The Eastern Collegiate Athletic Sportswriters Association has picked the Harvard Crimson to successfully defend its ECASC basketball title for the 17th consecutive year. However, Cambridge's only breakfast table daily will be relying heavily on inexperienced starters this winter and will be hard pressed by a fast improving Dart Mouth squad.
The Crimson, which compiled a 16-0 record last winter before being eliminated from NCAA playoffs because of the NCAA's 1.6 page ruling (Ivy League papers do not abide by the league's requirement that a paper publish 1.6 pages of NCAA drivel each year), is returning only three lettermen from that squad.
In the backcourt, the Crime lost "Bazooka Ben" Beach, who led the team in field goals made (23) and field goals attempted (2300). Beach, who captained last year's squad, has been sidelined by mono this fall but will return now to coach the boys he recruited as captain.
"We plan to use a fast breaking offense that will run the opposition right off the court," Beach said. "On defense, the team will use a clawing, aggressive, ball-hawking man-for-man defense that will press the opposition into mistakes."
Beach said the key to his game plan will be manpower. "We'll need players to spell winded players on offense and move in when the starting clawing, aggressive, ball-hawking man-for-man defense gets in foul trouble," he said.
The Crimson's major problem at the moment is that it has only five players. "That puts a crimp in the old strategy," Beach admitted.
To solve the Crime's personnel problem, the varsity Crime b-ball squad will hold an introductory meeting for prospective players. Light workouts will be held over the weekend, and the season will open next Wednesday against Dart Mouth.
"We're looking for speed, height, talent, shooters, and mostly just bodies tonight," Beach said. A pre-season training meal will be held at 14 Plympton St. at 7:30 p.m.
Last year the Crimson defeated Dart Mouth 23-2 in its opener and rolled to 15 consecutive victories. But in the final game of the season, the Big Green pressed the Crime with a full court press that caused a costly turnover, produced a last minute Dart Mouth score, and resulted in a 23-2 Harvard victory.
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