Men’s basketball opens Asheville championship with Louisiana on Friday
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard University Men’s Basketball opens play at the Asheville Championship at Harrah’s Cherokee Center in Asheville, N.C., with a semifinal against the University of Louisiana on Friday, Nov. 11 at 6:00 p.m. (ESPN+ ), after a 68-63 win over Morehouse in its season opener.
What there is to know
- Harvard is scheduled to compete in the 2022 Asheville Championship on Nov. 11-13 at Harrah’s Cherokee Center. The Crimson will meet Louisiana in the semi-finals on Friday, November 11 at 6:00 p.m. (ESPN+) while the other semi-final will feature Elon and East Tennessee State at 8:30 p.m. (ESPN+). Sunday’s matchups will include the league game at 4:30 p.m. (ESPNU) and the consolation game at 2:00 p.m. (ESPNU).
- The Crimson opened their season with a 68-63 victory over Morehouse on November 7. Chris Ledlum scored a game-high 22 points as the junior guard Sam Silverstein and senior guard Luka Sakota scored 12 and 11 points respectively in the Crimson’s first-ever visit to Morehouse.
- Harvard will meet the Ragin’ Cajuns for the first time. The Crimson also never competed against Elon or East Tennessee State on the hardwood.
- Harvard found success under Tommy Amaker, family coach Thomas G. Stemberg ’71 for Harvard Men’s Basketball, in season-opening tournaments. In 2011-12 the Crimson won the Battle 4 Atlantis with wins over Utah, Florida State and UCF, in 2013-14 the program captured the Great Alaska Shootout with wins over Denver, Green Bay and TCU, and in 2015–16, the team won the Diamond Head Classic championship game with victories over YU and Auburn before falling to Oklahoma.
- Crimson trip to Asheville marks homecoming for junior forward Judge Ajogbor who played in high school at Christ School in Arden, North Carolina. Originally from Benin City, Nigeria, Ajogbor lost both parents at the age of 10 in 2011. Ajogbor came to the United States with foster parents Gina and Greg Birdgeford after the Bridgefords met Ajogbor while were volunteers in Nigeria with the organization Access 2 Success. . After missing the 2020-21 season against COVID-19 due to an Ivy League-wide decision and much of the 2021-22 season due to injury, Ajogbor is expected to start in the zone. ahead of Crimson in 2022-23.
- Senior striker Chris Ledlum posted records for points (22) and rebounds (seven) in the Crimson’s 68-63 win over Morehouse (Nov. 7) in his season opener. Ledlum returns after averaging 16.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game last season over 13 games, missing the latter part of the season due to injury. He scored in double figures in 12 of his 13 games played and scored 20 or more points in each of the three contests. A sociology concentrator, Ledlum earned third-team CoSIDA Academic All-America honors in 2021-22. He earned Blue Ribbon Preseason All-Ivy League accolades.
- senior guard Luka Sakota had 11 points and six rebounds, while making 3-for-6 3-pointers in the win at Morehouse (Nov. 7). Sakota started all 26 games in the 2022-23 season and averaged 11.3 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. For the year, he shot 36.0% from 3-point range, 40.4% from the field, and 83.0% from the free throw line. Sakota scored in double figures 17 a season ago, including a season-high 19 points at Siena (November 22).
- senior guard Idan Tretout had six points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals in the win at Morehouse (November 7). Tretout had 8.5 points and 3.0 rebounds per game last season in 13 games, missing the latter part of the season due to injury. He scored in double figures in six games last year, scoring in double figures in five of his last six games played this season.
- junior guard Sam Silverstein scored 12. Points on 5-of-7 shooting with five rebounds in the win at Morehouse (Nov. 7). He played in all 26 games last winter in his first season of action with the Crimsons. He posted 4.5 points and 4.1 rebounds per game, while shooting 54.3 percent from the field and 34.5 percent from 3-point range. Silverstein scored in double figures on three occasions, including 16 points against MIT (November 20), 12 against Yale (February 9) and 10 against Cornell (January 22).
- Second year guard Louis Lesmond hit a pair of 3-pointers in the win at Morehouse (November 7). He posted 7.9 points and 2.6 rebounds per game last season, while scoring in double figures seven times in 20 games played. Second Guard Companion Denham Wojcik appeared in all 26 games a year ago.
- Crimson fire several additional veterans, including senior forward Tommy O’Neiljunior forwards Judge Ajogbor and Josh Hemmingsand second-year guards Evan Nelson and Tyler Simon. Nelson appeared in 13 of 14 Ivy League games last season, scoring in double figures on three occasions.
After wrapping up its weekend at the Asheville Championship, Harvard plays Northeastern on Wednesday, November 16 at 7:00 p.m. (NESN/FloHoops) before hosting its home opener against Siena on Sunday, November 20 at 2:00 p.m. (ESPN+).
Tickets for the Crimson’s home opener against Siena are available at tickets.gocrimson.com.