He would take the inbound pass and dribble the ball up the hardwood. When he crossed the half-court line, he’d call out a play using his free hand. Once he hit the three-point line, he would pass the ball off to one of his nearby teammates and get the offense moving. If the opponent double-teamed power forward Keith Wright or shooting guard Jeremy Lin, he would use that decision to his advantage, and he would find a way to get open. He would find his spot behind the three-point line, take a pass, aim, and fire. Swish.
All weekend long, Brandyn Curry was money.
The freshman point guard had the biggest weekend of his Harvard career last Friday and Saturday night as he torched Ivy rivals Brown and Yale for a total of 36 points despite just playing 26.5 minutes per game. He had only one turnover in each contest.
“I’m pleased with how I played,” Curry said. “I think I shot the ball well...[and] I think I did a good job running the offense and applying some defensive pressure.”
Curry, who also had 10 assists, seven steals, and five rebounds over the two-game stretch, earned his first Ivy League Rookie of the Week award for his performance. He became the third Harvard freshman to earn that honor this season, joining forwards Dee Giger—who won it once—and forward Kyle Casey, who has taken home the award four times.
“His shot’s on fire,” Casey said. “He’s been ready to shoot when the opportunity presents itself, and he’s been knocking them down.”
Curry shot 71% from the floor over the weekend, including an impressive 73% from three-point range.
His shot has gotten better and better as the season has progressed, and he attributes this success to simple hard work.
“During practice one of the things I like a lot is that we do a lot of shooting,” he said. “Coach Amaker always says ‘we knock down open shots.’ He’s always pushing us hard during shooting drills.”
Curry added that he plays assistant coach Kenny Blakeney in H-O-R-S-E almost every day, and that he works with assistant coach Brian DeStefano on his shot for a while after practice as well.
The results of this extra dedication have strongly paid off.
On Friday, he was unstoppable. Curry torched the Bears for a career-high 21 points, shooting 8-10 from the field and 4-5 from the three point line. He filled out the stat sheet with five assists, five steals, and four rebounds.
Curry kept up the scorching pace in the first half of Saturday night’s contest against the Bulldogs, scoring all 14 of his points in the first half and going 4-5 from behind the arc. Once the Crimson had built a big lead in the second half, Curry slowed things down, but he still finished with five assists and two steals as well.
“With young players...confidence is so key, and I think you see it in how he’s playing” said Crimson head coach Tommy Amaker. “He’s knocking down every open shot, he looks comfortable on the floor.”
Curry had previously been sharing time at the point guard spot with sophomore Oliver McNally, who had been the starter for much of the season. But coming off a two-game stretch in which Harvard suffered its only losing streak of the year, falling consecutively to Cornell and Princeton in early February, Amaker decided to make a switch.