Wednesday, February 5, 2014

News and Notes: Wednesday Edition

Below, news and notes for Wednesday...

  • The Pittsburgh Tribune writes, "Sophomore guard Nolan Cressler (Plum) scored a career-high 29 points but Cornell (1-17) fell to Yale, 61-57. Cressler hit 8 of 16 shots, 10 of 10 free throws and three 3-pointers"
  • Rush The Court runs through winless teams in conference play and writes:
Cornell (1-17, 0-4 Ivy League)
Odds: 25.2 percent chance to go winless
Most likely wins: February 14 at home vs. Dartmouth, 22 percent; March 8 at home vs. Penn, 30 percent
Biggest strength: A not-below-average turnover rate
Achilles’ heel: Worst team in the nation at getting to the free-throw line; nation’s third-worst defense
Key player: Sophomore guard Nolan Cressler (16.3 points per game, 4.6 rebounds per game)
Outlook: Good news, Big Red fans! You have two games remaining against a team winless in conference. Bad news is, they’re against a Princeton team favored 10-to-1 in both games, including the one in Ithaca, N.Y. The halcyon days of yore in which Cornell went 13-1 in conference play in 2009-10 seem so distant; the team that once led the nation in three-point field goal percentage is now 313th, the nation’s fourth-ranked offense now in 264th. The conference slate could be a slog until Penn pays a visit to Cornell in the teams’ final Ivy League game, with a pair of games against both Princeton and Harvard remaining. This looks like a long winter.
Improving Jeff Foote helps Springfield Armor to 104-98 win over Erie BayHawks
SPRINGFIELD – A lot of attention has rightly been paid to the Springfield Armor's talented scorers in the backcourt.
However, a great NBA Development League team isn't complete without competent big men. The Armor have always had one reliable frontcourt option in Dennis Horner, while Jeff Foote is turning the corner in his development.
Foote, who helped Cornell University to a Cinderella run to the Sweet 16 of the 2010 NCAA tournament, has averaged 14 points over the past six games. He posted 20 points and 13 rebounds Monday in a 104-98 victory over the Erie BayHawks before 1,231 at the MassMutual Center.
"I'm coming back from a back injury, and I think, at the beginning of the season, I kind of underestimated how tough that is," Foote said. "It's really starting to come back to me. I'm starting to get into the flow of the game."
Springfield (9-17) won its third straight for the first time since a four-game streak Feb. 20-26. It wasn't without its anxious moments, however, as a 24-point lead evaporated thanks to a 29-5 Erie run between the third and fourth quarters.
Adonis Thomas led the Armor with 23 points. Darius Johnson-Odom tossed in 18, Larry Anderson had 16 and Horner contributed 12.
C.J. Leslie poured in a game-high 31 for the BayHawks (8-20), who lost their third in a row.
Foote hit a pair of free throws to break a 79-79 tie, and he scored inside to extend the lead to 85-81. Big 3-pointers by Quinn McDowell and Thomas gave the Armor more breathing room when the BayHawks continued to press closer, and McDowell hit 3 of 4 free throws in the final seconds to ice it.
"Our guys are just fighting now," coach Doug Overton said. "We're sticking together when teams make runs, keeping an even keel."
At times using his effective sky hook, Foote scored seven of the Armor's first 11 points.
While Foote was still stinging from his Denver Broncos' Super Bowl loss, he certainly boosted his morale with Monday's performance.
"It's a long game. There's a lot of ups and downs throughout," he said. "There's going to be times when you're missing a couple of shots, but then there's times you get seven quick ones."
While Foote's hard work with the Armor in 2011-12 earned him both a D-League All-Star selection and a call-up to the New Orleans Hornets, he spent last season leading Zalgiris Kaunas to the Lithuanian championship.
"He just works so hard," Overton said. "Give credit to (assistant) Coach (Chris) Carrawell for working with him, developing his moves. He's continuing to build confidence."
Overton has no problem trusting Foote in key situations.
"He's somebody we can go into," the first-year coach said. "He's like a hug. He's a calming factor for us."
Horner drained a pair of 3-pointers as part of a 12-2 run that put the Armor ahead 30-10 late in the first. A dunk by Leslie cut the deficit to 11 points with less than three minutes left in the half before the Armor closed on an 8-4 run. In the third quarter, Springfield came out firing, quickly building a 74-50 lead.
8. Cornell (1-17, 0-4): Four consecutive Ivy League losses were not at all what the Big Red needed, having only beaten Division III Oberlin College this season. Statistics place it near or at the bottom of the league in nearly every category. It is unlikely the team will pose much of a threat to any Ivy opponent this season.
  • Devin Cherry and Nolan Cressler were named to the Ivy League's weekly honor roll.  The Ivy Office notes:
Devin Cherry, Cornell (Jr., G - Meridian, Miss.)  
13 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists at Brown
19 points, 2 rebounds at Yale

Nolan Cressler, Cornell (So., G - Pittsburgh)  
16 points, 1 rebound at Brown
29 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals at Yale
Wk 1 Nov 11-Tony Hicks, Penn/Justin Sears, Yale
Wk 2 Nov 18-Sean McGonagill, Brown/Javier Duren, Yale
Wk 3 Nov 25-Maodo Lo, Columbia
Wk 4 Dec 2- T.J. Bray, Princeton/Wes Saunders, Harvard
Wk 5 Dec 9-Wes Saunders, Harvard
Wk 6 Dec 16-T.J. Bray, Princeton (Cornell no games)
Wk 7 Dec 23-Siyani Chambers, Harvard
Wk 8 Dec 30-Siyani Chambers, Harvard
Wk 9 Jan 6-Wes Saunders, Harvard/Alex Rosenberg, Columbia
Wk 10 Jan 13- Fran Dougherty, Penn
Wk 11 Jan 20-Alex Rosenberg, Columbia/Justin Sears, Yale
Wk 12 Jan 27-Sean McGonagill, Brown
Wk13 Feb 3-John Golden, Dartmouth/Justin Sears, Yale
Wk 1 Nov11-Robert Hatter, Cornell
Wk 2 Nov 18-Norman Hobbie, Brown
Wk 3 Nov 25-Leland King, Brown
Wk 4 Dec 2- Robert Hatter, Cornell
Wk 5 Dec 9-Spencer Weisz, Princeton
Wk 6 Dec 16- Spencer Weisz, Princeton (Cornell no games)
Wk 7 Dec 23-Luke Petrasek, Columbia
Wk 8 Dec 30-Luke Petrasek, Columbia/Steven Spieth, Brown
Wk 9 Jan 6-Norman Hobbie, Brown
Wk 10 Jan 13-Norman Hobbie, Brown
Wk 11 Jan 20-Darryl Smith, Cornell
 Wk 12 Jan 27-Spencer Weisz, Princeton
Wk 13 Feb 3-Steven Spieth, Brown
  • 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 5, 2014 is No. 343 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. 343 in the nation, while the Sagarin Rankings (USA Today) have Cornell at No. 339. Both sites are predominantly used by fans and the media.
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