One rarely associates M.I.T. with any activity more strenuous than manipulating a slide rule. But Tech has the best basketball team in its history this year and will give Harvard plenty of trouble when they meet at 8:15 tonight in Rockwell Cage.
The Engineers have compiled a 7-3 record to date, defeating Wesleyan, Brandeis, Bowdoin, Middlebury, Union, RPI, and Hope (Mich.). They have lost to Union, Trinity, and DePauw.
M.I.T.'s offense has been centered around its high-scoring front line. Alex Wilson, a 6-5 forward, has averaged 20.9 points per game, and 6-4 sophomore Dave Jansson is scoring at an 18-point clip. Center Bob Hardt (6-6) has a 16-point average, but he suffered an injury last week and will miss tonight's game. That will definitely help Harvard's chances. Hardt's place will be taken by 6-3 junior Kevin Kinsella.
The Engineers' one critical weakness is at the guard positions. Bob Ferraro (5-10) and John Flick (6-0) aren't good shooters and they can't handle the ball very well either. M.I.T. hasn't had too much experience handling a full-court press, so that could make the difference tonight.
Harvard has won 30 of 39 meetings with its intra-city rival; M.I.T. hasn't won a game in the series since 1944.
The Crimson, with a 4-6 record to date, will start its usual contingent of Barry Williams, Keith Sedlacek, Gene Dressler, George Neville, and John Scott. Hopefully, Neville can continue the fine shooting he showed at the Detroit Motor City Tournament over the holidays. He sank 12 of 19 shots in two games with his awkward-looking jump shot and may be able to give Harvard a somewhat better-balanced offense.