The unknown Harvard Classics basketball club ended its season last week with an 89-42 victory over Roxbury Community College. The road-weary team finished with a 17-5 record despite playing only one game at home, against Emerson College.
Coach John Harvey said that the reason for this heavy away schedule was lack of funds needed to pay referees.
Harvey started the club when the Junior Varsity basketball team was disbanded last November. His purpose was to give undergrads who did not make or try out for the varsity a chance to gain experience.
Many of the games played were on the original J.V. schedule, but some were tacked on informally. Prison teams proved to be ready competition, although Harvey pointed out, "Good prison teams fluctuated radically with parole policies."
Things also fluctuated with the Classics. The team's turnout at games varied.
The lack of court time in the IAB was another obstacle the Classics overcame, by not practicing at all.
In two heated contests against Deer Island House of Correction the conditions almost outdid the Classics. In addition to having to listen to metal doors slamming behind them, the Classics' two basketballs wore out rapidly on the concrete gym floor. But they survived both the trauma and the wear and tear with 107-95 and 96-91 victories.
The conditions were not always as crude. The MIT Varsity second team hosted two contests in the Engineer Cage. The first was a 64-61 squeaker win for Harvard. The second was a five-man stab at glory as a Classic quintet led by Darryl DePriest, John Niles and Kevin McLaughlin drove to a 78-60 win.
The coach said that the scorebook had been lost after the first victory so that individual scoring records could not be verified.
Harvey added that the major stumbling block for the 1975 squad would be money since the Classics as yet do not enjoy alumni support.
Harvey said, "The uniform zippers are shot, the two team basketballs have barely survived the relentless dunking during pre-game warm-up, and some possible opponents are becoming wary of scheduling the talent-ladened Classics."
But he concluded, "The instant fame attained from the recent Sports Illustrated article, which highlighted the vagabond spirit of the team, should make recruiting a breeze."
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