Thursday, May 16, 2013

News and Notes: Thursday Edition

Above, A Date in Cornell Basketball History.  Cornell's regular season and postseason media guides for Cornell's three-time NCAA Tournament participant and defending Ivy League championship teams of 2008, 2009 and 2010.  The Ivy League teams ceased publication of hardcopy regular season media guides during the 2009-2010 season.  Below, news and notes for Thursday...
  • Reviewing the Brooklyn Nets' season, writes, "The Summer League also brought us Swamp People extra Adam Morrison scoring the first-ever points for an incarnation of the Brooklyn Nets and the only 7-footer doofier than Brook Lopez, Cornell grad Jeff Foote."
  • Foote did not play with his professional club, Zalgiris' (Lithuania) opening win in the quarterfinals last night against Novgorod (Russia) in the Eastern Europe VTB League Playoffs.  Zalgiris, which now leads the series 1-0, picked up a 75-63 win.  Foote will likely miss the remainder of the season with back pains.
Below, continuing coverage of Errick Peck's enrollment at Purdue following his graduation from Cornell.  Under Ivy League rules, Peck is not eligible to play in the Ivy League as a graduate student.

Errick Peck has made a decision, and the former Indianapolis Cathedral standout and high school teammate of former Boilermaker Kelsey Barlow will play his final season of college basketball at Purdue. The 6-foot-6 forward will receive his undergraduate degree from Cornell on May 26 after spending four years at the Ivy League school. He missed the 2011-2012 season with a knee injury and has one season of college eligibility remaining. Because he will receive his bachelor’s degree in four years, the NCAA will allow Peck to play one more season as a graduate student at another university. Peck visited Purdue and Xavier, selecting the Boilermakers on Wednesday. Peck is a near-perfect fit for the Boilermakers’ 2013-2014 roster. He will give Matt Painter a fifth-year player on a roster that until Wednesday had two scholarship seniors and no scholarship juniors. Everyone else on the 2013-2014 roster will have freshman or sophomore athletic eligibility. Peck will add a mature voice and a dedicated approach to the game. And, he likes to play defense, which will get him on the floor in Painter’s world. West Lafayette High School’s David Wood, a former Purdue assistant, coached Peck during the 2009 Indiana All-Star team’s sweep of Kentucky. While Peck was one of the final two selected for that All-Star team, Wood said Indiana would not have won twice without him. Wood told me Wednesday that he would take Peck on any roster at any time. Wood said Peck is a great human being and is a player “you win with.” While Peck’s 9.7 points and 4.8 rebounds averages weren’t eye-opening during Cornell’s 2012-2013 season, he was a solid player who did what he was asked. A player like that will add stability to next season’s Purdue roster. He is capable of playing small forward or power forward and is confident he can guard three different positions. Peck also said he has worked hard to improve his perimeter shot, a skill the 2013-2014 Boilermakers need. Last summer, Painter went after Julius Mays, a Marion High School product who had played at North Carolina State and Wright State and had a season of eligibility remaining after picking up his diploma at Wright State. Mays picked Kentucky instead of Purdue, and it was evident last year’s young Purdue team could have used his wise, poised leadership. This time, Painter got his “voice of reason” in Pack, a guy who will help the Boilermakers in practice, during games and in the locker room. If you are a Purdue basketball fan, you should be excited about Errick Peck’s decision to attend Purdue. As David Wood says, Peck is a guy “you win with.
The guy you win with. That’s the way 2009 Indiana All-Star boys basketball team coach David Wood of West Lafayette describes Errick Peck, a strong 6-foot-6 forward who played three seasons at Ivy League member Cornell and now will use his final year of athletic eligibility at Purdue. Peck, an Indianapolis Cathedral graduate who led Indiana to a two-game sweep of Kentucky in 2009, is taking second-semester final examinations this week at Cornell and will receive his undergraduate degree on May 26. A knee injury forced Peck to sit out Cornell’s 2011-12 season, and because he is graduating in four years, the NCAA will allow him to play one season as a graduate student at Purdue. Peck will report to Purdue on June 10. The versatile forward, who averaged 9.7 points and 4.8 rebounds for Cornell in 2012-13, also visited Xavier. On Wednesday morning, he decided to accept Purdue coach Matt Painter’s scholarship offer. “Both have great coaching staffs, great players and great overall programs,” Peck said Wednesday. “Both schools are close to home, and of course, Purdue is in the Big Ten. Both get a ton of exposure. With each visit, I got along well with the players, so they have a lot in common. “In the end, I think Purdue fit me just a bit better. Plus, with (former Boilermaker) Kelsey Barlow and I having played together in high school, I always watched them in the tournament and kind of followed them from afar. But when I was at Cornell, I really focused more on myself and my studies. That took enough time in and of itself.” With the exceptions of Peck, senior-to-be guard Terone Johnson and senior-to-be post player Travis Carroll, every other scholarship player on Purdue’s current 2013-14 roster will have freshman or sophomore athletic eligibility. Peck’s experience and leadership will be a big boost to an otherwise young team. “I believe I fit that role,” Peck said. “I’ve done that before, so I don’t think that will be anything new to me. I’m looking forward to playing on the big stage, and I think I can help them at the small forward and power forward positions. I’m able to do a lot of things, including guard a lot of positions.  “I hope to bring a lot of things when I get on the floor. I know they have good senior leaders in Terone Johnson and Travis Carroll. I’m not going to try to come in and dominate the basketball. I want to come in and help us win games. I just want an opportunity to do my part, whether that’s guarding the other team’s best player or scoring points. My biggest thing is winning.” Peck, who will begin a master’s degree in communications or business, hopes to give Painter a versatile option on each end of the court. “I can defend, rebound and spread the floor a little bit shooting,” Peck said. “When I injured my knee, all I pretty much did was work on my shooting. I’ve expanded my game a lot since high school.” Wood said that in the Indiana-Kentucky All-Star games, Indiana’s offense struggled until it began to feed Peck inside. Wood said Purdue fans will appreciate Peck’s effort and dedication. “The first thing he is going to give them is a first-class human being,” Wood said. “He is just a quality young man. It took me about 30 minutes to know that this was a really, really good young man. When I think about that Indiana All-Star team, he was one of the last two players chosen. “Then, he was our best player in those two games. From a basketball standpoint, he will bring versatility. He can go out on the floor, and he can bang down low. He also will bring physical strength. He is a guy who can guard a power forward or a small forward. He can make an 18-foot shot, which is good, because this is a Purdue team that can use guys who put the ball in the basket. He will do whatever you want him to, and he will do it really well.” Playing for Purdue will be a dream come true of sorts for Peck. "I feel like I have come full circle,” he said. “Coming out of high school, I wanted to play in the Big Ten, but I wasn't able to do that. By selecting Purdue now, I will have that opportunity."
With only 10 players on scholarship for the 2013-14 season, Purdue was in the market for a transfer this spring. A few early offers didn’t pan out, but Matt Painter and his staff landed an important piece Wednesday with the addition of 5th year senior Errick Peck. Peck previously played for Cornell, where he sat out the 2011-12 season after injuring his knee. He is very familiar with Purdue, however, having played high school ball at Cathedral, where he was a teammate of former Purdue player Kelsey Barlow. Peck had an up and down career at Cornell, due mostly to the knee injury that derailed his junior year. He played little as a freshmen, but had a very good sophomore season, averaging 11 points and 3.6 rebounds per game in 23 minutes. After sitting out his junior year, it took him awhile to get back in the flow of Cornell’s offense, but he closed the season with scoring outings of 13, 19, 26, and 14 points. On the season he averaged 9.7 points and 4.8 rebounds a game. Peck is a tough kid, playing on the interior despite lacking prototypical power forward size (6’6” 223lbs). He is able to be successful based on his toughness and energy, something Purdue’s frontcourt was sorely lacking last season. I would expect him to challenge Purdue’s returning players for a starting position – which would allow Rapheal Davis to move back to his more natural position on the wing as a ’3′. Which brings me to probably the most important things that Peck will bring to Purdue: toughness, energy, and leadership. For all of Purdue’s talent last season, all too often the energy wasn’t there. And in many cases, that lack of energy was the difference between Purdue winning and losing. But with Peck joining the Boilermakers, there is now a player who will push guys in practice, and will lead by example during games. Make no mistake, Peck is good enough to beat out nearly anyone on Purdue’s roster for playing time, but hopefully his leadership will push some of Purdue’s young talent towards maximizing their ability as well. Purdue now has three talented energy/leadership players: Peck, Davis, and Bryson Scott. I’m not sure how good Purdue will be next year (though once again, the raw talent is there for this team to be pretty good) but I do feel confident saying that some of the effort issues that plagued this team won’t be an issue next season. And even setting aside what Peck will be able to contribute in the stat sheet, his leadership alone may be enough to make the addition worthwhile. Adding Peck will help Purdue win more games, so this was an excellent pick-up for the Boilermakers.
– The Indiana and Purdue men’s basketball programs shored up the teams’ rosters with fifth-year transfers Wednesday.
Evan Gordon, an Arizona State graduate transferring to IU, and Errick Peck, a Cornell grad transferring to Purdue, will be eligible to play immediately.
Gordon averaged 10.1 points for the Sun Devils. The 6-foot-3 guard adds experience for the Hoosiers, who had two upperclassmen on scholarship before his commitment.
Two upperclassmen guards, Remy Abell and Maurice Creek, decided to leave the Hoosiers after the 2012-13 season.
Peck, an Indianapolis Cathedral graduate, will fill similar needs for a Purdue squad with 10 scholarship players.
The 6-foot-6 forward joins the Boilermakers after forwards Sandi Marcius and Jacob Lawson as well as guard Anthony Johnson left the program this offseason.
Both players kept their commitment confirmations brief. The programs are prohibited to comment about players until their letters of intent and all other paperwork have been filed with the university.
Peck sent a simple text message, “Yessir.” when asked if he had committed to the Boilermakers. Xavier was also in the mix for the graduate transfer, and after a visit with the Musketeers, Peck pushed his decision deadline of Tuesday back a day.
Gordon, the younger brother of former IU All-American Eric Gordon, took to Twitter to announce his pledge. He also spoke with Kyle Neddenriep of the Indianapolis Star the morning of his commitment.
“I have decided to become a Hoosier this coming season,” Evan Gordon said on Twitter. He also considered Butler and visited the Bulldogs’ campus Tuesday.
“Nothing like an Indiana kid playing for IU,” he told Neddenriep.
The Hoosiers are bringing in one of the most talented freshman classes in the nation, but with six newcomers, it may take time to get acclimated. A fifth-year player like Gordon will help with that assimilation, and although he is new to Bloomington, he grew up around the program and learned plenty during his brother’s recruitment by IU.
Gordon is an Indianapolis native and played for North Central before heading to Hargrave Military Academy for his final season of high school. He played two years for Liberty before transferring to Arizona State for his last undergraduate season.
Peck’s path to West Lafayette was simpler.
He played three seasons for Cornell and averaged 9.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists for the Big Red. Peck earned a redshirt season because of an injury his junior year, but Ivy League schools do not grant a fifth year of eligibility.
He will help a team that finished 16-18 last season behind a talented but young core of freshmen.
The fifth-year player will join an incoming class of three freshmen – Basil Smotherman, Kendall Stephens and Northrop’s Bryson Scott – as well as Jay Simpson, who was with the program last year but sat out with a medical redshirt.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why don't standardize this process? Come to Cornell, sit out your freshman year. Graduate in four years, and then play your fifth year in a big conference, with grad school paid for. Basically re-institute the policy that freshman don't play.