Friday, November 15, 2013

RUfofL Previews Cornell

The Cards hit the hardwood again on Friday night at 7pm looking to win their 19th straight game and 1700th overall. The game can be seen on WHAS and on ESPN 3. They will play the Cornell Big Red from the Ivy League. This will be the first time that Louisville has ever played a game against the team from Ithaca. The Big Red are 0-3 in the early season and are picked to finish 6th in the Ivy League. They are 5-68 all-time against teams ranked in the top 25.
When I think of Cornell I automatically hear Ed Helms character “Andy Bernard” playing his banjo and singing some silly song. Yup the Nard Dog is Cornell. But apparently they do have a basketball team and one that had the lead 36-22 with 4 minutes left in the first half last Friday against #8 Syracuse. Cornell was 13-18 last season and Coach Bill Courtney has had to replace four starters. Their best player returning first-team All-Ivy forward Shonn Miller continues to recover from offseason surgery to his right shoulder that sidelined him in the preseason. This is a young, inexperienced team but do have some talent on the squad and it starts with knockdown sophomore shooter Nolan Cressler (18.5 points, 5 rebounds a game). The rookie had a very solid 2012-13, shooting over 40% from three-point range. He is the Big Red’s best scoring option and lit up Syracuse last week in that stunning first half scoring 20 points. He shares the backcourt with point guard Devin Cherry (2 points, 4 assist a game) he’s the player in charge of running the offense, guard Robert Hatter (20.5 points a game) another scorer, and senior guard Dominick Scelfo (4.5 points, 1.5 rebounds a game).
The Big Red Front-court is young and depleted. Their go to guy down low early this season has been senior Dwight Tarwater (12.5 points, 6.5 rebounds a game), he is their best rebounder. Their other guy holding down the paint is David Onuorah (6.5 points, 4 rebounds a game), a 6′ 8″ freshman from Atlanta who turned down an SEC offer from Auburn to play in the Ivy League.
Big Red
Kenpom Ranks
Overall- #299
Defense Adjustment Efficiency
-113.8 ranks 350
Offensive Adjustment Efficiency
-102.1 ranks 180
It is hard to imagine the Cardinals having any trouble with Big Red. Especially with the mismatch in the paint. Not to mention the talent gap. They did have some success and shot 7 of 17 from the 3-point line over the Cuse zone in the first half of that wacky game last Friday, but the Louisville defense won’t give them those looks so I don’t even see a scenario like that happening. It should be another night of getting guys like Luke and Chane some conditioning and another game for this Cardinal group to work on their stuff against another team. I will be watching to see if the rebounding is any better in this game. That has been one area where the Cards have struggled. This Big Red group out-rebounded the much taller Orange 19-16 at one point so they will go after it. I’m looking forward to it. Go Cards!

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