Harvard's Amaker Discusses 2011-12 Men's Basketball Schedule

Harvard's Amaker Discusses 2011-12 Men's Basketball Schedule

Harvard head coach Tommy Amaker (Gil Talbot).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard men's basketball head coach Tommy Amaker recently sat down with to discuss the team's 2011-12 schedule, which was recently completed with the announcement of the Crimson's first round opponent in the Battle 4 Atlantis at Paradise Island, Bahamas.

There, the Crimson will square off against the Utah Utes out of the Mountain West Conference Nov. 24 at 9:30 p.m. (EST).

Q: Tommy, what is your reaction to the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament draw?
A: Obviously we are thrilled to be a part of this fantastic venture. 

Looking specifically at the draw, we would react the same for any of the seven other competing schools. We must play well to defeat any of these programs and we look forward to the challenge of facing a school with such a basketball pedigree. 

Q: There has been some interest in the tournament field and the prospect of Harvard possibly meeting the University of Connecticut in the second round with the teams also scheduled to meet Dec. 8 in ESPN2. Do you have any reaction?
A: We can't look past Utah, just like we can't look past Loyola Marymount, whom we play five days earlier (Nov. 19). Obviously we want to win that first game to remain in contention for the championship at Battle 4 Atlantis but all games in the tournament will be meaningful. 

Q: Harvard posted a 14-0 record at home last season and owns one of the longest home unbeaten streaks in the nation. Does that play into the scheduling?
A: I don't think so; scheduling is extremely complex with many factors. We are pleased in what we were able to accomplish last year and are extremely grateful to our fans for the environment that they created at Lavietes. Defending our home court is very important to us and we did well. This is a new year however and we have a great challenge ahead of us to keep performing and moving forward.  

Q: There has been some renewed interest among local media members in a potential "Beanpot" style basketball event in Boston. What are your thoughts on that and the local hoops scene?
A: I would support the idea. Again, I think it is a complex puzzle. Regardless, playing our local rivals remains important to us and we are pleased that we are able to once again play Holy Cross, Boston University and Boston College as well as UConn and Vermont.