Catching up with Cornell: Time to Execute

Cornell's junior forward Eitan Chemerinski has been their lone consistent performer through five games. (Photo Credit: cornellsun.com)

Potential. In a word that’s what we can take from the first five Cornell games of the season.

The pieces are clearly there. A solid backcourt is staffed by a senior with the potential to lead, a top-flight shooter who has the potential to fill up the scoring column and a fearless, hard-driving freshman who has the potential to play like a seasoned veteran. Several guys that have the potential to keep legs fresh without experiencing a huge drop off back the main rotation.

On the wing, an explosive, bouncy freshman and a hardnosed, burly sophomore have the potential to more than hold their own.

In the post, a pair of juniors has the potential to provide an offensive spark and a raw freshman has the potential to step in and give a few high-energy minutes.

The problem with potential? It doesn’t win games.

Potential means inconsistency. It means explosive plays and ugly airballs on back-to-back possessions. It means heartening wins followed by painful defeats. Potential means 2-3.

When the Red won its final three games last season and six of its last nine the common thread was finding balance in the offense. Simply put, Mark Coury became a scoring threat on the inside.

Coury’s interior offense has been replaced by the surprising production of Eitan Chemerinski, the only consistency Cornell has seen over the opening five contests. Chemerinski’s current streak of four straight games with at least 12 points is as many as Coury produced all of last year.

The other forward spot, filled by Errick Peck last season, has been played by freshman Shonn Miller

in the junior’s absence due to injury. Miller, already, has surpassed Peck’s all around contributions from a year ago with tighter defense and better rebounding.

With the addition of Galal Cancer and another year of experience, the backcourt should be improved as well.

If all goes as expected, the trio of Chemerinski, Miller and Cancer could push the Red well up the ladder in the Ancient Eight, but a few questions need to be answered before league play begins if Cornell wants to compete with the class of the conference.

Three-Point Shooting

Known over the past five seasons as one of the nation’s In contrast, consider how American games feature 38 numbers, and two numbers (0, 00) specifically help casinos. top three-point shooting teams, the Red took a slight dip last season, knocking down 37% of its shots from deep. Early in the 2011-2012 campaign, the long ball has taken even more of a hit for Cornell. Chris Wroblewski, Johnathan Gray and Max Groebe – who are combined 43% career three-point shooters – have connected on just 19% of their attempts from taurus daily horoscope is materially fixed. beyond the arc this season. As a team, the Red are shooting 33% from three. Teams that shoot the long ball as much as Cornell (more than 24 times per game) famously “live or die by the three” and right now the Red is dying by it.

Rebounding

The Red currently rank 305th out of 342 Division I teams in rebounding. The average rebounding margin for Cornell is -8.8 on the year. The second leading rebounder is a six-foot guard. At this point, the only place to go is up. ‘Nuff said.

Ski

A year removed from flourishing as the go-to scorer for But, there is still a dotted line of credit reporting agencies pointing back to the borrower. the Red, Wroblewski has sputtered out of the gates. Shooting 17% from the field and 18% from beyond the arc has been somewhat masked in the scoring column by the senior’s typical accuracy from the free throw line. The truth is that Ski is scoring just 3 points a game from the floor despite an average of seven field goal attempts per contest. While he has helped tremendously on the boards and has put up six assists per game, Ski clearly opened the year in a slump. Despite the struggles, history would suggest that the point guard will find his stroke eventually and contribute in a big way as the season progresses.

The good news for Cornell is that all of the major areas of concern can be corrected.

  1. With all of the weapons in the Red’s backcourt arsenal, the shooting numbers figure to improve drastically (simply by reverting to the mean) as the season progresses.
  2. Dwight Tarwater, who has been ailed by the stomach bug, is likely to provide more consistency on the boards while Chemerinski and Figini should be able to find ways to be factors on the glass.
  3. Slumps happen. Chris Wroblewski is an all-Ivy caliber player and scorer. His ability didn’t evaporate over the summer and it would be a shock if he doesn’t find a way to claw his way out of the hole.

Despite the Red’s shortcomings thus far, Cornell has managed a pair of wins – one coming against a Boston University team that is favored to win the America East.  The fact that Cornell could easily be 4-1 right now is heartening.

Clearly improved from last season, the group from East Hill has the potential to crack the top half of the league standings if they can fill the gaps from the first five games.  The Red has the potential to slide into the top two in the league if all of the chips fall right.

But right now, all Cornell has is potential, and potential alone won’t get the Red back to its winning ways.

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