With the exception of just a few elite teams, it could be argued that the teams appearing in this year’s NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament are roughly equivalent in terms of talent (a key component of work today). What separates the winners from the losers? It is the management of that talent and the performance of the individual players during each game. Certainly a strong case can be made for Cornell University as an exemplar in their first-round game against Temple. The Ivy League champions took control of the game just before halftime and never looked back.
- Describe the Cornell University basketball team’s performance both in general and specifically, in terms of the first-round game against Temple. What does the team’s heavy reliance on un-recruited/unwanted players say about performance efficiency?
- Put yourself in Cornell Coach Steve Donahue’s shoes. How would you utilize each of the four functions of management to build a successful team? Be sure to draw on elements expressed in the article.
- How do the managerial activities associated with coaching in the NCAA Tournament compare to managerial activities in general?
- Where does Coach Donahue fall on the spectrum of managerial skills? Discuss Donahue’s responsibilities in each of the three main skill sets.
SOURCE: J. Feinstein, “Cornell Did Just About Everything Right In Its 2010 NCAA Basketball Tournament Opener,” Washington Post (Retrievable online at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/19/AR2010031904279.html)