2008 Cornell Big Red Basketball Preview
Last season, the Cornell Big Red (22- 6 overall, 14- 0 Ivy League) finished first in their conference and won an invitation to the NCAA Tournament. In the tourney, Stanford blew out the Big Red in the first round. For coach Steve Donahue’s team, which returns three top performing players, this season is about taking the Ivy League title again and getting past round one of the Big Dance.
With junior Ryan Wittman in the frontcourt, the Big Red post a tough and resilient player at small forward. Wittman averaged 15.1 PPG and is a proven three-point shooter. He’s one of the best in the nation from downtown. He’ll be All-Conference this year. Seven-foot-even center Jeff Foote, who averaged 7.9 PPG and 6.3 RPG, is solid in the paint. He was second team All-Ivy League last season. Alex Tyler, another experienced and skilled front man, will start at forward/center.
The guard spots are both secure. Junior Louis Dale is the best point player in the league. Last year, he averaged 13.7 PPG and 4.9 APG. Dale, who is an excellent ball handler, was Ivy League Player of the Year in his sophomore season. All-Conference and Player of the Year could be his again in 2008- 2009. Adam Gore starts at the shooting spot; he is another fine, athletic contributor. Junior guard Geoff Reeves adds depth in the back.
Cornell puts two of the conference’s best players on the
court plus a sound group of supporting contributors. Both backcourt
and frontcourt have experience and talent. Last year’s early
exit from the NCAA Tournament will be a fine motivating factor for
this team and coach. More is expected this season and that means
proving in the post-season that they can play with some of the big
boys. Watch for this team to play angry and determined in March
Madness. They have a chance to win their first game in the tourney
but a second win will be a tough goal to reach. No matter what happens,
they’ve got the guys to make every game exciting and to keep