It's the question on every fan's mind: When will Kyle Snowden's injured ankle heal?
Well, if you're one of those--and there are many--who say that the Harvard men's basketball team (8-12 overall, 4-4 Ivy) needs its wondrous freshman forward back this weekend to stand any chance against League leaders Penn and Princeton, brace yourself.
"I doubt [that Kyle will play this weekend]," Coach Frank Sullivan said. " He worked out in the pool [on Thursday] and made a little progress, but it's still a little premature for him to come back."
Snowden sustained his ankle sprain in last Thursday's practice. While fellow freshman Chris Grancio performed admirably as his replacement against Cornell and Columbia, there's no doubt that the Crimson needs Snowden back.
"It's definitely a setback, especially with how well Kyle's been playing," said sophomore Darren Rankin, Harvard's leading scorer. "But we feel confident that our other big men will step up, and we just have to do our best."
Penn and Princeton both blew out Harvard when it went south in early January, with Snowden in the lineup, and they have since solidified their positions as the top two teams in the Ivy League.
What will it take to beat them? "We've been focusing mainly on the Princeton game, because we only want to take one game at a time," Rankin said. "We think we want to concentrate mostly on our offense. We need to dictate the tempo and be patient. If we do that, we definitely think we can win the game."
Happy Days Here--For Once?
It may be a little early to look forward to next season, but let's do it anyway.
Why? Because even with Penn again returning its superb Allen-Maloney backcourt, and Brown and Princeton also looking quite svelte in the race of hoops thoroughbreds, Harvard could be one of the best teams in the League in 1994-95.
Looking at the current League stats leaders confirms as much.
Besides Snowden, who currently stands as the Ancient Eight's thirdleading rebounder and leader in fieldgoal percentage, Harvard will return all of its players except captain Tarik Campbell.
Included in this bunch are Rankin, with his team-leading 13.2 points-per-game and his 5.5 rebounds-per-game; sophomore Mike Gilmore (10.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg, plus the League's highest free-throw percentage); junior James White (8.4 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 43% three-point accuracy); and junior Jared Leake (7.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg, and a League-leading 2.2 steals per contest).
Add key reserves Terrence Mann, Fred Scott, Dan Morris and Kevin Fricka, and you have the ingredients for Harvard's potentially strongest team in years.
This is a program--if any only we could forget--that has never, ever won an Ivy League title.
Around the Ivies
Two stories dominated the Ivy League basketball news last week both of which should interest Harvard fans. First, Brown (9-11, 3-5) upset Princeton last Friday night, 7168. This tells Sullivan and his troops two things: Coach Frank Dobbs's Bears, while erratic remains vulnerable--heartening news heading into tonight's contest.
The second story centers on Cornell's resurgence. The Big Red (7-13, 2-6) has had a difficult time adjusting to the departure of Coach Jan van Breda Kolff and last year's Rookie of the year, Pax Whitehead, both of whom went to Vanderbilt, but it may have reached a turning point last weekend with its sweep of Harvard and Dartmouth.