Pictured: Kyle Casey is the first freshman to earn Ivy Player of the Week honors (Mitchell Langston)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Harvard freshman forward Kyle Casey has been named the Ivy League Player of the Week as well as the Rookie of the Week in an announcement by the league office Monday afternoon. Casey, who becomes the first freshman this season to win top player honors, is joined on the weekly Honor Roll by freshman guard Christian Webster. Webster makes his first Honor Roll appearance of the season.
Not only is Casey is the first freshman to earn the league’s top player honor this year, he is the first freshman to win the top honor since Jan. 28, 2002 when Brown’s Jason Forte turned the trick.
The award marks Casey's fourth rookie of the week honor this season and second straight. In all, Harvard players have earned the award five times with Dee Giger earning mention after the opening week of play.
Casey helped Harvard to a pair of wins this weekend and several notables after defeating Yale and Brown. The Crimson recorded its first Ivy weekend road sweep since the 1999-2000 season and its first road sweep of Yale and Brown since 1998-99. The Crimson also tied a program record with its ninth road victory and tied the second-best wins mark in history (17).
In two games, Casey averaged 23.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists while shooting 52 percent overall (13-25 FG), 67 percent from 3-point range (6-9) and 88 percent at the free throw line (15-17 FT). He had 20 points and seven rebounds at Yale and tied a career-high with 27 points to go with nine rebounds at Brown in a game in which he was 8-of-9 from the floor, 3-of-3 from deep and 8-of-9 at the free throw line.
Webster provided two big efforts off the bench in which he averaged 14.0 points in 26.0 minutes per game. He shot 50 percent from the floor (10-20 FG) and 43 percent from long range (6-14) while also averaging 2.5 rebounds per game. At Yale, Webster scored all 12 of his points after halftime and a 3-pointer that gave Harvard a 4-point overtime lead. At Brown, Webster logged a career-high 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting and 3-of-6 from long range. In both games, Webster provided big finishes on traditional 3-point plays during critical junctures of the game.
Despite massive injury problems, Harvard endured as its vaunted freshman class scored 53 and 51 points, respectively, during the weekend. The team not only showed that it could overcome a depleted frontcourt - it acclimated to life without star guard Jeremy Lin who was in foul trouble for much of the weekend.
The team's top three scorers last weekend were freshmen Kyle Casey (23.5), Christian Webster (14.0) and Brandyn Curry (11.5).
On Friday, Lin fouled out during regulation but the freshmen scored 14 of the team's 16 overtime points. All told, underclassmen scored the final 21 points for the Crimson in a victory.
On Saturday, Harvard outscored Brown in the paint, 36-20, and dominated the backboards, 36-19. Doug Miller nearly outscored three of Brown's forwards single handedly and held Matt Mullery to seven points.
Harvard also got on track offensively, posting its 10th game this season of shooting better than 50 percent from the floor (10-0 in those games). Harvard shot 41 percent from long range (17-42), led by freshmen Christian Webster (6-14, .429) and Kyle Casey (6-9, .667).
Harvard recorded its first Ivy weekend road sweep since the 1999-2000 season and its first road sweep of Yale and Brown since 1998-99 ... The Crimson also tied a program record with its ninth road victory and tied the second-best wins mark in history (17) ... Harvard's freshman class had consecutive 50-point games during the weekend with 53 points at Yale and 51 at Brown ... Harvard freshmen scored 14 of the team's 16 overtime points at Yale ... The newcomers have three 50+-point games this season - all on the road (at Santa Clara) ... The team's top three scorers this weekend were freshmen Kyle Casey, Christian Webster and Brandyn Curry ... Six freshmen saw action in both games as did two sophomores ... Harvard shot 41 percent from 3-point range over the weekend (17-42) and 80 percent from the free throw line (36-45) ... Harvard is one of three schools nationally (Navy, Cal) to rank in the top 70 nationally in FT % in each of the last five years.