Tuesday, February 3, 2015

News and Notes: Tuesday Edition

Below, news and notes for Tuesday...

  • Here is another look at Cornell's incoming 7-member frosh class next season:
Stone Gettings (Loyola HS) Los Angeles, CA, 6-8, F
Matt Morgan (Cox Mill HS) Concord, NC, 6-2 G
Troy Whiteside (Webb School) Knoxville, TN, 6-4, G
Joel Davis (Wayne Country Day School) Goldsboro, NC, 6-3
Donovan Wright (Blair Academy) Blairstown, NJ, 6-6, F
Joseph Ritter (Woodrow Wilson HS) Dallas, TX, 6-8, F
Jack Gordon (St. Mark's School) Dallas, TX, 6-4, G
Checking in with Cornell's recruits:  In arguably one of the top 25 high school leagues in the country, the Los Angeles Daily News notes that Stone Gettings scored 24 points in recent action.  See also the LA Times.  He had 16 points and 14 rebounds last Wednesday.  Here is a recent interview of him from the LA Times.  Troy Whiteside had a memorable poster dunk over the weekend and was named District Player of the Year.  Per the Independent Tribune, Matt Morgan scored 20 points, including the game winning layup on Friday night.  Donovan Wright had 14 points and 7 rebounds last Wednesday per Blair Academy.
5. Cornell: Kudos to the avuncular Bill Courtney for steadying a rapidly sinking ship. Last year’s D-1 laughingstock is this year’s D-1 mediocrestock. Regardless, that’s progress. (Which is much more than I can say is currently happening in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.) The Red are quite athletic and play a solid brand of defense which tend to keep them in games. This is an extremely important tactical maneuver mostly because the Red have no offense. (Against Brown, a game in which they won, they shot 37.5 percent, seven percent (1-for-14) from beyond the arc.) Shonn Miller, arguably Cornell’s best player, for some reason thinks he’s a shooting guard. He was 1-for-9 from three-point range for the weekend games.  I don’t know why he does this but all I can say is Shonn, keep on hoisting up that three-ball, especially on Friday night. Statistically, you’re bound to hit one. (For those of you who wanted it, there’s your statistical analysis for this piece.)  Still, after the interminable bus ride to the boondocks of Ithaca, I’m looking for the Red to open a can o’ whup ass on the Quakers.
  • Bennett Rank has Shonn Miller as a "Player to Watch" in the Ivy.
  • The Daily Princetonian writes, "Princeton has made a very strong start in Ivy League play. Though there are still many games to go, it looks like next week’s opponents Cornell and Columbia are more than manageable, and the Tigers could be climbing their way up the Ivy League standings."
  • The Daily Pennsylvanian writes, "Moving forward, the Red and Blue have the chance to rebound against two decidedly less talented squads in Cornell and Columbia. But when it comes to a game like this, the team isn’t in a place to truly compete with Harvard – or Yale for that matter."
Q During Ivy League play, you’ve talked about how the big men are a little different. Who do you think is the toughest one to go up against?
A That’s a good question. I haven’t really faced everyone because some guys were hurt last year. That was the first time I’ve played Shonn Miller [from Cornell] since my freshman year. Every big man presents a different challenge, so I’m looking forward to it, especially this weekend with [Steve] Moundou-Missi at Harvard and [Gabas] Maldunas at Dartmouth.
  • The Ivy League named Devin Cherry to its weekly Honor Roll and notes:
Devin Cherry, Cornell (Sr., G - Meridian, Miss.)
11 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists vs. Brown
14 points, 5 assists vs. Yale

Week 1, 11/17/14-Shonn Miller, Cornell
Week 2, 11/24/14-Justin Sears, Yale
Week 3, 12/1/14-Wes Saunders, Harvard
Week 4, 12/8/14-Javier Duren, Yale
Week 5, 12/15/14-Cedric Kuakumensah, Brown*
Week 6, 12/22/14-Maodo Lo, Columbia
Week 7,12/29/14-Shonn Miller, Cornell
Week 8, 1/5/15-Javier Duren, Yale
Week 9, 1/12/15-Henry Caruso, Princeton
Week 10, 1/19/15-Javier Duren, Yale
Week 11, 1/26/15-Justin Sears, Yale/Alex Mitola, Dartmouth
Week 12, 2/2/15-Justin Sears, Yale

Week 1, 11/17/14-Antonio Woods, Penn
Week 2, 11/24/14-Mike Auger, Penn
Week 3, 12/1/14-Amir Bell, Princeton
Week 4, 12/8/14-Darnell Foreman, Penn
Week 5, 12/15/14-Sam Jones, Penn*
Week 6, 12/22/14-Kyle Castlin, Columbia
Week 7, 12/30/14-Aaron Young, Princeton
Week 8, 1/5/15-Kyle Castlin, Columbia
Week 9, 1/12/15-Makai Mason, Yale
Week 10, 1/19/15-Antonio Woods, Penn
Week 11, 1/26/15-Aaron Young, Princeton
Week 12, 2/2/15-Kyle Castlin, Columbia
* = Cornell idle
Despite hanging close late in the second half with two Ivy League opponents, the men’s basketball team was swept this weekend, falling to Cornell 57-49 and to Columbia 86-65 after a road trip to New York.
The losses continue a dismal skid to open conference play for the Bears (9-12, 0-4 Ivy), who find themselves winless and alone at the bottom of the Ivy standings.
“It was definitely a challenging weekend, and we weren’t good down the stretch,” said co-captain Cedric Kuakumensah ’16. “We have to play with more sense of urgency … that’s something we’ll have to work on.”

Friday: Cornell 57, Brown 49
To call Friday’s battle in Ithaca a defensive game would be a nice way of putting it, but neither offense put up much of a fight. Attacks by both the Big Red (10-10, 2-2) and Bruno sputtered throughout the game, with each shooting below 38 percent from the floor and combining to go 5-of-34 from three-point range.
Bruno’s offense looked lost in the wake of leading scorer Leland King’s ’17 departure from the team due to personal reasons. Tavon Blackmon ’17 and Steven Spieth ’17 each scored eight points before intermission to help the Bears to a slim 27-24 halftime lead. But the team made just five field goals in the second half — two treys by J.R. Hobbie ’17 — and ended with fewer than 50 points for just the second time this year.
“They did a good job with ball pressure,” Blackmon said of the Cornell defense. “But more so, I think we just made a lot of little mistakes that … are hurting us at the end.”
The Big Red mirrored Bruno’s offensive struggles for much of the game, and the score stayed so close that neither team led by more than four points in the second half until under a minute remaining, when Cornell pushed the lead with free throws. The Big Red’s offense struggled with the Bears’ denial of senior Shonn Miller. The forward leads the Ivy League in points and rebounds but was a relative non-factor with Rafael Maia ’15 guarding him Friday, scoring just eight points and grabbing three rebounds.
Maia “did a great job” guarding Miller, Kuakumensah said. “We tried to control them in the half court  because they are a pretty fast-paced team.”
But when Miller struggled, his classmate Galal Cancer picked up the slack. Bruno led 49-47 with three minutes to play before Cancer, who had just five points at that time, took over the game. The guard pulled down a rebound, drew a foul and hit two free throws to tie the game.
The next time down the floor, Cancer corralled an offensive board, drew a foul and hit two more free throws to give his team a lead. Finally, Cancer put the nail in the coffin by stripping Maia and finishing with a breakaway layup on the other end. His six straight points turned a Bruno lead into what proved to be an insurmountable Cornell lead.
Blackmon led the Bears with 14 points and is turning into more of a scoring factor at point guard, but the sophomore went just 1-of-7 from the floor in the second half. Spieth streaked to eight first-half points before being shut out after the midpoint.

1 comment:

Matt said...

Three-point FG percentage over the weekend was 12.5%. (Five made on 40 attempts.) That's really bad. It made me wonder where we stand versus the league as a 3 pt shooting team. Per NCAA.com, we're at the bottom of the league along with Brown at 31%. (Princeton leads with 38%.) We'll need a few more of these shots to fall going forward, especially in big games like on Saturday against Princeton. At 12.5%, I don't think we get 5 more Ivy League wins, enough to qualify for a postseason tournament.