Fordham Loss Hurts Harvard in Both Major Polls

Published by Daniel A. Grafstein on January 09, 2012 at 3:12AM

Despite a shocking 60-54 loss to Fordham on Tuesday, Harvard managed to remain in the top 25 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, coming in at No. 25. But the Crimson’s didn’t fare as well in the AP Top 25, receiving just 16 points and falling 10 spots, well out of the rankings.

In the coaches poll, Harvard extended its four-week stint, though the squad dropped four spots. Garnering 58 points, the Crimson made the top 25 with 15 points to spare.

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Crimson Crossovers: Oliver McNally and Chauncey Billups

Published by Juliet Spies-Gans on January 07, 2012 at 3:12AM

To which NBA player is Oliver McNally 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.

Oliver McNally – 7.9 PPG, 3.5 APG, 2.3 RPG (2011-2012 season)

During his junior season, McNally ranked second nationally in free-throw percentage, shooting 92.6 percent from the line, setting a single season record for the Crimson. Over the last three seasons, McNally has shot 44.6 percent from the field and 37 percent from beyond the arc. But McNally’s leadership has made as much, if not more, of an impact on his team than his physical play. As Harvard men’s basketball coach Tommy Amaker said, “[His role] is invaluable. …Without his heart and soul, we’re not where we’ve been in the past, and we’re certainly not where we want to go in the future.” Which NBA player possesses a similar skill set to McNally?

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Harvard Set To Open Ivy League Play Against Dartmouth

Published by Peter G. Cornick on January 06, 2012 at 3:12AM

Kyle Casey and the Harvard men's basketball team open Ivy League play Saturday against Dartmouth.

After a historic run in non-conference play, the Harvard men’s basketball team (12-2) is set to begin its quest for its first ever outright Ivy League title when Dartmouth (3-12) visits Lavietes Pavilion on Saturday.

The Crimson enters league play coming off its second defeat of the season, a road loss to Fordham that will likely knock Harvard out of the Top 25.  But rather than lamenting the loss, the Crimson is hoping to bring a renewed focus into its Ancient Eight schedule.

“I’m never proud of losses,” Harvard coach Tommy Amaker said.  “But … sometimes these things can be a blessing in disguise if you handle it, use it, and channel it the right way. I’m confident in our leadership, and I’m hopeful our team will respond to the loss and see if we can get better from it.”

Co-captain Oliver McNally echoed his coach’s sentiments and believes Harvard must focus on itself rather than on the rest of the Ivy League and nation.

“We’re not going to be ranked next week, and that’s never a good thing, but everyone knows we need to get back to square one,” the senior said.  “I think we have done that the past couple of days.”

The Crimson will begin by focusing on its offense, which struggled to score against Fordham’s strong zone defense.

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Crimson Crossovers: Christian Webster and Caron Butler

Published by Juliet Spies-Gans on January 05, 2012 at 3:12AM

To which NBA player is junior Christian Webster 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.

Christian Webster – 6.1 PPG, 2.2 RPG, .9 APG (2011-2012 season)

A solid defender and shooter throughout his three years at Harvard, Webster has displayed the ability to hit shots from both inside the arc and downtown. During his sophomore year, the Harvard wing shot a personal best 43.5 percent from the field, a number that proved good for second best among Crimson guards. This season against Boston University, Webster made six out of 10 field goals, including two three-pointers, for a total of 14 points. His ability to slash to the basket adds to his versatility and his 6’5, 205-pound frame makes him difficult to defend. Which NBA player possesses a similar skill set?

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AROUND THE IVIES: Penn, Yale Return from Southern Swings Empty-Handed

Published by Jacob D. H. Feldman on January 04, 2012 at 3:12AM

Yale senior Greg Mangano, shown above in a contest against Harvard last season, averaged 23 points and 13.5 rebounds in the Bulldogs' contests against Wake Forest and Florida.

While the Harvard men’s basketball team stayed close to home in the final week of 2011, traveling crosstown to face Boston College and hosting St. Joseph’s, two Ivy League foes took up a different strategy.

Escaping the dark northern winter, Penn and Yale took on two southern foes apiece. Despite smelling victory in their first battles, the teams ended up a combined 0-4.

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