Monday, April 28, 2014

News and Notes: Monday Edition

Above, A Date in Cornell Basketball History.  A 1930 ticket stub for a Cornell-Syracuse game at the old Archbold Gym.  Cornell has played Syracuse regularly since the 1900-1901 season.  Below, news and notes for Monday...

  • Above, Jeff Foote's (Cornell '10) official season highlight video from the NBA D-League. 
  • The annual Cornell Basketball Prospect Camp is just around the corner and will run from June 28-29.  This program often yields some of Cornell's top recruits.
  • Hammer and Rails recaps the season of Purdue's departing players and writes of Errick Peck (Cornell '13):
Errick Peck - F - Peck was the second of the two graduate transfers and I also would consider him a success. I never expected him to be a guy to come in and drop 15 and 10 on teams, but Peck was perhaps the most consistent player on the entire team. He averaged 4.6 points and 3.6 rebounds per game while shooting 48% from the floor and 35% from three.  He was almost metronomic in those numbers too. He was going to give you 15-20 solid minutes each night, good hustle on the offensive glass, and the occasional three-pointer. He trailed only Hammons in offensive rebounds and I know he had to have led the team in offensive rebound putbacks for baskets.
Best game: At Iowa Peck had a career high 12 points and was 5 of 6 from the field with a pair of threes. Again, he contributed enough to keep Purdue close in a near road upset over a ranked team, but as a whole the Boilers could not get it done.
  • The Indianapolis Star talks about the rising numbers of transfers in college basketball and writes in part:
Local schools have benefited recently from up-transferring...Purdue added both Errick Peck (Cornell) and Sterling Carter (Seattle) prior to last season.  When Peck finished his junior season at Cornell, he also completed work on his bachelor's degree. An Ivy League rule said he could not play as a fifth-year graduate student, so the Indianapolis native had to find a one-year home.  Peck's requirements weren't that different from those any high school recruit might keep: He wanted to be closer to home, he wanted a competitive team in a competitive conference, and he wanted to get along with his new coaching staff.  Purdue fit all three. And while Peck admitted the move required adjustment, and he felt "almost ostracized" early in his time in West Lafayette, he never felt like he had to live down any sort of stigma attached to transferring.  "I would say it's a little bit more accepted," said Peck, who wound up serving as one of four team captains for the Boilermakers last season. "It's not necessarily frowned upon as much. I would say it's become a lot more widespread."
  • Nolan Cressler is mentioned in a pair of articles in the Pittsburgh Tribune.  Click here and here

Nolan Cressler Bids Farewell to East Hill, Transfers to Vanderbilt
Sophomore shooting guard Nolan Cressler has transferred to Vanderbilt University, Cressler announced via twitter. Due to NCAA transfer rules, Cressler will have to sit for a year before officially joining the Commodores for his two remaining years of eligibility. The news comes after a disappointing season for the Big Red, who finished 2-26 overall and 1-13 in Ivy League play.
In his two years at Cornell, Nolan Cressler became a rising star in the Ivy League. He became the leading scorer this past year for a Big Red team looking for offense after losing junior forward Shonn Miller to injury for the season. An All-Ivy Honorable mention, Cressler averaged 16.8 points per game for the Big Red this season on 41.1% shooting from the field and 36.4% from beyond the three point arc. The guard’s highlight performance this season came in the very first game of the year, when Cornell visited then #8 ranked Syracuse in the Carrier Dome. Cressler led the Big Red to a 38-32 halftime lead with 20 first half points in a game Cornell would ultimately lose 82-60.
Cressler similarly had a strong rookie campaign where he won Ivy League Rookie of the Week twice and averaged 9.3 points per game and 3.7 rebounds per game on 42.7% shooting from the field and 40.3% 3 point shooting.
To fill the gap left by Cressler’s departure, coach Bill Courtney will turn toward rising senior Devin Cherry (12.3 points per game, 3.5 assists per game) and returning forward Shonn Miller to anchor the offense this upcoming season. The Big Red also have a young group of guards behind Cherry, including two time Ivy League Rookie of the Week Robert Hatter (9.0 ppg, 2.1 apg) and fellow rising sophomore guard Daryl Smith (5.0 ppg, 37.0% 3 point shooting) along with incoming recruits including forward Jordan Abdur-Ra’oof.
Cressler joins a Vanderbilt team that finished in the bottom half of the Southeastern Conference at 15-16 overall and 7-11 in conference play. Cressler reportedly also had transfer offers from the University of Dayton, the University of Notre Dame, and Rutgers University.

It was a different sort of season at Archbishop Wood and for the Vikings’ top player, three-year All-Philadelphia Catholic League guard/forward Pat Smith.
“It was a big adjustment from Coach (Jack) Walsh to Coach (John) Mosco,” Smith said. “We played a lot of good teams, and I think it helped get the seniors ready for college. We played at a high level against some great teams.”
For first-year coach Mosco, previously an assistant at PCL and state power Neumann-Goretti, he knew how good Smith was before he took the job, but there were things he didn’t know about player.
“He’s a lot tougher,” Mosco said. “He does some of the dirty work. He’s wasn’t just a prima donna scorer.”
Smith, who averaged 17 points per game and was a second-team All-PCL pick, was named the All-Intelligencer Player of the Year for the recently concluded season.
“He’s a quiet leader,” said Mosco, whose team went 11-12 and lost in the first round of the Philadelphia Catholic League playoffs.
“He really led by example. He took the coaching change in stride. He’s a real winner, worries about winning, not a selfish player at all.
“He’s not the kind of player who’s worried about getting points. I asked him to do a lot of different things, and I think that showed in his game.”
In the Smith era, the Vikings’ program took strides to being more competitive in the Catholic League, but was unable to get over the hump into the elite stratosphere of the likes of Neumann-Goretti, Roman Catholic, Archbishop Carroll, La Salle or St. Joseph’s Prep.
“There’s nothing like the Catholic League,” Smith said. “It’s the top league in the state. I’ll never forget playing after school down at the Prep on a Friday afternoon, or at Neumann on a Sunday.
“We’ll always have that experience. No, we never got over the hump, but I think we all became better basketball players.”
Smith is headed to Cornell University and the Ivy League after he graduates from Wood in June. Mosco, for one, thinks it’s a good fit.
“He’s got the work ethic,” Mosco said. “I saw the way he took to coaching. He always listened and he’ll do whatever it takes to get on the court.
“When he’s with other Division I players, he knows he has to lift, get stronger and get quicker.”
As far as the Wood program, Smith thinks it’s in good hands as Mosco prepares for his second season.
“I think Coach Mosco, with a year under his belt, has the lay of the ground,” he said. “I knows there’s new kids coming to workouts. There’s a lot of talent coming in. Hopefully, they’re going to keep (the program at a high level).”

  • Cornell's 2014-2015 Schedule will be highlighted by Cornell's participation in ESPN's Charleston Classic.  Visit the Cornell team page at the Charleston Classic for more information.   In this ESPN-produced event, Cornell is guaranteed three (3) games against the field of eight (8) participants and all games are broadcast on the ESPN family network.  Potential opponents in Charleston include: Miami, South Carolina, USC, Penn State and Akron with two additional participants to be named at a later date.  The two unconfirmed additional participants are Charlotte and Drexel.  Cornell's thirty (30) games for the 2014-2015 schedule is rumored to include the following:
1. Loyola, MD (away)
2. UMass-Lowell (home)
3. Binghamton (away)
4. Colgate (home)
5. Siena (away)
6. St. Peter's (home)
7. Howard (home)
8. Radford (away)
9. Canisius (home)
10. Buffalo (away) (Guarantee Game)
11. BCS Guarantee Game TBD (away)
12. BCS Guarantee Game TBD (away)
13. D-III Game TBD (home)
14. Charleston Classic Game
15. Charleston Classic Game
16. Charleston Classic Game
17-30. Fourteen Ivy League Games

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