Thursday, August 1, 2013

News and Notes: Thursday Edition

Above, A Date in Cornell Basketball History, February 7, 1951, Roger Chadwick in action against Syracuse in Barton Hall. Below, news and notes for Thursday...

Plum grad Cressler named to Pittsburgh Pro-Am all-league squad
Plum graduate Nolan Cressler, a rising sophomore at Cornell University, was one of six players to be named to the Pittsburgh Basketball Club Pro Am Summer League all-star team.
Pitt senior forward Talib Zanna helped PGT Trucking win the league title last week, and he is an all-star, as well as Duquesne forward Ovie Soko, former Pitt player Chevy Troutman, Beaver Falls and University of Nebraska alum Lance Jeter, Duquesne guard Derrick Colter and Robert Morris swing man Lucky Jones.
Cressler averaged 23 points over seven league games for the P&W BMW team.
“Everyone on the (all-league team) are great players,” Cressler said.
“It's an honor to be with those names.”
P&W BMW finished the six-game regular season in first place with a 5-1 record and received a bye into the playoff semifinals.
However, P&W BMW saw its season end suddenly with a 108-90 loss to The Lair, a squad made up primarily of players from Duquesne and West Virginia.
“We were disappointed because we had the top seed for the playoffs and thought we could win the whole thing,” Cressler said.
“The team we lost to in the semifinals (The Lair) we had beaten pretty good the week before. At the same time, it's a fun summer league, so you don't want to get too upset.”
Cressler had one of the highest-scoring games of the season when he pumped in 38 points on 14-of-20 shooting (60 percent) to help P&W upend PGT Trucking, 90-83, on July 1.
“I had been following the Pro-Am league for a number of years, and I knew what it was all about,” Cressler said.
“It was fun to have the opportunity to play at a high level over the summer. It was great to play against different guys I've never played against and play with some guys I never played with before.”
Cressler said he again enjoyed playing on the same team with brother, Andrew, a Plum grad and a rising senior at Pitt-Johnstown.
Andrew Cressler recorded several double-digit totals to help P&W reach the playoffs.
“We work out together almost every day, and we've played on the same summer-league teams for years,” Cressler said.
“It was just another great opportunity to be on the same court. We push each other, and a lot of my work ethic comes from watching him. We have a pretty good chemistry out there.”
The Cressler brothers hope to play in the league again next summer.


Anonymous said...

if that long thread below is any indication, we need to give CBB something else to talk about. Heard anything with the coaching search?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of striking out in recruiting, Cornell loses a top target at PG: Tyler Jenkins to Lehigh.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

He wasn't a top target. He was "a" target.

Anonymous said...

Well, I guess we'll see if we land anyone better. After all the recent misses, it would be sweet to land a legit program changing player. Not a good patriot-ivy kid, not someone CBB says was underrecruited but is all-ivy, but an undisputable game changer. Julian Jacobs could have been one.

Anonymous said...

I presume that you bring up the 2005 Princeton team because you seek to imply that the 2014 Harvard team may underachieve in the same fashion.

But of course there is one big difference between the two situations. The 2004 Princeton Tigers won the conference championship under an exceptionally successful coach, John Thompson III, who never raised his voice on the sidelines. He was replaced by the reigning runner-up for 2004 AP national coach of the year, who achieved great things at a military academy where all he did was yell at full volume at his players. It turns out that changing from "very low" on the coaching Yell-o-Meter to "very high" can disrupt a team's performance, as Princeton found out in 2005.

Neither Cornell nor Harvard will be making a similarly dramatic coaching change this upcoming year. Expecting Harvard to collapse in 2014 under Tommy Amaker is as unrealistic as expecting Princeton to collapse in 2005 under John Thompson III.

CBB, you're going to have to do better than that to raise our hopes that Harvard will implode in 2014.

To me, the most likely scenario for Harvard dramatically underperforming in the near future is if the new Dean of the College, to be named within the next year, shuts down AD Bob Scalise in terms of playing fast and loose with the AI. Without his AI advantage, Tommy Amaker is no better coach than anybody else in the League. That's our best hope for Harvard coming back to the pack, a level playing field academically.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Nobody is suggesting Harvard will/could implode and go 6-8 like that Princeton team.

But is 11-3 or 12-2 really out of the question? Not quite an implosion, but a playoff or 2nd place finish is not out of the question. You can't just look at Harvard. You have to look at the other teams in the league and ask, "Do they have the talent/coaching/chemistry to win 11-12 games?" And I think there are a few teams that do have it.

There are those fans that live in video game land that seem to believe seasons are determined on paper and by calculations.

And then there is reality.

2005 Princeton, 2009 Cornell, 2012 Harvard, 2013 Harvard are examples of very surprising seasons when we all expected something quite different.

In each case, the teams above were hyped as capable of going 14-0 or 13-1. Princeton failed to win the league. Cornell lost 3 games (although won the league by 2 games) and both Harvard teams won the league by just 1 game and needed help from other teams to take the title.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Overlooked guys are great if you believe in your evaluation skills.

Cornell literally believed they had BCS level kid when they took Shonn Miller. Boom, they were on the money. Shonn didn't have any high majors offers (he had a ton of scholarships, but only from mid majors).

But you also want to get guys with BCS offers because it is an indication that high level conference schools see talent/potential as well.

The kids with the biggest offers in the Cornell program have yet to play.

Onuorah had Auburn with Vandy on the verge of offering.

Bunce had Washington State, Va-Tech and Marquette-- along with some other impressive upper mid major schools like Utah St, Boise St., New Mex St., to name a few.

Robert Hatter had the University of Houston as well as a good Northeastern program.

Other notable offers:

Holt Harmon's final four included Utah State.

Dom Scelfo had offers from Saint Louis and Tulane.

Devin Cherry was getting Western Kentucky and Murray State.

Dave Lamore had offers from Tulane and James Madison to name a few.

Anonymous said...

Alec Brennan has Harvard, Brown, Princeton, and Yale in his final eight along with Wake Forest, Purdue, and Stanford. That would be a big get for any of the above Ivies.

Mike Martin is doing serious recruiting work at Brown. He landed Aram Martin and is able to make inroads with high major kids like Brennan.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Yale already has three commits for 2014.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

David Onuorah and Braxston Bunce both had more high major offers than Aram Martin and the Brown commit was available as a late spring commit.

Onuorah had a BCS offer BEFORE he played a single summer game of AAU basketball before his senior year. If Onuorah was on the board in March of his senior year... we'd be listing 10 BCS offers, similar to Zena, who waited late and added offers to Texas etc late in the process.

Anonymous said...

Oh come on, David and Zena were in two completely different recruiting situations. Zena was a top 100 nationally ranked kid with offers from UCLA, Cal, etc. He had 39 offers. David was nowhere near that level.

That's not to say that David will be an inferior player to Zena (who knows until they hit the court, although based on reports, Zena's talent level is virtually unprecedented in the league). But it's misleading to compare the two when they were in completely different recruiting situations. Auburn, btw, was one of the worst SEC programs (and just one of the worst programs period, at least based on rankings) in the country last year.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Zena is a unique and special case. He played for one of the highest profile high schools (that bears the name "Harvard"-- as in Harvard-Westlake School, and AAU programs-- Belmont Shore-- in the country and was on the market for more than a year longer than David.

Zena collected offers well past his senior year of high school, so his offers are inflated. He wasn't offered by most of the BCS teams until later in the process and was taking his visits in the spring of his senior year.

That said, there are a lot of schools that were not interested in Zena and believed he was overrated. One super academic Pac 12 school in particular did not offer.

Zena is a better player than David right now because Zena has an offensive game. Not that Zena can step away and face the basket, but he has some post moves and is a pretty good finisher withing 5-7feet.

David is as strong as a defensive/rebounding player as you will find. His offense is way behind Zena, but there is a belief he is good enough to play as a freshman.

Again, David committed in June 2012. He had yet to play in any of the major AAU events or camps. He already had more than a dozen offers. He was going to be offered by Vandy the week he committed to Cornell. He was hosted by Tennessee for a visit. Auburn offered. There were other SEC and BCS schools involved. He is a high major athlete that will need polishing, but he can be a better version of Justin Sears. Auburn was the first BCS offer, but they were not going to be the last, especially if he waited until when most kids commit, September-November.

Anonymous said...

Zena is dynamite. I'd love to have him in Ithaca, but he wasn't considering us.

What we do know is that we haven't landed anyone early, like David O. last year, and we've missed out on some solid targets.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

June is insanely early, especially for a guy of David's talent.

None of the early Ivy commits to date are game changing BCS guys.

Harvard, Brown, Penn and Cornell are still waiting on their big names.

Cornell has some guards they expect to have on campus--- and yeah, they have BCS offers.

Anonymous said...

We need new uniforms.