Sometime in the near future, the entire Harvard women's basketball team is going to have to analyze its performance to date and determine the cause of its abysmal 2-16 season record.
And the cagers had better arrive at a solution quickly, because over the next two weeks they will close out their regular season with three Ivy League contests.
At this point, the 1981-82 campaign is a lost cause for the Crimson. With only seven games remaining on tap before the hoopsters put away their sneakers for another year, there is no possibility of the team compiling a win-loss mark even approaching respectability.
But, despite the depressing statistics that will appear in the record book, the team still has a reason to climb to the fourth floor of the IAB for practice every afternoon. Although the squad has lost 16 out of 18 contests, Harvard (1-2 in the Ivies) is, amazingly enough, still contending for the Ivy League title.
In order to pull off that remarkable feat, the Crimson must overcome the inconsistency which has plagued them throughout the year.
At times, the Crimson has shown that it is able to compete. The other night, for example, the cagers look on a previously 13-2 St. Anselms and lost by a relatively slim six point margin. However, there have been too many contests--like last Saturday's 78-45 defeat at the hands of a Yale squad with a decidedly unimpressive 6-10 record--in which mediocre squads have totally annihilated a hapless Harvard five.
According to co-captain Pat Horne, the team's most serious shortcoming is its "weak inside game." All motion under the boards and inside the key is often forced and impulsive, and a simple lay-up is a struggle in itself. In addition, Harvard--partly due to a lack of height--has been unable to box out under the boards and come up with crucial rebounds.
No one of the roster has emerged as a court leader, a problem stemming in part from the absence of a definite starting lineup. With the season nearly over, Kleinfelder has not yet decided who her best five players are.
"The problem with changing the starting lineup is that they're [the players] not going to be compatible on the court with each other. But I don't think that starters age ever supposed to be comfortable. If you don't deep your standard high and someone behind you is playing better, she should start. What's the incentive for the players on the bench."
Perhaps the most frustrating element of the Crimson's game is its uncontrollable urge to turn the ball over to the opposing team.
Certain factor of the basketball game are indeed, solvable--specifically the number of turnovers, impulsive play inside the key and the ability to from a workable defense so it is possible to gain rebounds. Working to overcome these detriments must be the immediate goad for the cagers.
"If I had been maybe a little bit more realistic. I could have been able so play different defenses sooner," Kleinfelder said.
And Kleinfelder added, "I think you've got to ask yourself every night after a loss and look in the mirror and say. "Could I have done something differently?"
So, after looking in the mirror, what's in store for the upcoming Ivy League contests?
"We can't get any worse," said Horne. "And we have the potential to beat Princeton and Brown [the squad's next two games]. The will to win is still there."