For Wittman it's about titles, not records
When Ryan Wittman ends his men's basketball career at Cornell University, there likely will be very few school records left that don't have his name attached.
His 1,766 points rank first in school history and give him a good chance of becoming the first 2,000-point scorer the Big Red have ever seen.
He currently ranks as the 10th all-time leading scorer in Ivy League history and if he makes it this year, he could become a three-time unanimous all-Ivy League selection.
When his career is done Wittman will likely have played more games then any other Cornell player, and he's taken and made more threes and by the time he has finished will likely have taken and made more shots than any other player in school history.
While the milestones and records are things for others to look at, none of it matters much to Wittman.
"I haven't really paid too much attention to that," Wittman said of breaking the school scoring record. "I'm worried about winning, if we aren't winning, then the records mean nothing."
Wittman knows that being part of a strong team like the Big Red have has made life a lot easier for him.
One of the biggest positives for Wittman is having two strong point guards, Louis Dale and Chris Wroblewski, to get him the ball.
"I have to give credit to my teammates," Wittman said. "Louis Dale and Chris Wroblewski have done a great job of giving me an opportunity to score. They both are good. They both have the ability to score, which helps. And they play the game the right way."
And for a perimeter player like Wittman, who has hit 327 three pointers in his career, another advantage is having a seven-foot center like Jeff Foote. The Spencer Van-Etten graduate has developed into a double-digit scorer for Cornell and has opened things up on the perimeter for Wittman and the other outside threats.
"It's nice when you have a seven footer down low," Wittman said. "Teams have to double team him and it's a lot easier to shoot jump shots when they are wide open."
For some the fact that Wittman is playing in the Ivy League may be a surprise.
The son of former NBA player and coach Randy Wittman, Ryan Wittman, like Dale and Foote, didn't get the attention from major colleges coming out of high school.
But, more then that there was another big thing that eventually drew all of them to Cornell.
"A huge part of the selection process was the academic side of things," Wittman said. "It just so happens that Cornell was one of the first D-1 schools to look at me."
Because of the academics Wittman found himself playing in the Ivy League, what he also found was that he has gotten a chance to play major Division 1 basketball. This month the Big Red nearly took out then No. 1 Kansas on the road and Cornell has made two straight trips to the NCAA Tournament.
"It's been the best of both worlds," Wittman said. "I have gotten to play major basketball and I've gotten the education as well."
While the Big Red are favorites to win the Ivy League again this year, Wittman knows nothing will come easy as every team will bring their best effort against Cornell.
"I think we got kind of used to that last year," Wittman said. "Every team comes out with their best effort against us. We know we can't let down. It's a 19-game schedule, we have to take care of all 19 games."
While the Big Red don't have NBA ready talent of some of the nation's top teams, Wittman knows they do have one thing that many of those teams don't.
"We have a very close knit group," Wittman said. "A lot of us are from the Midwest, we have formed sort of a family here. We have got a lot of experience together, a lot of us have played over 100 games."
That experience is part of the reason why Cornell hopes that instead of just making the NCAA Tournament this year they can win some games in the tournament.
"I think we have a chance, we play a very tough pre-conference schedule," Wittman said. "A lot of games come down to the last two or three minutes, and we know each other, we have played a lot of those games together. That should help us."
When Wittman wraps up his career at Cornell, there is no doubt that he will be a player remembered for a long time.
While he will leave as the school's all-time leading scorer, that's not what Wittman wants people to remember about him.
"Winning championships," he said. "If we are losing, those numbers don't mean anything. It's about winning championships."