Cornell has large shoes to fill as it moves on without Matt Morgan

It’s no question that the Cornell Big Red will look a lot different on the floor this season. The Big Red no longer have their four-time leading scorer in Matt Morgan, as well as their top defender and rebounder in Steven Julian. Both are now professionals, and have extremely large shoes to fill.

Junior Jimmy Boeheim and senior Josh Warren are in leadership roles in 2019, also expected to be the Big Red’s top scoring options. The two are team captains along with junior guard Terrance McBride.

Morgan facilitated the Big Red offense all four years on East Hill, but now Terrance McBride will be doing so.

However, those three won’t be able to take over the scoring load alone. The Big Red will rely on a variety of players to do so.

Matthew Harshany will be making his college debut as a sophomore on Tuesday. He missed his entire freshman season due to injury. The 6’0 guard from Pace, Fla. is a prolific scorer, averaging 26 points per game in his senior year of high school. This kid can shoot, and the team will look to use him as a scoring option.

Another potential offensive threat could be freshman Jordan Jones from Thousand Oaks, Calif. He’s listed as a 6’5 forward but plays like a guard. He will have a nice size advantage against mid-major guards. He scored 23 points per game in his senior year of high school and 18 points per game in his prep season at Phillips Exeter Academy.

Juniors Riley Voss, Jake Kuhn, and Bryan Knapp, as well as sophomore Dean Noll are expected to play decent roles with the team this season. Those guys can shoot, but defense isn’t their specialties.

But speaking of defense, they will need guys to step up there as well as on the boards. Warren and Boeheim will be a big part of that, but freshman Marcus Filien and senior Thurston McCarty will also look to contribute. Both guys have a ton of athleticism and size. On offense, Fillien is better closer to the hoop while McCarty is better from the perimeter.

McBride is a good defensive guard, and freshman Greg Dolan will help with guard defense. Dolan has a similar style of play as McBride, being a decent overall player. He can shoot and drive, also making an impact by facilitating the offense, pulling in boards and forcing turnovers.

What the schedule looks like

The Big Red have a nice nonconference mix this season. They are playing three power five teams (Penn State, Syracuse, DePaul) and six quad four teams (Binghamton, Bryant, Coppin State, Navy, Lafayette and Hartford). Unfortunately, just two of those quad four games are at home.

On Tuesday November 5th, the Big Red kick off the season against Tommy Dempsey’s Binghamton squad at Newman Arena. It’s the first time since 2013 that the Big Red will kick off their campaign at home.

On the 10th, the Big Red will travel to Smithfield, Rhode Island to take on Bryant. Following that, Cornell returns home to face NJIT on the 13th. Last season, the Big Red surprisingly dominated NJIT in Newark, winning 86-73.

Following is back-to-back power five games. They travel to Chicago to face DePaul on the 16th and then go to Syracuse for episode three of the “battle of the Boeheims” on the 20th. After that are two more road games at Navy and Coppin State.

To begin December, the Big Red host Towson and Lafayette on the 1st and 7th before traveling to Colgate on the 11th. After a week-and-a-half layoff for exams, they play Hartford and Penn State on the Sundays before and after Christmas.

Cornell will play just one nonconference game in January, and that will be against SUNY Purchase for their annual Dlll “buy game.”

As usual, the Big Red kick off conference play with their home-and-home against Columbia. The Lions get the first game on the 18th and the Big Red get the latter on the 25th.

The first back-to-back of the year is at Brown and Yale on January 31st and February 1st. The following weekend, the Big Red come home for Princeton and Penn. The last two home games for Cornell against Princeton have went to overtime, including a triple overtime thriller in 2018.

On Valentine’s Day weekend, the Big Red get the Harvard Crimson and the Dartmouth Big Green on the road. Cornell swept both teams last season.

Then, they get two straight home weekends. They have Yale and Brown the first weekend and Dartmouth and Harvard the other. To end the season, Cornell goes on the road to face Penn and Princeton. They haven’t won a game on that road trip since 2013.

The Big Red are facing a lot of challenges going into their first season after Matt Morgan. They are ready to prove everybody wrong again.

Tuesday’s game against Binghamton will tip-off at 7 p.m. at Newman Arena. As always, the game will be live on ESPN+, as are all Ivy League home games.

 

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