Tuesday, February 10, 2015

News and Notes: Tuesday Edition

Below, news and notes...

  • Cornell is 5th in the Big Apple Buckets weekly power poll which which writes, "5. Cornell (3-3) — Led by Shonn Miller and David Onourah, Cornell has blocked an obscene 22.5% of shots in Ivy play. (For context, the D-I leader in block rate is Kentucky at 19.6%.) On Saturday, more of Princeton’s two-point attempts were swatted (eight) than went in the net (seven)."
  • Cornell Athletics published its game notes for the Dartmouth/Harvard weekend roadtrip:
Men's Hoops Hits Ivy Halfway Mark At Dartmouth, Harvard
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Game #23: Cornell at Dartmouth
Tip off: Friday, Feb. 13, at 7:00 p.m.
Site: Leede Arena (2,100), Hanover, N.H.
2014-15 Records: Cornell (11-11, 3-3 Ivy); Dartmouth (8-12, 1-5 Ivy)
Series Record: Series tied 104-104
Last Meeting: Dartmouth won 87-78, March 1, 2014 in Hanover, N.H.
Radio: 98.7 FM The Buzzer (Barry Leonard)
TV: None

Game #24: Cornell at Harvard
Tip off: Saturday, Feb. 14, at 6:00 p.m.
Site: Lavietes Pavilion (2,050), Cambridge, Mass.
2014-15 Records: Cornell (11-11, 3-3 Ivy); Harvard (15-5, 5-1 Ivy)
Series Record: Cornell leads 90-76
Last Meeting: Harvard won 72-47, Feb. 28, 2014 in Cambridge, Mass.
Radio: 98.7 FM The Buzzer (Barry Leonard)
TV: None

Cornell head coach Bill Courtney is in his fifth season at Cornell (48-89, .350; 22-40 Ivy, .355) ... Courtney became the fifth Robert E. Gallagher '44 Coach of Men's Basketball at Cornell on April 23, 2010.

The Cornell men's basketball team will hit the midpoint of the Ivy League's 14-Game Tournament when it hits the road for the first full conference weekend with games at Dartmouth and first-place Harvard. The Big Red and Big Green will tangle on Friday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m., then head to Cambridge, Mass. for a 6 p.m. tip-off with the Crimson on Valentine's Day. Barry Leonard will provide coverage on 98.7 FM The Buzzer, with live video of both contests available on the Ivy League Digital Network.

Picked to finish eighth in the Ivy League preseason media poll, head coach Bill Courtney's Big Red team is one of the most improved in the country. Cornell is 11-11 a year removed from a 2-26 campaign. The Big Red has the looks of a team on the rebound, playing suffocating defense (.378 field goal percentage defense, .320 3-point percentage defense, 60.7 ppg. allowed, 5.2 blocked shots per game) in its 22 contests. The Big Red has limited foes to below 40 percent shooting in 15 of its 22 games. Six of its 11 losses this season have come by five points or less or in overtime.

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 two-time Ivy League Player of the Week paces the conference in scoring (16.3 ppg.), rebounding (8.0 rpg.) and in the top five in free-throw percantage (second, .852) blocks (third, 2.0 bpg.) and steals (fourth, 1.5 spg.) to make him an early contender for top Ivy League honors.

Other big differences in Cornell's quick turnaround include the return of senior Galal Cancer (9.7 ppg., 3.8 rpg., 3.3 apg., 1.1 spg.) after a year away from basketball, the move of senior Devin Cherry to point guard (10.3 ppg., 4.4 rpg., 3.7 apg., 0.9 spg.) and the maturation of sophomores Robert Hatter (11.4 ppg., 2.7 rpg., 1.3 spg.) and David Onuorah (2.2 ppg., 3.8 rpg., 1.6 bpg.). A number of other players have added key minutes as reserves over the first 22 contests. Among them are guards JoJo Fallas (3.0 ppg., 18 3-pointers, .367 3-point percentage), Pat Smith (2.7 ppg.) and Darryl Smith (3.1 pg., 2.0 rpg.). Together with the starting trio, the six make for one of the most talented and deepest backcourts in the Ancient Eight. The senior big man trio of Deion Giddens, Dave LaMore and Ned Tomic are combining to average 4.2 ppg. and 5.1 rpg. and have provided leadership on and off the court.

• make the Big Red 12-11 overall and 4-3 in Ivy League play.
• give Cornell a 6-3 record in its last nine games.
• give the Big Red a 105-104 lead in the all-time series between the programs.
• be the 1,223rd in program history (1,222-1,363 in 116 seasons, .473).

• Dartmouth enters Friday's contest with an 8-12 overall record and a 1-5 mark in Ivy League play.
• The Big Green is saddled with a four-game losing skid since handing first-place Harvard its only league loss, a 70-61 Dartmouth victory on Jan. 24.
• Both Alex Mitola (12.9 ppg.) and Gabas Maldunas (10.8 ppg., 6.6 rpg., 1.9 bpg., 1.4 spg.) are averaging double figures, while Connor Boehm (9.8 ppg., 5.2 rpg.) isn't far behind.
• The Big Green is shooting 43 percent from the floor and 34 percent from 3-point range this season, while outrebouding opponents 33.1-32.3. Opponents are hitting 42 percent of their shots and 36 percent from beyond the arc.
• Freshman Miles Wright emerged last weekend as a scorer, averaging 20.5 points in contests against Yale and Brown. He is averaging 7.0 points per game on the season.
• Head coach Paul Cormier, in his second stop with the Big Green, has a 126-190 mark on the Big Green sidelines and is 212-301 all-time in 19 seasons as a head coach.

• Cornell leads the all-time series 104-104 after 208 games in a series that dates back to the 1900-01 campaign.
• Cornell has had the best of the series recently, having won 18 of the last 22 meetings.
• The two teams have split the season series each of the last two years.

Dwight Tarwater scored a career-high 23 points and Devin Cherry scored 22, but Dartmouth hit 12-of-20 3-pointers on its way to an 87-78 victory over the Big Red on March 2, 2014 at Leede Arena.
• Tarwater connected on 7-of-10 shots from the floor and 3-of-6 from 3-point range, and added four rebounds, while Cherry made 8-of-14 from the floor to go along with three assists.
• The Big Red shot 50 percent from the floor, but couldn't overcome Dartmouth's success from long range in its fifth straight loss.
• Ned Tomic added 12 points and four rebounds off the bench, while Nolan Cressler had nine points.
• Dartmouth's Alex Mitola was the man on fire for much of the night, connecting on 8-of-9 from beyond the arc as part of a career-high 33-point night. He added five rebounds and three assists in the win.
• Kevin Crescenzi netted 17 points and four boards off the bench and Connor Boehm had 11 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
• On Senior Day, the Big Green's lone honoree Tyler Melville had 10 points, five assists and two steals.
• The Big Green shot 50 percent from the floor and connected on 21-of-26 free throws while ending the night with a 33-26 rebounding advantage.

• At 15-5 on the season and 5-1 in Ivy League competition, Harvard sits atop the conference standings with Yale nearing the midpoint of the 14-Game Tournament.
• The Crimson have won four in a row since being upset at home by Dartmouth, 70-61, on Jan. 24. It is coming off a road sweep of Brown (76-74 in OT) and Yale (52-50).
• All-Ivy League staples Wesley Saunders (16.2 ppg., 5.8 rpg., 4.0 apg., 2.0 spg.) and Siyani Chambers (9.2 ppg., 4.4 apg., 1.4 spg.) lead the way again, with hot-shooting Corbin Miller (9.2 ppg., 48 3-pointers) and steady Steve Moundou-Missi (8.0 ppg., 6.6 rpg.) also playing key roles in the Crimson's success this season.
• The Crimson are allowing opponents to score just 57.4 points per game while shooting 39 percent from the floor and 32 percent from 3-point range. Harvard is outrebounding opponents by more than four per contest.
• Harvard has an impressive 7-1 record at home this season, including victories over Houston and Massachusetts.
• Eighth year head coach Tommy Amaker has won four consecutive Ivy League titles and has made three straight NCAA tournament appearances with second round wins in each of the past two seasons. He boasts a career record of 330-215, including 154-76 with the Crimson.

• Cornell leads the series 90-76 dating back to the first meeting between the teams in the 1901-02 season.
• Harvard has a narrow is 13-11 in the last 24 contests thanks to its eight consecutive wins.

• On Harvard's Senior Day, the experienced Crimson waited out a patient, young Cornell team and finished off the Big Red 72-47 on Feb. 28, 2014 at Lavietes Pavilion.
• With just 10 players in uniform due to injury and illness for Cornell, the three-time defending Ivy League champion proved to be too much.
• Despite the final, several young Big Red players had strong efforts.
• Freshman guard Darryl Smith had 14 points, one off his career high, and added four rebounds.
• Sophomore Nolan Cressler chipped in eight points, three rebounds and two steals and senior Dwight Tarwater had 10 points.
• Freshman David Onuorah had four blocked shots and three rebounds in just 21 minutes of action while nettling foul trouble.
• Siyani Chambers had 15 points and four assists to lead three double figure scorers, with Brandyn Curry adding 12 and Kyle Casey scoring 10.
• The Crimson shot 51 percent from the floor and held a decisive 34-18 edge on the glass.

• The Big Red remains on the road for a four-game road swing that continues at Yale on Friday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. and ends the following day at Brown at 6 p.m.

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