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Men's Basketball Will Face UNC Tar Heels in Upcoming 2018-2019 Season

Published by Henry Zhu on March 30, 2018 at 5:21PM
Steve

Co-captain Steve Moundou-Missi had six points and five rebounds in 38 minutes of play in the loss.

Harvard men’s basketball will travel to Chapel Hill, N.C., in the upcoming 2018-2019 season to play the University of North Carolina Tar Heels, according to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports.

This will be the second time in the past four years that Harvard coach Tommy Amaker will square off against UNC’s Roy Williams. The two teams last met in the Second Round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament, where the Tar Heels narrowly edged out the Crimson 67-65. In that contest, senior guard Wesley Saunders notched 26 points and junior guard Siyani Chambers drained a late-game three to put Harvard ahead by one heading into the final minute of action.

However, then-freshman Justin Jackson of No.4 UNC ended No.13 Harvard’s hopes at an upset, knocking down a jumper and fast-break layup to survive its opening-game scare.

The Crimson is no stranger to playing nationally-ranked programs on its home court, having challenged then-No. 5 Kentucky on Dec. 5 this past season and then-No. 1 Kansas in 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Despite staying competitive in contests against larger-conference opponents this season, Harvard was unable to earn a victory against teams such as Minnesota, Saint Mary’s, and Kentucky this season.

As to the full 2018-2019 season schedule, Crimson supporters will need to wait until the summer to make plans. If abiding by past precedent, August will be earliest the official schedule is confirmed.

Harvard will return its current talented sophomore class, including AP All-American honorable mention winner Seth Towns, as it seeks to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since that 2015 matchup against UNC.

Additionally, the Crimson will welcome a 2018 recruiting class led by ESPN four-star guard Spencer Freedman. Ontario native Noah Kirkwood will also reunite with fellow Canada U19 teammate and current Harvard freshman Danilo Djuricic, joining St. Louis native Kale Catchings and Californian Mason Forbes to round out Amaker’s 2018 recruits.

Jaylen Brown, Intellectual and Friend of Harvard Basketball

Published by Eliel Ig-Izevbekhai on March 09, 2018 at 8:54PM
Professor Jaylen Brown

Celtics second-year wing Jaylen Brown spoke in front of a packed crowd at the Harvard Graduate School of Education on March 1.

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When eighteen-year-old Jaylen Brown was considering what college to attend, he had offers from the perennial basketball powerhouses. Kansas, North Carolina, UCLA, Kentucky, and Michigan all flooded the then five-star recruit and now star Celtics small forward’s house with recruitment letters. Like most recruits, Brown considered many factors. He weighed his compatibility with the coach, location, his potential NBA prospects, but above all else: academics.

With offers from some of the most storied programs in college basketball history, Brown surprised many by selecting University of California, Berkeley. In a visit and discussion at Harvard Graduate School of Education last Thursday, the Celtics star spoke on his time at the University.

“My best experience was just taking classes there,” Brown said. “The basketball was whatever it was. The chips fall into place, but the educational experience I had at Cal, second to none.”

Education was the topic echoed throughout Brown’s talk. Whether it was his educational experience at Cal, the stratified educational system of the United States, or his growing relationship with Harvard University, Brown stressed the importance of quality education.

Once said to be “too smart for basketball,” he is now a living example of the fact that worlds of sports and education do not need to be mutually exclusive. Brown, a chess player and multilingual speaker, has been cultivating his intellectual interests, despite his NBA commitments.

One of these interests has been affecting the lives of young athletes just like his eighteen-year-old self, causing Brown to become heavily engrossed in the world of Harvard basketball.

Brown has made connections to several team members and has even faced off against players on the team, including a match with sophomore forward Seth Towns. He has done all this while stressing the importance of education and the platform that sports can offer.

Brown’s combination of intellectual interests and experience in the recruitment process have made him very involved in the Harvard College recruitment process.

“I talked to Tommy [Amaker] a few times,” Brown said. “He actually invited me on campus for some recruitment stuff and I came up to the school to play some open gym.

Brown and coach Tommy Amaker have created a bond over the past few years over their common goal of building up student-athletes as well as Harvard basketball. In 2016, The Celtics forward was involved in the recruitment of 5-star recruit Wendell Carter.

Brown and Carter hail from the same area, which created a connection between him and Carter’s family. The Celtics star advised the number five player in the class of 2017 to consider attending Harvard, citing his recruitment experience and the importance of education.

“At the end of the day, basketball is basketball,” Brown said. “You’ve got a whole life to live. So I said Harvard, I would love to see that,” Brown said. “I would love to see somebody coming from where I’m from [and] do that. If I could do it over again, I probably would have still went to [Cal] Berkeley but I would have at least considered Harvard because that’s a great school, that’s a great brand that’s attached to him, so I want him to do what’s best for him. But selfishly, I’d like to see him go to Harvard.’’

Harvard was one of the final four schools in the highly touted recruit’s decision. Though, he ultimately chose Duke university, Carter’s consideration of Harvard is a sign of things to come for the basketball program as a result of Brown’s support.

The Celtics small forward spoke last Thursday about athlete platforms, saying that he wishes to use his platform for a purpose. He may have found this purpose through his connection to the Harvard basketball program: recruiting student-athletes to enrich their educational journey as well as their basketball skills.

Hopefully this connection will grow, as Brown plans to take classes at Harvard while continuing his NBA career, citing the power of such a combination.

“I think there is a lot of power in that,” Brown said. “Such a prestigious university, having someone of such basketball stature and just combining the two. Sports and education, I think they overlap.”

Tweets of the Week: Men's Basketball Edition

Published by Amir Mamdani on December 01, 2017 at 10:36PM
Captain Chris

Senior Chris Egi is the lone men's basketball captain this season.

{image id=1326279 size=full caption=true align=center}Men’s basketball hit the road over Thanksgiving break, heading to California to sample the best of the West Coast. In honor of the trip, here are the best tweets of the week from current and former Harvard men’s basketball players:

7.) Freshman forward Danilo Djuricic

“Does not matter without the win... just trying to help this team do that! Time to bounce back tomorrow.”

Great team attitude, Danilo!

6.) Sophomore standout Bryce Aiken

“If there isn’t a way then make one.”

Inspiring advice, Bryce—true of life as well as the Harvard concentration options.

5.) Freshman guard Rio Haskett

“If it ain’t rough it ain’t right”

“We run things, things don’t run us.”

I can’t tell you exactly what Rio means here, but I can say that he is clearly wise beyond his freshman years.

4.) Junior forward Weisner Perez

“I’m so thankful and blessed to be where I’m at in life. Didn’t get the opportunity to go home for thanksgiving, but instead got to spend it with the Harvard Basketball family. #LaFamilia”

Great attitude toward the road trip, Weisner! Way to show off that upperclassman maturity. I personally would throw a fit if anyone tried to take away my Thanksgiving holiday.

3.) Senior forward Chris Egi

“Day 1”

Day 1 of what Chris??? Day 1 of what??? Clearly, the senior and academic standout has reached a level where mere mortals cannot understand his tweets.

2.) Sophomore forward Henry Welsh

“I cast my Heisman ballot for #BryceLove! Click the player you think deserves the @NissanUSA #HeismanHouse vote!”

I’m more of a Baker Mayfield man, but who can blame Henry—Love sure can run it. Not sure how Henry’s brother, Tom, of the UCLA Basketball team feels about Henry throwing his Heisman support to a PAC-12 Rival.

1.) Men’s basketball alum Wesley Saunders, formerly of the Knicks D-League team and currently playing professional basketball in Finland

“Well I know what I’m doing for my birthday #TheIncredibles2”

I guess now we all know how Wes has been spending his time in Finland. Hopefully he can find a Finnish theater to give him what he wants.

Ranking Men's Basketball's Nonconference Opponents: No. 4

Published by Stephen J. Gleason on November 11, 2017 at 6:44PM
From Way Down Town

Junior guard Corey Johnson leads all Harvard upperclassmen in minutes.

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

Vermont

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 stephen.gleason@thecrimson.com.

Ranking Men's Basketball's Nonconference Opponents: No. 3

Published by Stephen J. Gleason on November 11, 2017 at 6:35PM
Zach Attack

Senior guard Zach Yoshor is one of just three Crimson players who has been on a team that has made the NCAA Tournament.

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. 3 is St. Mary’s.

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

No. 4: Vermont

Saint Mary’s

2017-2018 Matchup: Thursday, November 23 at Titan Gym, Fullerton, Calif. (4:00 p.m.)

2016-2017 Record: 29-5 overall, 16-2 West Coast Conference

2016-2017 Matchup: N/A

Head Coach: Randy Bennett (17th season)

Key Returning Players: Sr. C Jock Landale (arguably the top big man that Harvard will face this season, averaged 16.9 points and 9.5 rebounds per game a season ago, first team All-WCC and AP Honorable Mention); Sr. G Emmett Naar (two-year starter at point guard, averaged 5.6 assists per game, team’s top returner in minutes and assists); Sr. F Calvin Hermanson (43 percent three-point shooter, averaged 13.1 points per game a season ago)

Stat to Watch: 14.5: The Gaels outscored their opponents by an average of 14.5 points per game last season.

Overview: St. Mary’s has been one of the most successful and consistent Division I programs over the last ten seasons. The Gaels have won 20 or more games each season in the last decade and should be a top mid-major program again this season. Landale is an All-American candidate and Emmett Naar will lead the backcourt. While this team isn’t particularly deep, it makes up for it in experience. Randy Bennett will likely start five upperclassmen, including Cullen Neal, a graduate transfer from Ole Miss who is a sniper from three-point range. Neal will bolster a sweet-shooting unit that was 39.4 percent from long range a season ago.

—Staff writer Stephen J. Gleason can be reached at stephen.gleason@thecrimson.com.

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