I didn't realize how disabled their best player was last year, or how loaded they are for this year. Good story from Goodman (now with CBS):
Harvard missed out on an NCAA tournament bid after an emotional 63-62 loss to the Tigers in a one-game playoff. ... in which the Crimson led with 2.8 seconds left on the clock. ...
Harvard returns everyone. I mean everyone, from [best player] Casey and leading scorer Keith Wright all the way down to Dee Giger, who averaged 2.6 minutes per game. ...
Casey and his teammates have deemed this year "Kill Season."
"The word is dominate," Casey said. ...
"Honestly, I think we can win every game on our schedule," Casey said.
The loss to Princeton remains in the forefront of Casey and his teammates' minds, so much so that when the players are lifting weights, players will just yell out "2.8."
"We were that close," Casey said. "Literally 2.8 seconds away."
Our family wishes Tommy success at whatever school is smart and worthy enough to have Mr. Amaker at the helm of their basketball program.
I posted the following a couple months ago regarding Tommy's absurdly good recruiting at Harvard--
--Jason "it is hard to see the rest of the Ivy keeping up" EvansTheir recruiting class is off the charts for an Ivy league team.
The gem of the class is Wesley Saunders, a 4-star recruit from out of California. Rivals and Scout both rate him as the 80th best prospect in the nation. He had scholarship offers from USC and Colorado among others. We are talking about a kid who would be a big deal recruit for most BCS-conference schools and he is going to the Ivy?!?! Are you kidding?!?! He is a bit raw but is just going to physically dominate most of the other players in that league.
Tommy's 2011 class also includes a 3-star shooting guard who had offers from BC, Stanford, Gonzaga, and Utah... a 3-star center who had offers from Northwestern and Vandy... and 3 other players who are all very good recruits for an Ivy. Most Ivy league schools are lucky to get a couple two-star recruits every few years. Penn and Princeton, the top other programs in the Ivy, have combined to sign exactly one 3-star recruit in the past 5 years. This year, Tommy has three 3-star players and a 4-star. Sick.
Don't ask me why, but my mother is making me Tweet. Says it will be good for my career. So, follow my ramblings, mostly on the film industry, @TVFilmTalk
As Harvard goes, so go the Ivies; I suspect it won't be long before Princeton and the other schools follow the Crimson tide and try to take basketball up a notch or two.
The other schools will begin to recruit talented prospects with lesser academic credentials than were previously required?
State-of-the-art facilities seem to be important in college recruiting these days, but Harvard is way behind in this area, if I recall.
In what ways would the other schools seek to follow the Crimson?
I would venture that the majority of players on Harvard's team are attending the school for a very small cost. No school has Harvard's endowment and can keep up really - Princeton and Yale come close, but their financial aid doesn't extend to the upper middle class as much as Harvard's does (as defined by $120k to $180k/year salary by Harvard). These policies are fairly new - so that combined with Tommy's great coaching and recruiting, the administration's support, and perhaps a facilities upgrade have led to a perfect storm for the Crimson basketball program.
I can understand some rivalry jabs at Harvard, but give me a break. Harvard has won exactly ONE Ivy League championship since the league was formed almost 60 years ago -- this year as co-champs with Princeton, and then it lost the playoff for the NCAA bid. And the Crimson haven't exactly run the table at other sports IIRC.
I am happy to see Harvard, under Tommy Amaker, do well. And I have lots of ties to UPenn, including my daughter who was a cheerleader there in the Matt Maloney/Jerome Allen years, Mrs. Sagegrouse, a son-in-law and my mother-in-law.
So I can live with Harvard winning a title or two. If it gets tiresome, maybe Amaker will take a fabulous offer at a major program.
MUCH larger than Harvard's (scroll to the second section of the wiki link). (In fact, Yale has a higher endowment per student than Harvard). The bottom line is that there is nothing that Harvard is doing that Princeton or Yale can't do other than have Amaker at the helm. It really is Amaker that is making Harvard's basketball program a force for the first time in its entire history.