Piece by Piece, Cornell Slowly Putting It Together

Coach Bill Courtney has to be pleased with what he has seen from his previously unproven squad. The Big Red are 3-4 with a couple of nice wins heading into the Finals layoff. (Photo Credit: syracuse.com)

“We’re building something here. We’re building it from scratch. All the pieces matter,” Lester Freamon proclaimed to Prez in HBO’s hit series, The Wire. “All the pieces matter,” a simple adage, rings true with what Head Coach Bill Courtney is trying to accomplish with his young team; a team that builds, day by day, game by game. The 13-day intermission between Cornell’s win over Lehigh and its matchup with Albany on Friday night comes at the perfect time. Courtney has a chance to slow down, take a step back and use what he has learned over the team’s first seven games to grow.

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Game Preview: Lehigh at Cornell

Cornell will need Chemerinski to stay out of foul trouble if it hopes to hang with the red hot Mountain Hawks, led by CJ McCollum. (Photo credit: cornellbigred.com)

Cornell will try to shake off its first home loss of the season and enter the exam break on a positive note as the Big Red welcomes its second straight Patriot League opponent to Newman Arena on Saturday. The task doesn’t get any easier: Lehigh comes to town as hot as any team in the country. The Mountain Hawks are riding their best start in 31 seasons. Since dropping its first two contests against BCS competition, Lehigh has been perfect, winning six consecutive games by ten or more. Cornell will have its hands full with junior guard CJ McCollum who has been the elite player in the Patriot League since he arrived in Bethlehem a little over two years ago.

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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: cornellsun.com)

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 Delaware

Freshman Shonn Miller has taken home two Ivy League Rookie of the Week awards already this season. Miller looks to lead the Big Red over the Blue Hens of Delaware tonight. (Photo Credit: buffalonews.com)

By Sam Aleinikoff & Jake Mastbaum

Game 5: Cornell (2-2) vs Delaware (0-2) – Tuesday, November 22 – Bob Carpenter Center Acierno Arena

On the heels of an impressive victory over American East-favorite Boston University, Cornell hits the road in search of a winning record for the first time in nearly a year. The Red was last above .500 following a win over the same Delaware squad that it travels to play on Tuesday. With a newly developed, and largely unexpected interior threat in the duo of Eitan Chemerinski and Josh Figini, Cornell hopes that balance in the scoring column will keep the group on the winning path against the Blue Hens.

The Blue Hens look to be at full strength Tuesday night.  Freshman Kyle Anderson and Jarvis Threatt each went down for stretches on Friday night at Villanova but are expected to play. Their ability to bounce back will play a major factor in Delaware picking up its first W of the season.

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This Weekend's Top Performers (11/20/11)

Penn's Zack Rosen is averaging 23 ppg through four games. More importantly, the Quakers are out to an encouraging 3-1 start. (Photo Credit: penngazettesports.com)

The Ivy League shook off its sluggish start to the season this weekend, going 6-1 and improving to 10-13 against Division-I opponents. This weekend also saw Brown, Dartmouth, and Princeton pick up their first D-1 wins of the season, while Harvard continues to roll over inferior opponents, no matter what coast the Crimson is playing on.

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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, pressconnects.com)

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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Game Preview: Cornell vs. Binghamton

Cornell looks to avenge a one-point loss to Binghamton a year ago. (Photo credit: cornellbigred.com)

Less than 72 hours after a tough loss at St. Bonaventure, the Big Red opens up at Newman Arena in search of its first win of the year. Friday night’s game raised more questions than it answered: Can Cornell shoot the three-ball with consistency? Who will play the 4 in Peck’s absence? Have Jake Matthews and Max Groebe gotten the short end of the stick with new freshmen arrivals in the backcourt? Will Chemerinski and Figini be able to hold their own in the post?

The Big Red hopes to begin to answer all of these questions and more as it takes the floor against Binghamton tonight.

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Game Preview: Cornell vs. St. Bonaventure

Cornell opens the season in Olean, NY against Andrew Nicholson and a highly-rated St. Bonaventure squad. (Photo Credit: gobonnies.com)

Cornell starts the 2011-2012 season in the same place Jeff Foote began his college career five seasons ago.  If the Big Red want to progress in year two of the Bill Courtney era the same way Foote progressed when he traded maroon for bright red, the crew from Ithaca is going to have quite the early test.  The 2011-2012 campaign kicks off in Olean, NY as St. Bonaventure boast their best squad in recent memory.  The Bonnies return four starters from a team that posted its first winning season in eight years, highlighted by preseason first team A-10 pick, Andrew Nicholson.  Nicholson, a rare legitimate NBA prospect out of St. Bonaventure is coming off a year in which he averaged over 20 points and 7 rebounds a game.  The forward who is comfortable setting up on either block and who can finish on both sides of the rim, will provide a major challenge to Cornell’s unproven front court.

Cornell, a team who will look to play fast this season, relying on their depth, will have to dial it back Friday night due to a collection of preseason injuries. Most notably riding the pine is junior swingman Errick Peck.  Peck, who averaged 11 points per game last season is “questionable” for Friday, but will most likely sit this one out, recovering from off-season knee surgery.  On the flip side, early reports indicate that St. Bonaventure is fully healthy for this matchup.

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Composite Schedule by Metro Area

Scroll down to see all the games in your metropolitan area involving an Ivy League team this season.

The Ivy League has a broad fan base scattered all over the country. With that in mind, we created the lists below for fans looking to catch a piece of live action this season.

The following is a composite Ivy League schedule of every basketball game involving an Ivy League team within approximately 90 minutes of NYC, Philly, Boston, Syracuse, and Los Angeles.

Enjoy!

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