Following last year’s last place finish in the Ivy League, Cornell men’s basketball team was ranked seventh in the league in the conference’s annual preseason poll that was announced on Wednesday afternoon.
The Red garnered 42 votes, ranking just ahead of Brown (35 votes) and behind Dartmouth (48 votes). Princeton took first in the poll, earning 12 of 17 first place votes. Harvard captured the other five first place votes and was placed second in the poll of media representatives.
Last year’s Ivy champion, Yale, placed third, while Penn and Columbia rounded out the top five.
After being slotted eighth in last year’s poll, the Red tied with Brown for seventh in the Ancient Eight last season, finishing with a 3-11 in-conference record. The disappointing performance led to a decision to part ways with head coach Bill Courtney and to hire Princeton’s former associate head coach, Brian Earl, as head of the program.
Earl takes on a Cornell squad that has struggled to rise in the conference rankings since the Red’s remarkable NCAA tournament run in 2010. Since the team’s Sweet Sixteen appearance six year ago, Cornell has not finished higher than fifth in the league, including two last place finishes.
The 2016-17 roster includes two of the top-three leaders in points per game in the conference, sophomore guard Matt Morgan and senior guard Robert Hatter. Morgan, the reigning Ivy League Rookie of the Year was named to College Sports Madness’ preseason second team all-Ivy list, while Hatter and classmate David Onuorah earned spots on the site’s third team.
Cornell fans will get their first chance to see the team in action on Saturday at the Red and White game, where the Red will host a public intrasquad scrimmage at Newman Arena.
The season officially kicks off on Nov. 11 at Binghamton.
1. Princeton (12 first place votes) – 130 points
2. Harvard (5) – 123
3. Yale – 101
4. Penn – 72
5. Columbia – 61
6. Dartmouth – 48
7. CORNELL – 42
8. Brown – 35