Ask Harvard coach Frank Sullivan about his All-Ivy twin towers Matt Stehle and Brian Cusworth, and the praise seems endless.
Right up until Sullivan recites the Ivy mantra.
It’s a three-point shooting league, and staying even or better from behind the arc is imperative to winning games.
Last Friday night against Yale, the Crimson’s perimeter defense fell apart, and the Bulldogs hit nine threes on just 13 attempts. Harvard matched the number of treys, but it took nine more attempts, as the Crimson fell 82-74.
Junior guard Jim Goffredo led Harvard with three trifectas on the evening en route to a relatively quiet game-high 21 points. But his 6-of-15 performance from the field was not enough to take the pressure off of Stehle and Cusworth down low or draw some off the defenders off freshman point guard Drew Housman, who was the target of most of the Yale student section’s chants and jeers.
The following evening in Providence, R.I., Goffredo singlehandedly kept the Crimson even or better from long range, nailing eight threes, with seven of those coming in the first half.
After missing his first attempt from behind the arc, Goffredo knocked down seven straight threes, including five in a 3:10 span midway through the half that pushed a seven-point Harvard lead to 20. His only mistake during that personal 16-3 run was missing the back end of a one-and-one opportunity.
“We had to do a better job knowing where he is,” Brown coach Glen Miller said after the game. “He got hot, and he’s one of the better shooters in our league.”
By the half, Goffredo had racked up 22 points and had secured four assists for Housman, who finished with a career-high nine helpers on the night.
“Jimmy made some phenomenal plays,” Harvard coach Frank Sullivan said after the game. “He was definitely in rhythm, and everyone derived great energy from that.”
Goffredo missed his first attempt from behind the arc after the break and didn’t attempt another shot until missing a layup with less than nine minutes remaining.
But when a three pointer by Brown center Mark McDonald pulled the Bears back within 15, Goffredo knew he needed to step up.
He pulled the trigger from three, but Brown guard Marcus Becker got a piece of him, sending him to the line for three shots.
Goffredo connected on just one of three from the stripe but made up for it under a minute later by sinking two free throws after a technical foul was assessed to the Bears’ bench regarding the conduct of Miller.
The final three of the night depicted how zoned in Goffredo was.
With 3:22 left and the Crimson lead at 19, Goffredo held the ball about five feet behind the arc.
When Brown guard Damon Huffman dropped his hands, Goffredo let the shot fly.
From air to nylon, it was good all the way—a fitting end to a dominant evening that saw Goffredo etch his name into the Harvard record books once again.
After tying the mark for second-most threes made in a game with seven against Dartmouth on Jan. 7, Goffredo moved into second place alone—and one behind Brady Merchant ’03—with his eight trifecta outburst against Brown.
He also displaced Merchant’s name under the category of “Best Three-Point Field Goal Percentage (minimum 10 attempts)” as his 8-for-10 showing surpassed Merchant’s 9-for-14 performance in terms of efficiency.
For most, these are numbers befitting an Athlete of the Week resume. For Goffredo, the Athlete of the Week resume is becoming routine.
—Staff writer Michael R. James can be reached at email@example.com.