New recruits aim to keep Cornell men’s basketball in the Ivy’s upper division

Picked for sixth in the 2017-2018 Ivy League preseason poll, the Cornell men’s team (12-16 overall, 6-8 Ivy) exceeded expectations to finish the season in fourth place and secure the team’s first ever appearance in the Ivy Tournament. After starting conference play with three straight losses by a total of 71 points, the Red and their second-year head coach Brian Earl regrouped. Over the next four weeks, they went on a 4-2 run, punctuated by a 22-point second half comeback in a 107-101 triple overtime win over Princeton, to get back into the thick of the race for the upper division. After losing a thrilling double overtime at Harvard on the penultimate night of the regular season, Cornell bounced back again to defeat Dartmouth and claim the Ivy’s fourth golden ticket.

In the semifinal against Harvard, the Big Red found themselves up seven with three minutes to go in the first half, but the Crimson closed the stanza on a 16-4 run.  Without any answers in the second half, their season ended with a 74-55 defeat. With the return of Matt Morgan and Stone Gettings for their senior seasons, things looked up for the Cornell faithful. In May, however, Gettings changed all of that with a surprise announcement that he would forgo his senior season, graduate in December and become a graduate transfer for 2019-20. Despite the loss of their second-team All-Ivy forward, the Big Red look to jump over the .500 mark and make it back to Ivy Madness.

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The many insights of Ivy Untold

Ivy Untold is a great website, and Ivy hoops fans should be aware of it.

In case you’ve missed it, Ivy Untold was launched by then-Cornell junior forward Jordan Abdur-Ra’oof last year as a platform for minority students. Since then, it has allowed minority Cornell students to tell their stories, from an African American field hockey player recounting her experience as “that black girl on the field” to a lacrosse player’s struggle with and comeback against anxiety.

It’s also worth noting that the site’s co-founder is Cornell senior guard Troy Whiteside, with former guard Kyle Brown also contributing site design.

Earlier this month, Ivy Untold ran “Play the Game Before the Game Plays You,” a piece penned by Abdur-Ra’oof in which he candidly details the challenges and frustrations of playing for one coach his freshman and sophomore years (Bill Courtney) and another his junior and senior years (Brian Earl) as well as finishing his career at Cornell by riding the bench. It’s an honest and much-needed reminder that these Ivy League student-athletes are people who juggle life-shaping hardships, disappointments and transitions before our very eyes as they compete (or don’t). far surpassing in importance our own fandom as supporters of our respective Ivies.

 

 

Ivy League Tournament semifinals – men’s recap

No. 1 Harvard 74, No. 4 Cornell 55

Harvard (18-12, 13-2 Ivy) looked pretty shaky at first, getting sped up by Cornell’s aggressive defense, committing three turnovers in the first 3:20 and sending Cornell (12-16, 6-9) into the bonus 9:14 into the game. The Crimson trailed 28-21 with less than three minutes to go in the first half, shooting 2-for-11 from long range and struggling with a patient Cornell offense firing on all cylinders.

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Harvard rolls over Cornell, 74-55, into Ivy title game

The Crimson entered the Ivy League Tournament semifinals as favorites over the fourth-seeded Big Red. This made sense. While Harvard arrived on a roll, Cornell needed a Yale overtime win against Princeton to even earn a trip to the Palestra. But after two hard-fought games in the regular season between these two teams and memories from last year’s tough Ivy Tournament semifinal lingering in Harvard’s mind, the game was far from a sure thing for either side.

Early on, both sides were jumpy and cold from the floor, especially Harvard. After the game, Tommy Amaker attributed this to nerves, but added that after a few shots went in, all that nervousness went away. He also noted the importance of Rio Haskett’s three-pointer late in the first half. In many ways, this shot, a Haskett wing three with 2:45 to play in the first half as the Crimson trailed by seven, was the turning point in the game.

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Inside Ivy Hoops – Jan. 25, 2018

Going Inside Ivy Hoops with Jill Glessner and Brett Franklin this week are Cornell women’s basketball head coach Dayna Smith and Dartmouth men’s head coach David McLaughlin.

During Brett and Jill’s look at the Ivy men’s hoops scene, Jill praises the Brown men for overcoming the Inside Ivy Hoops jinx, the duo breaks down Harvard’s defensive prowess and offensive struggles, Jill explains why Harvard men should have beaten Dartmouth by double-digits, why Dartmouth is like the Philadelphia Eagles, why she’s going with Yale over Harvard and much more:

During Jill and Brett’s look at the Ivy women’s hoops scene, they note why this weekend is particularly pivotal for the #RoadToIvyMadness, Dominique Leonidas making a name for herself for Brown, Jill explains why she likes Columbia to avenge itself at Cornell,  the duo the doubly uptempo matchup of Brown at Dartmouth, how Dartmouth’s guard play will fare against Yale and 2016-17 Ivy Defensive Player of the Year Tamara Simpson and much more:

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With 0-3 records in Ivy play, Columbia women and Cornell men look for positives

The women’s and men’s basketball teams for Columbia and Cornell arrived at Levien Gymnasium on Saturday winless in conference play.  While the main goal for each team was to secure its first league win, it was almost as important for the individual teams to feel good about their games as they move into the hardest stretch of their seasons.  

The Columbia men had, perhaps, their best game of the season as they dismantled Cornell, 88-62.  On the women’s side, the Big Red led for 36:49 of the 40-minute contest in route to an important 57-47 road win over the Lions.  In dominating their respective games, the Columbia men and Cornell women have strong momentum heading into next Saturday’s rematches in Ithaca.  The two losing squads and their staffs, however, were left trying to come to grips with their play and figuring out how to turn things around, for next weekend and the remainder of the year.

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Ivy women’s Saturday recap – Jan. 13, 2018

Princeton 75 vs Cornell 54

Cornell (4-11; 0-2 Ivy) challenged the Tigers (13-3; 3-0 Ivy) in the first half, finishing the second quarter down 36-34.  Princeton came out of the break on a 17-0 run in the first five minutes, completed the quarter up 22 and coasted in the fourth stanza for a convincing 21-point victory over the Big Red.

Leslie Robinson had 16 points and Bella Alarie scored 13, while Gabrielle Rush continued her hot hand in league play with 75 percent three point shooting and 11 points.  Cornell’s Samantha Widmann, from nearby Lawrenceville, led the Big Red with 17 points and seven rebounds.

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Ivy women’s hoops Friday in review – Jan. 12, 2018

Yale 77 vs Brown 63

Yale (8-6; 1-0 Ivy) opened up its march to Ivy Madness with a double digit victory over Brown (12-2; 0-1 Ivy) in a Friday matinee contest at the John J. Lee Amphitheater.  After a poor shooting first quarter from both teams, Yale entered the second frame up 3 and stretched it to six at halftime.  The Bears came out hot at the beginning of the third quarter, going on an 8-0 run over the first 1:36 to take a 39-37 lead.  From there, the teams stayed close and were tied at 58 with 6:54 left in the fourth quarter. Two Tamara Simpson steals and layups in nine seconds sparked Yale to a 10-0 run that put the game out of reach.

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Checking in with Cornell men’s basketball

Record: 5-7 (3-1 Home; 2-6 Away) and Rankings: KenPom No. 244 and TeamRankings No. 256

What’s Hot:
Matt Morgan and Stone Gettings

After being named to the conference’s second team in his first two seasons, Morgan is making a run, not only at the league’s first team but an Ivy Player of the Year award.  After 12 games, the sharp shooting guard is first in the conference and second in the nation with 25.3 points per game.  He currently has a streak of 35 straight double-figure scoring games, which broke school’s 62 year old record.  He also in the midst of a school record 11-game 20-plus scoring streak.  With Morgan’s interest in joining the NBA, Big Red fans will have to hope that he does not follow Evan Boudreaux’s lead and skip his senior year to keep become a graduate transfer at a high-major program.

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