Cornell 2010 NCAA Tournament Preview
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Cornell Big Red - Ivy League (27-4, 13-1)
Seed: #12 - East Region
Big Wins: 11/14 at Alabama (71-67), 12/21 at St. John’s (71-66), 2/19 at Harvard (79-70)
Bad Losses: 11/20 Seton Hall (79-89), 1/30 Harvard (86-50), 2/12 at Penn (64-79)
Last NCAA Appearance: 2009, First Round loss to Missouri
Coach: Steve Donahue (0-2 in 2 NCAA appearances)
Probable Cornell Starters:
Louis Dale, Senior, Guard, 11.9 ppg, 4.8 apg
Chris Wroblewski, Sophomore, Guard, 8.9 ppg, 3.3 apg
Jon Jaques, Senior, Forward, 6.9 ppg, 2.6 rpg
Ryan Wittman, Senior, Forward, 17.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg
Jeff Foote, Senior, Center, 12.3 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 1.9 bpg
Key Cornell Roleplayers:
Mark Coury, Senior, Center, 2.4 ppg, 2.5 rpg
Geoff Reeves, Senior, Guard, 5.4 ppg, 1.0 apg
Alex Tyler, Senior, Forward, 3.1 ppg, 1.7 rpg
Adam Wire, Junior, Forward, 1.9 ppg, 2.5 rpg
Why The Big Red Can Surprise:
If the names sound familiar, it is because this is practically the same team that has been in the NCAA Tournament the last two years. This is an efficient team that will make a high percentage of their attempts, especially from beyond the arc. And few players in the nation hit as many long balls as Ryan Wittman. The 6-6 forward hits 3.2 three-pointers per contest and connects on 42.0 percent of his attempts.
The shooting gets better in the backcourt with Geoff Reeves, Chris Wroblewski and Jon Jaques. All three are shooting over 45 percent from beyond the arc. Those are some very impressive numbers. Reeves has emerged as a quality scorer, but the 6-4 senior needs to be more aggressive getting to the basket. He is a superb free-throw shooter, but rarely gets to the line. Wroblewski has been more consistent this season and is a capable scorer who will do more than just shoot the long ball. Jaques, a 6-7 senior, came out of nowhere to be a productive member of the team. His size and shooting ability have made him an interesting option at small forward, but he does not do much to help on the glass.
Why The Big Red Can Disappoint:
And while this is not a bad rebounding team, Jaques needs to do more to help. The frontcourt is full of experienced players, who have plenty of size, but they are often overmatched. Wittman is hanging out on the perimeter most of the time and that puts a lot of pressure on Jeff Foote. At 7-0 and 245 pounds, Foote certainly does not lack any size. He is a good scorer, rebounder and shot blocker, but what happens when he needs a break? Alex Tyler, Mark Coury and Adam Wire do not have the size or strength to compete with some opposing forwards and sooner or later that will be what knocks Cornell out of the tournament.
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Who To Watch for Cornell:
Louis Dale is the guy who makes this team tick. The 5-11 point guard does a lot more than just find his teammates. He is a great scorer as well and will use his quickness to get to the basket. Even if he does not score from the floor, getting to the foul line is an automatic two points. Dale fills up the stat sheet and even grabs nearly three rebounds per game and can use his quick hands and feet to swipe a steal or two. The turnovers are a little high, but this is a team that likes to run and put points up in a hurry and they can certainly do that despite the occasional turnover.
Cornell By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.3 (50th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 63.2 (48, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 48.0 (18, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.3 (83, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 9.8 (3, 1)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 43.4 (1, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.9 (47, 4)
Rebound Margin: 3.3 (74, 1)
Assists Per Game: 16.5 (13, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.3 (55, 1)
Joel’s Bracket Says: Second Round loss to Wisconsin