#104 Harvard Men's Basketball 2018-2019 Preview

Harvard Crimson
2018-2019 Overall Rank: #104
Conference Rank: #1 Ivy League
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Harvard went into the 2017-2018 season with huge expectations. But the Crimson got off to a slow start, opening the season with a 6-10 record and some rough non-conference losses. Once conference play rolled around, Harvard got on track, finishing 12-2 and tied with Penn atop the Ivy League standings. The team lost to Penn in the conference tournament and had to settle for a trip to the NIT, but with basically six starters returning, Harvard is the favorite to win the conference and make their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2015.
2017-18 Record: 18-14, 12-2
2017-18 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Tommy Amaker
Coach Record: 211-118 at Harvard, 387-257 overall
Key Departed Players:
Key Returning Players:
Seth Towns, Junior, Forward, 16.0 ppg
Chris Lewis, Junior, Forward, 12.8 ppg
Justin Bassey, Junior, Guard, 8.0 ppg
Christian Juzang, Junior, Guard, 7.3 ppg
Corey Johnson, Senior, Guard, 6.5 ppg
Bryce Aiken, Junior, Guard, 14.1 ppg
Danilo Djurcic, Sophomore, Forward, 4.9 ppg
Rio Haskett, Sophomore, Guard, 3.4 ppg
Robert Baker, Junior, Forward, 2.4 ppg
Henery Welsh, Junior, Forward, 1.8 ppg
Key New Players:
Kale Catchings, Freshman, Forward
Mason Forbes, Freshman, Forward
Spencer Freedman, Freshman, Guard
Noah Kirkwood, Freshman, Guard
Bryce Aiken missed most of last season, but as a freshman two years ago he averaged 14.5 points and 2.8 assists and was clearly one of the best players in the Ivy League. But Harvard did fine without him with Justin Bassey, Christian Juzang and Corey Johnson manning the backcourt. Bassey and Juzang can both handle the ball and score by attacking the basket, while Johnson is a very dangerous shooting threat. But the true stars of the team are in the frontcourt. Junior Seth Towns led the team with 16.0 points per game and connected on an impressive 44.1 percent of his 143 three-point attempts. Few teams in the Ivy League had any success defending a 6-7 forward who can score from anywhere on the floor. Chris Lewis is the more traditional big man. The 6-9 junior averaged 12.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game and compliments Towns very well. Coach Tommy Amaker has a very talented and experienced roster on his hands and this should be another great season for Harvard.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.2 (298th in nation, 7th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.5 (39, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.0 (262, 7)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.2 (70, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.0 (134, 5)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.3 (160, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 77.5 (15, 1)
Rebound Margin: 2.6 (86, 1)
Assists Per Game: 12.7 (245, 6)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.9 (276, 8)

Madness 2018 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#105 Noah Kirkwood