Cambridge Residents Slam Council Proposal to Delay Bike Lane Construction


‘Gender-Affirming Slay Fest’: Harvard College QSA Hosts Annual Queer Prom


‘Not Being Nerds’: Harvard Students Dance to Tinashe at Yardfest


Wrongful Death Trial Against CAMHS Employee Over 2015 Student Suicide To Begin Tuesday


Cornel West, Harvard Affiliates Call for University to Divest from ‘Israeli Apartheid’ at Rally

No Offense

Ball Four

By Zachary T. Ball

Faced with the long-range bombing efforts of Dartmouth last night, Harvard's offense looked as feeble in attempting to repulse the northern invaders as the Iraqi air defense.

Defensive match-up problems and rebounding woes aside, last night's embarrassing defeat pointed to a troubling lack of cohesion and effectiveness at the offensive end.

While Dartmouth ran away to a 44-32 lead at intermission, then closed the deal with a 19-9 run to open the second half, Harvard had difficulty doing much of anything with the ball.

The team failed to shoot 40 percent from the floor, finishing at 39.3 percent, and went 5-for-16 from behind the arc. Even more disconcerting, Harvard--with at least four true long-range threats--attempted only eight treys through the first 30 minutes of play.

Much like its setback against Marist--in which the Crimson connected on only two shots from downtown--Harvard's offense appeared confused and impatient.

"We didn't get enough touches," said Harvard Coach Frank Sullivan. "We became stationary, and had bad relocations from inside."

Senior shooting guard Mike Beam was even more blunt.

"Good shots are the result of good offense," he said. "[All the poor statistics] are the direct result of a struggling offense. We just aren't playing together."

It is a shocking conclusion for a team that lost just one player from a year ago, but it seems accurate. An offense historically devoid of motion away from the ball has turned glacially stagnant.

The inside-out game that powered the offense under Kyle Snowden '97 has not produced results with this team. For all his success on the glass and his greatly improved offensive prowess--13.1 points per game this season--captain center Paul Fisher has yet to display the court sense and passing ability necessary to generate perimeter scoring opportunities. The senior has only five assists in eight games this season.

Additionally the two power forwards, senior Bill Ewing and sophomore Tim Coleman, have struggled to maintain a rebounding and defensive presence, and as of yet are not consistent performers at the other end--the two average a combined 9.3 points per game and have no assists between them.

Including sophomore small forward Dan Clemente (four assists), Harvard's regular frontcourt players have barely one assist per game.

Therein lie Harvard's woes.

In the past, senior point guard Tim Hill's scoring has generally come as a product of the offense. When the offense is unable to generate a good shot, Hill has been remarkably successful at creating his own. Even recently, against Sacred Heart and Marist, Hill propped up the offense almost single handedly during stretches of the game when the team struggled. Last night, however, the burden seemed too great.

Shot selection, especially out of the backcourt, broke down, Beam, Clemente and even Hill forced shots uncharacteristically early in the shot clock. And Hill was unable to keep the reeling ship on course.

"It was a disjointed game," Sullivan said, "Our shot selection was too quick. We didn't get enough mid- and late-possession jumpers."

Clemente's ongoing recovery certainly complicates matters. He has yet to get his jumpshot back to last season's form-he is shooting just 39.1 percent from the floor and 20.0 percent from behind the three-point arc--and his injured ankle prevents him from creating mismatches against undersized or lead-footed opposition.

Without a healthy Clemente, teams have much less difficulty containing the more traditional backcourt shooters.

However, when Harvard goes 10 trips down the court without a point--as it did in the middle of the second half yesterday-it seems the team needs to overhaul how it views its offense.

Or maybe that analysis is overly academic. Dartmouth ran roughshod over the Crimson, and Harvard stood idly by and let it happen. These were two Ivy opponents, and the two are smart enough to know what needs to be done. It might simply be a matter of determination and execution.

"We're too soft as a team right now, Fisher said. "We need to play with some heart."

Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.