With the Harvard men’s basketball team’s season opener less than a month away, The Back Page is breaking down the Crimson’s non-conference opponents. Each week, we will take a look at two new foes. On Tuesday we profiled UMass. Next up is Manhattan College.
The last time the Harvard men's basketball team faced off against Manhattan College, the players on this 2012-2013 team hadn't even been born. The Crimson will host the Jaspers on Nov. 16 for the ninth ever meeting of the two teams and the first since the 1987-88 season, during which Harvard lost the matchup, 77-66.
Last season, Manhattan posted a 21-13 overall record and went 12-6 in the MAAC. TIt fell in the first round of the conference tournament in a tight overtime contest with Siena College, 82-84.
The Jaspers faced three Ivy foes in 2011, besting Brown by two points in a 54-52 win but dropping games against Columbia and Penn.
While Manhattan’s record last season may not have hinted at greatness, its performance improved upon the previous year by 15 wins. The team also made it to postseason play, attending the CollegeInsider.com tournament for the first time in six years.
The Jaspers’ coach Steve Masiello, who was a walk-on at Kentucky under Rick Pitino in the late 1990s, joined Manhattan just last year after serving as an assistant to Pitino at Louisville. His turnaround of last year’s team was the biggest in the nation and electrified the Manhattan fan base.
The team is led by 6’4” senior guard George Beamon, who netted 19.1 points per game in 2011-2012 and captured the most points in the MAAC with 626 on the season. Following Beamon is sophomore foward Emmy Andujar who put up 105 assists, a team record, and came second in scoring with 8.5 points per game.
In the post, Andujar will likely be flanked by veteran fowards Rhamel Brown and Roberto Colonette, and at 6’10”, freshman center Adam Lacey will add height to the trio.
In the backcourt, Beamon and junior guard Michael Alvarado will be scoring threats, while freshman guard C.J. Jones could also provide a spark for the Jaspers' offense.