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Harvard's Chambers not done yet

3/11/2013

Siyani Chambers doesn’t play like a freshman, but every once in a while there’s a reminder that he is one.

On Monday, two days after Harvard clinched its second straight outright Ivy League title (third straight if you include a share of the title in 2010-11) and berth in the NCAA tournament, Chambers was named Ivy rookie of the week for the sixth time in 2012-13.

That ties Chambers, a native of Golden Valley, Minn., for fifth most all time.

But that wasn’t what was on Chambers’ mind on Monday, when he took to Twitter with an update that made it clear that though he may be advanced beyond his age on the court, off the court he’s still new to this whole experience:

It’s easy to count the struggles Chambers has had on the court because there haven’t been many. It’s harder to count the successes.

In Harvard’s final two regular-season games, needing to win out to preserve a shot at the title, Chambers was his usual steady, savvy self.

He scored 16 points (on 5-for-6 shooting from the field and 6-for-7 shooting from the line), had three assists and grabbed two steals against Columbia on Friday -- a statline that doesn’t do justice to the impact he had on the game, especially late. Then on Saturday, he had 16 points (on 6-for-9 shooting, including 3-for-4 from 3-point land), five assists and four rebounds against Cornell.

Chambers finished first in the Ivy League in assists per game (5.7, 1.6 more than Ian Hummer in second) and in minutes played (37.8 per game), fourth in free throw percentage (81.9), fifth in 3-point field goal percentage (44.0) and sixth in scoring (12.9 points per game).

It’s to the point that Tommy Amaker doesn’t know what else he can say about his preternaturally polished point guard.

“You can’t say enough about Chambers,” Amaker said after the rookie led the Crimson back against the Lions. “What else can the kid do for our team this year? His minutes, his efforts, his moxie, his savvy, his daring. All those things we’ve seen a lot this year.”

As of Monday, ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has Harvard as a No. 13 seed in the South region of the Big Dance, matching up with No. 3 seed Michigan State in Auburn Hills, Mich.

Harvard has been marveling at the Chambers show all season long, and chances are at least one more opponent will see a similar display in the NCAAs.