Published by David Freed
on November 26, 2015 at 11:18AM
Junior forward Zena Edosomwan has dominated the glass and leads the Crimson in rebounds, but has struggled at the foul line, shoot just over 50 percent from the charity stripe this season.
Men’s Basketball beat writer David Freed notes three things to watch in the lead up to the fifth game of the season for the 1-3 Crimson, who take on Bryant at 7 p.m. Eastern.
1. Struggles At the Point — Harvard coach Tommy Amaker was frank after freshman point guard Tommy McCarthy turned in a zero-assist, five turnover game Sunday at Boston College, noting that “it is a process for a young player”. McCarthy has been the starter in each of the four games but has struggled offensively, with 15 turnovers against 11 assists and 33 field goal misses against just nine makes. Backup junior Corbin Miller has been steadier, if unspectacular, in limited action with just four turnovers in 85 minutes. The Crimson enter a soft spot in their schedule with three winnable games against Bryant, Holy Cross, and Northeastern before traveling to Kansas. If McCarthy continues to struggle against easier competition, Amaker may consider moving to his more experienced backup.
2. Usage v. Efficiency — One of the perplexing conundrums for the Crimson through four games has been the offensive play of junior forward Zena Edosomwan. The former top-100 recruit has been a monster on the glass—averaging four more rebounds than anyone on the team—but offensively has been an enigmas. On a team that shoots just under 59 percent from the line, Edosomwan is a primary culprit, making just half of his 26 attempts, shooting nearly as well from the field (49 percent) as he does from the line. Given that Harvard’s starting backcourt is shooting just 30 percent combined, the team has not lost a step offensively by force-feeding the junior in the post, but the situation is one to monitor going forward.
3. Taking Care of the Ball — Amaker, a former point guard himself, always focuses on his team taking care of the ball. After the team turned it over 24 times against Holy Cross a year ago, he notes that “it is hard to think that you are going to be able to win, let alone have a chance to win, with that many turnovers”. In the past he has praised Siyani Chambers ’15-’16 for his steadiness at the point, keeping the team’s offense on track and under control. Without Chambers, the team’s assist-to-turnover ratio has slipped from 1.1 to 0.8. Freshman Corey Johnson is the only starter averaging more assists than turnovers. Look for it to be a focus of improvement moving forward.
Last Saturday, Harvard defeated Yale, 38-19, in the 132nd matchup between the two Ivy archrivals. Harvard rebounded from a loss to Penn the previous week to secure for the Crimson a share of the Ancient Eight title for the third season in a row, the first three-peat in Harvard football history. With Thanksgiving on Thursday and the despair of finals week around the corner, here are some #HY2015 stats so Crimson fans can continue to revel in their victory a little bit longer.
9: Number of consecutive Harvard wins against Yale. The Crimson looks to hit double digits next year.
42: Number of minutes the Crimson held the Bulldogs scoreless after Yale’s opening touchdown.
508: Number of total yards for Harvard, second highest on the season.
While most Harvard student-athletes do not pursue careers in professional sports, a select few are able to make the leap. Not only do some of them make the pros, but some of them also shine.
Dominic Moore ’03 (C, New York Rangers - NHL)
Coming off a successful playoff run last year, Moore has been making major contributions for the New York Rangers who currently stand at the top of their division. Moore lines up at center for the Rangers’ fourth line. Moore was the only Ranger on the board, ending a personal 13-game goal drought. Moore then registered 11:50 playing time in New York’s win against the Florida Panthers on Saturday.
Dominic and his two older brothers, Mark and Steve, were the first-ever brother trio to share the rink at the same time for the Crimson. Moore is currently tied for third in game-winning goals and eighth in career goals for the Crimson.
Alex Killorn ’12 (C, Tampa Bay Lightning - NHL)
Another Harvard alum, Alex Killorn faced off against the Rangers this past week for the fist time since Game 7 of last year's Eastern Conference Finals.
Killorn, centering the Lightning’s third line, scored in the first quarter to establish a lead early on the game, only the second time this season Tampa has held a lead after the first period. The Lightning win ended the Rangers’ chance to equal the longest winning streak in team history. Tampa then blanked the Florida Panthers 5-0 on Saturday where Killorn had one assist. The Lightning improved to 10-9-3 on the season.
Ryan Fitzpatrick ’04 (QB, New York Jets- NFL)
Fitzpatrick faced his former team this week when the New York Jets visited the Houston Texans. The Jets fell to 5-5 on the season this week with a 24-17 loss to the Texans on Sunday. Dreams of a playoff run are quickly fading for the Jets, who started the season with an impressive 4-1 record.
Fitzpatrick started for the Jets after having thumb surgery last week. The former Crimson Quarterback completed 19 of 39 passes for 216 yards with one touchdown and ran in for another touchdown, but two interceptions late in the fourth quarter thwarted any comeback attempt.
Mike Fucito ’09 (F, San Jose Earthquakes- MLS)
Fuctio completed his collegiate career at Harvard ranked fourth in career goals and in assists and led the Crimson to three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances from 2006-08. Fucito was traded to the San Jose Earthquakes from the Portland Timbers in 2013. Fucito has appeared in two games this season for the Earthquakes.
Although many Crimson supporters will be wholly focused upon “The Game” between the Harvard and Yale football teams this coming weekend, there are a few other Crimson squads that have competitions this weekend with major NCAA implications.
Women’s Volleyball vs. Princeton (Friday 7:00p.m.)
Harvard Women’s Volleyball clinched a share of the Ancient Eight title for the second straight season with its 3-1 victory against Brown this past Saturday. Sitting atop the league with Princeton, the Crimson (14-10, 10-4 Ivy) relishes the chance to compete against the Tigers (15-8, 10-4) in a deciding play-in game to earn the Ivy League’s automatic berth to the NCAA tournament.
Published by Bryan Hu
on November 19, 2015 at 10:06PM
As Harvard and Yale get set to play the 132nd edition of The Game this weekend in New Haven (2:30 PM, NBCSN), it’s worth racking our memories for the last time that the Bulldogs (6-3, 3-3 Ivy) have defeated the Crimson (8-1, 5-1).
After all, Yale come oh-so-close in last year’s matchup, but ultimately dropped its record-tying eighth straight game to Harvard, 31-24, on a 35-yard touchdown pass from senior Connor Hempel to junior Andrew Fischer late in the fourth quarter.
Perhaps it fared better the year prior? Unfortunately, the Crimson won that one, too. And the one before that. If Yale falls to Harvard again on Saturday, the Crimson will have maintained the longest winning streak by either side in the history of The Game.
In fact, tracing your fingers through the history books to find the last time Yale won brings you to the year 2006, a different world in which Justin Verlander was a rookie and the Edmonton Oilers made the Stanley Cup Final.
On November 18 of that fateful year, Yale (8-2, 6-1) snapped a five-game losing streak to Harvard (7-3, 4-3) with a dominating 34-13 victory at Harvard Stadium. Sophomore running back Mike McLeod ran for three touchdowns and 87 yards on 34 carries. Meanwhile, the Crimson’s starting quarterback, junior Liam O’Hagan, was pulled early in the second half after completing just seven of 15 passes for 53 yards and an interception.
With the win, the Bulldogs clinched a share of the Ivy League title, tying Princeton atop the standings. The 2006 title is the last one Yale has captured to date.
This weekend, Harvard takes the field in position to clinch at least a share of the 2015 Ivy title, even after last weekend’s 35-25 upset loss to Penn. The Crimson sits atop the standings with Penn and Dartmouth and has won or shared the Ivy championship for five of the eight seasons since 2006.
Since 1875, Yale leads the all-time series over Harvard, 65-58-8, but the Crimson’s most recent eight-game winning streak over its most storied rival still looms large.