George Mason Patriots forward Luke Hancock (left) attempts a lay up in front of Harvard Crimson forward Andrew Van Nest (20) during the second half at Patriot Center. Rafael Suanes-US PRESSWIRE
On Friday, men's basketball coach Steve Donahue announced the addition of forward Andrew Van Nest to the roster. The 6-10, 235 pound forward is a Harvard grad and will be eligible to play during the 2012-13 season.
Van Nest's only appearance last year came against the Eagles in Conte Forum. He made his biggest impact as a junior during the 2010-11 season as he played in 23 games and made two starts. He averaged 2.1 points and 1.3 rebounds in 9.4 minutes of action per game. He was also fourth on the team with 13 blocks as the Crimson advanced to the NIT.
Van Nest played in 15 games as a sophomore and averaged 8.7 minutes per outing. He averaged 2.7 points and 1.7 rebounds that year. He missed his entire freshman season with an injury.
Last season, Van Nest logged just 2 minutes in Harvard's 67-46 beatdown of the Eagles, the Crimson's fourth straight victory over Boston College ... all at Conte Forum.
I know fans may grow a little restless with Donahue adding grad students and preferred walk-ons to the roster instead of scholarship players. But the Don really needs to make these kind of moves over the next few seasons to 1) have any sort of bench and 2) to help balance the scholarships out over a four year period.
This coming season the Eagles lose grads / seniors Salah Abdo, John Cahill, Deirunas Visockas and Peter Rehnquist to graduation as well as Gabe Moton, Matt Humphrey (West Virginia) and walk-on Ryan Kilcullen (Williams College) to transfers.
Here's to Van Nest making an impact on the court in his final season and -- who knows -- possibly turning the tide in the recent series history between the Eagles and Crimson? Welcome to the Heights, Andrew.