"14-Game Tournament" Begins Saturday as Men's Basketball Hosts Dartmouth
Harvard vs. Dartmouth
The Harvard men's basketball team will begin play in the "14-Game Tournament" when it welcomes the Dartmouth Big Green to Lavietes Pavilion Saturday, January 11. Tip off is scheduled for 2 p.m. live on the Ivy League Digital Network.
This will mark the 27th straight year that the two teams have met in the first game of conference play, with the Crimson owning a 16-10 advantage in that time. Harvard has won eight straight against Dartmouth overall, including an 82-77 overtime thriller last season at home that saw Harvard overcome a seven-point deficit with 1:10 remaining in regulation.
• At 13-2, Harvard has matched its best 15-game start to a season under head coach Tommy Amaker and the program's best start since beginning 19-1 in 1945-46. Harvard's 13-2 record also stands as the best record in the Ivy League since the 1970-71 Penn team went 28-1 en route to the NCAA Tournament East Final.
• Siyani Chambers scored a game-high 21 points at UConn, marking his second 20-point game of the season and the sixth of his career. The Crimson has had at least one student-athlete score 20 points nine times this season; Wesley Saunders (4), Siyani Chambers (2), Steve Moundou-Missi (2), Jonah Travis (1).
• Harvard has won 16 straight games in Lavietes Pavilion dating back to last season, the eighth longest home win streak in the NCAA. Stephen F. Austin currently boasts the nation's longest home win streak at 26 games, with Arkansas (25), Duke (24), Florida (23), Gonzaga (20), Iowa (18) and Kentucky (17) also ranking ahead of the Crimson.
Last Time Out
The Harvard men's basketball team made big play after big play to give itself a chance to tie the game, but ultimately the comeback attempt came up short in a 61-56 loss Wednesday night at Connecticut.
Laurent Rivard scored seven points in the final 34 seconds and Siyani Chambers went coast-to-coast to make it a 59-56 game with 10.1 seconds to go. A traveling violation against UConn gave the ball back to Harvard with 9.6 seconds, but a steal by DeAndre Daniels allowed the Huskies to hold on for the win.
Chambers finished with a game-high 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting, and went 5-of-7 from beyond-the-arc to help keep the Crimson in the game. Rivard totaled 13 points, four assists and four steals, and made three shots from long-range. Kyle Casey narrowly missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds, with Brandyn Curry chipping in seven points and six assists.
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 and is again receiving votes in the USA Today Coaches Poll. 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
Harvard has consistently been among the nation's best in the RPI rankings, regardless of which service you follow.
Rank (as of Jan. 8)
Harvard has won 16 straight games at Lavietes Pavilion dating back to last season, the eighth longest home win streak in the NCAA. Stephen F. Austin currently boasts the nation's longest home win streak at 26 games, with Arkansas (25), Duke (24), Florida (23), Gonzaga (20), Iowa (18) and Kentucky (17) also ranking ahead of the Crimson. The program record for consecutive home wins stands at 28 games set between Feb. 19, 2010 and Feb. 24, 2012.
Harvard won nine straight games overall between Nov. 28 and Jan. 4, the third longest win streak in program history. 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, and won 10 in-a-row in 1904-05 to finish with an 11-5 mark.
Stuffing the Stat Sheet
Wesley Saunders, a unanimous All-Ivy League first team selection a year ago, currently ranks in the Ancient Eight's top 10 in 10 categories; scoring (3rd, 15.7 ppg), assists (2nd, 3.8 apg), steals (1st, 2.4 spg), blocks (7th, 0.9 bpg), field goal percentage (5th, 50.6 pct.), free throw percentage (8th, 79.2 pct.), assist-to-turnover ratio (6th, 1.4), defensive rebounds (9th, 4.0), minutes (5th, 33.8 min.).
Born to Assist
Siyani Chambers, the Ivy League leader in assists (5.1 apg), has dished out at least five assists eight times this season and has dropped eight dimes or more three times. The sophomore boasts 28 career games with five or more assists and has eight games of eight or more assists.
Players of the Week
Wesley Saunders (Dec. 3, Dec. 9, Jan. 6) and Siyani Chambers (Dec. 23, Dec. 30) have combined to earn five of the last six player of the week awards handed out by the Ivy League.
Saunders' eight career player of the week honors are the second most in league history, trailing only Princeton's Ian Hummer and Brown's Earl Hunt who own the all-time mark with nine. Saunders' latest accolade also tied him with Kyle Snowden '97 for the most by a member of the Crimson.
Chambers' two honors, meanwhile, were the first of his career after having been named the conference's rookie of the week six times last year.
Head coach Tommy Amaker celebrated his 300th career victory with a 73-58 defeat of Boston College and currently boasts 301 wins in his 17-year career. 125 of Amaker's victories have come in Cambridge, ranking him as the third-winningest coach in Harvard history and tying him with Hall of Fame coach Chuck Daily for 14th place on the Ivy League wins list (since 1956).
Six members of the Crimson scored in double-digits against Fordham; Siyani Chambers (19 pts.), Kyle Casey (17 pts.), Agunwa Okolie (17 pts.), Wesley Saunders (14 pts.), Steve Moundou-Missi (11 pts.) and Laurent Rivard (10 pts.).
Protecting the Paint
Kyle Casey currently ranks fifth in Harvard history with 106 career blocks and is on pace to join Brian Cusworth '07, Matt Stehle '06 and Keith Wright '12 as one of just four players in Crimson annals to record 1,000 points, 600 rebounds and 100 blocks.
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 237 career triples also rank eighth 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 237 career three-pointers, has been fouled 25 times while shooting from beyond the arc. Eight 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. Casey currently ranks 19th in program history with 1,110 points while Rivard is 21st with 1,084.
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, and has come away with at least 10 steals in five contests this season.
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 or has already reached several milestones this season;
• Laurent Rivard became the program's all-time leader in three-pointers (237) and currently ranks eighth in Ivy League history.
• Kyle Casey (1,110) and Laurent Rivard (1,084) became the 29th and 30th members of Harvard's 1,000-point club. Wesley Saunders is on pace to become the next member of the Crimson to reach the milestone with 807 career points.
• Kyle Casey became just the fifth member of the Crimson to record 100 career blocks and is closing in on 600 career rebounds.
• Laurent Rivard (106 app.), Kyle Casey (101 app.) and Brandyn Curry (95 app.) are each approaching or have already hit 100 career appearances.
• Head coach Tommy Amaker moved into third place for wins by a Harvard head coach (125) and registered his 300th career victory.
• The Crimson won its 250th game 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.
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
Twelve 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.
Harvard's game against Boston College marked the second straight sell out for the Crimson after having also filled Lavietes Pavilion to capacity versus Vermont. Harvard has played in front of a sold out home crowd 16 times over the past two-plus years, including a record 10 times in 2011-12.
Home Court Advantage
The Harvard men's and women's basketball teams have combined for a 99-11 record at home in Lavietes Pavilion since 2009-10 while going 49-7 against the Ivy League. The Crimson men are 54-4 (.931) overall, 25-3 (.892) against the Ancient Eight, with the women going 45-7 (.865) overall, 24-4 (.857) in conference. The men's team's run of dominance includes a program record 28-game home win streak that lasted more than two calendar years between Feb. 19, 2010 and Feb. 24, 2012.
On The Sidelines
With 125 victories under his belt, Tommy Amaker ranks third all-time in Harvard coaching annals.
Frank Sullivan, 1991-07
Amaker's .648 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
Harvard is 6-0 in Ivy League openers under head coach Tommy Amaker, including last season's 75-65 win over Dartmouth. The Crimson is 12-3 in its last 15 conference openers and 15-5 in the last 20 Ancient Eight openers.