Tuesday, May 14, 2013

News and Notes: Tuesday Edition

Above, A Date in Cornell Basketball History, Cornell's 1987-1988 Media Guide.  Below, news and notes...

  • The Indianapolis Star notes, "Peck update: Former Cathedral standout Errick Peck visited Xavier this weekend and will make a college decision in the coming days. Peck, a senior at Cornell, has one year of eligibility remaining and will choose between Purdue and Xavier."


Anonymous said...

When Yanni Huffnagel factors in the cheating scandal (which it should be called) into his splitting up the two teams, how does that change things?

I should probably start penning my letter to the Harvard President now about how outrageous I think those two players returning is. It's a shame that letter won't be read nor will anyone care what actually happened.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Hey, give Yanni credit, at least the guy is open, letting his feelings be known. His boss is arguably the least candid coach in the conference.

Wouldn't it be great if all coaches shared their true feelings?

Anonymous said...

I don't think Yanni Hufnagel is speaking in hyperbole when he says that either half of Harvard's roster could contend for the Ivy title next season.

Either half will be led by a returning all-Ivy point guard, with either an experienced or highly athletic big man down low and at least one excellent wing man or pure shooter to fill out the offense. Harvard's second team might very well be an Ivy champion team next year.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

I disagree with Yanni.

First off, Harvard's going to start Brandyn and Siyanni together with Saunders, Casey and Smith.

The bench will be Moundou-Missi, Zena, Rivard and Travis.

For the sake of argument, let's make Siyanni the PG for that second unit.

I think they are good, but not league championship caliber.

Harvard is going to be a small team again and a lot of other Ivy teams are getting bigger and stronger.

Anonymous said...

You seriously don't think Harvard is "league championship caliber"? Who will beat them? Penn? Princeton, without Hummer?

Just because you have a 6'10" guy doesn't mean you're going to top the team with all-Ivy guys at 4 of 5 positions. And I think Kenyatta could certainly get that honor at the 5.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

I look at things differently...
I look at match-ups.
I don't just look at... hey, they've got a bunch of good players.

Anonymous said...

Of course you look at matchups. And there's no team that matches up well with Harvard, at least on paper.

They have the best point guard in the league. Siyani ran an offense better than anyone else in the league as a freshman. And they'll have a second distributor in Curry next season in the back court.

Wes Saunders is the best mid range player in the league and maybe its best overall offensive player period. He's an awful matchup for anyone in the league.

Kenyatta proved that he can rebound with anyone, even if he's not 7'0". We know what Casey brings to the table.

Sure, some teams with big men may slow them down, but it's not like Harvard is a bunch of midgets. Smith is legit. Mike Hall could help. Zena should be dynamite.

The big man argument only holds water if a team can't effectively rebound or alter shots or is pushed around. That's not the case. Also, the only big man above 6'10 who established himself as a game changer was DNH. Cedric K. and Sears are the same size as Kenyatta; Zena is slightly bigger. And the rest of those teams 1-4 match up poorly with Harvard.

I hope that you're right. And our speculation is little more than a fun little academic exercise. But I just don't see anyone beating Harvard unless something weird happens.

Anonymous said...

I think CBB is wrong about Harvard not waltzing to the 2013 title but, like the reader above, I hope he's right.

There's a morality story unfolding in the League right now and my four-year-old hates it when the good guys don't win.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

If Bunce is as good as we think he can be, I think Cornell is a tough, tough match up for Harvard. Bunce and Miller are handful up front on both ends. They both play like 7 footers. Cherry and Cressler will be as dangerous as any two wings off the ball in the league and the PG only needs to get the ball up the floor.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Nobody discussed Siyanni Chambers last summer.

Well... why is everyone so quick to write off Cornell's unknown factors of Bunce, Onuorah, Hatter, Smith and Fleming?

You kids might be surprised by what help Cornell gets from its newbies.

Anonymous said...

That's exactly the point - nobody talked about Chambers last summer because he had yet to play a minute with D1 players.

And once he did, it turns out he is an outstanding player. Clearly the best PG in the league as a frosh. First ever frosh first-teamer. (Although to be fair, Bill Bradley and others would have been in the pre-freshman eligibility era).

That's not a Harvard thing, or a Amaker thing - it's simply true that the kid is terrific.

Now I hope Bunce, etc. are going to be great, but the point is we don't know yet. And, obviously, most unknowns don't turn out to be great.

The reality is that Harvard has by far the best established talent in the league. Not even close. 6 players who have already earned some level of all-Ivy honors. (Although it's fair to at least ask if Casey and Curry have lost anything with a year away).

We have a star in Miller, a good and potentially very good player in Cressler. Beyond that we have role players, inexperience (which is bad) and potential (which is good).

Barring several of our unknowns making huge leaps, I don't believe we will compete for a title next year. It's one thing to win a game (as Penn proved this year and in 2010) - but it's another to keep up after 14.

I don't think we come within 4 games of the league winner next year. I think we're likely looking at the middle of the pack.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

You might be right on Cornell's inability to compete. But I remain optimistic. The cupboard is not at all bare.

I think Shonn Miller is an MVP candidate. Easily one of the top 2-3 guys in the Ivy. That's huge. You need a star. And I think he can be better if he is not asked to play the 5, where he played much of last season. (Even when he was the 4, he was really playing 5 because Figini can't defend and Eitan can't defend the low blocks).

Nolan Cressler and Devin Cherry are definitely 2nd team All Ivy caliber players. Meaning, I don't think anyone around the league would be so shocked if they had the kind of season worthy of that 2nd team honor. Both have showed the ability, especially Nolan.

Nolan makes others around him better. He's a facilitator as well as a good shooter.

And absolutely I wouldn't call Devin Cherry a role player. He's as explosive and dynamic with the ball as they come in the league. Devin can do things off the dribble drive that maybe 2-3 other guys in the league can do. He's pretty damn special. He needs to be consistent, absolutely, but he is not a role player. I think his junior year could be a big one, especially now that he will likely get those extended 30+ minutes.

Braxston hasn't played--- granted--- but every coach in the league agreed he was better than Cedric Kuakamensah and Darien Nelson Henry. If he is physically conditioned to get up and down the floor, I think he can change Cornell completely with his size and take away the paint from the opponent (not to mention a ridiculously athletic super hero in Shonn also swatting shots from the other side).

That leaves Cornell with point guard. If you ask me, I think Darryl Smith might be really something special. I am not saying he runs away with Rookie of the Year like Chambers. But he can have a really nice season running the team and holding down the fort. He doesn't have to score or put up sexy stats. He just needs to get the ball to his dangerous wings ---Nolan and Devin--- or dump it into the posts.

The bench is by no means stacked. But the bench is not barren either. CU has some great active defenders on the pine like Deion and David O. Both can come in, blocks shots, rebound, and keep the score close while starters rest. And guys like Dom, Dwight, Lamore, Holt,and Hatter are all solid and can give quality minutes if called upon.

IMO, if Bill goes with a tight 7 maybe 8 man rotation, I think we might have a team that can compete for the top spot.

On the other hand, if we play 16 guys like we did a year ago, and just can't find the magic chemistry, it could be a long season.

I think Cornell might have a nice 7-man unit that can get it done with Miller, Bunce, Cherry, Cressler, Smith, Scelfo and Onuorah.

Just my two cents.

Anonymous said...

Ahhhhhh, Blog I love you and I hate you. Most times I hate you because you are spewing (what I regard as) overly optimistic homerism about our players and guys who haven't even stepped on the court for us and how we can compete when almost clearly it seems like we can't.

Then, the other times, like this most recent post, you speak absent of such blatant homerism and with facts and optimism that gets me excited for the upcoming season again and ready to win!

Ahhh, to be a Cornell basketball fan...the ups, the downs ... the downs, the downs, the downs ... but here comes the ups...hopefully!

Anonymous said...

Zero true point guards. One established wing in that rotation. Bigs are great but guard play wins ivy

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

All three of Cornell's incoming recruits played point guard for their high school teams even though they were the best scoring options. They are point guards... at least as much in the sense as Galal was a point guard (meaning, they can handle the ball and break a defense down).

Anonymous said...

Good thing that Harvard didn't land Alex Foster. Not that Harvard needs another athletic 6-7 forward, but he's good.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Harvard had no chance at Foster. He is way, way sub AI, just like everyone else they recruit.

Anonymous said...

Just out of curiosity, CBB, how do you know that Alex Foster is "way, way sub AI"? I'm not disagreeing; I'm just curious.

I think we can probably infer that Foster and many other Harvard recruits fall below the minimum AI floor when no other Ivies pursue them. (In general, the pool of players nationwide who can both play at the Division I level and meet Ivy academic requirements is small enough that more than one Ivy pursues each recruit.) Is that the source of your inference, that no other Ivies made a serious effort at Foster?

Harvard seems to go after more recruits whom no other Ivies offer. Did anybody else make an effort at Edosomwan?

On the other hand, it's hard to say that any player is "way, way sub AI" unless you have more specific, personal information. Do you?

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

I talk to quite a few college coaches that is how I know.