Who: Colorado Buffaloes vs. Harvard Crimson
Where: Coors Event Center (Boulder, CO)
When: 2:00 pm MT
Line: Buffs Favored by 10.5
The University of Colorado welcomes another non BCS school into the Coors Event Center tonight, this time it is the Harvard Crimson (just sounds prestigious) from the Ivy League. Harvard has a little more luster to their basketball squad as former Seton Hall and Michigan coach Tommy Amaker now patrols the sideline. Amaker, who struggled at Michigan to say the least, has already shook up the Harvard program, getting called out for trying to lower the standards to admit stronger basketball players and bringing a huge recruiting class to replace members of the team he dismissed. Coach Tommy Amaker booted five players off the roster this September, after the semester had already started, to clear the spots needed for his incoming freshmen. To say Amaker wants to make an early splash and get out of the recruiting hell hole that is the Ivy League. Amaker has already ruffled the feathers of other coaches in the Ivy League:
Fellow coaches and perhaps university insiders are whispering that Harvard has lowered its academic standards to allow these players to be enrolled at the college on the banks of the Cambridge River. These same people are whispering that Amaker has broken or at least circumvented NCAA rules to recruit some of these players. Even a recruit’s father - a player not attending Harvard - is telling a story of a chance meeting that, according to the father, was not chance at all.
Enough about the mediocre coach who is Tommy Amaker, the Crimson come into tonight's game 1 - 0 after beating New Hampshire on the road. The Crimson at one time had a 16 point lead. Just looking at the box score from the game, Harvard shot an unbelievable % from the floor. Like most smaller schools, Harvard can shoot the three well. Against UNH, the Crimson went 8 - 12 or 67%. From the field as a whole, Harvard shot 61.4% and 81% from the free throw line. The good thing for the Buffs is that it looks like Harvard isn't stellar on the offensive boards, which is the major problem for this Buffs team so far. Harvard is a relatively deep team as compared to other Ivy League teams and that showed in the first game as they got double digit scoring from three players and nine players played substantial minutes.
The incoming freshman class of G Max Kenyi and G Oliver McNally are excellent talents for playing in the Ivy League. Kenyi was recruited by Marquette, Virginia, Virginia Tech and George Mason while McNally wasn't extend a ton of offers but teams like Gonzaga and Stanford. Kenyi, the 6'3" shooting guard came out in his first collegiate game and led the team with 17 points and 3 - 3 from deep. Here is a box score from the game against New Hampshire.
As for the Buffs, they will face a team that will probably start a team that's tallest player will be 6'7". This is good news for a Buffs team who's biggest weakness right now is rebounding. As the Longmont Times stated, the Buffs are dead last in rebounding margin in the Big 12 even with teams like Montana State and Arkansas Pine Bluff on the schedule. Many believe it is a problem because of the lack of height on the squad. Members like freshman Toby Veal were supposed to aid in the rebounding problem but he, according to Jeff Bzdelik, is not quite ready for big time college basketball. But Bzdelik says that rebounding is not necessarily about height or size but the desire to rebound. Bzdelik threw out an interesting stat after watching films that confirms his team is not boxing out.
What bugs him most is what he found studying tape from Tuesday's loss, in which CU was out-rebounded, 37-30. He counted 88 chances his players had to block opponents off. They did so only 46 times.
The seemingly larger issue is the fact that the Buffs are getting dominated even more on the offensive end, only getting 11 offensive rebounds compared to 24 for the opposition. Rebounding is about effort and will, the Buffs need to make it an importance tonight against a smaller Harvard team.
Another surprise this year, especially from a Jeff Bzdelik coached team, is the points scored by the opposition. Last game, Montana State scored 72 points in regulation and 85 points total with Bobby Howard leading the way with 24 points. The Buffs didn't guard the perimeter at all, letting the Bobcats shoot over 50% from the outside. Tonight, I believe it is simple, if the Buffs want to win, they need to guard the perimeter and have a positive turnover margin.
Colorado is currently 10.5 point favorites. Against Montana State, they were 14 point favorites.
|For more stats, click here||Colorado||Harvard|