Friday, February 14, 2014

News and Notes: Friday Edition

Get all the information you need about Cornell's games vs. Dartmouth, Friday, February 14, 2014 and Harvard, Saturday, February 15, 2014, with The Cornell Basketball Blog's Game Preview Center.  Below, news and notes for Friday...

  • The Ivy League weekend preview notes:
Sophomore guard Nolan Cressler remains the Big Red's bright spot, averaging 21.7 points in his last three games. He has connected on 17 straight free throws over his last four contests.
Dartmouth (9-11, 2-4 Ivy) enters the weekend with designs on getting back to even on the strength of play from junior forward
Dartmouth (9-11, 2-4 Ivy) at Cornell (1-19, 0-6 Ivy)
Date: Friday, February 14 – 7 p.m.
Location: Newman Arena • Ithaca, N.Y.
Dartmouth-Cornell Series: Tied, 103-103
Live Broadcast: The Ivy League® Digital Network
Last Meeting: Dartmouth 76, Cornell 62 • 3/8/13 • Hanover, N.H.
Live Stats | Dartmouth Game Notes | Cornell Game Notes
Harvard at Cornell
Date: Saturday, February 15 – 7 p.m.
Location: Newman Arena • Ithaca, N.Y.
Live Broadcast: The Ivy League® Digital Network
Harvard-Cornell Series: Cornell leads, 90-74
Last Meeting: Harvard 65, Cornell 56 • 3/9/13 • Cambridge, Mass.
Live Stats | Harvard Game Notes | Cornell Game Notes

Bill Courtney, Cornell:
Big Red fans haven't had much to cheer about since Steve Donahue bolted for Boston College. This year has been especially agonizing as Cornell is currently 1-19 on the year and 0-6 in Ivy League play. It's Courtney's fourth year in Ithaca and he's currently 36-71 and has not been able to capture any of the success that Donahue had in getting the Big Red to three straight NCAA Tournaments from 2008 to 2010.
  • Predicting Ivy games in its usual obnoxious way, the Harvard Crimson writes (in between additional Harvard academic scandals and recruiting violations):
It’s the Chromo-Bowl! If you mix the Big Green and the Big Red, you end up with the Big Brown, a steaming pile of which this game is destined to be. Please don’t watch.


Turn off your cell phones because there are no girlfriends allowed—Harvard is going to Ithaca. Yeah, there might be a game played at some point, but everyone knows that’s not what the Cornell trip is all about. Just look at these reviews of the city’s nightlife from local students: “Bars close at 1 a.m., so that sucks.” “I usually just hang out at my friends’ places on weekends.” “It’s cold in Ithaca, and I don’t have the patience to bear through the inclement weather to go out partying.” The Cornell trip makes The Wolf of Wall Street look like Daddy Day Care.
  • Associated Press Top 25 Poll voter, Rick Bozich, goes down a list of who is "hot and not" in college basketball and writes, "NOT HOT – Cornell. Remember when the Big Red were a legitimately dangerous team, capable of knocking Temple and Wisconsin out of the 2010 NCAA Tournament before playing a solid game against Kentucky in the Sweet Sixteen?  Well, Cornell sits at the bottom of the Ivy League standings without a conference win. The Big Red are 1-19 overall – and the win came against Oberlin, which isn't a Division I program."
  • NBC Sports writes, "When you think of the Ivy League, Yale isn’t the first program that comes to mind.  These days, it’s Harvard, as the Crimson went out and hired Tommy Amaker, who formerly coached at Michigan Seton Hall, while turning top 25 recruiting classes into league titles and, in 2013, an upset win over No. 3 seed New Mexico. Before that, it was Cornell, whose run to the 2011 Sweet 16 landed Steve Donahue the head coaching job at Boston College. "
  • The NBA D-League's and Springfield Armor's Darius Johnson-Odom told, "Adonis (Thomas), Larry (Anderson) and Jeff Foote have been playing exceptional basketball lately and they should all get chances at the next level very soon."
  • Sports Chat discusses the betting line on tonight's Dartmouth at Cornell game.
  • The Yale Daily News notes, "Princeton guard T.J. Bray is second in the conference in scoring, with 17.7 points per game. Yale has dealt with other high-scoring players, including Ivy League-leading scorerguard Sean McGonagill of Brown and Cornell guard Noah Cressler, but Bray combines his scoring ability with remarkable efficiency (55.5 field goal percentage) and strong all-around play (5.5 assists, 4 rebounds)."
  • The Times of Trenton writes, "Somehow Yale shocked the Crimson last week to move into a tie atop the Ivy standings at 5-1. Princeton is in seventh place at 1-4, ahead of lowly Cornell (0-5, 1-19)."
    • SB Nation introduces the Ivy League and writes, "Cornell Big Red: Poor Cornell kids. Technically, Cornell doesn't have a mascot, although they have the unofficial bear known as Touchdown. Supposedly, students tried to petition the school to have their beloved red bear become the official mascot but the university denied the cause. Because why be a bear when you can be a term associated with chewing tobacco?"
    • The Columbia Spectator writes, "After completing a five-game road stretch last weekend, the men’s basketball team (14-9, 3-3 Ivy) returns home to face Harvard (18-4, 5-1 Ivy) and Dartmouth (9-11, 2-4 Ivy).The road stretch opened with a win at Cornell, but the Lions dropped three of their next four games, struggling with interior defense and allowing opponents—in particular, Penn on Saturday—to hit outside shots."
    • The Daily Pennsylvanian writes, "after beating Cornell and Columbia last weekend to stay in the Ivy chase, Penn’s new step backward came in the form of yet another injury.  Freshman guard Matt Howard, who broke out with 15 points combined versus the Big Red and Light Blue, broke his foot at practice on Tuesday and is now out for the season.
    • The Brown Daily Herald writes, "Last weekend, Bruno (12-8, Ivy 4-2) fought for the full 40 minutes, but ultimately fell to Harvard (18-4, 5-1), before squashing Dartmouth (9-11, 2-4) the next day. Princeton (13-6, 1-4) picked up their first Ivy win last weekend, while Penn (6-13, 3-2) swept their pair of home games against Cornell and Columbia."
    • 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: 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 February 14, 2014 is No. 342 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 site ranks Cornell No. 338 in the nation, while the Sagarin Rankings (USA Today) have Cornell at No. 336. Both sites are predominantly used by fans and the media.
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