It wouldn't be very hard to slash the basketball team (although everyone knows the CRIMSON doesn't do things like that), especially since the rest of the winter sports season was the most successful in the history of the college.
After all, the team did finish tied for sixth in the Ivy League with a 3-11 record. For the season its record was 10 won, 14 lost, though most of those wins came early in the season. The second half was a disaster.
But to write nasty things about the offense, and the defense, and the rebounding and the ball-handling, and maybe even the coach, would not help matters very much. It would probably make them worse, and that is possible, despite the eight game losing streak.
Actually, the team started out as though it was going to give the rest of the Ivy League, reputed to be very strong, a few anxious moments. After a highly successful Christmas trip the quintet entered league play with a 7-3 record, and a new star in Pete Kelley.
Used as a substitute by coach Floyd Wilson, Kelley was so mad when he finally got in he won three or four games practically single-handedly. With help from Dennis Lynch and Gary Borchard the Crimson's offense seemed secure, if not overpowering. The defense, a switching man to man, was also holding up well.
After six Ivy games the team had a 3-3 record. Then came a weekend series at home with Brown and Yale. The Crimson lost both games after playing some excellent basketball, and as the fans filed out of the IAB a disgruntled partisan muttered, "They won't win another game all season."
That pundit, alas, is lost to history, but his frighteningly accurate prediction remains. The Crimson indeed did not win another game all season. The only bright spot in those dark days of defeat was Borchard's scoring spree that made him the second Harvard man even to score 1000 points in his career.
What of next year? The league will be stronger than ever. Yale, the defending champion, has its whole team minus Bill Madden returning. That team includes sophomores Dennis Lynch and Bill Kaminsky, two of the finest players the league has seen in years.
Princeton will lose Al Kaemmerlen and Pete Campbell, its two top scorers, but will gain the best of a terrifying freshman team. Among the Tiger freshmen is an Ivy League-type Jerry Lucas named Bill Bradley who does everything, as the sportswriters say, but sell the tickets.
Other Teams Strong
Penn, a disappointment this season, lost several of its top players to the Dean's Office but still has juniors John Wideman and Bob Purdy, second team All-Ivy selections, and several others. Steve Spahn, league scoring champ, returns to head the Dartmouth team; Cornell boasts a good crop of young players; and Columbia has Art Woliansky. Only Brown, having lost Mike Cingiser and Greg Heath, appears hopeless.
The Crimson fortunes would best be a subject for the cerebrations of our pundit friend. Pete Kelley and his jump shot will be back. Dennis Lynch, for two years the early season flash and late season bust, also returns for his senior year. Captain Gene Augustine is the only backcourt man with any experience.
Bob Inman, who played more than any other sophomore, will have to handle more of the rebounding load, but should get help from Mike Crichton, a 6 ft., 8 in. sophomore, and Frank Martin, who starred for the JV's. Lenny Strauss, high scorer for last year's freshmen, is handicapped by his size (6 ft., 2 in.) but also should be of help in the frontcourt. From the freshman team Merle McClung appears to be a top prospect at forward.
Actually the Crimson has a good collection of frontcourt men; they really hurt in the backcourt. Augustine is a hustler, but a poor outside shot. Sid Davis, who was dropped to the IV in mid-season, may provide the ball-handling the team has lacked for so long. Another returnee is Barry Dym, who was impressive in a few brief varsity appearances and shoots well from outside. The possible savior of the backcourt corps is Leo Sculley, captain of this year's freshmen, who according to reports is the best guard seen around here in years.
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