Thursday, September 12, 2013

News and Notes: Thursday Edition

Above, A Date in Cornell Basketball History.  Thirty years ago, on November 29, 1983, Cornell opened its 1983-1984 season against Syracuse.  Pictured are the game program and A.P. recap.  Cornell opens its 2013-2014 season against the same opponent.  Below, news and notes for Thursday...

  • The Cornell Red-White Game will be played on October 19 at 11:30 am.  That same day, most of the other major men's sports are off campus as the football team is on the road at Monmouth University while men's soccer is at Yale.  Men's hockey is scheduled to face York in the evening.
  • The Cornell Basketball Blog updated its latest Roster Report which includes some recent player transactions on Ivy rosters and an updated 2013 and 2014 recruiting commitment list.
  • BT Powerhouse believes Purdue will be much improved and credits the addition of Errick Peck (Cornell '13) as one of the reasons behind the improvement.
The basketball team welcomed five freshmen to the squad this season, adding depth to a roster that carries only four seniors.

The Red lost six players to graduation last season, including starters Errick Peck ’13, Eitan Chemerinski ’13, Miles Asafo-Adjei ’13 and Johnathan Gray ’13. The four combined for 28.4 points per game last season, which comprised over 40 percent of the team’s total scoring of 65.8 points per game.Of the five freshmen, four are guards who will likely be developed in order to help alleviate the blow of losing two starting guards in Asafo-Adjei and Gray.

“With the departure of Miles and Johnny, we are going to have to rely on some of the guard play from the freshmen,” senior forward Dwight Tarwater said. “They are also under the impression that we are counting on them as well.”

Freshman guard Robert Hatter — a second-team all-state selection in Texas — was ranked the No. 3 guard in the Houston area after averaging 21 points, six rebounds and six assists per game in his senior campaign. Freshman guard Desmond Fleming, also from Texas, earned first-team all-district and all-county honors with 12.0 points and 3.4 assists in his senior season. The final two guards — JoJo Fallas and Darryl Smith — were both all-division selections, and Smith was a member of a team that advanced to the state championship in Virginia his sophomore year.As one of the Red’s main three-point threats last season, Gray’s departure will free up space for other guards to step into that role. Though Asafo-Adjei only averaged 2.8 points per game, the squad relied on his speed and relentless defensive effort to pester opponents. According to Tarwater, because of this, the freshmen will have to learn the Ivy League brand of basketball fairly quickly in order to make an early impact for the Red.

“I think that the freshmen will grow accustomed to the game very quickly,” he said. “With the short time that I have had with them, I can tell you that they are all very talented, and they have fantastic work ethics."

The fifth addition to the roster this year is freshman forward David Onuorah. The 6-9, 230 pound big man will be a much-needed force in the paint for a Red team that is often undersized in the Ivy League. Onuorah received honorable mention all-county honors and was an all-state selection by the Georgia Athletic Coaching Association as a senior.With the departure of post players Chemerinski and Josh Figini ’13, sophomore forward Shonn Miller will have to carry much of the burden in the paint. Miller was the Red’s leading scorer and rebounder last year, but will need support from the rest of the frontcourt. Onuorah should provide some relief for Miller, along with junior forwards Dave LaMore and Deion Giddens, who will likely see additional time on the court this season.Understanding they will be called upon to play important roles for the Red this year, Tarwater said that he is excited to see how the freshmen will perform and develop.

“I am really looking forward to being a part of these guys’ times at Cornell, and I am looking forward to seeing them grow and succeed,” he said.

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