Men’s Basketball 2019 Preview
On November 5, a new era of Cornell Basketball will begin – the Post Matt Morgan Era. Now a member of the Toronto Raptors, Morgan left his mark on the Cornell basketball scene as the program’s all-time leading scorer with 2,333 career points. Without Morgan, fifth-year Head Coach Brian Earl, Cornell will turn to a variety of scoring options and perhaps a more balanced attack.
The Cornell offense will most likely run through the hands of Senior forward Josh Warren and Junior swingman Jimmy Boeheim. Boeheim and Warren, both listed at 6’8”, are coming off career highs in both points and rebounding. Junior Riley Voss will also provide frontcourt scoring ability for the Big Red this upcoming season. Not only will Boeheim, Warren, and Voss be relied upon for a bulk of the scoring, but they will need to fulfill the shoes of defensive stalwart Steven Julian who graduated this past season.
The loss of not only Morgan, but also Joel Davis, Jack Gordon, and Troy Whiteside will leave several opportunities for contributions from returning guards. Perhaps returning to the starting lineup will be junior Terrence McBride, the Big Red all-time leader in assist-to-turnover ratio. A pass first point guard, McBride will now be relied upon to be a primary ball-handler and scorer. Junior Bryan Knapp and Sophomore Dean Noll both received ball handling duties during the second half of the 2019 season and are candidates for starting time on the Big Red. Both excel in three-point shooting and will be key in help the Big Red offense space the floor.
The loss of 6 seniors will provide other returners with more consistent playing opportunities such as three-point threats Chaz Mack and Thurston McCarty, both of whom transferred from Junior Colleges prior to last season. Other notables such as Kobe Dickson, the tallest player on the team, and guard Max Samberg, should see increasing roles, especially on the defensive end.
Big Red fans eagerly anticipate the debut of sophomore guard Matt Harshany who missed all of last season with a foot injury. The Big Red also welcome two new freshmen guards to the roster: Greg Dolan and Jordan Jones. Dolan was named New York Class A Player of the year in 2018 while Jones led Phillips Exeter to a conference title by averaging 23 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.
Freshmen Marcus Filien and Chuks Uzoka will give the team more depth in the frontcourt. Filien, an Albany product, led his high school team to the state federation final while shooting 58 percent from the floor. Uzoka earned first-team all-state honors as a senior at Fort Bend Christian Academy in his native state of Texas. Also new to the team is walk-on senior Noah Gear who provides the team with athletic talent, ball handling ability, and three-point shooting.
With many talented seniors leaving the conference after last season, the Ivy League looks to be as competitive as ever. The Big Red open the season at home on November 5th vs Binghamton.