Filling the Hole

The Basketball Notebook

Ever since center Joe Carrabino, Harvard's all-time leading scorer, graduated in 1985, the Crimson basketball team has been playing with a doughnut offense.

The Crimson has plenty of filling on the outside, out there is the hole in the middle of the offense to prevent Harvard from being a top Ivy team.

After going three years without consistent offensive production in the low post, the Crimson appears to have found two players--junior center Malcolm Hollensteiner and freshman power forward Ron Mitchell--who are able to put the ball in the hoop.

Mitchell is this year's version of Ralph James, the Crimson guard who copped the Ivy Rookie of the Year award last year. Mitchell leads the team in scoring (13.3 points per game) and rebounding (7.3 rebounds per game), and he is the leading rebounder among all Ivy League players.

Mitchell, a freshman from Oyster Bay, N.Y., has scored in double figures in all six games this season. He is nailing 53 percent of his shots from the field--the highest average among Crimson starters.


Hollensteiner's development gives the Crimson a legitimate scoring threat in the pivot. After two lackluster seasons as a backup, the 6-ft., 11-in. center appears ready to take over the pivot full time. In the last two games, Hollensteiner (7.5 ppg., 5.7 rpg.) has scored 30 points and hauled down 15 rebounds. He tied his 16 points against St. John's in the career high of 16 points in a 53-51

The New York native first scored 16 points against St. John's in the Crimson's 1987-88 season-opening loss to the Redmen, 105-60.

He's Catching On: Another bright spot for the cagers has been the early-season play of Co-Captain Neil Phillips. Phillips, who only three weeks ago was catching passes for the varsity football team in The Game against Yale, seems to have gotten the hang of playing both basketball and football.

Phillips had his best season on the gridiron, catching 36 passes for 597 yards and three touchdowns. And on the court, he is third on the team in both scoring (11.4 ppg.) and rebounding (4.8 rpg.), and has scored in double figures in each of the Crimson's last three games.

No Malaise:Freshman center Eric Carter is doing his best to make every minute on the court count.

In 38 minutes of action, Carter has taken eight shots from the field, had 14 free throw attempts, and grabbed 12 rebounds. Oh yeah. He's also committed 12 fouls.

Carter has proven he is not afraid of a little contact. Or a lot of contact.

He fouled out of his first two games, playing a total of 31 minutes in those two contests. His best game was his performance against New Hampshire, when he came off the bench to score 15 points and grab eight rebounds in only 14 minutes.

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