Harvard's basketball team, fresh from a 122-point scoring splurge against Springfield, meets an outclassed but dangerous fast breaking five from B.U. at 8 p.m. tonight in the Terriers's new Harold Case Athletic Center.
The Terriers, who are 2-1 on the season, have been averaging over 85 points a game, largely on the strength of an effective running game based on flashy guards and adequate to good rebounding.
The Terriers's front line, consisting of 6 ft. 3 in. Kerry Walker, 6 ft. 5 in. Kenny Boyd, and 6 ft. 7 in. center James Garvin, are averaging 20, 19 and 17 points a game respectively.
All three are good jumpers and well-drilled in executing the quick outlet pass to set up the fast break, but they may find their hands full in trying to match board play with the Crimson's starting front line of 6 ft. 6 in. James Brown (averaging 14.5 points), 6 ft. 5 in. Marshall Sanders (9.0 points per game), and 6 ft. 8 in. center Tony Jenkins (24.5 point average).
"We're (B.U.) a run-and-gun team, and so are they (Harvard), and without a doubt the team that controls the boards is going to win," B.U. Coach Ron Mitchell said last night. "Harvard will be one of the best teams our club will face all season and our boys are psyched."
In the Terriers's two wins this season over Northeastern, 87-74, and Maine, 78-70, (they lost their opener to Assumption, 82-67), the bench strength of B.U. has helped Mitchell considerably. The effectiveness of the reserves may determine the outcome tonight. When comparing both squads, the matchups in depth favor Coach Bob Harrison's Crimson.
B.U. has a good sophomore reserve center, 6 ft. 7 in. Derek Reveron, and an adequate utility frontliner in 6 ft. 6 in. Bruce Brock. It also boasts a talented junior transfer student from the Merchant Marine Academy in New York City, Larry Goodier. But this depth is inexperienced when compared to Harvard's ranks.
Senior Floyd Lewis and sophomore Lou Silver, who are averaging 15.0 and 12.5 points respectively, are without question the two best reserve big men in the area and are capable of moving into the starting lineup at any time.
In the back court, Jim Fitzsimmons (averaging 13.5 points per game), is at present the only player assured of a starting berth. Senior Hal Smith will start at the other slot tonight, but Ken Wolfe, who is recovering from the flu, and Jean Wilkinson are excellent replacements and will undoubtedly both see action tonight.
According to Mitchell the Terriers are completely healthy and ready to go Harvard's Eric Fox and Wolfe are recouperating from the flu, but the only serious problem for Harrison may be chronic back pains suffered by Silver. The injury often keeps the sophomore from working at 100 per cent.
Against B.U. Harvard hopes to improve its defense without slowing down its normal fast-breaking play. In order to do this, Harrison has instructed the team to force the opposition players' moves to the middle, away from the sidelines and baselines, where the Crimson's defense, playing man-to-man, can help out each other by collapsing and double-teaming in the center.