Saturday, March 28, 2015

News and Notes: Saturday Edition

Below, news and notes for Saturday...
WBNG Binghamton.  Louisville, N.C. State, Michigan State and Oklahoma battled in the Sweet 16 at the Carrier Dome on Friday night. It was the first time an NCAA Tournament regional returned to Syracuse since 2010, when Cornell took the college basketball world by storm and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen as a 12 seed.
That Cornell team knocked off five-seed Temple and four-seed Wisconsin on their way to the East Regional.
Those first two games were played in Jacksonville, FL, but by winning both it meant returning much closer to home for the biggest game of the season.
"You know, I can still remember walking out before the game and looking up and seeing so much red in the big orange Carrier Dome," said former Cornell coach Steve Donahue on the phone on Friday. "So, just an incredible feeling, and it was an awesome week leading up to it, and obviously an incredible time the whole NCAA tournament up to that point."
It marked just the second time a Big Red team had gotten to the Sweet 16, and it came in the schools third straight NCAA tournament appearance.
It was special run that was driven by a special group of players.
"Those guys actually loved each other more than they loved college basketball," said Donahue. "And when you get a group like that that really, really wants to win for each other, it doesn't matter how it gets done, and you do it with talent, with a lot of talent. I think that's what you get, the results are incredible."
The results were incredible for the Big Red, but only for so long, they were knocked out by John Wall's Kentucky team in the Sweet 16.
Donahue actually said on Friday he believes that Kentucky team is better than this year's undefeated Wildcats squad. Kentucky went on to lose to West Virginia in the Elite Eight that season, but it was a team with five first round draft picks that season.
  • The Tennessean expects Nolan Cressler to help Vanderbilt next season.
Miller Named To NABC All-District Second Team

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Cornell senior forward Shonn Miller has been named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District second team it was announced today. Miller was one of five Ivy League players named to the District 13 squad. The teams were selected by the member coaches of the NABC.

Miller joined Yale's Javier Duren on the second team, while Harvard forward Wesley Saunders, Columbia guard Maodo Lo and Yale forward Justin Sears captured first-team accolades. He is the 17th all-district selection in school history and the first since Jeff Foote '10 and Ryan Wittman '10 were named to the first team and Louis Dale '10 was a second-team member in 2010.

Miller ranked second in the Ivy League in scoring (16.8 ppg.), rebounding (8.5 rpg.) and free-throw percentage (.834) and among the top 10 in blocks (fourth, 1.8) and steals (eighth, 1.3) en route to earning unanimous first-team all-league honors. The conference's leader in defensive rebounds, he ranked sixth nationally (7.53 per game). Overall, he ranks in the top 100 nationally in 11 different categories.

A two-time Ivy League Player of the Week, Miller recorded 11 double-doubles on the season and matched a school record with 18 in his three-year career. Miller became the school's seventh player to reach 500 points in a season with his 505 as a season. He became the first player to score 500 points and register 250 rebounds in a season, and also became the first Cornellian and fifth Ivy player to record 1,000 points, 600 rebounds, 100 blocks and 100 steals in a career.

Miller closed his Cornell career with a flourish, scoring at least 23 points in four of his final five games and averaging 22.0 points and 9.8 rebounds per game over that span. He had three different games of at least 15 rebounds and 12 games with at least 20 points.

In just three seasons, Miller did his best making his mark on the school's record book. He sits in the top 20 all-time in scoring (19th, 1,065), rebounding (14th, 608), steals (11th, 126), blocked shots (fourth, 154), free throws made (13th, 266) and free-throw percentage (18th. .785).

With Miller back in the lineup, Cornell became one of the nation's most improved team. The Big Red improved by a school record 11 wins, improving from two wins to a 13-17 finish that included fifth place in the conference after being picked to place last in the preseason.
  •  See the NABC All District teams.
  • ESPN's Joff Borzello tweets, "Shonn Miller, who is graduating from Cornell and enrolling elsewhere, will have a list in a couple weeks. 30-plus schools have reached out."  ESPN's Jeff Goodman later added via Twitter, "Cornell transfer Shonn Miller met with UConn, Illinois, and Boston College on Thursday and Michigan yesterday, per source. Eligible next year."
If last season taught Michigan coach John Beilein anything, it's the value of experience.
Which may be why U-M has pursued transfer candidates this off-season, instead of exclusively high school players for next year's roster.
The latest appears to be a graduate transfer from Cornell, powerful forward Shonn Miller, who would be eligible to play immediately, according to a report from ESPN's Jeff Goodman. The report stated Illinois, Boston College and Connecticut are also in the mix.
Miller is 6-foot-7, 210 pound forward who averaged 16.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game last season, part of a steady progression over the years playing at least 25 minutes per game. But after playing three years in a span of four -- he missed 2013-14 with a shoulder injury -- he is not allowed to stay in the Ivy League because the conference does not allow graduate students.
With Max Bielfeldt's departure -- U-M's only open scholarship currently as Caris LeVert weighs his NBA decision -- Michigan needs another physical center to occupy the middle with Ricky Doyle.
ANN ARBOR -- The biggest potential impact on Michigan's 2015-16 roster might currently reside in the Fingers Lakes of Upstate New York on an Ivy League campus in Ithaca, New York.
He comes complete with 1,065 career points scored in 2,417 minutes played in Division I basketball.
A 6-foot-7 forward from Cornell, graduate transfer Shonn Miller met Michigan coaches on Friday, according to a report from ESPN.com's Jeff Goodman.
Miller, an Ivy League player of the year candidate last season, will have instant eligibility in 2015-16 after missing the entire 2013-14 season following off-season shoulder surgery. He returned this past season to lead the Big Red with 16.8 points and 8.5 rebounds in 31.3 minutes per game. He shot 43.4 percent from the field, 83.4 percent from the free-throw line, and made 28-of-104 3-pointers (.269).
In addition to meeting with Michigan on Friday, Miller met with Connecticut, Illinois and Boston College on Thursday, according to ESPN.
Miller is moving on from Cornell not by choice, but by circumstance. An Ivy League rule forbids graduate students from participating in intercollegiate athletics, so Miller is looking to move onto another Division I program with NCAA tournament aspirations when he graduates in May.
He'll become the third player in two years from Cornell to have to do so. Dwight Tarwater averaged 3.4 points and 2.9 rebounds in 18.8 minutes per game at California this season, while Errick Peck landed at Purdue in 2013-14, averaging 4.6 points a game.
Described by The New York Times as having "the ability to play both ends of the floor from the perimeter and the interior," Miller was unanimously selected for All-Ivy First Team honors this year.
After going 2-26 without Miller in 2013-14, Cornell went 13-17 with him in 2014-15. He was perhaps the top player in the Ivy behind Yale's Justin Sears.
Miller was named Ivy freshman of the year in 2011-12 and was first-team all-conference as a sophomore after averaging 11.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.
A native of Euclid, Ohio, Miller starred at St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland and played for the LeBron James' sponsored King James Shooting Stars AAU team.
  • Here is another look at Cornell's incoming 8-member frosh class for 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
Xavier Eaglin (Dayton HS) Raymond, TX, 6-7, F
Jack Gordon (St. Mark's School) Dallas, TX, 6-4, G
Check in with the recruits, more honors and awards to report:  The Houston Chronicle notes that Xavier Eaglin was named District 21-5A Defensive Player of the Year.  WRAL reports that Matt Morgan was named 2nd Team All District 9 in North Carolina.  The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Donovan Wright was an Honorable Mention selection in the Mid Atlantic Prep League.  Jack Gordon was named All Southwest Preparatory ConferenceStone Gettings was named First Team All CIF 1A.

    2 comments:

    Anonymous said...

    It would be a HUGE feather in Courtney's cap (and great exposure for the Cornell program) should Miller wind up in the NBA. Even though Jeremy Lin wasn't Amaker's recruit, I'm sure it did wonders for the Crimson...

    Anonymous said...

    CBB - I know it's early, but do you have any prognostications for the 2015-2016 season? With Harvard losing so many key players, does Cornell finally get out of the Ivy League basement? (Of course, the Big Red will lose some of their greatest contributors as well.)