Monday, November 18, 2013

Cornell Athletics Game Notes for Roadtrip to Colgate

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Game #5: Cornell at Colgate
Tip off: Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 7 p.m.
Site: Cotterell Court (3,000), Hamilton, N.Y.
2013-14 Records: Cornell (0-4, 0-0 Ivy); Colgate (0-2, 0-0 Patriot)
Series Record: Cornell leads 71-53
Last Meeting: Cornell won 70-63, Dec. 1, 2010 in Ithaca, N.Y.
Radio: HITS 103.3 FM (Barry Leonard, Eric Taylor)
TV: None
Live Stats: available at
Live Video: available at www.
Tickets: check availability by calling (607) 254-BEAR

Cornell head coach Bill Courtney is in his fourth season at Cornell (35-56, .385; 18-24 Ivy, .429) ... Courtney became the fifth Robert E. Gallagher '44 Coach of Men's Basketball at Cornell on April 23, 2010.

After a brutally difficult schedule in the first week of the year, the Cornell men's basketball team will gear back up to face longtime Central New York rival Colgate in a midweek tilt on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. at Cotterell Court in Hamilton, N.Y. Both squads will be eyeing their first wins of the young season.

The Big Red is coming off a difficult first seven days, facing two 2013 NCAA Final Four squads (Syracuse, Louisville) and three 2013 postseason squads (Syracuse and Louisville - NCAA, Loyola - CIT) that went a combined 88-27. Cornell has showed glimpses of outstanding basketball despite its 0-4 start with a heavy reliance on underclassmen. Four of the team's top six scorers are freshmen or sophomores and the three top upperclassmen have made a combined 23 career starts entering the year.  The Big Red led No. 8/7 Syracuse by 14 points in the first half and by six at the break, led a Loyola (MD) team that won 23 games a year ago by seven points with five minutes remaining and had a 19-point advantage against Binghamton with 13 minutes left before the team's youth came out and the Big Red went on to drop all three contests. No. 3/3 Louisville controlled its game from the opening tip, jumping out to a 22-2 lead with its depth and pressure and never looking back.

Sophomore guard Nolan Cressler is off to a great start, averaging 16.5 points and 5.3 rebounds in his first four games, while freshman guard Robert Hatter is scoring 12.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists. Senior forward Dwight Tarwater is posting 9.8 points and 6.5 rebounds and freshman center Robert Onuorah (6.5 ppg., 5.3 rpg., 1.8 bpg.) and junior guard Devin Cherry (5.3 ppg., 4.0 rpg., 3.5 apg.) round out the starting lineup. The Big Red is scoring 70.5 points on 41 percent shooting while assisting on 14.3 baskets per game, but is allowing 90.8 points.

Colgate also had a challenging first week of the season and is off to an 0-2 start after losses to a pair of ACC teams on the road, losing contests to both Wake Forest (89-79) and nationally-ranked Syracuse (69-50). Four players are averaging in double figures, including senior forward Murphy Burnatowski, who had 24 points a year ago for the Raiders in a 70-63 Big Red victory at Newman Arena last December. Third-year head coach Matt Langel improved his Raider squad three games from year one to year two and were picked eighth in the preseason Patriot League poll in 2013-14.

• help the Big Red avoid its first 0-5 start to a season since the 2001-02 campaign.
• snap a 10-game skid dating back to last season.
• be the second straight over the Raiders and extend the lead in the all-time series to 72-53.
• end a four-game road skid.
• be the 1,210th in program history (1,209-1,330 in 114 seasons).

• Colgate is 0-2 on the season after losses at Wake Forest (89-79) and Syracuse (69-50).
• Four players are averaging in double figures and six are scoring at least 7.5 points per contest.
• Ethan Jacobs leads the way at 12.0 ppg. and 6.0 rpg., with both Austin Tillotson (11.5 ppg., 6.5 apg.) and Pat Moore (11.5 ppg.) near the team's scoring lead. Murphy Burnatowski (10.0 ppg., 5.0 rpg., 3.0 apg.) and also right there.
• Despite playing a pair of ACC teams to open the season, the Raiders are allowing opponents to shoot just 42 percent from the floor overall and 26 percent from 3-point range.
• The Raiders are being outrebounded by 10.0 per game and are committing 17.5 turnovers per contest.
• Third-year head coach Matt Langel has a 19-45 record at Colgate and helped the Raiders to three additional wins overall and in the Patriot League in his second year directing the program.

• The Big Red leads the all-time series 71-53 dating back to the first meeting in the 1901-02 campaign.
• Cornell won 16 straight contests between 1961-69 and 11 more in a row from 1981-91.
• The Raiders have had the best of the recent series, winning five of the last eight meetings.
• A year ago, the Big Red earned a 70-63 victory over the Raiders at Newman Arena behind 20 points and 14 rebounds from Shonn Miller.

• Cornell is 142-119 all-time against current members of the Patriot League, including 71-53 against Colgate.
• The Big Red has also played American (1-1), Army (20-13), Boston University (2-2), Bucknell (23-25), Holy Cross (2-3), Lafayette (7-11), Lehigh (13-9), Loyola (MD) (1-1) and Navy (2-1).
• Cornell is 7-8 in its last 15 contests against Patriot League opponents.
• This is the second of two scheduled contests with Patriot League opponents this season after dropping a 93-89 overtime decision to Loyola (MD) in Ithaca on Nov. 10.

• Cornell is 107-77 (.582) in the last six seasons.
• The Big Red is 56-28 (.667) in its last 84 Ivy League contests over the last six years.
• Cornell is 60-24 (.714) over its last 84 home games.
• In non-conference games, the Big Red is 50-49 (.505) over the last six seasons vs. scholarship programs.
• The Big Red is 7-5 on the road in its last 12 games away from Newman Arena.

• Cornell has increased its win totals in each of the last two seasons under head coach Bill Courtney, from 10 in 2010-11 after graduating eight seniors from the previous year's NCAA Sweet 16 team, to 12 in 2011-12 to 13 a year ago.
• In two games against teams that aren't nationally ranked, the Big Red has averaged 84.0 points on .471 shooting from the floor with 35 assists and just 18 turnovers. In the two games against nationally ranked squads, Cornell is averaging 57.0 points on .345 shooting with 22 assists and 36 turnovers.
• In those games against Loyola (MD) and Binghamton, Cornell is +1.0 on the backboards while posting a -12.0 rebounding deficit against Syracuse and Louisville.
• Freshman Robert Hatter established a Cornell freshman record with 32 points against Loyola (MD).
• Sophomore Nolan Cressler needs seven 3-pointers to climb into Cornell's career top 20 list.
• Cressler had 20 points in the first half against #8/7 Syracuse, nearly matching his career high of 22 points. He established a new personal best with his 23 points in the game.
• Cressler has a streak of eight consecutive double figure scoring games dating back to last year.
• Senior Dwight Tarwater had 21 points and 11 rebounds against the Greyhounds, nearly matching his junior year scoring total (30 points) and surpassing his rebounding total from a year ago (eight).
• Junior Devin Cherry had a career-best 17 points against Binghamton.
• The Big Red brings a 10-game losing streak into the contest, its longest since Cornell also lost 10 in a row spanning the 1980-81 (final two games) and 1981-82 seasons (first eight games).

• Cornell returns to Newman Arena for consecutive home games starting with a matchup against Siena on Friday, Nov. 22 at 7 p.m.
• Siena leads the all-time series 2-1, with the Saints winning the last matchup 74-56 during the 2008-09 campaign.


Anonymous said...

Here are some sobering observations so far into this dismal season:

- We've had 54 turnovers compared to 57 assists.

- As a team, we're shooting free throws at a 58% clip. Robert Hatter is shooting 36% from the line and David O. is shooting 28% from the line.

- Our primary sniper Nolan Cressler is shooting 25% from three point range.

- Devin is shooting 29% from the field.

- I won't even go into our defensive stats and ratings. We are the absolute worst team in the nation defensively according to Pomeroy. You can quarrel about what that means, but there's no denying we are terrible on defense. Sure, we played Louisville and Syracuse, but we also gave up 90 to Bingo. I see little reason to believe that we will beat even two out of the next three teams that we play.

- The rest of the Ivies are playing way, way better than we are. Princeton, Columbia, Yale, and Harvard are also bringing in strong recruiting classes next year, and certainly stronger than ours.

Unknown said...

Wow, those are some powerful and troubling statistics. I don't know why, but I'm still optimistic about this group of kids. And lets not forget, they are college kids. They played two basketball factories, and then fumbled away two games they should have won.

If they stay positive, and get coached a little, I think they could improve and be competitive in the league this year, and of course especially next year when Shonn comes back.

If nothing else the new kids, plus Cressler, are fun to watch, and seem to compete with a good attitude, so I hope people in Ithaca support them.

The last home game had a lot of fans disguised as empty seats. We're by far the largest school in the Ivy's and we can't fill that little gym. Hard to understand. I hope people don't get apathetic, and the losing becomes a habit, like in the bad old days in Barton Barn.

Anonymous said...

If you are a believer in mean reversion, those statistics point to some brighter days ahead (on the offensive end of the floor at least):

-Hatter was an 80+% free throw shooter in high school (according to his high school coach)

-Cressler has already proved that he is a dead-eye shooter from three point range

-Cherry shot 37% and 39% in 2011 and 2012, respectively

-Both the assist/turnover ratio and turnovers per game are middle of the pack which isn’t bad considering 19 of those turnovers occurred in one game

This is not to say that it is guaranteed that these players will return to their statistical norms, but the fact remains that it is difficult to come to any meaningful statistical conclusions after only four games. Even Nolan Cressler, arguably the team’s best shooter, shot below 30% from the field during 7 separate 4-game periods in 2012-2013 (equivalent to one-quarter of the team’s 28 4-game stretches). Basketball is a game of streaks. Let’s wait and see how things play out over the next few months.

Anonymous said...

i am going to keep the positives going even though the numbers are contrary.

Even though we've had 54 turnovers, two of the teams we played against are part of the Elite basketball programs in the country. The number of assists that have been accumulated is not that bad in itself especially since we played those same two opponents.

Cressler may be shooting 25% from 3, the the upside is that he's rebounding and that percentage is going to rise.

Cherry may be shooting 29% from the field but has only taken 24 shots over four games and again two games against top BCS talent. Again young Mr. Cherry is rebounding and assisting also. from what i have seeing Cherry has made a concerted effort to get the ball to the open man in areas where they are comfortable. just a matter of time before those passes are converted on a regular basis.

David O's has given a solid performance for someone who is new to D1 basketball and is controlling his area strongly.

The Mad Hatter has also given stellar performances scoring, assisting and rebounding and remember he has only 4 games of experience under his belt.

With this nucleus really believe that with more experience all will improve. by Ivy Season we should be just fine with those solid minutes from others especially in the front court.

So just remember next year should be the Year

Anonymous said...

Ah-well....I believe that the statistics will improve - the current players have the skill - now they need to have a little confidence. Two issues: A - we must beat Columbia two out of two; and B - No matter what, we need to be at least a 75 (and preferably 80) percent FT as a team. There is no excuse, in my humble opinion, to not do 75%. It just means practice - and playground ball and dunks are not part of that.