Monday, July 29, 2013

News and Notes: Monday Edition

Above, A Date in Cornell Basketball History. A game program from December 8, 1965 when Syracuse visited Cornell at Barton Hall. Below, news and notes for Monday...

  • Jon Rothstein of CBS considers Purdue the sleeper of the Big 10 and notes, "Cornell transfer Errick Peck will add leadership and intangibles."
  • Eitan Chemerinski (Cornell '13) and his Team USA advanced to the Gold Medal game in the Maccabi Games in Israel with a 77-73 win on Sunday over host Israel in the semifinals.  USA faces Argentina today for the Gold.  See the story in the Times of Israel.  Chemerinski previously scored 3 points in the team's tournament opener, an 86-83 overtime defeat to Argentina.  But the Americans bounced back in their second game in the preliminaries with an 89-55 win over Germany.  Then in the third game of round play, Chemerinski notched 13 points in a USA 111-57 win over Australia followed by 10 point performance in the fourth game, an 84-31 win over Russia.   USA closed out round robin play with Chemerinski scoring 15 points as his Team USA finished 4-1 in the Group A with a dominant 141-66 victory over Ginea-Bissau.  Group B consisted of Canada, Kazakhstan, France, Greece and Israel.   
  • The South Jersey Times mentions former Cornell assistant coach, Mike Burden, now the head coach at Cumberland High School in New Jersey.


Anonymous said...

Love that you believe so strongly in Cornell's title hopes, but I simply don't see it.

Harvard has the better player at 4 of 5 starting positions, a much stronger bench, more experience, and, frankly, a more cogent offensive plan.

Advantage: Harvard

Advantage: Harvard

Advantage: Love Cressler's upside, but still, advantage Harvard

Advantage: Cornell

Advantage: Harvard

The only way Cornell beats Harvard for the title is if everything goes right for us and everything falls apart for Harvard. The odds of that happening are pretty slim.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Interesting analysis, but basketball games are not always determined by individual mathematical match ups.

Separately, we have no idea how the new guys--- Onuorah, Bunce, Smith and Hatter change Cornell. How do you know Chambers wins a match up against a player you've never seen play (Smith/Hatter)? How do you know K.Smith wins a match up against Cornell's posts? Smith wasn't exactly dynamic in the Ivy League.

I don't know what Devin Cherry is going to produce this year, but he has nothing less than Ivy League Player of the Year ability. We'll see what he brings to the table as a junior.

At the end of the day, Harvard is the favorite. There is no dispute here. But, I am not prepared to say that Harvard is a lock. I see huge upside with Brown, Cornell and Penn.

Anonymous said...

Smith nearly had a triple double (with blocks) against Penn last season (20, 10, 9). That line is about as dynamic as it gets.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

He also scored 5 or fewer points in 7 of the 14 Ivy games. He also recorded 2 or fewer rebounds in 4 of the 14 Ivy games.

He was all over the map and inconsistent, much like a couple of the Cornell kids.

Not even sure Smith was the best player on the floor that day in Lavietes. Smith was so good against Penn that a freshman for Penn, Darien Nelson Henry put up 14 points in 20 minutes with Smith (31 minutes) defending the paint. DNH also had 4 rebounds in those 20 minutes.

Michael James said...

Kenyatta's offensive abilities are all over the map, for sure. He has very good post moves, but struggles with footwork and making himself available for entry, which leads to a ton of turnovers.

He was, however, one of the top defensive players in the nation last season. He was just short of playing enough minutes to qualify, but if he had, he would have been best in the nation in defensive rebounding rate and second best in the nation in block rate.

When he was on the floor alone for Harvard last year, opponents made just 40.8% of 2PT FGs - over four percentage points better than the Crimson's next-best combination (Smith and SMM together, 45.1%). Also, when on the floor, opponents had just a 28.8% FT Rate - best of any Harvard defender.

While DNH had two very nice games against Harvard, Kenyatta only allowed the Quakers to go 29-for-71 (40.8%) from 2PT range when on the floor, while Penn shot 70% when he was off of it.

For the season, every lineup combination with Kenyatta on the floor yielded just 0.97 points per possession, while any non-Kenyatta combination yielded 1.02 points per possession.

All of this is merely to say that Kenyatta has demonstrated tremendous defensive value. What he hasn't demonstrated is consistent offensive value. When he pairs an average or better offensive performance with his defense, he looks like a star. When he struggles offensively, his defensive value pretty much gets wiped out. He'll be an interesting player to watch this season.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Mike James -- Kenyatta, when he showed up, changed the entire way that Harvard played.

We really need significant contributions from our bigs this year, whether it's David O, Giddens, Bunce, or someone else. Bunce is the only one who can be an immediate offensive threat, but who knows how his knees will hold out.

BigRed1965 said...

Love the Blog's optimism, and who knows that it won't be justified. There are so many imponderables, especially when newcomers are involved. Who knows how good they might be? Braxston Bunce, if healthy, just might be a presence in the frontcourt. And Cressler could be a real star, given his flashes of brilliance last year and his summer performance. Shonn Miller will only get stronger and better. I go with the Blog and its positive outlook.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Insiders to the program believe Devin Cherry could become Cornell's best player this season.

For Devin, a lot of it boils down to his decisions. Some players mature with their decisions, others don't. But Devin has quickness that is not matched by a single player in the league.

The program is very optimistic about all of the bigs. With Bunce, it changes the way Cornell plays--- slower pace. But he is a presence on both ends. His range extends out to the three point arc. He has a back-to-the-basket game and he can block shots and rebound. But you can't run with him. He's just not that kind of big.

Obviously with Giddens and Onuorah you are getting high energy defensive stoppers who rebound well. But neither will give you an offensive post game.

Anonymous said...

If Cherry doesn't develop, that puts a tremendous load on Cressler to score.

Shonn isn't a great scorer if he isn't dunking the ball. As we all recognize, Onuorah and Giddens aren't strong offensive players, and we'll probably have an unknown freshman point guard. Lots of athleticism, but lots of question marks. If this team can't run clean offensive sets and score more efficiently than last season, it could be a long, long season.

Losing Peck because of a stupid Ivy rule really hurts, both in terms of leadership and ability.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

The belief is that the freshmen PGs are upgrades over MAA and Galal--- neither of whom could shoot. Both (MAA and Galal) great representatives of the program, classy guys, and Miles was incredibly unselfish, but neither could score (and Galal hurt the team as often as he helped with turnovers and running himself intro trouble).

Galal could create his own shot, he just couldn't finish his own shot. Kind of defeats the purpose.

Darryl could be an 8-12 ppg scorer next season (Galal never was close). Just a better shooter/scorer (and better vision).

Most Ivy big men only dunk or lay the ball off the glass. Keith Wright and Jeff Foote were not out there making hook shots from 15-17 feet. They dunked and layed the ball on the glass. Miller does the same and has post moves like them.

Bunce has the skill to be effective immediately on offense. The issues will be his conditioning and health (two different issues).

Giddens has come a long way and could be serviceable by spring semester. He looked good late last year. And Lamore is another serviceable/viable option.

Cressler is as dangerous a perimeter scorer as there is in the league--- just as talented as Sean McGonagil and Laurent Rivard.

Devin suffers from many of the same issues that plagued Galal. But Devin has showed games where he can go for 20. And there is a belief that he is only a tinkering away from exploding on a consistent basis.

Obviously, a lot has to break right for Cornell. But a lot has to break right for Harvard. They need to find selfless chemistry. This is not easy, especially with so many all stars and no real role players.

Is Cornell hoping and praying for big years from Braxston and Devin? Sure.

Can they meet those expectations? Absolutely.

Anonymous said...

Of course, big favorites don't always win titles. We see that every year across all sports in every conference. Things happen: injuries, players unexpectedly developing or not developing from the previous year, surprise newcomers, and just plain old luck.

But Harvard is as great a favorite to repeat as there has been in the Ivy League since the great Penn teams of the early 2000s and the great Princeton teams of the late 1990s. Harvard is much more likely to repeat in 2014 than Cornell was in 2010.

Look at it this way: Harvard returns SIX starters from a championship team whose principal competition last year graduated the best all-around player in a decade. Because of the cheating scandal, Harvard is literally the only defending champion that can truthfully say it is returning SIX starters.

If Harvard is not an overwhelming favorite this coming season, then there has never been an overwhelming favorite.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Cornell's 2010 team had two Ivy League Players of the Year (Dale and Wittman) and essentially had 6 starters (Alex Tyler being the 6th).

But you are right, Cornell had serious competition that season. And outstanding Princeton team that went to the semifinals of the CBI and a Jeremy Lin-led Harvard team which also went to the postseason and featured some super young talent, including Keith Wright and Kyle Casey.

Anonymous said...

As much as I want to stay optimistic for the upcoming season, I struggle with statements like

"How do you know Chambers wins a match up against a player you've never seen play (Smith/Hatter)?"

Well, because as we just discussed, Chambers is the first ever freshman Ivy first-teamer. He is the best PG in the league. He has already done it on a D1 stage.

You saying that we don't know that Chambers doesn't win a matchup with a incoming freshman (even one that the coaches have high hopes/expectations for) is pretty close to saying we don't know for sure that the sun will come up tomorrow.

Or, put differently, after a freshman performing at a first-team level for the first time in 35 years, you think it is reasonable to expect it to happen 2 years in a row.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

No, I think it is reasonable that Siyani played the best year of basketball of his life (particularly in shooting the ball) and may not play that well again (albeit, still at a high level). Some players have incredible freshman or sophomore years and then regress. It has happened more than a few times in the Ivy League--- usually with injuries associated, but even in cases without injuries.

Anonymous said...

It's all fine to talk about what is theoretically possible, but of course anything is possible.

What do we think WILL happen.

I'll go on record - we will finish 4-6 games behind Harvard next year (ie, not compete for the title).

We have potential. Some of our unknowns could surprise. But they have experience and more talent overall (maybe a lot more). You very, very rarely beat more talent AND experience with potential.

It will also turn out that Chambers has a significantly better year than Smith/Hatter (as in no comparison). If the best argument for the Cornell guys is that Chambers might have a sophomore slump, well - I think that kind of defines how likely it is for our PG's to outplay him.

It would be my opinion that both of those things are overwhelmingly likely.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

I agree that Harvard is the favorite. A huge favorite. I agree the odds are heavily in their favor. I am just not prepare to crown them anything until I've seen all 8 teams play.

lodger said...

Did Galal transfer to another school?

Anonymous said...

I didn't really address the other 6 teams.

My point is that we will not compete with Harvard over a 14 game season next year.

And that our PG's outplaying Chambers next year is a pipe dream.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

To my knowledge, Galal did not transfer and just wants to focus on academics.


To argue that Siyani Chambers is definitely better than a player you've never seen play is foolish.

Once you've seen Cornell's freshmen guards, then you will be in a position to compare and contrast them against Siyani Chambers.

Anonymous said...


That's like saying that there any real chance that Dave Winfield's kid is going to be better than Shonn Miller this year because the Penn coaches are high on him.

You can hold on to the theoretical possibility, or you can acknowledge that the chances of average (or above average) Ivy recruit outplaying a returning first-teamer over the course of their first season is almost nil.

Name a single other case where that has happened? (Normal case, obviously injuries are always a wild card).

Anonymous said...

Odds against a freshman making first-team all-Ivy = 1 occurrence in 57 years times five players per year = 1 in 285 = 0.35%

Odds against either of Cornell's freshman point guards supplanting Siyani Chambers on next year's first-team all-Ivy team = 1 in 285 squared = 1 in 81,225 = 0.001%

CBB, I'll take those odds that Chambers outplays whoever shows up at the point for Cornell. Good luck bringing home your 1 in 81,225 long shot. You'll have better odds in the New York Pick Four lottery.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Your math is off. Freshmen weren't even Ivy varsity eligible until 1978-1979. You can knock over two decades off your calculations.

But the main flaw (and laughable aspect) of your argument is your lack of understanding of the reality of college basketball history.

Freshmen are stronger and more able to compete in recent years. Freshmen of the 80s and 90s are nothing like they are today. Today, freshmen are stronger through advanced high school strength training, they eat healthier, more academically prepared, used to travel (thanks to AAU and camps.

All of this adds up to bigger immediate impacts in the lower levels of Division I.

Siyani's generation is much better prepared to be Ivy POY as a rookie than the frosh of 1984.

Anonymous said...

I like how you're quibbling with the math so that, instead of there being a 0.001% chance that you're correct, there might instead be a 0.01% chance that you're right.

I think the larger point remains there is a better chance that Siyani Chambers grows wings and flies out the upper cathedral windows of The Palestra than Cornell's incoming frosh outplay him.

Anonymous said...

What I think is ridiculous is how you keep clearly stating how we've never seen a bunch of these guys play, and then act like it's perfectly reasonable to discuss potential title hopes. On one of the worst teams in the league. With potentially the worst coach, who has made us sit through three miserable years of the ugliest basketball I have ever seen in my life. But let's speculate on how a bunch of folk we've never seen play could change everything!! Ooh!

I wasn't impressed with Harvard last year AT ALL. Everyone and their sister took them to overtime, they lost to Penn and someone else, and they got an easy as pie first round opponent. But the problem is, even if they lose a game or two next year, I can't fathom which teams will be able to take advantage of that to upset them. Penn is the only team I think might have a chance to tell the truth. Cornell doesn't have a chance in hell because they have blown spectacularly under Courtney, and making bold predictions on guys who've never played is just dumb. Making big statements even about guys who have played on a team that has been terrible for three years is also just unreasonable. The team is seriously bad. Harvard isn't fantastic, but Cornell is BAD.

Anonymous said...

CBB spins facts harder than Fox News. We've been a bad team for the past few years -- our rpi and Pomeroy ranking, along with our record, speaks to that fact. I still hold out hope it will improve, but thinking this team can beat Harvard with incoming freshman, especially when Penn and Harvard have better freshman coming in, is silly.

We keep talking about what a great recruiter Courtney is, and he is good. But penn, Harvard and brown are also doing really good things in recruiting, so it's not like we're lapping the field.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Calling Cornell "terrible" under Bill Courtney is rather hard.

He's won 10+ games in each of the three seasons and never had the team finish in 7th or 8th.

Now, a terrible team would be Steve Donaue's 2001-2002 team that went 5-22 (2-12).

In fact, Donahue's first three teams all won single digit games (and finished 4-10 or worse in the Ivy).

Yeah, yeah, yeah, Steve started from scratch. But he had three consecutive miserable seasons to start. And when he left, he took 8 seniors with him. But Bill gets none of the same courtesies...

A more fair comment about Cornell is that the team has been very average the last 3 years--- an RPI caliber team of 150-250 range.

I don't see any other Ivy "pulling away" from Cornell. I see Penn simply returning everyone from a non-senior team last season (Cornell will do the same next year) and Harvard benefiting from an academic scandal.

Anonymous said...

Query: How is an RPI ranking of 250 (about the 29th percentile) average? We're even lower under Pomeroy, which I believe is more accurate, even if it's not what the NCAA committee uses. That's pretty awful in my book.

The trend is also disturbing -- our ranking has dropped each year.

I've kept an open mind about Bill Courtney, preaching patience to fans who were unjustly calling for his head after his first 1.5 seasons. But the next two seasons are a fair time to evaluate the coach, both in terms of how the team plays and in recruiting. If there's improvement this season and next, I'll be thrilled.

Anonymous said...

You can call it average, but the fact is that Cornell has averaged an RPI of 215 in Courtney's 3 years. (The Pomeroy average is slightly worse).

And this past year we were 249, so it's not like the trend is on the upswing.

I just don't see any reasonable argument that we will be competitive in the league next year.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Ken Pom's rating is just as flawed as the RPI. Ken Pom rewards classless coaches who run up scores. No computer formula can accurately depict the quality of a team. And at the end of the day, the RPI is the only rating that actually matters.

So, going with the RPI... Cornell's 2013 RPI is misleading. We know what happened the last 4-6 games of the year. Cornell played some very critical games without Miller, Cherry, Cancer and Gray.

Anonymous said...

There is a moratorium for how long you can keep blaming things on the seniors we lost in 2010. It should have ended at the start of last season -- even Bill Courtney all but admitted this. Yet you keep bringing it up.

KenPom usefully ranks where each team was rated at the start of every individual game. Even if you exclude the last 4 games last year, Cornell was 42 spots lower than it was after Courtney's first year and had gotten worse each year. (If you include the last 4 games, they were 75 spots worse, but these games were riddled with injuries.)

We can go on and on about whether Donahue and Courtney started out in the same environment. Some of us think Courtney has had far more talent to work with than Donahue did in his first three years over a decade ago, but you continue to act like their situations were comparable. It wasn't, but we've already seen that you will never agree.

Also, while most of the Ivy didn't pull away from Cornell last year, most of them were either still heading in a better direction than Cornell (Brown, Dartmouth) or had real reasons to be struggling (Penn, Yale ... who lost serious players just that season, like three seasons ago). I don't know what is up with Columbia. Also, just because the league remained around Cornell's level last year doesn't mean we want to go back to cupcake days, especially not with guys like Shonn and Nolan on our team.

I want the team to get better and I want Bill Courtney to succeed for the team's sake. But I don't think twisting stats to pretend you're doing well is a good plan. Recognizing the truth and accurately surveying the environment might be a better method to plan for improvement.

Michael James said...

"Ken Pom's rating is just as flawed as the RPI."

I have yet to see an ASM metric that isn't more predictive than the RPI. Adjusted Scoring Margin just provides more data, which leads to better predictions on the whole. Obviously all rating systems have flaws - they're models that don't incorporate every possible piece of information in the entire universe. But to imply that a model can't be useful unless it's flawless is not correct. There is a gradient of usefulness depending on the type of flaws. The RPI is pretty useful as a model. ASM systems are even more useful. Having a crystal ball would be most useful.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Last time I checked, the country has been generally pleased each year with the seeding of the NCAA Tournament

And do you know which factor is most influential in the seeds?

The RPI.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Newsflash to the impatient ones.

This is the FIRST season where Bill has a roster where at least 50% of the kids on the team are kids he recruited.

The team has struggled. But it is not Bill's fault.

This is not to blame Donahue either, but Steve left behind kids that were meant to play in his system, not Bill's. The Donahue coaches also took a gamble on a couple of hidden kids that they thought were steals. (You know who we are talking about, kids mostly recruited by D-IIIs).

Additionally, Bill's luck has been bad in the department of health. He had a hobbled Wroblewski, he lost Peck for a year, he lost Bunce (his prized recruit), he lost his entire roster down the stretch last year.

Bill needs a healthy roster this year. Harvard is Harvard. They are at their peak and ready to go. But back to Cornell. If Bill can get the team to 8-6 or 9-5 this year, he will have achieved an A+ grade because he will effectively return his entire core for 2014-2015.

The goal is to a win a title this year, but 8-9 Ivy wins, 16-18 overall wins, bode extremely well for the future.

Anonymous said...

CBB said: "I don't see any other Ivy "pulling away" from Cornell. I see Penn simply returning everyone from a non-senior team last season (Cornell will do the same next year) and Harvard benefiting from an academic scandal."

Next season, Cornell will not return everyone from a non-senior team. Cornell has 4 seniors this season. Granted, 3 of the seniors will have athletic eligibity left after this year due to injuries (Tarwater, Mathews and Scelfo), but if they are on track to graduate, then they are truly seniors ala Peck and will have to leave to play elsewhere.

Regardless of whether Tarwater, Mathews or Scelfo return for a 5th season, Cornell will not return everyone next season from a "non-senior team" - Jamal Cherry is a senior academically and athletically.

Anonymous said...

If Cornell has a winning Ivy record this season, I'll be thrilled. I think a 9-5 record next season would be a minor miracle.

In any event, I'll be buying the new Ivy webcast and cheering on our squad, however flawed it may be.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

And CBB said, "he [Bill Courtney] will effectively return his entire core for 2014-2015."

None of the 2013-2014 seniors are expected to start. And you should not expect to see a senior starter.

Dom and Dwight are the only two seniors returning from last season's rotation, but both will be challenged for minutes by newcomers and rising underclassmen.

We could very likely see an 8-10 man rotation without a senior in it.

Bill was loyal to seniors the last two seasons because the seniors were the most deserving to play.

This year could be very, very different.

Anonymous said...

Cornell has 3 recruiting classes which contain players who were coveted by other Ivy schools and other mid major programs or better. Cornell has plenty of talent to win the Ivy League without seniors.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, and the other Ivies have players who were recruited by the other ivies as well, including us. Cornell's talent is, again, overstated and overhyped, in part by this blog. That doesn't mean there isn't talent on the roster. But folks, if you can't see the talent gap we have with Harvard this year, then I have some wonderful oceanfront properties to sell you in Kansas.

Anonymous said...

Many teams, like Penn and Dartmouth, showed heartwarming improvements last year despite having having one senior between them. Many teams like Penn and Brown put on brave performances despite key injuries. But of course, to you, Brown returned 3 starters, albeit from a team that had like 3 league wins the year prior, so of course a Year 1 Mike Martin was going to outshine a Year 3 Bill Courtney. Even coaches who have to start from practically scratch show big leaps in Year 3 -- Dartmouth, Amaker, even Coach D at BC who started had only 1 scholarship player the year before but by Year 3 was fielding a team that took Duke and Miami to the wire. But for some reason Bill Courtney's circumstances are more special than anyone understands and he gets an indefinite period of time to catch up; it will take him at least 5 years to have a good year (what the hell? where does anyone ever hear of that being a standard amount of time to take? folks are fired if they don't get their act together by 4). You like to ignore that even when Cornell had a healthy roster, they were being embarrassed by America East teams and were smacked by a young Penn squad. You hang on to those 4 injury-riddled games for dear life, like they excused the entire, horrible season, like they excuse three years of hell.

Jesse Agel was not allowed to use injuries as an excuse beyond his fourth year, and hopefully Bill Courtney won't either. If so many other teams posted significant improvements in 3 years despite injuries or lack of seniors or rebuilding statuses, it's irritating that he couldn't do the same, and if he can't do it in 4 years then there are pretty much no excuses although I'm sure you'll try to find one that I wonder if you honestly believe anyone who actually follows this team buys.

Anonymous said...

Amaker sucks. There have been huge talent gaps with Harvard and other teams in the past, and it hasn't prevented such teams from beating them or taking them to OT, because guess what? Amaker sucks. This roll over and give up attitude by Cornell fans is disgusting. People like this would've lost to Harvard in 2010 even. Of course, Bill Courtney is godawful so Cornell is not going to do very well, but I'm just saying we're gonna see Dartmouth or Brown give Harvard great games despite perceived gaps in talent, not Cornell with its lousy coaches and lousy fans and epic, epic deterioration.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

There are maybe a half dozen kids currently in the Ivy League that Cornell offered and really wanted.

The only two in a Harvard uniform we truly wanted as a high priority and offered were Kyle Casey and Laurent Rivard. Both were Donahue targets.

Bill Courtney hasn't sought any of the kids that are currently on the Harvard roster.

We showed interest in Mike Hall and a few others (and would have taken them if they asked to come), but he wasn't a high priority target that we chased after. In fact, his coaches recruited Cornell more than Cornell recruited him.

Bill and Steve have one thing in common. They like to recruit away from the other Ivies.

None of the other Ivies really knew Shonn Miller or much about David Onuorah.

Devin Cherry and Braxston Bunce were a pair of heavily recruited Ivy guys.

There is definitely a talent gap between Harvard and Cornell. But Harvard/Amaker has an recruiting extra class (Tommy's seniors) plus some 5th years to Harvard's advantage. Bill doesn't have his own senior class.

Take Laurent Rivard, Kyle Casey and Brandyn Curry out of the picture and there isn't much of a gap in talent. You'd be looking at last year's Harvard team, less Webster, plus Zena. That's a team we can go to war against.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Mike Martin inherited Matt Sullivan, Tucker Halpern, Cedric K, Rafael Maia, Sean McGonagil, Andrew McCarthy.

Those guys are better than what Bill inherited. And if you disagree, they at least had a lot more experience.

Bill inherited 3-4 rotation players, at most--Wroblewski, Peck, Coury and Wire. Only one of those guys had "All Ivy" on his resume (SKI). The balance of his rotation in 2010 was made up of guys that never played any minutes. Ferry, Eitan, Josh, Gray, Miles, ARO, Gatlin, Groebe, to name a few.

Little by little-- Bill's has added pieces--- Shonn, Nolan namely. Other pieces should slide into place--- Devin, Braxston, David O, Darryl.

Let the coach have at least 3 classes, if not 4 classes under his command.

And keep things in perspective re: Brown U.--- Brown was a 13-15 basketball team against a much softer schedule than what Cornell played.

Yeah, Brown finished 7-7 in the Ivy (Cornell 5-9), but we all know what roster Cornell had left for the last 4-6 Ivy games.

Coach K couldn't win those last 4 games without Shonn Miller, not to mention Gray, Cancer and Cherry.

Anonymous said...

I also really hate how people keep bashing these kids as untalented. This is all Bill Courtney's fault. Who knows how some of the older kids would've played if they'd played for Coach D? Until his most recent class, some of the classes we had in the four or so years prior to that looked like some of the best classes coming out of high school that we ever had ... only to accomplish little to nothing in their careers and get panned as untalented. What is more likely -- poor Bill Courtney suffered a string of four or five of the worst recruiting classes ever, or Bill Courtney can't coach and can't develop players well? I say the latter.

Anonymous said...

First of all, of those five guys you listed for Mike Martin, one of those guys was a freshman (Cedric Kuakumensah), another one counted as a freshman (Maia), and another one was injured last season and didn't even play (McCarthy).

By his third year, Courtney should have had not only his own freshmen, but his own sophomores even (gasp!). Not to mention they wouldn't even have to have been inherited, which you claim is the bane of any coach's existence and the reason Courtney was suffering ... those gosh darn preselected players!

Oh and Brown's pathetic easy record included two non-conference top-150 wins over #65 Providence and a tourney-bound #135 Niagara in Martin's first year while using only nine guys in an injury-riddled roster. A win over #92 Princeton also makes three top-150 wins. In his first year. Starting two freshmen and preselected guys from a team with 3 conference wins the year prior.

And again... there was a downward trend in Cornell even before injuries. The Ivy might've had a down year last year which allowed Bill Courtney to look like he wasn't so terrible once conference season began, and which would hopefully let us all forget about being humiliated all over ESPN3 and narrowly escaping teams like Binghamton, but next year there won't be so many places to hide.

Like I said ... you keep hiding behind those last 4 games as if the year before that wasn't already a horror. Non-conf was abysmal -- everyone was healthy but the team was embarrassingly somehow even worse than the prior two years. Conf was tempered by the fact that all of the Ivy was down, but other teams had real, RECENT reasons to be down or were crawling up from the depths, and several others were facing injuries and dearths of seniors as well, but you hear no excuses. That is the truth; stop twisting it.

Nowhere to hide next year; Courtney better recognize he has been doing poorly and has to change.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Can tell you this... the Boston College and Army staff do not see things the way most of you folks see it (as you blame Bill).

The fact is, Cornell had some major misses in recruiting in the last two years Steve was there after strings of gold in consecutive classes with Gore, Dale/Witt, Foote, Wroblewski etc.

Again, the last two Donahue classes were some major misses. Only Errick bore some fruit and Bill only had him for 2 seasons.

A lot of guys just did not reach expectations.

Max Groebe did not turn out to be the league star many thought he could be (under both coaches). Eitan and Josh (both highly sought early commits by Donahue) turned into serviceable players, but neither came anywhere close in the zip or area code to showing even a flash or spark of All League talent. Meanwhile, their classmate, the walk-on (Gray) turned out to be the best of the class and was largely developed by Bill.

The book is not done being written on this year's rising seniors, but again, have any of the seniors this year showed even a hint, a glimmer, anything at all... of All Ivy talent?

This is not to say the 2013 or 2014 seniors are bad. They are good kids and solid Ivy players!

But you can't win a league with just good/solid players. Just ask Columbia.

You need some All Stars.

And the only All Stars left behind by the Donahue regime were Wroblewski and Peck, both of whom battled injuries and barely played together (1 season, Bill's first year).

Is anyone going to contend that any of the above players would have become 1st Team All Ivy under Steve? I bet we hear crickets.

Meanwhile, Bill has already found himself a few All Stars to begin the rebuilding (Shonn and Nolan) and there is a belief that a few more could be in the pipeline (Devin, David, Darryl, Braxston...)

When Bill has four classes in place, we should have 3-4 All League guys on our team. Right now, Bill has two classes in place--- which have produced two All Ivy caliber guys in Shonn/Nolan. Let Bill get two more All Ivy guys into the mix. Then we just might have the right weapons.