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The Crimson basketball varsity will open its season against a shorter, but more experienced U-Mass squad tonight at 8 p.m.
Floyd Wilson, Crimson coach, regards tonight's contest as crucial in shaping team morale. "If we can get through the first couple of games, we'll be all right," he commented.
The varsity will open its season with only two returning starters, Capt. Tom Woolston and George Harrington. But the pair led team scoring last season, and should be a reliable nucleus for Wilson's squad.
Four Returning Starters
Massachusetts, also playing its firts game, lost its star center, Jack Foley, but boasts four returning starters. The team will have a height disadvantage, but U-Mass coach Bob Curran is counting on Norm Porter, the new 6-7 center, to take the major share of rebounds.
Crimson rebounding problems came to light in a scrimmage with Providence College last week, and the varsity can expect trouble under the boards tonight.
The Massachusetts team generally uses a man-to-man defense, while the varsity will rely on a constant zone defense this season. The teams employ similar offensive patterns, and both plan to use the fast break whenever possible.
The Massachusetts squad compiled a 13-11 record last season and followed Rhode Island and Connecticut in Yankee Conference standings. Tonight's contest will be the team's first encounter with an Ivy League opponent in several years. The Crimson will be seeking to better last year's 19-9 record, the first successful season in decades.
Key starters on Coach Wilson's Crimson squad are Dick Woolston, the 6-3 senior forward who led the team in total scoring and rebounding last winter, and George Harrington, a 5-7 junior guard, who entered the starting lineup near the end of the last season and immediately took the lead in team scoring.
The performance of the new starting center, 6-4 Bryant Danner, will be under close scrutiny tonight. If he lives up to current expectations, especially in rebounding ability, prospects for the whole squad should be bright. Monk Muncaster, a 6-3 forward, and Bob Repetto, a 6-1 guard, will be the other Crimson starters.
Coach Curran plans to start Porter at center. Starting guards will be co-Captain Paul Kallios (5-9) and Ned Larkin (5-11), who averaged 14 points as a sophomore last season. Co-Captain Don Akerson (6-1) and Buck Adanczyk (6-0) will be at forward.
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