Men’s Basketball Hits the Road for Brown, Yale

Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot
Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot
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Game Info

Live Stats

Series Record
Last Meeting
Game Notes

Harvard vs. Brown
Friday, Feb. 10
7 p.m.
Pizzitola Sports Center
Live Stats
Harvard (12-7, 4-2 Ivy)
Brown (11-11, 2-4 Ivy)
Harvard leads, 99-72
W, 61-52 (Feb. 27, 2016)
Harvard vs. Brown and Yale (PDF)

Game Info

Live Stats

Series Record
Last Meeting
Game Notes

Harvard vs. Yale
Saturday, Feb. 11
7 p.m.
John J. Lee Amphitheater
Live Stats
Harvard (12-7, 4-2 Ivy)
Yale (13-6, 5-1 Ivy)
Yale leads, 117-76
L, 59-50 (Feb. 28, 2016)
Harvard vs. Brown and Yale (PDF)

The Storyline
Harvard men's basketball hits the road this weekend to face Brown and Yale. Friday, the Crimson and Bears square off at 7 p.m. at the Pizzitola Sports Center on ESPN3 and the Ivy League Digital Network. Saturday's game against the Bulldogs can also be seen on ESPN3 and the ILDN and will start at 7 p.m.  

What to Watch For
• Sophomore Corey Johnson has taken over during Ivy play, pacing the team with 13.2 points per game. Johnson is shooting 51 percent from the field, including 48 percent from behind the arc.

• For the first time since 1987-88, a freshman leads the Crimson in scoring, as Bryce Aiken posts 13.1 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 363-241 career record: 187-102 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 five leading scorers are rookies, as Bryce Aiken and Seth Towns rank 1-2 with 13.1 and 10.6 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.

• Rookies pace the squad in scoring (Bryce Aiken, 13.1), field goal percentage (Chris Lewis, 67.7) and free throw percentage (Aiken, 90.7).

• After losing four of its first five contests, Harvard posted a perfect record in December and has rattled off 11 wins over the last 14 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
Harvard split the weekend against Penn and Princeton, erasing a 15-point deficit against the Quakers and being edged out in the final seconds by the Tigers. Against Princeton, the Crimson rallied from a 13-point deficit in the second half before falling, 57-56, in the closing seconds. Harvard took the lead over with just over two minutes left in the contest, but a late comeback from the Tigers was capped off with an offensive rebound and put-back from senior Steven Cook with two seconds left to seal the one-point victory for the visitors.

Scouting Brown
The top scoring offense in the Ivy League, Brown sits at 11-11 overall and 2-4 in League play to stand in a tie for fifth. The Bears are led by senior Steven Spieth, who averages 16.2 points per game and 6.2 rebounds, also dishing out 3.7 assists. Tavon Blackman adds 10.9 points and 3.8 assists for Brown. During Ivy play, Spieth leads all Ancient Eight scorers with 18.7 ppg, ranking ninth with 5.8 boards per game.

Harvard has won 14-straight in the series with Brown, last defeating the Bears 61-52 last season. All-time, Harvard is ahead 99-72.

Head coach Mike Martin, in his fifth season with the Bears, went 8-20 a year ago. Martin graduated from Brown in 2004, leading the Bears to a 63-45 overall record, including a school-record 39-17 mark in Ivy League play.

Scouting Yale
The Bulldogs stands alone in second place in the Ancient Eight, tallying a 5-1 mark and sitting at 13-6 overall. The 2016 Ivy League champions, Yale ranks as the No. 2 scoring offense in the league, posting 76.0 points per game. The squad last defeated Columbia and Cornell on the road.

The Bulldogs maintain a balanced scoring attack, as five players average in double-figures: Miye Oni (13.2 ppg), Sam Downey (12.3 ppg), Alex Copeland (12.2 ppg), Anthony Dallier (10.4 ppg) and Blake Reynolds (10.2 ppg). Leading the team on the boards in Oni with 7.2 per game, second in the Ivy League.

Yale leads the all-time series 117-76, taking both matchups a year ago. For the Crimson's last Ivy League title, Harvard defeated the Bulldogs on a last-second shot by Steve Moundou-Missi.

Creating a Winning Culture
Harvard has posted a 165-66 (.714) 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. 8).

Harvard has posted an 88-16 (.846) 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. 8).

Getting Defensive
The Crimson ranks first in field goal percentage defense (40.0), scoring defense (63.7) and blocked shots (5.4) in the Ivy League. Harvard has held nine opponents to under 40.0 percent shooting and eight to under 60 points (7-1).

Under Tommy Amaker, Harvard has held six opponents to fewer than 40 points and eight opponents to less than 30.0 percent shooting.

Dropping Dimes
Harvard averages 14.6 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 5.8 helpers per game in 2016-17. Chambers ranks 18th in the country in helpers per game and No. 11 in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.3).  

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

From Way Down Town
This season, Harvard has connected on five-plus 3-pointers 17 times and made at least 10 treys four times. The Crimson averages 8.2 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 155 through 19 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 19 games, the Crimson ranks fourth in the Ivy League in rebounding margin (+0.0).

Protecting The Rim
Harvard has registered 5.4 blocked shots per game this year, best in the Ancient Eight. Chris Lewis and Zena Edosomwan rank 1-4 in the conference with 2.8 and 1.5 blocks per game, respectively.

Nonconference Watch
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.

Sold Out
The Crimson has played in front of a sold-out Lavietes Pavilion crowd three times this season. Since 2010-11, the Crimson has played in front of a full house a total of 39 times.

On The Sidelines
Head coach Tommy Amaker's 187 wins are the most at Harvard and the sixth-most in the Ivy League since the conference began competition in 1956. His 88 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.. 187

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.. 187

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 88

8. Jack McCloskey, Penn 1956-66... 87

Going Pro
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

FIBA U19 World Championships
Chris Egi, Corey Johnson and Weisner Perez represented their respective countries at the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championships in Greece.

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.

Comeback Kids
Harvard has twice overcome double-digit deficits this season, at Cornell (a 12-point hole) and against Penn (a 15-point hole). Last year, the Crimson 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.  

Nail Biters
This year, Harvard is 1-3 in games decided by three points or less and is 21-24 all-time in games decided by three points or less under head coach Tommy Amaker.

Extra Sessions
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.

Chasing History
• 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.