No. 2 Men's Basketball Prospect Wendell Carter Jr. Plans Official Harvard Visit

Published by David Freed on April 29, 2016 at 1:13PM

Just before it became the first Ivy League team to crack the top 10 of the ESPN recruiting ranking lists, the Harvard men’s basketball team signaled that it wasn’t satisfied. On Saturday, the No. 2 overall recruit in the Class of 2017, Wendell Carter Jr., announced that his first official visit will be going to Harvard in the fall.

Carter Jr., who has been ranked among the top 10 prospects for the Class of 2017 all year, listed Harvard alongside Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, and Kentucky as his choices last weekend at the Nike EYBL. He is the most prominent prospect to ever take an official visit to Cambridge; rumors of Mohamed Bamba—a similarly high-quality prospect in the Class of 2017—taking a visit to Harvard a couple weeks ago proved to be unsubstantiated, per sources close to the athletics department.

The prospect had previewed the move in early January, when he announced on his USA Today blog that he was “planning to visit Harvard … soon”. In that same post, Carter Jr. discussed a common theme surrounding his recruitment—his tie to Gary Trent Jr., a fellow five-star guard. The two have discussed their recruitment as a package deal, with Carter Jr. putting the chance that they play together at “maybe 75 percent”. Trent Jr. has not been tied yet to Harvard, however.

Carter Jr. also noted on Saturday that he and Trent will be visiting Kentucky for Big Blue Madness, the school’s midnight festival introducing its basketball team for the upcoming season.

Carter said that he wants to “just see what the atmosphere is like during big games, how the fans treat players, and them coming out and filling up in the gym” during his trip to Kentucky.


—Staff writer David Freed can be reached at david.freed@thecrimson.com.

Former Crimson Standout Temi Fagbenle Drafted By WNBA

Published by Julio Fierro on April 18, 2016 at 11:03PM

After a year away from Cambridge in Los Angeles, former Harvard women’s basketball standout Temi Fagbenle was drafted 35th overall in the WNBA draft to the Minnesota Lynx. Fagbenle transferred to the University of Southern California to pursue a graduate degree after playing three years for Harvard. She is the second Harvard player ever to be selected in the WNBA draft.

During her time in Cambridge, Fagbenle was voted rookie of the year and was a three-time All-Ivy selection. In her senior year she paced the Crimson squad with 14.4 points and 10.4 rebounds a game and set a single game school record of 24 rebounds against Temple. She was also the highest ranked women’s basketball player to play for an Ivy League team and as a sophomore she represented Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics in London where she was youngest player on the team. Despite only suiting up three years, she is one of 19 players to score over 1,000 points for the Crimson.

At USC, Fagbenle lead a Trojan squad to a 12-0 start as she led the team in scoring and rebounding with 13.6 points and 8.7 rebounds a game. She also led USC in blocks, steals, and minutes per game. She was one of seven PAC-12 players to be drafted on Thursday night and the only one from USC. The Trojans finished 8th overall in the PAC-12 and made it to the quarterfinals of the conference tournament.

Fagbenle won’t join the Lynx until 2017 as she’s staying at USC to finish her masters in strategic public relations. At 6’4’’, Fagbenle will be the second tallest player on the Minnesota roster. After winning this year’s WNBA championship, the Lynx have won three WNBA championships in the past five years.

Former Harvard Assistant Hufnagel Hired by Nevada

Published by David Freed on April 13, 2016 at 10:26AM

Former Harvard assistant coach Yann Hufnagel, who was fired from the same position at California in March after a university report that he had sexually harassed a reporter, was hired Friday by the University of Nevada for the same role.

Hufnagel, who vehemently denied the allegations against him at Cal, had appealed to the university—turning over a lot of personal information to school investigators in late March an effort to clear his name. However, the former Harvard assistant coach dropped the suit late Thursday before the Nevada athletic department made the announcement the next day.

“The toxic environment at UC Berkeley has made it impossible for Mr. Hufnagel to rejoin the basketball team he loves, even if he is vindicated in full, as the facts show,” Mary McNamara, Hufnagel’s attorney, told The San Francisco Chronicle. “He needs to look out for the student-athletes he coached, as well as his own future. Earlier this morning and after much consideration, he decided it was time to move on.”

Hufnagel, whose public statements sine the allegations were released in mid-March were sparse and largely proclamations of innocence, Tweeted Thursday morning for only the second time in three weeks to announce the move.

“I’m back doing what I love … coaching basketball!”

–Staff writer David Freed can be reached at david.freed@thecrimson.com.

Princeton Tabbed Early Favorite in 2016-2017 Bracketology

Published by David Freed on April 13, 2016 at 10:24AM

With the dawning of April have come the way-too-early projections for the 2017 college basketball season. Kicking off the empirically foolish prognostications is Joe Lunardi, who selected Princeton as the Ivy League’s representative to the 2016-2017 NCAA Tournament. Lunardi has Princeton, a 12 seed in the South regional, playing Iowa State in the first round.

The Tigers are the obvious frontrunner for the Ivy League title last year, returning every single player who got meaningful minutes this year and adding Hans Brase, a Class of 2016 forward who withdrew from school to preserve his eligibility after tearing an ACL in November. In his last full year for the Tigers, Brase ranked second on the team in scoring (11.5 points a game) and led Princeton with 7.5 rebounds a contest.

At 6’8”, Brase gives the Tigers a post presence they lacked in his absence; 6’10” junior Pete Miller, the team’s nominal center, averaged just six points a game this year and had just five points and four rebounds in the team’s 73-71 loss to Harvard that eliminated the Tigers from Ivy League contention. Behind Brase, the team is stocked with wings that can score and shoot. Juniors Henry Caruso, Steven Cook, and Spencer Weisz all averaged double digits while shooting better than 35 percent from three and 70 percent from the line. Freshman point guard Devin Cannady was a sparkplug in limited action, scoring nearly 12 points a game in 22 minutes and making 46 percent of his threes and 90 percent of his free throws.

Behind Princeton, the league is unsettled. Harvard brings in one of the nation’s top recruiting classes and All-Ivy point guard Siyani Chambers to flank junior Zena Edosomwan, but there are a lot of new pieces for Tommy Amaker to integrate in the offseason. The Crimson is undoubtedly as talented, if not more, than Princeton, but it will have to make up for its lack of continuity. While Princeton’s starters have been playing together for three years, the hypothetical Harvard starting lineup—Chambers, Edosomwan, freshman Corey Johnson, and sophomores Chris Egi and Andre Chatfield—has never played a single minute together.

The Crimson and Tigers remain the surest bets in a league of uncertainty. With the departure of Kyle Smith and the graduation of Maodo Lo, Alex Rosenberg, Grant Mullins, and Isaac Cohen, Columbia loses the head of its program and nearly all of its productivity. Cornell and Dartmouth will likewise try to integrate new coaches, while Penn will build on a promising fifth-place finish in the absence of its dependable senior big man Darien Nelson-Henry. With the last two Ivy League Rookies of the Year, the Big Green’s situation closely resembles Brown’s, who hopes to ride up the standings behind its young guns (Miles Wright and Evan Boudreaux for Dartmouth, Tavon Blackmon and Obi Okolie for Brown).

The league’s biggest puzzle, however, is two-time defending champion Yale. The Bulldogs will likely get sophomore standout Makai Mason back—his declaration for the NBA draft appears to be more of a promotion than anything—but lose two-time Ivy League Player of the Year Justin Sherrod and fellow starters Nick Victor and Brandon Sherrod. Freshman Blake Reynolds and junior Sam Downey had some nice moments in the tournament, but have never seriously received playing time. With Mason and junior Anthony Dallier, the team will have some good building blocks to rely on, but if the team makes a run, it will likely hinge on Mason averaging north of 25 points a game.

–Staff writer David Freed can be reached at david.freed@thecrimson.com.

Athlete of the Week Runners-Up: Week of 4/4

Published by Stuart Johnson on April 05, 2016 at 10:08PM

While softball's Taylor Cabe claimed this week's Athlete of the Week honor, she wasn't the only Crimson athlete to record strong performances this week. Sophomores Datlon Youngblood, of women's rugby, and Julia Glynn, of women's lacrosse, are this week's Athlete of the Week runners up.

DALTON YOUNGBLOOD

The Dallas, TX native was a major contributor for the Crimson all throughout the day in Hamden, CT at the Quinnipiac University Rugby Field. In their first game of the day the team suffered a loss to American International College Yellow Jackets, 7-10.

However, with the help of Youngblood, the team earned victories against the Army Black Knights and Norwich’s B team, with final scores of 25-5 and 22-0, respectively. Youngblood scored a total 4 tries in the two contests.

Youngblood scored 6 tries in total during the tournament. Youngblood is among the many underclassmen that have been major contributors to the Crimson women’s rugby team, as the underclassmen were responsible for 12 of the 14 scores on the day.

JULIA GLYNN

The Crimson women’s lacrosse team, despite the tough loss against No.10/11 Princeton, came out hot against the Dartmouth Big Green. Harvard won its second conference game of the season with a dominating performance.

Midfielder Julia Glynn was responsible for 10 of the Crimson’s 17 scores in Saturday’s game at Harvard Stadium, either by netting a goal herself or notching an assist for one of her teammates. Glynn’s career-high 10 points in the contest against Dartmouth gave her the most points on the team this season with a total of 32. The midfielder slightly edges out junior Marisa Romeo who has 30 points on the season.

The first six scores for Harvard in Saturday’s matchup were either scored by or assisted by Glynn. As the whistle sounded for the end of the first half, Harvard had an 8-3 lead over the Big Green. The Crimson would continue to roll as it scored nine more times in the second half, the sophomore being responsible for four of them.


The Manhasset, NY native has been a major contributor for Harvard on both defense and offense. Not only does Glynn have the most points on the team, but also has the most assists and 2nd highest shot percentage and goals scored. The midfielder shows up big on defense as she ranks top five on the team in ground balls, draw controls, and caused turnovers.