Reading the Ivy tea leaves – Cornell roundup

IHO has reached out to folks who cover or follow each Ivy program to gauge what they’re looking forward to most about this upcoming season and how they expect the team will fare in 2015-16. First up, the team projected in the Ivy Preseason Media Poll to finish last in the Ivy League this season, the Cornell Big Red:

Eric Bolin, Arkansas Razorbacks beat writer for Arkansas News Bureau, Cornell ’06: Honestly, I’m looking forward to winning more than one game against a Division I opponent this year. Hopefully. My biggest fear is Cornell 2015-16 is like Cornell 2013-14. It shouldn’t be that bad if for no other reason than Robert Hatter is an All-Ivy type. That doesn’t, of course, mean he’ll make all-conference, but he should garner some attention for it. I do wonder where the rest of the scoring will come from (Daryl Smith, maybe?), though. And, really, any defense whatsoever. Optimism says double-digit wins. Realism figures about five or six. No one is going to like losing to Penn, either, now that Donahue is back in the fold. If that happens, I really wonder how much more time Courtney has left.

Richard Shapiro,  Cornell Daily Sun, 1982-85:

My thoughts on Cornell this year:  Where will the scoring come from?  Other than Robert Hatter and to a lesser extent, JoJo Fallas, there’s really no one on the roster who has shown the capability of scoring at the College level. Wil Bathurst and Jordan Abdur-Ra’oof showed flashes, and maybe one of them will emerge.  Or perhaps one or two freshmen make a big splash (Stone Gettings and Matt Morgan seem like the most likely candidates).

The team does have some athleticism, with David Onuorah providing a presence on the defensive end especially.  He’ll be looked to for greater offensive production as well.

There is still a real question whether Bill Courtney has the ability to be an effective D-1 head coach, and his pressing, helter-skelter style has not proven successful in the Ivy League.  With a young team this year, even the most ardent Big Red fan likely has fairly low expectations.

Join in the fun. What do you expect from the Cornell Big Red in 2015-16? A surprising leap to the middle of the pack? A disaster reminiscent of the 2-26 2013-14 campaign? Let us know in the comments below.

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