Former Plum star Cressler raises game entering sophomore season at Cornell
College Football Videos
Admittedly, college life was a challenge for Nolan Cressler last year when he was a freshman.
But there's college life, and then there's college life at an Ivy League school.
Class demands are pressing enough, and playing a sport can create a crammed schedule. But Cressler has learned to cope. The Cornell sophomore has become robotic in his student life but remains machine-like on the basketball court.
“It was tough but it's much better this year,” said Cressler, a Plum graduate and his alma mater's all-time leading scorer.
“It took all of last year to get everything down and kind of find my regular schedule. Now that I've found it, it's habitual.”
Cressler is set to begin his second college season with raised expectations after warming up quickly to the Division I game as a freshman.
Cornell opens the season Friday night at No. 8 Syracuse. The Big Red also play at defending national champion Louisville on Nov. 15. Cressler will be a go-to scorer in those games, and the rest of them on the Big Red's schedule.
Cressler had an explosive performance in the Pittsburgh Basketball Club Pro-Am League, scoring 38 points in one game. He hopes the momentum carries over.
“I am a sophomore, but I am treating this like it's my senior year,” he said. “It will definitely be a different situation. I'll be asked to score more and take on more of a leadership role. I am almost considered a veteran as a sophomore. I am excited to see how it all ends up.”
Cressler picked up two Ivy League Rookie of the Week awards last year. He appeared in all 31 games, making 12 starts, and led the team in 3-pointers (54) and hit 40 percent of his shots from long-range.
He averaged 9.3 points and 3.7 rebounds. His scoring average climbed to 11.1 points against Ivy League teams, against whom he shot 48 percent.
After a head-turning 20-point effort (6 of 8 3-pointers) in his first college game, against Western Michigan, he managed career games against Penn and Brown, scoring 22 in each.
The awe of playing on the big stage has dwindled. For instance, Cornell played at Duke last season, and Cressler shook coach Mike Krzyzewski's hand.
“It's a normal thing now,” Cressler said of the awe factor. “Last year I went through a little bit of that. This year it's more of a normal thing.”
Cressler will play shooting guard and small forward and be the team's secondary ball-handler.
He also admitted to times last season when he didn't feel in the best game shape. So, he aimed to change that over the offseason.
“I have tried to work on my body a lot more,” he said. “I have a better diet; over the summer I cut out all bread. And I hit the weight room harder. I knew I'd be playing more minutes and I want to be ready.”
Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Kiski Area graduate Kuhn set to help YSU take on Pitt on Saturday
- District college game of the week: No. 8 John Carroll at St. Vincent
- Expectations high for young Penn State New Kensington soccer team
- Gateway grad Parrish ready to do his part for Panthers
- Va. State will test Cal U’s defense
- Burrell grad Bush not playing this season at St. Francis
- Slippery Rock DE Martin plans to bedevil quarterbacks
- Switching roles on defense doesn’t faze Duquesne LB Stone
- D3 football preview: Last year’s impact freshmen look to avoid sophomore jinx