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Username Post: Harvard Basketball Culture/Expectations        (Topic#23031)
OnlyCrimsonBlood 
Freshman
Posts: 20

Age: 53
Reg: 04-02-19
04-17-19 09:46 AM - Post#283717    

Dear All,

Long time lurker. First time poster. I have read in other threads constructive exchange of ideas as it relates to expectations for this 2016 class.

https://www.thecrimson.com/blog/the-back-page/ar ti...

Most here seem to come to the conclusion that injuries have played a big part in failing to make the NCAA Tournament. The other argument is this class has met expectations with its overall IL performance over the last three years ect ect...

So here is a basic question I have. How much of a liability is it from a pure basketball perspective (for this post relating to the 2016 class) to be a basketball player at Harvard in comparison to other programs especially Power 5?

Keep in mind looking at KenPom as the true performance barometer last year Wofford finished #18 and Buffalo #22. The examples are endless when evaluating efficiency #'s over the years and comparing many mid majors to Harvard (this with our big 2016 class).

KenPom

Harvard 2017-KP #112
Harvard 2018-KP # 141
Harvard 2019-KP # 114

So these numbers bring me to player development and culture. All coach specific issues. The SI article below highlights the journey Texas Tech took to a near National Championship. One missed Hunter 3 pt'er brings home the title. It all revolves around culture as several other articles relating to Tech have detailed.

https://www.si.com/college-basketball/20 19/04/09/n...

My concern is... as our highly touted class enters their Senior season together... that our basketball culture will never be at a level where we see anything similar to what Texas Tech accomplished this year. As often stated the Harvard experience is way more than basketball. It is what happens after you LEAVE Harvard that brings in the talent. Thus De-emphasizing a true basketball winning culture (or being as efficient as your talent base)? In other words also lacking that killer mentality or street dog mentality that was preached at Tech (as one example).

Can any of Chris Beards basketball philosophies translate at Harvard (his daughter does go to Columbia lol)? Culver and Smith were 3* recruits and both will be lottery picks. Smith a one and done/Culver 2 years.

I think for me it is frustration and most likely a lack of understanding/acceptance of "what could have been" from a pure talent perspective with this class. Wofford ranked #10 in offensive efficiency this year with the likelihood no player gets drafted and just two key Senior contributors. Is Mike Young that much better than Tommy?

In general information is scarce (unless I am missing something) IMO on the off season workouts ect...where other teams make it a priority to communicate uplifting information relating to progress (strength and conditioning). It was also interesting that Bryce was not selected as a captain. I always thought he fit a similar profile to Shabazz Napier when he entered Harvard.

What are your thoughts? All opinions I respect and hope to gain knowledge from. I am not a Harvard grad (my father was) or seasoned message board poster. My career is in finance. Some of my closest friends are Harvard grads. I only have crimson blood because my sincere love of Harvard hoops.

Thank You



Edited by OnlyCrimsonBlood on 04-17-19 09:55 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
HGA 
Freshman
Posts: 67

Loc: New York
Reg: 10-16-18
Re: Harvard Basketball Culture/Expectations
04-17-19 01:29 PM - Post#283721    
    In response to OnlyCrimsonBlood

In response to your "basic question", I would not consider it a liability to be a basketball player at any Ivy League school versus a Power 5 program. I would say that Ivy League schools have a disadvantage in that they're choosing from a smaller population due to academics and don't offer scholarships. A big disadvantage is not being able (ala Texas Tech) to recruit graduate transfer players to fill specific, short-term needs. In regards to the 2016 class and their talent, the key is to be able to recruit at that level over multiple years. While injuries have hampered the 2016 class, they had a successful season this year and should be favored next year.

 
OnlyCrimsonBlood 
Freshman
Posts: 20

Age: 53
Reg: 04-02-19
04-17-19 03:10 PM - Post#283724    
    In response to HGA

Thanks HGA

That seems to be the best case to make. Considering the IL restrictions/selectivity Harvard has overcome them to land a Top 10 class. So that clearly elevated the potential of this Senior class. Now we add Ledlum.

Do you think the cohesion element of staying together three/four years might mitigate some of the benefits teams have from tapping into the grad transfer market? Considering the Harvard class of 2016 consists of players much higher ranked than the Texas Tech grad transfers this year (Owens and Mooney)?

I am using metrics as a key determining factor of success over the last few years. In relation to other programs outside of the IL. I am fully willing to concede the likelihood of Harvard going the route of Albany/NYC/Atlanta (NCAA Tournament) is a pipe dream next year.





 
HGA 
Freshman
Posts: 67

Loc: New York
Reg: 10-16-18
04-17-19 03:38 PM - Post#283726    
    In response to OnlyCrimsonBlood

The cohesion element helps a lot but adding proven, tested, grad transfers can be a game changer. Both players mentioned from Texas Tech would have most likely received all-ivy recognition in our league.

 
OnlyCrimsonBlood 
Freshman
Posts: 20

Age: 53
Reg: 04-02-19
04-17-19 04:51 PM - Post#283730    
    In response to HGA

I agree. No question both players committed to defense as these two were at Tech would have translated easily to 1st team IL. Mooney came in 1st team Summit if not mistaken.

 
Silver Maple 
Postdoc
Posts: 3507

Loc: Westfield, New Jersey
Reg: 11-23-04
04-18-19 03:01 PM - Post#283773    
    In response to OnlyCrimsonBlood

OCB:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to be lamenting the inability of an Ivy men's basketball team to rise to the very highest ranks of the sport. Personally, I've accepted this limitation.

I think that any player who is good enough to start for a power 5 program but who elects to attend an Ivy is essentially saying that basketball is less important to him than the player who picks the P5 school. This is a kid who is thinking long-term, who has wide-ranging interests, and who wants to get a real education, so he is willing to put in the time and effort necessary to make that happen. D1 players at top conference scholarship programs devote 50-60 hours per week in total to their sport. There's no way to do that and also get a quality education, regardless of the putative quality of the institution (I'm talking to you, Duke). Ivy players put in 20-25 hours (as I understand it). That's the tradeoff. It's a bargain that I think is well worth making, but it's going to place a significant limit on what an Ivy team can accomplish in a given sport no matter how highly rated the recruited talent.

 
OnlyCrimsonBlood 
Freshman
Posts: 20

Age: 53
Reg: 04-02-19
04-18-19 05:54 PM - Post#283776    
    In response to Silver Maple

Thanks Silver

Interesting. I didn't know the break down of time allocation for basketball. Actually you are correct. I am lamenting to a certain degree about Harvard's inability to rise to the top of the sport. Although in fairness the KenPom #'s presented above fall significantly below that threshold.

You make great points that help give much better perspective. The type of basketball commitment to be successful that raises to the level of elite even for one year is an unreasonable expectation. Strength and development is crucial ect ect...that in and of itself is a huge time component at the better basketball schools (P5 or otherwise).

It is great getting a better idea of the culture and system in place at Harvard/IL's with regard to athletics/basketball.

Thanks




 
Naismith 
Freshman
Posts: 61

Loc: RI
Reg: 11-11-18
04-18-19 06:42 PM - Post#283777    
    In response to OnlyCrimsonBlood

The greatest achievement in the last 25 years for Ivy Men's basketball has been Cornell reaching the Sweet Sixteen, which is essentially the equivalent of previous Final Four history for the League. Yet with its growing competitive balance,established history and tradition, it's remains the best league to watch for we true college fans in the Northeast.

 
OnlyCrimsonBlood 
Freshman
Posts: 20

Age: 53
Reg: 04-02-19
Harvard Basketball Culture/Expectations
04-18-19 07:41 PM - Post#283783    
    In response to Naismith

Thanks Naismith

Wow...Did not realize the Cornell S16 history. Extremely rare.

Says Tim Smith: "What we did in 1979 will never happen again."

http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketba ll/story/...


Weinhauer -- who had taken over in November when Chuck Daly abruptly left Penn for the NBA, and who had never been a college head coach before -- crafted a handwritten letter to his players outlining the team's goals for the upcoming 1978-79 season. The most ridiculous objective on that list?

A trip to the Final Four.


What an amazing accomplishment by Penn.

I dare to dream. Why not us?

Good Night

Edited by OnlyCrimsonBlood on 04-18-19 07:58 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
palestra38 
Professor
Posts: 22448

Reg: 11-21-04
Re: Harvard Basketball Culture/Expectations
04-19-19 06:35 AM - Post#283788    
    In response to OnlyCrimsonBlood

The goal of the Final Four in 1979 was nothing like a dream since Penn had lost in the regionals the year before to the national runner up (Duke) by 4 points in a game which they led by 8 with 8 minutes to go. While the Ivies as a whole now are as strong as they have been at any time since the 1980s, they are still not on the level of the top teams. In the 1970s they were---throughout the decade. Penn had an undefeated team in 1971, Princeton won the NIT (as a 2nd place Ivy) and Penn made the Final Four. That was at a time before the big money hit and the Big East was formed.

 
Go Green 
Masters Student
Posts: 661

Age: 48
Reg: 04-22-10
Re: Harvard Basketball Culture/Expectations
04-19-19 09:48 AM - Post#283809    
    In response to OnlyCrimsonBlood

  • OnlyCrimsonBlood Said:


Says Tim Smith: "What we did in 1979 will never happen again."



I dare to dream. Why not us?





Hey, if Loyola-Chicago can do it...


 
mrjames 
Professor
Posts: 5556

Loc: Montclair, NJ
Reg: 11-21-04
Re: Harvard Basketball Culture/Expectations
04-19-19 10:33 AM - Post#283811    
    In response to OnlyCrimsonBlood

Simple answer is that it's not really a liability from a basketball perspective (though some of the wonky rules that govern certain schools and the league writ large are a liability).

The big issue for Harvard is here were the top win share guys between the Siyani class of 2012 and the Top 10 class of 2016:

Zena 6.8 WS
Corey 6.6 WS
Weisner 1.3 WS
Chatfield 0.9 WS
Egi 0.9 WS
TMac 0.8 WS

With the other folks in those classes, it sums up to just shy of 18 *career* WS over three entire classes. In comparison, Wesley Saunders himself was worth roughly the same number of win shares and the 2016 class, which still has a senior year to go, is at roughly double the win shares.

The reason why Harvard had such a long run of sustained success from 2011 to 2015 including a couple Top 50 KP finishes is because it stacked the Keith Wright/McNally class with the Kyle/Curry/Webster class with the Saunders/Travis/Kenyatta/ Steve class. Even the down year included one strong contributor (Rivard in 2010).

Unless you're recruiting one-and-done NBA talent, it's really hard to rely on one class to propel the program forward with (for the last two years) no help from upperclassmen. Add in injuries, and it's pretty remarkable that this class has won two Ivy titles in a row.

For me, the biggest reason why Harvard hasn't made the NCAA Tournament is playing road Ivy tournament games instead of neutral-site playoffs.

 
palestra38 
Professor
Posts: 22448

Reg: 11-21-04
Re: Harvard Basketball Culture/Expectations
04-19-19 10:39 AM - Post#283812    
    In response to mrjames

So it's all on the line for you this year. Home playoff and a senior dominated team.

 
HARVARDDADGRAD 
PhD Student
Posts: 1706

Loc: New Jersey
Reg: 01-21-14
04-19-19 10:43 AM - Post#283813    
    In response to palestra38

Should be very exciting for Crimson fans.
Looking forward to it!

I see that Harvard has scheduled a game at Cal in early OCC, although the date is not set. Cal is certainly a struggling program. Assume there will be additional West Coast game(s) on that trip. Unlikely St. Mary's wants to play Harvard again until Henry Welsh graduates.

 
PennFan10 
Postdoc
Posts: 2401

Reg: 02-15-15
Re: Harvard Basketball Culture/Expectations
04-20-19 05:03 PM - Post#283829    
    In response to mrjames

T
  • mrjames Said:

For me, the biggest reason why Harvard hasn't made the NCAA Tournament is playing road Ivy tournament games instead of neutral-site playoffs.



Mike,

You are a self proclaimed empiricist. How much exactly is HCA worth? I can see your argument, based on the numbers, for 2018, but HCA alone does not quantify the difference in this yeas ILT title game no?


 
OnlyCrimsonBlood 
Freshman
Posts: 20

Age: 53
Reg: 04-02-19
Re: Harvard Basketball Culture/Expectations
04-21-19 08:22 AM - Post#283838    
    In response to mrjames

Mr. James,

Interesting data mining info. Thank you!

 
OnlyCrimsonBlood 
Freshman
Posts: 20

Age: 53
Reg: 04-02-19
Re: Harvard Basketball Culture/Expectations
04-21-19 08:23 AM - Post#283839    
    In response to Go Green

Go Green,

The Loyola run was fun. Moser really did a great job. The team had some great metrics heading into March Madness.

 
OnlyCrimsonBlood 
Freshman
Posts: 20

Age: 53
Reg: 04-02-19
04-21-19 08:27 AM - Post#283840    
    In response to HARVARDDADGRAD

Harvard Grad

St. Mary's should be favored to win the league over the Zags. Assuming the Zags keep losing players to the NBA. Would be great to play St. Mary's next year for a Q1 win possibility.

 
OnlyCrimsonBlood 
Freshman
Posts: 20

Age: 53
Reg: 04-02-19
Re: Harvard Basketball Culture/Expectations
04-21-19 08:36 AM - Post#283842    
    In response to palestra38

Palestra,

I wonder what Harvard does in the off season on the player development/ strength and conditioning front? It would be fun to see something on the men's hoops twitter account showing "the basketball grind" some of the players might be involved in. lol

Do you think summer off season work outs in the IL (Harvard in particular) are substantially reduced in comparison to top basketball programs around the country? Considering all the other academic obligations the players have.

 
palestra38 
Professor
Posts: 22448

Reg: 11-21-04
Re: Harvard Basketball Culture/Expectations
04-21-19 09:10 AM - Post#283843    
    In response to OnlyCrimsonBlood

I think Mike James is a much better person to ask that question. I am sure that all the Ivies now have sophisticated conditioning programs---quite the opposite of what I observed in the late '70s---had that Penn team received the kind of nutrition and conditioning that the teams now receive, they may well have won a national title. Back then, it was typical to see team members in McDonalds and Smokey Joe's, not to mention lighting up on a not-too-infrequent basis. But they were ready to play at gametime.

 
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