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Username Post: Crimson Madness        (Topic#21936)
PhD Student
Posts: 1537

Reg: 10-20-14
10-13-18 10:00 PM - Post#262516    

The Crimson Madness event was on ESPN+ tonight and should be available for replay for those who have subscribed.

It looked like a great event for the fans. For those at home, the audio for the court side announcers was poor. Even with the volume turned up high, it was difficult to hear either person. The audio for the sideline reporter was fine, but he only had a few pre-recorded interviews and one or two comments during breaks.

Everyone for the men's and women's teams were there and announced to the crowd. However, for the men, there were six players who sat the evening out - James McLean, Reed Farley, Tommy McCarthy, Corey Johnson, Bryce Aiken, and Seth Towns.

The women's coach, Kathy Delaney-Smith, was interviewed for several minutes by one of the court side announcers. With the poor audio, it was difficult to hear anything she said. I do not believe Tommy Amaker sat down for any interview.

There was limited mention of Towns' and Aiken's injuries. There was no mention of McCarthy's injury from last year or why the others were on the bench. There was also no discussion about the timetable for the players' return.

Robert Baker won the dunk contest. Christian Juzang and Sydney Skinner won the team three point shooting contest.

There was a 20 minutes scrimmage for the men that ended 41-41. The stars of the scrimmage were Justin Bassey, Rio Haskett, Robert Baker, Chris Lewis and Noah Kirkwood. Mason Forbes was also pretty good and a total crowd favorite.

PhD Student
Posts: 1577

Loc: New Jersey
Reg: 01-21-14
10-14-18 10:05 AM - Post#262535    
    In response to rbg

Thanks RBG. Watched Crimson Madness on replay. Entertaining at times, but gave very little insight. For men, Zena and Chris Egi got more air time as slam dunk scorers (and former winners) than Bryce and Seth who ran onto the court when introduced then sat for 2 hours.

20 minute scrimmage underscored the crazy depth that this squad has. Most players were rusty (especially Chris Lewis and Robert Baker) and the play was sloppy. As mentioned by rbg, freshmen class was on display, especially Kirkwood who can drive to the hoop and finish at 6'7". He's deceptively smooth and we can expect him to lead this team in the future. Haskett, Bassey, Juzang and Djuricic took turns dominating, with Bassey and Juzang trading three point plays and shots in the final seconds for the tie. Haskett scored 8 points in a row on a pretty drive and 2 long range bombs. Djuricic outperformed Lewis, Baker and Welsh with an exciting drive and dunk, outside shooting and rebounding.

This squad has a wealth of athletic talent at the 1, 2 and 3 spots. Last night confirmed that Forbes and Catchings are in the mix at the 4/5 spots + Lewis, Djuricic, Weisner Perez, Baker and Welsh.

All of this talk does not include the 6 who did not play last night. As the announcers pointed out, there are 6 returning starters for 5 spots (not counting Tommy McCarthy who started at PG for an entire season as a freshman).

Depth! Good luck to Coach Amaker handling this roster over the next two seasons. One can see that even after the 7 man class graduates that there will be talent.

PhD Student
Posts: 1577

Loc: New Jersey
Reg: 01-21-14
10-14-18 10:10 AM - Post#262536    
    In response to HARVARDDADGRAD

Also, check out Busting Brackets analysis of Harvard that came out yesterday:
https://bustingbrackets.com/2018/10/12/harvard-ba s...

BB's prediction is for a 10-3 OOC record and Harvard to win the conference, make the NCAA's, and upset a 5 seed. Would mean a roughly 26-6 season and a 12 seed from a team that loses only Corey Johnson from this squad. Article assumes Towns and Aiken are healthy

Posts: 5445

Loc: Montclair, NJ
Reg: 11-21-04
10-14-18 05:01 PM - Post#262550    
    In response to HARVARDDADGRAD

Watched as well. Luckily the guys were playing hard, so it was easier to take insights away than if they were dogging it through an exhibition.

Harvard's two biggest issues last year (aside from injuries) were the miserable, uncharacteristic three-point shooting in the non-conf and the inability to keep turnovers down due to losing the top three PGs from the year before. When the shooting improved (to a slightly unsustainable level, FWIW), Harvard's non-turnover offensive rating was 136 in Ivy play, which led the league for the second-consecutive year.

But now that Harvard's PG depth chart includes Aiken, Freedman, McCarthy (and frankly Kirkwood), you could tell the dual benefit that should provide beyond the obvious of lower turnover rates. Rio Haskett was a disaster with the ball last year but could have value as a 3-and-D wing. Juzang still had to play point in this game but showed similar value with his strong offensive game when not trying to create for others.

But let's get back to Kirkwood for a second. I remember watching Danilo Djuricic play in a high school tourney for St. Mike's in Canada. They won the gold and Danilo was tournament MVP, but I couldn't help thinking that he really was outshone by the lead guard for Ashbury in the finals who was unstoppable off the dribble. That guy just so happened to be Noah Kirkwood. It was incredibly exciting to see him play yesterday - he's a slightly taller, slightly more built version of Wesley Saunders with a work-in-progress shot that has progressed about as far as Saunders was as, say, a junior.

Chris Lewis wasn't razor sharp but was as advertised. Justin Bassey looked like he picked where he left off, which was a really strong Ivy campaign (aside from the turnovers).

You could walk away from that scrimmage talking yourself into positive feelings about Spencer Freedman, Mason Forbes, Danilo Djuricic, Kale Catchings and Robert Baker as well. Time will tell on those five, and likely there won't be enough playing time to give most of them meaningful rotation minutes.

Let's presume that the reports that Aiken and Towns will be 100% for MIT are correct. My starting lineup would be: Aiken, Bassey, Noah, Towns, Lewis. From there, any of Freedman/McCarthy, Rio/Juzang, Corey, Danilo, Baker and Welsh could see time. And then you have Forbes, Catchings and Perez who all could reasonably make a push.

Which brings me to the point. Barring injuries that make the rotation decisions easier, this might be the toughest coaching year that Amaker has ever had. The ceiling on this talent is very high. The best Harvard team in history was the 13-14 edition that finished 32nd at KenPom. But that was an easy team to coach. Siyani, Wes, Rivard and Curry played the 1-2-3 mins and Casey, Steve and the backup-by-committee of Cummins, Travis and Okolie filled out the 4-5.

This year's Harvard team could play big or small, offensively-minded or defensively-minded, beat you up the floor or bruise you in the half court. Sometimes Amaker struggles in situations with so much choice to have a ton of focus in non-conference games. And with a non-conf schedule that could plausibly include as many as 7 Tier I/II games (including the next five after the MIT opener), the trial and error could lead to an ugly early-season record.

We'll know more after the BC and UConn scrimmages, though maybe not as much as we could if Towns and Aiken don't play.

Posts: 274

Age: 27
Reg: 11-11-14
10-14-18 10:04 PM - Post#262557    
    In response to HARVARDDADGRAD

Did you watch the replay online? Can't find it through ESPN...

Posts: 2242

Reg: 02-15-15
10-14-18 11:23 PM - Post#262564    
    In response to whitakk

ESPN+. Separate subscription

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