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Home sweet home?
After a dreadful four-game road trip to start the season, the winless Harvard men's basketball team (0-4 overall) finally returns home to Briggs Athletic Center.
But it won't be easy for Harvard to chalk up its first win when it takes on its undefeated Big East foe, the Boston College Eagles.
Last year, Harvard did not perform well at Briggs Cage, stumbling to a dismal 4-9 home record.
B.C.--which is big up front and features a solid back court game-- will present a formidable obstacle for Harvard.
Two Big Men
Eagles Coach Jim O'Brien sends out a starting lineup consisting of two big men and a three guard rotation.
The Eagles 6'11" center Billy Curley and 6'10" forward David Hinton anchor the inside game. This poses a problem for Harvard which did not contain the one truly big man they have gone up against.
Scott Martzloff, the seven foot center from Holy Cross, dominated the Crimson in the paint last Wednesday night. He poured in 18 points while crashing the boards for 12 rebounds.
In B.C.'s first three games, Curley has been the jack of all trades. He is shooting 70 percent from the floor. He also has poured in 18 points and eight rebounds per game.
"Curley is one of the best young big men in the country," O'Brien said.
Hinton is no slouch either. His 12 points and six rebounds per game round out a potent two man inside game. The combined efforts of starting forwards Ron Mitchell and Mike Minor and inspired play from Eric Carter and Anikar Chhabra off the bench, will be essential if Harvard is to hold down the tandem of Curley and Hinton.
The Eagles three guard rotation of Jerrod Abram, Howard Eisley, and Malcolm Huckaby pose another threat. Each of them put up over 10 points per game.
To make things worse, Harvard has had problems with shooting guards.
Chuck Penn of Lehigh scored 21 points. Mark Daly of Boston University tallied 26. And most recently, Bill Walker of Holy Cross racked up 24 points.
Abram has averaged only 13 points per game, but if history repeats itself for the Crimson, he will be in for a big game. Guards Jared Leake, Matt McClain, and James White need to step up its defensive play and squash its shooting guard syndrome.
Lack of Depth
B.C.'s major problem is its depth. The Eagles carry five freshmen on their bench, but generally stick to its eight-man rotation.
Cory Jackson, a 6'8" forward, is the main contributer off the bench. His five rebounds per game add to the Eagles already potent inside game.
Freshman guard Mark Molinsky averages over 10 points while shooting 67 percent from the field and, amazingly, 67 percent from three-point land.
"We make up for our depth with chemistry, unselfish play, and talented players," O'Brien said.
Harvard will need to cut down on poor zone coverage and costly mental lapses of past games if it is to stay with Eagles.
If the Crimson can cut down on its mental errors and get big games from Mitchell and Rullman, Harvard could pull off an upset.
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