Saturday, March 8, 2014

News and Notes: Saturday Edition

Below, news and notes for Saturday...

  • On Davidson, the Charlotte Observer had an interesting quote: "Said Chattanooga coach Will Wade, whose team is seeded No. 2 in the [SoCon]  tournament but lost to Davidson by 43 points this season: 'They remind me a lot offensively of a Cornell team I remember that went to the Sweet 16 [in 2010].'" 
  • CBS writes, "The Ivy League is becoming a conference of mini-dynasties, too. Cornell, which also has only four league titles to its name in program history, went to three straight tournaments from 2008-10. Princeton, whose 26 Ivy crowns are the most among all schools, went in 2011.  But now Tommy Amaker's Crimson have carved out a special era.Like Cornell's 2010 team that made the Sweet 16, this Harvard group had high expectations entering this season." 
  • A Jersey Guy writes, "They [Harvard] have become what Penn was twenty years ago, what Cornell was 5 years ago...A year ago, the Crimson made more than a cameo appearance, upsetting a highly-regarded and very talented New Mexico team. That upset–as a No. 14 seed over a No. 3 seed–was the biggest NCAA Ivy League achivement since Cornell reached the Sweet 16 round inn 2010 under then coach Steve Donahue...Cornell began a brief dominant role, climaxing in 2010 when the Big Red, as a No. 12 seed, beat No. 5 Temple and No. 4 Wisconsin before being eliminated by No. 1 seed Kentucky in a Sweet 16 round game."
  • The Ft. Wayne Journal writes, "Errick Peck remembers the fanfare, the police escorts, the pageantry of the NCAA tournament.  Purdue’s senior forward was a Cornell freshman in 2010 when the Big Red advanced all the way to the Sweet 16. That same season, the Boilermakers played in their fifth of six straight NCAA tournaments." 
A high school teammate of Kelsey Barlow, we gained a player that in many ways was what we always wanted Barlow to be. Peck is the second one-year hired gun we got, as he played for Cornell for three seasons, but in his one season at Purdue he has been a great dirty work guy and one that will be missed. Peck made an immediate impact by hitting a critical three-pointer with less than a minute left as Purdue trailed Northern Kentucky by four in the season opener. He has been the team's second-best rebounder behind Hammons and has been particularly effective on the offensive glass. He can hit the occasional three-pointer and is an effective defender in the paint.  It would have been interesting to see what would have happened had we originally recruited Peck instead of Barlow. Barlow was the more talented player, but Peck was a player more in the Purdue mold of doing all the dirty work needed to win.
    • SB Nation published a large piece on the rise of Harvard and mentions Cornell, noting:
      By the end of his first season, Amaker had a much bigger problem. On Sunday, March 2, 2008, just after Harvard lost to Cornell in the Big Red's Ivy-clinching victory, Pete Thamel, then a reporter for The New York Times, published a story detailing allegations that Harvard had lowered its admissions standards for Amaker's highly-touted initial recruiting class. Thamel, who later wrote a separate piece about Amaker cutting several veteran players to make room for those recruits, also reported that Amaker and his staff had skirted recruiting rules. The most damning anecdote was that Blakeney had played pick-up basketball with two prospects, Keith Wright and Max Kenyi, during a no-contact period in summer 2007, just before Harvard hired him.

    • Read more here:
      Sports Illustrated writes, "But can the [Ivy Champion Harvard] Crimson crack the second weekend of the NCAA tournament? That is the direction to which the conversation is forced now. Cornell did it not so long ago in 2010"
    • The New York Times writes, "Since 2008, Cornell and then Harvard have loosened Penn and Princeton’s stranglehold on the Ivy League title...[James] Jones mentioned [Justin] Sears, Wesley Saunders of Harvard and two injured players — Shonn Miller of Cornell and Gabas Maldunas of Dartmouth — as being among the top athletes in the league.
    • The Wire takes a comical approach to the tournament and has Cornell in the field.

    • Prior to the weekend, the Daily Princetonian previewed Princeton's visit to Cornell and wrote, "Cornell has completely lacked success in any way all season, both in interconference and Iv y League play. A far cry from the team that took March Madness by storm back in 2010, the Big Red (2-24, 1-11) limp into the final weekend of the season, hoping to avoid holding the worst record in school history. Currently on a five-game losing streak, the Big Red is ranked dead last in the Ivy League in most statistical categories, including points scored, points allowed, field goal percentage and rebounding."

    • The Brown Daily Herald notes that Cornell, "is on its way to its worst season in over a decade."

    • Per the Daily Pennsylvanian, Tony Hicks is suspended for tonight's game against Cornell (see also this).

    • The Ivy League's weekend preview notes:

        Penn at Cornell
        Date: Saturday, March 8 – 7 p.m.
        Location: Newman Arena • Ithaca, N.Y.
        Live Broadcast: The Ivy League® Digital Network
        Penn-Cornell Series: Penn leads, 147-74
        Last Meeting: Penn 90, Cornell 83  • 2/7/14 • Philadelphia
        Live Stats | Penn Game Notes | Cornell Game Notes
      Princeton (17-8, 5-6 Ivy) at Cornell (2-24, 1-11 Ivy) Date: Friday, March 7 – 7 p.m. Location: Newman Arena • Ithaca, N.Y. Princeton-Cornell Series: Princeton leads, 140-79 Live Broadcast: The Ivy League® Digital Network Last Meeting: Princeton 69, Cornell 48 • 2/8/14 • Princeton, N.J. Live Stats | Princeton Game Notes | Cornell Game Notes
      FRIDAY: Princeton (17-8, 5-6 Ivy League) at Cornell (2-24, 1-11) WHEN: 7 p.m. WHERE: Newman Arena (4,473), Ithaca RADIO: 98.7 FM The Buzzer VIDEO: (subscription required) SERIES: Princeton leads, 140-79 LAST MEETING: Princeton made seven first-half 3-pointers, racing to a 16-point lead at the break and cruising to a 69-48 victory on Feb 8 at Jadwin Gym. Spencer Weisz led the winners with 18 points, while Nolan Cressler paced Cornell with 14. LEADERS: Princeton, sr. G T.J. Bray (17.9 ppg., 5.1 apg.), so. F Hans Brase (11.0 ppg.), sr. F Will Barrett (10.4 ppg.). Cornell, so. G Nolan Cressler (16.3 ppg., 4.2 rpg.), jr. G Devin Cherry (12.3 ppg., 3.3 apg.), sr. F Dwight Tarwater (6.9 ppg., 5.6 rpg.). FAST FACTS: Cornell will bid adieu to its three seniors — Tarwater, Jake Matthews and Dominick Scelfo — at Saturday night’s game with Pennsylvania. ... Princeton has allowed opponents 4.9 made 3-pointers per game, while hitting 9.4 per game itself. ... First-place Harvard visits second-place Yale on tonight; a weekend sweep would give the Crimson its third straight outright Ivy League championship and the automatic NCAA Tournament bid. SATURDAY: Pennsylvania (6-19, 3-8, play Friday at Columbia) at Cornell, 7 p.m., Newman Arena
      • On tonight's Penn-Cornell game, the Daily Pennsylvanian writes, "Cornell (2-24, 1-11) has failed to piece together much success since the beginning of the year. The Big Red’s victory over Dartmouth is their only win over a Division I opponent. "
      Scouting Cornell: On Saturday, Penn will take a trip to upstate New York for a match up with Cornell on the Big Red’s senior night. Cornell will honor the efforts Dominick Scelfo, Jake Matthews, Dwight Tarwater, and Montez Blair. This means that the first recruiting class after Cornell’s Sweet 16 appearance in 2010 has or is about to graduate. Seems so long ago. Hard to believe five years ago this same program won 29 games going 13-1 in conference. Their one loss came against the Quakers. Now Cornell, barring a victory on Friday against Princeton, will be looking for their third win of the year. What a turn around. The first time these two teams met, Penn came out with a 90-83 victory. The Quakers seemed like they were going to be in control for most of the game. But the Big Red hung around in the late stages making it close before Penn pulled away for good. Hicks had 27 points and seven assists in the game.  Miles Jackson-Cartwright had 19 points and five assists, while Dougherty had 17 points and 10 rebounds. It was one of Penn more impressive efforts all season. If the Quakers want a replay of such a night, maybe with a less thrills down the stretch, they will have to make sure Nolan Cressler and Devin Cherry don’t shoot the lights out like they did in University City early in February. Cressler and Cherry finished with 22 and 15 points respectively. Predictions: *** Cornell is a team that never found their identity this year and that has equaled only one Division I victory this whole season. They do have talent, but could never seem to put it all together strong enough to make a run in this dogfight of a conference. Their only attempt to climb out of the basement of the Ivy is to win these two last games and hope Dartmouth losses out. Both would finish 3-11 in conference play. Four seniors for Cornell will be taking the floor in Ithaca for the last time. Although it wasn’t the ideal season, I do sense pride will be on the line for senior night. Penn will get everything that the Big Red has on Saturday, for what its worth. *** Saturday: Penn 83-76
      Riley Glassmann Fremd-One of the area’s top players this season and MSL West player of the year. A four-year varsity player, Glassmann scored over 1,200 points in his career while averaging 17.8 points per game. He was an all-tournament pick at Thanksgiving, and MVP of the Wheeling Hardwood Classic. And, quite clearly, a key ingredient in the Vikings’ undefeated regular season. His 6-foot-5 frame will be a huge asset to Cornell University next year. “Riley has really worked on all aspects of his game,” Fremd coach Bob Widlowski said. “He is very consistent in all phases of the game. His leadership has been a key for us this season.”
      Glassmann was also named All Area by the Chicago Sun Times:

        • 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 March 8, 2014 is No. 325 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. 342 in the nation, while the Sagarin Rankings (USA Today) have Cornell at No. 332. Both sites are predominantly used by fans and the media.
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        Old Grad said...

        Good luck tonight guys. We're all pulling for you.

        Old Grad said...

        Worst bench coach I have ever seen. I don't understand his lineups and sub policy at all.
        Coin flip maybe ?
        Thanks to the team for playing their hearts out all season. Hope you get a decent coach next year, but I won't count on it.

        Anonymous said...

        This season was legendary. Now that Donahue's kids are all gone, we will probably go winless next year.

        The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

        Congrats on the Most Ridiculous Comment of the Year! You should be proud.

        Anonymous said...

        Here is how I rate this coaching staff after a hard-to-fathom year. Do you know how hard it is to be this bad? I mean it is really hard to be this bad, you almost have to try (though I'm not suggesting that).

        Now ask yourself the question, how hard is it to be this bad after all of the success and exposure the program has had in recent years? Yeah, very very hard to be this bad. In fact, this is the first time in college basketball (at least in the last 50 years) that a team lost less than 5 games in one year (2009-10), then won fewer than 3 games (2013-14) within a four year stretch. Unbelievable.

        Now to rating the coaching staff. I'm sure they work hard traveling, recruiting, game-planning, etc. But when you're this bad, I like to ask myself the question, "would my 1-year-old daughter do as well coaching this year on the sidelines, in place of Courtney?" I mean seriously, put her in the stroller in place of Courtney on the sidelines and see how well they do. When you've won 1 game all year (yeah, oberlin doesn't count), it really doesn't take much. In fact, I'd have more faith letting her drink her milk on the sidelines and put the game in the hands of the smart kids on the floor - that has to be worth 3-4 wins ... and with a few less tantrums.

        Please, now is the time. Wish him well and let him move on to his next adventure. He obviously knows, whether he admits it or not, that this head coaching thing isn't for him. Why extend the pain for everyone involved, especially the kids.

        The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

        Cornell 2010 was not defined by just Temple and Wisconsin (both wins over top 25 teams).

        Cornell won at St. Johns and at Alabama. Both Top 100 RPI teams on Selection Sunday. Cornell also won at UMass, at LaSalle, vs. St. Joes, at Drexel and on a neutral court vs. Vermont (NCAA team).

        Then there was 60 seconds away from knocking off the #1 team in the country--- Kansas, which at the time had the nation's longest home win streak.

        Cornell lost a total of 5 games in 2010. 3 of the Ls were to teams that finished in the RPI and Polls' top 10 (Kansas, Cuse, Kentucky).

        Cornell's other two Ls were to an NIT team (Seton Hall) and the 1 bad game AT Penn.

        Anonymous said...

        I've thought about doing a Kickstarter to pay for BC's salary next season. Seems like a huge A-hole thing to do. But he has also turned Cornell Men's Basketball (and in some respects Athletics and the university to those nationwide just following BBall and Football) into a joke. How much is he making, around 100k? More than that?

        At 100K, we just need 200 fans out there willing to pay nicely to end the pain. Maybe we could even write off the $500 as a medical expense.

        Kickstarter to pay for BC's salary - someone do it!

        Old Grad said...

        I had the same thought of taking up a collection to pay off the salary. Sad isn't it ?

        Anonymous said...

        I had a similar thought of trying to stop any donations to Cornell basketball while Courtney is still employed with the team. Take donations instead in an online account and hold the funds until Courtney is gone. Then hand over all funds to the basketball program, with interest earned, to support the new coach. Sort of an escrow situation.

        Courtney deserves none of my money, but the program, eventually, does.