The last time a team other that Princeton or Penn won an outright Ivy League men's basketball title, you weren't even around.
And not just around Harvard. You weren't around at all. Period.
"No student at Harvard right now was alive the last time someone else won the [outright] title," Crimson Coach Frank McLaughlin says. "But each student here right now can help us change that."
Uncle Frank wants you!
Not quite halfway into his seventh season, McLaughlin is on one of the biggest recruiting binges. With possibly the biggest weekend in the history of Harvard's men's basketball upon us, McLaughlin is eagerly pursuing the recruit he still hasn't got--the sixth man. The one in the stands.
When Princeton visits Briggs Cage tonight and Penn follows suit tomorrow night, McLaughlin will field a squad many believe will be the first in a long time that will actually challenge the two squads that have controlled Ivy basketball longer than AT & T has controlled telephone service.
But Uncle Sam just broke up AT&T.
Now, with your help, Uncle Frank thinks he can break up Princeton & Penn.
"This is truly the first time that Princeton and Penn are coming in here and that we actually have a good chance of beating them," McLaughlin says with such spunk that it's hard not to believe him. "Up until now, they'd come in here and know they were better. Now, they don't know that anymore. It's all about equal."
And that's where YOU make the difference.
And that's where Uncle Frank tells you why.
Of the Crimson's last 20 games in Briggs Cage, the cagers have won 15. The five they've lost have come by a total of 20 points, including last-second, four-point losses to both Penn and Princeton last year.
"But if we get the fan support, we win those five games," says McLaughlin, whose squad's fan support is rivaled only by the enthusiasm usually accorded Expos. "The fans can make it happen, especially now."
And especially now that Princeton and Penn are on Harvard's level.
The Tigers, tonight's foes, lost three starters from last year's championship squad. Princeton Coach Pete Caril, who has amassed a slightly more than impressive 30-2 record against Harvard, called this a rebuilding year at season's start, with the only certainty his backcourt of John Smyth and Bill Ryan.
In recent weeks, however, the task of rebuilding's gotten a little easier. Although the talent's not what it used to be, several clutch performances from a few new faces have left the Tigers with a 6-3 record going into tonight's 7:30 p.m. showdown.
For Penn Coach Craig Littlepage, things have been a little tougher. They didn't just have a rebuilding job to do in Philadelphia. They had to knock down the old house and start from scratch--completely.
With all five starters gone from last year's second-place Ivy team, the Quakers have struggled. Although still considered one of the Ivy teams to beat. Penn, led by freshman Bruce Lefkowitz and sophomore Anthony Arnoile, brings only a mediocre 3-5 into tomorrow's 7:30 p.m. match.
It's the Ivy opener for Princeton tonight, while Penn's at Dartmouth for its season Ivy debut. The Crimson, though, is already 1-0 in league play, even if it's 4-5 overall and mired in a three-game losing streak.
Those three losses, though, came over break, on the road, where they soon start counting the decades between Harvard wins. The Crimson has now lost 13 in a row away from home.
At Briggs, however, the cagers are 4-0 on the year, and despite the recent slump, McLaughlin says his troops are ready. "We're playing pretty well. Our record is a little deceiving," he says. "We were just hit hard in the last three games."
Now, he adds, would be the prime opportunity to hit back. A weekend sweep might just be the impetus for a drive to the Crimson's first-ever Ivy title, he concludes.
To help him, though, Uncle Frank wants you!