M. Cagers Getting into Gear

Trap Defense, 3-Forward Formation New This Season

It isn't called November madness.

But this time in the collegiate basketball season is pretty darn mad. Teams across the country play weird teams like Athletes in Action and Marathon Oil and travel to Alaska or Maui for strange tournaments--all to get ready for the season.

The Harvard men's team is not really different. After opening in an exhibition game against the Fortean Explorers, (who?) the Crimson (1-1 overall, 0 0 Ivy) got its engine tuned up with games against Army and Babson.

Babson was Harvard's first opponent, and it really made a great stepping stone for the Crimson. As in, Babson was a small, insignificant footstool that Harvard could use to lift itself to greater heights.

The final score of the Saturday matinee was 78-58, and it really wasn't that close.


Then, the Crimson trucked on over to West Point Tuesday night to battle with the Army Cadets--and the referees.

The visiting Cantabridgians saw three of their guards foul out of the game, and were subsequently free-throwed to death by Army in a plodding 69-66 victory for the Mules.

"You can't really expect Jared [Leake], Dan [Morris] and me to foul out," senior guard James White said. "But Dave [Demian] and Mike [Scott] did well and we stayed right with it--it was a flip-flop type of game."

Harvard used a trapping defense for the first time this year against Army, and while it helped create a 24-12 edge in turnovers for the Crimson, the numerous hand-checking fouls would have made even NBA officials proud.

Poor shooting also haunted the Crimson all night, as the team could only hit on 39 percent of its field goals and 47 percent from the line.

The game was nevertheless close throughout, and Harvard took a 61-58 lead with 5:28 left on forward Kyle Snowden's bucket. Nevertheless, the Cadets were able to pull away from the Crimson with 45 points from its Army backcourt.

Harvard's next game is this Saturday at 2 p.m. in Brooklyn, N.Y. against St. Francis--its second trip to the Empire State in four days.

St. Francis has never defeated Harvard in three tries, and don't expect that streak to be broken.

The Crimson won its matchup last year, 77-52, although it is making its first trip to the Physical Education Center.

Harvard will likely continue its three-forward, no-center scheme along with the trap defense for the St. Francis game.

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