In a series that began on Sunday and will continue through the Crimson’s season opener on Nov. 10 against MIT, men’s basketball beat writer Stephen Gleason will look at Harvard’s 13 nonconference opponents. Coming in at No. 12 is Holy Cross.
No. 13: MIT
2017-2018 Matchup: Thursday, November 16 at Hart Center, Worcester, Mass. (7:00 p.m)
2016-2017 Record: 15-17 overall, 9-9 Patriot League
2016-2017 Matchup: Holy Cross, 63, Harvard, 52
Head Coach: Bill Carmody (3rd season)
Key Returning Players: junior forward Karl Charles (team’s top returning scorer (9.4) and rebounder (3.3)), junior guard Patrick Benzan (averaged nearly 30 minutes a contest off the bench a season ago, the undersized Benzan will likely take over as the team’s lead guard)
Stat to Watch: 15.9: The Crusaders forced an average of 15.9 turnovers per contest last season, including 19 against Harvard. Charles and Benzan lead a strong perimeter defense for a team that will struggle to score.
Overview: Holy Cross handed Harvard arguably its most embarrassing loss a season ago and the Crusaders have been a thorn in Amaker’s side in recent years (the Crimson has dropped the last three matchups). This year’s Holy Cross roster does not feature a single senior and has nine underclassmen. As always, the Crusaders’ slow pace will make Harvard grind this one out. However, if Harvard can score 60 points against Carmody’s young bunch, it may prove to be too much for the hosts.
—Staff writer Stephen J. Gleason can be reached at email@example.com.