McClain Status Still Uncertain; Freshmen Leake and White Lead Backcourt

Basketball Notebook

With the extent of guard Matt McClain's knee injury still undetermined, the future of Harvard men's basketball team's remains cloudy.

If McClain is out for any extended period of time, what remains of the backcourt will be put under increased pressure.

Freshman Jared Leake will fill the role as the team's point guard almost exclusively. McClain had stepped in for Leake whenever he was out or needed a rest.

McClain had also led the team in minutes played with 34 per game. The rotation of Leake, freshman James White, and senior Dave Lapointe will have to spend an increased amount of time on the court.

Lapointe may take on the responsibility of point guard for stretches of time. His limited experience at that position will not lessen the Crimson's turnover woes.


White will get the starting call at the shooting guard, rounding out an all-freshman backcourt. He has been one of the brightest spots on the team in this young season.

White is third on the team in scoring overall, 11.8 points per game and, with McClain out, he is the second active leading scorer. His 54 percent shooting from the field is impressive.

Gone South

Senior Captain Ron Mitchell's woes on the court continue. While he played one of his hardest games of the season Saturday against Boston College, Mitchell's numbers have not improved.

Mitchell's scoring average is down to 9.6 points per game (15.8 ppg last year). He is crashing the boards less (5.8 rebounds per game as opposed to 9.4 in 1990-91) from his power forward position.

Mitchell shot a solid 52.5 percent last year. His accuracy has diminished to 45 percent from the field.

Foul problems continue to pester Mitchell, as he has now fouled out of four of the first five games. He needs to drastically reduce this and keep himself on the court, where he can be a great asset.

Turnovers persist in bothering Mitchell. In 26 games last year, he turned the ball over 82 times. So far this season, he has let it go 27 times. He is on a pace to surpass his stats from last year, in the one category he would rather not.

Keep in mind that this is all coming from the man chosen by the Ivy League coaches as the preseason Player of the Year. Mitchell will have to bring up his game if he hopes to prove them right.

The 'W' Watch

Harvard gets a much needed boost when Babson travels to Briggs Cage Wednesday night. The Beavers may be the Crimson's much needed first victory.

To begin with, they are a Division III basketball team. Furthermore, their tallest player stands only 6'6".

However, the Crimson will have to come to play. Babson was an impressive 20-8 last year. The Beavers were 5-0 in the Constitution Athletic Conference and won the league.

To add fuel to the pessimist fire, Babson is 5-0 this season going into the game with Harvard.

On the bright side, those victories were against such powerhouses as Anna Maria, Framingham State, M.I.T., Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Western New England.