Amid an 80-degree, summer-like Homecoming on Saturday, the Cornell men’s basketball team held its Red-White Scrimmage, unofficially beginning year two of the Brian Earl era. With a year of experience under Earl’s more disciplined system, as well as the coach’s bringing in his first recruiting class, the Big Red look like a more confident and balanced unit that should improve upon last season’s 8-21 record.
On Sat., Mar. 5, 2016, the Cornell men’s basketball team completed its season with a 75-71 victory over the Brown Bears in what turned out to be coach Bill Courtney’s last game as head coach of the Big Red. Little did anyone at Newman Arena realize that it would be the last game for then-first year Xavier Eaglin.
One day later, Eaglin, a 6-foot-7, 205-pound 19-year-old, was arrested by the Cornell University Police Department (CUPD) on charges of rape, sexual assault and strangulation, according to the Cornell Daily Sun, which reported Tuesday that the charges were dismissed.
Cornell has released the 2017-18 schedules for its men’s and women’s basketball teams. Coach Brian Earl will look to improve upon last season’s 8-21 (4-10 Ivy, T-6th) record for the men, while coach Danya Smith looks to avoid an expected rebuilding year from last year’s 16-11 (7-7 Ivy, T-4th) squad that just missed earning a spot in the inaugural Ivy Tournament.
Coach Earl’s first season as a head coach was a challenging one. Not only did he bring in a completely different style of basketball without any of his own recruits, but he had to confront defections and or injuries to three key members of his front court. Heading into this season, the coach will be bringing a six-member recruiting class to campus. With a second year in Earl’s more disciplined half-court systems and greater depth, the Big Red will try to move up the standings and earn a spot in the postseason Ivy Tournament.
What a long, strange trip it’s been …
@IvyLeagueNet Thanks, Harvard was great in Shanghai
— Bill Walton (@BillWalton) November 14, 2016
This has been a crazy season for Ivy League basketball, all 16 weeks of it. From Harvard’s starting the season 14 hours away in Shanghai to Penn’s regular season-ending triumph over the Crimson Saturday night, this season has been full of surprises and unusual trends.
With that being said, I do want to raise one quick issue about the Ivy League Tournament. I will still gripe that it should be just three teams, but if that had been the case going into tonight, we would have been robbed of a pretty fantastic moment.
After Brown’s victory at Dartmouth on February 12, the Bears were in fourth place with a 5-3 record and a two-game lead on fifth-place Cornell. With four games in a row at home, things looked positive for Brown to hold onto fourth and claim a spot in the Ivy League Tournament.
Jimmy Boeheim, oldest son of longtime Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, has committed to Cornell.
ITHACA – The Tigers completed another sweep on the road, running their Ivy road record to 7-0 and league record to 12-0 overall. The current winning streak stands at 15, with two more contests remaining: Harvard and Dartmouth at Jadwin Gym this weekend.
For Cornell’s first-year head coach Brian Earl, the 2016-17 campaign was going to have challenges typical to many new Ivy League coaches. In addition to bringing some new staff and a different playing style, the coach was not able to recruit any of his own players. With only one first-year coming to East Hill in the fall, the team was similar to the one that went 10-18 overall and 3-11 in the conference last year.
Our Ivy weekend roundup features a raucous rematch, some Red and Crimson splitting, a No. 4 stepping to the fore and late-game strategy deja vu.