Monday, June 9, 2014

Cornell Men's Basketball Announces Class of 2018

Cornell Athletics, ITHACA, N.Y. – Cornell head coach Bill Courtney has announced five incoming recruits will join the Big Red basketball program in the fall of 2014. Freshmen Jordan Abdur-Ra'oof, Will Bathurst, Kyle Brown, Riley Glassmann and Pat Smith will join a squad that returns first-team All-Ivy League selection Shonn Miller and three of the team's top five scorers, including a pair of rising sophomore guards.

Jordan Abdur-Ra'oof * 6-7 * 205 * F (Rockville, Md./Gonzaga College HS)
A three-time all-league selection at Gonzaga College HS, Abdur-Ra'oof earned All-Met honors as a junior when he averaged 9.2 points per game. He was invited to the Capital Classic all-star game and made the all-star team at the Crab Ball Classic. The four-year letter winner served as a team captain during his senior season.

Will Bathurst * 6-3 * 180 * G/F * (Olean, N.Y./Olean HS)
The Western New York Player of the Year and a two-time first-team all-state pick, Bathurst averaged 19.8 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.0 blocks for Olean HS. He was one of six finalists for New York State's Mr. Basketball Award after helping the team to its third straight section title. A two-time first-team all-Western New York pick by the Buffalo News and Centercourt Blog, he was named to the Class B all-tournament team and the MVP of the sectional tournament as a senior. Bathurst earned the Southern Tier's Big 30 Player of the Year as a senior and graduated with 1,196 career points, 545 rebounds, 224 assists and 110 blocked shots. He was named league player of the year as a junior after posting 18.4 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists per outing after scoring 11.8 points, grabbing 7.6 rebounds and dishing 2.2 assists as a sophomore. He also excelled in football and golf (state tournament qualifier).

Kyle Brown * 6-2 * 180 * G (Bellevue, Wash./Newport HS)
A four-year member of the basketball team at Newport HS, Brown was named all-county as a senior before taking a two year Mormon mission. Brown was a two-year captain of his AAU team. His father also played basketball at Cornell (1977-82), as did his uncle Stan (1974-77).

Riley Glassmann * 6-5 * 185 * G (Palatine, Ill./William Fremd HS)
Glassmann was second team all-state selection and a third-team all-area pick in Chicago as a senior at Fremd HS. He helped his team to an undefeated regular season and a spot in the sectional finals in his senior year, averaging 17.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists en route to capturing league Player of the Year honors and finishing 16th among vote getters for the state's prestigious Mr. Basketball award. Glassmann earned all-area recognition from the Daily Herald and earned multiple all-tournament and tournament MVP honors during his career. He averaged 15.2 points as a junior.

Pat Smith * 6-5 * 195 * G/F (Chalfont, Pa./Archbishop Wood Catholic HS)
A three-time first-team all-league selection and second-team all-state pick as a senior at Archbishop Wood Catholic HS, Smith was a 1,000-point scorer during his four-year varsity career. Smith was named honorable mention all-city by the Philadelphia Daily News. He holds the school's single-game scoring record (42 points) and served as team captain in each of his final two seasons. He was named Player of the Year as a junior by the Bucks County Courier Times after averaging 14.9 points per game and as a senior by The Intelligencer after posting 16.3 points and 4.0 rebounds on 50 percent shooting, including 42 percent from 3-point range.


Also check out The Cornell Basketball Blog's profiles of Riley Glassmann, William "Will" Bathurst , Jordan Abdur-Ra'oof, Pat Smith, and Kyle Brown.


harry '59 said...

This group certainly looks good on paper.

Anonymous said...

I am a bit surprised that there are no coach's comments about each of the players as part of the announcement, which is usually what one sees.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

This is a tremendous class by any Ivy's standards.

Jordan Abdur Ra'oof is the heir to Shonn Miller and will be dynamic in the frontcourt with Shonn and David. They will be better as the sum of the parts than as individuals.

Not only can Jordan finish hard at the rim (yes the dunking is exciting), but he also is super intelligent, a nifty passer for a forward, rebounds and blocks shots very well. His footwork is outstanding. He is a system guy. He doesn't take over games like a scoring guard. He doesn't look to score 25. But he plays within a unit and is brilliant in his defined role.

Riley Glassman and Pat Smith fill needs. Cornell needed big wing men who could make shots, especially now that Nolan is gone. These guys fill that need and can be starters in the Ivy League. Of course, they will need to learn to defend, but so did Wittman and Cressler. Both Glassmann/Smith come from outstanding leagues and are D-I ready.

Wil Bathurst could be the steal of the class. He'll learn under Devin Cherry and then play a similar role with Darryl Smith over the next few years.

Kyle Brown is a legacy and a welcome addition to the family. He's 2 years older than the average freshman and like Mischler and Fallas, he can shoot the ball. He'll be given a fair opportunity to compete and earn his role.

The program still badly needs a true PG. They could also use more big men as Tomic, Lamore and Giddens will all soon graduate. But the class above will be with Hatter, Smith, Onuorah, Bunce and Miller for the next 2 seasons.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Cornell never publishes comments of the coaches in these releases. And the comments are typically scripted with no real info.

Anonymous said...

Maybe there are no coach's comments this year, but I assure you that in past years -- in sports across the board -- there were plenty of coach's comments.

BigRed1965 said...

The new group looks good and should help us get back into double figures for wins. But without a big man of the nature of Jeff Foote, this team is still lacking an essential ingredient. It will be a competitive team with Shonn Miller back. Whether we can get to .500 is another question.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Steve Donahue in 10 years never once made his comments public in the press release.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Braxston can still be that big man we need. He was plagued by injury last year and out of shape and not nearly at full strength. At best, he was at 60% from his high school/national team health.

But Braxston aside, Shonn, Jordan and David are an active and athletic trio that will block shots, rebound and finish hard at the rim.

Jordan is a little bit of Errick Peck and a little bit of Shonn Miller. He projects as an All Ivy player for at least one season, if not multiple seasons. He and Miller together will be terrific. And Shonn's best years are ahead of him. We've only seen him as a frosh and a soph. He's only going to get stronger and better.

Anonymous said...

That's assuming Miller's shoulder problems are behind him.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Shonn is 105% and has been so since the end of the season. He was fully practicing with the team last February. In fact, not only was he healthy, he was impressing the hell out of the staff.

Re-injury is always a risk with any injury. But as of the spring, Miller was in beast mode.

Individually--- Miller, Ra'oof and Onuorah are good/solid players. As a unit on the floor together, they are freakish good in the Ivy. They will make each other look like stars on defense, just like how a strong linebacker core on a football team can make each other look like studs.

Last year Onuorah was an inexperienced frosh flanked on defense by PF Dwight Tarwater and SF Nolan Cressler. Next year he will be flanked by Shonn Miller and Ra'oof. This is a BCS level athletic frontline. This without a doubt is a big time defensive upgrade from a year ago and I would argue an offensive upgrade as well.

Cressler was a good outside shooter. But Cornell could be a better shooting team overall with Hatter, Glassmann and Pat Smith flowing through the rotation, not to mention Devin Cherry, Darryl Smith and Wil Bathurst, each of whom can knock down an open shot or get to the hole off the dribble.

If you ask me, this team is obviously unproven, but also may be the most overlooked team in the Ivy. I for one am excited to see what they can do. Ball movement will be critical.

Anonymous said...

Losing Cressler sucks.

Miller has to not get reinjured.

The frosh are unproven albeit capable looking.

The sophs look good, but aren't consistent yet.

We're a team that could be amazing or it could be another rough ride.

Either way, I'm so excited for the season to begin!

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

Cressler was very inconsistent as a frosh. He showed promise, but by no means was anyone confident he would be a star as a sophomore.

The doubters became believers after his Pittsburgh ProAm experience.

A whole lot of coaches think Robert Hatter and Darryl Smith will emerge as league all stars and they could do so as sophomores.

Anonymous said...

How quickly the rose-colored glasses come back. Let's not forget we lost our best player, our "heart and soul of the program", to another school and won one (1) D 1 game last year. As CBRF noted just a couple months ago:

"As for Cornell, the program is now officially in trouble. Nolan and Shonn would be formidable together. Without Nolan, this team is not going to reach a dozen wins. I want Bill and his staff to succeed. But the program is losing its best returning player."

"Yes, Cornell is in trouble. 2-26 is fine if there is a brighter future. Not sure how you can argue there is a brighter future now when you lose a star to transfer. Nolan is the heart and soul of the program. He represented what we want to become."

"I like the staff, but how can anyone now say with a straight face and with credibility that we (Cornell) are moving in a positive direction. Nolan and Shonn were the foundation for the next 2 seasons. Now half the foundation is gone. When you lose half your foundation, the building collapses and leaves a cloud of dust."

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

And then I got to see more of the new kids and heard great reports on Miller. And the schedule became more favorable.

The situation is not as bleak as initially expected.

Opinions change, mine did.

Nolan is a great scorer. But he was a bad defender. Average defender at best if you want to be kind.

Aside from shooting the ball, which he did exceptionally well, he did not do much else. Fortunately, his shooting can be replaced by Robert Hatter, Riley Glassmann and Pat Smith. Replacing Nolan's defense, passing, rebounding and every other aspect of the game is not an issue.

Anonymous said...


I love your enthusiasm for the incoming class. I'm jacked up already.

But you are similarly enthusiastic EVERY year. To you, every incoming class is composed of future all-Ivy players -- practically all of them.

Sometimes guys are just as good as you forecast, sometimes they're not as good and very rarely they are even better.

Your comments are certainly helpful in getting my blood flowing, but they contain relatively little information value. When every incoming recruit is described as a potential all-Ivy player, it all becomes just so much white noise.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

There are many kids recruited to Cornell that I don't labeled as All Ivy or even potential starters.

Let's just look at this class as an example.

I've never called Pat Smith or Kyle Brown as future All Ivy guys. I said Brown would get a chance to compete. Nothing more. I did not even call him a rotation player.

As for Pat Smith, I projected him as future "starter material"--- similar to a Jon Jaques or Alex Tyler caliber player. Again, I did not project Pat as future All Ivy. Maybe he gets there, but I did not project it.

I do project Glassmann, Abdur Ra'oof and Bathurst as having legitimate All Ivy potential.

So far, Bill Courtney has produced 3 recruiting classes. His rising seniors already has a 1st Team All Ivy guy in Shonn Miller. Again, 1st Team as a sophomore. Only Dale and Wittman reached that level for Steve Donahue. Think about it.

Devin Cherry is knocking on the door of becoming the 2nd player in that senior class to reach that All Ivy level. He is on the cusp.

We will never know what Galal could have been.

In the junior class, Nolan is already All Ivy. Harmon is gone and never played. It is way too early to judge Bunce. He's effectively just a sophomore next year.

As for the rising sophs, nobody would dispute the All Ivy potential of Hatter, Smith and Onuorah and nobody projected them to reach All Ivy levels as freshmen. They could be there this year.

Has this group been over-hyped? I don't think so. The individuals have met expectations. The team, however, as a unit has not.

Anonymous said...

Blog, assuming we're all going to be around here for a while. What if you created a recruiting section where we gave each guy a rating of current/projected. Would be done before the season starts. Where All-IVY is 9 or 10. Starter is in that 8+ range. 6/7's are in the rotation. 5's are maybes and less than that are on the bench.

You'd do it each year before the start of the season and update each year as well so we could see progression. So each player would have 4 columns, one for each of F, S, J, S.

Someone like Mischler coming into the program might have been like a 3/6 or 3/5. Someone like Onurah, might have been a 6/9.

This way there could be a history of predictions and hype to what actually happened over 4 years.

Just an idea. I do agree with the white noise comment someone else made. Each year we have the best recruits, but that's obviously not true. Maybe we could start to quantify on a year to year basis.

Unknown said...

For the same reason I don't get excited about draft picks I can't get excited about this recruiting class until we see how they perform on the playing floor. To play at the DI level it is more than physical skill-it is a measure of how one can handle the class load, off court issues, and still play at a high level.