Sunday, November 23, 2014

News and Notes: Sunday in Charleston Edition

Below, news and notes...

  • Here is a link to an A.P. recap of Friday's crushing defeat to Penn State with some quotes from Bill Courtney.
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Charleston, S.C.- The Drexel men's basketball team is back in action on Sunday against Cornell in the Gildan Charleston Classic. The team's final game of the tournament begins at 1:30 and can be heard live on and can be seen on ESPN3.

Drexel will be looking for its first win of the seaosn after a tough two-point loss to USC on Friday afternoon. Damion Lee poured in a season-high 32 points and was 8-for-11 from deep, but his three-pointer in the closing seconds would not fall. Lee's 32 points were the fourth-highest total in the seven year history of the Charleston Classic. Lee leads the team with 19 points per game. Rodney Williams tied a career-high with 14 points against USC and leads the team in rebounding heading into the Cornell game.

Cornell is 2-3 after a heartbreaking one-point loss in the final seconds to Penn State. The Big Red led the entire way until D.J. Newbill's lay-up gave Penn State the win. Four of Cornell's five starters score in double figures and the Big Red's wins have come against George Mason and Colgate

Drexel returns home on Monday a.m. and will be off until Sunday, Nov. 30, when Southern Mississippi visits the Daskalakis Athletic Center.
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Game #6: Drexel vs. Cornell
Tip off: Sunday, Nov. 23, at 1:30 p.m.
Site: TD Arena (5,100), Charleston, S.C.
2014-15 Records: Drexel (0-4, 0-0 CAA); Cornell (2-3, 0-0 Ivy)
Series Record: Drexel leads 2-1
Last Meeting: Cornell won 64-57, Nov. 29, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pa.
Radio: 98.7 FM The Buzzer (Barry Leonard)
TV: ESPN3 (Roy Philpott, Craig Robinson)

Cornell head coach Bill Courtney is in his fifth season at Cornell (39-81, .325; 19-37 Ivy, .339) ... Courtney became the fifth Robert E. Gallagher '44 Coach of Men's Basketball at Cornell on April 23, 2010.

STORY LINES: Facing its first losing streak of the season and coming off a heartbreaking last-second loss to Penn State on Friday, the Cornell men's basketball team will try and leave the 2014 Gildan Charleston Classic with a win when it faces Drexel on Sunday, Nov. 23 at 1:30 p.m. at TD Arena. Roy Philpott and Craig Robinson have the call on ESPN3 and Barry Leonard will be heard in the Ithaca area on 98.7 FM The Buzzer and the Ivy League Digital Network.

Cornell has already matched its win total against Division I teams from a season ago when it went 2-26 overall, and it did so in the season's first five days. The Big Red has the looks of a team on the rebound, playing suffocating defense (.389 field goal percentage defense, .337 3-point percentage defense, 65.8 ppg. allowed, 5.4 blocked shots per game) in all five contests. The Big Red rallied from deficits of 17 points in the first half and 13 in the second to knock off Central New York rival Colgate. The Big Red are ready to return to the court after surrendering better than 60 percent shooting after halftime in the 72-71 loss to Penn State on Friday night.

The biggest difference from last year is the return of first-team All-Ivy selection Shonn Miller, who missed the 2013-14 season with a shoulder injury. The 6-7 forward returned with a bang, recording 21 points and 13 rebounds in the upset of George Mason and collecting 20 points, nine rebounds, two assists, two blocks and two steals at Loyola (MD). His season averages of 14.4 ppg., 6.8 rpg., 2.0 bpg. and 1.2 spg. make him an early contender for Ivy League honors.

Other big differences in Cornell's quick turnaround include the return of senior Galal Cancer (12.2 ppg., 3.2 rpg.) after a year away from basketball, the move of senior Devin Cherry to point guard (11.2 ppg., 6.0 rpg., 4.8 apg., 1.0 spg.) and the maturation of sophomores Robert Hatter (12.6 ppg., 3.2 rpg.) and David Onuorah (2.2 ppg., 5.6 rpg., 1.6 bpg.). A number of other players have added key minutes as reserves over the first five contests.

•Drexel is off to an 0-4 start to this young season after dropping consecutive contests to start the Charleston Classic, falling to Miami (FL) (66-46) and USC (72-70).
• The Dragons have played a very challenging schedule, as its other two losses have come at the hands of Colorado (65-48) and Saint Joseph's (52-49).
• Damion Lee leads the Dragons with his 19.0 ppg. and is hitting 3.5 3-pointers per game while adding 5.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.3 steals per contest.
• Tavon Allen leads the team in assists (2.8) and is second in scoring (10.5 ppg.) and 3-point field goals (1.8).
• As a team, Drexel is allowing teams to score 63.8 points on 43 percent shooting overall and 35 percent from 3-point range.
• Head coach Bruiser Flint is in his 14th season at Drexel and is a four-time Colonial Athletic Association Coach of the Year. He sports a 314-249 career record, including 228-177 with the Dragons.

• Drexel leads the all-time series 2-1 with all three contests being decided by seven points or less.
• The Big Red and the Dragons played in back-to-back years, with Drexel winning 87-83 in Philadelphia on Jan. 9, 1988 and 91-84 in Ithaca on Jan. 7. 1989.
• The two teams then met in Philadelphia during the 2009-10 season, with Cornell taking a 61-54 decision as part of the Legends Classic.

• Cornell is 7-15 all-time against current members of the Colonial Athletic Association entering the 2014-15 season.
• The Big Red is 1-2 against Drexel and has also played Delaware (2-1), Hofstra (3-2), James Madison (0-1), UNC-Wilmington (0-1), Northeastern (1-4) and WIlliam & Mary (0-1).
• The Big Red has never played College of Charleston, Elon or Towson.
• This is the Big Red's only scheduled meeting with a member of the CAA this season.

• give Cornell seventh place at the 2014 Gildan Charleston Classic tournament.
• improve Cornell's record to 3-3 on the season.
• snap a two-game losing streak.
• be the second straight in the series with the Dragons, evening the all-time mark at 2-2.
• be the 1,214th in program history (1,213-1,355 in 116 seasons, .473).

• Cornell held off a hard-charging Drexel team with a composed effort in the final two minutes to complete a 4-0 record at the Legends Classic with a 61-54 win at Drexel on Nov. 29, 2009 at the Daskalakis Athletic Center.
• Then-senior Ryan Wittman, the most valuable player of the regional, scored a game-high 18 points and grabbed six rebounds, while Jeff Foote had 15 points and five rebounds in just 20 minutes of action.
• Mark Coury had eight points and four rebounds off the bench and Chris Wroblewski had seven points, including five big ones in the closing minutes.
• Joining Wittman on the all-tournament team was then-senior Jon Jaques. The tri-captain played a key role in the victory over the Dragons. In 15 minutes of action, he had a rebound, two steals and two gigantic free throws to seal the game with 21 seconds left.
• Drexel overcame a 14-point deficit to take a lead late in the second half, but could not close out the win.
• Jamie Harris had 15 points, four assists and three rebounds, while Gerald Colds notched 14 points and four assists.
• Samme Givens posted 10 points and seven rebounds off the bench.
• The Dragons shot 68 percent from the floor after halftime despite some strong Big Red defense.
• Cornell forced 18 turnovers and held Drexel to 33 percent shooting overall.

• The Big Red is limiting opponents to 39 percent shooting over its first five games. In all, Cornell recorded a .495 field goal percentage defense mark in 2013-14 and allowed opponents to shoot 50 percent or better 15 times in 28 games. It has held three of its first five opponents under 40 percent shooting.
• Cornell hit 21-of-22 free throws against Penn State, a mark that ranks eighth all-time in a single game for the Big Red.
• Senior Galal Cancer connected on 12 free throws without a miss against the Nittany Lions, tied for the most free throws without a miss in a single game in Cornell history. He has made 17 consecutive free throws entering the Drexel game.
• The rally from a 17-point deficit against Colgate was the largest overcome by a Big Red team this century. It is the largest overcome by a Bill Courtney-coached team, besting the 14-point first half deficit it rallied from in a 85-84 win over Yale on Feb. 10, 2012.
• Senior Shonn Miller blocked a pair of shots against George Mason to surpass the 100 career block milestone. He became the fifth player in Cornell history to reach that plateau and now has 107 to his name.
• Senior Devin Cherry nearly secured a triple-double with nine points, 10 rebounds and seven assists against George Mason. No Cornell player has ever registered a triple-double in the program's history over a total of more than 2,500 games.
• With the win over George Mason, Cornell snapped a 17-game road losing streak and a seven-game skid overall.
• When Cornell knocked off George Mason, the Big Red defeated its 35th program that has advanced to an NCAA Final Four. The Patriots reached the national semifinals in 2006.
• Sophomore guard JoJo Fallas scored 24 points over the last three games (8 vs. Colgate, 11 vs. South Carolina, 5 vs. Penn State), including 6-of-10 from 3-point range. He entered the stretch with six career points and was 0-of-8 from beyond the arc.

• Penn State took its first lead since 4-2 in the game's final tenths of a second and knocked off Cornell 72-71 on Friday evening at TD Arena in a consolation game of the 2014 Gildan Charleston Classic.
• DJ Newbill scored after Cornell turned the ball over on an inbounds play with 4.8 seconds to play. A Big Red player attempting to catch the inbounds pass was knocked to the ground and it was picked up by Penn State. Newbill, the second-leading scorer in the Big Ten, drove the left baseline and was able to power a layup over a Big Red defender. The play was reviewed, but the shot counted and sent Penn State off with the win.
• Cornell did plenty right in the contest, leading for more than 32 minutes and controlling the pace, but Penn State hung tough with a hot-shooting second half to overtake the Big Red and clip them at the buzzer.
• Senior Galal Cancer and sophomore Robert Hatter each scored 17 points for the Big Red, with Cancer going a perfect 12-for-12 from the free-throw line to match a school record for single-game free-throw percentage. He added three rebounds, two assists and two steals in the loss.
• Senior Shonn Miller was also among the four Big Red players that reached double figures with 15 points, three rebounds, three blocks and two steals and Devin Cherry had a strong 11 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
• Cornell hit 21-of-22 free throws on the afternoon, the eighth-best free-throw percentage game in school history (.955).
• Newbill scored 26 points, including the game-winner, and was credited with six rebounds and four steals.
• The Nittany Lions shot 46 percent from the floor overall, including 61 percent (17-of-28) after halftime.

• Cornell is in the midst of playing eight games in 16 days, covering four states (New York, Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina).
• The Big Red opened the season with three games in five days, including trips to George Mason (W, 68-60) and Loyola (MD) (L, 71-76), before heading to Charleston, S.C., for three games in four days.
• All told, Cornell will travel 2476 miles roundtrip to play its eight games.
• Though impressive, it doesn't touch what the Big Red did two years ago in November of 2012 when it played six games in 11 days, covering four states (New York, Wisconsin, Arizona and Nevada) and all four continental U.S. time zones (Eastern, Central, Mountain, Pacific).
• All told, Cornell traveled 4,400 miles to play those six games, finishing 2-4.

• Overall, Cornell is 44-98 in tournament play during the regular season.
• The program last won an in-season tournament when it dropped Davidson and St. John's to capture the 2009-10 MSG Holiday Classic.
• The Big Red has also won tournament championships at the 1978-79 and 1967-68 Kodak Classic (both in Rochester, N.Y.) and the 1990-91 USAir-Cornell Classic.
• Cornell was a perfect 4-0 at the Legends Classic in 2009-10, but due to the tournament format, was not considered to be the tournament champion. Florida (4-0) also finished the tournament unbeaten.
• The Big Red won the 2012 Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational lower bracket with wins over  Presbyterian and Longwood.

• Cornell hit eight 3-pointers vs. Penn State on Nov. 21, 2014 its 719th straight game with at least one made 3-point field goal.
• With six 3-pointers against Oberlin on Jan. 11, 2014, Cornell extended its streak of games with at least one 3-pointer to 700.
• The last time Cornell did not hit a 3-pointer was against Denison in the 1988-89 season opener (0-for-2).
• Since the 3-point shot came into effect in NCAA play during the 1986-87 season, Cornell has hit at least one shot behind the arc in 765 of 769 games, connecting on 4,845 treys, an average of 6.3 per game.

• The Big Red will host Canisius on Wednesday, Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. at Newman Arena.


Anonymous said...

Seems to me that what is clearly lacking down the stretch is a true point guard/ floor general who must make good decisions. Think Chris Wroblewski. Devin Cherry is a talented and explosive offensive player. But am not sure why Courtney has chosen him to run the point.

Seems to me that Galal Cancer is more o fa classic point guard. At least he played that role th efirst time around before he lefy th eteam. Just my two cents

Anonymous said...

To Anon 11;26

Seems to me that the role of the point guard is to assist others and if numbers never lie D. Cherry is the only true passer on this team whether he can attack the basket better than most. Controlling his turnovers
is the only knock on his play that I see. Truth be told others are turning it over also.

Seems to me that Mr. Cherry has the all around game needed to push this team forward and if others start to convert more of his passes which seem to be numerous and very unselfish given his ability to score, shooting over 50% from the field when shooting from 2pt range!

Hopefully D. Cherry finds the balance needed when playing an uptempo game by changing speeds throughout the games flow. High gear is never needed 100% of the time I feel when that balance is found as the Season progresses the turnovers will reduce and when that happens he may be the best point guard in the Ivy!!!!