Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Cornell Athletics Game Notes for Western Michigan

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Game #8: Cornell at Western Michigan
Tip off: Friday, Nov. 29, at 7 p.m.
Site: University Arena (5,421), Kalamazoo, Mich.
2013-14 Records: Cornell (0-7, 0-0 Ivy); Western Michigan (4-2, 0-0 MAC)
Series Record: Western Michigan leads 1-0
Last Meeting: Cornell won 63-55, Nov. 10, 2012 in Ithaca, N.Y.
Radio: None
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 (35-59, .372; 18-24 Ivy, .429) ... Courtney became the fifth Robert E. Gallagher '44 Coach of Men's Basketball at Cornell on April 23, 2010.

On Black Friday, the Cornell men's basketball team will attempt to pick up its first win of the season when it meets yet another 2012-13 postseason team when it visits Western Michigan on Friday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. at University Arena. The game will be the fourth in its first eight games against a squad coming off a 20-win, postseason campaign.

Cornell has played some good basketball despite its 0-7 start, with two of the losses coming to 2013 NCAA Final Four squads (Syracuse, Louisville) and three total coming at the hands of 2013 postseason squads (Syracuse and Louisville - NCAA, Loyola - CIT) that went a combined 88-27. Cornell has shown glimpses of outstanding basketball despite its heavy reliance on underclassmen and inexperienced upperclassmen. Three of the team's top six scorers are freshmen or sophomores and the three top upperclassmen had 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 and a 10-point lead with four minutes to play against Siena before the team's youth came out and the Big Red went on to drop all four contests.

Sophomore guard Nolan Cressler is off to a great start, averaging 17.0 points and 4.6 rebounds in his first seven games. He's the only player averaging double figures, though five others are posting at least 5.0 points every contest. Senior forward Dwight Tarwater is posting 7.9 points and 7.1 rebounds, while freshman guard Robert Hatter is scoring 9.9 points with 2.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists. Junior guard Devin Cherry rounds out that foursome at 9.9 ppg., 3.4 rpg. and 3.1 apg. Freshman Robert Onuorah (4.3 ppg., 4.1 rpg., 1.0 bpg.) and junior Deion Giddens (5.1 ppg., 2.9 rpg., 1.0 bpg.) are holding down the middle, while senior guard Dominick Scelfo is providing firepower off the bench (5.0 ppg., 1.6 apg.). The Big Red is scoring 68.7 points on 43 percent shooting, but is allowing 85.9 points on 50 percent shooting, including 45 percent from 3-point range.

Getting its first win of the year and snapping a 13-game skid dating back to last year won't be easy against a Broncos team off to a 4-2 start and posting a 42-13 (.782)  non-conference home record over the last nine years. Senior guard David Brown, the 2013 MAC Sixth Man of the Year, leads WMU in scoring (22.5 ppg.) and ranks 22nd nationally in scoring to lead three double figure scorers, while 6-11 senior center Shayne Whittington is averaging a double-double with 17.3 poionts and 11.0 rebounds per game. Steve Hawkins is the longest tenured head coach in the Mid-American Conference in his 11th season.

• avoid the Big Red's first 0-8 start to a season since the 1981-82 campaign.
• snap a 13-game skid dating back to last season.
• end a five-game road skid.
• give Cornell a winning all-time record against MAC teams at 33-32.
• be the 1,210th in program history (1,209-1,333 in 114 seasons).

• The Broncos are 4-2 after knocking off Oakland 99-88 on Tuesday evening at home to move to 2-1 at home this season.
• Senior guard David Brown, the 2013 MAC Sixth Man of the Year, leads WMU in scoring (22.5 ppg.) and ranks 22nd nationally in scoring to lead three double figure scorers.
• Senior center Shayne Whittington is averaging a double-double with 17.3 poionts and 11.0 rebounds per game. The 6-11 big man is shooting 53 percent from the floor.
• Sophomore forward Connar Tava (13.0 ppg., 4.7 rpg., 2.3 apg.) also averages double figures for a team averaging 74.5 points points and shooting 45 percent from the floor.
• The Broncos are 43-12 (.782) against non-conference opponents at home since the start of the 2003-04 campaign.
• Steve Hawkins, in his 11th season with the Broncos, is the longest tenured head coach in the Mid-American conference. He led the team to an appearance in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI), advancing to the semifinals of the tournament.

• Cornell won the first-ever meeting between the teams a year ago, 63-55 at Newman Arena.
• The Big Red blocked 13 shots, one shy of a school record, and limited the Bronocs to 30 percent shooting overall.
• Freshman Nolan Cressler had 20 points in his collegiate debut and Shonn Miller had nine points, six rebounds, six blocks, three steals  and three assists.

• Cornell is 32-32 all-time against current members of the Mid-American Conference.
• The Big Red is 1-0 against Western Michigan and has also played Ball State (0-1), Bowling Green (0-3), Buffalo (27-15), Eastern Michigan (1-2), Kent State (0-1), Miami (OH) (1-0), Northern Illinois (0-2), Ohio (1-3) and Toledo (1-5).
• Cornell has never played Akron or Central Michigan.
• This is the only scheduled meeting between the Big Red and a member of the MAC in 2013-14.

• Cornell returns to action when it visits Notre Dame on Sunday, Dec. 1 1 p.m. at the Joyce Center in South Bend, Ind.
• The game will be televised on ESPN3.
• The Fighting Irish lead the all-time series 7-1 and took the last meeting between the teams during the 2001-012 season, a 78-48 Notre Dame victory.


Anonymous said...

Yes, Coach D had a horrible season in 2002 and lots of people left, so in 8 years Bill Courtney is definitely headed to the sweet 16!

No seriously what is your point? Bill Courtney did not inherit the same situation as Donahue. Bill Courtney inherited better players and a nicer recruiting environment. You will of course argue but you will be wrong. We are not in this situation because this situations sometimes happens to decent coaches; we are in this situation because Bill Courtney is a terrible coach.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Revisionist history. Let's deal with facts.

Scott Thompson's last team was 10-17.

Again, Scott's last team won TEN games.

Steve DID NOT win TEN games until his 4th season.

In other words, Steve's first 3 seasons each did worse that his predecessor.

But let's not stop there.

In 1996-1997, Scott's first team had a winning record and won 15 overall games.

Steve did not get his first winning season until his 7th season.

Let's not pretend Steve was Vince Lombardi.

It took Donahue 7 freaking years to finish above .500. His predecessors did it faster, including Tom Miller, Mike Dement, JVBK and Scott Thompson.

Steve did not have success until he landed some good recruits and in particular--- Jeff Foote.

Foote was the game changing piece.

Anonymous said...

CBB - Can you somehow find out if Courtney got an extension? It should be public knowledge. This would be extremely important to all bloggers.

Anonymous said...

Bill Courtney did not inherit the same situation or environment as any other Cornell coach in recent history.

He inherited a starter and members of regular rotation of a sweet 16 team, replete with Division 1 transfers, and in hindsight the only top 200 team he has produced, i.e. they were probably making him look better than he was because once they left we tanked precipitously.

He went out and recruited in the aftermath of a sweet 16 run. The recruits he got were great on paper but since he stunk so much as a coach we'll never know their real potential.

You used to boast about how recent Cornell recruits were improving in quality due to the number of Division I offers they got, implying that recruit quality was improving. Then when Courtney starts stinking up the joint you want to claim that he and Donahue had similar levels of talent to begin their careers with.

Bill Courtney did not inherit the same situation as other coaches before him and the only reason we are in cupcake city is because he stinks as a coach. There is no rule that says it takes a decade to create a winning team.

I know you cannot be reasoned with; I'm just worried about innocents who sometimes buy the nonsense you sell.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Even the Donahue regime coaches agree with me. They look at this program and agree that made some recruiting mistakes. Meaning, they like the kids, but thought they would be better.

So you are arguing a point in which you stand alone