Six freshmen will join the roster of the men’s basketball team in 2006-07 as the Red looks to improve on a third-place league finish and 13-15 record (8-6 Ivy) from last season.
The newcomers will arrive on the East Hill from all corners of the United States, bringing their diverse talents to a squad that has been within striking distance of the top spot in the conference in its last two campaigns under head coach Steve Donahue.
Louis Dale III is physically the smallest of the new recruits at 5-11 and 170 pounds, but the Birmingham, Ala., native has proven capable of large contributions on the court. He was nominated for a spot on the McDonald’s High School All-American team after being named a first-team all-state selection by the Birmingham News as a senior. The guard led his high school squad to the state regionals three times and was one of 30 junior players selected to play in the Alabama North-South game after averaging 16 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds per game in his final campaign. Dale also brings athleticism to the court, as he won the state championship in the triple jump with a leap of 45-4 and took second in the high jump after clearing 6-2.
At the other end of the size spectrum is recruit Pete Reynolds, a 6-8, 210-pound center who will make his way to Cornell from Blair, Neb. Like Dale, Reynolds was a first-team all-state selection and averaged 17.2 points and 9.5 rebounds for his high school squad and leading the team to a district title. He leaves Blair High School after setting records in career rebounds (515) and blocks (211) and season shooting percentage (65.3 percent as a junior). During his prep career, Reynolds was a two-time All-Omaha World Herald selection, and collected various all-league and all-state honors, as well as being named to the all-tournament team in his final state tournament as a senior.
Ryan Wittman of Eden Prairie, Minn., will follow in his father’s footsteps by playing Division I basketball. His father, Randy, was a member of Indiana’s 1981 NCAA championship team and was the 1983 Big Ten Player of the Year. Wittman, a 6-6, 190-pound guard, was one of five finalists for the Minnesota Mr. Basketball Award as a senior and was named to various all-state teams. In his final high school season, Wittman averaged 20.3 points while connecting on 50 percent of his 3-point attempts and 84 percent of his free throws.
Jon Jaques will be the farthest from home among the new recruits, as the 6-7, 210-pound freshman calls Los Angeles, Calif., home. He was a first-team all-league and first-team All-CIF selection his senior year after posting 13.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game while shooting 51 percent from the field and 36 percent from 3-point range.
Geoff Reeves and Alex Tyler round out the Class of 2010 for Cornell. Reeves, a native of Burlington, Kan., stands 6-5 and weighs in at 185. He averaged 23.6 points per game his senior year, and was a second-team all-state selection by Rivals.com and was named third-team all-state by the Wichita Eagle. In his sophomore season, Reeves’ high school squad went undefeated en route to a state title.
Tyler could be a workhorse in the paint for the Red, as he averaged a double-double of 14.4 points and 10.0 rebounds per game as a senior at Mercerburg Academy in Clear Spring, Md. He scored in double figures 23 times as his high school team finished with a 25-3 record, completing his prep career with 1,370 career points. The Public Opinion named him all-area first-team as a senior, and he earned first-team league honors as well.