When you look at a group like Jeff Foote, Louis Dale, and Ryan Wittman, you see a talented group of players.
You see a core. You see a team.
Cornell may not play the toughest league schedule, but their opponent doesn't change by the game. Their attack is a constant, they will beat you the same way every time. You may know exactly what they will do, but there is no way you are going to stop it.
Cornell, obviously, comes from the Ivy Leagues. This conference doesn't boast too much talent, and there is no recruiting allowed. But that doesn't matter for a coach like Steve Donahue. He molds a group of players into a team, and by creating a team, they create a force.
And this force is one to be reckoned with.
The key to this was creating camaraderie between the team members. Unlike most college teams, the Big Red all live in one little off campus building together, and they are able to make a deeper bond. They also do this by scheduling nearly all of their non-conference games on the road.
A little talent doesn't hurt too.
In today's game against Wisconsin, Wittman and Dale combined for 50 points, as they routed a Badger team that had beaten the likes of Ohio St., Michigan St. Marquette, Duke, and Maryland. Not only that, but they did it easily, scoring 87 points against a Wisconsin team that allows 56 a game.
It was the same story on Thursday when they beat Temple. They were able to make their shots. That's what they do, and that is what they will need to do against Kentucky on Thursday.
Cornell leads the nation in three-point shooting, and that weapon has been there all season. However, they have many more. They have an attacking defense that has been hard for offense heavy teams to break all year. They can rebound, and they have Jeff Foote, a seven-foot monster, who's athleticism is one of a kind in people of his stature.
So although Kentucky awaits them. They will be prepared. If they stick to their game plan they cannot lose, and it doesn't hurt that they will be playing less than 50 miles from good old Ithaca.
Keep shooting those three's Cornell, and we'll see you in Indianapolis.
Tip off is Thursday at 9:57 p.m. from the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY.