Harvard vs Vermont Preview and Prediction
Harvard vs Vermont Preview
Fresh off its three-game sweep in the Washington D.C. area, Vermont (6-3) returns to Burlington to host Ivy League preseason favorite Harvard (4-4) on Saturday.
For a team like Harvard, this is a big test before the ‘real tests’–exam season is slated to begin after this game for the Crimson basketball players.
- The Crimson has opened the season with a 4-4 record with wins over MIT (78-66), UMass (74-71), Saint Mary’s (74-68) and Holy Cross (73-62).
- Junior Chris Lewis leads the team with 15.8 points per game.
- Junior Justin Bassey and sophomore Danilo Djuricic are also averaging double figures with 11.0 and 10.0 per game.
- Harvard returns 99.4 percent of its scoring and 99.0 percent of its minutes from last year’s squad, which captured the program’s sixth Ivy League championship and made its second-ever appearance in the NIT.
- Last season’s Ivy League Player of the Year and AP All-American Seth Towns was recently named to the Lou Henson Award watch list.
- Towns has not suited up this season with a knee injury. With no timetable for his return, he remains out indefinitely.
- Harvard is 3-1 this season when winning the battle of the boards, which continues a streak from a year ago, when Harvard went 15-7 while leading in rebounds. Five different players have led in rebounding this season, with junior Justin Bassey leading the way with 6.4 rebounds per game from the wing.
- Vermont has won three consecutive true non-conference road games for the first time since 2009-10.
- The Catamounts are 16-5 against Ivy League opponents since John Becker inherited the reins prior to the 2011-12 season. Vermont owns a 4-2 mark against Harvard and a similar 5-3 record against Yale during Becker’s time. He also has an unblemished 7-0 record versus regional rival Dartmouth during his eight-year tenure.
- Becker has posted an 86-22 (.796) record at home during his eight-year run as head coach.
- The Catamounts have the second-highest scoring offense among America East teams at 77.4 points per game.
- Anthony Lamb leads Vermont in scoring and rebounding with 18.8 points and 7.7 rebounds per game.
- In his UVM career, Lamb has produced 19.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per game against Ivy League opponents.
UVM and Harvard were picked to win its respective conferences. The Crimson are the second of four teams on Vermont’s 2018-19 non-conference schedule selected as the preseason favorite. The Cats faced Big XII favorite Kansas on Nov. 12 and will host Colonial Athletic Association favorite Northeastern next Sunday (Dec. 16), then head to defending Atlantic Sun champion Lipscomb before the holiday on Dec. 21.
This will be a tight battle throughout, but with Harvard missing their best player, it will be hard for them to knock off Vermont at home.
Look for Anthony Lamb to dominate as the Catamounts extend their winning streak.
Vermont 71 Harvard 64