A small nucleus of six returning lettermen shone in the midst of 55 candidates for the basketball team at its first practice session last night, and gave Coach Earl Brown at least a glimmer of hope for the coming season.
A large majority of the mammoth turnout were Freshmen, and Brown hasn't yet been able to get a line on them. After he's seen everyone's stuff, he plans to cut the squad to 25 or 30 men, who will function as a flexible Varsity and Freshman-Jayvee outfit. The regular Varsity schedule will be played with '46ers eligible, and the second squad will fill the old Freshman program. Brown will coach both; in the absence of Al McCoy, now a Lieutenant in the Navy.
Brown plans to have practices in the Indoor Athletic Building every night until the end of the fall sports season, when workouts will be in the afternoon. Only 23 sessions altogether form the cushion before the first game, with M. I. T. on December 4. Four local games then precede the usual midwestern trip, before Eastern Intercollegiate Basketball League games start after vacation.
The six men back from last year's team, which ended up in fourth place in the League, are Juniors Tom Axon, Bunks Burditt, George Dillon, Dick Elken, Hugh Hyde, and Don Lutze.
Together with last year's Freshman standouts, Frank Bixler, Dean Hennessy, and Mike DeLeo, and Mike Keene and Dick Forster when they finish with soccer, these men will be on the floor unless a dark horse Freshman breaks in.