#103 Harvard Men's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview

Harvard Crimson

2015-2016 Overall Rank: #103
Conference Rank: #1 Ivy League

Harvard Team Page#103 Harvard Men's Basketball 2015-2016 PreviewBuy Harvard Basketball Tickets

Harvard did not dominate the Ivy League as much as most expected heading into the 2014-2015 season. They backed their way into a playoff with Yale for the conference’s automatic NCAA berth and barely won that contest 53-51. But in the NCAA Tournament the Crimson stepped up and gave #4 seed North Carolina all they wanted. For now, Harvard will probably stay out of the national radar, but this is still the team to beat in the Ivy League. Point guard Siyani Chambers has always been the most important player on the team and now he is also the best player on the team. The 6-0 senior averaged 9.9 points, 4.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game. He is a good enough outside shooter and a great distributor. This year not only will he need to continue to get his teammates involved, but he will probably need to do more scoring too.

2014-15 Record: 22-8, 11-3
2014-15 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Tommy Amaker
Coach Record: 161-78 at Harvard, 337-217 overall

Who’s Out:
Losing Wesley Saunders is why Harvard is not expected to run away with anything this year. The 6-5 wing averaged 16.6 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.8 steals during his senior season. He did so much for the Crimson and it is hard to judge just how different Harvard will look without him on the floor. However, just based on the numbers, Saunders was the only player to average in double digits in the scoring department and led the team in steals, was tied for the team lead in assists and second in rebounds. It was Steve Moundou-Missi who was Harvard’s top rebounder with 7.3 per game. He emerged over the last two seasons as a consistent scorer and a solid defender as well. Forward Jonah Travis and center Kenyatta Smith were in the regular rotation during their senior seasons. Travis averaged 5.9 points and 3.6 rebounds, while Smith added 4.3 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. Little used Matt Brown and Charlie Anastasi have also used up their eligibility.

Who’s In:
As usual, Harvard will not have to ask too much from their freshmen. However, this is another great class and the future looks just as bright as the recent past. Balsa Dragovic, a 6-10, 220 pound power forward from Zemun, Serbia could make the biggest impact right away since the Crimson may need another option to provide depth in the frontcourt. Small forward Weisner Perez is in a similar position, but he is not as highly regarded as Dragovic. Of guards James McLean, Corey Johnson and Tommy McCarthy, it is the latter two who bring higher expectations. Johnson is a big 6-5 wing with versatility, while McCarthy figures to be the point guard of the future.

Who to Watch:
There are four other upperclassmen who will join Chambers in Coach Tommy Amaker’s regular rotation. Corbin Miller is the most prolific shooter on the team, knocking down 63 three-pointers during his sophomore season. He does not do much else besides shoot, but he does that very well and will do even more of it in 2015-2016. Agunwa Okolie, a 6-8 wing, is actually the Crimson’s most effective returning rebounder with 3.8 per game. Okolie is not a big scoring threat, but he is a tough matchup for most opposing defenders in the Ivy League. Zena Edosomwan is the big body who will replace Moundou-Missi. The 6-9 junior from Los Angeles, California has been stuck behind more experienced options for the last two years, but now is his time to turn into a regular scoring threat and a top rebounder. In just 12.1 minutes per game last year, Edosomwan averaged 4.0 points and 3.1 rebounds. Senior Evan Cummins has been a decent big man off of the bench for the last two seasons, but he has yet to take that next step.

Final Projection:
The difference between competing for an Ivy title and being a team that could pull off an upset in the NCAA Tournament could be the development of sophomores Andre Chatfield and Chris Egi. Chatfield, a 6-4 wing, averaged just 9.1 minutes per game as a freshman, but he is a big time talent who has a bit of Saunders in his game. He will not be that productive anytime soon, but finding that wing who can do it all has worked very well for Harvard. Egi saw even less playing time than Chatfield last year, but he too is a promising sophomore. The 6-9, 215 pound forward could be a very important piece of the puzzle when it comes to helping out on the glass.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Siyani Chambers, Senior, Guard, 9.9 points per game
Corbin Miller, Junior, Guard, 8.2 points per game
Andre Chatfield, Sophomore, Guard, 1.7 points per game
Agunwa Okolie, Senior, Forward, 4.3 points per game
Zena Edosomwan, Junior, Center, 4.0 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 64.2 (255th in nation, 5th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 57.6 (11, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.3 (179, 6)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.4 (66, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 4.9 (306, 8)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.4 (123, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.9 (78, 2)
Rebound Margin: 3.3 (71, 2)
Assists Per Game: 12.8 (158, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.6 (83, 1)


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