Monday, June 17, 2013

News and Notes: Monday Edition

Below, news and notes for Monday...

  • Ridiculous Upside notes, "This past season, the Springfield Armor [of the NBA D-League] had two noteworthy Call-Ups, Willie Reed (Memphis) and Kris Joseph (Brooklyn). Prior to this season, the franchise witnessed three Call-Ups including Dennis Horner, Jerry Smith and Jeff Foote."
At the University of Richmond, players in the men’s basketball program pass their courses, do what the coaches ask and don’t transfer.
Doesn’t seem all that hard, does it?
It’s harder than it sounds.
The NCAA released its most recent academic progress rate results this week and among the 347 men’s Division I basketball programs, 12 had perfect scores of 1,000.
Richmond was one of the 12, joined by Belmont, Bucknell, Butler, Cornell, Elon, Indiana, Lehigh, Kansas, Notre Dame, Texas and Vermont.
Justin Gray thought his teammate was going to shoot, but he went up for the rebound just in case.
When Gray instead was offered a perfect alley-oop toss off the backboard, the 6-foot-5 guard and top recruit from Tampa Berkley Prep knew what to do.
“I just dunked it,” said Gray, broad grin across his face. “It’s Dunk City. Had to do it.”
On the first day of FGCU team camp Friday in Alico Arena, Gray was among several handfuls of prospects basking in the enhanced profile of a program forever connected with March’s historic NCAA tournament run, which continues to resonate.
“I think it caught the nation’s attention, and certainly it made its way up to Tampa,” said Berkley Prep coach Bobby Reinhardt, whose program features at least two genuine Division-I prospects in Gray and fellow rising senior guard Marshall Holmes.
“We’re real happy for what the guys have done down here. I still think Florida is not regarded as highly as it needs to be in terms of basketball, at all levels. (FGCU) is certainly a boost in the arm for everybody in the state of Florida.”
About 55 teams are participating in FGCU’s camp, which runs through Sunday.
Defending Class 8A state champ Miami Norland boasts four Division-I prospects on its roster — including 6-9, premier sophomore Dewan Huell — while state-ranked recruits like Orlando-Edgewater’s Eddie Keith and Community School of Naples’ Jeff Merton were also among those on the floor.
“This is our first time coming to (FGCU). That should probably tell you something right there,” said Reinhardt, who said his team bypassed another school’s camp it usually attends this week.
“I think there’s probably some other teams that are here off of the high of Florida Gulf Coast and what they did. We knew there’d be some real quality teams because of that. That’s why we’re here.”
Gray, the seventh-ranked rising senior recruit in the state by, first visited FGCU the week after the Eagles became the first No. 15 seed in NCAA tournament history to reach the Sweet 16.

Aside from seeing the team on television everywhere he went, Gray, whose brother played for Cornell, said he also took a strong liking to the “family atmosphere” surrounding the program.
“The stock has definitely risen up,” said Gray, who listed FGCU with Harvard, Stanford, Butler, Miami and Virginia atop his short list. “I just love coming here. The campus is beautiful. It’s close to home, so my family can come to my games. That’s all coming into play right now.”
Even with the head coaching change from Andy Enfield, now at USC, to former Kansas assistant Joe Dooley, coaches and recruits say FGCU’s appeal remains as strong if not stronger.
“Winning is a culture,” said Reinhardt, noting the importance of Enfield staff members Marty Richter, Michael Fly and Joey Cantens all remaining at FGCU as part of Dooley’s staff.
“That culture is going to remain. I know Joe Dooley will look to capitalize on that and keep the momentum going. I wouldn’t expect Florida Gulf Coast to skip a beat.”


Anonymous said...

Interesting that the younger Gray includes Harvard but not Cornell on his "short list".

Anonymous said...

Not sure it's interesting as much as it's sad.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Only two problems with your conclusion(s):

(1)You are assuming the author accurately captured his list of schools; and

(2) Cornell wants Justin Gray.

At the end of the day, the article is about Florida Gulf Coast recruiting.

And keep in mind, Cornell did not even recruit older brother, Jonathan Gray. He recruited Cornell and attended without any Athletics Department assistance in admissions/financial aid.

Anonymous said...

Why wouldn't Cornell want a kid (1) who is the 7th ranked recruit in Florida (2) who's brother played for Cornell and (3) who must have some academic qualifications if Harvard is showing interest?

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

(1) Cornell might be recruiting better players, this is after all, the early cycle, not the late spring (2) Harvard regularly recruits academically unqualified kids, (3) you don't see any other Ivies on his list, thus see point 2 above, (4) even Harvard lost a younger brother to another Ivy, see Conor Boehem at Dartmouth, younger brother of former Amaker recruited player, Peter Boehem.

Point here is there is a lot more than meets the eye.

Anonymous said...

Not even a courtesy listing.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Gee, that would really make a difference.

Anonymous said...

Regarding your list of four potential reasons why Justin Gray might not be considering Cornell, don't you think there is some logical inconsistency between your points (1) and (2)?

I accept that (2) Harvard regularly recruits academically unqualified kids, but then doesn't that logically rule out the possibility (1) Justin Gray is not athletically of interest to Cornell? Let's face it, Harvard's recruiting at a higher plane than Cornell and the other Ivies are athletically, and at a lower plane academically. Therefore, it's mostly wishful thinking to suggest that a Harvard recruit is not of interest to Cornell due to basketball reasons.

Sure, any given player may fit better into our system than Harvard's but, in general, their players are better on the court and weaker in the classroom.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Harvard is not recruiting at a higher plane than Cornell.

Cornell came oh so close to landing Julian Jacobs who is a legitimate NBA prospect and could have been the best guard to ever play in the Ivy League.

Cornell did land David Onuorah, who committed before July 1, 2012 and already had 1 BCS offer in hand with many others expected to come in during the summer.

Darryl Smith and Robert Hatter are also a pair of multiple scholly offer mid major guards.

Aside from Zena, Harvard's class is not spectacular by any stretch.

In fact, top to bottom, I'd say Cornell has the better class, but Zena is the best of the group.

Anonymous said...

I don’t understand how you can say Harvard is not recruiting at a higher plane than we are.

How can we evaluate this?

First – let’s look at how the recruits were rated coming out of high school, using our existing roster plus incoming freshman (Yes, this is problematic, but let’s at least understand what the empirical evidence is before we dismiss it – especially if we are simply looking at it in the aggregate).

Cornell’s entire roster is 2star guys (using the VerbalCommits numbers, which in itself is an average of ESPN, Scout, and Rivals).

Harvard has 9 guys rated above that level, including Saunders (3.3stars), and Chambers(2.7) who were first-teamers this year as a soph and freshman.

I know you are going to say that we found Miller, who is a stud, and Bunce who was under the radar. Sure, but if the ratings are completely random and meaningless, why don’t they average out over entire rosters?

Second, let’s look at level of play in college. We have one unqualified star in Miller, and several other players who we hope can achieve a high level of performance, although they have not yet demonstrated it on the court.

As was just pointed out, Harvard has 6 returning all-ivy players. 3 of them were 2.5 or greater coming out of high school. Simplistically, if we say Miller and Saunders are a wash, they have a whole team of guys who have already done it, and we don’t.

And lastly, how do the guys who count (the coaches whose livelihood depends on getting recruiting right, or at least as right as possible) look at it. This is impossible to know. You tell us you hear from a number of coaches – but my question is this – if we are recruiting at the same level as Harvard – how come we don’t seem to be involved with very many ‘above-the-radar’ guys. Why is it that our guys are almost always ‘hidden gems’?

The pros may snicker at the ratings, but in the aggregate if I build a team of 2.5-4.0 guys, and you build a team of 2.0 guys, I will beat you just about every time.

And as far as Julian Jacobs being the best guard ever to play in the Ivies – he’s a promising talent, but it’s silly to compare a high school kid whose best offers were USC and Utah to guys who had long NBA careers – Calhoun, Petrie, Taylor, etc.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Cornell has had on campus multiple top 200 guys. You just don't know about them.

The only difference between Harvard and Cornell is that Harvard (read: their coaches) loved to blab to the media and share their information.

Cornell likes to keep things close to the vest. Donahue did it. Courtney does it. Donahue still does it at Boston College.

The ratings you cite are ridiculous. Most of these ratings are from scouts that have seen kids play only once or twice from 9 months ago. These are not reliable indicators. But they entertain the sofa-athletes (the casual fan).

As for Jacobs, again you are uninformed. He had more than a dozen BCS offers. In the Pac 12 alone he had offers from USC, Arizona State and Utah. He will not be the last elite talent to visit Ithaca. We have a guy coming this weekend who is being hosted by the Texas Longhorns today.

Anonymous said...

Great, I hope we land 3 top 100 guys.

I'm talking about results, not publicity or potential.

Of course there is a big difference in style, and I'm not suggesting Courtney needs to put his recruiting lists out in the public. But that's just style.

It's also true that near misses is probably a unavoidable step up the ladder to actually landing better recruits.

But you haven't refuted a single thing I've said.

Measured by the only thing that really matters - the kids who matriculated over the last 3-4 years, Harvard has recruited at a different level.

Is Courtney turning that around? I hope so. But measured by actual results, there is no evidence of that.

There's no question too much attention is paid to recruiting ratings.

But you are ignoring the empirical evidence - an arbitrary group of 3-star recruits will IN THE AGGREGATE produce significantly more quality players than the same number of 2-star recruits.

That's not my opinion, that's a matter of historical record.

Anonymous said...

Why are we still talking about a kid who turned us down? Jacobs is at USC -- close means absolutely nothing unless you get the kid to enroll. Harvard was able to seal the deal with a top 100 kid, and even convince said kid to pass up UCLA and others for a year just to raise his AI score (we can quibble about floor kids, etc., later, but that's not the point here).

And as for the statement that "Cornell has had on campus multiple top 200 guys. You just don't know about them" --- we don't know about them because none has committed to Cornell. If we start landing kids of this caliber, then I'll get more excited. I will say that if we truly want to compete with Harvard, who is bringing in top every year, we need to continue to improve our recruiting. I see signs of hope, but we're not there yet. I do believe in Courtney's ability to start bringing some top kids on board.

Anonymous said...

Btw, if we land Cam Smith, who I assume is the kid you referred to above, that would be a nice start. He's got lots of Ivy interest (including, yes, Harvard), along with mid and high major interest.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Tommy Amaker has been at Harvard since 2007-2008.

Bill Courtney has been at Cornell since 2010-2011.

Do the math.

Amaker had 3 full seasons as a head start to build his recruiting classes.

It is not that Amaker is a better recruiter than Courtney, it is that Amaker is more established because he had 3 years of time to settle in and lay groundwork while Steve Donahue's teams dominated him.

Amaker has more All Ivy guys than Courtney because he had 3 more seasons to recruit them. Simple as that.

So far, the ONLY Ivy League team to reach the Sweet 16 OR finish in the Top 25 (two different accomplishments) was the Cornell 2010 team which did not have a single player on its roster with "3 stars" (whatever the hell that means).

I guarantee you that Cornell team would kill this year's Harvard team because the Crimson don't have a 7 footer that could defend Foote, the same way Foote dominated Casey and Wright (not to mention J.Lin).

Tommy Amaker did not get a share of an Ivy title until his 4th season. Bill is headed into his 4th season.

In Tommy's 4th season, there was no real elite team in the league. Cornell's dynasty had ended. The timing was right for Princeton and Tommy to step up.

In Bill's 4th season, Harvard is loaded thanks to an academic scandal red-shirt program.

Take off your blidners and get a look at the reality of the situation.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Besides Zena, who are these top kids at Harvard?

They have a bunch of mid major kids that each sported 1 or 2 BCS offers similar to several young Cornell guys.

Anonymous said...

OK, now we can agree.

The original question was if Harvard had been recently recruiting at a higher plane than Cornell.

You have switched from flatly stating that they have not been, to explaining the reasons they actually have been.

Your reasons I agree with, by the way. Donahue left the cupboard a little bare, and Courtney needs time to fully establish himself.

So, once more, has Harvard been much more successful in actually bringing recruits to Cambridge over the last few years than Cornell - the answer is obviously and irrefutable yes.

Again, I hope Courtney can turn that around, but like the question of if Bunce will be a star, we are all going to have to wait and watch to see.

This discussion isn't about glorifying Amaker or Harvard, it's more about us. To succeed, you have to be willing to measure yourself, and right now their recruiting success is the benchmark in the league.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Amaker has recruited a lot of solid/average to very good Ivy players. But I don't think he has recruited better players than Courtney. I think Amaker has simply recruited more players over 6 years that have had time to mature and grow in his system.

But he doesn't have any players that rank among the Ivy's all time greats like Foote or Wittman.

Once Bill has a chance to fill his roster with serviceable players like Harvard has, we can have this discussion. Right now, he needs 1-2 more years to fill his roster entirely with his kids.

Anonymous said...

You can keep telling yourself that.

Saunders will very likely be a 3-year first-teamer.

Would it surprise anyone if Chambers if the first 4-year first-teamer.

Zena apparently has terrific potential (like everyone else, we'll wait and see).

SMM, Travis, and more recently Smith are already very solid Ivy players.

You keep saying Courtney has kept up over the last few years, but offer no evidence of it.

You like Cornell, you don't like Harvard, I get it. But you have not advanced your argument - you are simply saying hooray for my side.

You want to look at numbers from our championship run, but you don't want to look at numbers, or results, or anything concrete from the Courtney era.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Louis Dale was Ivy Player of the Year as a sophomore.

Saunders did not get it. Chambers won't get it.

You have not shown that Harvard is getting better players than Cornell's Donahue teams and you have not shown that Courtney is failing to recruit at Harvard's level as he heads into year #4.

At the end of the day, your only point is that Amaker has been there longer and has a few All Ivy guys.

Great. We'll see how many Bill has when he's been in the league for 3 more years.

Anonymous said...

Who said anything about Dale or the Donahue era.

I quote from my post above: "Measured by the only thing that really matters - the kids who matriculated over the last 3-4 years, Harvard has recruited at a different level. "

And your response is what it always is - look how great we were. We had a fabulous run. But the Donahue Cornell program is no more.

Courtney has to show he can recruit with Harvard. To date he has not. Let's recognize that simple fact and move on to how we get over the hump.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Bill Courtney has had just 2 recruiting classes play at Cornell.

In the first of those two classes, he had the Ivy League Rookie of the Year (Shonn Miller). That's a home run.

This first class also has a couple other rising juniors that have looked pretty good and showed All Ivy potential: D.Cherry, D.Lamore, D.Giddens. Cherry might be the best player of his kind in the league aside from Saunders. And Giddens can be the Ivy's top defender before he graduates.

Bill's second class was led by Nolan Cressler, arguably one of the top 5 rookies in the league and a sure bet to earn All Ivy before he graduates. Bill's prized recruit of that class, Bunce, did not get a chance to play. Bunce had more than two dozen offers including from Marquette, WashSt., Va Tech and Boise State. Courtney also picked up Holt Harmon who was injured most of the year and red-shirted. Hard to really judge this class given the injuries.

Bill's third class (which has yet to play) includes physical/athletic specimen, David Onuorah, who had a very early offer from Auburn and was being heavily pursued by Tennessee and Vanderbilt (the latter was on the cusp of an offer). Also in this class are two complementary guards (Hatter and D.Smith), both of whom carried multiple mid major offers.

Before you judge Courtney's recruiting ability--- maybe just maybe you should wait to see David Onuorah, Braxston Bunce, Darryl Smith and Robert Hatter.

The staff believes Onuorah could start from day 1. He's a freakish athlete on the glass. Combined with Miller, they could be a wrecking crew. (Miller alone is a handful for any opponent)

Bunce needs to get healthy and conditioned to run the Cornell pace, but Cornell did not recruit any player other than Julian Jacobs any harder than it recruited Bunce. Penn wanted him in the worst way. They wanted him ahead of DNH.

One source tells me that Darryl Smith is the best guard to commit to Bill Courtney in his 3 years and could be a sleeper All Ivy candidate. At a minimum, he could have a similar impact in the league as Cressler.

Hatter is a very serviceable lead guard and should help out a troubled Red backcourt and should be an upgrade over what was there last year.

Anonymous said...

CBB, you're a homer and I'm totally okay with that. Nobody starts a blog about one team who isn't at least a little bit of a homer. Cool.

But to stick by your position that Cornell is recruiting on the same plane as Harvard is a dangerous assertion. Why do I say "dangerous"?

Because of the following:

2010-11: Harvard 12-2; Cornell 6-8
2011-12: Harvard 12-2; Cornell 7-7
2012-13: Harvard 11-3; Cornell 5-9

Either Harvard is recruiting better players or Amaker is a better coach, period. I've seen enough of Amaker's game-day coaching to think that he is not a better coach. Therefore, I agree with what the rating agencies say, namely, Harvard is bringing in better players.

You, on the other hand, say Harvard is not bringing in better players and that Amaker's only recruiting advantage is three additional years of tenure. Well, Courtney literally needs to win the Ivy League championship for the next three years to catch up. If not, it would appear that he's not as good a recruiter.

For the life of me, I can't figure out why you stand by your contention that Courtney recruits as well as Amaker does. Because the only implication possible from that belief is that either Amaker is a terrific game-day coach or Courtney is a horrible one. I've watched enough Harvard games to rule out the former and you don't want to conclude the latter.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

I am absolutely a homer.

In fact, I am the only Ivy blogger who is willing to admit it.

The others flat out are dishonest about their loyalties and their bias slants.

That all said, I won't make predictions or statements about Cornell that flat out will cause loss of credibility.

With respect to Harvard in the last 3 seasons vs. Cornell, the Crimson have had the fortune of outstanding junior and senior classes.

Amaker's recent upperclassmen have included Brandyn Curry, Kyle Casey, Christian Webster, Oliver McNally and Keith Wright, to name a few.

Bill Courtney's juniors and seniors the last 2-3 years has been essentially barren in talent aside from Chris Wroblewski. Peck and Gray were fringe All Ivy guys, but inconsistent and both had issues restricting their playing time (health/eligibility). The rest of the recent juniors and seniors were role players.

Cornell needs to get some starts in its upperclass ranks.

We are starting to get there.

Fans need to recognize that rebuilding projects take 3-5 years and some luck.

Anonymous said...

Which are the other Ivy fan blogs? I'm only aware of five: the Princeton basketball, the Princeton football, the Columbia football, the Dartmouth football and the Ivy League basketball blogs. Are there others?

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Well, you could count Mike James as a Harvard blogger.

Princeton has Jon Solomon.

Columbia had a basketball blog, albeit briefly.

And Penn has its Soft Pretzel Logic blog written by a Penn alumnus and long time Penn fan.

Anonymous said...

Go Big Red - from an admitted CUAA fan - ex player.
I really like the "quality" of the Cornell guys - smart, hard-working, helpful, keep their nose clean, etc. Reminds me of ......

And to paraphrase a Kentpucky fan - "yes, we can spell"