When Chris Lewis first committed to Harvard, he started a domino effect that led to the Crimson having their highest rated recruiting class since 2000. Standing at 6’8”, the four-star power forward out of Alpharetta, GA decided that his dream of becoming an engineer meant just as much, if not more, than his desire to play in the NBA.
“I want to be able to keep my options open,” he told the New York Times in January. “I do think about going to the NBA a lot and to be able to be a successful engineer as well. I want to be able to do both, get as far as I can in both areas.”
Lewis is clearly not your average prospect. Aside from his aspirations to become an engineer, he is an insanely athletic power forward with the strength and skill to defend at least three positions. He has an extremely high motor and what he does best is rebound at a high level on both ends of the court.
His skills can be attributed to his athletic pedigree, which is second to none. His father is former New York Jets linebacker Mo Lewis, who is responsible for launching the legend of Tom Brady and his mother, Christalyn, was the starter on three state championship teams in her home state of Georgia in high school. He also has a brother, Mo IV, that turned down offers from major schools to play basketball at Navy.
After watching film of Lewis, it is easy to see why he was so highly touted. At 6’8” and 235 pounds, he is big enough to guard both the four and five spot but he is also fast enough to keep up with players on the wing. He is also an excellent shot blocker, as Lewis does a great job at timing his jumps perfectly to deny anyone that tries to finish through or over him.
In addition to his defensive versatility, he is a very sound rebounder. Lewis is great at positioning himself and timing his jumps perfectly to beat the opposition to the rebound. On the offensive end he is in position to either put back the rebound with a dunk or kick it out to a wide open teammate on the perimeter. On defense, he is very good at securing the rebound and hitting a teammate with an outlet pass to start the break.
There are some flaws in his game. On offense, his game is incredibly one-dimensional. He does not have a reliable jump shot and has little potential to space the floor. All teams have to do is pack the paint and he is all but eliminated as a threat on offense. He also needs to work on his ball handling. As basketball moves towards being a position-less game, coaches will want players that can bring the ball up the court and stretch the floor.
Chris Lewis will be a very special player for the Crimson. He will make an impact from day one in the Ivy League and could lead them to something special one day. Harvard has gone dancing the past four seasons, twice making it to the second round. With Lewis and three other ESPN Top 100 players on the roster for 2016, don't be surprised to see the Crimson upset some major teams in the next four years.