The Harvard basketball team starts the only part of its season that counts tonight at the Palestra in Philadelphia against the University of Pennsylvania. This is the Ivy opener for a Crimson team, full of spirit but short on luck, and the players are confident they are ready.
Penn, which has suffered the loss of two starters for the season already, hopes to be at full strength for the Harvard game. Captain Pete Andrews sat out last week's three point loss to Princeton (the Quakers blew a big lead in that one) with the flu, but both he and senior leaper Carl Robbins are expected to start.
Sophomore guard Dave Wohl leads the Penn scorers with a 15.6 average, followed by the 6-1 senior Andrews at 14.2. Robbins has 11.1 and another sophomore guard, Steve Bilsky has 10.9. 6-8 forward Jim Wolf leas the rebounders with an average of 10.7. Penn's record is 4-5 and 0-1 in the Ivy League.
Princeton on Saturday
Saturday night, Harvard plays its second League game at Princeton against the Tigers. Princeton played in the Holiday Festival in New York, losing to UCLA and North Carolina. Their record is 6-5.
Three veterans pace the Princeton team, always an Ivy threat. Senior center Chris Thomford and forward John Hummer and Geoff Petrie are capable, experienced ballplayers who rebound and shoot well.
If Harvard is to have a successful Ivy campaign in Coach Bob Harrison's first year, a strong indication should come from these two games.
Bob Johnson, the 6-3 forward who provides rebounding strength for the often-beleaguered front line, has returned to Cambridge after a rough bout with the flu, but indications are that he won't try to play this weekend, postponing his re-debut until Monday, at Tufts.