Perhaps the most important player to Harvard’s team for the upcoming season will now not play a game. The school sent a release out Wednesday morning stating that senior starting point guard Siyani Chambers will miss the 2015-16 season with a torn ACL.
Chambers put up 9.9 points and 4.3 assists per game last season. He’s been the starter for the Crimson since his freshman year, putting up more than 35 minutes per game over the past three seasons.
Not only will Chambers miss basketball this season, but Harvard’s release also states he’s taking a voluntary leave from school altogether. This is tied to student-athlete rules that only apply in the Ivy League. Since there are no scholarships in the Ivy, Chambers cannot take a redshirt season, i.e., continue to go to classes while accepting a scholarship year. So in order for him to remain eligible in basketball for 2016-17, he has to stave off his coursework for a year.
Harvard, which had for decades been one of the worst programs in its league, has made the NCAA Tournament four consecutive seasons under Tommy Amaker. The upcoming season will be the most inexperienced Amaker’s roster has been in seven seasons, dating back to when Jeremy Lin was a junior.