Thursday, June 19, 2014

News and Notes: Thursday Edition

Above, A Date in Cornell Basketball History, the 1904 Cornell Big Red Men's Basketball Team.  Below, news and notes for Thursday...

  • Bill Courtney talks to ESPN Ithaca about Cornell's new recruiting classThe Chicago Tribune writes  that the Fremd High School (Illinois) offense "ran through" Cornell recruiting commit, Riley Glassmann, the Mid-Suburban West Player of the Year last season in Illinois.
Bill Courtney, Cornell: "I'm not exactly sure myself what the new interpretation will look like, but last year, they started to enforce it more and differently with upward motion and the whole deal. I'm looking forward to the referees coming around and explaining it to us. At the end of the day, it's such a difficult call, it's such a judgment call, it's going to be debated no matter what. The circle helps, because if you're standing anywhere inside that circle, it's an automatic block -- so I think that has certainly cleared up some of the area around the basket. But as far as 'what's a block and what's a charge' -- it's really just a judgment call. It's really difficult for the referee, because they have to do it in live time and now everybody's an expert with the replay. It's difficult to get those calls right."
Moving the circle out a foot: "I think that definitely would help. It would open up driving lanes a little bit more where you really can't take a charge. I think it helps kids that are athletic and can block shots. They can still do that. For teams whose defenses like to draw charges, it's going to be more difficult. But on the offensive end, it gives the teams that drive the basketball more room to operate and opens up some driving lanes."
  • A former Cornell prospect will play for Syracuse next season as a transfer per the Post Standard.
The 2014 summer season for the Pittsburgh Basketball Club's Pro-Am League begins June 23 at Montour High School, and last year's campaign was a special one for Plum graduate Nolan Cressler and Gateway grad Luke Kochka.
Kochka hopes to make this year's league experience a special one, while Cressler wants to make the most of what is expected to be an abbreviated stay in the league this summer.
Cressler transferred to Vanderbilt in the Southeastern Conference after two seasons in the Ivy League at Cornell, and he will head to the Nashville campus early next month to take a class and start summer team workouts.
It will be one of the first big chances Cressler will have to bond and develop chemistry with his new Commmodore teammates before the fall semester begins in late August.
That means he will only be able to play three or four Pro-Am League games.
“It's a terrific league, and it's always great to be able to compete against some great players,” Cressler said.
“It's a fun atmosphere. Even if it's for only a few games, I will be happy to play.”
Cressler, who will sit out this season because of NCAA transfer rules, will have two years of collegiate eligibility left at Vanderbilt.
He had a breakout season as a sophomore at Cornell, and he said going up against some talented players in the Pro-Am league, including those from Duquesne, Pitt and West Virginia, helped him improve his game.
Cressler had a couple of 30-point games in the Pro-Am League last year, and he was named to the all-league team with Pitt's Talib Zanna, Duquesne's Ovie Soko and Derrick Colter, Robert Morris' Lucky Jones and collegiate basketball alumni Lance Jeter and Chevy Troutman.
“I wanted to measure myself and see if all the hard work was paying off,” Cressler said.
“I was able to play really well, and that was nice to see. It helped me take my game to another level.”
Cressler averaged a team-best 16.8 points for Cornell last season and scored more than 20 points in a game eight times.
He tallied 23 in the opener at Syracuse and had a season- and career-best 34 points in an overtime league loss against Brown on Feb. 22.


Anonymous said...

I love Bill Courtney's enthusiasm. A couple points:

- The abysmal record last year seems to be hurting recruiting efforts this year. That's not surprising. We'll see how this plays out. If we get a top shelf class, that'll be an amazing result for Bill and his staff.

- Bill is all in on the "havoc" system. I haven't seen anyone with the handle, passing skills, or overall toolkit to run this system on offense. I don't think that we have athletic enough wings and guards to make this work against even solid mid-majors.

On defense, I've seen very little evidence, even when we had a healthy Shonn two years ago, that this strategy will work consistently enough to win games.

Shonn will undoubtedly help the defense, but he can't solve all of the many problems that the program has had.

I was really hoping to hear that Bill was going to mix up his strategy some this season to account for the limits of this roster. I guess we'll see how this plays out.

The Cornell Basketball Blog said...

I disagree on numerous fronts.

First, there is no evidence that the record is hurting recruiting. Bill has continued to recruit well, or as well as any team not named Harvard.

Second, next season's team is the FIRST team Bill has had that is IDEAL for the havoc system. Across the frontline he has Giddens, Onuorah, Miller and Abdur Ra'oof. These guys have never played together. They are long, athletic and great fits for the system. In the backcourt, Bill has three athletic slashing guards in D.Cherry, D.Smith and W.Bathurst. These guards can attack off the wing and on the bounce.

Point guard is a concern. But Devin Cherry showed signs last year that he can run the point in an up tempo offense. So has Robert Hatter. These two guys should be more effective with increase athleticism in the other four positions.

Shonn is a big addition. But so are Giddens (who barely played last year), Abdur Ra'off, and Bathurst. Not to mention Hatter who missed much of the season.

Any one of these guys by himself is not a savior. Collectively however, they seem like good fits and give Bill a quick and athletic unit that can run the floor, slash and defend all over.

No disrespect to the former players. But the guys above are better defenders and better at creating offense than the outgoing seniors of the last two classes.

Anonymous said...

Bill himself acknowledged that the record was coming into play in recruiting next year's class. There's no evidence that the record has hurt recruiting for next year because we don't have any commits and it's early in the process.

Bill also said the record didn't affect the incoming freshman because they were already "in the bag." Again, if Bill and his staff are able to pull in a strong class, that would be a nice coup.

I agree point guard is a big concern. It's tough to run a run and gun offense without a point guard to make good decisions in transition. Hopefully Devin can be that guy, but he's gotta take a big step forward if we're going to be competitive. Robert and Darryl will have to really improve as well for this team to be competitive.

There's no real question that Jordan, Onuorah, Miller, etc., are far better athletes than Eitan, Josh, Dwight, etc. Whether that translates into better D and more scoring is the key question. That said, I can't help but think we'll be better than last year.

Anonymous said...

I'm super excited about this season and this incoming class! This could be the best class coming in over the last 4 years. I think one of the recruits has a good chance to even start.

This is a great chance to build a winning team this season and then a championship team for Miller's senior season!