Harvard at Brown
Harvard at Yale
The Harvard men’s basketball team remains on the road this weekend as it travels to Brown and Yale for a pair of pivotal Ivy League matchups. The Crimson will first take on the Bears Friday, Feb. 6 before meeting the Bulldogs Saturday, Feb. 7. Both games will tip off at 7 p.m. live on the Ivy League Digital Network.
This weekend’s games will go a long way in helping Harvard secure a fifth straight Ivy League title. The Crimson swept the season series with Brown last year, but won both games by a total of just 12 points. Harvard and Yale, which sits one game ahead of the Crimson in the conference standings, split last year’s series with the road team winning both contests.
What To Watch For
• Harvard boasts a 130-40 (.765) record since 2009-10, good for the 13th highest win percentage in the country in that time (as of games played Feb. 3). This includes a 67-6 record at home and a 63-34 mark away from Lavietes Pavilion (54-29 road, 9-5 neutral).
• Harvard has won 10 straight Ivy League games on the road dating back to last season. The Crimson was a perfect 7-0 on the road against the Ancient Eight last year, marking the program’s first undefeated road record in conference play. Harvard has won five straight games at Brown, and has taken each of its last three contests in New Haven.
• Head coach Tommy Amaker has won 152 games in his seven-plus seasons on the sidelines at Harvard, good for the seventh most victories by an Ivy League coach since the conference’s formation in 1956. Amaker’s 70 Ivy wins, meanwhile, rank him 14th with Penn’s Chuck Daly (1971-77) and Dartmouth’s Dave Faucher (1991-04) tied for 12th with 74 triumphs.
• Harvard has won 10 straight games versus Brown and is 11-3 against the Bears under head coach Tommy Amaker. With a win on Friday, the Crimson will match the program’s longest win streak versus an Ivy opponent (11 straight vs. Dartmouth, 2010-15).
• Corbin Miller has made at least one 3-point field goal in each of Harvard’s 18 games this season. Five former Crimson have enjoyed streaks of at least 20 games with a made 3-pointer, with Laurent Rivard’s ’14 streak of 26 consecutive games (2/25/12 - 2/16/13), the second longest in program history, being most recent.
• Harvard currently ranks 13th in the NCAA in scoring defense (as of games played Feb. 3), having allowed 56.9 ppg. The Crimson has held 12 of its 18 opponents to fewer than 60 points this season, with five scoring fewer than 50.
Last Time Out
The Harvard men’s basketball team had its full arsenal on display Saturday night in a 63-38 victory over Penn at the Palestra.
Harvard’s defense sparked the victory, limiting Penn to just 38 points scored on 30.2 percent (13-43) shooting. The Quakers’ 38 points were the fewest Harvard has given up to a Penn squad since taking a 58-31 victory on March 11, 1942, and marked the fifth time overall, second this season, that the Crimson has allowed fewer than 40 points in a game under head coach Tommy Amaker.
Four starters scored in double-digits for Harvard led by Siyani Chambers’ 14. Wesley Saunders contributed 11 points, four rebounds and six assists, while Steve Moundou-Missi and Agunwa Okolie each added 10. Jonah Travis chipped in eight points and 10 boards.
Creating a Winning Culture
Harvard has posted a 130-40 (.765) 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 Feb. 3).
Home is Where the Wins Are
Harvard has posted a 56-4 (.933) record at Lavietes Pavilion since the start of the 2010-11 season, representing the fifth highest home-court win percentage in the country over the last four-plus seasons (as of games played Feb. 3).
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).
Coaches Powering Forward for Autism
This weekend, Harvard will be joining more than 200 schools from across the country in wearing Autism Speaks’ blue puzzle piece pins to raise awareness for the 1 in 68 children on the autism specturm.
To make a donation today, or to learn more about Coaches Powering Forward for Autism, visit autismspeaks.org/coachpower.
Harvard will be providing free bus transportation, game tickets and pizza to undergraduate students for Saturday’s game at Yale. A limited number of tickets are currently available, and can be picked up in person at the Murr Center Ticket Office between 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. until Friday, Feb. 6.
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 56.9 ppg, which ranks 13th in the NCAA and stands as the second lowest total in the Amaker era (55.6 ppg in 2011-12).
• Opponents are shooting 39.1 percent from the floor, which ranks 39th in the NCAA and is the lowest opponent field goal percentage in the Amaker era (40.8% in 2013-14).
• Opponents are shooting 31.9 percent from 3-point range, which ranks 87th in the NCAA and stands as the lowest opponent 3-point percentage in the Amaker era (32.1% in 2013-14).
• Harvard is averaging 5.1 bpg, which ranks 30th in the NCAA and is the highest total in the Amaker era (4.8 bpg in 2013-14).
• Harvard is averaging 7.6 spg, which ranks 52nd in the NCAA and is the second highest total in the Amaker era (7.9 spg in 2009-10).
• Harvard has held 12 of its 18 opponents to fewer than 60 points, with five opponents scoring fewer than 50. The Crimson has limited opponents to 20 points or fewer in a half five 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 and Penn, marking the fourth and fifth times under head coach Tommy Amaker that an opponent has scored fewer than 40 points.
• Penn’s 38 points scored on Jan. 31 were the fewest Harvard has given up to a Quaker squad since taking a 58-31 victory on March 11, 1942. Additionally, it marked just the sixth time since the Ivy League’s formation prior to the 1956-57 season that Penn had been held to fewer than 40 points.
Down But Not Out
Harvard is attempting to become the first Ivy program to win the conference after beginning 1-1 since Penn did so during the 2001-02 season. The Quakers actually began that year’s conference slate with a 2-3 record before running the table and earning a three-way share of the Ancient Eight crown with Princeton and Yale.
Now in its 59th season of play, the Ivy League has crowned 14 champions that have begun conference play either 0-1 or 1-1, or roughly one every four years.
Stuffing the Stat Sheet
Wesley Saunders, the 2014 Ivy League Player of the Year, currently ranks among the Ancient Eight’s top 10 in six 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 39 times in his career, with the Crimson owning a 25-14 record in those games.
Born to Assist
Siyani Chambers has led Harvard in assists 50 times in his career, with the Crimson owning a 37-13 record in those games.
Chambers boasts 43 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 36-7 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 34 times in his career, with the Crimson owning a 26-8 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 29th in the NCAA with 2.1 steals per game (as of games played Feb. 4), while his 158 career steals are good for fifth 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.
Harvard began the year with a 10-3 record, marking the fifth time under head coach Tommy Amaker that the Crimson has gone 10-3 or better to start the year; 24-3, 2011-12; 18-3, 2013-14; 15-3, 2010-11; 14-3, 2009-10, 10-3, 2014-15.
Harvard went 10-4 in non-conference play, marking the seventh straight season that the Crimson has posted a winning record away from the Ivy League. The Crimson is 77-33 in non-conference action since 2008-09, and has registered double-digit victories five times under head coach Tommy Amaker.
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 preseason 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 152 wins at Harvard are the seventh most since the conference began competition in 1956, while his 70 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 152 victories under his belt, Tommy Amaker ranks second all-time in Harvard coaching annals.
Frank Sullivan, 1991-07
Amaker's .667 win percentage (152-76), meanwhile, ranks first among Harvard coaches who have spent at least two seasons at the helm of the team.
Tommy Amaker, 2007-present