CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Harvard men's basketball team has been picked fourth in the Ivy League Preseason Media Poll released Wednesday during the Ancient Eight's preseason media teleconference.
Harvard received a total of 96 points as Yale took the top spot in the poll with 117 points and five first-place votes. Columbia (114 points) and Princeton (108 points) each received six first-place votes to finish second and third, respectively, in the voting, marking the first time that the preseason favorite has not received the most first-place votes.
Brown (54 points), Dartmouth (50 points), Penn (48 points) and Cornell (25 points) round out the projected order of finish.
Harvard had previously been picked first in three of the last four preseason polls, and has not been picked lower than second since the 2009-10 rankings predicted the Crimson to finish fourth.
Harvard returns 10 letterwinners from last year's team which went 22-8 overall, won a share of the program's fifth-consecutive Ivy League title and reached the NCAA tournament for a fourth straight year. Among the many historical marks the Crimson will be chasing in 2015-16, Harvard will attempt to become just the second program in Ivy history to win six consecutive titles (Penn 1970-75) and the first to win 20 games in seven consecutive years.
Returning in the frontcourt are senior captain Evan Cummins, junior Zena Edosomwan and sophomore Chris Egi. Cummins appeared in 21 games a season ago, averaging 2.4 ppg and 2.2 rpg in 11.3 minutes. Edosomwan started 16 of the 29 games he appeared in, contributing 4.0 ppg and 3.1 rpg in 12.1 minutes. Egi, meanwhile, saw limited action as a freshman, appearing in 11 games.
The backcourt will be bolstered by senior Agunwa Okolie, junior Corbin Miller and sophomore Andre Chatfield. Okolie, the most experienced of Harvard's returners, started 27 of 28 games last year while averaging 4.3 ppg, and 3.8 rpg. Miller played in all 30 of the Crimson's contests and was the squad's top threat from deep, notching 8.2 ppg with 63 3-pointers made. Chatfield saw time in 21 games during his freshman campaign, playing 9.1 minutes.
Also returning to the court are senior Patrick Steeves, junior Matt Fraschilla, and sophomores Hunter Myers and Zach Yoshor. Joining this group are newcomers Balsa Dragovich, Robbie Feinberg, Corey Johnson, Tommy McCarthy, James McLean and Weisner Perez.
Harvard is led by Tommy Amaker, The Thomas G. Stemberg '71 Family Endowed Coach for Harvard Men's Basketball, in his ninth season. Amaker has turned the Crimson into one of the winningest programs in the country, boasting a .764 win percentage (139-43) since the start of the 2009-10 campaign, good for the 11th-highest in the NCAA in that time. Additionally, Amaker ranks second in Harvard coaching history with a 161-79 overall record, placing him 17 victories shy of matching Frank Sullivan (178 wins, 1991-2007) for the most wins in program history.
Harvard will host an exhibition game versus McGill on Saturday, Nov. 7, before tipping off the season at home versus MIT on Friday, Nov. 13. The Crimson will travel to Providence the following day on Saturday, Nov. 14, before returning to Lavietes Pavilion to face UMass on Tuesday, Nov. 17.
Season and single-game tickets are still available for the 2015-16 campaign and can be purchased online by clicking here.
2015-16 IVY LEAGUE MEN'S BASKETBALL PRESEASON MEDIA POLL
First-Place Votes in Parentheses