Thursday, January 16, 2014

News and Notes: Thursday Edition

Below, news and notes for Thursday...

Like any honest Cornell sports fan, I will admit to being two-faced during the 2009-2010 season. I remember seeing a friend on a Saturday afternoon, and we bemoaned the fact that we would, in a few hours, venture up to campus, try our best to find a parking spot within a half mile of the facilities, then be herded in with nearly ten-thousand other fans. We then reminded one another how proud we were that the Big Red hockey, wrestling and basketball teams were all having phenomenal years, and we couldn’t wait to do whatever we had to do to get there.

Things are different now, but I will say in all honesty and fairness that we do not yet know how much different. The wrestling team is once again among the nation’s elite, the hockey team fills Lynah Rink no matter what, but the basketball team is struggling. Mightily. That said, if they get off to a good start in Ivy play, and find themselves in the hunt for a league title and a trip to the Big Dance, the crowds will be there. If they look like they looked during a recent long losing streak, it will be hard to get people out on cold winter nights. The good news is, they have several upperclassmen, like Devin Cherry, Dwight Tarwater, Nolan Cressler and Jake Matthews, and their experience and well-established chemistry can hopefully come into play at the right time. If not, I wonder what changes will have to be made before the memory of three straight Ivy titles and a trip to the Sweet 16 disappears in the rear-view mirror.
Q: You lost to Syracuse, Louisville and Notre Dame in non-conference play.  Do you think there is such a thing as having a non-conference that is too difficult in terms of preparing you for the conference season?
A: When we originally made our schedule we had an entirely different team in mind that we would have this year; had we known in hindsight that we would be missing so many guys due to injury, we might have scheduled games a little differently. I think a tough schedule is attractive from a recruiting standpoint and it helps prepare us for Ivy League play, but if you think this year’s schedule was tough then just wait until you see next year’s schedule!

    • Jeff Foote (Cornell '10) got a starting nod last night in the NBA D-League, but struggled to a 2 points, 2 blocks, 1 rebound performance in 17 minutes.
    • Cornell RPI Watch: The RPI (Rating Percentage Index) is a measure of strength of schedule and how a team does against that schedule. It does not consider the margin of victory, but only whether or        not a team won and where the game was played (home/away/neutral court). The formula is 25% team     winning percentage (WP), 50% opponents' average winning percentage (OWP), and 25% opponents' opponents' average winning percentage (OOWP). (See: CollegeRPI.com for a further explanation of the formula.) The RPI may be the most influential factor in NCAA Tournament seeding. Cornell's RPI rank as of January 16, 2014 is No. 334 out of 351 total Division I teams. While neither the Ken Pomeroy or the Sagarin Rankings (USA Today) are used by the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee, the KenPom.com site ranks Cornell No. 349 in the nation, while the Sagarin Rankings (USA Today) have Cornell at No. 344. Both sites are predominantly used by fans and the media.
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    1 comment:

    Anonymous said...

    I question whether scheduling as many as 6 BCS games next season is wise, depending on who those teams are (e.g. Auburn is "BCS" but is night and day from Louisville).

    We'll be better with Shonn next season, if he's healthy. But even with him, this seems overly ambitious. Maybe 2015...