, 7 pm

Saturday, January 26
*Dartmouth at Harvard, 2 pm [NBCSN]
*Brown at Yale, 2 pm
*Cornell at Columbia, 7 pm

Sunday, January 27
The College of New Jersey at Princeton, 2 pm


Anonymous said...

So much for bcs-level game changers. We're losing kids to Binghamton?

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

We didn't lose Beck. He wanted Cornell badly. We never offered. He waited and waited for us to offer, then got tired of waiting.

Anonymous said...

Beck looks like the kind of player Courtney wants: fast and can handle the ball down the length of the court. I really hope that we're close to landing some impact players.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Beck was not what Cornell needed. Not a great shooter and not overly athletic, also small in stature. Low major player.

Unknown said...

he is not a bcs game changer. He's a 5'8" 175 lb high school point guard...

Anonymous said...

Agree. He's like a little Miles and probably not as good a defender. Just hoping we get some good kids.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

There is a ton of misinformation out there. For example, a major northeastern newspaper reported a few months ago that a guard committed to Cornell. We did not report it because it was not true. Cornell never offered and the kid certainly could not and did not commit.

The Marlon Beck news story is another news story with some misinformation in it.

Cornell liked Beck. By all reports, he's a good player and a good kid.

And there are several guards at the low and mid major level that Cornell is/was keeping tabs on. Beck was one of those prospects. However, Cornell is in no rush to just grab anyone in front of them. They only want guys that they feel are better than the current players on the roster.

Cornell already has one BCS level kid in its class (David Onuorah) and is still involved with a couple others. Transfers are also a possibility, if Cornell wants to go that route.

Julian Jacobs and Kevin Johnson were Cornell's primary 2013 targets among the guards.

K.J. is going to Cincy. Julian is currently headed to USC.