After surviving its first road test of the year, the Harvard men’s basketball team (6-1) returns to the cozy confines of Lavietes Pavilion to take on Boston University (7:00 p.m., Ivy League Digital Network) Monday night in the squad's last game before the end of finals period. Below, The Back Page takes a look at three things to keep your eye on as Harvard winds down its first half of nonconference play.
Five games into the season, nobody is playing better basketball in the Ivy League than senior wing Wesley Saunders—and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Wednesday, Saunders was named to the Naismith Trophy Men’s Top 50 watch list. The senior ranks seventh in the NCAA in scoring at 21.8 points a game, putting up 27—including the game-clinching three-point play—in the team’s most recent 77-75 win over UMass. The reigning Ivy League Player of the Year leads the team with 7.8 rebounds and 1.8 steals a game, ranking first in assist-to-turnover ratio as well.
After a closer-than-expected win over MIT to start the season and an unexpected loss against Holy Cross, it is safe to say that the Harvard men’s basketball team (4-1) has righted the ship. The team is 3-0 on its current five-game homestand, closing with Northeastern (7:00 p.m., NESN) and Boston University as the semester winds down. Below, The Back Page takes a look at the three main things to keep your eye on as Harvard aims to extend its win streak against the Huskies.
Vulnerability Inside: The biggest story from Harvard’s victory over UMass was the performances of reserve big men junior Evan Cummins and sophomore Zena Edosomwan, who played solid defense on Minutemen star Cady Lalame and got key buckets on the other end. With senior Jonah Travis again questionable to play, the Crimson will need both players to step up against burly Northeastern forward Scott Eatherton. The senior, who had 17 points and 11 rebounds the last time these teams met, was named CAA Player of the Week Monday after leading the squad to the Hall of Fame Tip-Off title and a win over Florida State. The Huskies are playing historically good basketball, having won five games in November for the first time ever, and Eatherton’s play is the biggest reason why.
Four games in, the Harvard men’s basketball team (3-1) has performed roughly as its ranking would have suggested. Apart from a one-point loss to Holy Cross, Harvard has blown away each of its other opponents with suffocating defense and timely offense. The Crimson will look to run its record to 4-0 at home when UMass comes to town Saturday afternoon at Lavietes Pavilion (2:00 p.m., ESPN3). Below, The Back Page takes a look at the three main things to keep your eye on as Harvard goes for its first marquee nonconference win of the season.
After three games, the Harvard men’s basketball team (2-1) has sandwiched solid home wins around a surprising neutral-court defeat to Holy Cross. The Crimson will look to continue protecting home-court advantage when it takes on Houston (2-0) Tuesday night at Lavietes Pavilion. Below, The Back Page takes a look at the three main things to keep your eye on as the Crimson tries to stay undefeated on its current four-game homestand.
Trap Games: Before the year, much was made about Harvard’s nonconference schedule—or lack thereof. The schedule lacks the marquee games of past years, with teams like Memphis, Colorado, and St. Mary’s absent from the schedule. However, while the slate of games is not top-heavy, it carries a number of dangerous games against teams solidly in the NCAA’s middle tier. Harvard plays eight programs ranked between 65 and 165 on KenPom, with two of the Crimson’s conference opponents—Yale and Columbia—falling in the same range.
Houston carries a 2-0 record and a no. 163 ranking into Lavietes. The Cougars have a solid early road win over top-100 Murray State and took out SMU, Memphis, and UConn last year, so the team will not be intimidated by the host Crimson. Despite a ranking in the triple digits, Houston represents a stiff early season test for Harvard.