BLOOMINGTON, Ind.--The basketball team will open its season here today against one of the toughest squads they will face all year, the Hoosiers of Indiana.
Coached by defensive wizard Bobby Knight. Indiana has four starters returning from last year's 17-8 NIT team. However one of these starters, senior guard Bootare White has lost his job. White has been replaced by freshman phenom Quinn Buckner.
Buckner, a high school All-American from Thornridge High School in Phoenix. Illmore started practice Monday after playing safely for the football team. In the intersquad scrimmage earlier in the week Buckner scored 18 points and showed sparks of brilliance. He is not yet in top condition but Knight said yesterday. "He definitely is one of my top five ball players."
Joining Buckner in the backcourt will be senior Frank Wilson. Knight said yesterday that Wilson would have the job of covering Jim Fitasimmons. The senior guard scored 13 points in the intersquad scrimmage.
All-American prospect Steve Downing will be in the middle for the Manssers. Downing averaged 17.5 points a game last season and scored 47 in a double overtime victory against the Kentucky Wildcats.
Also on the front line will be sophomore Steve Green and senior John Ritter. Green was the leading scorer on last year's freshman team and has poured in over 20 points in each of two scrimmages this seasons. Ritter averaged 14 points a game and led the Big Ten in free throw percentage last season.
Knight is not taking Harvard lightly. "I don't view non-conference games as just tune-ups for our Big Ten schedule. Harvard has a lot of talent and we expect a tough ball game," Knight said.
The Hoosier coach plans to use the same tight man-to-man defense that has been his trademark. "We aren't going to do anything differently from what we've done in the past. We'll play the same man-to-man. I've always used," Knight said.
Knight is enthusiastic about his team's chances this season because he feels his players have had a chance to learn his method of coaching. "Hopefully the players will have a better understanding of our system after running it for a year, and we'll be able to cut down on our turnovers," Knight said. "We can't afford to make 15 mistakes a game and hope to win."
The Crimson comes into today's contest after a scrimmage against the runior arity Tuesday night. In a sloppy contest the varsity won 82-78. In the game coach Bob Harrison uni led his new offense which produced ten baskets. The team however did not run the patterns that smoothly and on a number of occasions the players appeared to be confused. Harrison said Wednesday that the team was handicapped because forward James Brown had previously missed a week of practice due to an ankle injury.
While scoring nine baskets off the fast break. Harvard forwards made a number of poor outlet passes and on a number of occasions tried to dribble the ball up court themselves. The predictable result was an inordinately high number of turnovers. Assistant coach Ernest Hardy said Wednesday that he expected that when the season started Harvard could cut down substantially on its errors.
After the scrimmage J.V. coach Bob Hart said, "I was both happy and sad about the performance. The J.V. played well but the varsity should have beaten them by 35 points."
Harrison said Wednesday that he was encouraged by the performance in the scrimmage. "I think we played better team defense and showed more discipline and patience than we have in the past.
One of the things that was missing from Harvard's attack last year was a playmaker Junior guard Kenny Wolfe will probably move into that position and in Tuesday's scrimmage he got a number of assists in the first half with passers to Brown and Flayed Lewis underneath Hardy raved about Wolfe's performance Wednesday.
Harrison said Wednesday that he plans to use full court pressure against the Indiana guards and then ion back on Downing. Knight said yesterday, "Harrison's approach has been successful in the past and all we can do is go out and play our ball game."
The probable starting Iscoup for the Crimson is Wolfe and Fitzsimmons at the guards, Lewis at center, and Tony Jewkins and captain Marshall Sanders at forwards. Because of a lack of conditioning Harrison has been unsure how much Brown will play.
Harrison has been caudillos in predicting the outcome of today's game. "I'm looking for use to give Indiana a good game," he said Wednesday.