Harvard vs. Princeton
Returning to the friendly confines of Lavietes Pavilion, Harvard men's basketball hosts Penn and Princeton this weekend. Both games will tip at 7 p.m. on ESPN3, with the Quakers heading to Cambridge on Friday and the Tigers arriving Saturday. The Crimson will also be welcoming back alumni this weekend.
What to Watch For
• Sophomore Corey Johnson has taken over during Ivy play, pacing the team with 15.3 points per game. Johnson is shooting 56 percent from the field, including 51 percent from behind the arc.
• For the first time since 1987-88, a freshman leads the Crimson in scoring, as Bryce Aiken posts 13.3 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 362-240 career record: 186-101 at Harvard, 108-84 at Michigan and 68-55 at Seton Hall. Amaker will be honored prior to the Penn game for becoming Harvard men's basketball all-time winningest coach.
• Harvard contains a mix of youth and experience for the 2016-17 season. Thirteen (13) of the 20-man roster are freshmen or sophomores. Three of the top four leading scorers are rookies, as Bryce Aiken and Seth Towns rank 1-2 with 13.3 and 11.0 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 nine wins over the last 11 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
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.
Freshman Seth Towns recorded his first career double-double with the Crimson, recording 12 points and a personal-best 12 rebounds. Johnson shot 7-of-14 from behind the arc, matching his career high for 3-pointers in a game. Senior Zena Edosomwan neared a double-double with nine points and nine boards, adding six blocks. The six rejections stand in a tie for third all-time at Harvard in a game.
The Quakers sit at 7-9 overall, 0-3 in Ivy League play after losses at Princeton and at home against Yale and Brown. Most recently, in Big 5 play, Penn fell 78-71 to Saint Joseph's and defeated La Salle, 77-74.
Freshman AJ Brodeur paces the Quakers with 15.3 points per game, scoring in double-figures 13 times, and adding 6.9 rebounds. During Ivy League play, junior Darnell Foreman posts 13.0 points per game, adding 4.7 boards.
Penn leads the all-time series against Harvard, 130-40, although the Crimson has come out on top as of late. Harvard has won five of the last six over the Quakers and is 13-4 over the last 17 matchups, dating back to the 2007-08 season.
Steve Donahue, in his second season with the Quakers, holds a 218-240 all-time record, including a 146-138 mark at Cornell from 2000-2010. Before taking over the Quakers, Donahue was the head coach at Boston College from 2010-14.
The Tigers are the only Ivy-unbeaten team left, standing 3-0 after opening with home wins over Penn, Brown and Yale. Princeton has had a break of nearly three weeks, the longest in-season since 1942-43.
Senior Steven Cook leads the Tigers with 14.5 pints, ranking sixth overall in the Ivy League. Sophomore Devin Cannady isn't far behind, contributing 13.9 ppg. Spencer Weisz leads the team in rebounding with 5.4 boards per game.
Harvard has won the last six over Princeton at Lavietes Pavilion. Last year, the Crimson dashed the Tigers Ivy League title hopes, defeating Princeton 73-71 in the last weekend of the regular season.
Head coach Mitch Henderson, a 1998 Princeton graduate, is in his sixth season at the helm of the Tigers, after spending 11 years as an assistant coach under Bill Carmody at Northwestern.
Creating a Winning Culture
Harvard has posted a 164-65 (.717) 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. 1).
Harvard has posted an 87-15 (.856) 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. 1).
The Crimson ranks first in field goal percentage defense (40.4), scoring defense (64.4) and blocked shots (5.5) in the Ivy League. Harvard has held seven opponents to under 40.0 percent shooting and six to under 60 points (6-0).
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 15.0 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 6.0 helpers per game in 2016-17. Chambers ranks 17th in the country in helpers per game and No. 16 in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.2).
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 15 times and made at least 10 treys four times. The Crimson averages 8.1 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 139 through 17 games this year. Johnson led the team with 74 3-pointers, the third-most in program history and a new freshman record.
On the Glass
Through 17 games, the Crimson ranks second in the Ivy League in rebounding margin (+0.8).
Protecting The Rim
Harvard has registered 5.5 blocked shots per game this year, best in the Ancient Eight. Chris Lewis and Zena Edosomwan rank 3-4 in the conference with 1.8 and 1.5 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 84 times since 2010-11. Harvard is slated to 11 games on national or regional television in 2016-17.
The Crimson sold out against Dartmouth Jan. 21 and played in front of a sold-out Lavietes Pavilion crowd seven times last season. Since 2010-11, the Crimson has played in front of a full house a total of 37 times.
On The Sidelines
Head coach Tommy Amaker's 186 wins are the most at Harvard and the sixth-most in the Ivy League since the conference began competition in 1956. His 87 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..................... 186
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..................... 186
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........ 87
7. 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 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 and the 18th time that the team has overcome a double-digit hole. At Cornell again this year, Harvard overcame a 12-point deficit to take home the 77-71 win, tied for the ninth-largest deficit overcome.
This year, Harvard is 1-2 in games decided by three points or less and is 21-23 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.