College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, February 17, 2012
Harvard has been hovering around the lower depths of the Top 25 all season, but last week dropped out when they lost at Princeton, 70-62.
The Crimson will have a chance to make amends and get back into the rankings when they tip off at home against Yale on Saturday night. Yale is 7-2 in the Ivy League, a game behind the Crimson, at 8-1.
Since the Ivy League is more about books than basketball, the players usually compete twice on a weekend, usually Friday and Saturday nights, and the schedule favors Harvard this time around, as they hosted Brown on Friday, putting the Bears down hard with a stifling defense that held their opponents to 33% from the field and out-rebounding them 40-23, in a 69-42 rout.
Harvard committed only 11 fouls, sending the Bears to the line just twice in the entire game. Even though the Bears made both of their alloted free throws, Harvard players toed the line 21 times, making 14, a large determinant in the outcome of the contest.
Keith Wright, a 6'8" senior forward, had his second straight double-double and fifth of the season for Harvard, scoring 12 points with 10 rebounds. Wright played just 24 minutes, but was effective, hitting 6 of 8 of his shots. The Crimson ran away early on, building an insurmountable, 37-16 lead at the half.
NOTABLE: A slate full of Top 25 teams on Saturday features two nationally-televised contests (ESPN) between ranked opponents. At 6:00 pm ET, #16 Murray State hosts #21 St. Mary's in a non-conference tilt. The Racers were the last team in the country to be undefeated, losing at home to Tennessee State on Feb. 9, but since have rebounded with a pair of wins over Austin Peay and SE Missouri State. Murray State has already wrapped up the Ohio Valley regular season title, at 14-1 and will be tested against the Gaels, who have lost two of their last three but still lead the WCC by 1/2 game over Gonzaga.
At 9:00 pm ET, #17 Michigan hosts #6 Ohio State in a game that will be critical in determining Big Ten supremacy. The Wolverines, who are 14-0 at home, trail the Buckeyes and Michigan State by one game in the standings, at 9-3. Both Ohio State and Michigan State are 10-4.
Michigan dropped a 64-49 decision at Ohio State on January 29 and will be looking to overturn the Buckeyes, winners of seven of their last eight, the solitary loss coming at the hands of Michigan State, 58-48, last Saturday.