Men’s Hockey To Play in Notre Dame, Minnesota Holiday Tourneys

Published by Michael D. Ledecky on June 29, 2015 at 1:56PM
Back to the Bend

Less than a year after traveling to South Bend for its 2015 NCAA tournament opener, the Harvard men's ice hockey team is now set to return for the Shillelagh Tournament in November.

The Harvard men’s ice hockey team’s 2015-2016 holiday plans are set.

The Crimson will compete in the Notre Dame-hosted Shillelagh Tournament during Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 27-28) in South Bend, Ind., before ringing in the New Year at the University of Minnesota’s Mariucci Classic (Jan. 1-2) in Minneapolis.

While Harvard has yet to announce its official 2015-16 schedule, Notre Dame debuted its full schedule last week, and Minnesota debuted its schedule on Wednesday.

The Crimson will be a first-time participant in the Shillelagh Tournament, which Notre Dame has held five times since 2009. Harvard will face the Fighting Irish in the first-round Friday nightcap and will play either Western Michigan or Rensselaer the next day.

Harvard’s participation in the Mariucci Classic, meanwhile, will mark the team’s first appearance in the 25-year-old tournament since the 2004-2005 season and its fourth appearance overall. The Crimson will play Ferris State on New Year’s Day before meeting either Minnesota or UConn in either the final or consolation the next day.

The Shillelagh Tournament will be held at Notre Dame’s Compton Family Ice Arena (capacity: 5,022), where Nebraska-Omaha eliminated the Crimson in the first round of last year’s NCAA tournament. The Golden Gophers’ Mariucci Arena (capacity: 10,000) will host the Classic.

With the Crimson guaranteed to participate in the 64th annual Beanpot in February, the 2015-2016 season will be the first in which a Ted Donato-coached team will compete in three midseason tournaments. The tournaments will also allow Harvard to match up against teams from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, National Collegiate Hockey Conference, and Big Ten—conferences that were unrepresented on the Crimson’s most recent regular season slate.

—Staff writer Michael D. Ledecky can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @mdledecky.

Wesley Saunders To Join Utah Jazz for NBA Summer League

Published by Jake Meagher on June 26, 2015 at 3:42PM
Joining the Jazz

Wesley Saunders '15, shown competing against North Carolina in the NCAA tournament in March, will join the Utah Jazz for the NBA Summer League.

Former Harvard basketball standout Wesley Saunders will get his chance to play his way onto an NBA roster. According to reports from RealGM and SBNation, Saunders will play in the NBA Summer League next month as a member of the Utah Jazz.

Saunders, a three-time All-Ivy League first-teamer and the 2013-2014 Ivy League Player of the Year, was ranked 68th in the rising NBA draft class according to ESPN’s Chad Ford. But Saunders was not among the 60 prospects selected by NBA teams at Thursday’s draft.

According to an interview he gave to Hoops Rumors, Saunders scheduled workouts with the 76ers, Hawks, Clippers, Bulls, Knicks, Bucks, Magic, and Mavericks in the weeks leading up to the draft.

The Jazz were not mentioned, but Saunders will suit up for Salt Lake City in just a matter of weeks nonetheless. Utah will play six games this summer in addition to a tournament at the end of the short season.

The 6’5” wing averaged 16.6 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game in his senior season, carrying the Crimson to its fourth consecutive NCAA tournament appearance. In his final taste of tournament action, Saunders recorded 26 points and five assists, nearly willing Harvard to an upset over heavily favored North Carolina.

Now as he shifts his attention towards the professional ranks, Saunders has an opportunity very similar to the one that another Crimson basketball standout took advantage of in 2010.

After going undrafted, Jeremy Lin ’10 received an invite to play in the Summer League from the Dallas Mavericks. Then after averaging 9.8 points and 18.6 minutes over four games, Lin earned the attention of the Golden State Warriors, who signed the guard to a deal at the end of July.

All 30 NBA teams will have the opportunity to sign the wing at the conclusion of the summer league. Saunders will get his first chance to make his case on July 6 against the Boston Celtics.

—Check and follow @THCSports for updates.

Alex Killorn Makes Harvard History with Finals Run

Published by Michael D. Ledecky on June 19, 2015 at 9:26PM
Killorn's Playoffs

Killorn's image and number are projected onto the ice of Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla., before Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final on June 13.

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews hoisted his third Stanley Cup in six years on Monday, putting the cap on a championship series that started with a goal by a Harvard man.


Temi Fagbenle To Continue Basketball Career at USC

Published by Theresa C. Hebert on June 12, 2015 at 3:57AM
Temi Trojan

Former Harvard forward Temi Fagbenle '15 will exercise her final season of eligibility with the USC Trojans.

She may have hung up her Crimson jersey, but college basketball has not seen the last of Temi Fagbenle ’15. The forward will head west for one final year of college hoops as she gets set to join the University of Southern California women’s basketball team for the 2015-2016 season while working towards a graduate degree.

After sitting out her freshman season at Harvard, Fagbenle has one remaining year of eligibility. NCAA regulations required that she sit out her rookie season after waiting three years—rather than the maximum of two that is allowed—to enroll at a university after passing Britain’s General Certificate of Secondary Education exam.

Rather than competing on the floor of Lavietes Pavilion during the 2011-2012 season, Fagbenle instead donned the jersey of Great Britain at the 2012 London Olympics. During the tournament, Fagbenle started in three of her country’s five games and saw minutes in all five contests. Playing on one of the world’s biggest stages, she averaged 4.8 points and four rebounds per game.

Upon her return to Cambridge, Fagbenle made her presence felt right from the start. In her first season on the court, she earned the title of Ivy League Rookie of the Year, eventually going on to become a three-time All-Ivy selection. During her senior season, she recorded 14.4 points and 10.4 rebounds per game.

Now, Fagbenle will make her move to the Pac-12 conference, joining a team that last reached the NCAA tournament just a year ago—something that the Crimson was unable to accomplish during the forward’s tenure.

"We are proud and excited to add Temi to our team," said USC coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke in a press release published on April 29. "Temi is the consummate student-athlete. Temi is an impact athlete, with over 30 double-doubles at Harvard. Her length and speed will anchor our defense, and her offensive skills and versatility will enable us to utilize her in a variety of ways.”

“As a Harvard graduate and an Olympian, Temi's maturity, intellect and international experience will command the respect of her teammates, and she will be a valued voice and leader on our team,” Cooper-Dyke added.

Fagbenle joins a Trojan roster that features several international players. When announcing the addition of Fagbenle, USC also introduced European recruit Candela Abejon of Spain. Shortly after making that announcement, USC brought in two new Australian recruits—Khaedin Taito and Dani Milisic.

The Trojans finished the 2014-2015 campaign with a 15-15 record, seeing their season come to an end with a first-round loss in the Pac-12 Tournament against Colorado. With USC graduating its top scorer, Alexyz Vaioletama, who averaged 12 points per game this year, Fagbenle will look to bring a strong scoring presence to her new team. The 6’4” forward will also add to USC’s size as the Trojans had just one player over 6’2” on its roster last season.

Men's Basketball's Moundou-Missi Signs With Agent

Published by David Freed on May 24, 2015 at 3:39AM
Scorer 1st, Rebounder 2nd

Senior forward Steve Moundou-Missi, pictured in action against Brown on March 7, has signed a contract with Scorers 1st.

As he begins to pursue a professional basketball career, Harvard senior forward Steve Moundou-Missi has signed with the agency Scorers 1st. The organization also represents Moundou-Missi’s former teammate, Brandyn Curry ’13-’14.

Along with teammate Wesley Saunders, Moundou-Missi has set his eyes squarely on playing basketball after college ends. The Yaounde, Cameroon, native had a banner season in his last year on campus, taking home both the 2015 Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year award and his third All-Ivy designation.

The signing with Scorers 1st indicates that Moundou-Missi will likely follow Curry to Europe. No current players signed with the agency play even in the NBA D-League, with its most prominent signings known best for either name—like Patrick Ewing Jr.—or ridiculous achievement—like Jack Taylor, holder of the NCAA record for points in a game with 138.