Game Preview: Harvard at Cornell

If only Chris Wroblewski and his Big Red were playing Jeremy Lin's 2010 Harvard team, a team the Big Red demolished by 36 at Newman... (Photo Credit:

The Ivy race has no doubt gotten more interesting since the two shades of red faced off in Cambridge. Round two of this Ancient Eight rivalry will

go down with the Cornellians hoping to play spoiler and the Crimson hoping, with a Penn loss, to clinch their first outright Ivy Championship. The second bout will also transpire with significantly more pub than the first.

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Game Preview: Brown at Cornell

Johnathan Gray droppe

d a career high of 29 on Yale last night. Can Cornell keep it going against the struggling Bears? (Photo Credit:

It’s tough to believe that teams not named Harvard are playing basketball in the Ancient Eight these days (see #Top 25, #Linsanity, etc.) but in the “also competing” category on Saturday night Brown travels to Ithaca to take on the over-.500 Big Red. At 4-3 in the league, Cornell seems solidly in the top half, while Brown, traveling without standout guard Sean McGonagill, continues to compete with Dartmouth for the bottom spot in conference.

From Friday Night

It’s never easy to find a bright spot in a 28-point loss, especially when your top producer in points, assists, and thefts stays home with an injury. Andrew McCarthy and Stephen Albrecht, the next two leading scorers for the Bears, combined for just 3 points on 1-14 shooting. With that stat line, a blowout defeat is no surprise.

On East Hill, Cornell shot a

season best 46% from deep, getting a career-high 29 from Johnny Gray and a near triple double from the re-emerged Chris Wroblewski. A win over the Elis Friday night gives Cornell a second solid league win and a legitimate claim at the top half.

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Game Preview: Cornell at Harvard

Finding a way to stop Brandyn Curry and forcing him into tough shots will be vital for the Big Red if they want to hang with Harvard Friday night in Cambridge. (Photo Credit:

Top of the league, Top 25, Top Dog. Inconsistent, inexperienced, at times, inexplicable. A year removed from a 21-point drubbing in Cambridge, this weekend’s rematch seems, on paper, to be played out.

The Red have no inside game to speak of while Harvard is the league leader in blocked shots and among the best in rebounding as well. Cornell’s rotation includes five freshmen (in terms of eligibility) while Harvard’s entire starting lineup from last season has returned to push around Ancient Eight foes. The Red has yet to win a game on the road, the Crimson has yet to lose a game at home.

Few have been able to find a game plan to challenge Harvard this season, but Fordham may have laid out the best possible option. Heat up from three, force Brandyn Curry to be the scorer instead of the distributer, challenge Laurent Rivard beyond the arc, force turnovers. At it’s best, the Red has the ability to do all four. But at it’s worst, Cornell could be out of contention before wilhoutsslot the break.

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Game Preview: Cornell at Columbia, Saturday 7PM

Will Cornell be able to contain Brian Barbour and big man Mark Cisco? (Photo Credit:

For Cornell and Columbia, a 1-3 combined

record vs. Princeton and Penn over a league weekend, historically, is to be expected. In the new era of Ivy League parity though, both New York schools came away from their opening league games somewhat disappointed.

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Game Preview: Princeton at Cornell, Friday 7PM

Ian Hummer leads Princeton into Ithaca to battle Cornell in the conference opener for both teams.(Photo Credit:

Princeton travels to Ithaca to take on the Red in the Ivy opener for both squads. The Tigers enter league play having won eight of their last 10, while Cornell comes in having dropped five of six.

A Year Ago

Last season the Tigers swept the Red, taking a two-point victory home from Newman Arena and winning in decisive fashion amidst a northeastern snowstorm in Princeton, NJ. In Ithaca, then-senior Kareem Maddox was the difference, scoring 23 points, including a bucket with 10 seconds left, to ice the victory. Mark Coury and Drew Ferry both missed chances to tie for the Red down the stretch. The second matchup was close for 29 minutes before a 23-7 run gave the Tigers an 18-point win. Ian Hummer led Princeton with 20 points and 9 rebounds in the home victory.

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Cornell Finds Its Defensive Identity in Illinois

Stifling defense and opportunistic shooting almost led Cornell to a victory over Illinois. Can the Big Red repeat that formula to find success against their Ivy foes? (Photo Credit:

There isn’t a player in the Ivy League that can break down a defense like Brandon Paul and simultaneously shoot over any guard at 6″ 4″. There also isn’t a player that can shoot the three-pointer from thirty feet and possesses the ability to go by you with a lightening quick first step like D.J. Richardson.  There definitely isn’t a player in the Ivy League like Meyers Leonard who is over seven-feet tall and also has range that extends near the three-point line and a solid back-to-the-basket game befitting a potential NBA lottery pick.

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Catching up with Cornell: Time to Execute

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

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.

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Game Preview: Cornell at Buffalo

Cornell's breakout freshman, Shonn Miller, put on a show against Binghamton. WIll he continue his success against Buffalo? (Photo Credit: Simon Wheeler,

Game 3: Cornell (1-1) @ Buffalo (1-0) – November 16 – Alumni Arena – Buffalo, NY
By Sam Aleinikoff & Jake Mastbaum

Cornell looks to continue rolling after picking up their first win of the season over Binghamton Monday night in impressive fashion. For now, some of the questions that were raised after Friday’s loss to St. Bonaventure have been answered, but long term viability remains a question. Can Eitan Chemerinski continue to be a threat offensively? Is Shonn Miller the real deal? Big Red fans will be able to take another early look at Bill Courtney’s squad Wednesday night as Cornell take their act back to the road, looking to make it two straight against the Buffalo Bulls.

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Season Preview: Cornell Big Red

Cornell will rely heavily on its dynamic senior point guard, Chris Wroblewski, to lead a young, banged-up team into battle this season. (Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Nineteen months have passed since Cornell was in the national spotlight, knocking off highly-ranked NCAA Tournament foes. Seventeen months have passed since Bill Courtney set up shop above the court at Newman Arena, attempting to fill the rather large shoes of the departed Steve Donahue. Sixteen months have passed since the seniors of 2010 crossed over from student-athletes to alumni, and the only remnants of the fairy-tale run were role players. Seems like it’s time to accept the baby-faced Red for who they are instead of comparing them to Cinderella.Let’s take a look at Cornell heading into year two of the new era:

Key Losses

Adam Wire (3.8 ppg, 5 reb, 1.8 ast, 1.3 stl), Mark Coury (5.3 ppg, 3.8 reb) and Aaron Osgood (6.9 ppg, 4.3 reb)

Statistically speaking, Wire, Coury and Osgood aren’t huge losses for the Red. Realistically speaking, the trio of departed seniors leaves a gaping hole in the paint. Wire, Osgood and Coury were the only true post players of note on last years squad and with the three gone, the Red will be forced to rely on younger, thinner, less experienced players in the frontcourt.

Key Additions

Galal Cancer (Guard), Devin Cherry (Guard), Nenad Tomic (Forward), Dave LaMore (Forward/Center), Shonn Miller (Forward), Deion Giddens (Forward/Center), Dominick Scelfo (Guard – Sophomore, missed entire Freshman year due to injury)

To replace the departed seniors in the lane, the Red has added four potential impact frontcourt players. Reports from Cornell’s annual Red-White scrimmage indicated that Tomic was the most impressive of the new bigs. LaMore and Miller missed the game with injuries and Giddens is seen as a raw prospect who is still developing. LaMore is expected back within a matter of weeks and Miller is expected back by the end of November.

To an already deep backcourt rotation, the Red adds Cancer, Cherry and Scelfo. The trio will allow Wroblewski to play off the ball more frequently this year. Cancer does everything on the court – he had seven rebounds and five assists in the Red-White scrimmage

– while Cherry appears to be more of a scorer. Scelfo was expected to see the court last year as a freshman before it became apparent that he would miss the entire year. Expect him to break into the rotation this year as well.

Overall, the seven newcomers will be expected to produce. The class is talented and, if healthy, should provide immediate help to a team on the rise.

Key Games

November 11th – @ St. Bonaventure – In the season opener, the Red will face Andrew Nicholson, a legitimate NBA prospect in the paint. At 6’ 9”, he gave Cornell fits last year with his inside-outside game putting up 19 points and 10 rebounds. Demitrius Conger also returns at the small forward position for the Bonnies, one year removed from a 22-point, 14-rebound performance at Newman Arena. Backcourt play kept the Red in the game last year and this one should be a sign of things to come. If the frontcourt can slow down St. Bonaventure enough inside, the Red have a chance both on opening night and in the Ivy League conversation. Nicholson and Conger may be as tough of a frontcourt pair as the Red see outside of Harvard – yes, the Crimson are that good upfront.

December 19th – @ Illinois – Replacing the annual Syracuse game on the slate is a pair of Big Ten games (also @ Penn St. on December 22nd). Last year a young Cornell team put a scare into Minnesota – then ranked 13th in the country. If the Red can break through and get a win over a major conference team in the non-conference it could be a big confidence booster as the season progresses.

January 3rd – @ Maryland – Same goes for this one.

January 13th – vs. Princeton – The Tigers should be a top-half team if they find a way to fill the huge hole that is left by the departure of Kareem Maddox. It’s the Ivy opener for Cornell and should be an indicator of how the Red match up with Ancient Eight squads lacking a dominant big man (everyone other than Harvard and Yale).

January 21st – @ Columbia – The Red was swept by it’s travel partner last year and looks to get back on track versus the Lions in the first of their two matchups of the year.

February 3rd – @ Harvard – Can Cornell compete with the elite? On paper, Harvard shouldn’t lose a league game this tapscott year. On hardwood it’s never quite that simple. Keith Wright and Co. should be the season’s biggest test for a young and thin frontcourt.

A Look at the Roster

With the backcourt rotation including as many as nine different players, expect to see three or four guards on the floor at times. Anchoring the crew will be seniors Chris Wroblewski and Drew Ferry. Both will likely predominantly play off the ball – which will be somewhat new to Wroblewski – as Jake Matthews, Miles Asafo-Adjei, Galal Cancer and Dominick Scelfo should all wow gold kaufen billig see some time at the point.

Senior Max Groebe is working on a pulled hamstring. Injuries have hampered Groebe throughout his career online casino nederlandsegokken in Ithaca and if he is finally healthy he has the potential to score 20 points any time he steps on the floor.

Former manager, Jonathan Gray will likely round out the guard rotation. He can play any position one through three and was perhaps the biggest surprise of last year. Expect him to continue to be the utility man for Cornell.

Overall, Wroblewski-Ferry and Co. should challenge Curry-McNally in Cambridge and Rosen-Cartwright in Philadelphia for the title of top backcourt in the Ancient Eight. The guard play is clearly the strength for the Red and will carry the team throughout the year.

Guards will likely play substantial minutes on the wing, but expect to see Anthony Gatlin (when healthy) and Manny Sahota find a few minutes at the three. Peter McMillan could play in spots too (see Minnesota last year for evidence that he can provide a big boost in a pinch). If Errick Peck and Dwight Tarwater are on the floor together, one of them will likely play on the wing as well. Gatlin came on strong down the stretch last season and could push for increased playing time as a senior, but the perpetually-injured Texas native has been sidelined since knee surgery in September. His return may take some time.

At the 4, Errick Peck will likely see most of the minutes – he was moved to the power forward position in the second half of last season – with Tarwater and Tomic also seeing time. Tarwater is slightly undersized but provides explosiveness and perimeter play that Tomic lacks. Tomic gives more size and rebounding in the post. When healthy, Peck has the ability (as shown in league play last year) to be an all-Ivy pick but right now the timetable for his return is unclear. He’s still recovering from minor knee surgery in July and is not yet back at 100%. Peck did not see action in the Red-White scrimmage.

Tarwater missed most of his freshman season with mono and could be a huge addition to the undersized Red – especially if Peck is not ready for opening night. Courtney and his staff are reportedly excited about his improvement and are very high on Tarwater this year.

Freshman Shonn Miller may have to wait to carve out time in the rotation. Currently hampered with a stress fracture, Miller’s return won’t come any time soon. When he does return, Miller’s size at 6’ 7” could be an asset to the Red.

In the post, Josh Figini and Eitan Chemerinski will be looked to for production on both ends of the court. With the trio of Coury, Osgood and Wire departing, the sophomore and junior will be asked to take on expanded roles. Reports indicate that both have put on weight and have improved over the summer, although the Red failed to finish inside effectively in their pre-season scrimmage.

Adding depth in the middle will be freshman Dave LaMore. LaMore is expected to return from an ankle sprain in the coming days, and at close to 230 pounds, LaMore has the ability to provide some girth against bigger posts.


Expect the rotation to go as deep as 13 or 14 on opening night, and potentially 15 or 16 if players return quickly from injuries. The combination of having too many bodies in the backcourt and not enough in the frontcourt may leave everybody with fewer minutes than expected. Early on Courtney may struggle with the rotation (as was the case last year), but expect him to find the answer more quickly than in his opening campaign. Energy will likely trump skill for the opening tip and the starting five once again may not be the top five for the Red.

Because of Courtney’s unorthodox lineups from last season, a starting five won’t be much of an indicator of the overall rotation (although for the record I expect Cancer, Ski, Asafo-Adjei, Peck – if healthy – and Figini to take the floor for the tip on opening night). That being said, here’s a projected minute breakdown:

Guys Playing Projected Starter’s Minutes (25 min): Wroblewski, Ferry, Peck

Major minutes in Major Spots (15-25 min): Figini/Chemerinski, Tarwater, Cancer

Sure to Find Key Minutes (7-15 min): Groebe, Gray, Matthews/Asafo-Adjei/Scelfo

Could Work into the Mix (2-7 min): LaMore, Gatlin, Cherry, Tomic, Sahota, McMillan

How They’ll Finish

Ceiling: Cornell finds the right chemistry early, gets Peck, Groebe and the rest of the infirmary back from injury on the early side and between Chemerinski and Figini find an offensive touch in the paint that they didn’t get from the bigs last year. On the defensive end they do enough to limit the opposition on the low block. Overall, this is a run and gun team and they simply outscore people.

A deep rotation keeps legs fresh against more athletic major conference teams (they manage to knock off Illinois, Penn St. or Maryland in addition to a couple of decent mid-majors) and allows the Red to run most league teams off the floor on grueling Ivy weekends. They manage a 10-win Ancient Eight slate, garnering second place behind only an undefeated Crimson squad. Overall, the Red win 20-games and set themselves up for a shot at knocking off Harvard the following year with a solid recruiting class.

Floor: The Red struggle to gel after an inconsistent pre-season due to a string of injuries. With a larger roster than last year, the coaching staff takes even longer to come to a consensus on a rotation. Cornell looks like the Penn teams under Glenn Miller, losing disenchanted players who were promised playing time that they never see, and lose games by large margins along the way. They strike out against all decent opponents in the non-conference season and can’t seem to get it going in league play either.

Somehow, the Red fall at Dartmouth and get swept by Columbia for the second straight year. They steal a win each from Penn, Dartmouth and Brown (all at home) and fall to 7th place in the Ivy League. Overall they win just 7 games, including one against Division-III Albright College. Meanwhile they cement a spot in the Ivy cellar for the coming year, losing recruits who see the quickly self-destructing Red as a “bad fit.”

Projection: The Red manage a close miss at Penn St. in the preseason after getting revenge against Binghamton, BU and Lehigh at home. Taking the momentum of improvement into league play, the Red start quickly by knocking off Princeton and Penn at home. Cornell sweeps Dartmouth and Brown but also gets swept by Harvard. Overall they finish 4th in the league at 8-6 (14-14 overall) behind the undefeated Crimson, 10-4 Yale and a surprise Columbia team that finds a top-half finish. Penn and Princeton find their way back into the Ivy basement finishing above Brown and Dartmouth to round out the league.

Season in Review: Cornell Big Red

Chris Wroblewski helped guide the Big Red through a rebuilding year that finished on a sweet note for the team's departing seniors and brought optimism to fans in Ithaca. (Photo Credit:

This is the sixth piece in a series looking back at how each Ivy League squad fared during the 2010-11 season. The Cornell Big Red ended the year at 10-18 (6-8), finishing in a tie for fifth place.

A traffic jam slowed the Red team bus’ progress to a halt en route to game one of the 2010-2011 season. Stop. Roll a few feet forward. Pause again. Accelerate. Miss the street. U-turn. Accelerate one more time. Finally reach the destination.As the bus crawled toward the University of

Albany arena it felt as if the world wasn’t quite ready to let go of Cinderella from the previous year. Eight seniors had departed from the team that reached the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in school history.  An entirely new coaching staff was in place. The lone holdover from the starting lineup was a junior guard who was too banged up from the preseason to play on opening night. What had been a well-oiled machine several months prior was missing several parts and seemed due for a factory recall.

Outside of a win that evening and another in the home opener against Delaware the following week, the first half of the season seemed bleak for the Red.  After a 24-point drubbing at the hands of Seton Hall, first-year head coach Bill Courtney likened his squad without top-returner Chris Wroblewski to “Linus without his blankey.” Cornell was missing more than just a leader early in the campaign though.

The non-conference slate was chock-full of teases. A two-point loss at home to St. Bonaventure was followed by close defeats at Lehigh and Boston University. Despite falling by 20 at the Carrier Dome, the Red played upstate-New York rival Syracuse even in the second half. An upset bid fell just short against the then-thirteenth ranked Golden Gophers in Minnesota. By late December, eight consecutive losses had piled up and the Red had dropped six games by five points or fewer.

As Ivy play approached, Cornell seemed to turn a corner.  A pair of wins bracketed a loss to Buffalo and sophomore forward Errick Peck began to evolve into the player that the Red faithful had expected to see several months prior. Hope was temporarily restored that rebuilding was merely a non-conference process.

It quickly became clear that the Red was still a work in progress though. Just two weeks removed from the longest Cornell skid in over a decade, the group from East Hill embarked on another troubled journey. It’s difficult to determine  exactly when Cornell hit rock bottom. The Red was swept by travel-partner Columbia for the first time since 2002, fell into a 28-point first half hole at Ancient Eight bottom-feeder Dartmouth, got trounced in Cambridge despite playing solid basketball and gave up a 10-point lead in the final 1:58 at Yale. After five league games, the Red was still winless in conference play and had sunk Now eGamingReview reviews that Holland has released a request plans (RFP) to have an gambling online partner. to dead last in the Ivy standings.

The low point may be uncertain, but the turning point is much more clear. At season’s close, Coach Courtney singled out the loss at Yale as the game that began to shift the momentum for Cornell. After shuffling through eight different starting lineups, the staff finally settled on a group for the opening tip. Surprisingly, Cornell’s top five was not its most effective starting five. Freshman Jake Matthews joined sophomores Josh Figini and Miles Asafo-Adjei in the rotation while Peck and Wroblewski cemented starting roles for stability’s sake.

Cornell finally broke the Ancient Eight ice in Providence, putting six players in double figures to top Brown in decisive fashion. From that point on the rotation was set. The first three to five minutes of each half were dedicated to the energy guys before the veterans would find their way onto the court. Mark Coury and Adam Wire subbed in the frontcourt while Drew Ferry and Max Groebe found minutes in the backcourt. Former manager Johnny Gray contributed at any position one through four, while some combination of Anthony There are two characteristics of a virgo horoscope to be taken under control: possessiveness and unwillingness to change his life. Gatlin, Eitan Chemerinski, Manny Sahota and Peter McMillan would plug in the final few minutes.

Overall, the stats from the first half and the second half of the year did not look drastically different. Yes, points in the paint increased, rebounding improved and front court play in general solidified as the year progressed, but beyond numbers it was a sense of cohesion that seemed to form as the season wore on.  The Sweet Sixteen team of a year before was branded nationally as a group of best friends whose camaraderie off the court became chemistry on the court.  Eventually that same joint swagger began to show for the new look Red.

The 14-man rotation, which may have been even larger save several injuries and ailments, reeled off consecutive wins for the first time all year, beating Penn in overtime at home the following weekend. The next night Cornell was just a buzzer-beater short of knocking off league-champion Princeton. It became clear that something was brewing in Ithaca.

In the coming weeks Mark Coury became an offensive force for the first time in his long career, tying his personal best with 13 points on back-to-back nights at Princeton and Penn. Outside of Coury, contributions came from different players each night. Not knowing where points would come from went from a problem early in the campaign to a solution late in the year. With a different group showing up as the supporting cast each night, the Red was able to rely on the entire roster by season’s close.

Losses to co-champs Harvard and Princeton were the only two L’s remaining on Cornell’s schedule. The Red finished strong, winning six of its last nine and four of its last five, including three straight to end the year on the group’s longest win streak of the season.

On Senior Night versus Yale, the turnaround was completed. Against arguably the top frontcourt player in the Ancient Eight, Greg Mangano, the Red forwards performed well, once again establishing a 10-point lead with 1:58 remaining against the Elis. This time there was no falter. Instead of crumbling down the stretch as they had done four weeks prior, Cornell extended the lead and sent seniors Aaron Osgood, Mark Coury and Adam Wire out with a victory.

Stop. Roll a few feet forward. Pause again. Accelerate. Miss the street. U-turn. Accelerate one more time. Finally reach the destination.

The 2010-2011 campaign was far from smooth for the Red, but the progress in year one under head coach Bill Courtney was clear. After significant rebuilding, a destination – albeit an unfamiliar one – was reached. Three consecutive NCAA Tournament berths makes 10-18 (6-8 Ivy) feel like a disappointment, but in a year of complete upheaval for the program, the Red met all reasonable expectations and provided hope for the future.

Short-lived spring rumors hinted that Bill Courtney would jump at an offer from Final Four participant George Mason, but with the new headman staying put and only three graduating seniors departing, Cornell seems primed for a year on the rise.