This past June, Laurent Rivard took his talents back to his high school, Northfield Mount Hermon, for its alumni game. He lit up the scoreboard with an impressive display of 3 point shooting and…. Well, nothing else. No, really—his 14 threes accounted for 42 of his 44 points. Check it out here.
On a related note, Final Four hero Spike Albrecht also went to NMH, and here he plays the main point guard for Rivard, dishing out 19 assists. Yup, the same Spike Albrecht that tore up Louisville in the first half of this past year’s NCAA championship game.
The highlights of the alumni game prompted me to check out Rivard’s old days at NMH. The first thing that stands out, besides the fact that Rivard loves his long sleeve Under Armours, is that Rivard still has the same silky smooth three-point shot. The highlight reel features him not only shooting set threes, but also includes him coming off screens and hitting off balance threes, which we see far less of today (probably because they’re so much harder to make). Yet, the days of thinking that Rivard has always been a one-dimensional player are definitively over.
Another thing I noticed is Rivard’s unreal athleticism, as he was absolutely throwing it down in high school. The two most impressive to me are his posterizing dunk on #34 at 0:17 as well as his windmill alley-oop at 0:20, but the mixtape is littered with many more one-handed and two-handed dunks and alley-oops.
Rivard also clearly knew how to pass the ball. He was able to move the ball inside and get the ball to the centers and power forwards of the team so that they could finish from close range. I loved his funky two-handed pass at 1:08—it was a pretty sleek and innovative way to move the ball on the fast break, and I feel like I don’t see it often enough.
It was also good to watch Rivard drive to the hoop and finish with contact, such as at 0:22. I feel like I’ve never seen him take a shot inside of the three-point line, unless on a fast break. In fact, last year 199 of his 216 field goal attempts were from deep.
But this point brings me to my next and final point I’d like to make about the mixtape and Rivard’s game. I was extremely impressed to see his wide array of moves, such as his ball fakes (2:07) and dribbling (1:47), to get himself open for his mid-range game. Harvard probably took three mid-range shots, at most, in each of its games last year, and it’d be good to see Rivard complement his ridiculous three-point game with a nice mid-range, so that he can keep his defenders on their toes when he rises up. But then again, if you’re shooting 40% from three, why bother?
Earlier this semester, we at The Back Page already took a look at some of the preseason hype surrounding this year’s men’s basketball team. With the squad returning seven of its main eight rotation players from last year, but also welcoming back seniors Brandyn Curry and Kyle Casey, this year’s team looks—on paper, at least—to be better than last year’s. Throw in freshman Zena Edsomowan, the first ever top-100 basketball recruit to attend Harvard, and pundits have been high on this team coming into the season.
A year after the program recorded its first-ever NCAA tournament win, Harvard men’s basketball has been getting increasing hype leading up to its Nov. 11 season opener against Holy Cross. The team, which returns four starters from a year ago, was ranked just outside the top 25 in the USAToday preseason poll, coming in at No. 32. The Crimson also fell barely beyond the top 25 of ESPN’s Future Power Rankings, which measure the team’s potential over the next three years, at No. 26.
NBCSports.com ranked Harvard as the second-best mid-major in the country, behind only Wichita State, which was five minutes last year from the tournament final. Junior swingman Wesley Saunders was named to the site’s preseason mid-major All-American second team, with sophomore point guard Siyani Chambers earning honorable mention honors.
In addition to taking home the preseason Player of the Year hardware from NBCSports, Sporting News, and Lindy’s Sports Annuals—which ranked Harvard 26th in the country—Saunders was also named to the preseason Lou Henson All-America team honoring the top mid-major players in college basketball.
Returning senior forward Kyle Casey was named to the Lindy’s Sports Annuals and College Sports Madness preseason All-Ivy second teams, but was left off both first team lists for Cornell forward Shonn Miller, who averaged 11.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in his junior season, when he made the All-Ivy first team and led the Big Red in scoring. In Casey’s junior season, when Miller was just a freshman, the Medway, Mass. native averaged 11.4 points and 5.5 rebounds a game while shooting 51 percent from the field.
Chambers, who last year was the first Ivy League freshman in conference history to ever be named to the All-Ivy first team, was named a top-ten national point guard by Lindy’s Sports Annuals. Chambers was also honored as the best playmaker and best NBA prospect in the conference. The returning Ivy League Rookie of the Year was nominated in 2012 for the Bob Cousy award for the best point guard in the nation.
We have hit the middle of October, and it is finally starting to feel like fall. The temperatures are dropping and the leaves are changing colors, making it very easy for you to tell which of your classmates are not from the New England area.
The middle of October also signifies the start of Ivy League play for many of the sports teams here at Harvard. Although the Crimson is diligently preparing for its most important stretch of the season, Harvard athletes have still found the time to keep us entertained through social media. So here you are: our favorite tweets from this week!
Harvard football wasn’t the only program that won big this weekend.
While the Crimson took on Brown in its home opener, the Harvard men’s basketball team locked up two key commitments after hosting several recruits on official campus visits.
Three-star guard Andre Chatfield committed Sunday morning, and four-star power forward Chris Egi quickly followed suit. Egi confirmed his commitment via Twitter on Sunday night, stating, “I'm proud to say I will be attending Harvard University in the upcoming school year. God truly is good.”
Egi is a four-star recruit from Canada, who transferred into Montverde Academy in Florida for his final year of high school. The 6’9” forward reportedly turned down offers from the likes of California and Washington to play for the Crimson. Egi—Scout.com’s seventh ranked center—has decided to reclassify to 2014 from 2015.