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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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 issue of identity in Ithaca

Early in last Saturday’s broadcast of the Penn-Cornell game, Big Red announcers Barry Leonard and Eric Taylor recounted a recent conversation with coach Bill Courtney in which the coach was unsure of the identity of his team. After 22 games and in the throes of a four-game losing streak, what does this mean for the program going forward?

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Harvard is in uncharted territory: How, why, and what’s ahead

For the first time since 2009, Harvard is 1-3 in Ivy play. It’s an unusual sight for most Harvard fans, and as Alex Rosenberg’s game-winner swished through the net on Saturday to down the Crimson, I couldn’t help but remember the three buzzer-beating wins Harvard had last year in Ivy play (one to send the game to overtime – an eventual win – and two pure game-winners). For five straight years, the ball always seemed to bounce Harvard’s way. But on both Friday and Saturday night, the Crimson were a step behind the competition, getting swept on their home court. So let’s look back on the underlying issues of this sweep, explore how the Crimson can improve and discuss what lies ahead for the reeling Crimson.

Read moreHarvard is in uncharted territory: How, why, and what’s ahead

A Big Red refresher

A longtime friend of IHO, Rob Browne has agreed to join the site as a contributor focused on Cornell, a team poised to pull off a key upset or two during Ivy play. Here’s Rob’s in-depth look at the state of the Big Red:

Although picked last in the preseason Ivy League poll and having an initial KenPom raking of 311, Cornell has started the season 7-9 (0-2 Ivy) and finds itself with a current ranking of 232.  While its most lopsided victory was against Division III Penn State Harrisburg, the Big Red scored decisive victories at home against Binghamton (No. 333) and Lafayette (No. 321).  They had several close wins against Howard, (No. 269), Colgate (No. 209), St. Peter’s (No. 178) and Siena ( No. 109).

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Columbia gets back on track with treys, sweeps Cornell

This time around, the biggest source of drama in Columbia’s rematch with Cornell was the open question of how the Lions would be able to safely return to Manhattan following a 79-68 victory. The three-point shooting of Columbia (13-6, 2-0 Ivy) kept Cornell (7-9, 0-2) safely at arm’s length throughout the second half.

Turning point: This game was close at halftime, as Columbia only held a 36-33 lead heading into the break. In the second half, though, the Lions took advantage of their biggest strength to open up a big lead they wouldn’t give up.

Luke Petrasek, Maodo Lo and Alex Rosenberg all hit three-pointers in the first 3:27 of the second half, pushing the Lions’ lead to 11 points. Cornell never seriously threatened after that burst.

Read moreColumbia gets back on track with treys, sweeps Cornell

Columbia holds off Cornell, 74-70

Columbia opened up Ivy play the best way it possibly could have — by closing out a tough opponent in a close game. Cornell fought back from an 11-point deficit in the final four minutes, but the Lions made the free throws they needed to and held on, 74-70.

Turning point: After Matt Morgan hit a three-pointer from the right wing to draw Cornell within two, 71-69, with 16.2 seconds remaining, the Big Red knew they needed to rely on their press to have a realistic shot at winning.

They nearly got one.

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Behind Enemy Lines: Q&A with The Juice Online

Cornell will play its first game in two weeks when it visits Syracuse Saturday afternoon at the Carrier Dome. To get us prepped for the game, we sat down with our friend Wes Cheng over at The Juice Online to get an Orange scouting report for the upcoming game. Also check out IHO’s Cornell scouting report for this matchup at The Juice Online.

Ivy Hoops Online: Tell us about The Juice Online.

The Juice Online: The Juice (then called The Big Orange) was founded in 1992, one of approximately 50 independent publications devoted to the coverage of its school’s athletics programs. In 2002, it became a full-color, glossy magazine which was owned by Fox Sports. The print product ceased publication in June of 2010 and was relaunched as The Juice Online in December of 2010. In February 2012, The Juice Online partnered with SportsNet New York, the official television home of the New York Mets and New York Jets. As part of SNY.tv’s Blog Network, The Juice Online supplements SNY’s coverage of more than 125 college football and basketball games, as well as other college sports programming.

IHO: What are the major story lines with Syracuse?

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Cornell ekes past Siena, 81-80

What a turnaround. Cornell held serve to improve to 3-0 at home (4-4 overall) in dramatic fashion, overcoming a 14-point second-half deficit and a 55-43 hole with 11:52 remaining. How? Two words: Robert. Hatter.

The junior guard scored 25 of Cornell”s 40 points in the final 15:32 (and 32 on the night, thanks in part to 4-for-4 shooting from beyond the arc). One thing has always been true about Hatter: When he”s on, he”s really on.

Another promising development for Cardiac Cornell, which is 2-1 in games decided by three points or less this season after being projected casino to finish last in the Ivy League, is junior center David Onuorah”s play tonight. Onuorah posted nine points, nine rebounds and three blocks in 36 minutes, allowing Cornell to, for once, hold its own on the boards and actually execute within a frenetic tempo. Good stuff for Cornell against a squad 153 slots above it in the KenPom standings, and a trend that must continue from Onuorah if this undersized frontcourt is to do damage come Ivy play.

Cornell Season Preview – Youth Must Be Served

This year”s 2015-16 Cornell season preview comes from Barry Leonard, who is looking forward to his 24th year providing top-notch radio broadcasting of Big Red hoops.

As he enters year number six as the head coach of Cornell basketball, Bill Courtney will embrace the phrase “Youth must be served.”

Eight freshman comprise the 19-man roster, and several will have to play immediate minutes for the Big Red.  The graduation of All-Ivy do-everything forward Shonn Miller, Galal Cancer and others has opened up playing time in what will be a spirited competition for minutes. Two returning starters, both juniors, will be counted on heavily.

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