This past weekend, Harvard had one of its strongest showings of the year with an Ivy-clinching victory by the women’s soccer team and a big win by the football squad. As Harvard tried to carry its momentum into this week’s docket of games, The Back Page previews a few especially noteworthy contests:
Harvard Invitational, Women’s Tennis
In its last competition of the calendar year, the women’s tennis team hosts the Harvard Invitational. Freshmen Monica Lin and Spencer Liang look to follow up their impressive showings at the USTA/ITA Northeast Regional Championships, where they finished in the quarterfinals and the round of sixteen, respectively. The competition will last from Friday to Sunday in the Murr Center.
CPWA Northern Div. Championships, Harvard Men’s Water Polo
After finishing 11-1 in conference play on the season, the No. 18 Crimson looks for its regular season success to carry over to the CWPA Northern Division Championships. Brown handed Harvard its only conference loss of the year in late October and could potentially avenge its defeat this weekend in Blodgett Pool.
Women’s Volleyball v. Penn
After defeating Yale for the first time in 10 years, the women’s volleyball team hopes to carry some momentum into its tilt with Penn this Friday in the Malkin Athletic Center. The Quakers sit one spot below the Crimson in the standings and, with a fifth straight victory, could pull into a tie for second place in the Ivy League with Harvard.
Published by Patrick Xu
on November 10, 2013 at 4:33PM
Harvard men’s basketball has been on an incredible rise over the last couple of years, but recent recruiting efforts indicate the best years are still far out in front. Symbolic of the good times to come is Zena Edosomwan, the 6’9” bruiser of a power forward who was Harvard’s first-ever top 100 recruit. Although it’s still a little bit difficult to determine what role he’ll exactly have on the team, one thing is clear: he’s an absolute beast on the court. Built like a young stag, he’s the type of player who will try go through you rather than go around you.
The first time I remember hearing of Zena was when I saw him in his very own BallIsLife mixtape. The biggest question after watching this video is whether he can really dunk, right? The mixtape, however, isn’t purely a highlight reel of alley-oops and one-handed jams. At 0:19, Edosomwan displays a pretty sick up-and-under move. At 0:13, he displays a turnaround jumper, perhaps inklings of a budding varied post game. Surprisingly, at 0:29 you even see Zena hit a long-range jumper.
That this is Zena’s only shot outside of 10 feet tells me that he’s probably not going to be a Kyle Casey-esque power forward who can stretch the defense out to three-point land. The best play, with no doubt, and the one that gets me the most excited, is the last play in the entire highlight reel. At 1:45, Zena absolutely throws it down two-handed on an unsuspecting defender. Number 13’s Deandre Jordan-type face shows it all: surprise, discomfort for his teammate, and a little bit of awe.
The BallIsLife mixtape’s a little outdated, however, as Zena spent his last year at NMH, as so many players do, doing a post-high school graduation year at a prep school. NMH catalogs the highlights of all their players, and this mixtape shows his improvement over the past year. In the first play of the mixtape, he puts a defender on his back by simply backing him down. He then goes on to show a little finesse at 0:51, where he lets both defenders fly by and then lays the ball up nicely with the left hand, though he probably could have dunked it. At 1:46, we see a vastly improved jumper from the BallIsLife reel. Rather than a set shot, he is able to drive right, step back, and pull up, which for righties is very difficult to do successfully.
Probably one of the best gauges to show both his strength and skill is this last mixtape, where there are numerous clips of him performing at the Pangos All-American Camp, a three day invite-only camp for the best high school players in the nation. Zena was still able to complete an impressive array of dunks, but what was the most exciting about this highlight clip was the host of post moves in his arsenal that he displayed against these taller, but probably not stronger, players. It’s easy to think that a 6’9” power forward might be a little undersized to play in a team that could be potentially ranked in the top 25, but his athletic ability and basketball finesse indicate that he should have no problems.
It’s no surprise that Zena received 39 total offers from schools such as UCLA, Texas, and Wake Forest. These videos indicate why Harvard basketball fans are incredibly excited to see what he’ll bring to the team this year.
Published by Patrick Xu
on November 10, 2013 at 4:30PM
Not often is there a basketball player referred to by his fans by purely his first name. But at any Harvard home basketball game, one can hear the students roar "STEVEEEEE" as their favorite Cameroonian power forward throws down vicious dunks.
Moundou-Missi has always been aided by the star point guard play of Brandyn Curry and Siyani Chambers, yet a dig into his past reveals all the other sick point guards he’s played with. The investigation also reveals that he’s essentially a super-nerd, but hey, we’re all Harvard students, so is that not to be expected?
The most informative video on his high school experience is a YouTube series called Soar With the Eagles. Steve’s section starts at roughly 3:36, where his coach starts talking about Moundou-Missi’s past athletic and academic career. There were numerous surprises here in this part of the video: he went to Montverde Academy, one of the best basketball prep schools in the entire nation, and he only entered the US early in high school and has only lived in the US for roughly six years. The tape reveals that Moundou-Missi chose Montverde Academy over the number one academic school in France. It makes it all the more fitting that he dominates here at Harvard, both academically and athletically.
In the first actual highlight reel of Steve playing in a little pick-up with his former high school players, we see him doing things we’re used to him doing. Although the film only includes three of his plays, they are, in order, him throwing down an alley-oop on an unsuspecting defender, him blocking Kasey Hill—arguably the best point guard in last year’s recruiting class starting his freshman year at Florida right now—and taking off with two feet just outside the key, cocking it back, and throwing it down with some force. Ugo Okam, a former Harvard varsity basketball player who is currently dominating against law students and undergrads a couple feet shorter than he is in pick-up games, makes a little appearance at 0:50 running the pick portion of the pick and roll.
The final highlight reel is a real treat in itself – it’s a video of Steve during his AAU years in 2010, taken on a grainy, super-janky video recorder that’s well past its prime. The video, however, is definitely not all about Steve. His team also features New Orleans Pelicans 2012 first-round pick Austin Rivers, Dallas Mavericks 2013 first-round pick Shane Larkin, and UNC commit and recent Peach Jam winner (top high school basketball tournament) Joel Berry. Due to the quality of the video, or lack thereof, I can’t quite tell who Steve is, but I’m going to guess he’s number 51, purely based off of his face shape.
At 1:01, he has a strong rebound and left-handed finish. Right after, he faces up the defender in the low post and is able to back him down for a tough bank shot off the glass. At 2:00, we see a relatively weak dunk by Moundou-Missi, so it seems like he’s put on a little muscle and hops since then. We see Moundou-Missi get himself into a tough situation at 2:11, where he gets stopped as he tries to drive one way and spin back for a hook shot. Steve’s able to calmly put a shoulder into the defender to create some separation and flip the ball off the glass with a right handed scoop shot, not something you see all that often from any power forward.
We basketball fans here at Harvard would love to see a little more of that Moundou-Missi post game. We already know the value he creates as a rebounding energy man who gets a lot of easy inside shots, but it’d be interesting to see if he, Kenyatta, Zena, and Kyle Casey can form some sort of dynamic in which they get a lot of high post-low post action going. There is not too much athletic height in this league, and Steve could play an integral part of a decimating interior for the Crimson in this coming year.
It is a great time of year to be a Harvard sports fan. For most teams, the final week of the season is approaching, and the stakes have never been higher. The women’s soccer team and the women’s rugby team have already brought home Ivy League championships, and several other teams are looking to do the same. The men’s soccer team has an opportunity to win a title with wins in its last two games. In two weeks, the football team could have more than just bragging rights on the line against Yale with a potential Ancient Eight crown within reach. If all that is not enough, the men and women’s cross-country teams will be heading to the NCAA Regionals next week, and the highly anticipated start of basketball season has finally arrived.
In addition to all this action on the field, Crimson athletes have been active off the field on social media and Twitter. We at The Back Page would like to share some of our favorite posts from the past week with you.
6. Colton Peppelman, a freshman wrestler, has competed hundreds of times on the mat, but his toughest opponent is his favorite candy.
"You don't know what struggling is until you've tried to open a starburst in the dark."
All that matters is the end result.
5. Blockbuster’s announcement that it will be closing all its stores has taken a toll on
junior tight end Tyler Hamblin.
"S/O to #Blockbuster for the memories. Ill always remember the overpriced candy"
The only thing that Blockbuster had that Netflix couldn’t stream.
4. Harvard’s Assistant Director of Athletic Communications, Michael Black, is next on our list with a proposal for the MBTA.
"I'd probably pay $5 more a month if the MBTA struck a deal with like Febreze® or Glade® for a once-every-five-minutes puff of freshness."
A man can only dream.
3. When he signed up for Ec10, freshman tight end Jimmy Martter knew that Greg Mankiw would be an insightful professor, but this probably isn’t what he had in mind.
"'We think of Harvard as a great school, and it is, but it's also the best mating system - Potential for high household incomes' -Greg Mankiw"
Mankiw may have gotten his PhD in economics, but you can also call him the doctor of love.
2. Colby Knight, another freshman wrestler, had a pun to share with his followers.
"I'm not alarmed that they're getting rid of clocks that make noise every second. It's about time. They were really starting to tick me off."
Everyone loves a good pun. There’s a reason why we ranked him second.
1. It was bad enough that Hayley Moore, assistant coach of the women’s hockey team, had to be up at the crack of dawn to catch a flight, but things got worse.
"Bad things that can happen on the way to the airport at 4am: #mycabdriverfarted"
Never a good strategy if you’d like to earn a tip.
Triple overtime games are few and far between, yet Harvard has already played two games that took three extra frames to complete this year. In Saturday’s 48-51 loss to Princeton, both teams were able to rack up a substantial amount of stats in a game that saw over an hour and a half of playing time on the field. The Back Page takes a look at some of the noteworthy statistics from the 99-point game.
970 — Combined yards of total offense from both teams
122 — Tackles executed by Harvard’s defense
190 — Total number of plays run from scrimmage
53 — Combined number of first downs
23 — Harvard’s rank in the FCS before the game. The team has since dropped from the rankings
39-34 — The score of last year’s game in which Princeton handed Harvard its first loss of the season on a last minute touchdown drive (sound familiar?)
30:02 — Princeton’s time of possession during regulation
52.3 — Harvard quarterback Conner Hempel’s completion percentage
481 — Combined yards punted by each team on 12 punts
5-1 — Record of both teams following Saturday’s result
15 — Harvard’s undefeated home game streak snapped on Saturday