If Harvard is going to make good on its promise for the 2013-14 season, it’s going to need Wesley Saunders -- who Tommy Amaker has repeatedly called the team’s best player -- to keep getting better.
Saunders shot just 30 percent in the Crimson’s first true test, on the road at Colorado, and his team lost. He was hardly the only Crimson player to struggle against a talented Buffaloes team, and he didn’t stay down for long.
After leading the Crimson to the 2013 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout title, Saunders has been named Ivy League Player of the Week, the league announced Monday.
The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Los Angeles native averaged 14.3 points, 4.7 assists and 8.0 rebounds per game as the Crimson beat Denver, Green Bay and TCU to win the tournament title in Anchorage.
Saunders was named the tournament’s most outstanding player after scoring 19 points and grabbing nine rebounds against Denver, scoring 20 points and grabbing seven rebounds against Green Bay, and scoring only four points but grabbing eight rebounds and distributing nine assists in the title game against TCU.
Through eight games, Saunders ranks in the top 10 in the Ivy League in points (14.9, sixth), rebounds (6.4, ninth), assists (3.8, third) and steals (2.0, first) per game.
The Crimson are 7-1 so far in 2013-14, and play next Wednesday night at Northeastern.
Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.