Tuesday, April 22, 2014

News and Notes: Tuesday Edition

Above, a photo of Cornell's 1914 team which won the Ivy League appeared earlier this season on ESPN.  Below, news and notes for Tuesday...

  • On the Basketball Tournament, VU Hoops writes, "TBT has also secured the 2010 Cornell players who made it to the Elite Eight as well as teams representing Wisconsin, Siena, LSU, Maryland, Notre Dame and St. Anthony's High School. For hoops fans, those teams come along with names like, Austin Freeman, Chris Wright, Sean Singletary, Ryan Wittman, Aquille Carr, Anthony Ireland, Tony Gaffney, and Ryan Gomes."

Sophomore guard Nolan Cressler, the men’s basketball team’s leading scorer during a disappointing 2013-14 season in which the team finished 2-26, will transfer to Vanderbilt University next year. Cressler will have to redshirt a year due to the NCAA’s transfer rules, but will have two years of eligibility left to play for the Commodores.
“I didn’t want to leave Cornell and go to another school and have my academics suffer,” Cressler said. “So I wanted to find a good fit basketball wise, but also an elite academic school. So when the opportunity at Vanderbilt became available, I knew it was a place I would be interested in.”
Cressler said that there were other schools interested in him throughout the process, a list which included such big name institutions as Michigan, Notre Dame, Pitt and Dayton — this year’s Cinderella story team in the NCAA tournament.
“You kind of take a risk when you decide to leave a school because you don’t know who is going to be interested and who will have scholarships, but I was happy with my options,” Cressler said.
Cressler started all 28 games this season, leading the team in minutes. He was the Red’s go-to offensive weapon in a season where scoring was often hard to come by. The sophomore averaged just under 17 points per game, the fourth most in the Ivy League, and was named to the All-Ivy honorable mention list at the end of the season. Cressler also led the team in made three-pointers, connecting on 68 triples.
The move to Vanderbilt represents a shift to the SEC, a powerhouse conference in college basketball with a fast-paced style of play that is very different from the Ivy League. Cressler got a taste of SEC basketball in his freshman campaign, when the team played the Commodores on their home court. Despite outscoring Vanderbilt in the second half, the Red fell 66-55, and Cressler was one-of-six from the field in 17 minutes of play.
The sophomore said that he is excited to play in the SEC, where he will match up against top programs like Florida and Kentucky, two 2014 Final Four teams.
“Obviously if you’re a competitor, it’s every kid’s dream to play at this level,” Cressler said. “I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings has taken his team to six NCAA tournaments and two Sweet Sixteens in 14 years with the team. In their most recent NCAA appearance in 2012, the Commodores topped Harvard in the first round, but lost a 60-57 heartbreaker to Wisconsin in the round of 32.
“Playing against a high level of players day in and day out will help me improve,” Cressler said. “But I’m confident Coach Stallings will take my game to the next level. He is a well respected coach and has a great knowledge for how to put players in good situations to score and make plays.”
Cressler also noted that the rest of the program’s staff would focus on helping him improve his individual game.
“I’m really looking forward to Assistant Coach [Tom] Richardson’s individual skill development program that has proven to be one of the best in the country.”
When asked about his reasons for leaving Cornell, Cressler did not mention the team’s struggles this season.
“I decided to leave Cornell because I felt it was not the right fit for me and I wanted to seek other opportunities,” he said.
While Cressler will move on next year, he acknowledged that there are things he will take with him into the rest of his basketball career at Vanderbilt.
“I learned a lot in my two years here that will easily translate to my next seasons at Vanderbilt. A big thing is that I now know how to balance school and basketball,” he said. “But most importantly, I have learned how to be a good teammate on and off the court. My teammates here have taught me so much and I’m really going to miss them.”

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting how Nolan hasn't mentioned much of anything about the coaching staff...

Good luck to him and congrats on landing at an excellent academic and athletic school.

This team struggled to score with a high major scorer. It's gonna be ugly next season, with or without Shonn Miller.

Anonymous said...

"“But I’m confident Coach Stallings will take my game to the next level. He is a well respected coach and has a great knowledge for how to put players in good situations to score and make plays.”
Cressler also noted that the rest of the program’s staff would focus on helping him improve his individual game."

Well, there you have it. Everything many of us have been saying. That BC can't coach and the players lack off game development.

Anonymous said...

Amen!