College sport fans in hibernation since the Yale football game get athletic relief tonight, when the Varsity basketball team opens its season against M.L.T. in the Indoor Athletic Building at 8:30 o'clock. The Crimson Yardlings face the Tech Junior Varsity in a preliminary affair which starts at 7 o'clock.
Tonight's contest will mark the debut of newly-appointed Coach Bill Barclay, who joined the University coaching staff in October to replace Floyd Staff. Barclay will start what is virtually a new newly-elected captain of the squad, is the only veteran starter against the Teachmen. He played with last year's team, which won 17 of 18 games and was invited to the N.C.A.A. Championship Tournament.
Davis Starts at Guard
Paired with Mariaschin at the guard posts will be Steve Davis, who won his letter as a reserve last year. George Hauptfuhrer, the six-foot-four-inch football end, has won the starting assignment at center, while the forwards are expected to be John Noble, a member of the informal teams of two and three years ago, and Leo Page.
John Gantt, a regular member of the 1945-46 squad, is also available and will undoubtedly see considerable action at one of the forward positions. Other frontline reserves are Bill Harford, Jack Torgan, Pete Petrillo and Bill Henry.
John P. McCarthy, who has coached the M.I.T. five since 1929, was still not read to announce his starting team last night, but he has two former captains on hand from the wartime Tech squads in Ray Hadd and Doug Watson. Principle worry for the Technology mentor is the undersized operatives on his squad, since the M.I.T. club averages only five feet ten.
Quintet Has Height
Barclay's starting quintet averages just short of six feet two inches, with Noble and Davis measured at six three, Page an even six feet, and Mariachin five feet, ten-and-a-half inches.
The Crimson is expected to use a tight, cohesive attack tonight instead of the more individualistic style of pay which characterized last year's quintet. On defense, a man-to-man is expected to be in operation, but the team could move into a zone if necessary.
Although little is known about the potential performance of either club, the role of favorite must go to the Crimson on a traditional basis, if nothing else. M.I.T. is the Varsity's traditional opening game, and the college down the Charles rarely has beaten Harvard in the past. Last season Coach Floyd Stahl's outfit cuffed the slide-rulers twice, 42 to 21 and 54 to 42.