#44 Harvard Men's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

Harvard Crimson
2019-2020 Overall Rank: #44
Conference Rank: #1 Ivy League
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Harvard returns their top nine scorers from a team that won a share of the Ivy League title and won a game in the NIT. With so much talent and experience, the Crimson may not even have to earn the conference’s automatic bid in order to reach the NCAA Tournament. A healthy Bryce Aiken will help Coach Tommy Amaker’s team return to the NCAA Tournament after a four year absence. Aiken averaged 22.2 points per game last season, but only was able to play in 18 games due to a knee injury. The previous year Aiken missed some time too and Harvard needs the most dynamic scorer in the conference to be on the floor as much as possible.
2018-19 Record: 19-12, 10-4
2018-19 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Tommy Amaker
Coach Record: 230-131 at Harvard, 406-270 overall
Key Departed Players:
Corey Johnson, Guard, 3.4 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Christian Juzang, Senior, Guard, 8.0 ppg
Chris Lewis, Senior, Forward, 10.4 ppg
Justin Bassey, Senior, Guard, 9.0 ppg
Bryce Aiken, Senior, Guard, 22.2 ppg
Danilo Djurcic, Junior, Forward, 6.2 ppg
Robert Baker, Senior, Forward, 4.9 ppg
Noah Kirkwood, Sophomore, Guard, 11.1 ppg
Kale Catchings, Sophomore, Forward, 3.8 ppg
Rio Haskett, Junior, Guard, 2.8 ppg
Henry Welsh, Senior, Forward, 3.4 ppg
Mason Forbes, Sophomore, Forward, 2.4 ppg
Spencer Freedman, Sophomore, Guard, 2.8 ppg
Reed Farley, Junior, Guard, DNP last season
Seth Towns, Senior, Forward, DNP last season
Key New Players:
Ciaran Brayboy, Freshman, Forward
Chris Ledlum, Freshman, Forward
Tommy O’Neil, Freshman, Forward
Luka Sakota, Freshman, Guard
Idan Tretout, Freshman, Guard
Aiken is not the only senior ready for a big year. Christian Juzang, Justin Bassey and Chris Lewis are also senior returning starters. Juzang is a great floor leader and Bassey is most known for his defensive prowess. Lewis is the leader of the frontcourt after averaging 10.4 points and 5.1 rebounds. Along with Aiken, those four seniors form a great core to this team. But there is so much more. Noah Kirkwood was the Ivy Rookie of the Year last season after averaging 11.1 points per game. Danilo Djurcic started up front alongside Lewis and averaged 6.2 points and 3.9 rebounds. Kale Catchings, Robert Baker and Henry Welsh provide Coach Amaker with a ton of options up front. The Crimson also welcome back forward Seth Towns. Two years ago Towns was the Ivy League Player of the Year with 16.0 points and 5.7 rebounds. He missed last season with an injury, but if he can get back to his old form, Harvard will have more experienced depth than just about any other team in the country. Unfortunately, Coach Amaker can only play five at a time. But this group should be able to cruise through the Ivy League and be a very dangerous team from November all the way through March.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.7 (199th in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 70.1 (142, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.0 (76, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.5 (157, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.4 (102, 4)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.0 (98, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.1 (125, 4)
Rebound Margin: 4.5 (42, 1)
Assists Per Game: 11.9 (280, 7)
Turnovers Per Game: 15.8 (334, 8)
Madness 2019 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#84 Chris Ledlum
#149 Luke Sakota