In preparation for the upcoming season, Crimson coach Carole Kleinfelder has gathered all the ingredients for a fine mixture, but the problem is now that she is not sure how to put together her recipe.
"The ingredients are all there; it's just a question of when they are going to gel," Kleinfelder said.
In filling her recipe for winning basketball, Kleinfelder has amassed a group of five newcomers and six returning letter winners, and her most abundant ingredient is talent. But the big question is how the unit will stand up in this year's stiffer competition.
Last season, the women played in Division II of the EAIAW, but this year they have moved up to Division I with powerhouse teams like UMass, Northeastern, and Springfield, all three of which qualified for the 1977 NCAA Eastern Regionals.
Kleinfelder's entry into the Division I battle is a complicated assortment of varying parts. At the core of the formula is sophomore Caryn Curry. Last season the dynamic guard/forward led the team in scoring and assists, averaging 11.4 points and four steals per game. In 1977-78, Curry will have to assume the role of a floor general, working to control the Crimson game.
The women have their first successful season behind them, having amassed an 18-3 record last year in Kleinfelder's rookie season, but to find such success this year, the women will need to attain a higher level of play to match their new opponents.
Katherine Fulton returns as captain and the lone senior on a very young team, and she said this year's team is, as a whole, stronger than last year's unit. "The question is, have we improved enough," she said.
When it comes to improvement, the biggest one has been in the play of forward Hildy Meyers. Having played all summer, the returning forward has surprised everyone on the team. "She just came back very, very strong," Kleinfelder said.
Along with Meyers at the forward spot will be sophomore Wendy Carle. An aggressive, hard-nosed battler, Carle gave the women needed strength last year and should help the inside game this year. Lori Christensen, another scrappy insider, will give the women plenty of power off the bench.
At the center spot, junior Sue Hewitt has come on strong in practice and represents Harvard's only experienced center. She will be joined by freshman Sue Aboucher and junior Karen Spencer to give the women the depth they lacked last year in the middle.
The guard spot is the most questionable for the Crimson, with sophomore Ellen Hart not returning. Three newcomers, freshmen Gia Johnson and Susan Field and junior Tamar Atinc are unproven players but represent bright possibilites. To help steady the rookies, Kleinfelder said she will use Curry in the backcourt for a while, though she plans to move the high-scorer up front as the season progresses.
But the guard question mark typifies the doubts about this year's women's team. The team is talented, but no one is sure of their level of talent. Whether or not the women can succeed in Division I remains to be seen
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