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Going on the assumption that "it's the fast boys who help you a lot," basketball coach Norm Shepard has kept his varsity squad running and scrimmaging hard for the past two weeks during nightly three-hour practices in the I.A.B.
Only 17 players were invited by Shepard to the pre-season practices, but three of them will not be able to play because of injuries, at least till after the opening game with M.I.T. on December 1. The small group makes it easier for the coach to experiment with playing combinations, and come up with the best one several weeks before the season starts.
Shepard says he won't be able to tell how strong this year's team will be till they meet outside competition. The starting line-up will probably be faster and better shots than last year's team, though lacking its height.
The task of building up a fast five-man nucleus is a good deal easier than the problem of rebuilding a two-platoon football team and Shepard has good material.
Four lettermen, including Captain John Stephenson, are returning to the squad. Shepard especially misses two of these, Forrest Hanson and Bill Hickey, who were injured recently in House sports.
Among the others back from the 1951 squad are junior letterman Dick Lionette, another junior Jim Urdan, and senior Ambie Redmond. They are getting a lot of competition for starting berths from four members of last year's all-New York freshman starting team, '54 Captain Bill Dennis, Ed Blodnick, Ed Condon, and Ed Krinsky. Other sophomores in action now are Steve Goldberg. Bill Coolidge, Ari Kiev, and Bob Parente. The present squad is rounded out by junior Al Davis.
Bob Gremp, the fifth starter on the '54 freshman team, expects to begin practicing as soon as the football season is over. The 17th man on the squad will be sophomore John Culver, who broke his collarbone playing varsity football and who does not expect to be able to play for six weeks.
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