Wednesday, April 1, 2015

News and Notes: Wednesday Edition

Below, news and notes...

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Cornell senior forward Shonn Miller has been named a finalist for the Lefty Driesell Award as national Defensive Player of the Year it was announced today by One of 26 members of the Lefty Driesell All-America team, Miller is the only Ivy League player on the list. The recipient of the 2015 award will be announced at the Awards Banquet on April 3 at the Final Four in Indianapolis, Ind.

Miller, the first player in Cornell history to surpass 100 blocked shots and 100 steals in a career, was the Ivy League leader in defensive rebounds, he ranked sixth nationally (7.53 per game). He 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 and second-team NABC all-district honors. He ranked 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, the first to score 500 points and register 250 rebounds in a season, and 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, he 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.

Karl-Anthony Towns, Kentucky
Darion Atkins, Virginia
Gary Bell Jr., Gonzaga
Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia
Willie Cauley-Stien, Kentucky
Rakeem Christmas, Syracuse
Kyle Collinsworth, BYU
Tekele Cotton, Wichita State
Demarcus Daniels North Florida
Nnanna Egwu, Illinois
Jerian Grant, Notre Dame
Jelani Hewitt, Georgia Southern
Anthony Hickey, Oklahoma State
Brice Johnson, North Carolina
Reggie Lynch, Illinois State
T.J. McConnell, Arizona
Jordan Mickey, LSU
Shonn Miller, Cornell
Larry Nance, Wyoming
Josh Richardson, Tennessee
Richard Ross, Old Dominion
Justin Tuoyo, Chattanooga
Corey Walden, Eastern Kentucky
Julian Washburn, UTEP
Briante Weber, VCU
Jay Wright, Louisiana-Lafayette
...before providing my list, the alphabetical roll call: Albany, Army, Binghamton, Buffalo, Canisius, Colgate, Columbia, Cornell, Fordham, Hofstra, Iona, Long Island, Manhattan, Marist, Niagara, St. Bonaventure, St. Francis, St. John's, Siena, Stony Brook and Wagner. OK, ready? Here goes a New York Top 5 (after the Orange) of sorts:
(1) St. John's:...
(2) Buffalo: ...
(3) Siena:. ...
(4) Manhattan: ...
(5) Cornell: The Big Red has to be included, even if with an asterisk. Smart guys with their eyes on real-world careers can play basketball, too, you know. And those who don't go to Princeton and Stanford can (and do) look to Ithaca. You do remember that Cornell was in the Sweet 16 just five years ago, right?
  • On Penn's hiring of Steve Donahue, CBS Sports writes, "Steve Donahue. He seems to have been the Quakers first choice hire. Prior to leaving for the Boston College job, Donahue coached at Cornell for 10 seasons with a record of 146-138, including first-place finishes in each of his last three seasons and a Sweet 16 appearance in the final season, 2010. And before that even, he was a 10-year assistant at the school he takes over at now. Can he turn around the program that Jerome Allen is leaving? It's up for debate. On one hand, he has a proven track record of success in the Ivy. On the other, the Ivy he enters now is a stronger league than it was when he left. Only time will tell on this one."
  • ESPN ranks Shonn Miller as the 4th best "transfer" prospect in the country as Miller pursues graduate school.  Other Ivy League players up for "transfer" include: Kenyatta Smith, Galal Cancer, Denton Koon, Gabas Maldunas, Cam Crocker and Lealand King.  ESPN writes of Miller in its ranking, "4. Shonn Miller, Cornell -- He’s a 4-man who is eligible immediately for his final season and has attracted big-time interest. Miller has met with UConn, Illinois, Boston College, Michigan, Marquette and California. He has a nice dribble pull-up and is a better perimeter shooter than his numbers indicate."

    • 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 Independent Tibune also mentions Morgan's recent performance in an all-star event and writes, "Cabarrus County boys basketball standouts Matt Morgan and Jaylen Stowe acquitted themselves quite well while also representing their home state this past weekend.   Morgan, Cox Mill’s career points leader, scored 17 points to help the North Carolina squad defeat South Carolina, 106-93, in the Carolinas All-Star Classic Saturday night at Socastee High School.  Stowe, who is Hickory Ridge’s all-time leading scorer, had 11 points and four rebounds. Stowe has signed with Mercer University (Georgia).  The 6-foot-1 Morgan, who will play at Cornell University, added four rebounds, two assists and two steals.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.

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