With only two returning players who averaged more than 10 minutes per game last season and only one returner who started even a single contest, the freshmen should get a chance to prove that they belong on the court.
Their transition from high school to college has been eased thus far by the friendships they have formed with each other and with the other players on the team.
“[The transition] has been pretty tough just in basketball alone,” Goffredo said. “There are so many things outside of basketball to get used to as well. As freshmen, we spend a lot of time together, and the older guys are great. We hang out together and they go over plays with us, which is a big help.”
While Darcy will begin the season on the bench due to a stress fracture in his leg, Goffredo and Yada will both immediately compete for minutes in a crowded Harvard back court.
“Jimmy and Ko will get some minutes this year,” junior guard Kevin Rogus said. “It’s great for us because we know when they go in to spell the starters, we’re not dropping off as a team.”
But not everything is working in favor of the trio seeing significant minutes. Sophomore forwards Matt Stehle, Zach Martin, Luke McCrone and second-year guard Michael Beal all return and will now get a chance to shine after spending much of last season relegated to the bench behind the quintet of seniors.
Ultimately, only time will tell what impact these three freshmen can have on a team that heads into the season surrounded by questions.
“We’re really happy to have all three of our freshmen,” coach Frank Sullivan said. “We can’t tell [who is going to play yet] because we haven’t played enough five-on-five.”
Headlining the class of ’07 is Jim Goffredo, a 6’1 guard whose shooting, dribbling and body type have already prompted numerous comparisons to Patrick Harvey—Harvard’s leading scorer in each of the past two seasons.
“Jim’s got the Harvey kind of game,” Sullivan said. “He’s got the dribble game that Pat had. He’s got the deep shooting that Pat had. He’s got some good instincts. He really was well coached in high school.”
And how does Goffredo feel about being compared to a former First-Team All-Ivy selection?
“[Harvey]’s definitely a good guy to model your game after, and I think that our games are very similar,” he said. “I [just] hope people don’t expect me to be that good right away.”
But no one is counting on Goffredo to replace Harvey’s 16.7 points per game from last year, at least not at first.
“It’s all got to play out,” Sullivan said. “Even a guy like Pat—who was probably one of the best players we’ve had around here—came off the bench his whole freshman year and picked his spots. We didn’t know he was going to be that good. As a freshman, Jim is probably as good as Pat was as a freshman. Jim’s got the same skill package.”