Cornell turns the corner in Red and White

On Saturday night, as the Lynah Faithful filled the hockey arena for a preseason contest against Brock University, a slightly more modest crowd populated Newman Arena to watch the Cornell men’s basketball team take part in the annual Red-White Scrimmage.  While the team did have three contests in Spain this AugustSaturday night’s event marked the unofficial beginning of the team’s 2016-17 campaign and the crowd’s first glimpse of its new coach, Brian Earl.

The Red team consisted of Darryl Smith, Donovan Wright, Matt Morgan, Will Bathurst, Josh Warren, Kyle Brown, and Joe Bayless, while the “White” squad had David Onuorah, Robert Hatter, Desmond Fleming, Stone Gettings, JoJo Fallas, and Jack Gordon.  On the sidelines for the scrimmage were Troy Whiteside, Jordan Abdur-Ra’oof, Braxston Bunce, Joel Davis and Pat Smith.  After two 12-minute halves, the “Red” team defeated the White by a score of 57-46.

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Big Red, long road

On Sept. 9, Cornell became the seventh Ancient Eight school to release its schedule for the upcoming 2016-17 campaign.  After getting the travel bug from its August trip to Spain, the Big Red will hit the road for 18 of their 29 games in Coach Brian Earl’s first season.

The 15 game nonconference schedule will see Cornell heading away from Ithaca for trips near and far 11 times in the season’s first two months.  The Big Red will have some relatively short trips for games against Binghamton, Siena, Lafayette, Monmouth, Syracuse and Albany.  They will earn its frequent flier miles with trips to Houston, Laramie, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

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Cornell goes 3-0 in Spain summer tour

Cornell’s trip to Spain has been both a lot of bull and anything but.
Now that first-year students (Thanks, Princeton!) have arrived on North Campus and the upper class students have found their way over to West Campus and various other parts of Ithaca, it is time to have a short update on the Men of Earl.
After his hiring last April, Brian Earl kept Assistant Coach Jon Jacques, who will start his fourth year at his alma mater.  Donovan Williams came over from Princeton and Adam Gierlach arrived from Rice to join the program as assistants.

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Brian Earl: The right coach at the right time for Cornell

Princeton finished in the top three in the Ivy League eight straight seasons with Brian Earl as an assistant coach. The Tigers were the only Ivy team to do so in that span. (College Chalk Talk)

In 2010, Cornell Athletic Director Andy Noel took two weeks to hire Virginia Tech assistant coach Bill Courtney as the replacement for the enormously successful Steve Donahue. Following the Big Red’s run to the Sweet Sixteen and Donahue’s jump to Boston College, Noel selected the former Bucknell All-Patriot League player from a final group that included Wisconsin assistant coach Gary Close and then-Temple assistant and
present Colgate head coach Matt Langel.

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Ivy 60 for 60: Matt Maloney

Matt Maloney posted 12 points and 10 assists in Penn's 90-80 win over Nebraska in the first round of the 1994 NCAA Tournament.
Matt Maloney posted 12 points and 10 assists in Penn’s 90-80 win over Nebraska in the first round of the 1994 NCAA Tournament.

Following our countdown of the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s men’s basketball history this summer, Ivy Hoops Online is delighted to continue celebrating the 60th anniversary of modern Ivy League basketball by honoring the top 60 players in Ivy hoops history (in no particular order). For the next entry in our Ivy 60 for 60 series, we focus on Matt Maloney, one of the greatest players in Penn basketball history… 

Before the Ivy League had Linsanity, it had Matt Maloney.

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Ivy 60 for 60: John Bajusz

Following our countdown of the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s men’s basketball history this summer, Ivy Hoops Online is delighted to continue celebrating the 60th anniversary of modern Ivy League basketball by honoring the top 60 players in Ivy hoops history (in no particular order). For the next entry in our Ivy 60 for 60 series, we focus on John Bajusz, one of the greatest players in Cornell basketball history… 

In the fall of September 1986, Philadelphia Inquirer writer Dan Rottenberg described his disappointment in then-first year Eagles coach Buddy Ryan, who refused to shake hands with opponents following games. When looking for the antidote to Ryan’s unprofessional behavior, Rottenberg remembered the actions of Cornell star John Bajusz.

In March 1986, the Big Red went down to the Palestra with a one game lead on Brown with two games remaining. Cornell’s star captain was blanketed by Penn defenders all evening, forcing him into extremely long outside shots. Although miraculously making nine of 12 shots and going 6-for-6 from the charity stripe, his team was down eight with a minute to go. After being removed from the game by coach Tom Miller, a disappointed Bajusz (pronounced BAY-us) refused to go to the bench until he ran to midcourt to warmly shake the hands of the three Quakers defenders and wave congratulations to the remaining two Penn players under the basket. Without a title, the 21-year-old Bajusz was more of a champion than a Super Bowl winning coach greater than twice his age.

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Who will be Cornell’s next head coach?

With the firing of Bill Courtney, Cornell will begin a national search for a new head men’s basketball coach.  Who might be targets for the Big Red search committee?  Can the past help decide the future?

Here is a list of the Cornell coaches from the last 40 years:
2010-11 through 2015-16: Bill Courtney (Graduate of Bucknell)
1st Head Coaching job
15 years as Division 1 Assistant and Associate Head Coach, including 8 seasons working under Jim Larranaga at George Mason
60-113 overall and 27-57 Ivy; No post-season appearances; Highest Ivy standing was 5th place
2000-01 through 2009-10: Steve Donahue (Ursinus)
1st Head Coaching job
12 years as college Assistant Coach, including 10 seasons working under Fran Dunphy at Penn
146-138 overall and 78-62 Ivy; 3 Ivy League titles; 3 post-season appearances, including a Sweet 16 run in 2009-10

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Cornell President Elizabeth Garrett dies at 52

Elizabeth Garrett officially assumed duties as Cornell President on July 1, 2015, becoming the first woman to hold the office in university history. (Cornell Chronicle)
Elizabeth Garrett officially assumed duties as Cornell President on July 1, 2015, becoming the first woman to hold the office in university history. (Cornell Chronicle)

While most of the Ivy League news this week has centered on the triumph and controversy associated with the Yale basketball team, Cornell University has unexpectedly entered the front pages due to the death of its President, Elizabeth Garrett, according to multiple sources.  Ms. Garrett, 52, died on Sunday night at her home in New York City due to colon cancer.

Ms. Garrett was the thirteenth President in Cornell’s history, and its first female leader.  She was elected President in September 2014 and was inaugurated on Sept. 18, 2015.  Prior to her time at Cornell, she was the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Southern California.

President Garrett did her undergraduate studies at the University of Oklahoma, and earned her law degree from the University of Virginia. Afterwards, she clerked for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.  She was a legislative director for Sen. David Boren (D-OK), a member of President George W. Bush’s Advisory Panel for Federal Tax Reform, and a professor of law at the University of Chicago.

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The beginning of the end for Cornell

In the midst of a six game losing streak, Cornell headed to Penn and Princeton for its final road trip of the season.  The Big Red were hoping to get back in the win column, surprise a top-tier team and escape the league basement.  Unfortunately, the team finished the weekend with two losses, an eight-game losing streak and sole possession of last place.

Most of the information about this past weekend was covered well by Mike Tony in his Friday roundupSaturday recap and Ivy Power Rankings.

Just to add a small amount to those items:

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Jack Montague withdraws from Yale, will not return to team

Jack Montague drills a game-winning three-point shot at then-defending national champion UConn on Dec. 5, 2014.
Jack Montague drills a game-winning three-point shot at then-defending national champion UConn on Dec. 5, 2014. (Sox and Dawgs)

Jack Montague has “withdrawn” from Yale, the Yale Daily News reported Wednesday, citing an update regarding Montague’s status from the University Registrar’s office Tuesday. Later Wednesday afternoon, Yale announced in a press release that Montague will not return to the team, declining further comment.

The University Registrar’s office declined to specify why Montague, the team’s captain, had withdrawn from the university, and Montague had told the YDN he was taking a personal leave on Feb. 17 and added then that he was “trying to come back as soon as possible.”

According to Yale’s policy on absence, withdrawal and reinstatement, the earliest he could have come back to Yale is the spring ’17 semester if his withdrawal is medical, or the fall ’17 semester if his leave is due to personal (non-disciplinary) reasons. If a personal leave is done to avoid disciplinary reasons, then there is no reinstatement. If the withdrawal is due to disciplinary reasons, then the return date is determined by Yale College Executive Committee.

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