In a series that began on Sunday and will continue through the Crimson’s season opener on Nov. 10 against MIT, men’s basketball beat writer Stephen Gleason will look at Harvard’s 13 nonconference opponents. Coming in at No. 3 is St. Mary’s.
No. 13: MIT
No. 12: Holy Cross
No. 11: Fordham
No. 10: Manhattan
No. 9: Massachusetts
No. 8: Wofford
No. 7: Northeastern
No. 6: George Washington
No. 5: Boston University
No. 4: Vermont
2017-2018 Matchup: Thursday, November 23 at Titan Gym, Fullerton, Calif. (4:00 p.m.)
2016-2017 Record: 29-5 overall, 16-2 West Coast Conference
2016-2017 Matchup: N/A
Head Coach: Randy Bennett (17th season)
Key Returning Players: Sr. C Jock Landale (arguably the top big man that Harvard will face this season, averaged 16.9 points and 9.5 rebounds per game a season ago, first team All-WCC and AP Honorable Mention); Sr. G Emmett Naar (two-year starter at point guard, averaged 5.6 assists per game, team’s top returner in minutes and assists); Sr. F Calvin Hermanson (43 percent three-point shooter, averaged 13.1 points per game a season ago)
Stat to Watch: 14.5: The Gaels outscored their opponents by an average of 14.5 points per game last season.
Overview: St. Mary’s has been one of the most successful and consistent Division I programs over the last ten seasons. The Gaels have won 20 or more games each season in the last decade and should be a top mid-major program again this season. Landale is an All-American candidate and Emmett Naar will lead the backcourt. While this team isn’t particularly deep, it makes up for it in experience. Randy Bennett will likely start five upperclassmen, including Cullen Neal, a graduate transfer from Ole Miss who is a sniper from three-point range. Neal will bolster a sweet-shooting unit that was 39.4 percent from long range a season ago.
—Staff writer Stephen J. Gleason can be reached at email@example.com.