Harvard vs. Columbia
Harvard vs. Cornell
Harvard men's basketball starts the second half of the Ivy League series with Columbia and Cornell at Lavietes Pavilion this weekend. Friday, the Crimson and Lions tip off at 7 p.m. on ESPN3 and the Ivy League Digital Network. Saturday's tip against the Big Red is also slated for 7 p.m. on the Ivy League Digital Network.
What to Watch For
• For the first time since 1987-88, a freshman leads the Crimson in scoring, as Bryce Aiken posts 14.3 points per game. That year, Ralph James was the Ivy League Rookie of the Year after posting 14.5 points per game.
• The all-time winningest head coach in Harvard men's basketball history, Tommy Amaker returns to the Harvard sidelines for the 10th season. The Thomas G. Stemberg '71 Family Endowed Coach for Harvard Men's Basketball has directed the Crimson to a period of unprecedented prosperity in the form of four NCAA tournament appearances (2012-15), five Ivy League championships (2011-15) and six 20-win seasons (2010-15). Amaker owns a 365-241 career record: 189-102 at Harvard, 108-84 at Michigan and 68-55 at Seton Hall.
• Harvard contains a mix of youth and experience for the 2016-17 season. Thirteen (13) of the 20-man roster are freshmen or sophomores. Six of the top nine leading scorers are rookies, as Bryce Aiken and Seth Towns rank 1-2 with 14.3 and 10.7 points per game, respectively. According to KenPom rankings, the Crimson is the 10th youngest team in the NCAA.
• The Crimson looks to return to the top of the Ivy League standings after five conference titles over the last six years.
• After losing four of its first five contests, Harvard posted a perfect record in December and has rattled off 13 wins over the last 16 games. The Crimson last tallied an unblemished record in the month of December in 2013, winning four games.
• Harvard holds an 8-0 record when holding an advantage going into the locker room.
Last Time Out
The Crimson swept the weekend at Brown and Yale, overcoming deficits of 10 and eight, respectively. Behind a career high 29 points from Bryce Aiken, Harvard stopped a 22-game home win streak for Yale, posting a 75-67 win over the Bulldogs Saturday night at the John J. Lee Amphitheater. The 27 points marked the most for a Crimson player since Agunwa Okolie against Dartmouth on Jan. 9, 2016. It marked the most for a freshman since Kyle Casey at Brown on Feb. 13, 2010.
After defeating Harvard Jan. 28, the Lions have lost three of their last four games, including two losses at Penn and Princeton a week ago.
Luke Petrasek paces the Lions in points and rebounds, posting 15.5 points per game and 6.2 boards. Mike Smith and Nate Hickman also average in double-figures, posting 13.3 and 12.2 points per game, respectively.
The Lions lead the all-time series with the Crimson, 97-80 and have taken the last three meetings. Two weeks ago, despite a season-high 21 points from sophomore Corey Johnson, Harvard could not overcome a 19-point deficit, falling to Columbia, 65-62, at Levien Gymnasium.
Columbia is led by Jim Engles in his first year, who became the 23rd head coach in the 116-year history of the program in April 2016. Engles returns to New York City after spending the past eight years as head coach for the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Over the past six seasons at NJIT, Engles compiled a 100-88 record, including back-to-back 20-win seasons in his final two years. Prior to leading the Highlanders, Engles served as an assistant coach at Columbia under Joe Jones from 2003 to 2008.
The Big Red stands at 6-17 on the season, including a 2-6 record in Ivy League play. The Big Red has dropped five of its last six contests, but defeated Dartmouth, 75-62 Jan. 28.
Sophomore Matt Morgan leads the Ivy League in scoring (17.3 ppg.) and 3-pointers made per game (2.9), while ranking in the top-10 in minutes played (third, 32.6 mpg.) and free-throw percentage (sixth, .841). Sophomore Stone Gettings and senior Robert Hatter rank second and third on the team with 12.9 and 12.0 points per game, respectively. Gettings paces the team on the boards with 5.8 per game.
Cornell leads the all-time series with the Crimson, 92-79, but Harvard has won 11 of the last 13 meetings. The two teams split the series in each of the last two years.
First-year head coach Brian Earl, one of the greatest players in Princeton basketball history, served as assistant and associate head coach at his alma mater and helped his program to a 143-69 overall mark, a 72-26 league mark and five postseason appearances since the 2009-10 season.
Creating a Winning Culture
Harvard has posted a 167-66 (.714) overall record since the start of the 2009-10 season, ranking as the 19th-highest win percentage in the country over the last six-plus seasons (as of games played Feb. 15).
Harvard has posted an 88-16 (.846) record at Lavietes Pavilion since the start of the 2009-10 season, representing the 18th highest home-court win percentage in the country over the last six-plus seasons (as of games played Feb. 15).
The Crimson ranks first in field goal percentage defense (40.5), second in scoring defense (64.4) and blocked shots (5.3) in the Ivy League. Harvard has held nine opponents to under 40.0 percent shooting and eight to under 60 points (7-1).
Under Tommy Amaker, Harvard has held six opponents to fewer than 40 points and eight opponents to less than 30.0 percent shooting.
Harvard averages 14.4 assists per game in 2016-17. Under Amaker, the Crimson posted its best assist average in 2009-10, with 15.4 helpers per game.
Senior captain Siyani Chambers leads the Ivy League with 5.9 helpers per game in 2016-17. Chambers ranks 17th in the country in helpers per game and No. 10 in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.4).
The inaugural Ivy League men's and women's basketball tournaments will take place Saturday and Sunday, March 11-12, 2017, at the Palestra in Philadelphia. The top four teams will earn berths in the tournament, with the semifinals on Saturday and the championships on Sunday. All six games will be broadcast live on ESPN's networks. For more information, visit www.IvyMadness.com
From Way Down Town
This season, Harvard has connected on five-plus 3-pointers 18 times and made at least 10 treys five times. The Crimson averages 8.2 triples per game. Sophomore Corey Johnson ranks second in the league with 2.7 triples per game.
Harvard set a new program record with 220 3-pointers in 2015-16 and has 173 through 21 games this year. Johnson owns 57 so far this year to pace the Crimson.
On the Glass
Through 21 games, the Crimson ranks second in the Ivy League in rebounding margin (+1.3).
Protecting The Rim
Harvard has registered 5.3 blocked shots per game this year, best in the Ancient Eight. Chris Lewis and Zena Edosomwan rank 3-4 in the conference with 1.9 and 1.4 blocks per game, respectively.
Harvard has gone 99-58 in non-conference play under head coach Tommy Amaker, including nine-straight seasons with a .500 record or better in out-of-conference action. Harvard finished 8-5 in 2016-17.
Harvard owns a 15-23 record against power conference opponents under Tommy Amaker. The Crimson defeated Boston College in six straight seasons from 2009-2014, again this season, and has also topped Auburn, California, Cincinnati, Colorado, Florida State, Michigan, TCU and Utah.
Kings of Massachusetts Courts
Harvard is 32-14 overall against its in-state rivals under head coach Tommy Amaker, and owns a 25-7 record against Boston area schools with Amaker at the helm. Harvard played four Division I schools from Massachusetts, and six overall, this year (4-2).
Detur Book Prize
Chris Egi was announced as a recipient of the Detur Book Prize, the oldest prize awarded by Harvard College, a year ago. The Detur Book Prize recognizes sophomores who attained very high academic standing in their first year at the College.
In The Spotlight
The Crimson has played on TV 91 times since 2010-11. Harvard is slated to 12 games on national or regional television in 2016-17.
The Crimson has played in front of a sold-out Lavietes Pavilion crowd three times this season. Since 2010-11, the Crimson has played in front of a full house a total of 39 times.
On The Sidelines
Head coach Tommy Amaker's 189 wins are the most at Harvard and the sixth-most in the Ivy League since the conference began competition in 1956. His 90 Ivy League victories, meanwhile, sit seventh in conference history.
Amaker has led Harvard to five Ivy League championships, tying him with former Penn coach Bob Weinhauer (1977-82) for the third-most titles in Ancient Eight history.
Harvard Coach Harvard Wins
1. Tommy Amaker, 2007-present.. 189
2. Frank Sullivan, 1991-2007........... 178
3. Floyd S. Wilson, 1954-68............. 143
4. Edward A. Wachter, 1920-33.... 120
5. Frank McLaughlin, 1977-85........... 99
Ivy Coach Overall Wins
1. Pete Carril, Princeton 1967-96. 514
4. Joe Vancisin, Yale 1956-75........ 206
5. Jack Rohan, Columbia 1961-74, 1990-95 198
6. Tommy Amaker, 2007-present.. 189
7. Frank Sullivan, 1991-2007........... 178
Ivy Coach Ivy Wins
1. Pete Carril, Princeton 1967-96. 310
6. Frank Sullivan, Harvard 1991-2007 92
7. Tommy Amaker, Harvard 2007-present 90
8. Jack McCloskey, Penn 1956-66... 87
Harvard has been well represented in the professional ranks this season as six former Crimson continue their playing careers.
Student-Athlete Professional Team
Kyle Casey '13-14...........................................
Helios Suns Domzale (Slovenia) - 2015-present
Brandyn Curry '13-14....................................
Helios Suns (Slovenia) – 2016-present
Evan Harris '09................................................
Saitama Broncos (Japan) - 2015-present
Jeremy Lin '10..................................................
..... Brooklyn Nets (NBA) - 2016-present
Wesley Saunders '15
Windy City Bulls (NBA DLeague) - 2016-present
Keith Wright '12..............................................
Weschester Knicks (NBA DLeague) - 2016-present
Egi, who was appointed as a captain by his coaching staff, paired with Johnson to lift Team Canada to a fifth-place finish, the country's highest finish at the competition. Perez, meanwhile, helped the Dominican Republic finish 13th in its first appearance since 1983.
Beating The Odds
The Crimson is 4-11 against ranked opponents since 2008-09, marking the only four wins over ranked opponents in program history.
Date Opponent Score
1/7/09. at No. 17 Boston College W, 82-70
11/25/11... vs. No. 20 Florida State W, 46-41
3/23/13....... vs. No. 10 New Mexico W, 68-62
3/20/14............. vs. No. 15 Cincinnati W, 61-57
Margin of Victory
Under head coach Tommy Amaker, the Crimson has won 48 games by 20 or more points, 12 games by 30 or more points, and three games by 40 or more.
Harvard has overcome double-digit deficits three times this season, at Cornell (a 12-point hole), against Penn (a 15-point hole) and at Brown (a 10-point deficit). Last year, the Crimson overcame a 21-point deficit with 9:02 remaining at Cornell on Feb. 20, 2016, marking the second-largest comeback by the Crimson under head coach Tommy Amaker.
This year, Harvard is 1-3 in games decided by three points or less and is 21-24 all-time in games decided by three points or less under head coach Tommy Amaker.
Under head coach Tommy Amaker, Harvard is 13-4 when going to overtime. This includes a 4-1 mark in double-overtime contests and a 1-0 record when needing three overtimes.
• Harvard won at least 20 games in six straight seasons from 2009-15, matching Penn (1969-75) for the longest streak of 20-win seasons in Ivy League history.
• The Crimson won five straight Ivy League championships from 2010-15, becoming just the second program in Ancient Eight history to win at least five successive titles (Penn 1970-75, 1978-82).
• The Crimson made four-straight NCAA tournament appearances from 2011-15, joining Princeton (1989-92) and Penn (1970-75) as just the third program in Ivy League history to represent the conference in the Big Dance in four successive years.
The Thomas G. Stemberg '71 Family Endowed Coach for Harvard Men's Basketball
At halftime of the team's game versus Princeton on Feb. 21, 2015, Harvard Athletics announced the endowment of the department's coaching position: The Thomas G. Stemberg '71 Family Endowed Coach for Harvard Men's Basketball.
Made possible through the generosity of Thomas G. Stemberg '71, MBA'73, a long-standing Friend of Harvard Basketball and supporter of Harvard Athletics, this endowment serves as a commitment to the continued success of the men's basketball program. Stemberg's affiliation with Harvard spanned nearly 50 years, and he served as an honorary co-chair for the Friends of Harvard Basketball.
Linsanity: Harvard In The NBA
Jeremy Lin burst onto the national scene in February of 2012 after scoring 136 points in his first five NBA starts for the New York Knicks, the most for an NBA player since the merger with the ABA in 1976-77, and lifting the club into playoff position. Lin was rewarded for his spectacular play by appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated in back-to-back weeks, winning the ESPY for "Best Breakthrough Athlete," and being named one of Time Magazine's "Top 100 Most Influential People in the World" for 2012.
Lin is in his seventh NBA season, first with the Brooklyn Nets, after averaging 11.8 ppg, 4.4 apg and 2.8 rpg through his first six years.