When the Crimson basketball team opens its home season tonight against Boston University at 8 p. m. in the IAB. it will have to contend with one of the best teams in the Boston area. And one of the best players in the area, Jimmy Hayes.
Picked by Basketball magazine as one of the top ten players in the East. Hayes breaks the all-time B. U. scoring record every time he makes a basket. A 6'4? forward, he averaged 25.7 points per game last season and carried his team to a 14-10 record.
Harvard coach Bob Harrison, who hopes his team will be ready for Hayes and the Terriers, will employ several defenses designed to keep Hayes away from the basket.
Whether or not these defenses work will depend largely on Harvard's determination. If last week's game against Dartmouth is any indication of that determination, the Crimson will have a difficult time defeating B. U.
But Harrison thinks that the spirit of the team has picked up since its 100-85 loss to the Big Green. "We had a squad meeting last Sunday night." he said. "I left the meeting to let the boys talk things over among themselves, and I think they got a lot of things straightened out. They'll be ready."
The Crimson, without a victory in two starts, will need consistent play-especially in the second half-to top the Terriers. If it can play two halves the way it played the first half against St. John's. Harvard might start its home season with a win.
In addiction to consistent play, the Crimson will need a higher shooting percentage than it had in the Dartmouth game to deal with the B. U. multiple-style defense. The Terriers alternate presses, zones, and man-to-man defenses in an effort to unsettle their opponents.
Harrison has concentrated on his own defense in practice this week, and the home court may help raise Harvard's shooting percentage. Harrison has also altered his starting line-up: 6'6" sophomore Brian Newmark will be playing center in place of George Yates.
Captain Ernie Hardy, who has been bothered recently by a tooth infection and a muscle bruise in his hip, should be ready to go, according to Harrison Hardy will have his hands full rebounding against Marty Schoepfer, the Terriers' 6'3" strongman under the boards.
B. U. opened its season with a narrow decision over Boston College, which has nine returning lettermen from its NIT entry last year. The Terriers outplayed Merrimack College for their second win.
The 6 p. m. freshman preliminary should feature a personal battle between two outstanding rebounders. B. U.'s 6'7" center James Garvin and Harvard's 6'7" center Floyd Lewis.