5 First Reactions to the Red/White Basketball Scrimmage
The Cornell Men's Basketball team tipped off in front of the public for the first time today with the annual intrasquad Red/White scrimmage. The result? A pretty enlightening game that showed just how much the Red will be relying on senior leaders Chris Wroblewski and Drew Ferry to carry the team this year. Together, the two led the White Team to a 76-41 thrashing of the Red Team. Scoring aside, let's take a look at this observer's top 5 reactions and thoughts following the game.
[b]1. Style:[/b] Some things never seem to change for the Big Red and Courtney's teams certainly came out with a style that seems all too familiar - a run and gun offense that relies heavily on the outside shot and open jumper to keep the scoring going. Drew Ferry knocked down 5 three-pointers alone, pushing the White Team to an early lead and setting the pace for the day. In fact most of the players in today's matchup went up for the long-range bomb at some point during the scrimmage - including forwards Josh Figini and Manny Sahota. On defense, we're looking at a similar help-style man-to-man with some trapping in the corner as we've seen in years past. What we'll need to see is stepped up efforts on defense though to ensure that guarded players remain aggressively contained or covered so that they can't just dish off to the open man.
[b]2. Inside Game:[/b] This was the most frustrating thing to watch in today's scrimmage, as the team missed layup after layup. On many more than one occasion, "big men" Josh Figini, Ned Tomic, and Dwight Tarwater closed in on the basket but failed to finish. The Red can't rely exclusively on the three and it'll take some practice to get the guys going up strong moving forward.
[b]3. Chemistry:[/b] There's some element of teamwork readily apparent - the passing game has worked fairly well and Chris Wroblewski got several very good looks in to Josh Figini and Ned Tomic, but overall, the chemistry we've grown accustomed to in years past isn't quite there. An important consideration is that Wroblewski is the only veteran senior on the team who has seen four years of basketball at Cornell. We don't see a senior class this time around who entered the program together.
[b]4. Fresh Faces:[/b] Some of the freshman do show some promise and hope for strong efforts early on. Ned Tomic stepped up on the inside, and Galal Cancer tried to "join the club" by working hard for his first three-point shot (missed, unfortunately). Tomic was the most notable today, however, and his ability to work from mid-range and in the paint showed through. Coming off his injury last year, Dominic Scelfo looked pretty good in his return and also managed to work things from the outside. At some point though, Coach Courtney will have to figure out how to leverage the height in his new freshman class.
[b]5. Injury City:[/b] One big concern with today's scrimmage and how the season will run manifested itself today with several players sitting out and not participating on the teams - Freshman forwards Dave LaMore and Shonn Miller, Junior forward Erric Peck, and Senior guards Max Groebe and Anthony Gatlin were not involved in today's scrimmage. Peck and Groebe were key players on the team last year and without them the Red may struggle to pull together a really effective, aggressive lineup. The question is, can everyone be ready in time for the season?
[i]The Big Red tip off for the regular season against St. Bonaventure on Friday, November 11 at 7pm, and open at home for the first time this year on Monday, November 14 at 7pm.[/i]