With the men’s basketball team sustaining key losses from transfers, injuries, and graduation, the team was in desperate need of major contributions from its freshman class. Adam Gore has given the Red exactly what it has needed, as the rookie point guard has been terrific so far in the young season.
Gore has come up big for the Red in its first two games, starting at point in place of junior Graham Dow, who has been limited due to an injury to his pelvis.
Stepping onto the court at the Carrier Dome in Cornell’s first game of the season against St. Francis, Gore showed maturity beyond his years, limiting the miscues generally expected from a player making his college debut.
Gore shot 4-of-11 from the floor, knocking down two treys and posting a solid 11 points in his first game. More impressive was his ability to take care of the ball, as Gore had no turnovers in his 34 minutes of play.
“Obviously, starting freshman year, I was just trying to get things started without really messing up,” Gore said. “Hopefully if I got a few plays in without making any big mistakes [I could] get the butterflies out of my stomach, and play the same game I’ve always been playing.”
Apparently it did not take Gore very long to overcome his nerves, as he shined in the Red’s game the following day against No. 16 Syracuse.
Playing in front of some 17,000 Orange faithful, Gore caused serious problems for Syracuse’s famous 2-3 zone. Cornell’s ball movement around the perimeter gave the freshman several opportunities to contribute offensively – as he drained six three-pointers and scored a game-high 22 points.
“I think he caught both those teams kind of by surprise, but as I said, we kind of expect that from him,” said head coach Steve Donahue. “We have great confidence in him. He really doesn’t play like a freshman.”
However, it is still very early to make any predictions regarding Gore’s play. The basketball season is long and opposing teams will make adjustments. The word is out on Gore, and future opponents are sure to take notice. But even if Penn and Princeton watch all the tape, Donahue is confident his freshman can still contribute to the team effort.
“I think the thing that will make Adam good is that he’ll attract a lot of attention and he’s a good enough player to take what the defense gives him,” Donahue said. “He may not score 20 or even 10 points but still really help us win games because he knows how to play. … He’s just a good basketball player and he’s going to make solid decisions.”
Dow, who is fresh off a standout rookie campaign, knows what it takes to succeed at the position and realizes Gore’s potential.
“Adam’s been playing obviously really well. He gets other people open shots, he knocks down shots when has opportunities, and takes care of the ball, and as a point guard I think those are the most important things you can do,” Dow said.
Described by Donahue as a basketball junkie, the game is in Gore’s blood. A native of Monrovia, Ind., Gore comes from a basketball family, as his father, uncles and cousins all played college hoops.
“My whole life’s pretty much been around basketball,” Gore said. “I’ve just grown up loving basketball, playing basketball, and I got a chance to come play ball somewhere like this, so I took the opportunity.”
Archived article by Paul Testa
Sun Staff Writer