Saturday, October 18, 2014

Harvard's Crimson Madness - Q+A With Wesley Saunders and Siyani Chambers

Friday night Harvard held their Crimson Madness.  The Crimson are gearing up for another season after reaching the NCAA tournament the past three seasons.  Harvard is again one of the premier teams in the country and is looking to win the Ivy League title.  They have a loaded front court with senior captain Steve Moundou-Missi, Jonah Travis, and Kenyatta Smith.  Sophomore Zena Edosomwan played great in their inter-squad scrimmage and showed off his aggressive style of play.  Edosomwan is looking to play a bigger role for the Crimson in the front court this season.  Harvard also has freshman forward Chris Egi.  He played with high-school national champion Montverde Academy last year.  The Crimson also have amazing talent in their back-court.  They are probably going to play the combo of Siyani Chambers and Wesley Saunders a lot this year.  Last season Saunders won Ivy League POY and averaged 14.8 PPG.  Junior captain Siyani Chambers averaged 11.1 PPG and 4.6 APG last year.  He played a crucial role along with Saunders in leading the team to the NCAA tournament.  The Crimson are hoping they can make another run this season and make it farther than ever.  They started to strive for that goal friday night.  Watch our mixtape of the event below.

After the event we caught up with Harvard's star players Wesley Saunders and Siyani Chambers.  Below we have Q+A interviews with both.

Buzzer Beater Basketball: What are your goals for this season?

Wesley Saunders: Just to win the Ivy League again, go farther in the NCAA tournament, and really just come together as a team and play the best that we can.

BBB: Since you mentioned winning the Ivy League, I'll ask you about what Columbia coach Kyle Smith said the other day, how he said he wants to win the Ivy League, what do you have to say about that?

WS: I know everybody in the Ivy League is gunning for us, I think that's everybody's goal.  I don't think they would be playing if they weren't trying to win.  So I just think every night is going to be a battle so we have to come out prepared to play hard and fight.

BBB: Do you plan on pursuing and NBA career after college? If not would you go overseas?

WS: Yeah, I want to, but if not probably overseas.  But I definitely want to try to pursue and NBA career though.

BBB: Coming from California, do you talk to any of the up and coming west coast talent like Jaylen Brown or Ivan Rabb?

WS: No, I don't really talk to any of them.  There's some guys from my AAU team, Compton Magic, that I talk to.  I try to keep in touch with some of the younger guys, and just let them know what they're in for.

BBB: What game are you looking forward to most this season? Probably at Virginia?

WS: Yeah that's going to be a great game.  I think playing at Arizona State too, because it's going to be closer to my home, so a lot of people are going to come out there.  But all the games are going to be tough.

BBB: You guys aren't ranked in the ESPN top 25, how do you feel about that?

WS: I mean hopefully we can get in there as the season goes on, but I'm not to worried about rankings right now.  We are just trying to get ready and everything will play out.

BBB: I know you a big shoe collector, what is your favorite shoe to play in?

WS: I'd say the Jordan 11's, but I was going to wear them tonight but I couldn't.  But they are really comfortable.

BBB: I've notice you and Siyani both wear low cut shoes, why is that?

WS: It's just more comfortable for me.  I started wearing Kobe's and I haven't gone back since he released the low cut ones.

BBB: What is your favorite shoe just to chill in?

WS: I like Air Maxes and Roshes, they're comfortable.  Anything that's comfortable.

BBB:  What's on your pre game music playlist to get you pumped up and into your zone.

WS: A lot of just rap, Drake, and I just like a lot of southern rap, and any Atlanta stuff.  Just anything that gets me going.

Buzzer Beater Basketball: After deep tournament runs the past few seasons, what are your expectations for this year?

Siyani Chambers: To win the Ivy, and get back there (the NCAA tournament) and try to go even farther than what we did last year.

BBB: Who do you think will give you guys a good run for the Ivy League Title this year?

SC: Colombia and Yale are looking pretty strong, but every game in the Ivy League is a tough game.  We'll see when that time comes around who's playing the best basketball.

BBB:  What game are you looking forward to most this season?

SC:  The first one actually, because then that means the season is underway and we're starting in the regular season and you know it takes a long stretch to get there, but once that first game gets going and the games start picking up.

BBB: After leading all D1 freshman in assists your freshman season, is it your goal to lead the nation this season?

SC: If it's a possibility I would love to do that, that would be a great accomplishment.  I'm just trying to go out there every night and just do what my job is, and get these guys open, and get these guys easy shots.  If I happen to get a lot of assists then that's more credit to the guys putting the ball in the basket.

BBB: Is it one of your goals to make the NBA after college?

SC: If the opportunity presents itself I would love to do that.

BBB: After leading your high school team to three state championships and now being named a team captain this season, what is it that makes you able to be such a strong leader?

SC:  Just my energy and my hunger to win.  I never give up, I always try to compete in everything I do, and I think it all just feeds into the energy of the other guys and then we all strive for the common goal of winning.

BBB: Since your from Minnesotta, do you talk to any of the high-school kids coming up from there?

SC: I do, I do. I try to give them as much advice as possible, and try to tell them to keep the tradition of Hopkins Basketball alive and if they just keep working hard then the world can open up to them.

BBB: We know you love video games.  Is NBA 2K your favorite? If not what is?

SC: Actually, I started playing FIFA, and FIFA soccer is now my favorite.  Me and my brother play all the time.

The Crimson kick off their tournament pursuit on November 14th against MIT.  Watch out for Harvard Basketball this year as they are one of the most talented teams in the country.

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