Harvard Men's Basketball 2013 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Harvard Crimson
Ivy (19-9, 11-3)

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Tommy Amaker, a coach who has stopped in places like Michigan, has made Harvard into a winning program.  Generally, Princeton and Harvard are the cream of the crop in the Ivy League.  In the last two seasons, Harvard has proven that they are team to beat in the conference.  The Crimson won the Ivy by two full games and finished out the season with a 19-9 record, all without two of their most important players.  This is a strong offensive team that is looking to make a little noise in the tournament.  Harvard has only made the tournament three times in the history of the program.  2013 will mark the second straight year.  

Big Wins: 12/04 Boston College (79-63), 12/29 at California (67-62), 2/16 Princeton (69-57)
Bad Losses: 11/27 Vermont (78-85), 2/10 at Columbia (63-78), 3/2 at Pennsylvania (72-75)
Coach: Tommy Amaker (6 seasons at Harvard)

Why They Can Surprise:
Harvard can score.  They have really good shooters across the roster.  They shoot nearly 50 percent from the field, including 39.7 from three-point range.  That is the ninth best rate in the country.  Harvard’s best player, Wesley Saunders, shoots 55 percent from the field himself.  All three of their top scorers shoot over 40 percent from beyond the arc.  Harvard does not have a very big team, but they are actually quite strong in the lane on the defensive end.  They average a little over four blocks per game.  Starting center Kenyatta Smith sets the tone underneath.  Amaker’s team is also fairly disciplined.  They limit the amount of personal fouls they commit each game.  The other thing Harvard has on their side is momentum.  Outside of a couple of hiccups early in the month, they have won six of their last eight games.  They can try and ride that against their first round matchup.

Why They Can Disappoint:
The Crimson have a hard time stopping other teams from scoring.  On March 2, they gave up 75 points to a Penn team that only averages 63 points per game.  Other teams hit nearly 45 percent against Harvard.  They have given up the 13th highest amount of points for the season of every team in Division I.  That does not bode very well.  This team’s biggest weakness though is their ability to rebound.  They are one of the worst teams in the nation at rebounding.  Late in the season against Columbia, the worst Ivy League team this year, the Crimson were outrebounded 42-27.  It will be a very big problem for them going forward.  Harvard is also prone to turning the ball over.  They average nearly 14 per game.  They also did not have two of their key leaders, Kyle Casey and Brandyn Curry, for the season since they withdrew from school before the season started.  It leaves Amaker with a thin bench going into the postseason.

Probable Starters:
Siyani Chambers, Freshman, Guard, 12.9 ppg, 5.7 apg
Christian Webster, Senior, Guard, 8.4 ppg, 1.6 apg
Laurent Rivard, Junior, Guard, 10.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg
Wesley Saunders, Sophomore, Guard-Forward, 16.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.4 apg
Kenyatta Smith, Sophomore, Center, 5.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.2 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Steve Moundou-Missi, Sophomore, Forward, 7.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.9 (138th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 63.9 (106, 3)
Field-Goal Percentage: 48.2 (11, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 44.0 (231, 5)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.4 (142, 5)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 49.1 (6, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.0 (83, 5)
Rebound Margin: -1.0 (220, 5)
Assists Per Game: 13.2 (137, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.5 (194, 5)

Last Five Postseason Appearances:
2012    NCAA    Second Round loss to Vanderbilt
2011    NIT        First Round loss to Oklahoma State
2010    CIT        First Round loss to Appalachian State

*all team stats through 3/10


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules