For a second straight year, Crimson Madness failed to disappoint. Both the event’s theatrics and personalities were out in full force, with a dose of basketball thrown in among the assorted skill contests for good measure. Below are a couple first impressions after the first look at this year’s squad:
1. Zena 2.0 is a lot like Zena 1.0 — Sophomore Zena Edosomwan broke onto the scene last year at Crimson Madness, dominating then-sophomores Evan Cummins and Michael Hall. It looked like the highly touted recruit, trying to crack a crowded frontcourt, would be a force immediately.
Friday was more of the same. Edosomwan dominated with 11 points inside, coming out with full intensity—something most of the team couldn’t claim to have—and barking at himself throughout the scrimmage. A year after he wooed the crowd with a Vince Carter throwback jersey in the dunk contest, the sophomore brought Lavietes to its feet by jumping over the 6’9” Chris Egi and 6’6” Charlie Anastasi en route to the most spectacular dunk of the night.
However, the same problems plagued Edosomwan from last year. He struggled on defense and continued to shoot the ball on nearly every touch (18.2 shots per 40 minutes last year). His offensive game looked more defined, but his defense and passing will be the keys to the growth of his game.
When Keith Wright ’12 last competed in the United States, he led the Harvard men’s basketball team to its first NCAA Tournament since 1946. Now, one NBA summer league squad, two overseas teams, and almost three years later, Wright is returning to compete in the NBA Development League.
The 6’8”, 240-pound forward will be available in the November D-League Draft.
The last time the Harvard men’s basketball team took the floor, it was to play in the third round of March Madness. On Oct. 17, the “madness” will move to Lavietes Pavilion, as the squad begins the 2014-2015 season with its fourth-annual “Crimson Madness” festivities.
The event will be modeled after the NBA’s All-Star Weekend, with a dunk contest and a three-point shootout leading up to the evening’s marquee event, the Crimson and Black inter-squad scrimmage. The entirety of the night will be broadcast live on ESPN3.
Two years after leaving the Harvard men’s basketball team, Ugo Okam ’14 has transferred to Bethune-Cookman. Okam graduated Harvard last year but was granted extended athletic eligibility and will be eligible to play basketball immediately after enrolling in Bethune-Cookman’s graduate program, the school announced Tuesday.
Senior Wesley Saunders will enter the 2014-2015 men’s basketball season with higher expectations than ever.