Above, a Date in Cornell Basketball History, on March 1, 2008 Jason Hartford (Cornell '08) celebrates Cornell's 2008 Ivy League title and NCAA Tournament bid. Below, news and notes for Wednesday...
- Above, the Lindy's Sports College Basketball 2013-2014 Ivy League and Cornell preview. In the Big 10 and Purdue section, Lindy's writes of Errick Peck, "Cornell guard can guard opposing stretch 4s (9.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg)." On the ACC and Boston College, Lindy's writes, "It has been a long march for Steve Donahue, even though he has only been at Boston College for three seasons. The former Cornell boss took a program that had little ACC-caliber talent and built something that should be strong enough to make some waves in the conference."
- Mid Major Mindset identifies the breakout players of 2013-2014:
Without Wesley Saunders, Harvard would not have earned the Ivy League’s bid to the NCAA tournament last year. The sophomore led the league in scoring with 16.5 points per game, and his all-around play made him a unanimous First Team All-Ivy selection.
We know Wesley Saunders now. But which Ivy League players could breakout this season?
I touched base with nine Ivy League coaches, and they sent me a variety of answers. Two players stood out, though.
Penn’s Tony Hicks and Columbia’s Maodo Lo were each named by four coaches.
As a freshman, Hicks ranked No. 14 in the Ivy League with 10.4 points per game, but his efforts flew under the radar as Penn struggled to a nine-win season and fifth-place finish. He has room to improve—he shot just 39.4 percent from the field and, according to Kenpom, posted an 88.1 ORtg—but coaches like his scoring potential.
“[Hicks is] a big time offensive player who can score from all over the court,” one coach said. “Should be the leading scorer in the Ivy League at some point in his career.”
Like Hicks, Lo impressed league coaches as a freshman, though his numbers belied his potential.
Lo missed the first couple of games because of an injury, and he needed some time afterwards to adjust to the college game. But he cracked double-digits seven times from Jan. 26 to the end of the season, hitting 20 once. In that stretch, he averaged 10.5 points per game.
Opposing coaches expect Lo to mitigate the loss of Brian Barbour, who led Columbia with 12.1 points per game last year.
“Was one of the better freshmen last year and should be Columbia’s best scorer and playmaker this year,” one coach said of Lo.
Lo’s first of potentially many double-digit scoring games came against Cornell on Jan. 26. In that game, the Big Red’s Nolan Cressler scored just five points, but the sophomore guard could breakout this year.
Cressler averaged 9.3 points per game and shot 40.3 percent from deep—a coach called him “arguably the best shooter in the league”—and when an injury sidelined Shonn Miller for the last four games of the season, the Pittsburgh native averaged 16.8 points per game.
He matched his career high of 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting against Brown on March 1. His teammates weren’t so lucky, though, as Brown’s Cedric Kuakumensah swatted seven shots as the Bears rolled to a 84-65 victory.
At a long 6-foot-8, Kuakumensah had a very solid freshman season, leading the Ivy League with 2.4 blocks and 7.5 boards per game. He ranked No. 23 nationally in both DR% and Blk%, according to Kenpom, and added 6.9 points per game.
One coach called Kuakumensah a great finisher at the rim, while another said no Ivy League player improved as much as him throughout the course of 2012-13.
Coaches also expect to see improvement from Penn’s Darien Nelson-Henry in the 6-foot-11 forward’s second collegiate season. As a freshman, Nelson-Henry shot 54 percent from the floor for 7.6 points per game and finished second on the team with 4.1 rebounds per game.
He and Fran Dougherty gave Penn one of the league’s better frontcourts, but when Dougherty went down with an injury in the middle of the season, Nelson-Henry proved he could be a future offensive leader for the Quakers.
In a seven-game stretch from Jan. 8 to Feb. 2, Nelson-Henry averaged 13.6 points.
- The Cornell coaching staff has been updated on the website roster, including the bios of Jon Jaques (Cornell '10) and David Metzendorf. In addition, Holt Harmon and Jamal Cherry will not play this season. The decisions by both the students and the program were made in the offseason. Cherry, a walk-on, will focus his senior year on completing his engineering degree and securing postgraduate plans. Harmon, who missed most of last season with an injury, wants to focus on academics and the Cornell social life.
- The annual Cornell Red-White Game will take place on October 19 at 11:30 am.
- Cornell Basketball appears a few times in this highlight video prepared by an FDU assistant coach:
- Alex Hill and Manny Sahota, former Cornell Basketball players from Canada, are now teammates at the University of Toronto. Catch glimpses of them in training camp below: