Wednesday, April 3, 2013

News and Notes: Wednesday Edition

Below, news and notes for Wednesday...

  • Jeff Foote (Cornell '10) scored 2 points and grabbed 3 rebounds on April 1 as his Zalgiris (Lithuania) team fell 78-77 to Neptunas (Lithuania) in the Lithuanian League (LKL).  It was Zalgiris' (8-1) first league defeat.
  • Siena has hired as its new head coach, Jimmy Patsos.  Cornell is scheduled to face Patsos' former team, Loyola (MD) next season.  On the hire, The Albany Times Union writes, "Patsos is known for a confrontational, sometimes unpredictable coaching style that has produced controversy. In a game against Cornell in 2008, Patsos went into the stands in the middle of a game, upset after receiving a technical, and sat next to then-Loyola athletic director Joe Boylan before eventually returning to the bench."
The Ivy League is different. At least it used to be. Two schools – Princeton and Penn – dominated the league for a long time. Times are changing though. The P’s have relinquished their control and schools like Harvard and Cornell have recently had extremely successful seasons.
What is the best job in the Ivy League? That’s tough to say. The schools have different advantages and one big disadvantage compared to the rest of the NCAA. The Ivy League’s Academic Index means that getting students into school – despite what reports tell you about Harvard – is still awfully difficult.
None of these jobs are easy, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t go from the Ivy League to bigger things. The question might be if you want to.
The most desirable Ivy League jobs:
1. Harvard – Before Tommy Amaker showed up in Cambridge, MA this certainly wouldn’t have been the case, but since then the Crimson have made important commitments to being the best basketball team in the Ivy League. Most recently Harvard has either won or tied for the Ivy League title in each of the past three seasons. While judging financial commitment to the program is difficult from publicly available sources, Harvard did spend more than any Ivy League program on basketball in 2012 according to the Office of Postsecondary Education. The schools large endowment and commitment to financial aid also allows Harvard to go after elite athletes. Combined with the school’s rich academic tradition a sleeping giant has awakened.
2. Princeton – The Tigers have more tradition and a rich line of coaches. They also have Jadwin Gymnasium – which gives Princeton a unique home court advantage and is the second largest home arena in the Ivy League. Filling a venue that large is a challenge. The Tigers have a strong commitment to financial aid and also recruit at a high level. The expectations are probably higher at Princeton than at Harvard, but the gap is thinning. One of the reasons PU might be a better job? Coaches have moved on to Northwestern, Georgetown and Fairfield in the past. Even Joe Scott, who failed at Princeton, has found his niche at Denver.
3. Penn – The Ps used to dominate the Ivy League, but it has been awhile since Penn claimed an Ivy League title (2007). From 1999 to 2007 the Quakers won seven league titles. Penn also plays in one of the most storied gyms in all of college basketball, The Palestra, and has the advantage of playing in tradition rich Philadelphia with the Big 5. (Don’t underestimate how big of a scheduling advantage those games are either.) Former Penn coaches have also been able to move up the coaching ranks. Fran Dunphy is now doing a great job at Temple. Also, according to the Office of Postsecondary Education Penn spent the second most in the Ivy League on basketball in 2012. This is a very good job.
4. Cornell – Another newcomer to the Ivy League’s party at the top of the standings is Cornell. Under Steve Donahue the Big Red went to three consecutive NCAA tournaments between 2008-2010, reaching the Sweet 16 in the final season. Donahue then left for Boston College. The Big Red’s Newman Arena is one of the bigger gyms in the Ivy League, but Ithica, NY isn’t the easiest place to convince recruits to live.
Interlude: There’s a pretty big gap between the first four jobs and this next four. No other Ivy League school has made the NCAA tournament since 1986, so the tradition isn’t there and the gyms and finances are all about the same size. It then comes down to other more intrinsic advantages to separate these four schools.
5. Yale – Even though the Bulldogs haven’t made the NCAA tournament since 1962, they have been a consistent Ivy League contender. If a player comes to Yale they can plan on competing with the top half of the league. On a percentage basis, Yale had the best attendance in the non-Harvard, smaller gym division of the Ivies (Dartmouth, Columbia, Brown, Cornell, Yale all are in that category). So the fan support is there. Combine a rich academic tradition and leading the Elis is a relatively solid job.
6. Columbia – The Lions’ big advantage over the other three in this tier? New York City. Located in Morningside Heights in Manhattan the Lions can offer not only a great academic experience, but a chance to live in (according to my biased opinion) the greatest city in the world. It hasn’t translated too much success on the court, but recently Kyle Smith has been able to bring in good talent. We’ll see if he can change the culture of the program and bring winning ways the NYC.
7. Brown – The Bears spent the fewest dollars by far ($0.66 million) on basketball in 2012. Providence, RI is a nice city to recruit to and includes a local rivalry with the Big East’s Providence, which made to the mistake of coming to Brown’s Pizzitola Sports Center this season. Brown is the last team to make the NCAA tournament that’s not on the top four jobs on this list. This could be a sleeper to move up in the future.
8. Dartmouth – The school is underrated. It’s located in Hanover, NH and has a recent tradition of losing. (No NCAA’s since 1959 either.) Still, the Big Green showed some signs of life last season. It’ll be tough for this job to ever be a great one.

21 comments:

LODGER said...

So does the picture of Galal imply he is back on the team??

Anonymous said...

So does the pic of Galal imply he is back on the team?

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

As of Saturday, Galal was still undecided.

Anonymous said...

Why are we still even concerned with Galal returning to the team. Didn't he quit on us with two games left in the season. As a fan, I don't want him back.

Say what you want about whatever issues he had with the Coach, he quit on his teammates when they were most vulnerable. That is not a good sign of character when you can't even see through a commitment with two games left.

So if the coaching staff let him come back, how sure can you be he won't quit again if things don't go his way. This is a issue beyond basketball. This is a life issue.

But please let us "quit" talking about Galal and focus on the team we know is returning.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

If outsiders do not have all of the facts, perhaps best not to form an opinion. Just saying...

Anonymous said...

You can never have all the facts about everything. You have more facts than us, and routinely tell us as such and then tell us that you can't tell us. Not really sure what the point is there. Also, even with incomplete facts one can still draw conclusions and opinions. Just as you do.

I want Galal to come back, but the other commenter at 12:28 makes a good point about him quitting. If there are more circumstances, then why don't you bring them to light.

Otherwise, I could just as easily post that I know some insider information about it that you don't...but I can't tell you also to respect Galal's privacy.

Maybe, if 'insiders' have facts that others do not, they should share them, present an opinion other than pure dissent/dismissal, or something else constructive entirely. Just saying...

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

CBB is not given permission to comment more than have so on Galal's situation. We can only say that a final decision has not been made by the parties and I am sure it will be made in the near term as both Galal and the program will each need to make respective plans for next year. That said, reportedly Galal is not looking to leave Cornell University. If he doesn't play for the Big Red, he will focus on academics at Cornell.

Galal and the program need to go through a process and decide what is best for them.

Anonymous said...

Awesome, now that is a worthy non-dismissive response regarding the situation. Thank-you.

Anonymous said...

If Galal returned, he wouldn't be the first point guard to take a temporary absence from the team. This is a life issue, and I hope things work out for Galal and the team, especially if that means that Galal can rejoin the team and help it find success next year.

LODGER said...

Hey Galal, come back.

Thank you.

Geoff

Anonymous said...

I don't know what the reason behind Galal's exit is, but I immediately assumed that it was because of coaching and the woeful state of the program. What's more, the guards pretty much get lambasted as untalented and blamed for the team's ineffectiveness despite the fact that the coach has produced cupcake results and a nonsense offense for years. It's his life; it's unfair to demand that he be selfless towards bad coaches and abusive fans. I hope he sticks around campus and that Courtney gets fired at the end of the next season and that we get a good coach and Galal comes back.

Anonymous said...

I don't have any inside information. You claim that you do. Okay, without going into the specifics of Galal's situation, what general kind of circumstances can you think of which would excuse a player quitting the team with only two games left to play?

I can't think of any.

If it were a medical issue or an academic issue or a family issue, all of those would of course be fully satisfactory explanations. But those would also be described as such upon the player's departure.

I can't think of any reasons which would be categorized as basketball-related, which I believe was the case with Galal, that would excuse quitting the team late in the season. If a player has a problem with his coach or his teammates, he should play out the schedule and then look for a solution, particularly if the team is struggling.

CBB, feel free to answer without specifics if you don't want to get into Galal's situation, but I am at a loss to come up with even a single "good" excuse for the general behavior of quitting a team late in the season.

Anonymous said...

Unless there's some magical recruit out there who can play the point immediately at the college level, our options at the point are rather grim without Galal. And that's not because Galal is that good; it's just that we've really got no one else.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

His name is still on the roster, he is still technically a part of the program.

Maybe just semantics, but I don't think Galal ever quit. My call on Twitter was a bit of a quick trigger pull.

Let's call it a weekend away from the team to figure out what is best for everyone.

And we will wait to see how this all shakes out.



Anonymous said...

Okay CBB:

His name is still on the roster so "technically" he is still on the team. I can also factually state that "technically" he is not working out with the team so he has indeed "quit." Let us stop making excuses and call it what it is.

If he quit because of coaching, is he so narrow minded or self-centered enough to believe that a new coach (who would know he quit with two games left in the season) would be willing to give him an opportunity to just come in and pick up where he left off?

Come on now. Question CBB....

Let's just say that you had an employee, writer, student assistant, who was counted on to cover a story for you and because of illness to your other reporters there was no one else to cover the the story and it was say....one of many 2010 Cornell story lines that would be presented as a feature on ESPN and your writer decided to quit because he did not like the Rose colored glasses you seem to where ALL of the time and by not covering the story, it never got the feature it was guaranteed to have on ESPN. Would you take that person back?....NOPE...I'm just saying.

Anonymous said...

Before everyone bashes Galal, Look at Rutger's coach.
Enough said.

Anonymous said...

Some commenters are getting very abusive about situations that they know nothing about it.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Welcome to the comment section of The Cornell Basketball Blog. Where logic and reason are not prerequisites for posting opinions.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what went into Galal's thought process when he left the team the last weekend. He may or may not have some explaining to do to his teammates. But Galal's decision impacts the program in a big way next year. We have no other point guard, and a potentially tough year next season with many question marks could leave us near the bottom of the league if he doesn't come back. We need him back next year.

There's potential on this team, but that's really we really have right now outside of Shonn. Lots of experience left the past two seasons, and we're going to have a young and pretty inexperienced lineup.

Harvard was in a similar position experience-wise last year, but frankly, we don't have their level of talent.

Anonymous said...

It's no surprise that 2 players quit this year, Bill is not a good coach.

Anonymous said...

I don't recall Cancer giving a press conference saying that he quit.