There has been an Ivy League men's basketball title since 1902, and a Player of the Year since 1975. Harvard has never held either honor.
Until this year.
Harvard is still tied for second in the Ivies. But the player who led the 15-11 squad into a tie for its best-ever finish, junior Joe Carrabino, is first the Crimson's first Ivy Player of the Year.
My reaction was surprise, "the 6 ft, 8 in forward said yesterday, mentioning Yale Captain Butch Graves and Princeton's Kevin Mullin--both of whom joined him as unanimous selections to the league's first team--as other candidates for the honor.
Rounding out the first squad were Captain Bill Ryan of Princeton and Dartmouth Co-Captains Paul Anderson and Brian Burke. All of the first team selections except Carrabino are seniors.
Harvard junior Bob Ferry took second team honors for the second straight year. He averaged 13.4 points per game second on the squad to Carrabino's 22.0 despite a mid February foot injury.
Cornell freshman John Bajusz snagged Ivy Rookie of the Year laurels, which belonged after their freshman years to both Ferry and Carrabino who took last spring off to recuperate from a back injury and has a year of eligibility left.
Carrabino attributed much of his season performance he led the team in scoring, rebounding (7-3 per game), free-throw shooting and seven other categories while moving into second on Harvard's all time scoring roster (1366)--to the rest of the squad.
"This award goes as much to my teammates as to me," said the Encino, Calif, native, explaining that there was an adjustment period following his return to the lineup, "then everything just clicked."
Downplaying the importance of the individual honors he has received, Carrabino said he is "very optimistic for what we do next year," when he and Ferry will serve as co-captains of a squad that has all but two players returning.
"The thing I came here most for," said the Player of the Year, "was to be a member of the first [Ivy] title team."
Anthony Amolie, Penn
Brad Bomba, Cornell
Stark Langs, Brown