Harvard graduate transfer Bryce Aiken is returning to New Jersey next season, and he will finally don the blue and white of Seton Hall. His last year at Harvard did not go as smoothly as he would have wanted, but the former top-100 recruit’s Ivy League experience and seniority will be welcomed assets to the Pirates’ locker room next season.
Aiken ended his Harvard career averaging 16.9 points, 2.5 assists and 2.2 rebounds per game while shooting 40.4% during his four years. Due to a foot injury he sustained in a game against George Washington in December, Aiken was unable to build upon a solid junior year, but he was undoubtedly one of Harvard’s best players before his injury.
Aiken’s seven-game season was highlighted by a 32-point game against Holy Cross and a 30-point game against No. 5 Maryland on 10-of-18 shooting. Aiken hit 1,000 career points for Harvard in the game against Holy Cross, and he finished 25th among the program’s all-time leading scorers with 1,090 points. Though a full season would most likely have not seen him surpass Joe Carrabino’s program record 1,880 points, his 16.7 points per game would have mathematically seen him cross the 1,400-point threshold in the 19 games he missed.
Aiken’s junior year iis where Aiken produced his best numbers. He scored 22.2 points and averaged 2.6 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game in 18 starts while playing 32.8 minutes per game. He shot 39.8% from beyond the arc and 43.4% from the field. Aiken has also proven to be a reliable shooter from the line as he has made over 80% over his career.
Perhaps the most concerning stat that Seton Hall fans will be frustrated with next season is his increasing number of turnovers per game. Having averaged 2.5 per game in his freshman year, Aiken’s turnovers have progressively increased to 2.7, 3.5 and 3.7 per game as his time went on with the Crimson. He hit 60 total turnovers in a single season in both his freshman and junior year and was well on course to hitting that number once again having made 26 turnovers in his short-lived senior year.
Although Myles Powell played in an objectively more difficult conference in his four-year career, Aiken’s offensive prowess is reminiscent of Seton Hall’s senior guard. Both players have a specialty for scoring from long range and the Harvard graduate’s efficiency from distance surpassed that of Powell’s in their final two undergraduate years. It will be interesting to see how Aiken adjusts his game with Big East teams likely aiming to double team him at times whenever he is on the court. Though Jared Rhoden and Sandro Mamukelashvili showed improvement in their respective three-point shooting efficiencies, the addition of an outright three-point scorer in Aiken will be a welcomed one for the Pirates heading into next season.
Justin Sousa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find him on Twitter @JustinSousa99.