#35 Harvard Crimson: College Basketball 111 in 111

harvard cheerleading

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

(I am going to try to get through this article without making a Good Will Hunting reference, but no promises.)  Even though they shared the honors with Princeton, the Harvard Crimson captured their first ever Ivy League title only to have their hope of ending up in the NCAA Tournament fall short as they lost a one-game playoff against their educated rivals.  With everyone returning from last year’s team, Harvard will be the favorites to represent the conference in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1946.

HARVARD CRIMSON
Last Season: T-1st, 12-2 in Ivy, 23-7 overall
Predicted Ivy Finish: 1st

Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Keith Wright (Sr)/Andrew Van Nest (Sr)/Kenyatta Smith (Fr)/Ugo Okam (So)
PF: Kyle Casey (Jr)/Jeff Georgatos (Jr)/Steve Moundou-Missi (Fr)/Tom Habel (So)
G/F: Christian Webster (Jr)/Wesley Saunders (Fr)/Dee Giger (Jr)/Jonah Travis (Fr)/Max Hooper (Fr)
SG: Oliver McNally (Sr)/Laurent Rivard (So)/Matt Brown (So)/Corbin Miller (Fr)
PG: Brandyn Curry (Jr)/Alex Nesbitt (Fr)

Gone: PG-Ernest Rouse

2011-2012 Outlook:
Tommy Amaker primarily used a six man rotation last season in which each of the players averaged at least 25 minutes and 9 points per game.  That entire core returns but the Crimson bring in a talented recruiting class that could allow Amaker to go deeper into his bench if needed.

Leading scorer and rebounder Keith Wright is the reigning Ivy League Player of the Year and was named to the Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 Watch List.  He will be joined in frontcourt by Kyle Casey, an athletic four man who is solid on the boards and can also block shots.

Harvard will have more options off the bench in terms of their inside play with the addition of freshman Kenyatta Smith.  The 6-8, 260 pounder knows how to throw his body around in the paint but is also light on his feet.  6-10 Andrew Van Nest played sparingly last season but offers size and decent range on his jump shot.

There is experience and versatility in the backcourt.  Brandyn Curry handles the point guard duties and has proven he can distribute the basketball but also score when needed.  Oliver McNally plays his role well as a three-point shooter, connecting on 44.2% of his triple tries last season.  Christian Webster was the team’s second leading scorer and can stroke it from deep but also is explosive at the rim.

Laurent Rivard was the team’s sixth man as a freshman and is another wing who can light it up from deep.  Matt Brown was seldom used a year ago but will likely serve as the team’s fifth guard.  Freshmen Wesley Saunders and Corbin Miller might have something to say about that though as they are talented enough to contribute right away.

This isn’t the tallest, most athletic, or physically intimidating team in the country, but they really came together as a unit last season.  With all six of their key contributors returning and a couple of freshmen adding even more depth, there is no reason to think Harvard won’t be a sleeper come tourney time and the cream of the crop in the Ivy League .  In other words, the Crimson will “f*** up some smart kids” this year.  (I couldn’t resist a Good Will Hunting reference.  Sorry.)

good will hunting bar scene

Player to Watch: Keith Wright
By Ivy League standards, Wright is an intimidating big man despite standing just 6’8”.  He has a dangerous combination of strength, athleticism, and moves on the block.  Wright benefits from having shooters on the floor to space out defenses and allow him to go to work inside.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/24 vs. Utah (Battle 4 Atlantis)
11/25 vs. UConn/UNC-Asheville(Battle 4 Atlantis)
11/26 vs. Florida State/UMass/Central Florida/Charleston (Battle 4 Atlantis)
12/1 at Vermont
12/10 at UConn
12/29 at Boston College
12/31 vs. St. Joseph’s
1/14 at George Washington

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#36 Illinois Fighting Illini
#37 Oregon Ducks
#38 Wichita State Shockers
#39 Cal Golden Bears
#40 Belmont Bruins
#41 Mississippi State Bulldogs
#42 Saint Mary’s Gaels
#43 Purdue Boilermakers
#44 BYU Cougars
#45 Kansas State Wildcats
#46 West Virginia Mountaineers
#47 Virginia Cavaliers
#48 George Mason Patriots
#49 Old Dominion Monarchs

#50 VCU Rams
#51 Kent State Golden Flashes
#52 Arkansas Razorbacks
#53 St. John’s Red Storm
#54 Northwestern Wildcats
#55 Georgetown Hoyas
#56 Miami Hurricanes
#57 Nevada Wolfpack
#58 Detroit Titans
#59 UCF Knights
#60 Long Beach State 49ers
#61 Virginia Tech Hokies
#62 Clemson Tigers
#63 New Mexico State Aggies
#64 Tennessee Volunteers
#65 Iona Gaels
#66 Murray State Racers
#67 N.C. State Wolfpack
#68 Fairfield Stags
#69 George Washingon Colonials
#70 Indiana State Sycamores
#71 Oklahoma State Cowboys
#72 Indiana Hoosiers
#73 UAB Blazers
#74 Iowa State Cyclones
#75 Creighton Bluejays
#76 USC Trojans
#77 Weber State Wildcats
#78 Maryland Terrapins
#79 Tulsa Golden Hurricane
#80 Minnesota Golden Gophers
#81 Western Michigan Broncos
#82 Dayton Flyers
#83 Stanford Cardinal
#84 Yale Bulldogs

#85 Georgia Bulldogs
#86 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#87 Richmond Spiders
#88 Ball State Cardinals
#89 Utah State Aggies
#90 Arizona State Sun Devils
#91 Marshall Thundering Herd
#92 Oregon State Beavers
#93 Washington State Cougars
#94 Iowa Hawkeyes
#95 Ole Miss Rebels
#96 Nebraska Cornhuskers
#97 Oklahoma Sooners
#98 South Florida Bulls
#99 LSU Tigers
#100 Colorado Buffaloes
#101 DePaul Blue Demons
#102 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#103 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#104 Seton Hall Pirates
#105 Providence Friars
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 South Carolina Gamecocks
#108 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#109 Penn State Nittany Lions
#110 Boston College Eagles
#111 Utah Utes

David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, 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.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.

You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.

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Comments

  1. paulmbanks says:

    I knew a GWH ref was coming. but a Social Network one would have been better

    “Mr. Zuckerberg, do you feel I deserve your full attention?”

    “No.”

    I can’t believe Harvard actually has cheerleaders

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