Athlete of the Week Runners-Up: Week of 4/7

Published by Ty Aderhold on April 09, 2014 at 2:57PM
You Mad?

Co-captain Nick Madden, pictured above in earlier action, notched 11 and 13 kills against Penn State and St. Francis, respectively, over the weekend.

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.

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Tweets of the Week

Published by Jake Meagher on April 06, 2014 at 12:06PM
Korolev demolishes Ivy record.

Senior Maksim Korolev, pictured above, will be heading to Stanford for his fifth year of eligibility.

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…

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Alumni Update: Bryant '09, Chu '06-07, Hermann '06

Published by Caleb Lee on April 06, 2014 at 12:04PM
DESMOND BRYANT

After heart surgery, defensive lineman Desmond Bryant '09 is looking to make a full comeback to the Cleveland Browns' defensive line

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.

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Awards Keep Coming for Saunders

Published by Kurt T. Bullard on April 02, 2014 at 12:56AM
Wes Saunders

Saunders

The games may be over, but junior Wesley Saunders of the men’s basketball team continues to garner postseason accolades.

Saunders was voted to the Lou Henson 2014 All-America Team as one of the 30 top mid-major players in the nation. As a result, he is being considered for the Lou Henson award for the country's top mid-major performer.

Saunders caught the attention of many across the nation with his standout performance against Michigan State in the third round of the NCAA Tournament. The third-year swingman tallied 22 points in the seven-point loss against the Spartans, including going a perfect 10-for-10 from the charity stripe.

But long before that game, Saunders was making noise around the Ivy League. Saunders was the key cog in the Crimson’s top-ranked conference offense, averaging a team-leading 10.1 field goals per game while still managing to shoot 46.4 percent from the field. The Los Angeles, Calif. native also consistently made his way to the free-throw line this season, as he ranked fourth in the Ivy League with 5.7 attempts per game.

Despite the balanced nature of the Crimson offense that saw six players average more than nine points per game, Saunders ranked seventh across the Ivy League with 14.2 points per contest. The forward dropped more than 20 points in six games, including a 24-point winning effort against perennial Ivy League title-challenger Princeton.

Other notable candidates for the award are Langston Hall of Mercer, who helped earn a second round win against Duke with 11 points and five assists, and North Dakota State’s Taylor Braun, who posted 11 points and six rebounds in an upset over No. 5 seed Oklahoma.

The winner of the Lou Henson award will be announced on April 4th in Dallas, Texas, one day before the beginning of the Final Four.

Ex Post Facto—The Weekend in Sports: 3/31/14

Published by Ty Aderhold on April 02, 2014 at 12:44AM

Women's Rugby vs Yale

While you were spending way too much time catching Pokémon on Google Maps, here is what happened in Crimson sports this past weekend:

Radcliffe lightweight crew beat BU and MIT to win its second consecutive Beanpot on Saturday. Perhaps MIT, which finished both the 1V and 2V races almost 30 seconds behind the Black and White, should consider attending the lesser-known Lentilcup next year. We hear it offers great competition for weaker schools while still providing all of the legume amenities the Beanpot is known for.

Men’s lacrosse was unsuccessful in its upset bid of No. 3 Duke, falling by a final score of 17-11. The Blue Devils were able to set the tone early by scoring just eight seconds into the match. Crimson head coach Chris Wojcik, so upset with his team’s performance in those first few seconds, is rumored to have spent his entire halftime speech saying the word “goal” every eight seconds to drive the point home.

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