Monday, July 21, 2014

News and Notes: Monday Edition

Above, a Cornell team photo and huddle from the 2006-2007 season.  Kevin App (Cornell '07) (No. 11, top) stands above Steve Donahue in the huddle.  Below, news and notes...
  • Kevin App (Cornell '07) is the new head coach at Williams College, a Division III power.  App beat out several finalists for the job, including Bucknell associate head coach Dane Fischer, Princeton assistant Brian Earl, Fairfield assistant Tony Newsom and Skidmore head coach, Joe Burke (a former Cornell assistant coach).  The Berkshire Eagle writes:
When Mike Maker left Williams to take the Marist men’s basketball job, a reporter contacted former Williams assistant coach Kevin App to see if he was interested.
"It would be an honor if Williams would have an interest in me," App responded on Facebook. Twelve days later, App has that job.
Williams made it official Saturday afternoon that App, 28, would be the 12th basketball coach in school history and would replace Maker, who resigned on June 16 to take his new job.
"[App] distinguished himself among perhaps the strongest pool we have had for any search," Williams athletic director Lisa Melendy said in a statement. "Kevin returns to Williams having learned the lessons other strong programs could provide to him."
App was one of four finalists and spent Wednesday on the Williamstown campus meeting with the search committee and a faculty committee. He also spoke with players during a conference call.
"I consider myself humbled and proud to be the head coach at Williams," App said. "I think I’ve been blessed to have worked for three people who have prepared me very well for this opportunity.
"I’m excited to get up there and get to work."
App was a member of Maker’s first staff at Williams in the 2008-09 season as the Ephs were 17-9. Williams won the Little Three championship that season, their first outright title since 1995-96.
"That 14, 15 months left an impact on me," said App, who was on the road recruiting for both his old school and his new one. "I didn’t think I would have the opportunity right now.
"I actually met with coach Maker a few months ago and talked to him about long-term career goals and how do I get in position to get Williams. The next thing you know, it happened two months later."
The new Williams coach said he has already been in contact with some of his returning players. One, senior, Ryan Kilcullen, was on campus last week and helped facilitate conference calls with other players.
"They didn’t have to show me around that much," App said with a laugh.
The new coach was offered the job on Friday after the last of the four finalists came through Williamstown. App said he accepted right away.
App is a 2007 graduate of Cornell where he played for former Boston College coach Steve Donahue. App took a spot on Donahue’s staff during the 2009-10 season when the Big Red went to the NCAA Division I Sweet 16. The Cornell team in 2009-10 was the first Ivy League team to reach the Sweet 16 in 31 years, beating fifth-seeded Temple and fourth-seeded Wisconsin. That team set an Ivy League record with 29 wins.
"He walked into my office and said he wanted to play," Donahue said in an interview with The Eagle. "He became a leader of the group as a freshman. It was obvious to me that he had the ability to lead.
"He’s been around three really good programs that prepared him at a young age."
App took an opening on the Cornell staff when Zack Spiker got the job at Army. The next year, Spiker hired App at West Point.
"The opportunity to be a head coach was always in his future and I am confident he will have success in a great situation at Williams," said Spiker. "Kevin has been a huge part of what we have built at West Point."
  • Speaking of the Cornell's class of 2007, Ugo Ihekweazu is now practicing medicine at Baylor University Hospital while David Lisle is in the Department of Surgery at Columbia University/New York Hospital.  Graham Dow is a Fellow at Harvard University's NOAA Climate and Global Change Center.
BERKELEY – California head men’s basketball coach Cuonzo Martin has announced the addition of forward Dwight Tarwater to the program on Thursday.
Tarwater, who recently earned his undergraduate degree from Cornell University after four seasons with the Big Red, is a graduate transfer to the University of California, Berkeley and will be eligible to compete for the Golden Bears for the 2014-15 season.
“We are thrilled to welcome Dwight to the Cal Family,” Martin said. “Dwight is a solid all-around player and an exceptional student who joins our program with a great depth of experience playing at the Division I level. Dwight’s undergraduate degree from a prestigious Ivy League institution transitions well to his graduate studies here at the No. 1 public university in the world.” 
The 6-6, 230-pound forward started all 28 games for Cornell last season where he averaged 7.1 points and a team-best 5.5 rebounds in 26.1 minutes per game as a senior. A captain for the Big Red in 2013-14, Tarwater ranked ninth in The Ivy League in rebounding. He recorded three double-doubles during his final season at Cornell, including 21 points and 11 rebounds against Loyola. The forward posted a career-best 23 points against Dartmouth last season.
Tarwater played in 79 career games, starting 36 contests during his four years at Cornell.
Tarwater was a two-time all-state and three-time all-region selection during his scholastic career at The Webb School in Knoxville, Tenn. He was named Tennessee’s Mr. Basketball in Division II-A in 2010. Tarwater averaged 23.2 points and 10.1 rebounds, shooting better than 60 percent from the field during his senior season at The Webb School, garnering first-team all-league honors during his senior campaign in 2010. He totaled more than 1,500 points in his four-year scholastic career.
Tarwater joins center Kingsley Okoroh and guards Brandon Chauca and Stephen Domingo as part of the Golden Bears’ 2014 class.
Cal opens the Cuonzo Martin era on November 14 at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif.
With a roster of only nine healthy and eligible players heading into the 2014-15 season, finding some frontline depth this summer was a top priority for Cal men's basketball. Enter Cornell stretch 4 grad transfer Dwight Tarwater, who will join the Bears late this summer in his last season of eligibility.
The 6-7/230 Tarwater will add critical depth to a depleted Bears' roster featuring only senior forward David Kravish, oft-injured forward Christian Behrens and still-developing Roger Moute a Bidias in the frontcourt along with developing freshman center Kingsley Okoroh.
"I'm going to be getting my masters at Cal in public health," said Tarwater. "I just graduated from Cornell in May and I'll be enrolling at Cal soon. I'm really looking forward to it.
"Cal's a great university."
With assistant coach Yanni Hufnagel's connection to Cornell, he was the first to take the lead in Tarwater's recruitment, with an assist from head coach Cuonzo Martin.
"Coach Hufnagel took the lead on my recruiting in April and May and Coach Martin got involved later, too.
"Coach Hufnagel's full of energy and a great guy and a great coach from what I hear. He'll do a great job there.
"As far as Coach Martin, I've been a Tennessee fan for years. I've watched him for his three years at Tennessee and have nothing but respect for how he handles everything and how he coaches and his schemes and everything.
"I couldn't be more excited to play for him and get to know him more. He's a great hire for Cal and he's going to win a lot of games there."
As for the timing of Tarwater's arrival, it should be on the near horizon.
"I just received my acceptance letter from Cal today and I should be hearing back from Compliance soon to let me know when I can start practicing with the team," said Tarwater. 
Tarwater prepped at Webb School in Knoxville, where he put up 22 points and 10 rebounds a game while compiling an impressive 3.9 gpa before signing with Cornell was fresh off an NCAA appearance.
As a junior, Tarwater averaged 7.1 points and 5.5 rebounds per game for Cornell. He'll be on scholarship his senior season at Cal while he pursues his masters degree. 
Named Div-IIA Mr. Basketball when playing for Webb High school, Tarwater played sparing during his first three years at Cornell.  As a senior co-captain, he posted a career high in points (7.1ppg) and was one of the Ivy League's leading rebounders at 5.5 rpg.
Although he has the ability to step out and hit the outside shot, the percentages (36.9 FG%, 31.9 3FG%) suggest that long-range shooting isn't his strong suit.
I'd imagine that his value goes beyond the stat sheet and is a great fit for Cal's shorthanded roster.  You're getting a smart, tough, veteran player who can back up both the 3 and the 4 spot.  Rebounding is a skill that translates very well and we'll be in dire need of it considering our lack of bigs.  He'll be a good steadying influence should our young wings start playing out of control or get themselves into foul trouble.  It's a nice pick-up for Coach Martin and his staff.
Although there weren't any specific highlights to be found, he did score a career high 23 points against Dartmouth and was featured in their highlight film.
Welcome to Cal, Dwight!
  • Sports Edge ranks the Ivy League basketball logos and Cornell takes 3rd. 
  • Cornell gets mention in Nunes Magician for large crowds at Carrier Dome basketball games.
  • NBC Sports profiles Northfield Mount Hermon School and writes:
Harvard will be the favorite again next year, but the conference is more than the Crimson. Both Princeton and Yale have finished in the top half of the conference in each of the last six seasons. Brown and Columbia have made strides in the last few years under new head coaches. Cornell is four years removed from a Sweet 16 run, the last of three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. Penn’s back-to-back losing seasons don’t overshadow its longstanding tradition on the hardwood. And Dartmouth keeps landing NMH graduates with the same consistency as Harvard.
January 3rd - Cornell (2-26), RPI: 334, Ken Pom: 341
Cornell was unusually really really bad last year. Like, one of the worst teams in the country bad. The Big Red can't seem to get back to the level they were at when Steve Donohue was the coach and was making NCAA Tournaments. It got so bad that leading scorer Nolan Cressler skipped town and transferred to Vanderbilt. It might be another ugly season for Cornell.
  • Former Penn assistant coach, Jason Polykoff spoke with the Daily Pennsylvanian.  Here is an excerpt:
DP: Since you’re now moving away from coaching in the Ivies, what do you think of the balance of power the past few seasons? What do you think Harvard has done the past few years to take that next step forward?
JP: It’s the ebbs and flows of the Ivy League. At one point it was Cornell, for the longest point it was Penn and Princeton. It’s just what’s the flavor of the week, I guess you could say. Right now it’s Harvard, but in my eyes it’s only a matter of time before it’s someone else, and I think it’s going to be Penn. I’m a little biased, but I think it’s going to be Penn. Credit to them and obviously to coach Amaker for what they’ve been able to accomplish, but I truly believe that every program has their time and this has been Harvard’s time.

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