Harvard at Boston College
The Harvard men’s basketball team will return to non-conference play as it takes on cross-town foe Boston College Wednesday, Jan. 14 at Conte Forum. The game can be seen live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN App beginning at 7 p.m.
Harvard has won six straight games against Boston College since renewing the series in 2009, including five wins at Conte. Under head coach Tommy Amaker Harvard is 20-4 against against Boston area schools (6-0 versus BC) and has won 20 straight games against its Beantown rivals. The Crimson is also 13-16 against power conference opponents under Amaker.
What To Watch For
• Harvard boasts a 127-38 (.770) record since 2009-10, good for the 13th highest win percentage in the country in that time (as of games played Jan. 11). This includes a 67-5 record at home and a 60-33 mark away from Lavietes Pavilion (51-28 road, 9-5 neutral).
• Harvard is 6-0 against Boston College with five wins at Conte Forum since renewing the series in 2009. The Crimson is 20-4 overall against Boston area schools under head coach Tommy Amaker and has won 20 straight games against its Beantown foes.
• Harvard is 13-16 against the power conferences under head coach Tommy Amaker and has won at least one game against the power conferences in each season since his arrival. The Crimson is 0-2 against the power conferences this season, however, after losing at Virginia and Arizona State.
• With a 9-3 out-of-conference record, Harvard has secured a winning record in non-conference play for the seventh consecutive season. The Crimson is 76-32 away from the Ivy League since 2008-09, and posted a program best 14 non-conference wins in 2011-12 and 2013-14.
• Harvard currently ranks 10th in the NCAA in scoring defense (as of games played Jan. 11), having allowed 55.7 ppg. The Crimson has held 10 of its 13 opponents to fewer than 60 points this season, with four scoring fewer than 50.
• Harvard ranks 16th in the NCAA in blocked shots per game (as of games played Jan. 11) at 5.9 bpg. The program record for blocked shots in a season stands at 4.8 bpg, set by last year’s squad.
• Harvard is 7-2 this season when Wesley Saunders scores at lesat 15 points, and is 32-9 when he has done so in his career. Harvard is 7-1 this season when Siyani Chambers dishes out at least five assists, and is 35-7 when he does so in his career.
Last Time Out
The Harvard men’s basketball team cleared its first hurdle toward winning a fifth straight Ivy League championship Saturday night, going on the road to defeat Dartmouth in its conference opener, 57-46.
Corbin Miller led Harvard with a season-high 16 points, including 11 consecutive points in the first half that gave the Crimson the lead for good. Kenyatta Smith added 11 points and seven rebounds, while Siyani Chambers and Wesley Saunders contributed 10 points apiece.
Dartmouth was limited to 33.3 percent (16-48) shooting on the night and connected on just four field goals over the final 12:51.
Creating a Winning Culture
Harvard has posted a 127-38 (.770) overall record since the start of the 2009-10 season, ranking as the 13th highest win percentage in the country over the last five-plus seasons (as of games played Jan. 11).
Home is Where the Wins Are
Harvard has posted a 56-3 (.949) record at Lavietes Pavilion since the start of the 2010-11 season, ranking the Crimson behind only Duke (71-3, .959) and Kentucky (76-4, .950) for the third highest home-court win percentage in the country over the last four-plus seasons (as of games played Jan. 11).
Harvard is 7-0 at home this season and has won nine straight at Lavietes Pavilion dating back to last year. Since 2010-11, the Crimson has enjoyed two home win streaks of at least 20 games; 28 games (Feb. 20, 2010 to Feb. 25, 2012), 20 games (Dec. 1, 2012 to Feb. 7, 2014).
Harvard has started 10-3 or better five times under head coach Tommy Amaker; 24-3, 2011-12; 18-3, 2013-14; 15-3, 2010-11; 14-3, 2009-10, 10-3, 2014-15.
Making a Stand
Harvard’s defense is shaping up to be one of the best ever under head coach Tommy Amaker.
• Opponents are scoring just 55.7 ppg, which ranks 10th in the NCAA and stands as the second lowest total in the Amaker era (55.6 ppg in 2011-12).
• Opponents are shooting 38.3 percent from the floor, which ranks 35th in the NCAA and is the lowest opponent field goal percentage in the Amaker era (40.8% in 2013-14).
• Opponents are shooting 31.3 percent from 3-point range, which stands as the lowest opponent 3-point percentage in the Amaker era (32.1% in 2013-14).
• Harvard is averaging 5.9 bpg, which ranks 16th in the NCAA and is the highest total in the Amaker era (4.8 bpg in 2013-14).
• Harvard is averaging 7.7 spg, which ranks 63rd in the NCAA and is the second highest total in the Amaker era (7.9 spg in 2009-10).
• Harvard has held 10 of its 13 opponents to fewer than 60 points, with four opponents scoring fewer than 50. The Crimson has limited opponents to 20 points or fewer in a half four times.
• Harvard limited Saint Rose to just 20.8 percent shooting (11-53), the lowest single-game opponent shooting percentage in the Amaker era.
• The Crimson allowed just 38 points to Saint Rose, marking the fourth time under head coach Tommy Amaker that an opponent has scored fewer than 40 points.
Stuffing the Stat Sheet
Wesley Saunders, the 2014 Ivy League Player of the Year, currently ranks among the Ancient Eight’s top 10 in seven statistcal categories. As a senior, Jeremy Lin ’10 finished ranked among the conference’s best in nine statistical categories.
Leading the Way
Wesley Saunders led Harvard in scoring in each of the team’s first eight games, becoming the first member of the Crimson to lead the team in scoring in eight straight games under head coach Tommy Amaker.
Saunders has led Harvard in scoring 37 times in his career, with the Crimson owning a 25-12 record in those games.
Born to Assist
Siyani Chambers has led Harvard in assists 48 times in his career, with the Crimson owning a 36-12 record in those games.
Chambers boasts 42 career games with five assist or more, including a stretch of eight straight games as a freshman (Dec. 11, 2012 - Jan. 26, 2013). Harvard is 35-7 in games Chambers reaches five assists.
Cleaning the Glass
Steve Moundou-Missi recorded a career-high 17 rebounds at Vermont, the most by a member of the Crimson under head coach Tommy Amaker.
Moundou-Missi has led Harvard in rebounding 31 times in his career, with the Crimson owning a 25-6 record in those games.
Wesley Saunders recorded 12 steals against Northeastern and Vermont, including a career-high seven at Vermont to match Jeremy Lin ‘10 (vs. George Washington, Dec. 30, 2009) for the most steals by a member of the Crimson under head coach Tommy Amaker.
Saunders currently ranks 47th in the NCAA with 2.1 steals per game (as of games played Jan. 11), while his 147 career steals are good for eighth in program history.
Wesley Saunders recorded three double-doubles in the team’s first four games, becoming the first member of the Crimson to post three double-doubles in a four-game stretch since Keith Wright ‘12 did it in four consecutive games in 2011-12.
Player of the Week
Wesley Saunders was named the Ivy League Player of the Week on Dec. 1 after averaging 25.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg and 3.5 apg in wins over Houston and UMass.
Saunders has earned nine player of the week awards in his career, matching Princeton’s Ian Hummer and Brown’s Earl Hunt for the most in Ivy history. Saunders garnered the honor five times in 2012-13, three times in 2013-14 and has one award in 2014-15.
With its 84-38 victory over Saint Rose, Harvard set several program bests under head coach Tommy Amaker; largest margin of victory (46 points), most rebounds (49), lowest opponent FG% (20.8).
Wesley Saunders was named to the Naismith Trophy, Wooden Award and Lou Henson Award watch lists as one of the elite student-athletes in the country.
Saunders is the first Ivy Leaguer to be included on the Naismith Trophy Top 50, while he joined Jeremy Lin ’10 as the second member of the Crimson to be named to the Wooden Award Watch List. Saunders was also included on the 2013 Lou Henson Award Watch List.
Siyani Chambers was named to the 2015 Bob Cousy Award Watch List, marking the third-straight year that the junior has been tabbed among the top point guards in college basketball. Chambers is one of just three individuals to have been included on the watch list in each of the last three years along with Duke’s Quinn Cook and Gonzaga’s Kevin Pangos.
Last year, Chambers was one of 23 Cousy Award Watch List finalists after being among the original list of 80 watch list candidates along with teammate Brandyn Curry ’13-14.
Moving on Up
Head coach Tommy Amaker continus to move up the ranks of the Ivy League’s winningest coaches. Amaker’s 149 wins at Harvard are the eighth most since the conference began competition in 1956, while his 68 Ivy League victories rank 14th.
Amaker has led Harvard to four-straight Ivy League championships, tying him with former Princeton head coach Butch van Breda Kolff and fomer Penn head coach Chuck Daly for the fourth most Ivy titles won.
On The Sidelines
With 149 victories under his belt, Tommy Amaker ranks second all-time in Harvard coaching annals.
Frank Sullivan, 1991-07
Amaker's .668 win percentage (149-74), meanwhile, ranks first among Harvard coaches who have spent at least two seasons at the helm of the team.
Tommy Amaker, 2007-present