Action Sports Spotlight - Big Start For Big Red

By Brendan O'Reilly

July 22, 2010 Updated Jul 20, 2010 at 3:29 PM EDT

10 years after taking over at Cornell, head coach Steve Donahue is in an enviable position.
His Big Red have won back-to-back Ivy League titles and return nine seniors including four starters.
That experience was on full display in the season-opening win on the road at Alabama, the Red's first win over an SEC team in 37 years.
"We've done a lot of good things over the last couple years but a game like that isn't necessarily one that we had won in the past. We didn't play a perfect game by any stretch which is a good sign. We came back, withstood their run and executed when we really had to down the stretch."
In the next seven days, Cornell plays big-name opponents UMass, Seton Hall and Syracuse.
But Donahue's Big Red is no longer an easy cupcake big name teams can beat up on.
"Are teams still as willing to schedule you as they maybe once were?"
"No, to be quite honest with you, we've had a pretty difficult time scheduling. A lot of teams will avoid us. But in the other way, now we're a top 50 team RPI-wise so teams benefit by beating us which is a way to get teams to schedule us as well."
Once the so-called big boys hit the floor with Cornell, they'll find an opponent that has all the necessary parts.
That includes a 7-foot center... Spencer-Van Etten grad Jeff Foote.
Donahue says the senior has always been skilled, but now he's bulked up 20 pounds and can match up with the best big men in the country.
"I don't know if there's a better pure center in many leagues in this country, maybe one or two, but I'm sure he could make his impact in any league in the country."
And if everything goes right, the Red can make a major impact in March.
In Ithaca, Justin Horowitz, Action Sports.

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