The Harvard Game
Still, Harvard is no team to sleep on. The Crimson whipped Colorado by 16 and played Michigan tough before losing by three. They're coached by Tommy Amaker and led by 6-8 junior forward Keith Wright, who averages 15.7 points and 8.8 boards and “is a terrific player,” according to Jim Calhoun. “Guys think he’s a pro prospect. He can play.”
The Crimson was picked to finish second in the Ivy League, and four of their starters were also key members of last year’s team, which gave the Huskies all they could handle in an eventual 79-73 UConn win.
So if you thought tomorrow night was just one more pesky weak sister to take care of before the Huskies' real schedule begins, think again.
“They’re a very good basketball team,” said Calhoun. “Harvard presents, not necessarily a tune-up, but a step into reality (against) a team that can play. They’re a top-100 team, they move the basketball. They’re closer to maybe a Notre Dame-type team – not individual players, but a team that spreads the floor and spaces you, gets four out and one in, moves the basketball and can shoot the basketball.”
Calhoun included the Crimson when he noted that UConn’s next 21 games – 18 Big East contests plus non-conference bouts next month with No. 18 Texas and No. 19 Tennessee – will all be difficult. Nearly half of those games (10) will be played against teams currently ranked in the top 25.
In truth, Harvard may represent more of a challenge than Big East opponents like DePaul and South Florida.
***After tomorrow, UConn will have a couple of days off before practicing on Christmas Day eve, then flying out to Pittsburgh on Sunday.