Former Cornell and current Boston College men's basketball coach Steve Donahue, shown above during Thursday night's matchup between Harvard and BC, shared his thoughts on the Crimson and its place in Ivy League history.
You would be hard-pressed to find someone who knows Ivy League basketball better than Steve Donahue. The second-year Boston College head coach spent 10 years as an assistant to Fran Dunphy at Penn from 1990 to 2000, and another 10 years as Cornell’s head coach, leading the Big Red to three Ivy League championships and a berth in the Sweet Sixteen in 2010. So after the Crimson’s 67-46 win over the Eagles last night, Donahue shared his thoughts on the Harvard men’s basketball team and its place in Ivy League history.
“There are a couple things that make [Harvard] really good, but defense is certainly one of them. In my years at Cornell, I thought we hurt them on the offensive end against their defense. In my last year, I think we had one game where we had  assists, [eight] turnovers, scored 86 points [against] the same kids that were out there tonight. I think that’s a lesson to be learned with younger players developing: in two years you get bigger; you get stronger. Just watching the Harvard guys communicate out there, how they know each other so well, and they have such confidence and trust in each other. [Harvard coach Tommy Amaker’s] done a fantastic job just developing that defense.
“The other thing that’s impressive with them is they start three guys that started three or four years in [Oliver] McNally, [Brandyn] Curry, and [Christian] Webster, and none of them average over [seven] points, and they’re content with winning. That’s when you get a dangerous team. Kids don’t care. When they’re open they shoot it. [If] they don’t, they move the basketball.”
To which NBA point guard is Harvard junior Brandyn Curry most similar?
It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. On Dec. 25, we all shared in a gift that is way better than any Christmas sweater or box of chocolates. Yep, professional basketball is back. To ring in the good times, we at The Back Page have set out to find the best NBA match for several of Harvard’s own ballers. Which NBA player is most like each Crimson star? Keep reading to find out.
Brandyn Curry - 6.7 PPG, 4.8 Assists, 1.9 Rebounds, 2.1 steals (2011-2012 season)
The North Carolina native was recruited for his poise and leadership and was ranked as the second best high school point guard in the state behind some guy named John Wall. Suiting up for the Crimson for the first time in 2009, Curry made an immediate impact, taking home two Ivy League Rookie of the Week awards.
So far this season, Curry, now a junior, has continued his ascent. At November’s Battle 4 Atlantis tournament, Curry’s leadership was lauded by Harvard coach Tommy Amaker. The point guard shut down Utah’s biggest offensive threat in the opening round and then hit a crucial three-pointer to ice a close contest against then-No.22 Florida State. So which professional comparison did that performance earn him?
The New York Knicks acquired Jeremy Lin ’10 on Tuesday in an attempt to bolster their injury-ridden guard reserve. Seeing as there are several key absences to the Knicks lineup, the former Harvard standout should see playing time right away. But what can Lin expect in the near future?
After a two-game preseason and one game of the new campaign, the Knicks backcourt is already hampered by two key losses: Mike Bibby from old-man syndrome back and foot issues and Iman Shumpert due to a strained right MCL. Veteran point guard Baron Davis, added in the preseason with a preexisting condition (herniated disc), is still 4-8 weeks away from stepping onto the hardwood. That leaves the Knickerbockers with just Toney Douglas, a combo guard, as the team’s only player fit to play point guard. Lin should play Wednesday night against his former team, the Golden State Warriors, despite having only one day to learn the team’s playbook—but cramming should be nothing new to the Harvard grad.
The New York Knicks added former Harvard guard Jeremy Lin '10 to their already injury-plagued backcourt on Tuesday.
This morning, another chapter was added to the Jeremy Lin ’10 claim-and-release saga. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the New York Knicks claimed the Harvard alum less than three days after he was released by the Houston Rockets.
This move to New York is only the latest high in the roller coaster of Lin’s last few weeks. On Dec. 9, he was let go from the Golden State Warriors to establish salary-cap space for DeAndre Jordan, a center who did not end up signing with the team.
With a win last week over Florida Atlantic, Harvard achieved its best rankings in both major polls in the history of the program.
After its 63-51 victory over Florida Atlantic on Thursday, the Harvard men’s basketball team has regained its spot in the AP rankings and moved up in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll. In both, the Crimson achieved its top position in program history.
Harvard (10-1) now finds itself ranked No. 23 in the ESPN/USA Today poll after receiving 92 votes. But that puts the team far behind No. 22 Pittsburgh, which received 159 votes after a Christmas Eve upset at the hands of Wagner dropped the Panthers nine spots.