Boris Tsang / Sun Photography Editor

Senior forward Jimmy Boeheim, who led the team in scoring last year, entered the transfer portal after the Ivy League canceled winter sports.

November 17, 2020

Men’s Basketball’s Boeheim Among 4 Cornellians to Enter Transfer Portal Following Ivy League’s Cancellation of Winter Sports

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Four Cornell men’s basketball seniors have entered the transfer portal, including senior forward Jimmy Boeheim, who led the team in scoring and rebounding last year. 

In addition to Boeheim, senior guards Terrance McBride and Bryan Knapp and senior forward Riley Voss also put their names into the portal. The news was first reported by Jeff Goodman of 

McBride, Knapp and Voss — along with Boeheim — were consistent starters on a Cornell team that finished 7-20 and failed to qualify for the Ivy League Tournament, which was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The seniors’ decision comes after the Ivy League announced the cancellation of winter sports. Unlike other NCAA conferences, the Ivy League does not allow student-athletes to play after graduating, even if they do have remaining eligibility. As a result, Boeheim, McBride, Knapp and Voss could potentially transfer to other schools and take the floor as graduate transfers in order to exercise their remaining eligibility. 

Jimmy’s brother, Buddy, who is currently rostered as a junior point guard at Syracuse, told ESPN that Boeheim was upset by the Ivy League’s decision.

“I couldn’t imagine finding out right now that our season was canceled,” Buddy said. “All the hard work he’s put in this summer. We worked out every day together. I was really looking forward to see what he was going to do this year. He was going to have a big year.”

In the aftermath of the news, Boeheim’s path remains unclear. 

“He’s not sure what he’s going to do yet,” Buddy said. “He’s just kind of taking it day by day.”

Following the graduation of Matt Morgan ’19, the Ivy League’s second all-time leading scorer, Boeheim became the Red’s star player. He averaged 16.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. Though Boeheim missed six games due to injury, he finished fifth and tenth in the Ivy League in scoring and rebounding, respectively. 

Meanwhile, McBride and Knapp also stepped up in the absence of Morgan. McBridge turned in a breakout year, averaging over 12 points per contest and earning an honorable mention All-Ivy League. Knapp contributed 7.1 points per game and also shot 46 percent from 3-point land during conference play. In 15 starts, Voss tallied 3.4 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists per contest. 

Unfortunately, the four players’ production did not translate in the win column. After notching 15 wins in 2018-19, the Red regressed, only notching seven victories on the year and posting a 4-10 mark in conference play. 

With forward Josh Warren ’20 having graduated, the Red is now missing four of its five leading scorers from the 2019-20 season. Aside from sophomore forward Jordan Jones and junior guard Dean Noll, no other Cornellian averaged more than six points per game. 

The Red has welcomed six new freshmen and will hope to bring in a solid recruiting class next year as the team continues its rebuild. But as it stands, Cornell’s roster is filled with unproven talent. Head coach Brian Earl will attempt to navigate the Red to its first Ivy Tournament appearance since 2018 and its NCAA Tournament berth since 2010 if the team is able to take the court next season. 

Correction Appended, November 18, 11:45 a.m.: The Sun initially reported that three Cornell men’s basketball seniors entered the transfer portal. The correct number is actually four as senior forward Riley Voss also put his name in the portal.