They may be new, but their presence will be felt immediately.
This stellar crop of freshmen—six in total—has the chance to make a major impact for the Crimson this season, especially in the depleted backcourt.
“It’s one of the better classes we’ve had in recent years,” Harvard coach Frank Sullivan says. “There’s some depth in the class.”
Chances to play will be especially abundant at the point guard position, where the Crimson look to replace David Giovacchini ’05.
With few desirable upperclassmen options, two rookies will likely compete for the starting role.
GROS AND NET
While he might already feel at home on the banks of the Charles River, the bigger question is whether Erik Groszyk can become acclimated to the hardwood at Lavietes Pavilion.
The 5’10 Salem, Massachusetts, native was a four-year starter at Salem High School. Groszyk was a three-time conference all-star and was conference player of the year his senior year.
Groszyk helped engineer a 30-game winning streak at Salem High, which advanced to the state playoffs in all four of his years.
In his senior season, Groszyk was widely considered one of the top players in Massachusetts.
“The opportunity [to play] is definitely there,” Groszyk says. “My role wouldn’t be to score, my role would be to get the ball to the more established players.”
BRINGING DOWN THE HOUS
If Saturday’s exhibition game was any indication, Drew Housman might be the prohibitive favorite to lead the Crimson offense into tomorrow’s game against Vermont.
The Calabasas, California product was an all-state pick his senior year, and an all-Southern section selection twice. In addition, he was the Ventura County player of the year as well as conference MVP his senior season. He left Calabasas High as the school’s all-time scoring and assists leader.
His hard work on the court in the preseason has not gone unnoticed.
“Erik and Drew have been bringing a lot of toughness,” junior guard Jim Goffredo says. “I just hope one of them is able to step up and be able to play the point for us.”
Housman posted six assists to just three turnovers and added three steals in Harvard’s 85-65 exhibition win over Puerto Rico-Mayaguez.
McDonald’s All-America nominee Andrew Pusar comes to the Crimson following a stellar career at Seton Hall Prep.
Pusar was named all-state and all-conference twice in New Jersey, where his nationally ranked team won a state championship, two county titles, and four conference crowns over his four years.
“Pusar is a little bit different,” Sullivan says. “He’s a junkyard player as a small forward. We’ve had a lot of catch and shoot guys on this team, [but] Pusar is a guy who puts the ball on the floor and gets to the rim and rebounds the ball, something we haven’t had around here in awhile.”
Sullivan praised Pusar’s knack for being a quiet scorer after the freshman led the team with 16 points in the exhibition contest.
“We looked at ourselves and said, ‘How did he get that many points?’” Sullivan said after Saturday’s game.
THE CHURCH OF KENYON
Kenyon Churchwell arrives at Harvard as a 6’8 forward out of Gonzaga High in Washington, D.C.
He was honorable mention all-conference his senior season on his way to becoming a McDonald’s All-America nominee.
The exceedingly athletic Churchwell also excelled in track and field at Gonzaga, setting the school triple-jump record.
REST IN PEASE
Along with Churchwell, Alexis Pease will bring added depth to the forward position this year for the Crimson.
The McDonald’s All-America nominee was ranked as one of the top 20 seniors in the Milwaukee area, and was both an honorable mention and second team all-state selection his senior season. He was twice named to the All-Greater Metro Milwaukee first team.
Pease will start the year in street clothes, however, due to an eye injury.
EVAN FOR THE BLOCK
Evan Harris took a more circuitous route to the Crimson than his fellow freshmen.
After finishing his high school career at Los Angeles’ Harvard-Westlake High, Harris spent a postgraduate season polishing his skills at The Hill School.
“I think the year at Hill really helped him a good deal,” Sullivan says. “He improved his shot a lot, which was something that needed some work.”
Likely to play the forward spot while at Harvard, Harris is known for his shot blocking, setting the Harvard-Westlake single game record with 13 rejections. He was twice selected first team all-league before garnering a McDonald’s All-America nomination.