Tag Archives: Texas A&M

New England Basketball Notebook: Harvard Shines In Season-Opener

Men's Basketball between the Harvard Crimson and the Columbia Lions

Bryce Aiken and the Harvard University men’s basketball team are motivated to return to the NCAA Tournament this upcoming season. (PHOTO COURTESY: David Dermer/Harvard Athletics)

By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

For Harvard University, Tuesday’s 84-27 victory over MIT was an ideal way to begin a new season, but also an opportunity to gain some much-needed momentum heading into an important non-conference clash on Friday with Northeastern University.

Multiple Crimson players contributed on both ends of the floor against the Engineers, including first-year forward Chris Ledlum, who recorded his first collegiate double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds. Senior Christian Juzang netted 12 points, while classmate Chris Lewis stuffed the stat sheet with nine points, seven rebounds, one assist, and one block.

Harvard’s 57-point victory margin matched the 1945-46 team, which established the mark with their win over Northeastern.

While it certainly was an impressive start to their 2019-20 campaign, Harvard, as well as their coach Tommy Amaker, know they have more work to do in order to accomplish their preseason goals. And one of those goals, according to senior guard Bryce Aiken, is to return to the NCAA Tournament, something the Crimson have not done since 2015.

Harvard has come close to returning to the ‘big dance,’ but has fallen short the past three seasons in the Ivy League tournament. Additionally, they saw their run toward a National Invitational Tournament (NIT) title conclude twice within the past two years, including this past March when they lost a heartbreaker in the second round to North Carolina State University.

But despite falling short of accomplishing past preseason goals or winning tournaments and championships, Aiken remains optimistic. He believes this year’s crew can “make history,” and from what fans witnessed the other evening against MIT, perhaps the senior guard believes this year’s squad is truly capable of not just winning an Ivy League conference tournament but challenging other teams from across the country for the ultimate prize, a national championship. 

“The biggest motivation for us as seniors (this year) is leaving with a bang, man,” said senior Bryce Aiken, who elected to return to campus for one more season after initially entering his name for the 2019 National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft last April.

“We haven’t been to the NCAA Tournament, so that is the biggest motivating factor for us.”

Added Juzang, “It’s been three years of all of us (for) things you can look at and you can call motivation (from) the Ivy League championship games, the NC State game, and we could point to a bunch of different things, but I think the biggest thing is (we’re) internally driven, not getting pushed around by the expectations and whatnot.”

The expectations, as both the coaches and student-athletes know, is rather high for a team that is scheduled to face some stiff competition this month against Northeastern, University at Buffalo, and Texas A&M. Harvard could also face the University of Maryland this month, too – they would need to beat the Aggies of Texas A&M in the opening round of the Orlando Invitational, which is scheduled to commence on Thanksgiving Day.

Weeks after competing in the Orlando Tournament, Harvard will commence conference play in mid-to-late January against Dartmouth College before ending the month with a visit to the University of Pennsylvania, which opened its 2019-20 season with an 81-80 win over the University of AlabamaPenn lost to Harvard last March in the Ivy League semifinals but was picked second in the conference preseason poll.

Yet, before Harvard worries about Dartmouth, Penn, and other future foes, they will keep their focus on Northeastern, a team that beat the Crimson last November, thanks to a game-high 35 points by Jordan Rolland. Rolland will certainly be a player the Crimson will need to slow down in order to pick-up their second win of the season, but from a quick glance at this year’s roster, Harvard is loaded with talent to slow down their opponents’ top players, and will certainly receive a boost from an impressive and hard-working first-year class.

Amaker praised his freshman class, which was ranked 38th nationally, according to 247Sports.com. All five newcomers logged time on Tuesday against MIT and have seemed to adapt to the college game quite well it seems.

“I have been impressed with our first-years,” said Amaker during the team’s media day last Friday. “This is a tough-minded group. They are physical – you look at who they are (with their) bodies and (what) they are capable of taking in … they have been durable, but they have been very (impressive) with their durability, dependability, and then fitting in.

“Our future is good hands with this first-year class.”

No matter who is on the floor Friday and later this season – Aiken, Ludlum, Juzang, sophomore Noah Kirkwood or seniors Seth Towns and Henry Welsh – Harvard is expected to compete and play some impressive basketball that should translate into more wins and an exciting 2019-20 season.

News and Notes from New England: 

  • Andrew Fleming became the 31st player in the University of Maine men’s basketball program to net 1,000 points as the senior helped the Black Bears defeat Merrimack College, 84-64, on Wednesday evening. Fleming, who was named a preseason America East All-Conference honoree, recorded 37 points and 10 rebounds against the Warriors to go along with five assists and two blocks.
  • Keep your eyes on the Saint Anselm College women’s basketball team this weekend – the Hawks, who were picked to finish atop the Northeast-10 Conference will tip-off Saturday, November 9th against Bloomfield College at 6:30 p.m. After facing the Bears, the Hawks will cap their weekend with a late Sunday afternoon contest against the University of Bridgeport.

    Senior Shannon Ryan will be one of many student-athletes to watch on the Hawks this winter. Ryan recorded a double-double of 29 points and 18 rebounds last weekend against Bishop’s University.

  • WPI, which secured the fourth spot in our New England D-III Men’s Basketball Top 10 Preseason Poll, tips-off its season against ninth-ranked Brandeis University on Friday. Both teams are two squads to watch this winter – the Engineers were picked to capture the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC), while Brandeis is expected to continue its success from last year under second-year coach Jean Bain.
  • Finally, make sure to read Bob Whitney‘s first column, Around The Rim – I am very excited to have Bob join our team this winter to produce some additional basketball content. Bob has covered the college and high school game for years and will be a great addition to our Noontime Sports staff.

Daily Noontime – December 2, 2011

Vince Young tossed 4 INTs on Thursday, as the Eagles lost to the Seahawks, 31-14! (Photo Credit: Bleeding Green Nation)

Good day to all, and welcome into another tremendous and stupendous edition of the Daily Noontime! Here’s some headlines and news to kick-start your day, enjoy! 


* Against the Seattle on Thursday, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Vince Young tossed four interceptions, as the Seahawks won, 31-14.

* According to a ProFootballTalk.com report — DeSean Jackson is unhappy with reporters asking him if he’s “unhappy.”

* On Thursday, the Boston Red Sox announced that Bobby Valentine will be their manager for the upcoming season.

* Valentine was asked on Thursday by the Boston media if it’s possible that the Red Sox could possibly consider inviting Bill Buckner to be a coach on his staff, and the answer… it’s possible.

* After a disappointing [6-6] season, Texas A&M fired head coach Mike Sherman.

* President Obama’s fundraising basketball game was postponed due to the NBA lockout coming to an end.

Games to Watch: 

* Detroit at Buffalo (NHL) – 7:00pm eastern 

* No. 9 Florida at No. 3 Syracuse (NCAA Basketball) – 7:00pm eastern 

* UCLA at No. 9 Oregon (NCAA Football) – 8:00pm eastern 

* Philadelphia at Anaheim (NHL) – 10:00pm eastern 

Video of the Day: 

Anyone else have the moves like Wes Welker

Daily Noontime – September 1, 2011!

Did Obama plan to spoil the opening night of the NFL season?

Happy Thursday to everyone, but also, it’s September 1st, wahoo! Yep, that means, 2011 is almost over! OK, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, but really, let’s kick-off the day with some headlines and news! 


* Apparently, President Obama’s speech to the Nation could conflict with the first NFL game of the 2011 season between the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers.

* More news has been released on the latest Madden video game, but this time, it’s about the “franchise mode.”

* According to various reports, Texas A&M is planning to lave the Big 12 Conference next July (2012) and hopefully join the SEC.

* Due to Hurricane Irene, the UConn-Fordham game will be played Saturday at noon, which will still be somewhat exciting, right?

* Houston Texans running back Arian Foster admitted after his recent MRI that he’s “fine” and appears ready to play week one against the Indianapolis Colts.

* More information is being revealed about the LSU football team, as well as recent bar fight, which could result in more arrests and various players suspended.

Games to Watch: 

* New York Yankees at Boston (MLB) – 7:10pm eastern 

* New York Giants at New England (NFL Preseason) – 7:30pm eastern 

* Philadelphia at New York Jets (NFL Preseason) – 7:30pm eastern 

Video of the Day: 

Please don’t try this at home! 

Daily Noontime – August 31, 2011

Penn State will play both quarterbacks this weekend against Indiana State, which could be interpreted as a good and bad decision!

Happy “Hump Day” y’all and welcome into the middle of the week Daily Noontime! Here’s the headlines, news and more! 


* Believe it or not, the NFL is slowly in the process of beginning to pay for ex-players health issues, which certainly is a serious situation.

* The brand new “Madden ’12” hit stores on Tuesday and certainly various gamers have enjoyed it thus far, but also feel there’s some glitches too.

* The New York Yankees earned an important win on Tuesday at Fenway Park, as they beat the Boston Red Sox, 5-2. Now, the Bronx Bombers are a half-a-game behind in the AL East standings.

* Apparently some believe that Texas A&M shouldn’t leave the Big 12, but what’s the upside for staying? Should they join the SEC Conference?

* According to head coach Joe Paterno, both Penn State quarterbacks will play against Indiana State this weekend, which is an interesting move, right?

* A variety of NBA All-Stars drew a large crowd for a pick-up summer league game in Baltimore on Tuesday at Morgan State University and yes, LeBron James was in attendance.

Games to Watch: 

* Minnesota at Chicago White Sox (MLB) – 2:05pm eastern 

* New York Yankees at Boston (MLB) – 7:00pm eastern 

* Washington at Atlanta (MLB) – 7:10pm eastern 

Video of the Day: 

Loads of  video gamers flooded Game Stop in North Buffalo, New York on Monday evening, so they could snag a copy of Madden ’12.

Daily Noontime – August 16, 2011

Rex Ryan wasn't the happiest camper on the New York Jets sidelines Monday evening, but hey, it's only week one of the preseason.

Happy Tuesday to everyone and yes, it’s indeed time for another Daily Noontime! So, sit back, relax and enjoy our headlines and news of the day! 


* The New York Jets took their talents to Houston, Texas on Monday evening, yet, they didn’t win their first preseason game, which probably aggravated head coach, Rex Ryan.

* According to multiple reports, the New England Patriots wide receiver, Wes Welker has been considered the true “MVP of training camp.”

* Apparently the Houston Astros current ownership isn’t ready to say, so long to their squad. In fact, according to a recent report, the “MLB owners are not ready to vote Astros sale.”

* The Texas A&M president, R. Bowen Loftin apparently stated on Monday that no big changes have occurred recently, however, he  certainly optimistic about his school joining the SEC Conference.

* Yet again, the Tennessee Titans and running back Chris Johnson remain far apart due to a contract issue. Will it ever end? Who knows!

* The NBA lockout is about to reach the two month mark, but, does anyone care? Well, who knows, but Boston Celtics guard Ray Allen has a few thoughts, which is rather important.

Games to Watch: 

* Tampa Bay at Boston (MLB) – 1:00pm & 7:10pm eastern 

* Minnesota at Detroit (MLB) – 7:05pm eastern 

* San Francisco at Atlanta (MLB) – 7:10pm eastern 

Video of the Day: 

Hmmm… did Rex Ryan throw a tantrum on Monday? 

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