“He worked so hard, so you knew you were going to earn anything you got on him or got on Duke.’’
So when Harvard learned of its seeding, destination, and opponent Sunday, Amaker knew the Lobos would be a reflection of their hard-nosed and offensive-minded coach.
“You know what his background has been,’’ Amaker said. “He’s always been a great shooter and a great scorer, and so he’s always had guys who can do those kinds of things as well in terms of his personnel.
“He’s fundamentally sound, solid in every facet of the game — that’s how he played and that’s how he’s been as a coach. And that’s why he’s been successful and that’s why he’s done, I think, one of the more underrated coaching jobs in the country since he’s been at New Mexico.’’
That sentiment seemed to be mutual.
“I thought what Tommy did at Seton Hall and Michigan, the things he was trying to do there, he was trying to do it the right way,’’ Alford said. “I think, given more of the things that were happening, whether it was in the Big Ten with facilities and those types of things, I think Michigan would’ve been a tremendous fit for him as well.
“It was similar to my situation at Iowa; there’s always going to be a fit that really fits you. I think Harvard and Tommy has just been a tremendous fit.
“You think of Harvard and you obviously think of academia and you think of discipline and that’s Tom. He was that way as a player.’’
Michael Vega can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.