New, Wide-Open Offense Paces Cagewomen Attack

With Maher, Flandermeyer Gone, Many Changes Made

Listen to Harvard women's basketball Coach Kathy Delaney Smith and she sounds a lot like former UNLV Coach Jerry Tarkanian, or Pat Riley talking about early versions of the Lakers' Showtime.

"We are going to run whenever we can," she says. "We are going to have a full-court press on the whole game. We are going to play an aggressive person-to-person defense. This is the fastest, most athletic group I've ever had."

The Crimson finished last season with a 16-9 record overall, 11-3 in the Ivy League, and ended up with its second straight second place finish. But the changes in Harvard's style that Delaney Smith plans to implement this year have more to do with a loss of key personnel than anything else.

Harvard lost Erin Maher '93 and Debbie Flandermeyer '93--the school's two all-time leading scorers--to graduation, and their departure leaves huge gaps in every area and has caused the team to adopt a more open and aggressive style.

But Crimson coaches and players are confident that even without Maher and Flandermeyer, possibly the best pair of players the Crimson has ever had on the team at the same time, they can compete for the league crown. The Crimson certainly has an added incentive as the winner of the conference gets an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament for the first time ever this year.


The Crimson's hopes revolve around 6'1" junior forward/center Tammy Butler, Harvard's sleek version of former Olympian Cheryl Miller. A first team All-Ivy selection as a sophomore, Butler finished last season third in Ivy scoring (16.1), second in rebounding (11.4), and fifth in field goal percentage (.538). She will be the focal point of the offense, and her skills are perfectly suited for a wide-open game.

"Tammy is new and improved. She worked very hard in the off-season, and it would not surprise me if she competed for Ivy Player of the Year," Delaney Smith says. "She runs the floor incredibly well, and is just a moodless, unselfish player."

Joining Butler in the spotlight is 5'6" sophomore point guard Elizabeth Proudfit. Last year's Ivy Rookie of the Year, she averaged 10.2 points, 3.3 assists, and 2.7 rebounds a game. She is the leader of the break and the press, and her aggressive style of play creates havoc on both offense and defense.

"Proudfit will really be the catalyst for us," says Cara Frey, one of the team's three co-captains. "She will play a huge role for us, and she just got better and better as last year went on."

Although Frey led the country in three-point shooting, hitting 50 of her 97 shots beyond the arc last season, she only averaged 10.2 points a game and will need to score more and provide solid leadership to make up for the loss of Maher and Flandermeyer.

The other two co-captains, senior forwards Catherine Crisera and Katie Phillips, join Frey this year and hope to lead the team to the Ivy title ad beyond.

"Our three new captains have been great in practice. They really stepped up, and will push us through the year," Proudfit says.

The starting lineup will most likely includeButler, Proudfit, Phillips, Frey and Crisera, whohas looked very good this preseason and adds muchneeded size.

"[Crisera] has played great in practice. She'san effective low post player, and we need hersize," Delaney Smith says.

Strength in Depth

Harvard's depth is one of its strengths.Besides Butler, Frey, Proudfit, Crisera andPhillips, 5'9" junior guard Nicole Cronk will getsubstantial minutes. She ranked second on the team(to Maher) with 48 threes as a freshman, and isuniversally described as a deadly three pointshooter.

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