With conference play upon us, it’s about the point of the season where we know what to expect out of most teams. For some, however, that’s not exactly the case. Certain groups have the potential to go from merely good to great -- from a fringe tournament team to a high seed in March.
Which teams boast the capability of performing at a higher level for the rest of the season? Let’s take a look.
Harvard did things last season that no other team in program history had done by going to the round of 32 in the NCAA tournament. This season, the Crimson have a chance to accomplish more. They are 14-3 with their only losses coming on the road against Colorado, Connecticut and Florida Atlantic.
Brandyn Curry and Kyle Casey, two of Harvard's best players, sat out last season due to an academic scandal but are back. Both Curry and Casey are All-Ivy players who now blend in well with budding stars Siyani Chambers and Wesley Saunders.
Curry, a point guard, is playing off the ball more because Chambers has really taken command of this team. Curry and Chambers form a dangerous combo when playing together, but it’s happened only seven times this season (due to injury issues). If Curry can get healthy and find a good rhythm with Chambers, this will give the Crimson an experienced backcourt with two really good playmakers.
Casey has seemed to fit in seamlessly after not playing last season, as he is the team’s third leading scorer at 10.8 points per game.
The player who benefited most from Curry and Casey being gone in 2012-13 was Saunders, who many expected to be a nice role player. He was thrust into the spotlight and ended up shining brightly. Saunders went from 3.3 points per game as a freshman to 16.2 points per game and a first-team All-Ivy selection as a sophomore.