Featuring 18 contests against teams ranked in the top 150 and highlighted by trips to the Carrier Dome and the Bryce Jordan Center, the Cornell men’s basketball teams released its 2019-20 schedule on Thursday. The Big Red will attempt to develop their young squad over a 13-game nonconference schedule to again exceed expectations and return to the Ivy League Tournament after a one-year absence.
Following early games with Binghamton and Bryant, Cornell welcomes NJIT to Newman Arena on November 13. Last season, the Big Red defeated the Highlanders by six in Newark and look to make it two-in-a-row over the ASUN’s second best team. Three days later, the Red head to the midwest to take on DePaul of the Big East. This game would have had more intrigue had Bill Courtney remained on the Blue Demons’ staff, but the former Cornell head coach (2010-2016) left for Miami in June.
On November 20, Cornell heads up I-81 for its yearly trip to Syracuse. This year’s game will be third meeting between junior Jimmy Boeheim and his Hall of Fame father Jim, as well as the 125th overall between the nearby schools. Last year’s 63-55 loss was the 39th in a row, but the closest game against the Orange since 2005.
The Red will wind down its Division I nonconference schedule with three straight road contests. The Cornellians travel to Patriot League favorite Colgate right before fall semester Finals and then top-20 Penn State prior to the end of the calendar year.
A matchup against Division III SUNY Purchase precedes the start of league play, which the Big Red will begin with back-to-back games against travel partner Columbia in the Big Apple on January 18. The two teams have split the season series in each of coach Brian Earl’s first three years in charge.
The Red have their first conference back-to-back on January 31 and February 1, when the team heads to Brown and defending regular season co-champion Yale. Last year, Cornell was swept at the Southern New England Ivies with 20+ point losses in both games.
Princeton and Penn visit Newman Arena on February 7th and 8th. Earl is 1-5 against his alma mater with the one victory a 107-101 triple overtime win over the Tigers in February 2018. The Red ended an 11-game losing streak to the Quakers last season, defeating Penn, 80-71.
Cornell will head to Harvard and Dartmouth over President’s Day weekend for its next-to-last road trip of the regular season. The Red will try to match last season’s success when they beat the Green by three and the regular season co-champion Crimson by six.
The second half of the conference schedule will start with a four-game homestand against Yale, Brown, Dartmouth and Harvard. Against this group in 2019, the Red went 3-1 with wins against the Bears, Green and Crimson.
A trip to Penn and Princeton will conclude the regular season on March 6 and 7. If Cornell hopes to play the following weekend in the Ivy Tournament at Harvard, it will have to have some breathing room since the Red have been swept at the Palestra and Jadwin Gymnasium in each of the last six seasons.
Cornell went 15-16 overall and 7-7 in the Ivy League last season. For the second straight year, the Red were picked 6th in the preseason Ivy media poll and ended the season in fourth place. Unfortunately for the Red, which was tied for fourth with Penn and Brown, the Quakers won the Ivy League Tournament tiebreaker.
Despite missing Ivy Madness, the Red made its first trip to the postseason since the program’s historic Sweet 16 run in 2010. A 89-88 overtime at Robert Morris in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament put an end to the season.
The Big Red lose six players from last year’s squad, five to graduation and one who left the program, with none larger than Matt Morgan. The school’s all-time and the Ivy League’s second most prolific scorer was not picked in the 2019 NBA Draft, but earned a spot on the NBA Las Vegas Summer League roster for the Toronto Raptors. Morgan was not offered a longer deal with the NBA champions and is home in North Carolina working out and awaiting an offer from another team before the start of training camp.
Starters and major contributors Steve Julian, Joel Davis, Jack Gordon, and Troy Whiteside finished their four years on East Hill and sophomore wing Jake Kuhn (27 games, 10.5 mpg, 3.2 ppg in ’18-’19) stepped away from the team. Coach Earl will welcome five players to Cornell with four first-years and a junior transfer, Sarju Patel, who played two years for Coach Earl’s brother Dan at VMI. Patel will have to sit out the year, per NCAA transfer rules.
Cornell will look to build its resume on the strength of Josh Warren and Jimmy Boeheim. Following Stone Gettings’ successful 2017-2018 second team All-Ivy junior year (which led to a transfer to Arizona and a major role for this coming season), Warren and Boeheim became two more big men who made huge jumps under the tutelage of Coach Earl. The senior forward from Downingtown (PA) averaged 9.7 points (53% shooting, 38% three-point shooting), 4.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists over 31 games. The junior wing/forward from the Syracuse suburbs, meanwhile put up 11.8 points (46 percent shooting, 35 percent three point shooting) and 3.4 rebounds over 31 contests.
2019-20 Cornell Men’s Basketball Schedule
11/05 (Tue.) vs BINGHAMTON (Torvik rank #350)
11/10 (Mon.) at Bryant (#295)
11/13 (Wed.) vs NJIT (#130)
11/16 (Sat.) at DePaul (#135)
11/20 (Wed.) at Syracuse (#82)
11/23 (Sat.) at Coppin State (#341)
11/26 (Tue.) at Navy (#217)
12/01 (Mon.) vs TOWSON (#145)
12/07 (Sat.) vs LAFAYETTE (#226)
12/11 (Wed.) at Colgate (#126)
12/22 (Sun.) at Hartford (#353)
12/29 (Sun.) at Penn State (#20)
01/07 (Tue.) vs SUNY PURCHASE (Not Ranked)
01/18 (Sat.) at Columbia (#121)
01/25 (Sat.) vs COLUMBIA
01/31 (Fri.) at Brown (#140)
02/01 (Sat.) at Yale (#193)
02/07 (Fri.) vs PRINCETON (#97)
02/08 (Sat.) vs PENN (#62)
02/14 (Fri.) at Harvard (#19)
02/15 (Sat.) at Dartmouth (#149)
02/21 (Fri.) vs YALE
02/22 (Sat.) vs BROWN
02/28 (Fri.) vs DARTMOUTH
02/29 (Sat.) vs HARVARD
03/06 (Fri.) at Penn
03/07 (Sat.) at Princeton