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Thread: Harvard not a gimmee

  1. #1

    Harvard not a gimmee

    In December the Crimson has a 4-1 record with wins over Holy Cross, Boston College, Boston U. and Fordham. Their only loss was by 8 points at UConn. Not too shabby. I don't know much about their team other than they play smart and disciplined ball. Has anyone seen them play?

  2. #2

    Harvard Preview

    Amaker's done a great job over the last five years. He's made them the bell of the ball in the Ivies. And he's recruited at heights the Ivy League has never seen.

    But this year, a cheating scandal rocked the university, and the basketball team was right in the middle. More than 150 students were investigated for cheating on a take-home final exam. Scores of students were required to withdraw for a year. Harvard's two co-captains and best players -- point guard Brandyn Curry and forward Kyle Casey -- withdrew from the college at the start of the season in order to maintain their last year of eligibility. They both likely would have been first-team all-Ivy this year.

    Harvard has virtually no depth at point guard, so Curry figured to be the difficult one to replace. But freshman point-guard Siyani Chambers (Minnesota's Mr. Basketball last year) has stepped in, played virtually entire games, and has been fantastic. He looks like Ivy League Rookie of the Year to be. Chambers' back-up Alex Nesbitt doesn't contribute anything, maybe one or two minutes a game -- as a side note, he is the son of Barack Obama's best friend. Chambers is slight of frame, 5-9, 160 lbs. So Cobbs will be an interesting matchup for him with Cobbs' size. Cobbs should be able to post him up. On offense, Chambers is a good penetrator and a natural distributor of the ball. Cobbs has the strength and quickness though to keep him out of the lane.

    Harvard did stumble at the beginning of the year, dropping a couple of winnable games, including one to Vermont. But as you noted, they've come on as of late -- really, once Amaker switched to a four-guard line-up, starting with the BC game. They now look like even with the loss of Curry and Casey, they will be right at the top of the Ivies, with a good chance to win the conference.

    The four guards are Chambers at the point, junior Laurent Rivard and senior Christian Webster on the wings, and sophomore Wes Saunders (who really is Harvard's best player) down low. Rivard shoots around 45 percent from three land, and Amaker says now that Ray Allen has left town, he's the best shooter in Boston. Jason Terry would have something to say about that. Saunders is about 6'5" and can handle the ball. He's a slasher, who can score inside the lane and distribute. He's not so much of an outside threat. But all other three guards are threats from three.

    Down low, Harvard's trying to find a big man. They rotate three guys, sophomores Kenyatta Smith, Jonah Travis, and Steve Moundou-Misi. Hard to say who is the best. Smith is an underachieving 6'8" big body. Travis is undersized at about 6'5", but he plays physically and with heart. Moundou-Misi is pretty athletic and about 6'7". We should have a major advantage down low if Kravish and Solomon can step up. The offensive boards should be there for the taking for us.

    Harvard's offense is like Duke's (no surprise there) but even more deliberate. If they can push it in transition, they will. Otherwise, they hold up and run a patient, motion offense. They try to play inside-out, but will work the shot clock down to within five seconds routinely and launch a three if that's all they have. They don't try to shoot it out with more athletic teams, running up and down the court. Also, if they get a lead, they lessen the total number of possessions in the game, and they have excellent free-throw shooters everywhere. All the guards shoot north of 80 from the line, with two shooting over 90 percent -- Webster and Rivard.

    Bottom line: if we play good perimeter D and own the boards, and Harvard isn't on fire from 3 (always a possibility), we should win this. But it isn't a gimme.

    Reality is we should be glad we're not playing them next year when they'll have Curry and Casey back, along with Top-100 big-man recruit Zena Edosomwan, who chose Harvard over Texas, Cal, Stanford, and UCLA. They are going to be very good next year.
    Last edited by AuNBearkeley; 12-23-2012 at 10:17 AM.

  3. #3

    Harvard

    Thanks for the excellent scouting report. You are right that this is not an auto win. I like our size advantage inside, but we need to exploit it. We also need to stay disciplined on defense and not get lulled into sleep.

    If we come focused and not over look them, then we will this game easily. However if we have a holiday hangover, don't take them as a threat, and let them hang around, then a couple late shots could really put us in a hole entering conference.

    I'm thinking we won't have Ricky nor Smith.

    Agree that they look to be very good next year.


    Quote Originally Posted by AuNBearkeley View Post
    Amaker's done a great job over the last five years. He's made them the bell of the ball in the Ivies. And he's recruited at heights the Ivy League has never seen.

    But this year, a cheating scandal rocked the university, and the basketball team was right in the middle. More than 150 students were investigated for cheating on a take-home final exam. Scores of students were required to withdraw for a year. Harvard's two co-captains and best players -- point guard Brandyn Curry and forward Kyle Casey -- withdrew from the college at the start of the season in order to maintain their last year of eligibility. They both likely would have been first-team all-Ivy this year.

    Harvard has virtually no depth at point guard, so Curry figured to be the difficult one to replace. But freshman point-guard Siyani Chambers (Minnesota's Mr. Basketball last year) has stepped in, played virtually entire games, and has been fantastic. He looks like Ivy League Rookie of the Year to be. Chambers' back-up Alex Nesbitt doesn't contribute anything, maybe one or two minutes a game -- as a side note, he is the son of Barack Obama's best friend. Chambers is slight of frame, 5-9, 160 lbs. So Cobbs will be an interesting matchup for him with Cobbs' size. Cobbs should be able to post him up. On offense, Chambers is a good penetrator and a natural distributor of the ball. Cobbs has the strength and quickness though to keep him out of the lane.

    Harvard did stumble at the beginning of the year, dropping a couple of winnable games, including one to Vermont. But as you noted, they've come on as of late -- really, once Amaker switched to a four-guard line-up, starting with the BC game. They now look like even with the loss of Curry and Casey, they will be right at the top of the Ivies, with a good chance to win the conference.

    The four guards are Chambers at the point, junior Laurent Rivard and senior Christian Webster on the wings, and sophomore Wes Saunders (who really is Harvard's best player) down low. Rivard shoots around 45 percent from three land, and Amaker says now that Ray Allen has left town, he's the best shooter in Boston. Jason Terry would have something to say about that. Saunders is about 6'5" and can handle the ball. He's a slasher, who can score inside the lane and distribute. He's not so much of an outside threat. But all other three guards are threats from three.

    Down low, Harvard's trying to find a big man. They rotate three guys, sophomores Kenyatta Smith, Jonah Travis, and Steve Moundou-Misi. Hard to say who is the best. Smith is an underachieving 6'8" big body. Travis is undersized at about 6'5", but he plays physically and with heart. Moundou-Misi is pretty athletic and about 6'7". We should have a major advantage down low if Kravish and Solomon can step up. The offensive boards should be there for the taking for us.

    Harvard's offense is like Duke's (no surprise there) but even more deliberate. If they can push it in transition, they will. Otherwise, they hold up and run a patient, motion offense. They try to play inside-out, but will work the shot clock down to within five seconds routinely and launch a three if that's all they have. They don't try to shoot it out with more athletic teams, running up and down the court. Also, if they get a lead, they lessen the total number of possessions in the game, and they have excellent free-throw shooters everywhere. All the guards shoot north of 80 from the line, with two shooting over 90 percent -- Webster and Rivard.

    Bottom line: if we play good perimeter D and own the boards, and Harvard isn't on fire from 3 (always a possibility), we should win this. But it isn't a gimme.

    Reality is we should be glad we're not playing them next year when they'll have Curry and Casey back, along with Top-100 big-man recruit Zena Edosomwan, who chose Harvard over Texas, Cal, Stanford, and UCLA. They are going to be very good next year.
    I dont need easy, I need possible. Jorge Gutierrez

  4. #4
    Speaking of Harvaaard, this is what Crumpacker wrote in his blog...in reference to Stanfurd. Have to give it to Crum for slipping that in.

    Cal wraps up non-conference play next Saturday with a game at Haas against Harvard, the Harvard of the East.

  5. #5
    Sorry Beelze, I'm going to nitpick. It's Haaaaahvahd, not Havaaaahd.

    That was a great review Bearkeley. So, if the two co-captains of the team withdrew from the university to maintain eligibility, wouldn't it fit that the university basically expelled them? I mean, seems like a silly punishment for cheating. "Take 1 year off, but otherwise, yeah, nothing happens." Sounds like a slap on the wrist.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by concordtom View Post
    Sorry Beelze, I'm going to nitpick. It's Haaaaahvahd, not Havaaaahd.

    That was a great review Bearkeley. So, if the two co-captains of the team withdrew from the university to maintain eligibility, wouldn't it fit that the university basically expelled them? I mean, seems like a silly punishment for cheating. "Take 1 year off, but otherwise, yeah, nothing happens." Sounds like a slap on the wrist.
    How about Haavad for West coast provincials who like to poke fun at New England pronunciation?

    Go Bears!

  7. #7
    Cal is favored to win by a decent margin (-11) tonight.

  8. #8
    5 minutes in. Lackadaisical, no intensity. Why aren't the bears bringing any intensity?

  9. #9
    True Blue Golden Bear NYCGOBEARS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bearprof View Post
    5 minutes in. Lackadaisical, no intensity. Why aren't the bears bringing any intensity?
    Exactly. Poor poor shooting as well

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by concordtom View Post
    Sorry Beelze, I'm going to nitpick. It's Haaaaahvahd, not Havaaaahd.
    Yeah, put the aaaaaaaaa's in the wrong place.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Bearprof View Post
    5 minutes in. Lackadaisical, no intensity. Why aren't the bears bringing any intensity?
    Sloppy turnovers also - getting in the air with nowhere to go - lucky Harvard has been missing some open threes to only be down a couple

  12. #12
    True Blue Golden Bear bearister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gooski View Post
    Sloppy turnovers also - getting in the air with nowhere to go - lucky Harvard has been missing some open threes to only be down a couple
    Those smart bastards are out thinking us!

  13. #13
    Lets hope the smart kids give the snotty smart kids a nuclear wedgy before it's over.

    So tuned in late, who's injured, Solo?

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by beelzebear View Post
    Lets hope the smart kids give the snotty smart kids a nuclear wedgy before it's over.

    So tuned in late, who's injured, Solo?
    Smith and Kreklow out for the game - Behrens out for the year with ACL

  15. #15
    Christian B is out for the year - ACL. Tough Break. Brandon not cleared (but would assume back for LA next week). Ricky turned ankle - of course the same leg as everything else. who knows. Ernie Kent is rambling - the main guy we miss from "normal" is Brandon.

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