Egg in Your Beer
New England has long been considered the center of learning in the United States, but after viewing the Crimson-Columbia basketball thriller at the Boston Arena Tuesday last, this bureau is convinced that the Midwest has swiped all the teaching honors in that sport's field.
Coach Bill Barclay's charges left for their educational tour of the Mid-west over the holidays with an unimpressive record of three wins in six starts and staggered back with an even less impressive three out of nine.
Game of the Golden West
But somewhere west of the Appalachian mountains, the Crimson basketball squad learned how to win ball games. The secret: Play the ball as well as the man.
It is obvious that the team with the best shooting average, all other factors being fairly equal, wins the contest. Disregarding other factors, it is also true that the quintet which controls the backboards gets the victory.
But unless a basketball squad has a couple operatives named Joe Fulks, the law of averages points out that it will win games by virtue of its being "hotter" than its opponent only 50 percent of the time. And Walt McCurdy, whose set shot is a thing of beauty and a joy forever, is the only man who approaches such an operative on the Crimson quintet.
--Although Its Height Be Taken
In regard to controlling the backboards, the team with the most height usually gets the majority of the rebounds; but to get enough of them to term it control, a five must have at least two men of Elmore Morgenthaler's proportions. To be sure, Bill Prior at six-foot-five is no midget, but then almost every good basketball team in the country has a similarly linear man holding down the pivot slot. For example, Columbia's Walt Budko matches Prior's height inch for inch, and the centers in the other half of the Arena double-header--Providence against St. Anselm's--both were taller.
Looks for Way Out
In the face of this evidence--without the ability to hit on a better than average number of attempts from the floor or to control the backboards, the Crimson had to find some other way of winning ball games.
Finally having found it during the Christmas vacation, Barclay's boys promptly put it to use against a highly-tonted, but not over-confident Columbia team, giving the Morningside Heights athletes their toughest battle since the Crimson upset them last year, 66 to 50.