Sunday, April 6, 2014

News and Notes: Sunday Edition

Below, news and notes for Sunday...

Wil Bathurst
Olean: 6-4 senior forward
PPG: 19.8 Reb: 7.0 Steals: 4.0
A two-time first-teamer for a multitude of reasons: His smooth all-around game includes a pretty outside shot, defense-staggering drives, an excellent eye for passing, the smart defensive plays (42 steals, 28 blocks) – while his ball-hawking rebounding is worth watching all by itself. Did it all in big moments for a program that faced major competition all year as an independent. A Class B All-Tournament selection as the Huskies closed out a three-year reign as Section VI champions by making the NYSPHSAA final in Glens Falls. For his career, Bathurst had 1,196 points (16.6 ppg), 545 rebounds (7.6), 224 assists and 110 blocks. Southern Tier’s Big 30 Player of the Year is committed to Cornell. Also an excellent golfer.

  • HoopNiks evaluates the Ivy League recruiting classes and writes:

Cornell Big Red- Wil Bathurst | 6′-3″ | SG | Olean (NY)| Riley Glassman | 6′-4″ | SG | Fremnd (IL)| Pat Smith | 6′-5″ | SF | Archbishop Wood (PA)| Jordan Abdur-Ra’oof | 6′-7″ | SF | Gonzaga (DC)|-It’s a perimeter-oriented quartet that is committed to joining the Big Red roster next year. A sole in-state prospect, Wil Bathurst was considered by to be among the top-10 seniors in New York during his final high school season. Bathurst left a legacy by scoring over 1,000 points in high school, and posted 23 points per game as a senior. Riley Glassman pushed his high school squad to an undefeated regular season, scoring 18 points per game. A four year varsity player, Glassman can nail outside shots with regularity. Versatile wing Pat Smith has gotten great experience after several varsity seasons in the Philadelphia Catholic League. Like Glassman, Smith is noted as as shooter. He has the reputation of either getting his shot off the bounce, or off the catch. Hailing from one of the best high school programs in one of the best leagues in the county, Jordan Abdur-Ra’oof is a nice catch for the Big Red. He has good athleticism, and can rebound and defend. He’ll need to develop his offensive game, and add to his 205 pound frame.

  • Mashable writes about "The Tournament" which will feature Cornell's 2010 team, ''Cornell Sweet Sixteen: Remember that Cornell team that made an improbable March Madness run in 2010? They're baaack — this time in TBT. Many of the team's best players have reunited for another shot at glory spurred by smart, team-first basketball. Talk about old school."
  • On Maurice Watson's decision to leave Boston University, Mid Major Madness writes, "Watson didn't have the loftiest of offers [in high school]. Princeton, Cornell, and Texas Tech were among his suitors, but it's unlikely those schools factor into his next decision."  See a related story in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • Kentucky's Jon Hood said of the Wisconsin game in the Final Four, "My freshman year, it was Cornell against us," he said, recalling a 2010 NCAA Tournament game. "It was the smart guys against the stupid guys. Go back and look at that score."
Boston College AD Brad Bates made an extremely bold hire with Ohio University's Jim Christian
Is this the guy Bates really wanted to hire after he fired Steve Donahue? I'm not questioning Christian's ability to X and O. He did a terrific job at Kent State and won 49 games during the past two years at Ohio after he succeeded John Groce. But he hasn't come close to having the same type of success that Donahue did in the NCAA Tournament when he went to the Sweet 16 in 2010 with Cornell. Bates was never going to get Tommy Amaker to come across town from Harvard, and in hindsight that was probably the only hire that would have "moved the needle" with the Eagles. Christian is a good coach and a good guy, but he's jumping into a situation that's simultaneously the break of his career and a very risky move. This will be an interesting story to follow on Chestnut Hill.
Here's a group of five schools. What do they have in common?Lafayette. American. St. Bonaventure. Rhode Island. Cornell.
The headline sort of gives it away, but that's where Boston College went looking for its last five basketball hires. All were schools in the East that few would describe as basketball Goliaths.
Of course, that group provided more hits than misses for the folks in Chestnut Hill. Tom Davis (two NITs at Lafayette) got Boston College to an Elite Eight in 1982. Gary Williams (two NITs at American) coaxed a pair of round of 16 appearances out of the Eagles.
Jim O'Brien (one NIT at St. Bonaventure) eventually led Boston College to an Elite Eight in 1994, though the end wasn't particularly pleasant for him or the school. His successor, Al Skinner, had two NCAA and two NIT trips in his final six years at Rhode Island before settling in for a mostly steady run in the Boston 'burbs. Steve Donahue entered with three consecutive NCAA appearances at Cornell, only to go 0-for-4 in that area at Boston College and sent packing last month.
If college basketball had free agency, Nolan Cressler would be an unrestricted commodity who is rising to the top of the bargain bin.
The former Plum basketball star has entertained a number of potential secondary college destinations since announcing he was transferring from Cornell on March 20.
The 6-foot-4 sophomore combo guard picked up his second scholarship offer Thursday when Rutgers came calling. His other offer is from Vanderbilt, while a number of schools appear to be in the strong-interest category. Cressler said those include Pitt, Notre Dame, Davidson, Butler, Dayton and Creighton, Davidson being the only one of that group that gave him a look two years ago.
Cressler said his second spin through the recruiting cycle has been as exciting as it's been nerve-racking.
“It's a little bit of both,” the former WPIAL Quad-A star said.
This time has come with much more national buzz than the first when he had only five offers coming out of Plum — from Cornell, Yale, Boston, Holy Cross and St. Francis (Pa.).
Cressler does not appear to be in a rush to make a decision. He plans to visit Vanderbilt on April 11 and could also make stops at other schools before committing. Of course, he still has school work at Cornell — the free-agent idea does not apply to the classroom quite yet.
An All-Ivy League honorable mention this past season, Cressler led Cornell in scoring at 16.8 points per game. He also averaged 4.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists in his second year as a starter for the Big Red (2-26).
  • On the Banks, a Rutgers blog, discusses Cressler potentially playing in New Jersey. 
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