Harvard vs. MIT
Harvard vs. Massachusetts
Harvard was picked by the media to win the league in the Ivy preseason poll (Gil Talbot).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Playing in a newly-renovated Lavietes Pavilion, Harvard men's basketball's return to the hardwood begins this weekend when the Crimson hosts MIT on Friday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. and Massachusetts on Sunday, Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. The MIT game is set for broadcast on NESNplus, while the Massachusetts game can be found on NESN. Both games can be seen on the Ivy League Network.
The Opening Tip
- This will be the seventh consecutive season with Harvard and MIT facing each other to start the season. The Crimson has won all six matchups.
- For the seventh time over the last eight years, the Crimson reached the 10-win mark in Ivy League play in 2016-17. Harvard returns a young core of scorers, including sophomores Bryce Aiken (14.5 PPG) and Seth Towns (12.3 PPG).
- The all-time winningest head coach in Harvard men's basketball history, Tommy Amaker returns to the Harvard sidelines for the 11th 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), four Ivy League championships (2011-15) and six 20-win seasons (2010-15). Amaker owns a 369-244 career record: 193-104 at Harvard, 108-84 at Michigan and 68-55 at Seton Hall.
Despite freshman Bryce Aiken's career best 28 points, Harvard fell to Yale 73-71 in the semifinals of the inaugural Ivy League Tournament. With the loss, Harvard finished 18-10 on the season, and second in the Ivy League standings with a 10-4 conference record.
The Crimson will look to fill the void left by graduating senior guard Siyani Chambers, who averaged 32.2 MPG, 9.9 PPG, and 5.9 APG in 2016-17. He was the recipient of Harvard's Bingham Award, which recognizes the top male senior student-athlete.
The New Generation
After being ranked the 10th-youngest team in the NCAA according to KenPom rankings, the Crimson returns a core group to the court in 2017-18. Sophomores Chris Lewis, Justin Bassey and Seth Towns all return this season after starting 20-plus games last season as freshmen. Sophomores Bryce Aiken (14.5) and Towns (12.3) led the team in points per game.
Welcome, Welcome, Welcome!
Tommy Amaker and his coaching staff added three members as the Class of 2021.
Danilo Djuricic, a forward from Ontario, captained the Canadian Men's National U16 and U17 teams and won a silver medal in the U16 FIBA Championships. Reed Farley is a guard from California, who was a four-year starter and three-year captain with his high school team in La Jolla, California. The second guard joining the Crimson is Rio Haskett. The three-year starter is an elite athlete that was a senior captain at his high school in Richmond, Virginia. In his four years he helped his high school to a 90-11 record.
With the new season comes a newer looking building. Lavietes Pavilion has been redone just in time for the season. The renovations include new locker rooms, coaches offices, and improved concession and merchandise areas for fans.
The arena now features fresh new bathrooms, upgraded bleacher seating and a brand-new video board and sound system.
Creating a Winning Culture
Harvard has posted a 171-68 (.715) 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 March 6).
Harvard has posted a 92-16 (.851) 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 March 6).
The Engineers finished 21-7 in 2016-17, including an 11-3 mark in NEWMAC action. The squad went on to win the NEWMAC championship tournament after a 67-62 win over top-seeded Babson to advance to the Division III NCAA Tournament, where the team lost to Eastern Connecticut, 86-70.
The Bulldogs maintain a balanced scoring attack, and return four of their top-five leading scorers, including junior Bradley Jomard (15.2 ppg). Jomard also paced the Engineers in rebounds (6.7). Head coach Larry Anderson leads MIT in his 22nd season, where he has totaled 329 career wins with six NCAA tournament bids, including one Final Four (2012).
Beginning the Matt McCall era in Amherst, the Minutemen went 15-18 a year ago, and 4-14 in Atlantic 10 play. The squad earned a first-round win in the A-10 Tournament over St. Joseph's, but fell to St. Bonaventure to close the season one round later.
Center Rashaan Holloway leads all returners with 10.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, while Luwane Pipkins pitched in 10.2 points per game a year ago. McCall joins UMass after a successful tenure at Chattanooga, where he went 48-18 over two years with an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2016.
Picked at the Top
Harvard men's basketball was picked by the media to finish first in the preseason Ivy League poll, finishing above Yale, Princeton and Penn with 121 total votes. Additionally, Harvard received votes in both the Associated Press poll and USA Today coaches' poll. The full preseason predictions can be found below:
Team (1st place) – Total Votes
- Harvard (6) - 121
- Yale (8) - 118
- Princeton (3) - 114
- Penn - 86
- Columbia - 55
- Cornell - 48
- Dartmouth - 39
- Brown - 31
In The News
- Sophomore Bryce Aiken was profiled by the Boston Globe's Julian Benbow.
- The Associated Press' Jimmy Golen wrote about the program's "education through athletics." The piece was featured around the country in most major publications.
- The Crimson's winter supplement featured three articles on the upcoming season.
Ivy League Network
The Ivy League Network returns for a fifth season as the home for all live streaming and on-demand video content for each of the conference's eight institutions. Broadcast in full HD and featuring a live score bug and play-by-play and color commentary, the Ivy League Network provides fans with unprecedented access to the Ancient Eight.
Multiple subscription options are available to fans, including school-specific and league-wide passes. To learn more about the Ivy League Network or to sign-up today, click here, or download the Ivy League Network app!
Harvard hits the road for the first time this season, traveling to Holy Cross Nov. 16 and Manhattan Nov. 18. Tipoffs are set for 7 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively.