Men's Basketball Wraps Up Road Trip Saturday at Boston University
Harvard at Boston University
The Harvard men's basketball team will continue its month-long, six-game road trip when it travels across town to face Boston University Saturday, Dec. 7, inside Case Gymnasium. Tip off is scheduled for 1 p.m.
• At 8-1, Harvard has matched its best nine-game start to a season under head coach Tommy Amaker. The Crimson also began 8-1 in 2011-12 en route to a 26-5 record, a second straight Ivy League title and the program's first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 1946.
• Harvard has won four straight games and a victory on Saturday would mark the team's longest win streak since taking nine in-a-row between Jan. 7 and Feb. 10, 2012. The Crimson enjoyed a program record 13-game win streak in 1945-46 en route to a 19-3 record and the team's first trip to the NCAA Tournament.
• With a win on Saturday, head coach Tommy Amaker will move into sole possession of third place on Harvard's career wins list. Frank Sullivan won a program record 178 games between 1991-07, breaking the previous mark of 143 wins set by Floyd Wilson from 1954-68. Amaker is currently tied with Edward Wachter (1920-33) with 120 victories.
• Junior Wesley Saunders was named Ivy League Player of the Week on Monday after leading the Crimson to the 2013 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout championship and being recognized as the tournament's most outstanding player. Saunders averaged 14.3 ppg, 8.0 rpg and 4.7 apg while shooting 53.3 percent.
• Sophomore Evan Cummins has scored 10 points in each of the Crimson's last two games after having scored just 15 points in his first 11 career appearances. Cummins is 8-of-11 from the field in this time, and has also added 11 rebounds and eight blocks.
Last Time Out
Kyle Casey and Wesley Saunders scored 17 points apiece to help the Harvard men's basketball team defeat Northeastern, 72-64, at Matthews Arena Wednesday evening.
With the win, the Crimson improves to 8-1, matching the best start under head coach Tommy Amaker (2011-12). Northeastern slips to 2-6 on the year.
Saunders shot 7-of-12 from the field, while Casey was 6-of-11. Evan Cummins, who tied his career-high with 10 points, and Laurent Rivard, who nailed two 3-pointers, also reached double figures for the Crimson. Siyani Chambers handed out eight assists and also tallied eight points.
Ivy League Digital Network
For the first time ever, all of Harvard's home games and road Ivy League contests which are not being televised will be streamed in HD quality featuring a live scoreboard, new graphics package and play-by-play commentary through the Ivy League Digital Network. Subscribers to the network can watch games both live and On-Demand on their computers, tablets or smart phones, and will have access to live and On-Demand content for all Harvard events throughout the duration of their subscription.
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Rank and File
Harvard is currently listed as receiving votes in the Associated Press Top 25 after having also received votes in the USA Today Coaches Poll for the first four weeks of the season. The Crimson last appeared in either poll the week of Feb. 6, 2012 when the AP had the squad ranked No. 25 and the coaches had it at No. 21.
AP Top 25
Player of the Week
Wesley Saunders was named the Ivy League Player of the Week on Dec. 2 after helping Harvard win the 2013 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout and being named the tournament's most outstanding player. Saunders is the Ancient Eight's active leader in player of the week awards with six and ranks ninth in conference history.
Harvard defeated Denver, Green Bay and TCU en route to winning the 2013 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout. Wesley Saunders was named the tournament's most outstanding player after averaging 14.3 ppg, 8.0 rpg and 4.7 apg, and was joined on the all-tournament team by Siyani Chambers (10.3 ppg, 4.7 apg) and Steve Moundou-Missi (12.7 ppg, 8.3 rpg).
This marked the first tournament title for the Crimson since taking the inaugural Battle 4 Atlantis in 2011, and was the first Great Alaska Shootout title for Tommy Amaker after having also coached in the tournament with Seton Hall (head coach, 1997) and Duke (assistant coach, 1995).
The Crimson held TCU to just 25.0 percent (14-56) shooting in the Great Alaska Shootout championship game, marking the lowest opponent field goal percentage in the Tommy Amaker era. The previous low stood at 27.9 percent (12-43) and was set earlier this season by MIT.
Evan Cummins recorded six blocks against TCU, setting a new Great Alaska Shootout championship game record. The previous mark of five had been held by Sheldon Williams (Duke, 2003) and Keith Owens (UCLA, 1990).
Laurent Rivard made five three-pointers against Green Bay to overtake Dan Clemente '01 as the Crimson's all-time record holder. Rivard's 228 career three's rank 13th in Ivy League annals, while his 80 makes from long range in 2012-13 were the most ever by a member of the Crimson.
Hoop And The Harm
Senior Laurent Rivard, who ranks first in program history with 228 career three-pointers, has been fouled 24 times while shooting from beyond the arc. Seven of those fouls have resulted in an and-one.
Join the Club
Seniors Kyle Casey and Laurent Rivard each eclipsed the 1,000-point plateau against Green Bay, bringing Harvard's total number of 1,000 point scorers to 30. Rivard currently ranks 26th in program history with 1,035 points while Casey is 27th with 1,028.
Harvard recorded double-digit steals in four straight games from Nov. 12 - Nov. 24, matching the longest stretch of double-digit steal performances under head coach Tommy Amaker.
Harvard picked up lopsided victories versus MIT (79-37) and Howard (76-44), marking the first time under head coach Tommy Amaker that the Crimson has won back-to-back games by 30-plus points. This also marked the first time since January of 2012 that Harvard had allowed fewer than 50 points in consecutive games.
Harvard's home-opening 79-37 win versus MIT was highlighted by the Crimson's play at the defensive end, which resulted in several noteable statistics;
• Harvard's 42-point margin of victory was the second largest under head coach Tommy Amaker, behind only a 94-51 triumph against Daniel Webster on Dec. 28, 2008.
• The Crimson allowed just 37 points to MIT, marking the third time under head coach Tommy Amaker that an opponent has scored fewer than 40 points (most recent at Yale, 65-35, 1/27/12).
• The Engineers shot just 27.9 percent from the field, which at the time stood as the lowest opponent field goal percentage in the Amaker era.
• Harvard forced 29 MIT turnovers, the most for the Crimson under head coach Tommy Amaker.
• Harvard's 19 steals versus the Engineers were one shy of the program record of 20, which has been accomplished four times (most recent vs. Hartford, 1/30/01).
2013-14 Dunk Tally
The Crimson is approaching several milestones this season;
• Laurent Rivard (100 app.), Kyle Casey (95 app.) and Brandyn Curry (92 app.) are each approaching or have already hit 100 career appearances.
• Kyle Casey needs two more blocks to become just the fifth member of the Crimson to record 100 career blocks.
• Laurent Rivard needs four three-pointers to move into the Ivy League's all-time top 10.
• Head coach Tommy Amaker needs four more wins to reach 300 for his career and one more to overtake third place on Harvard's career wins list.
• The Crimson is one victory short of reaching 250 wins all-time at Lavietes Pavilion.
Cousy Award Watch List
Brandyn Curry and Siyani Chambers were among 50 student-athletes named to the watch list for the 2014 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award. The annual honor, named for Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtic Bob Cousy, recognizes the top point guards in men's college basketball. The list of candidates will be narrowed down to a final 20 in early February, then final five by early March. The Cousy Award winner will be presented the honor on Championship Monday in Dallas at the Hall of Fame's Class of 2014 Announcement and Press Conference.
Lou Henson Preseason All-America
Wesley Saunders was named to the 2013 Lou Henson Preseason All-America Team as one of the top 25 student-athletes from mid-major conferences. Following the season, the Lou Henson Award is presented annually to the top Mid-Major student-athlete in Division I college basketball. The award is named in honor of Lou Henson who retired after a spectacular coaching career that lasted 41 years.
Harvard was a unanimous pick to repeat as conference champions in 2013-14 and received all 17 first-place votes in the Ivy League Preseason Media Poll. This marked only the second time the Crimson has earned the top spot in the Ancient Eight's preseason poll following 2011-12 when it received 16-of-17 first-place votes.
1: Harvard lost just one letterwinner, Christian Webster '13, from last year's squad which finished the season 20-10 and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament. Webster will still be seen on the Crimson sideline this season, however, in his new role as assistant coach.
2: The Crimson has made two straight NCAA tournament appearances and this season will attempt to become the first Ivy League squad to reach the Big Dance in three straight years since Cornell did so from 2008-10.
3: Harvard has won three straight Ivy League championships and is looking to become the first team to win four straight Ancient Eight titles since Penn did so from 1993-96.
4: With four straight 20-win seasons, Harvard looks to become the first Ivy League school to register five consecutive 20-win seasons since Penn did so a record six times from 1970-75.
5: The Crimson's 90 wins from 2009-13 is the fifth highest total in Ivy League history over a four-year span. Penn won a record 99 games in a four-year span from 1969-73 and also owns the record for wins in a five-year span with 120 from 1969-74.
This season, Harvard has teamed up with the 3PointFoundation to participate in the Coach4aDay program, helping to raise funds and awareness in the fight against illiteracy. The3PointFoundation teaches and mentors urban boys to prepare them for success in academics and life by concentrating on reading, writing, mathematics and character development for underserved youth who have demonstrated commitment, discipline and enthusiasm by playing in organized basketball programs.
For more information on the Coach4aDay program or to learn how you can get involved, click here.
Three Crimson had the honor of representing their country over the summer as a member of their respective national teams; Steve Moundou-Missi (Cameroon Senior National Team), Agunwa Okolie (Canadian Men's Junior National Team) and Laurent Rivard (Canadian Developmental National Team).
In The Spotlight
12 of Harvard's 30 games have been picked up for national or regional television broadcasts this season. The Crimson appeared on TV a program record 17 times last season, including a record four televised games at Lavietes Pavilion.
On The Sidelines
With 120 victories under his belt, Tommy Amaker ranks third all-time in Harvard coaching annals.
Frank Sullivan, 1991-07
Amaker's .642 win percentage, meanwhile, ranks first among Harvard coaches who have spent at least two seasons at the helm of the team.
Tommy Amaker, 2007-present
Kings of Massachusetts Courts
The Crimson owned a 15-game winning streak against schools from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from Dec. 10, 2008 through Nov. 13, 2012. Harvard is 21-6 overall against its in-state rivals under head coach Tommy Amaker, including an 19-1 mark in the last 20 contests.
The Crimson also owns a 15-4 record against Boston area schools with Amaker at the helm and has won 15 straight against its Beantown foes.