November 11, 2010

Chris Wroblewski: The Catalyst

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What do you get when you win three straight Ivy League titles and travel to the first Sweet 16 in school history?

A projected third-place finish in the Ivy League preseason poll and no additional talk of basketball greatness.

Well, perhaps the writers involved in ranking the Ivy squads should take another look at Cornell, because one of the key pieces to the championship puzzle remains in place and while he is here, the Red will stay relevant.

Since earning Rookie of the Year accolades in 2008-09, Chris Wroblewski has become a staple in Cornell’s recent string of success. Whether he is leading the league in 3-point percentage or filling the stat book in other ways, Wroblewski is as dynamic a force as there is in the Ivy League. As the only remaining starter from the past two championship teams, though, Wroblewski will need to do even more in 2010-11 as a tri-captain.

“I don’t feel any pressure,” Wroblewski said. “I’m looking forward to stepping into a new role as a leader and kind of embracing the challenge of it.”

Why should the junior guard feel pressure? After all, he did average 17.3 points a game against Big East foes a year ago. Nonetheless, Ski’s role this year will need to change with the loss of Louis Dale at point.

“I think [my role] is going to have to be very different from the past couple of years, when I just kind of gave the ball to [Ryan Wittman] or [Jeff] Foote,” he said. “I’m going to have to look to be more aggressive.”

Not only will Wroblewski have to score more this season, but he will also have to get a new cast of teammates involved. Fortunately, the new roster appears to already be meshing, and with Wroblewski as the centerpiece, maybe it’s too early to write the Red off.

“There is definitely a lot of similarities in how close we are and in the chemistry that we are building off the court,” Wroblewski said. “But this year we’re not only being written off nationally but also in the Ivy League, and I think this year’s team is going to be playing with a chip on its shoulder, which will motivate us even more.”

So before you disregard this year’s Red squad, keep in mind that a key piece is left, and if the rest of the pieces fall into place around him, a championship puzzle may once again be formed.

Original Author: Dan Froats