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. 4 is Vermont.
No. 13: MIT
No. 12: Holy Cross
No. 11: Fordham
No. 10: Manhattan
No. 9: Massachusetts
No. 8: Wofford
No. 7: Northeastern
No. 6: George Washington
No. 5: Boston University
2017-2018 Matchup: Tuesday, January 2 at Lavietes Pavilion (7:00 p.m.)
2016-2017 Record: 29-6 overall, 16-0 America East Conference
2016-2017 Matchup: Vermont, 82, Harvard, 71
Head Coach: John Becker (7th season)
Key Returning Players: sophomore forward Anthony Lamb (was the team’s leading scorer as a freshman and provides length along the perimeter, also averaged 5.5 rebounds a season ago); redshirt senior forward Payton Henson (averaged 11.5 points per game to go with 5.3 rebounds, will have to step up in an undersized Vermont frontcourt); senior guard Trae Bell-Haynes (the team’s quarterback on both ends of the floor, a lot of big game experience, on a list by Jay Bilas, along with Lamb, as one of the nation’s most underrated players)
Stat to Watch: 84: the number of days in between losses by the Catamounts a season ago; Vermont lost to Butler in December before reeling off 21 straight victories
Overview: Vermont caught the eyes of the nation a season ago after its 21-game winning streak. The Catamounts have a chance to be even better this season as John Becker returns his four top scorers from a season ago. This team is one of the nation’s top mid-majors and is facing a challenging nonconference schedule that includes Kentucky, Marquette, and Yale. Its matchup with the Crimson may be the best between two New England teams this season.
—Staff writer Stephen J. Gleason can be reached at email@example.com.