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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Dartmouth's Cormier on Harvard grad Jeremy Lin

Editor's note- for whatever reason, it appears that the links to Twitter we used below only work if you are logged into a Twitter account. As I've never faced this problem before, I don't know how to fix it. Sorry. -BR

UPDATED on 1/31 at 11:31AM- Added a response from Dartmouth athletics to the end of the post.
UPDATED on 1/31 at 3:22PM- Added a response from WVBR (Cornell radio) 
UPDATED on 1/31 at 5:02PM- Added a response from the Golden State Warriors
 
If you follow our twitter feed, you may have seen an interesting conversation pop up yesterday. The Cornell Basketball Blog reported through their feed that Dartmouth head coach Paul Cormier said in an interview with WVBR (Cornell student radio) that Jeremy Lin was signed by the Golden State Warriors "just to sell tickets."
(Ed.- The Cornell Basketball Blog has asked us to further specify the fact that they were recalling the quote from memory and like us, did not have the actual quote in hand when they made this post.)
Now, accepted at face value, this seemed to us to be quite an inflammatory statement from Coach Cormier- why bring up (and more specifically knock) Lin's signing? Not only would it be a knock on a league rival (that Dartmouth was done facing for the season) because it was saying their one NBA player in recent memory did not deserve to be there but also a knock on the Warriors with their former scout criticizing the signing of a player he did not feel was NBA ready. Cormier came back to Dartmouth as their head coach- it would be interesting for him to burn bridges of that magnitude since he was the Warriors scout looking at Lin. Why would Cormier use WVBR to lash out at his former employer for that decision?

(So that we're clear, this is getting an expansive post dedicated to it because firstly, I'm unaware how much our Twitter followers got of the whole story, so I think it's important that it gets made clear and secondly because, if Cormier's quote matches the CBB's interpretation than this is a big story in regards to Harvard, Dartmouth, Cormier, Lin and even Golden State.) 

The thing was, we didn't accept it at face value. Journalism 101 says consider your source and all we had was the Cornell Basketball Blog's interpretation and no actual quote. Now the Cornell Basketball Blog covers the Ivy League very well- I can admit freely that they are a better source of recruiting news for say, Harvard, than we are, as an example. Still, it is the Cornell Basketball Blog and not the Ivy Basketball Blog, so while it presents news, it does not purport itself to be a news source- it is, at its heart, a place for Cornell basketball fans to discuss Cornell basketball. Further, they certainly have shown, at times, a bias against the Cantabs. (For example, their game recap of Harvard vs. Cornell tried to say that a secondary recruiting violation was the reason for Harvard's win, not the fact that Cornell is currently a 4-14 (0-4 Ivy) team that lost six talented players from an NCAA Sweet Sixteen run. Again, that's fine, even though it seems like some sour grapes, but it just helps contextualize that this interpretation came from a fan blog, not a news source.) Here are some further editorializing quotes from the CBB's twitter feed regarding the Cormier/Lin story.
"The Ivy League coaches never voted Jeremy Lin as MVP of the Ivy League... and he goes to the NBA? All about marketing... now it is a fact."
Not a knock on Lin, he IS a terrific player, but he is not at a level above Cornell's BIG 3 from a year ago-- Foote, Wittman and Dale.
These quotes, plus the lack of the actual Paul Cormier quote, made us wonder: was the CBB projecting an interpretation of something Paul Cormier said to try to make sense of the (to them) illogical fact of the universe that Jeremy Lin received an NBA contract and is currently in the D-League while Foote plies his trade in Spain (Ed.- had Israel here before but while under contract to Maccabi Tel Aviv, he's on loan to a Tier Two Spanish team), Dale is in Germany and Wittman is getting a mutual release from a second tier Italian League? (I'd like to also note, the CBB told us Cormier mentioned Lin without prompting. As you'll see, Lin is not mentioned by name in the prompt. Cormier's time scouting for Golden State at the Harvard-Cornell game, however, is- CBB presented it as if Cormier brought up Lin completely out of the blue when, in context, it sort of makes sense to mention Lin.)

Admittedly, and to their credit, the CBB did walk back from the language of "just to sell tickets" to say it was an influence. Well, that's a very different statement. To think fan interest and ticket sales is not a factor in pro contracts is naive but it is a slight on a player to say he is "just" there to sell tickets, implying he does not have the talent to justify a contract in the league. More importantly, the difference in the language has NBA implications as well. How would you feel as a Golden State Warrior fan if you found out, from a former employee, that the front office signed a player in order to get you to buy tickets even though they did not think he was good enough? And how would you feel if, after falling for this plot, the GM demoted Lin to the D-League insuring you have to fly to Reno in order to see him? (It should be noted, I haven't seen anyone that covers Golden State buzzing around this quote. Seems to me a former scout saying his team signed a guy that they didn't see fitting in the NBA would be big news- unless that was never actually the implication.)

Further credit to the CBB, they were able to get the audio of the clip up on Youtube (WVBR did not respond to our request for the audio or a chance to speak with Barry Leonard, the broadcaster that conducted the interview.)  We present that to you now and ask what do you think? After the jump, we'll transcribe the interview and give our final thoughts.




Friday, January 28, 2011

LIVE BLOG Harvard (13-3, 2-0) vs. Columbia (11-5, 2-0)

Although the Crimson came out into the second frame and generally dominated the Columbia Lions, they still had no answer for Noruwa Agho. Agho led all scorers by double digits, with 27. Next closest were Casey and McNally on the Crimson, who each compiled 17. Casey had a double-double, with 13 rebounds in addition to his 17 points, and McNally was an impressive 9 for 12 from the free throw line. After a slow first half in which he only netted a single basket, Christian Webster came alive in the second, at one point draining three straight threes. Harvard committed 4 more turnovers than did the Lions, 16 to 12, but actually led in points off TO's, 16 to 15. The total scoring was as follows:

Editor's note- I threw all this information below the fold to clean up the front page. The total scoring and full live blog is available after the jump.-BR

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Harvard Hosts Columbia and Cornell in Big Ivy Weekend



Next for Harvard basketball:

vs. Columbia Lions
When: Friday, January 28th at 7pm
Where: Lavietes Pavilion
Coverage: Live-blog here at WHRB Sports Blog

vs. Cornell Big Red
When: Saturday, January 29th at 6pm
Where: Lavietes Pavilion
Coverage: Live-blog here at WHRB Sports Blog

After starting 2-0 in Ivy League play with wins over travel-partner Dartmouth, the Harvard Crimson (13-3, 2-0 Ivy) play host to the Columbia Lions and the Cornell Big Red this weekend at Lavietes Pavilion. It is always important to hold serve at home in the Ivy League, and is especially true this week considering the monster weekend facing the Crimson next week at Princeton and Penn.

Columbia's Noruwa Agho

Columbia Lions (11-5, 2-0 Ivy)

Although Harvard, Princeton, and Cornell were predicted to battle it out for Ivy League supremacy, Columbia has emerged as a possible conference dark horse with two wins over the Big Red last weekend. The Lions faced a lackluster non-league schedule but emerged with only five losses, the best coming against Steve Lavin's Saint John's team by a score of 79-66. Columbia survived two close games with Cornell, winning 79-75 last Friday in New York City and following that up with a 70-66 win in Newman Arena. The Lions, who have now won 9 of their past 11 games, are led by 6-3 Junior Guard Noruwa Agho, one of the top players in the Ivy League. Agho leads the Ancient Eight in scoring with 16.3 points per game and adds 4.6 assists per game, good for fifth in the Ivy League. The Crimson will need to focus on Agho if they wish to move to 3-0 in Ivy play. Sophomore Brian Barbour adds 12.9ppg for the Lions.

Cornell's Chris Wroblewski

Cornell Big Red (4-12, 0-2 Ivy)

Much to the delight of the rest of the Ivy League, Cornell appears to have fallen from its perch as the Ancient Eight's inevitable champion. The Big Red have taken a tumble from last year's Sweet Sixteen appearance and third straight Ivy title. This slide was somewhat expected, as Cornell's head coach Steve Donahue moved on to coach the Boston College Eagles, and six Big Red seniors, including star big man Jeff Foote and guard Louis Dale, graduated. Cornell was picked to finish 3rd in the Ivy League behind Princeton and Harvard, but so far seem to be performing below expectations with only four total wins. The nonconference slate for Cornell was tough, facing such big-name teams as Syracuse (lost by 20), Seton Hall (lost by 24), and Minnesota (only lost by 5). Cornell has struggled with lesser competition, however, losing to the likes of Albany, Binghamton, and Bucknell. Cornell was then swept by Columbia, giving the Big Red its first 0-2 league start since the 2001-02 season.

The Harvard Crimson should take note, however, that this Cornell team remains a talented bunch, as Donahue did not leave the cupboard bare. Chris Wroblewski, one of the stars of last year's team, is second in the Ivy League in scoring at 15.5ppg and leads the conference in assists with 5.9 assists per game (Harvard guard Brandyn Curry is second with 5.6). Junior guard Andrew Ferry has stepped up in a big way for Cornell too, averaging over 12 points per game.

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Although Harvard will be favored in both contests this weekend, both opponents will be tough to put away. Raucous crowds are expected on both nights, and hopefully the momentum of a loud Lavietes Pavilion will be enough to carry the Crimson through.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Scouting Brown

Editor's Note: This is a series that will be running with the start of the Ivy League basketball season. Members of the WHRB staff are writing up previews of each team, looking at the positives and negatives for all of the teams, and giving an overall impression if where the team was picked in the Ivy League basketball media day was correct. Our series continues with the Brown Bears.


BROWN by Kara Hollis

The Brown Bears have started out the season 6-7, with their first Ivy League play coming up this week against Yale. The team is currently lacking consistency in its play. Head coach Jesse Agel is in his third season with the bears, and yet to find success in his goal of making the team a contender for the Ivy League title. So what's stopping him?

Seniors: The Bears are led by senior forward Peter Sullivan. Sullivan is an All-Ivy pick who has had sixteen 20-point games in his career at Brown, enough to earn him the 13th spot on Brown's all-time scoring list. But it doesn't seem enough to give Brown a consistent offense. His all around offensive prowess (including being tied for 8th on Brown's individual 3-pointers made) might come at the expense of other players. Adrian Williams (who is the other player at number 8 on the list) has failed to make himself a key contributor thus far this season, averaging only 6.6 ppg. Williams has the potential to be a real contributor off the bench, as well as a senior leader. Leffelman, on the other hand, is finding his rhythm as a senior and contributing double figure points in four of Brown's last five games. The guard is now Brown's second leading scorer with 10.7 points per game.

Young Guns:
The underclassmen are a big part of the picture in Brown's potential success. Freshman point guard Sean McGonagill has started every game from the Bears this season. McGonagill has proven himself to be one of the most solid members of the team, contributing 8.7 points per game and 4.3 assists per game, while leading the team in minutes played and ranking top ten in the league in free throw percentage (a feat considering the unbelievable free throw shooting of the Crimson thus far this season). He's also averaging over 50% from behind the arc. Freshman forward Dockery Walker looks to be trying to follow in McGonagill's footsteps after his double double in the team's loss to American. The other undergraduate starters for Brown, sophomore forwards Tucker Halpern and Andrew McCarthy, are solid contributors, but are still lacking the experience to consistently make the difference in games.

The challenge for Coach Agel this season will be to try to keep a middle of the pack team, in both talent and play, from falling victim to its own mediocrity. The team needs its senior leaders to spark a fire that, with a focus on strong defense, could help Brown to stay in the top half of the Ivy League. As for Agel's goal of being a title contender, I think he will have to wait another year or two for that to be come a reality.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Tune In: Harvard Hockey at No. 16 Boston University

Harvard returns to the site of its last win over the Terriers, Agganis Arena, in a potential preview of the 2nd round of the Beanpot. Tune in as Harvard looks to add a nonconference win over a ranked opponent. We'll also have two parts of the newest three part episode of Top Shelf, featuring guest Raphael Girard, freshman goaltender for the Crimson. During the second part, you can also find out about the newest member of Harvard hockey, Nathan Potvin, adopted by the team through the Friends of Jaclyn foundation.

What: Harvard men's hockey at No. 16 Boston University
When: 7pm (Pregame coverage beginning at 6:45pm)
Where: Agganis Arena, Boston, MA
Coverage: 95.3FM in the Greater Boston Area and anywhere in the world on whrb.org
Commentators: Brendan Roche (play by play) and Raafi Alidina (color commentary)

Former Harvard Football Captain Hails Rhodes Scholar, Amateur Athleticism

Although WHRB is a bit late to the party, we still wanted to draw attention--however tardy--to this article on ESPN.com by former Harvard Football Captain and '09 Alumnus Carl Ehrlich. Titled "Eyes on a Prize: Heisman and Rhodes," Ehrlich's article (which was published on December 9th, shortly before the Heisman Trophy ceremony) explores the nature of amateur athletics. In so doing, Ehrlich highlights the humble career of current Harvard senior--and newly-selected Rhodes Scholarship recipient--Baltazar "Zar" Zavala, a third-string wide receiver who was one of two walk-ons in the Class of 2011 to stay with the Harvard football program for four years.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Men's Bball: Harvard Starts 1-0 in Ivy Play, Enters ESPN's "Bracketology"




The Harvard men's basketball team is now 1-0 in conference play following a 68-53 road win over Dartmouth in Hanover, New Hampshire. Junior Co-Captain Keith Wright led all scorers with 16 points, and sophomore Kyle Casey took a big step in returning from his injury by scoring 13. As Harvard and Dartmouth are the only teams that have begun Ivy play, that moves the Crimson into first place in the league. Harvard is now included in the mock NCAA field of 68 in the "Bracketology" published by ESPN's Joe Lunardi. Lunardi has the Crimson as the #13 seed in the Southwest bracket, facing off against #4 seed Wisconsin in Tampa, Florida. A link to the full projected field is here.

Meanwhile, Sports Illustrated's Andy Glockner projects that the Princeton Tigers will instead win the Ivy League and be seeded 13th in the East bracket. Here is a link to the SI projections.

Why the difference? There may be a genuine difference of opinion between the two writers, but Lunardi has said in the past he just puts the team at the top of the current Ivy standings into the projected field, which would now be Harvard. Whatever it may be, the Harvard-Princeton games on February 4th and March 5th loom large.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Jeremy Lin appears on "Warriors Weekly"

Harvard Basketball Class of 2010 Alum Jeremy Lin, who has spent time playing for the Golden State Warriors and is currently in the developmental league, was recently featured on the Warrior's aptly-titled weekly feature show, "Weekly Warriors". In the segment, Lin sits down with Warriors broadcaster Tim Roye before a game to discuss many of his experiences since graduating from Harvard, including the transition from college hoops to the NBA. The full interview, which aired on December 27th, can be found here.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Scouting Dartmouth

Editor's Note: This is a series that will be running with the start of the Ivy League basketball season. Members of the WHRB staff are writing up previews of each team, looking at the positives and negatives for all of the teams, and giving an overall impression if where the team was picked in the Ivy League basketball media day was correct. Our series starts with the Dartmouth Big Green.

Picked to finish last in the Ivy League this year by the preseason media poll, Dartmouth (4-10, 0-1) seems to be playing the part, opening conference play with a loss at Leede Arena to the Harvard Crimson on January 8th. The Big Green were not able to find any answers for Harvard’s strong frontcourt, with Keith Wright dominating the paint with 16 points and 12 boards and Kyle Casey notching 13 points and 9 rebounds. David Rufful stepped up with 16 points to lead the Big Green but it appears that Dartmouth will expectedly dwell near the bottom of the standings once again.

Key Facts:

Frontcourt: Jr. David Rufful and Sr. co-captain Clive Weeden provides an experienced interior presence for the Big Green, but they both lack the size to matchup against the more physical teams in the league. Weeden is 4th in the Ivy League in offensive rebounding and a specialist at seizing second chance opportunities. Rufful uses his small size (6-4, 210) to steal from the slower, heavier players in the paint (4th in the league in steals).

Backcourt: Led by starters Jabari Trotter, R.J. Griffin, and Kirk Crecco; after two nondescript seasons at Dartmouth, Crecco has exploded this season equaling his point total in his first two season just 7 games into the current one. In the five games before the Ivy League opener, he had averaged 10.6 points while shooting 46.2 percent from the floor and 83.3 percent at the foul line. Losing Sr. co-captain Ronnie Dixon to injury has hampered ball movement and perimeter shooting.

Coaching: Paul Cormier rejoined the team this season, having served as head coach from 1984-91 for the Big Green. His team from 19787-89 notched the two of three winningest seasons in program history, finishing second in the Ivy League twice.

Freshmen to Watch
: Gediminas Bertasius – The forward from Lithuania took home the Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors on for his performance on Dec. 13-19, but his stellar defense in the paint has the league on notice.

Key Injury:
Sr. co-captain Ronnie Dixon suffered a broken bone on his shooting hand on Dec. 21st and is expected to miss six weeks. He scored a career high 21 points in a victory against Army.

Interesting Statistic: The Big Green are threatening to finish with no one averaging in double figure scoring for two years in a row; Junior guard Jabari Trotter leads the way with 9.0 ppg, but he has struggled in the last 7 games, shooting just .238 from the field.

(Un)Fearless Forecast: 3-11 (8th)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Harvard Looks to Upset Best Team in Nation, Rival Yale

After a disappointing 4-3 loss to Ivy rival Brown last night, despite Michael Biega's natural hat trick in the second period, Harvard needs to rebound tonight as they get set to face the #1/#1 Yale Bulldogs. Harvard-Yale is the 12th most contested rivalry in college hockey but this will be the first time Harvard has played Yale with the Elis as top dog in the polls. Can the Crimson give Yale its first league loss? Find out tonight.

What: Harvard men's hockey vs. Yale
When: Tonight, 7pm (pregame coverage beginning at 6:45pm)
Where: Bright Hockey Center, Allston, MA
Coverage: 95.3 FM in the Greater Boston area and online at whrb.org anywhere in the world
Commentary: Brendan Roche (play by play) and Charlie Hobbs (color commentator)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Catch The Nation's Oldest College Hockey Rivalry Tonight

Harvard men's hockey returns to WHRB for 2011 with an old foe, as the Harvard Crimson and Brown Bears renew their rivalry that started in 1898. It's an important ECAC and Ivy League game for both teams as the ECAC playoffs draw ever-nearer.

What: Harvard men's hockey vs. Brown
When: Tonight, 7pm (pregame coverage beginning at 6:45pm0
Where: Bright Hockey center, Allston, MA
Coverage: 95.3 FM in the greater-Boston area and online anywhere in the world
Commentators: Brendan Roche (play-by-play) and Charlie Hobbs (color commentary)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Tune in for WHRB's coverage of Harvard Basketball at Boston College

Opponent: Boston College Eagles
Date: Wednesday, January 5th
Time: 7 PM--Pregame at 6:45
Where: Silvio O. Conte Forum--Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
Coverage: WHRB 95.3FM in
Greater Boston Area (listeners outside area can tune in to online stream at whrb.org)

"Its a trap!" Assistant coach Akbar Waheed and the BC Eagles have fallen twice in the past two years into a Crimson trap...will 2011 mark a three-peat?


The Harvard Men's Basketball team travels across town to Silvio O. Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts to notch their first game of the New Year against the Boston College Eagles. Harvard has already defeated four in-state foes this season (Holy Cross, WPI, Boston University, and MIT) and will look to go 5-0 in its final Bay State contest. The view across the hardwood will be somewhat familiar for the Crimson: former Cornell coach Steve Donahue, who led the Big Red to a Sweet Sixteen Birth in the 2010 NCAA Tournament, has taken over at the helm of the BC Eagles for the 2010-2011 campaign. Charlie Hobbs and Kara Hollis will kick off WHRB's coverage at 6:45 with the pregame show; tipoff is at 7:00.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Harvard Men's Hockey Mid-Season Review

It's not quite the halfway point of the season, with Harvard having completed 12 of 29 overall games, including 9 of 22 league games. The season got off to a good start for the Crimson as they took two of their first three games, shutting out a ranked RPI team at home and then beating St. Lawrence on the road for a mild winning streak. Things soured quickly for Harvard beginning with a loss on the road to Clarkson, starting a seven game losing streak to close out the calendar year. The first day of 2011 saw several negative streaks broken for the Crimson, as their win over Army was the first win since the St. Lawrence game and the first regular season win over a non-conference opponent in sixteen games, with Harvard's last win in that situation coming in the first round of the 2008 Beanpot against Northeastern. It was also the first win this season for the Cantabs after giving up the opening goal. The Crimson could not keep the momentum going, however, as they fell 3-1 to Vermont the next night.

Below the jump, I'll break down the forwards, defensemen, and goaltending for the Crimson, take a look at the road ahead as well as the ECAC.