Just a week after Shabazz Napier and the UConn “Hungry” Huskies took home the 2014 NCAA men’s basketball championship, prognosticators have already begun looking towards next season. For the third straight year, the Harvard men’s basketball team has made a selection of preseason lists. The Back Page has a list of what everyone is saying about Harvard so far this year.
It’s “sun’s out, guns out” season for Harvard athletics, with the cruel throes of winter finally gone for good (hopefully). Sophomore pitcher Laura Riccardione took full advantage, tossing two beauties over the weekend to smite the Brown Bears squad in its stead. For her work, she takes top honors this week, but she was certainly not alone in fine Crimson performances.
Brian Yeung, Men’s Tennis
Yeung may be a freshman, but there was nothing “young” about his performances this weekend against Princeton and Penn. The Hong Kong native won all four of his weekend matches—two doubles and two singles—to push Harvard’s record to 3-1 in Ivy play. Bright the future is with this one.
Nick Madden, Men’s Volleyball
Repeating as AOTW runner-up, Madden had his eighth career double-double and fourth of the season, putting up a 17 kill, 10 dig game against NJIT Friday night.
With senior midfielder Gabriel Mendola earning athlete of the week honors after going 20 for 26 on faceoffs to continuously keep Harvard men’s lacrosse in possession in the Crimson’s 14-9 win over No. 2 Cornell, here are the runners-up.
Will Walker, Men’s Lacrosse
Sophomore attackman Will Walker scored four goals and tallied one assist in the Crimson’s road win over Cornell to continue hit hot streak. Walker has scored four or more goals in three straight games and has carried the offensive load for Harvard all season as he now has 26 on the year.
Now that the madness of March has run its course, the spring sports season is finally upon us. At last, the baseball and softball diamonds are clear of snow, the bubble over Harvard Stadium has come down, and the weather is—well, almost cooperating.
Oh, the times, they are a-changin’, and there is plenty going on around the Harvard sports scene. But fear not, the athletes still have found ways to stay active on Twitter in the meantime. As always, here at The Back Page, we couldn’t let them go unnoticed. Enjoy!
5. As previously mentioned, the weather is only close to actually cooperating, and, after having a double-header against Cornell cancelled over the weekend, baseball’s freshman left-hander Kevin Rex understands the struggle.
“Games played: 0, hours on Peter Pan bus: 20+”
If going to Ithaca in the first place wasn’t bad enough…
The Back Page takes a step back from the NCAA tournament bracket madness to reconnect with some Crimson alums from years past.
He’s Got Heart: Desmond Bryant ’09
A little over a year ago, Crimson sports alumnus Scott Sherman covered Bryant’s new contract with the Cleveland Browns. Since his multi-million dollar contract, Bryant has been busy; after recording 31 tackles and 3.5 sacks in 12 games in his first season with the Browns, the former Crimson star underwent an emergency medical procedure in December to correct an irregular heartbeat.
With his career on hold, Bryant worked hard to return to his former strength. Just a few weeks ago, the defensive end was given full clearance to return to full football activities. He is currently preparing to make a full comeback to the Brown’s starting defensive line.
The 6’6” Bryant turned town offers from Duke, Florida A&M, and Towson to come to play for the Crimson, and he became a key starter on the perfect 10-0 2005 Harvard team that was led by fellow future NFL player Ryan Fitzpatrick ’05.
After the promising start, Bryant ran into some trouble and was suspended from the team twice, first for violating team rules and then for academic reasons. He returned for his senior year, though, recording 4.5 tackles for a loss and was granted second-team Ivy League honors.
Undrafted coming out of Harvard, Bryant got his chance with the Oakland Raiders as a rookie in 2009, recording 32 tackles in 16 games. Since then, the 310-pounder has found continued success in the NFL, recording five sacks in his third year and four in his fourth year.