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.

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

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.

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

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.

Read moreChecking in with Cornell men’s basketball

2017-18 Ivy League team-by-team season preview, part 1

This is part 1 of IHO’s 2017-18 Ivy League team-by-team season preview. Read part 2 here

The rise of the Ivy League is projected to continue.

The Ancient Eight is slated by KenPom as the 13th-best conference in Division I this season, just seven years after it placed 26th. That’s a quantum leap, a product of the league’s bolstered recruiting in that time frame. The Ivy hoops status quo now consists of top-25 recruiting classes, Nike Skills Academy members and expectations of NCAA Tournament success.

There’s a three-way cluster between Harvard, Princeton and Yale projected to top the league. In the Ivy Preseason Media Poll, Yale received the most first-place votes (eight) but Harvard garnered the most points overall. Without a clear conference favorite, it’s quite likely that the regular season champion will not also be the conference tournament winner, with Bart Torvik’s Ivy Tourney Simulator tabbing Penn as the favorite in an Ivy tourney as a No. 4 seed.

Read more2017-18 Ivy League team-by-team season preview, part 1

Red-White Scrimmage brings growth and hope for Cornell

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.

Read moreRed-White Scrimmage brings growth and hope for Cornell

Ivy weekend roundup

With the first full Ivy weekend in the books, the conference standings are rounding into shape. The current standings offer a clear top four building momentum toward the first ever Ivy men’s basketball tournament and a clear bottom four looking for a second wind.

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Cornell 4.0 may just be the one

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.

Read moreCornell 4.0 may just be the one

Big Red’s big win in the Big Apple

While hundreds of thousands of people came to New York to protest Penn’s first-ever President of the United States on Saturday, the Cornell basketball team came to the Big Apple to challenge its own Ancient Eight foe.  Depending on one’s political views, the results for the marchers was inconclusive.  No matter which Ivy Leaguer one supported in the recent election, however, there was no disputing the Big Red’s victory in avenging their loss to Columbia one week earlier.

With the Columbia students back from winter break, Levien Gymnasium was packed and the crowd was ready for the Lions to move to 2-0 at the start of conference play.  With Robert Hatter, Cornell’s second leading scorer and primary ball handler, on the sidelines with a knee injury, things looked good for Columbia. Even with the loss of another starter, the Big Red looked calm and relaxed as the team completed its warmups. The Lions, however, appeared more serious as game time approached.

Read moreBig Red’s big win in the Big Apple

Cornell turns the corner in Red and White

On Saturday night, as the Lynah Faithful filled the hockey arena for a preseason contest against Brock University, a slightly more modest crowd populated Newman Arena to watch the Cornell men’s basketball team take part in the annual Red-White Scrimmage.  While the team did have three contests in Spain this AugustSaturday night’s event marked the unofficial beginning of the team’s 2016-17 campaign and the crowd’s first glimpse of its new coach, Brian Earl.

The Red team consisted of Darryl Smith, Donovan Wright, Matt Morgan, Will Bathurst, Josh Warren, Kyle Brown, and Joe Bayless, while the “White” squad had David Onuorah, Robert Hatter, Desmond Fleming, Stone Gettings, JoJo Fallas, and Jack Gordon.  On the sidelines for the scrimmage were Troy Whiteside, Jordan Abdur-Ra’oof, Braxston Bunce, Joel Davis and Pat Smith.  After two 12-minute halves, the “Red” team defeated the White by a score of 57-46.

Read moreCornell turns the corner in Red and White

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).

Read moreA Big Red refresher