Already assured of its best won-loss record in Ivy history, the Harvard basketball team must top Brown and Yale this weekend to finish second in the League standings, higher than any other Harvard basketball team has finished.
The Crimson meets Brown at 8 p. m. tonight in Providence, and completes its Ivy season against Yale at 8 p. m. tomorrow in New Haven.
Harvard must stop Brown's main offensive threats, senior Ru? Tyler, who tallied 24 points in Brown's 95-80 loss to the Crimson one month ago, and junior Arnic Berman, who scored 26 points in that game.
In the first half of that game, the Bruins isolated Tyler, who worked one-on-one for jump shots at the key. Tyler poured in 11 of his team's first 17 points. But by that point in the game. Harvard had moved to a ten-point lead with an efficient fast break.
Still, if the Crimson can stop Tyler tonight by overplaying him to keep him away from the ball, it could throw the Bruins out of their offensive patterns and prevent them from climbing back into the game as they did at the end of the first half of last month's contest. Harvard led only 41-39 at half-time.
Harvard plans to press full-court for the entire game, something it didn't do last month, and since Brown's guards are not outstanding ballhandlers, the press could make a big difference.
"The key to this game for us is getting off to an early lead," head coach Bob Harrison said yesterday. "If we do that, the game pressure will be on them, and our press will be more effective. We'll also be better able to stop Tyler and Berman." he explained.
Tyler is averaging 20 points a game in the Ivy League while Berman, a 6' 6" forward, is averaging 18 points in the Ivies. Brown's other three starters, 6-0 Jim C. hill. 6-7 Bill Kolkmeyer, and 6-7 Bob Pratt, average only a combined 15 points a game in the League.
Offensively, the Crimson must contend with a Brown zone defense. Against Columbia's zone last week, Harvard moved the ball effectively for numerous lay-ups underneath, and it should do that again tonight.