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A Perfect 2-0 and a Long Road To Go

Basketball Notebook

By Michael Stankiewicz

With the first full weekend of Ivy League men's basketball approaching, Harvard has set the pace with its 2-0 record.

Of course, no one is talking Ivy title yet, especially since the two wins are at the expense of Dartmouth--picked by league media to finish ahead of only basketball team-want-to-be's Columbia and Penn. But with two of its next three Ivy games coming on the road against the Lions and Quakers, the Crimson should be in excellent position for the long run in February--near the top of the standings with six of its final eight games at home.

But a little note of caution, thanks to a tip from Harvard Sports Information Director John Veneziano. The last time the Crimson started 2-0 in league play was Coach Peter Roby's first season, 1986-87, when it opened with a stunning two-game sweep of Penn and Princeton. But Harvard followed with three consecutive home losses en route to a 4-10 finish that year.

We'll see if the program has learned something in the last five years under Roby.

Tippecanoe and...:Forward Tyler Rullman became the second consecutive Harvard sophomore to garner Ivy League Player of the Week honors. On the heels of Tarik Campbell's Player of the Week performance against Dartmouth in December, Rullman turned in a 21-point effort in the Crimson's 73-70 win over the Big Green Saturday to earn last week's league honor.

Rullman scored all 10 points in Harvard's 10-4 run which gave it a 62-59 lead with seven minutes to play in the game. And "The Spring-field Rifle" capped off the Crimson's game-winning 8-0 run by rejecting Dartmouth Co-Captain Brendan O'Sullivan and feeding Ralph James for a go-ahead layup before putting Harvard upby three points with two foul shots.

But the highlight of Rullman's evening--thereal crowd-husher--was his drive down the lanemidway in the first half with Harvard leading,15-13. To his great surprise, the sophomore foundno one in his path and drove two points home forthe Crimson with a resounding slam dunk.

Miner Leagues Ahead: Rullman must havebeen taking lessons from USC All-Americancandidate Harold Miner in the Trojans' 103-76 winover Harvard last week.

With 6:28 remaining in the already-decidedgame, Miner picked up a loose ball and drove thebaseline for an apparent crowd-pleasing dunk. ButMiner found nothing but back rim, propelling theball well above the Long Beach Arena court.

Not to worry, Miner came through one minutelater, stealing an errant Harvard pass and drivingin for a 360-degree, "This is How It's Done,"razzle-dazzle slam-a-rooski.

But if Miner is thinking pro ball, maybe heshould consider the NFL, where he can specializeon offense. Miner's defensive (lack of) effort had"This is How It's Not Done" written all over it.

Worth a Second Look: While James'numerous shoulder problems have dampened his NBApotential, scouts apparently still feel it's worththe effort to take a look.

The Crimson's trip out west gave James a chanceto continue his show case for NBA scouts from WestCoast team--specifically the Los Angeles Lakers.

James was too busy moving up the Harvard careerscoring charts to notice the limelight. TheCrimson co-captain passed C B S announcer JamesBrown '73 in the USC game and roared by KeithSedlacek '66 in the Long Beach game to claimfourth place on the Crimson's all-time scoringlist. James' 15 points against Dartmouth game him1280 career points, 71 short of number-three BobFerry '83.

Struck Down: Thanks again to Venezianofor keeping track of another little-known factabout Harvard basketball.

Since the three-point rule was implemented inDivision I NCAA basketball in 1986, Harvard hadmanaged to connect on a trey in each of its first111 games since then. But that streak wasruthlessly brought to an end by Duke in itsthrashing of the Crimson at Briggs Cage inDecember.

Super Sub of the Week: Duke Coach MikeKrzysewski wasn't the only Special K to worry theCrimson this year.

Dartmouth's Stan Kowalewski caused foreheadwrinkles Saturday. Logging extra minutes becauseof starting forward John Conley's foul trouble,Kowalewski contributed seven points and twoassists to the Big Green's efforts. The freshmangave Dartmouth its biggest lead of the game,53-47, with a basket with 13 minutes left in thegame and then followed by stuffing Harvardfreshman Jabbar Abdi at the other end.

Tantrum of the Week: Here's to DartmouthCoach Paul Cormier for once again proving that thequickest way for a coach to end his team's badspell is to throw a tantrum, specifically in frontof the nearest referee.

Cormier was called for a technical foul afternot-so-tactfully disagreeing with an officialsoffensive goaltending call against his center,Michael Lombard, midway through the first half.And the Big Green erupted on a 13-4 run to take a28-24 lead.

The most inspired among Cormier's troops? IvyPlayer of the Year candidate James Blackwell, whoerupted for who straight coast-to-coast layups,pulled down an offensive rebound to get two foulshots and fed teammates Bill Taylor and Alex Gayerfor easy bakets during the Big Green's four-minuterun

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