No. 25 Harvard Men's Basketball Returns to Action, Hosts FAU Thursday
Keith Wright and the Crimson are 2-0 at Lavietes this season (Stephen Slade).
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No. 25 Harvard (9-1) returns home for the first time in 18 days to host Florida Atlantic at Lavietes Pavilion at 7 p.m. Thursday's game will mark the first time in program history Harvard is ranked for a home game. The Owls stand at 4-7 on the year, while the Crimson is 2-0 on its home court.
WHRB's Charlie Hobbs will have the audio call on GoCrimson.com. Live statistics will also be available for the game at GoCrimson.com.
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Harvard and Florida Atlantic have never met on the hardwood.
Harvard was led offensively by Kyle Casey, who garnered Ivy League Co-Player of the Week honors, after scoring 20 points and coming down with nine rebounds in a 76-52 win at Boston University Dec. 10. Laurent Rivard netted a career-high six 3-pointers and finished with 18 points, while Christian Webster tallied a season-high 14 points. Harvard shot 55.1 percent from the floor for the game (27-of-49) and made 9-of-15 shots from long distance (.600).
Florida Atlantic's Last Time Out
The Owls are coming off a 93-90 double overtime loss to Miami Dec. 17. Omari Grier led all players with 27 points, as he made seven 3-point attempts. Raymond Taylor added 20 points and nine assists, and FAU buried 51.7 percent of its 3-pointers (15-of-29).
The Crimson is ranked No. 25 in this week's ESPN/USA Today coaches poll and is just outside the top 25 in the AP poll with 88 votes. Earlier this season, the Crimson became the first Ivy team ranked in the AP poll since Princeton was rated No. 8 in the final poll of the 1997-98 season.
Harvard is the only Ivy League team to have received a vote in a major national poll this season.
Harvard currently sits at No. 21 in the RPI, according to collegerpi.com. The Crimson earned the highest ranking in program history, No. 14, Dec. 2.
Welcome Back Coach Jarvis
Florida Atlantic head coach Mike Jarvis served as an assistant coach with the Crimson under head coach Tom "Satch" Sanders from 1973-77. Jarvis also later was the head coach at Boston University from 1985-1990.
Harvard Against the Sun Belt
The Crimson is 1-0 all-time against current members of the Sun Belt Conference, with the lone victory coming against Western Kentucky, 107-89, back in 1971-72.
Kings of Massachusetts' Courts
The Crimson is currently on a 13-game winning streak against schools from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts since falling to Northeastern in overtime, 76-71, Dec. 10, 2008, including four straight wins over Holy Cross and three against Boston College and Boston University.
Defense Wins Games
The Crimson enters the week 13th in the country in scoring defense (55.4 points allowed per game).
Lavietes Is The Place To Be
Harvard is riding a 19-game win streak at home, a program record. The current win streak at home is the longest for Harvard at Lavietes Pavilion and is the ninth longest current streak in the NCAA. Duke and Kentucky are enjoying the longest current streak with 40 straight home wins.
Through (Dec. 19)
Ohio State 31
Notre Dame 26
George Mason 18
Harvard Against the BCS
The Crimson is scheduled to play at least four BCS opponents this season (vs. Utah at Battle 4 Atlantis Nov. 24, Florida State at Battle 4 Atlantis Nov. 25, at Connecticut Dec. 8 and at Boston College Dec. 29). The Crimson is 2-1 against BCS teams this season after downing Utah, 75-47, and topping No. 20 Florida State, 46-41. The Crimson fell at No. 9 UConn, 67-53, Dec. 8.
Harvard owns a 7-9 record against BCS conferences under Tommy Amaker. The Crimson has defeated BC three times and topped Michigan, Colorado, Utah and Florida State during Amaker's tenure. The Crimson has also defeated at least one BCS team in each of the last five seasons.
Harvard As a Ranked Team
The No. 25 Crimson is 1-1 as a ranked team in program history after defeating Boston University, 76-52, Dec. 10.
Curry Among Nation's Best Point Guards
Brandyn Curry was recently selected as a candidate for the 2012 Bob Cousy Award. The annual honor, named for Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtic Bob Cousy, recognizes the top point guards in college basketball. Almost 60 candidates have been nominated for the 2012 Bob Cousy Award. Entering the week, Curry leads the Ivy League in assist/turnover ratio (2.7) and is second in the conference in steals (2.1 per game) and fourth in assists (4.6 per contest).
The Crimson, which currently owns a 7-1 record in road/neutral sites, will play a total of 18 road/neutral games this winter. Harvard set a program record for road/neutral wins in 2009-10 with 10, and the Crimson followed up with nine road victories last season. Harvard is 4-1 on the road and 3-0 in neutral sites in 2011-12.
On The Big Screen
The Crimson will play at least seven games on national or regional television this season.
Harvard is 4-1 on TV this year after earning wins over Utah (HDNet), No. 20/22 Florida State (Versus) and Central Florida (Versus) at the Battle 4 Atlantis. The Crimson also defeated Boston University (NESN), but fell on the road at No. 9/9 Connecticut (ESPN2).
Entering the week, Harvard ranked first in the nation in free-throw defense, as opponents had only made 56.3 percent of its foul-shot attempts (90-of-160).
Harvard owns a 5-1 record in night games and a 4-0 mark in day contests in 2011-12.
Tommy Amaker (Duke '87) is in his fifth season as head coach of the Harvard men's basketball team. He registered his 250th career coaching victory Dec. 4, 2011 against Seattle at Lavietes Pavilion. Amaker has guided Harvard to its national ranking, as the Crimson was ranked No. 25 in the AP poll and No. 24 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches ranking on Dec. 5, 2011. Amaker also led the Crimson to its first Ivy League title as well as the program's first appearance in the NIT. In addition, the Crimson established a program record with 23 victories in 2010-11.
He brings a 251-191 (.568) career head coaching record into today's game, including a 75-52 (.591) mark at Harvard, a 108-84 (.563) record at Michigan and a 68-55 (.553) record at Seton Hall.
With 14 blocks this season, Keith Wright now ranks second in program history with 120 rejections. Brian Cusworth '07 holds the Harvard record with 147 career blocks. Wright's 54 blocks last year also stand second in Harvard history for a single season. Brian Banks '78 had 59 rejections during the 1977-78 campaign.
- Ivy Leasgue Co-Player of the Week (Dec. 12)
- Candidate for Bob Cousy Award
- Ivy League Honor Roll (Nov. 14, Dec. 5)
- Ivy League Rookie of the Week (Dec. 5)
- Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament MVP
- Ivy League Player of the Week (Nov. 28).
- Ivy League Honor Roll (Nov. 21)
Harvard's duo of Oliver McNally and Brandyn Curry has combined to hand out 76 assists, while only committing 32 turnovers between them.
Making The Most Of It
Oliver McNally went 7-of-7 at the foul line at Holy Cross and shot 6-of-6 at Loyola Marymount and is shooting 86.7 percent from the line this season (26-of-30). Laurent Rivard is also making 86.7 percent of his foul shots (13-of-15). Christian Webster is Harvard's career leader in free-throw shooting, making 88.9 percent of his attempts (169-of-190) over his first three seasons.
Last season, the Crimson ranked second in the nation as a team with an 80.8 percent success rate from the charity stripe (just behind Wisconsin's 81.8 shooting percentage). Harvard owns the NCAA record for team free-throw percentage for a season (82.2 percent in 1983-84). Harvard is currently shooting 72.9 percent from the line this season.
Harvard and Amaker Against FAU
The Crimson has never played Florida Atlantic under head coach Tommy Amaker.
Entering the week, Keith Wright stood third in the Ivy League in field-goal percentage, hitting 55.7 percent of his attempts this season (44-of-79).
Entering the week, the Crimson ranked first in the Ivy League in defense (55.4 points allowed per game) and third in scoring offense (67.0 ponts per contest). Harvard was also first in scoring margin (+11.6).
Keith Wright and Jonah Travis pace the Crimson with one double-double apiece this year. Harvard players combined for 17 double-doubles last season: Keith Wright (12), Brandyn Curry (3) and Kyle Casey (2).
The Crimson is 75.4 percent (46-of-61) from the line in the final five minutes of games this season. Harvard is also shooting 42.9 percent from long distance (6-of-14) during the last five minutes. Harvard has also only been whistled for 30 fouls in the last five minutes, while opponents have been called for 38 fouls.
Crimson Runs Deep
With 19 players on its roster, Harvard is tied for the sixth largest team in the country, trailing only Air Force (22), Army (22), Cornell (21), Syracuse (20) and Navy (20). Montana State, Columbia and New Orleans also have 19 players.
Dunk Tally - 2011-12
Kyle Casey 8
Keith Wright 6
Steve Moundou-Missi 2
Wesley Saunders 3
Jonah Travis 1
Harvard had a season-high five dunks at Holy Cross Nov. 15, and at Boston University Dec. 10.
Scoring In Bunches
Harvard is 5-0 this season when scoring 75 or more points. The Crimson enjoyed a perfect 12-0 mark when scoring 75 or more points in 2010-11.
In The Paint
The Crimson is outscoring opponents, 270-264, in points in the paint this season. The Crimson scored a season-high 46 points in the paint at Holy Cross Nov. 15.
Points Off Mistakes
The Crimson has scored 162 points off turnovers this season, while opponents have only tallied 114 points off Harvard miscues.
Harvard's freshman class is playing 23.1 percent of the team's minutes this season (461 of 2,000 minutes).