Matt Howard

2013-14 Ivy League Preview: The year of the Crimson

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All month long, CBT will be rolling out our 2013-2014 season preview. Check back throughout the day, as we’ll be posting three or four preview items every day.

To browse through the preview posts we’ve already published, click here. To see the rest of the Conference Previews we’ve published, click here. For a schedule of our previews for the month, click here.

Expectations have never been higher for an Ivy League team heading into a season. On the heels of upsetting New Mexico in the 2013 NCAA Tournament, having Kyle Casey and Brandyn Curry rejoin the program, and welcoming the highly-touted recruit Zena Edosomwan to the team, Harvard is the clear-cut favorite to win the Ivy League. Not to mention, the Crimson also return first team all-Ivy players Wesley Saunders and Siyani Chambers, and sharpshooter Laurent Rivard. It is a supremely talented roster that Tommy Amaker, now in his seventh year, has constructed.

It’s hard to see another team seriously challenging the Crimson, but if there is a challenge it will come in the form of the southernmost school in the league, Pennsylvania. After experiencing a great deal of success in 2011-12, registering 20 wins and an 11-3 league record, the Quakers regressed last year, going just 9-22. Miles Jackson-Cartwright and Tony Hicks make for a dynamite backcourt, along with freshman guard Matt Howard – who received offers from BCS schools – who will provide meaningful minutes, as well.

Harvard’s biggest rival, Yale, also figures to be a factor. James Jones, the longest tenured coach in the Ivy League, had the Bulldogs playing their best basketball of the year in the final ten games going 7-3 down the stretch. Plus, they return many of their primary pieces save for guard Austin Morgan.

One of the more intriguing teams in the league who appear to be on the upswing with Mike Martin now at the helm is Brown. Last year’s Defensive Player of the Year, Cedric Kuakumensah, is back for his sophomore season, but losing Tucker Halpern is a big blow for the Bears.

Of course, it would be foolish to think Princeton won’t be in the mix. Despite losing last year’s Player of the Year Ian Hummer, Denton Koon and T.J. Bray return for Mitch Henderson.


Saunders (16.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1.8 spg) made a tremendous jump from his freshman to sophomore season – he had to with Casey and Curry’s absence – and will continue to be a focal point on offense for the Crimson.


  • G Siyani Chambers, Harvard: The best point guard in the league on the best team in the league.
  • G Tony Hicks, Pennsylvania: May lead the league in scoring as a sophomore after averaging 15.3 ppg in league games last season.
  • F Shonn Miller, Cornell: Nobody fills up a box score quite like Miller who averaged nearly two steals and blocks last year.
  • F Cedric Kuakumensah, Brown: A menace on the defensive end who will only improve offensively.



1. Harvard
2. Pennsylvania
3. Yale
4. Brown
5. Princeton
6. Columbia
7. Cornell
8. Dartmouth

Will we even recognize Matt Howard anymore?


Dude. Matt Howard ditched the ‘stache. This dude is a little bummed.

Butler’s center became a mini-sensation during the Bulldogs’ run to the NCAA tournament title game thanks to three things: His dogged performances against bigger foes, his perpetual foul trouble, and one of the sweetest mustaches college hoops has seen since Adam Morrison.

Jeff Haynes/Reuters

Don’t be skeptical. How many grooming decisions get a Facebook page

Well, Howard’s starting to think about life after basketball. He’ll be a senior this season and the finance major thought it was time to ditch the ‘stache and long hair.

“If you looked the way I did that last game, I don’t know if I’d condone anyone walking into an internship or a job like that,” Howard told “I had to make some changes.”

It’s not just the grooming, either. Howard’s determined to solve his foul issues. He fouled out of nine games last season and picked up four fouls in 13 other games. During the Bulldogs’ magical March, he played just 20 minutes in the Elite Eight vs. Kansas State, 15 vs. Michigan State in the Final Four and 19 against Duke.

“Evidently, I lack smarts in that category,” Howard told “It is what it is. Instead of maybe picking up something stupid — which has happened from time to time — I’ve got to play more under control and maybe let something go once in a while. It’s basically all mental.

“It’s not something you can sit there and really practice, [but] a little bit of it you can practice. Maybe I got there a little late and a charge is a block. Maybe the next time down, you’re just in the wrong place in the wrong time. … It’s just little things that can pile up.”

Gotta give the former Horizon League player of the year some credit. Not everyone’s willing to change senior year.

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.