Thursday, November 7, 2013

News and Notes: Thursday Edition

Get all the information you need about the Cornell Big Red's season opener at Syracuse, Friday, November 8, 2013 (TV: ACC Sports Network) with The Cornell Basketball Blog's Game Preview CenterBelow, news and notes for Thursday...
  • Cornell recruiting commitments, Riley Glassmann and Jordan Abdur Ra'oof get recent mentions in Chicago Hoops and DMV Elite respectively.
  • YNN previews Syracuse readying for Cornell.
BC just bombards opponents from deep and has really hot shooting nights when they need them the most. In that case, the Eagles might not simply make the NCAA Tournament, but they could make some legitimate noise once they get there. It's what [Steve] Donahue did when he was at Cornell. They basically said "we know we might not be as physically gifted as our opponents, so we're going to shoot the lights out in order to close that gap." In his final season at Cornell, that's exactly what his team did. They lead the country in three-point shooting at 43% and made the 4th most three-pointers, despite have the 24th most attempts.
The Cornell Big Red look to take a new youthful movement towards their basketball team after last years six game losing streak to end an injury plagued season.  With this year’s team, Coach Courtney will look to his youth and athleticism to replace most of last year’s starters.  With the loss of last year seniors, Courtney will look to implement a new offensive system with the new recruits he has brought in.  The leader of this new look offensive looks like it will be the teams hot shooting sophomore Nolan Cressler.  Cressler amazed and opened many peoples eyes last year by averaging 9.3 points and 3.7 rebounds off the bench while shooting very well from beyond the arc.  With Shonn Miller out indefinitely with a shoulder injury, Coach Courtney should rely more heavily on Cressler in the scoring department than he did last season.  Losing Miller is a huge blow because he was their leading scorer and rebounder as well as their lone all-ivy selection as a sophomore.
Another guard that Courtney will look to build around is Junior Devin Cherry.  Cherry is a high pace combo guard who knows how to run the floor and can play defense on anyone.  Cherry loves to get out and running but needed to work on his ability to finish around the rim and his ball control under pressure.  Although Cherry worked mainly off the bench last season, expect to see him as a mainstay in this Big Red lineup as he was able to contribute a lot in limited minutes.  Alongside Cherry, it looks like Cornell will go with freshman Daryl Smith who has proved that he can run the point in their exhibition games. Smith was his team mvp in high school and proved to be a do it all player with a great work ethic on defense.
Off the bench for the Big Red, Senior Dominick Scelfo looks to be Cornell’s 6th man, adding tenacious defense and a good shot from beyond the arc.  Scelfo is Cornell’s vocal leader on and off the court.  As a senior, Scelfo will be looked to for wisdom from the many young players on this team.  Along with Scelfo, Senior guard Jake Matthews will see regular minutes off the bench.   Matthews showed great potential as a freshman starting in 11 games but since has been plagued with injuries.  Matthews looks to return to full strength and bring his great basketball iq back to Big Red basketball.  Freshman guard Robert Hatter will also see an expansive role in the big reds new offense as he is someone that can flat out score. Hatter average 21 points per game his junior year of high school and shot nearly 40 percent from beyond the arc.  Hatter adds a dimension to the Big Red bench they haven’t had before.  Sophomore Robert Mischler, Freshman Desmond Fleming, and Freshman JoJo Fallas will see limited minutes but will definitely make a great impact for the Big Red.
The Big Red frontcourt will be lead by players that have never played a game in a Cornell uniform.  Sophomore Braxton Bunce, who was injured all of last season, looks to be Cornell’s true big man at 6’11”.  Bunce is a much stronger player than any of Cornell’s big men from last season and allows Cornell to spread the floor more. Look for Bunce to be a huge presence on the boards and in the post.  At the other forward position, Freshman David Onuorah looks to insert himself into the post on offense early and often.  Onuorah is a great athlete that has great timing on defense and is able to rebound with the best players in the Ivy League.   Onuorah will certainly make his name known on the defensive side of the ball.
Junior Deion Giddens, who shined at the end of last season when a lot of the Big Red team was out with injuries, looks to continue to show that he can be a defensive presence as well as a presence on the glass. Senior forward Dwight Tarwater looks to show off his ability to shoot the ball from deep and spread the floor when the Big Red decide to go with a smaller lineup.  Tarwater also brings senior leadership and tenacity to the huddle.  Nenad Tomic and Dave LaMore look to build off their strong play at the end of last season and prove that they can be valuable even if they are used in small doses.
This years Big Red team might not be heralded with superstars but it is an all around good team.  We will have to see how the team’s chemistry is with so much youth seeing extended minutes this season.  Coach Courtney has set up this team with a very tough schedule and they will have to learn quickly how to compete with the best teams in college basketball.  Expect a competitive Big Red team to come from this group and expect big things to come in the future of the Big Red program as Coach Courtney has them moving in the right direction.

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