Men’s Basketball Hosts George Washington in Tuesday Clash

Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot
Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot
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Last Meeting
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Harvard vs. George Washington
Tuesday, Nov. 29
Lavietes Pavilion   
ILDN/Facebook Live
Andy Towne, Alex Vispoli
Live Stats
Harvard (1-3, 0-0 Ivy League)
GW (3-3, 0-0 Atlantic 10)
Harvard leads, 3-1
W, 69-48 (Jan. 14, 2012)
Harvard vs. GW (PDF)

The Storyline
Harvard men's basketball returns to Lavietes Pavilion for the first of a three-game home stretch, taking on George Washington Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. The game can be seen live on the Ivy League Digital Network and Facebook Live. Harvard is looking to bounce back from back-to-back losses against Holy Cross and Massachusetts. George Washington started the year at 3-0, but has fallen in each of its last three contests.  

What to Watch For
• Harvard contains a mix of youth and experience for the 2016-17 season. Thirteen (13) of the 20-man roster are freshmen or sophomores. Five of the top seven leading scorers are rookies, as sophomore Corey Johnson and senior Siyani Chambers rank third and fourth on the team, respectively, combining for 17.5 points per game.  

• The Crimson looks to return to the top of the Ivy League standings after five conference titles over the last six years.

• Rookies pace the squad in scoring (Seth Towns, 11.8 ppg), rebounding (Henry Welsh (7.0 rpg), field goal percentage (Welsh, 65.0) and blocks per game (Chris Lewis, 2.0).  

• Tommy Amaker, The Thomas G. Stemberg '71 Family Endowed Coach for Harvard Men's Basketball, returns to the Harvard sidelines for the 10th season and is two wins from tying Frank Sullivan as the all-time winningest head coach at Harvard. Amaker has directed the Crimson to a period of unprecedented prosperity in the form of four NCAA tournament appearances (2012-15), five Ivy League championships (2011-15) and six 20-win seasons (2010-15). Amaker owns a 352-237 career record: 176-98 at Harvard, 108-84 at Michigan and 68-55 at Seton Hall.

• Back at Lavietes will be Patrick Steeves '16, who graduated from Harvard last year with a degree in applied mathematics. Steeves is currently pursuing a masters of science in business analytics and is averaging 4.7 points per game. 

Last Time Out
The Crimson lost a back-and-forth battle at Massachusetts Saturday afternoon at the Mullins Center. The Crimson was led by a personal-best from freshman Seth Towns, who posted 17 points, six rebounds and three steals.

Freshman Henry Welsh also broke his career high with 12 points, adding eight rebounds and two helpers. Senior Zena Edosomwan paced the Crimson on the boards with 10.

The two squads battled back and forth, with neither gaining more than a three-point advantage over the first 14 minutes of the second stanza. Trailing 46-44, Towns and Welsh connected on two-straight baskets, before Chambers knocked down back-to-back threes from each wing to push Harvard ahead, 54-50.

A 15-3 run by the Minutemen started with eight-unanswered points by Clark, giving UMass its largest lead of the game, 65-57, with under 90 seconds remaining. Harvard immediately responded, as four Towns' free throws sandwiched a Corey Johnson three to pull Harvard within one. After fouling UMass with 14 seconds to play, Clark got his own rebound to secure two more free throws and the Minuteman win.

Scouting GW
George Washington is led by Tyler Cavanaugh, who owns 18.2 points and 8.2 rebounds through six games. Yuta Watanabe chips in 13.4 points and 5.2 boards a game, as the Colonials average 71.3 points on 41.5 percent shooting. GW defeated UMES, Siena and Arkansas-Pine Bluff, before dropping games to Georgia, UAB and Penn State. The loss to Penn State broke up a 27-game nonconference winning streak that had lasted four years.

A year ago, GW captured the NIT championship in March for its first-ever national postseason championship in basketball, defeating Hofstra, Monmouth, Florida, San Diego State and Valparaiso along the way.

Maurice Joseph was named interim head coach of George Washington Sept. 27 of this year after spending five seasons on the GW staff, heading to the NCAA once and the NIT twice over the last three years.

Creating a Winning Culture
Harvard has posted a 154-62 (.713) overall record since the start of the 2009-10 season, ranking as the 19th-highest win percentage in the country over the last six-plus seasons (as of games played Nov. 28).

Harvard has posted an 81-13 (.870) record at Lavietes Pavilion since the start of the 2009-10 season, representing the 17th highest home-court win percentage in the country over the last six-plus seasons (as of games played Nov. 28). 

Getting Defensive
Through two games, the Crimson ranks third in scoring margin (+0.5), scoring defense (66.0) and field goal percentage defense (40.7) in the Ivy League. Harvard has held one opponent to under 40.0 percent shooting and one to under 60 points.

Under Tommy Amaker, Harvard has held six opponents to fewer than 40 points and seven opponents to less than 30.0 percent shooting.

Dropping Dimes
Harvard averages 14.8 assists per game in 2016-17, third best in the Ivy League. Under Amaker, the Crimson posted its best assist average in 2009-10, with 15.4 helpers per game.

Senior captain Siyani Chambers leads the Ivy League with 5.0 helpers per game in 2016-17.

The inaugural Ivy League men's and women's basketball tournaments will take place Saturday and Sunday, March 11-12, 2017, at the Palestra in Philadelphia. The top four teams will earn berths in the tournament, with the semifinals on Saturday and the championships on Sunday. All six games will be broadcast live on ESPN's networks. 

From Way Down Town
This season, Harvard has connected on five-plus 3-pointers three times and made at least 10 treys once. The Crimson averages 7.8 triples per game.

Harvard set a new program record with 220 3-pointers in 2015-16. Corey Johnson led the team with 74 3-pointers, the third-most in program history and a new freshman record.

Double-Double Trouble
Zena Edosomwan turned in 12 double-doubles last year, matching Keith Wright's '12 total from 2010-11 for the most double-doubles in a season under head coach Tommy Amaker. 

Edosomwan finished four rebounds shy of averaging a double-double. The last Harvard student-athlete to average a double-double was Kyle Snowden '97, the program's all-time leader in rebounds, who did so in 1995-96 with 15.1 points per game and 11.1 rebounds per game. Yale graduate Greg Mangano (16.3 ppg, 10.0 rpg in 2010-11) is the only Ivy Leaguer to average a double-double since Snowden.

On the Glass
Through three games, the Crimson ranks first in the Ivy League in rebounding margin (+8.0).

Protecting The Rim
Harvard has registered 4.3 blocked shots per game this year, best in the Ancient Eight.

Nonconference Watch
Harvard has gone 92-56 in non-conference play under head coach Tommy Amaker, including eight-straight seasons with a .500 record or better in out-of-conference action. Harvard is 1-3 to start 2016-17.

Harvard owns a 14-23 record against power conference opponents under Tommy Amaker. The Crimson defeated Boston College in six straight seasons from 2009-2014, and has also topped Auburn, California, Cincinnati, Colorado, Florida State, Michigan, TCU and Utah.

Kings of Massachusetts Courts
Harvard is 30-14 overall against its in-state rivals under head coach Tommy Amaker, and owns a 23-7 record against Boston area schools with Amaker at the helm. Harvard will play four Division I schools from Massachusetts, and six overall, this year.

Detur Book Prize
Chris Egi was announced as a recipient of the Detur Book Prize, the oldest prize awarded by Harvard College, a year ago. The Detur Book Prize recognizes sophomores who attained very high academic standing in their first year at the College.

In The Spotlight
The Crimson has played on TV 84 times since 2010-11. Harvard is slated to 11 games on national or regional television in 2016-17.

Sold Out
Harvard played in front of a sold-out Lavietes Pavilion crowd seven times last season and a total of 36 times since 2010-11.

On The Sidelines
Head coach Tommy Amaker's 176 wins at Harvard rank second in school history and are the seventh-most in the Ivy League since the conference began competition in 1956. His 84 Ivy League victories, meanwhile, are tied for eighth place in conference history.

Amaker has led Harvard to five Ivy League championships, tying him with former Penn coach Bob Weinhauer (1977-82) for the third most titles in Ancient Eight history.

Harvard Coach                                  Harvard Wins

1. Frank Sullivan, 1991-2007........................ 178

2. Tommy Amaker, 2007-present..................... 176

3. Floyd S. Wilson, 1954-68.......................... 143

4. Edward A. Wachter, 1920-33................... 120

5. Frank McLaughlin, 1977-85......................... 99


Ivy Coach                                            Overall Wins

1. Pete Carril, Princeton 1967-96................ 514

4. Joe Vancisin, Yale 1956-75...................... 206

5. Jack Rohan, Columbia 1961-74, 1990-95 198

6. Frank Sullivan, 1991-2007........................ 178

7. Tommy Amaker, 2007-present..................... 176


Ivy Coach                                                   Ivy Wins

1. Pete Carril, Princeton 1967-96................ 310

7. Jack McCloskey, Penn 1956-66.................. 87

8. Tommy Amaker, Harvard 2007-present........ 84

Going Pro
Harvard has been well represented in the professional ranks this season as six former Crimson continue their playing careers.

Student-Athlete                           Professional Team

Kyle Casey '13-14...................................................

... Helios Suns Domzale (Slovenia) - 2015-present

Brandyn Curry '13-14.............................................

................. Helios Suns (Slovenia) – 2016-present

Evan Harris '09........................................................

............. Saitama Broncos (Japan) - 2015-present

Jeremy Lin '10........................................................

.................... Brooklyn Nets (NBA) - 2016-present

Wesley Saunders '15

. Windy City Bulls (NBA DLeague) - 2016-present

Keith Wright '12.....................................................

........................ Weschester Knicks (NBA DLeague) - 2016-present

FIBA U19 World Championships
Chris Egi, Corey Johnson and Weisner Perez represented their respective countries at the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championships in Greece.

Egi, who was appointed as a captain by his coaching staff, paired with Johnson to lift Team Canada to a fifth-place finish, the country's highest finish at the competition. Perez, meanwhile, helped the Dominican Republic finish 13th in its first appearance since 1983.

Beating The Odds
The Crimson is 4-11 against ranked opponents since 2008-09, marking the only four wins over ranked opponents in program history.

Date            Opponent                                 Score

1/7/09..... at No. 17 Boston College W, 82-70

11/25/11 vs. No. 20 Florida State W, 46-41

3/23/13.. vs. No. 10 New Mexico. W, 68-62

3/20/14.. vs. No. 15 Cincinnati.... W, 61-57 

Margin of Victory
Under head coach Tommy Amaker, the Crimson has won 46 games by 20 or more points, 12 games by 30 or more points, and three games by 40 or more.

Comeback Kids
Harvard overcame a 21-point deficit with 9:02 remaining at Cornell on Feb. 20, 2016, marking the second-largest comeback by the Crimson under head coach Tommy Amaker and the 18th time that the team has overcome a double-digit hole.

Nail Biters
Harvard went 3-3 in games decided by three points or less last season and is 20-21 all-time in games decided by three points or less under head coach Tommy Amaker.

Extra Sessions
Under head coach Tommy Amaker, Harvard is 13-4 when going to overtime. This includes a 4-1 mark in double-overtime contests and a 1-0 record when needing three overtimes.

Chasing History
• Harvard won at least 20 games in six straight seasons from 2009-15, matching Penn (1969-75) for the longest streak of 20-win seasons in Ivy League history.

• The Crimson won five straight Ivy League championships from 2010-15, becoming just the second program in Ancient Eight history to win at least five successive titles (Penn 1970-75, 1978-82).

• The Crimson made four-straight NCAA tournament appearances from 2011-15, joining Princeton (1989-92) and Penn (1970-75) as just the third program in Ivy League history to represent the conference in the Big Dance in four successive years.

The Thomas G. Stemberg '71 Family Endowed Coach for Harvard Men's Basketball
At halftime of the team's game versus Princeton on Feb. 21, 2015, Harvard Athletics announced the endowment of the department's   coaching position: The Thomas G. Stemberg '71 Family Endowed Coach for Harvard Men's Basketball.

Made possible through the generosity of Thomas G. Stemberg '71, MBA'73, a long-standing Friend of Harvard Basketball and supporter of Harvard Athletics, this endowment serves as a commitment to the continued success of the men's basketball program. Stemberg's affiliation with Harvard has spanned nearly 50 years, and he currently serves as an honorary co-chair for the Friends of Harvard Basketball.

"Tom has been an incredible friend to Harvard Athletics for many years. This gift is a testament to his commitment to the continued success of our basketball program and the young men in it," commented head coach Tommy Amaker. "Tom's leadership throughout the years has been vital to the program that we have built, and I could not be more thrilled and proud to be the Stemberg Family Head Coach for Men's Basketball."

Linsanity: Harvard In The NBA
Jeremy Lin burst onto the national scene in February of 2012 after scoring 136 points in his first five NBA starts for the New York Knicks, the most for an NBA player since the merger with the ABA in 1976-77, and lifting the club into playoff position. Lin was rewarded for his spectacular play by appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated in back-to-back weeks, winning the ESPY for "Best Breakthrough Athlete," and being named one of Time Magazine's "Top 100 Most Influential People in the World" for 2012.

Lin is entering his seventh NBA season, first with the Brooklyn Nets, after averaging 11.8 ppg, 4.4 apg and 2.8 rpg through his first six years.