#43 Harvard Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Harvard Crimson

2014-2015 Overall Rank: #43
Conference Rank: #1 Ivy League

Harvard Team Page#43 Harvard Men's Basketball 2014-2015 PreviewBuy Harvard Basketball Tickets

Harvard lived up to their expectations in 2013-2014, finishing with an impressive 27-5 record. The Crimson dominated the Ivy League, going 13-1 in conference play. And, of course, the season concluded in the NCAA Tournament where Coach Tommy Amaker led his team to a victory over Cincinnati before falling to Michigan State. The Ivy League should be tougher this year, but Harvard is certainly the team to beat with the return of Wesley Saunders. The senior wing led the Crimson with 14.2 points per game and added 3.8 assists and 4.6 rebounds. Saunders is not much of a shooting threat, but nobody in the conference can finish above the rim better than Saunders.

2013-14 Record: 27-5, 13-1
2013-14 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Tommy Amaker
Coach Record: 139-70 at Harvard, 315-209 overall

Who’s Out:
Coach Amaker does need to replace starters Laurent Rivard and Kyle Casey. Rivard was the team’s top outside shooting threat and that is a place where this group will need some help. Rivard knocked down an impressive 43.0 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc and just about all of his field goals came from outside. Casey had a bit of a dip in production during his senior season, but still averaged 9.7 points and 5.6 rebounds. Brandyn Curry only started a few games last season, but he has been one of the best passers ever to suit up for Harvard.

Who’s In:
Harvard only has three newcomers coming in, but there is good reason to be optimistic about the future. The class is highlighted by 6-9 forward Chris Egi. He reportedly had offers from places like Cal, Washington and Illinois. Egi is a very good athlete who can get up and down the floor, but is tough enough to battle in the paint as well. Once his offense comes around, Egi will be an All-Ivy caliber player. Andre Chatfield and Zach Yoshor will add depth on the wings. Chatfield is the newcomer who has the potential to replace Rivard’s outside shooting.

Who to Watch:
Saunders may lead this team in scoring, but Siyani Chambers is the most important player. As a sophomore he averaged 11.1 points and 4.6 assists. He is an amazing creator and makes scoring much easier for his teammates. Steve Moundou-Missi will be one of those scorers. In fact, after Saunders and Chambers, Moundou-Missi is the only other player on the roster who averaged more than five points per game. The 6-7 forward averaged 10.5 points and a team high 6.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. Coach Amaker pretty much ran a six player rotation last season and with three of those six gone, new playmakers will need to step up. Jonah Travis and Evan Cummins, who are the only other players to reach double digits in minutes, are the obvious choices. Travis, a 6-6 small forward, is solid on the glass and can score a few points inside the arc. Cummins, a 6-8 junior, will at least be able to provide depth up front.

Final Projection:
Kenyatta Smith and Corbin Miller missed last season and the return of those two will help fill the rotation for Coach Amaker. Smith saw action in just one game due to a foot injury during the 2013-2014 campaign. Two years ago the 6-8, 245 pound senior averaged 5.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.1 blocks. Even if Smith is not going to boost his scoring, he will make a huge impact on the defensive end. Miller was gone the last two years, but as a freshman back in 2011-2012, he proved to be a great three-point shooter. Suddenly Miller is a mature piece on the perimeter and as long as his shot is not too rusty, he could be the main replacement for Rivard.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament

Projected Starting Five:
Siyani Chambers, Junior, Guard, 11.1 points per game
Corbin Miller, Sophomore, Guard, DNP last season
Wesley Saunders, Senior, Guard, 14.2 points per game
Steve Mondou-Missi, Senior, Forward, 10.5 points per game
Kenyatta Smith, Senior, Center, DNP last season

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 73.2 (98th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 61.0 (14, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 40.8 (49, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.8 (49, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.8 (215, 6)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 38.4 (37, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.3 (84, 2)
Rebound Margin: 2.8 (96, 4)
Assists Per Game: 14.1 (72, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.4 (83, 2)


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