Jeremy Lin seems to have it all.
The accolades for the Harvard guard have been coming from left and right. Last week, he was profiled as a potential NBA prospect in Sports Illustrated, and in a pre-season article written by ESPN analyst Fran Frischilla, Lin was named one of the country’s 12 most versatile collegiate players.
The 6-foot-3 guard from Palo Alto, Calif., has filled out every column of the Crimson stat-sheet, averaging 17.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game.
He also leads the Ivy League with 2.9 steals per game (placing him fourth in the nation) and is fourth in blocks per game with 1.4.
Lin has been a cog in a Harvard team engine that has cranked out wins against major programs like Boston College and George Washington. He also put up 30 points in the team’s loss to then-No. 14 Connecticut.
Entering Saturday night’s matchup, one could only wonder what the guard would do to a Penn team that was 3-14.
The answer: Nineteen points, five rebounds, six assists, three blocks, and five steals. Not too shabby, right?
Well, not exactly.
The truth is, Lin was not all that impressive in an 80-66 win against the Quakers. In fact, it is not too much of a stretch to say that the Crimson’s powerhouse has been struggling as of late.
In his last three games — against Cornell, Princeton, and Penn — Lin averaged 19 points, but each strong scoring output came with a caveat.
Against Cornell, he turned the ball over eight times. In a 56-53 loss to Princeton, he shot just 6-for-16 from the field and 5-for-8 from the free throw line.
And against Penn, Lin also had his share of troubles.
Though the Crimson jumped out to a 25-9 lead over the Quakers, it wasn’t Lin who was doing the damage. He was 0-for-4 from the field in the first half — including a miss on an uncontested fast-break dunk — and turned the ball over three times.
Sophomore Rob Belcore drew the main assignment of containing the seemingly unstoppable senior, but the defense was definitely a team effort. The 2-3 zone and quick traps appeared to fluster Lin in the first half.
“We got a lot of pressure on him,” junior Dan Monckton said. “Every time he had the ball, he was seeing two people instead of one.”
However, it was a tale of two halves for Lin, who didn’t miss a single shot in the second stanza — 4-for-4 from the field and the same tally at the line. He also dished out four dimes to help the Crimson pull away with the victory. In doing so, he managed to salvage his stat line.
Nevertheless, according to Crimson coach Tommy Amaker, Lin’s impact is not always evident in the statistics.
“It’s not the points he scores, it’s the points he’s responsible for,” Amaker said. “When he’s on the floor, it’s probably hard to find possessions offensively for us that he’s not in some way incredibly responsible for.”
And while Lin has struggled a bit with his lofty expectations, there still remains a possibility that at the end of this year he could have both a Harvard degree and an NBA contract framed in his room.
KEVIN ESTEVES is a sophomore from New York and is Associate Sports Editor of The Daily Pennslyvanian. He can be contacted at email@example.com.Comments powered by Disqus
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