#30 Harvard Crimson: College Basketball 111 in 111

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Welcome to The Sports Bank’s fourth annual college basketball season preview series where we break 111 teams in the 111 days leading up to the opening tip-off of the 2013-2014 season.  We will rank the 84 power conference teams (including the new Big East and American Athletic Conferences) and top 27 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

The Harvard Crimson only lose one player from last year’s Ivy League Championship team, plus they get Kyle Casey and Brandyn Curry back from their one year suspensions.  In other words, Tommy Amaker’s team is loaded with talent and should be a fixture in the national rankings.

HARVARD CRIMSON
Last Season: 1st, 11-3 in Ivy, 20-10 overall
Predicted Ivy Finish: 1st
 
Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Kyle Casey (Sr)/Kenyatta Smith (Jr)/Michael Hall (So)
F: Wesley Saunders (Jr)/Steve Moundou-Missi (So)/Zena Edosomwan (Fr)/Jonah Travis (Jr)/Evan Cummins (So)/Hunter Myers (Fr)/Tom Hamel (Sr)
G/F: Laurent Rivard (Sr)/Agunwa Okolie (So)/Dee Giger (Sr)
G: Brandyn Curry (Sr)/Matt Brown (Jr)
PG: Siyani Chambers (Jr)/Alex Nesbitt (Jr)

Gone: SG-Christian Webster

2013-2014 Outlook:
Casey and Curry were forced to sit out all of last season due to their part in an academic scandal that hit the university last fall.  Both guys played an integral part on Harvard’s 2011-12 team that ended the school’s 66 year NCAA Tournament drought and add to an already solid returning core.

Curry was an All-Ivy League selection during his sophomore and junior years so he clearly brings a ton of experience to the point guard position… not that point guard play is a concern for the Crimson.  Siyani Chambers ran the show last year for Harvard while Curry was suspended and earned Ivy League Rookie of the Year honors.  Now Amaker has the luxury of a pair of experienced, talented point guards who are capable of initiating the offense or scoring the rock when needed.  These two are interchangeable in the backcourt though it will be interesting to see how they share the ball-handling duties.

Alongside Curry and Chambers on the wing are returning starters Wesley Saunders and Laurent Rivard, so expect Amaker to use a four-guard look quite frequently.  Saunders led the Crimson in scoring a year ago and might be the most versatile player in the conference since he can handle the ball, rebounds well for his size, and guard multiple positions.  Rivard is a three-point specialist (199 of his 216 field goal attempts last season came from distance) and will benefit from the drive and kick abilities of Curry, Chambers, or Saunders.

Casey was a three-year starter prior to his suspension and will serve as the lone starting post player.  At 6-7, he is undersized but is an inside/outside threat that makes Harvard even more dangerous on the offensive end.  Amaker does posses solid depth up-front and can easily use a bigger line-up with guys like Steve Moundou-Missi, Kenyatta Smith, and Jonah Travis who were all key role players last season in Casey’s absence.  Add in talented freshman Zena Edosomwan to the mix and Harvard will be just as talented when they need to use a bigger line-up.

You might not see a whole lot of the Harvard Crimson this season but you will certainly hear plenty about them.  They should breeze to a third straight Ivy League title and with their talented backcourt and depth up-front, nobody will want to see the them when the brackets are revealed on Selection Sunday,

Player to Watch: Siyani Chambers
Chambers played nearly 38 minutes per game as a freshman and I think he will benefit greatly from having Curry back in the fold as it will take some pressure off his shoulders and should allow him more rest to stay fresh during the game.  Chambers also eclipsed 40% with his three-point shooting and dished out nearly six assists per game so he is a dangerous weapon in all aspects of his offensive game.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/24 at Colorado
11/28 vs. Denver (Great Alaska Shootout)
11/29 vs. Pepperdine/Green Bay (Great Alaska Shootout)
11/30 vs. Indiana State/Tulsa/TCU/Alaska-Anchorage (Great Alaska Shootout)
1/1 vs. Boston College
1-4 at Rice
1-8 at UConn

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#31 UCLA
#32 Iowa
#33 Boise State
#34 Villanova
#35 Oregon
#36 St. Louis
#37 La Salle
#38 San Diego State
#39 Stanford
#40 Arizona State
#41 BYU
#42 Pitt
#43 California
#44 Iowa State
#45 Providence
#46 Cincinnati
#47 UNLV
#48 Purdue
#49 LSU
#50 Illinois
#51 Xavier
#52 Boston College
#53 Ole Miss
#54 Missouri
#55 Washington
#56 Saint Mary’s
#57 Maryland
#58 Butler
#59 Minnesota
#60 Florida Gulf Coast
#61 Akron
#62 Temple
#63 Alabama
#64 Florida State
#65 Arkansas
#66 N.C. State
#67 Kansas State
#68 Davidson
#69 Dayton
#70 Miami FL
#71 SMU
#72 Texas A&M
#73 Long Beach State
#74 UMass
#75 Northwestern
#76 Indiana State
#77 Georgia Tech
#78 Oklahoma
#79 Richmond
#80 Manhattan
#81 Belmont
#82 Texas
#83 Houston
#84 Washington State
#85 Iona
#86 Oregon State
#87 Louisiana Tech
#88 Towson
#89 Wake Forest
#90 Central Florida
#91 Rutgers
#92 Drexel
#93 USC
#94 Charleston
#95 Seton Hall
#96 Vanderbilt
#97 George Mason
#98 Clemson
#99 Penn State
#100 Nebraska
#101 West Virginia
#102 South Florida
#103 Mississippi State
#104 DePaul
#105 South Carolina
#106 Texas Tech
#107 TCU
#108 Virginia Tech
#109 Georgia
#110 Utah
#111 Auburn

David Kay is a senior feature NBA DraftNBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu to Milwaukee.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet , AND the second most accurate 2013 NBA Mock Draft. (Yup, nearly 3peat champ… #humblebrag.)

You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.

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