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DDS:CB3 Dynasty: The Professor

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May 1, 1968: I am Professor Leland Hart, 25, Harvard University. I have decided to keep this journal in order to document my progress regarding this fascinating experiment which I have taken on. I completed my Ph. D. in statistical analysis, here at Harvard, in December. I was able to design my own program which included research into game theory, sports statistics, and any number of other areas, all with the intention of determining which factors have the most relevance when it comes to success in competitive athletics at the Division I collegiate level.

After a good deal of study of the various sports involved I settled upon basketball for any number of reasons: (1) There are only five players in the game at any given time. (2) A team can be successful with as few as six players in the rotation, and rarely is it necessary to have more than eight, or at most nine. (3) The schedule is relatively short, usually 27-33 games in a given season. (4) While baseball provides the opportunity for the greatest depth and breathe of statistical information, I determined that basketball provides the most relevant data. (5) I was able to participate as a graduate assistant coach of the basketball team here at Harvard during each of the last three seasons, thus gaining practical experience in the field. (6) Upon the retirement of my basketball mentor, Head Coach Granville Martin, I applied for and was given the position of head basketball coach.

While considering this enterprise an experiment in statistical analysis, and while keeping as much relevant data as possible, I am indeed the head coach and will function as same. I have kept the title of professor, but I intend to coach for an indefinite time, and indeed, should the opportunity to move up to a better school, regarding basketball, as there is no better school academically than this one, I shall do so. My “dream job” is Stanford University since it so successfully combines absolute top notch academics with high level athletic programs.

My theories will be explained as the season progresses.

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May 1 (Continued): I began by engaging three assistant coaches. I decided that it was worthwhile to spend a bit of money on my first assistant, my recruiter, and was able to hire Nick Krimmel, who has a recruiting rating of 63. Hopefully this will bear fruit. He was the #2 assistant at the University of Massachusetts. His challenge, of course, will be finding quality athletes who are able to meet Harvard’s rigorous entrance requirements.

My second assistant is Jermaine (Jed) Howard. He will scout for us, a job he held with Boston University.

My #3 is Val Sheinfeld, who will serve as bench/practice coach. Duties will of course overlap somewhat. I had hoped to secure Nick’s services for more than a single season but was unable to do so, with him or with any of the others.

My first season will undoubtedly prove challenging. We have only ten athletes on the team, only one of them a scholarship senior. We have two senior walk ons. The rest of the team is comprised of 3 juniors, 1 sophomore, 3 freshmen, all on scholarship. I will keep no walk ons after this first season.

There are no superstars, and indeed, no stars. We will aim for a collaborative effort, which I consider to be paramount toward success in group endeavors, but it would be nice to have what is referred to in the vernacular as a “go to guy.” I feel we do have a modicum of talent, at the very least, probably more so among the guards than among the inside players.

A bit about my own strengths and weaknesses. I am, of course, analytical by nature. I was constantly told by Coach Martin that I am a very good game coach, in that I am able to see the court and what is happening, and am further able to very quickly pick up on changes in a given situation, and upon what is working and not working at a given moment.

Further, Coach Martin said I made good decisions regarding making necessary adjustments in adverse situations, as well as when to “ride out the storm” so to speak. Another of my strengths is evaluating talent. In this regard data analysis, and isolation of key variables are both key. Coach Martin praised my ability to teach the particulars to my players both in individual and group situations. He said that I expressed myself clearly and communicated necessary information, even when complex, in a very efficient manner. He particularly liked the way that I both encouraged and responded to questions, as well as the fact that I adopt a “learn by doing” approach as opposed to what some students have called “death by lecture.” As a graduate assistant I quickly learned that students learn little by lecture. I address a teaching point and have my students- er players, immediately practice same.

I know my weaknesses. I am scholarly, aloof, and not possessed of what are known as “people skills.” I can appear standoffish although I do not mean to. I simply do not normally understand emotional outbursts and the need for petty disagreements. Knowing this about myself I have encouraged my assistants to form close relationships with the players. This way, when difficulties arise as they no doubt shall, each player will feel that he has an ally on the staff. We will let this process happen naturally rather than assigning a coach to given players. If a player does not bond with any of the coaches this will be addressed and a resolution will be forthcoming.

Finally, yes, I am seen as cold, and lacking in a sense of humor. My students, not realizing I was aware of it, called me both “Professor Hartless,” (A rather clever play upon my last name) and “Mr. Spock”, the latter apparently being the name of a robot-like emotionless alien in a television series popular with the age group. I have never seen the program. I am what I am, but I shall attempt levity from time to time.

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I will feature a balanced attack, focusing upon the Princeton (about 55%) and Triangle (about 45%) offensive formations against the zone, as well as our man to man offense, and will utilize man to man and 2-3 zone defense about equally. We will rarely press but when we do it will be about 50-50 between 1-2-1-1 and man. We will run offensive sets about 70% of the time. I will favor inside, but not heavily.

I am at 10 in Player Rotation and Def. Crash Boards, 8 in Off. Crash Boards, 6 in Off. Pace, 5 in all other categories.

My “numbers”: Off.- 15, Def.- 20, Recruit- 55, Scout- 90 (Since this rating never changes I start artificially high and balance in other categories), Recruit- 55, Player Development- 25. This places me in the “Amateur” category, all in all. I am Very High in Ambition, Academics and Integrity, Average in Discipline and Temper. Reputation is 37.

Among the many academicians with whom I consulted when coming up with the above plans was one Jerry Tarkanian, Ph. D., at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.

With $115,000 in the budget after hiring my assistants I have decided to buy the Gold East Report, the basic National, and basic International reports. Since academic qualifications are of the utmost importance I felt that we would need to scour the world. I do realize that the information we will receive will be minimal outside of my local area, but I am comfortable with my decision. We will be left with $60,500 for recruiting and that seems more than adequate.

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June 25, 1968: A great deal has occurred since my last entry. Indeed I had not planned to be remiss in writing but the demands upon my time have exceeded expectations, which I thought were rather high. Coaching staff has met almost daily during these initial weeks. I have found the input of all three coaches valuable but Coach Krimmel is especially insightful. His experience, as well as his excellent communication skills lead me to seek his advice regularly. I am quite comfortable making the final decision but I do wish his input before doing so.

Coaches Howard and Sheinfeld have also made significant contributions. We have worked through all of the basics and many of the variations to our offensive and defensive sets. We do not want needlessly complex formations but are mindful of the need to be ready for any surprises, complications…

Coach Howard has been looking at film of our conference opponents and has compiled folders of information for each team. Teams do make changes from season to season but if the coach remains in place these adjustments are usually relatively minor. Again, data is our friend, and Coach Howard is supplying it in both quality and quantity.

Coach Sheinfeld and I have discussed the manner in which we will work together. A major portion of his work load will be devoted to translating my basic plan for each practice into a working outline, measuring carefully both the time each given activity will take, who will lead said activity, how we will transition in and out of activities, and how we will evaluate the success of a given activity. Once again, accurate and complete record keeping will produce a great deal of invaluable information.

During games Coach Sheinfeld will sit beside me and we will consult regularly throughout the game. We will spend the first fifteen seconds or so of each time out deciding what information to communicate to our players.
I have visited each of our players at his home, being certain to time this visit so that I would be able to meet with the entire family. We want family support and the best way to achieve that is to make families understand that we have the best interests of their son at heart and that we welcome and value the family’s presence in our endeavors.

Of course many other details have required my attention. The facilities here at Harvard are adequate but little more than that. At some point in the near future some work should be done to modernize both practice facilities and the locker rooms.

Neither of these is a crying need but I have made Athletic Director Arthur P. Maranville, IV, aware of the situation. Dr. Maranville has been most cooperative and helpful in all regards.

We chose not to attend any summer camps.

Recruiting officially begins tomorrow. Coach Krimmel has had a list of recruits drawn up for some time and we add to it on a daily basis. Given the constraints mentioned above regarding admission requirements we shall be prepared to look closely at every player who we feel can meet said requirements.

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June 26: We found 20 recruits on our initial list who we feel can meet our entrance requirements- actually, 5 are junior college so it is not relevant in those cases. Others will be added over time. We have 7 PGs, 2 SGs, 2 SFs, 5 PFs, 4 Cs.

Aug. 17: We offer to 2 PGs, an SG, 2 PFs, a C.

Sept. 11: Time for home visits.

Sept 18: 4 of our potential recruits seem quite interested. We have a schedule. I seek victories this year so I asked Athletic Director Maranville not to schedule very many difficult opponents. We will visit preseason #22 North Carolina State, as well as traditional rival Boston College. The schedule is well balanced as to home versus vis-à-vis road games.

Sept. 25: Two recruits commit. One goes elsewhere. Max Lee, PG, currently #108, commits, as does Tony Mast, PG, currently #68. Both are very serious students, with GPA of 4.0, which is the reason we were able to convince them to come here. We lost #62 SG Dan Cook.

Oct. 2: Two more commitments and no losses. #70, C Bay Sand, GPA 3.8, and #441 PF Josh Ayle, a Junior College player shoes stock slipped from
182. He may rise again.

Today was the first day of practice. I believe we shall be competitive in the Ivy League this season despite the fact that the so called experts are projecting that we shall finish last in conference. Interestingly enough our goals include winning the Conference Tournament- yes there is one.) It appears that I will very likely have eight players in my regular rotation. However it is early. We shall see what develops.

Oct. 23: Cris Zinn, #67, PG, committed. One left to fill. We now have 3 PGs, a PF and a C, and we’ve offered to another PG. Our desire would have been for another inside player but that may not happen.

Nov. 6: We play our exhibition games and adjust accordingly. We shall probably continue to adjust as the season proceeds, especially at SG. There is some doubt on the part of staff that we have resolved the issue of who should get minutes. We’ll see what transpires.

We withdrew the offer to the guard. Our sixth scholarship is now being offered to a PF.

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The first scheduled team is Fairbanx, here in Cambridge. There is very little information available at this time but they seem strong in the backcourt.

Nov. 14: 62-44. A wonderful beginning, surely! No one individual distinguished himself above all others, but Dom Wing, installed at PF only subsequent to our exhibition games, led the way with 16 points, 7 rebounds. Eric Call at SF had 11 and 5, and Center Nate Hamm had 6, 8. SG Jed Jack and PG Greg Walk performed well.. Dave Barr had 5, 8, 2 as the first “big” from the bench, and reserve guard Kyle Mink did well. We had 20 turnovers which is an area for improvement. +13 in rebounding was quite favorable. We remained in control of our bodies on defense, committing only 16 fouls whilst the other team had 25.

All in all a satisfactory result.

Charleston, 1-0, is here next. They seem quite talented at PG and SF and their bench may be superior to ours. We hope to counteract all of this with strong inside play.

Nov. 17: 64-68. I am less than pleased with the outcome. We led by as many as 11 and then, in large measure due to foul difficulties for both of our starting guards, we completely lost our poise, as well as the game. Eric Call managed 23 points at SF, and Greg Walk played very well despite the foul difficulties, 9, 5, 5. But Jed jack played only 22 minutes before his disqualification, and our first guard from the bench, Dave Barr, also had 4 fouls. Our inside game was not very effective, either regarding scoring or rebounding, and we had 19 turnovers.  A most unsatisfactory endeavor. We have much work to do.

Nov. 20: All recruits who committed signed today except for the Junior College player and he will, I feel confident, sign eventually. We are still pursuing an inside player. We are looking at two.

We travel across the country to Cal. ST Fullerton, 1-1 against poor competition but the road can be difficult.

Nov. 21: 72-73. A MOST difficult loss to bear. The game was heavily contested throughout and we had our opportunities. Alas, once again our guards remained in difficulty due to fouls for the entire way and indeed, both fouled out, playing but 22 minutes each. Sub Dave Barr did yeoman service scoring 23. He hit a three point shot with 4.8 left which, at the time, appeared to assure victory but, more’s the pity, their SF hit what must be considered a "fluke," a 38 foot shot as time expired. Our 15 turnovers was our best total to date. It was still excessive, but a step in the proper direction. We did not rebound well, nor did our opponents. The foul differential was our undoing, 24-15.

I am well aware that success takes time and effort. I must bear that in mind.

We next travel to 1-0 Wofford. We feel we are the better team. Hopefully we will play accordingly.

Nov. 24: 50-45. A strange game indeed. We trailed throughout the first half, by as many as 11, and we never actually led until 2:24 remained. I admire the tenacity we demonstrated, and it is gratifying to note that it led to our victory. Center Nate Hamm had 14 and 13 to lead us. Greg Walk scored 17. I was delighted with the fact that we committed only 12 turnovers, and that we were +10 in rebounding. Jed Jack, yet again, found himself in foul trouble throughout.

On the plane going home the staff discussed the issue of the SG position. It was decided that Dave Barr will start at SG beginning immediately. Jack has simply failed to do what we had hoped he would do.

In my role as an Associate Professor of Statistics here at Harvard, I work with both Masters and Ph.D. students. Those assigned to me do a great deal of in depth statistical analysis regarding the team and the individual players. I find all this work invaluable and place a great deal of emphasis upon it in making decisions as to playing time, offensive and defensive strategies, player combinations in certain key situations, selection of who will take shots at crucial times, etcetera.

My assistants have not always come to see the value in this. Since all were engaged for but a single season I now feel that I shall replace all three in the spring. Having the luxury of taking my time, I will, at that point, endeavor to engage assistants who see the merit in statistical analysis. Data is very powerful, and I must have a staff that embraces that concept.

In due time I shall have a great deal more to say regarding the role that my graduate students play in gathering data, and I shall introduce several of them to my readers.

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2-3 Georgia ST is here. They played very well in losses to two good teams. They are not good ball handlers, nor do they rebound particularly sell. Still, they have been competitive in every game.

Nov. 28: 62-61. Our guard play was wonderful. In his first start Dave Barr had 16 and held his opposite number to 6. Point Guard Greg Walk had 17, 3 with only 2 turnovers- the team had but 9! Dom Wing had 14, 5, 3 at PF. I would still like to be getting more consistent production at the C position, and team rebounding must improve. A good win. Ah, the finale. Actually we were up by 7 points with 14 seconds left. At that point they scored a three pointer, stole the ball and made another, but it was with less than a second left and was too little too late.

We travel to 1-3 Austin Peay. They are not good at protecting the ball, they do not rebound particularly well, their PG, who is their best player, is hobbled with an injury but will probably play. Still, they stay competitive and this will not be a particularly facile game to win.

Dec. 1: 47-55. Our lack of offensive production has been troubling. Tonight it was appalling. We shot 32.4% and committed 19 turnovers. We were able to take only 34 shots, a remarkably low total. We scored exactly 6 in the paint. I am at a loss to explain the failure of our inside game. It is something which we work tirelessly with in practice. I see no beneficial lineup change in this regard. Nor do my assistants. Ah well, once again I reiterate that we shall continue to work hard and to peruse and analyze data. PG is definitely a problem. Greg Walk is turning the ball over far too often.

Dec. 4: Our RPI drops to #235. Oh dear!

A good George Mason team, 3-2, comes to Cambridge. Their guard play will challenge us, and if we are to have a chance our inside players must perform.

Dec. 5: 56-44. I am at a loss to understand this team. Our guard play was truly outstanding tonight. I played four guards and they combined for 45 points, 9 rebounds. Nate Hamm had 10 and 7 at C. Wing and Call had a combined 15 rebounds. We had only 11 turnovers, and were +4 in rebounds. We again scored only 6 points inside despite my favoring inside play, but we never trailed. Our inconsistency remains baffling but I must hope that this game indicates that we are moving forward. We shall see!

We travel to 2-3 Alabama A & M. On paper we are the better team but we have not performed well on the road.

Dec. 8: 52-59. Once again we were plagued by mediocre inside play and foul trouble with our guards- both starting guards fouled out, one in 24 minutes, the other in 22. Most discouraging. As per usual we were able to score only 6 points in the “paint.” We had a disappointing 18 turnovers.

Staff have decided to attempt the radical step of going "heavy inside" on offense. We debated going with either this or with balance and it was a long discussion. If this is unsuccessful we will try the balanced approach next. We face Boston College next, there, so I certainly do not expect a victory, but I shall be interested in seeing how we look with this new configuration.

We are not displeased with our overall defense in that we are giving up only 56.1 points per game. Our difficulties are on offense, particularly with turnovers. Fouls are of course a major area of concern.

I have two doctoral students and two masters students working with me. Arnold Stern is a very talented young man. He is in his second year of our Ph. D. program and is doing some very useful work. Rebecca Klein is a first year Ph. D. student, and the first woman admitted to the Ph. D. program here at Harvard.

There was a great deal of resistance with which I was not comfortable. I found her credentials impeccable, in truth, far superior to those of any of our male candidates. And yet those on the committee were solidly opposed to admission. I must say that I fought the good fight, advocating very strongly for her. In the end I won on a 4-3 vote, with the proviso that I must be her advisor as no one else was willing to assume that role.

Ms. Klein has little to no interest in athletics, which poses a problem, but it has been far from irresolvable. She is grateful to me for advocating for her and we have worked out a sort of compromise. Part of her study will involve doing some statistical analysis with the team but I am allowing- encouraging actually- her to do some research in a completely unrelated area, one that is of far more interest. I find that she is extremely intelligent and very quick of mind, and I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to work with her. She is here only because schools such as MIT declined to take her in, no doubt because of her gender. Their loss is Harvard’s gain.

Aside from all of that I quite like her as a person. She is far less formal than I, and I find her quite amusing at times.

John Smythe and Wilton Wells are masters students. They do a good deal of statistics gathering during games, compilation of same afterward, and of course, some analysis of their own. They are with us at every road game, which is not necessarily true of Arnold and Rebecca since the latter two are not responsible for the actual tracking of data during games.

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Dec. 11: Our RPI has fallen still further, to #276.

We are at 5-4 Boston College. They have played a strong schedule and have been competitive in almost every game. This will be rather a high mountain for us to climb, I fear.

Dec. 13: 54-57. I must admit that we played well against a better team. Greg Walk led the way offensively with 25, 6, 3. Ben Hart, a reserve guard, had 12 points. Inside we were no better with the “heavy inside” focus. Indeed, we had zero points in the paint, which I find baffling in the extreme. I am practicing what I play in the proper manner, and I have the “Strategy” set up properly as well. The difference in the game was turnovers, they had 6, we had 15.


1-7 San Diego ST is here. Despite their record I do not see this as a particularly easy game. They are strong inside.


Dec. 15: 49-52. 18 points for the first half. Our inside presence was considerably stronger so we will stay with the new approach, at least for now. 13, 7 for Wing, 8, 8 for Hamm, 9 RBs for Call. 21 turnovers was our downfall.


Dec. 18: RPI is now at #313.


We have three pre-conference games left. Two are against teams in top conferences.


We are at 7-2 North Carolina State. We shall focus on playing as well as we can. I do see any way for us to win this game however.


Dec. 19: 50-67. This is probably as well as we could have done against this team. Our inside game was rather good, all in all. 21 turnovers, which was simply appalling.
My only hope is that the miserable time we are having of late will prepare us for Ivy League play, and that we will fare better in that venue.


We are next at 8-2 Western Illinois.


Dec. 22: 52-57. 26 turnovers tonight.


The staff and graduate students will meet upon our arrival back in Cambridge. Everything will be open for discussion. After 5 consecutive defeats, and with a probable defeat in our next game against Clemson, something must be done.


Dec. 24: We decide to go back to “Favor Inside” and we make some changes. Ben Hart will start at SG, Dom Wing and Nate Hamm will switch positions, Hamm going to PF, Wing to C. Walk will play more SG and Barr and Hart will play more at PG.


Clemson is 7-1, They’ve played a weak schedule. Still they are a far stronger team than we are.


Dec. 26: 66-71 in overtime. This was a very good effort. We committed only 14 turnovers- I believe getting Walk away from the Point was beneficial. All five starters plus Kyle Mink were productive on offense (This was our second highest point total of the year- in overtime, of course). Our inside presence was strong, with both Wing and Hamm playing well at their new positions. Ben Hart had a very good game in his first start at SG.


I am hopeful regarding conference play. Perhaps that is not well founded, but I do not think that is the case. We have played teams that were far above our talent level. That will not be the case, at least not often, in the days ahead.


Jan. 1: Happy 1969. Our RPI is #280. Our record is 4-9.

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5-8 Princeton is here to open conference play. They have a good backcourt. We will need to contain this element of their game, and we must play well inside.

Jan. 2: 65-66. Once again we have managed to play just well enough to lose. Our inside game was better, 18 points in the “paint,” +8 rebounds, but 19 turnovers. The game was competitive throughout with never more than a five point differential. At the end they came down and scored easily in the last two seconds. Our defense completely failed on the last play of the game.

We are at 5-9 Columbia. If we are ever to begin turning this season around it really must start soon, preferably now. On the other hand Columbia was predicted to finish second in conference.

Jan. 5: 62-65. There is little new to be said. 20 turnovers.

We continue to work hard in practice. Difficult as it is we are doing all that we can to remain positive. Truth to tell there are not many adjustments to be made, either.

Jan. 8: RPI is back down to #311. We are 4-11, have lost our last 8, and 9 of 10.

We are at 11-4, 1-1 Yale. They were predicted to win the conference. They do appear to be the best team in the Ivy so this may well be another difficult game for us.

Jan. 9: 51-64. 22 turnovers. We took only 34 shots for the entire game.

Jan. 10: At practice I point out that we have played the expected top three teams in conference and that I truly believe that we have every possibility of winning our next four. Frankly, I do not believe we will win all four but a victory would be an incredible help at this point, and if we were to manage one, I believe it might well lead to others.

Dartmouth is here. They are 7-9, 3-0 (Oh dear!). Their bench is clearly superior to ours but other than at SG the two teams seem closely matched in talent. Hopefully there will be a home court advantage although our crowds are understandably small and quiet at present. Hopefully we can wake the crowd up.

Jan. 12: 68-66. At long last! All five starters had between 10 and 16 points. We committed only 14 turnovers- very good for us, and we were +8 in rebounding. It was a very happy locker room after the game.

The staff and graduate students will analyze the game at length in an attempt to sort out the key factors in the victory, the little things that are easily missed. This was certainly not an easy win but victory is indeed sweet!

Ted Band, who is seldom used, sprained a finger. He will miss approximately ten days.

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We travel to 8-9, 2-2 Cornell. I have been telling my players that this is a game we can win. They are sloppy with their passing and do not rebound well. Maximizing effort and minimizing key errors could very well lead to victory.

Jan. 16: 65-64. This victory was exceedingly sweet in that we managed to fall behind by as many as 19. After the early going we never led until Dave Barr’s 17 foot shot at the buzzer gave us the win. He was in the game because Greg Walk fouled out yet again, after scoring 20, but surrendering the ball for 6 turnovers. Barr did not play well- five turnovers and four fouls in his 19 minutes. But he made the shot at the crucial moment. We had wanted Hart to take it but he was well covered as was our second choice, Call. As a team we had 24 turnovers, which is simply horrid. +9 rebounds and 50% shooting, 14-24 from three point range saved us.

5-13, 0-5 Brown is here. We have every reason to hope for another triumph but with this team nothing is assured. We must play well.

Jan. 19: 68-53. An easy victory, our first in an extremely long time. Greg Walk was marvelous, 18 points, 4 RBs, only one turnover. The front court was dominant, playing as I had hoped they would play early in October when practices began. We had 15 turnovers, but were +11 in rebounds.

We have our first three game win streak and are 3-3 in conference.

Next we are at 6-13, 3-3 Penn. This appears to be a very competitive match. There is little talent differential. We are certainly playing with confidence of late and that can only help.

Jan. 23: 70-48. I am quite impressed, back to back blowouts! 23 and 5 for Call, only 13 TOs, +6 RBs. The defense, which truly has been quite good all season, was magnificent tonight. Walk played in foul trouble throughout, yet again. His lack of discipline is becoming more than frustrating.

Staff have decided to move Walk to SG and to play Hart and Barr at PG. We will also increase Barr’s playing time.

We have now played every Ivy opponent once and are 4-3, one of five teams within a game of each other at the top, one behind the leaders. Of course the top three are next on the schedule. I hope to win at least one of the three.

My Ph. D. student, Rebecca Klein, and I have struck up a bit of a friendship. As I stated previously Ms. Klein has an extremely quick and agile mind. She also very freely speaks her mind, has a quick wit, and is wonderfully analytical. I find her company quite pleasurable because of all of these things. She frequently points out that I am far too formal, and equally serious, but she seems to enjoy my company. We regularly have lunch together of late, in addition to spending a great deal of work related time in each other's company.

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We travel to Princeton. We lost by one at home. They are 10-10, 5-2, tied for first place. Their guard play is very good. This will test our new configuration at the guard spots.

Jan. 26: 54-59. Same foul and turnover problems with our guards. Switching them around didn’t do much. Our inside play was terrific but it was not quite enough. I am out of ideas regarding back court play.

Jan. 29: Our 1100 SAT score is not an easy target to reach. I was rather concerned about it. As it turned out all of our signees and all of those we are still pursuing hit the target.

9-12, 4-4 Columbia is here. We lost by 3 there. Their outside game could well challenge us.

Jan. 30: 62-58. 33, 5 for Walk at SG. This is the reason we put Walk at SG, in hopes that he would gain more opportunities to score. Unfortunately we had 24 turnovers. +13 rebounds.

16-6, 6-3 Yale is here. They won by 13 in New Haven. Frankly, we will need to play extremely well to have a chance. This is a very good team.

Feb. 2: 47-56. We played good defense but simply couldn’t score. 15 TOs (-3), even in rebounding, about even in fouls. As expected they were the better team.

At 9-14, 5-5 Dartmouth. We won by 2 at home. We will need to contain their guards and win the battle inside.

Feb. 6: 49-42. Great defense yet again. We won at the foul line, 26-24 as opposed to 14-20. All other statistics were relatively even. It is rather remarkable that we won a game wherein we made exactly 9 field goals and took exactly 30 shots!

We are in sole possession of third place with a favorable schedule for the last three games. We are two games back of second place Yale so we are unlikely to move up, unfortunately.

Ms. Klein and I went to see a motion picture together the other evening, at her suggestion. It was a rather amusing picture, “The Odd Couple.” It actually came out last year but the local theater just got around to showing it. She called me “Felix” for the remainder of the evening. I must admit that allowing for the theatrical exaggeration, there are certain similarities.

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10-14, 4-7 Cornell is in town. We won by a single point there. They are well balanced with perhaps a bit more talent outside than inside. This is a winnable game if we play well.

Feb. 9: 69-63. Best game by a Center for us all year, Dom Wing had 25, 17, 2. 13, 5 for Call. Only 12 TOs which is marvelous for us. +13 RB.

At 7-18, 2-10 Brown. We won by 15 at home. They play far better in their own gym so we need to be vigilant.

Feb. 13: 55-60. 23 TOs and our starting PG fouled out in 17 minutes. This is more or less the story of our season.

Tied for third place with one game to play.

9-17, 6-7 Penn is in to close the Ivy regular season. We won by 22 there.

Feb. 16: 56-55. It never seems to be easy but we won and we finished third. Considering we were slated for last I suppose this is not so bad. Good guard play. Yes, starting PG fouled out but he played 32 minutes. Our three top guards combined for 35, 13, 8. 15 Turnovers (-3), + 11 RBs.

We are in the “Bracket Breaker” and I’ve no idea why. We certainly are not going to any tournaments beyond the Ivy, unless we win here.

Loyola-Chicago is perhaps the slightly better team, but not by a great deal.

Feb. 19: 62-61. We have played so many like this! Ten one possession or overtime games, 7 more decided by 6 or fewer points. Eric Call made a three point shot as time expired.

We are 13-15 entering the Ivy League tournament. We would need to win the tournament in order to reach the .500 mark.

Feb. 26: RPI #223.

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Return match with Penn in the round of eight. We beat them by one point last week. Both teams are healthy so it will likely come down to execution.

March 3: 67-60. We led most of the way. 25 and 6 for Walk. Only 12 turnovers as a team. Good inside play and only sub Dave Barr was in any foul difficulties.

Yale in the semifinals. This will likely be our final game of the season. This team only beat us by 9 and 13 but in truth they are by far the better team.

Hopefully my players will acquit themselves well. I am being positive and trying to exude a confidence I do not really feel. Still, in sport stranger things have happened.

March 4: 51-50. As I was saying… We played as well as we are capable of playing. 11, 11 for Wing at C, 14, 2, 3 for Walk, 11 TOs as a team, +6 RBs. Walk used a screen beautifully to make an open 16 footer at the end.

And fourth place Columbia upset #1 Princeton!

We lost to Columbia by 4 and then beat them by 3 so this should be a hard fought game. Both teams are healthy so, once again, it will very likely come down to execution and perhaps a bit of good fortune at the proper time.

March 5: 43-60. Not the way I would have wished to end the season. 22 turnovers, foul trouble at guard, difficulty scoring- all the things that plagued us throughout the season. Oh well, we have some very promising recruits coming in. Better days ahead and all that.

We will do an enormous amount of statistical analysis over the next few weeks and months. We already know that rebounding was a strength, ball handling and scoring were weaknesses.

Considering we went from 4-12 to finish 15-16, we certainly made some strides, but our flaws could not be well enough hidden. Nor could they be either eradicated nor overcome, in the end result.

Ms. Klein and I seem to be keeping company. While this is absolutely verboten with undergraduate students and frowned upon with masters students, no one seems to find it objectionable at the doctoral student level. I have made inquiries and that is what I have found.

We are losing our entire starting front line to graduation- Hamm, Call, and Wing.

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March 14: Columbia wins their NCAA play in game. Yale and Princeton win in the first round of the NIT.

March 16: Yale won and Princeton lost in the NIT.

March 17: Columbia lost in the NCAA so Yale is the last of the Ivy League still playing.

March 19: Yale loses in the round of eight.

April 4: Awards: I am not expecting much from the awards ceremony given the season we had. Well I was certainly expecting more than this:

See the end of this message for details on invoking
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************** JIT Debugging **************
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When JIT debugging is enabled, any unhandled exception
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Team Prestige falls from 38 to 33. Rather disappointing.

April 16: I hire assistants. #1 is Mark Ross, a very solid recruiter who is very much into statistical analysis. Our interview turned into a really long discussion and we hit it off immediately. He is here for 5 years.

#2 is Wes Young who will scout for us and who is also very much what is known in the vernacular as a “numbers guy.” He too will be here for five years.

#3 is Ryan Rohwer, who will be our bench/practice coach. He is signed for three years. I am as happy with Ryan as I am with my other two new assistants.

April 23: I ask for more budget dollars. The answer is no.

A less than wonderful first year but hopes are quite high for next season.

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May 1: I buy the national gold report.

June 5: We could sign as many as three transfers. We’re looking at 5.

June 12: We are unsuccessful.

June 25: We will bypass the camps.

June 26: We have 6 scholarships to offer. We need both inside and outside players but given our 1100 SAT score we’ll need to take what we can get.
We will look at 30 recruits. Most have high GPAs and some are junior college students. The list will obviously be added to and subtracted from. A few are of the “shot in the dark” variety- they look very good but no GPA is indicated.

The statistics department has chosen to give Ms. Klein a different faculty advisor. While no reprimand was given to either of us, neither were we consulted regarding this change. Ms. Klein will no longer be working with either me or the basketball team in any capacity whatsoever.

We have discussed this and have decided that it is probably for the best. We have every intention of continuing the warm relationship that is developing between us.

Aug. 21: Today we make offers to six recruits. We offer to 4 bigs, 2 guards, but no PGs, there simply isn’t even one who is both interested and capable of meeting our entrance requirements.

Sept. 11: We visit four.

Sept. 18: We lose two. We have a schedule. Perhaps two or three challenges but essentially I feel we need victories so the schedule is not particularly strong.

Sept. 25: Two committed, #61 PF Kyle Gill, a junior college player, and #87 SG Luke Weis. We lost one.

Oct. 2: First day of practice. Let’s see what we have! We expect a team that is far superior to last year’s edition.

We are predicted to finish third in the Ivy League.

We are pursuing several additional recruits, including three PGs.

Oct. 9: We get one, lose two. Al Ruck, SG #66 has committed.

Nov. 6: Still pursuing several recruits.

We will play our two exhibition games this week.

We have learned a great deal from the exhibition games and have adjusted accordingly.

Nov. 13: Our second season is about to begin. We have high hopes for a considerably better season than the last.

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Cal. ST- Fullerton is here to initiate the season. There is very little to go on. In recent seasons they have played man to man and pressed only occasionally. They like the flex offense and like to bring the ball to the inside.

I neglected to mention earlier that we are still struggling to compile a lineup, particularly at the PG and SF positions. Three players will share time at these positions approximately equally. It is our hope that two of them will stand out, given a bit of time.

Nov. 14: 72-68. Zinn, Hank, Thom and Walk led us. Sand was a bit disappointing at C. He played decently but I had expected him to dominate. 13 TOs (-6 but an improvement from last season), +11 RBs. We committed far too many fouls but the officials called 48, which is terribly excessive.

It is gratifying to begin with a victory.

Ms. Klein and I continue to keep company. We have a great many common interests, most notably a world view that incorporates data into almost every possible scenario. We do both enjoy movies that make us laugh, as well as good mystery movies, which sadly, are rare. The Boston/Cambridge area features many fine restaurants, especially seafood restaurants and we dine out frequently.

We travel to Morehead ST for our second game. The Eagles are 0-1. They have good players at PG and C, and they have a long, talented bench. If Sand plays as he should I am not concerned about their C. This will provide an early test of our ability to win on the road, which was a problem area last season.

Nov. 17: 74-66. Sand did not disappoint, 20, 13, 4, 3 steals and a block, while holding his opponent down. Hank had 24 at SG. Of the three at PG and SF, only Zinn played well, 12, 4, good defense. He has had two good games and is making a good case for increased playing time. Hart did quite well at the Point, 6 assists and only 2 TO. Walk was mediocre at best.

Frustratingly, we committed 22 TOS (-), but we were +16 in RBs. Thom had 9 at PF.

2-1 Texas ST is here. They feature a balanced attack without an impressive scorer, and they play man.

Nov. 21: 58-54. Very good defense and a balanced attack helped, but we won at the foul line, 21-30 versus 6-9. Sand had 12, 7 in only 19 minutes, due to foul trouble. Hart played only 15 min. at PG, also due to fouls. Thom had 10 and 7 at PF, and Walk, Zinn and Hank also played well.

We have decided that there will be more playing time for Zinn and Hart, less for Walk.

At #21, 3-0 Virginia. We wanted some challenges and this will certainly be a challenge! It’s good to play good teams even if one loses. We can learn from this, uses the film for the rest of the season to show how very good teams do things, and to help us to learn to do those things as well. Still, I am not going to VA in order to lose. We will try our hardest. Hank and Sand must produce, and we need to stop them at PG and SF, not exactly our strongest spots.

Nov. 24: 49-58. We played very good defense but shot 29.8%. That was largely due to VA’s excellent defense but we missed several open looks. We truly lost the game with poor ball handling, 18 turnovers as opposed to 5 for VA. We were +12 in rebounding. Sand played very well, 16, 11. Unfortunately, Hank shot 2-14. All in all we will, as hoped, learn from this. We were competitive, never trailing by more than 11.

Ms. Klein mentioned marriage the other night. I must admit the thought had never occurred to me. I believe that was very likely obvious to her from my reaction. She mentioned that I looked stunned. I told her I was not averse to the idea but would appreciate a bit of time to consider it. She smiled at that and said that she was not in a hurry and certainly wished to complete work on her doctorate before marrying. That is at least a year and a half away. I am certain she will wish to discuss this matter again before much time has passed so I will give it my utmost attention over the next several days.

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At 2-2 East Tennessee ST. They seem strong at PG and PF and they play a lot of people. They have played a strong schedule, beating BC and losing to VA by 17 in their last two games. They turn the ball over frequently and do not rebound well. If we play our game we can win here. Road games are never easy, however.

Nov. 28: 88-75. Hank had 34, 5, and Sand 23, 12. Zinn and Thom had 12 each. This was easily our finest offensive performance of the season. We shot 54% and had but 13 turnovers. We were +13 in rebounding.

We face another challenge as 4-3 New Mexico ST comes to town. They are very good at PF and PG but I do not feel they can match us at SG and C. They do have an edge where the bench is concerned. This, as I stated, should prove to be a challenge but I believe if we play our best we can prevail. NM ST has played rather a weak schedule.

Dec. 1: 74-57. Not the challenge I had expected. Hank led us with 21, 2, 5, and Thom was outstanding at PF, holding a very good player to low numbers while getting 13 and 11. Sand disappointed, playing only 14 minutes before fouling out. Hart also fouled out, in 28 minutes, but played well while in the game. Our bench did not match theirs but played well. Considering our foul difficulties this was exceedingly helpful. 13 TOs again, and +16 in rebounding. I will happily take 13 turnovers at this point.

Dec. 4: 5-1, RPI #32. A truly excellent beginning!

Loyola-Chicago, 2-1, is here. They have beaten two very mediocre teams and lost badly to a ranked team. This does not seem to be a good team.

Dec. 6: 63-56. This was a more challenging game than it should have been. Part of that was due to the fact that 52 fouls were called, but it is also true that we did not play with a great deal of energy. Sand again encountered foul trouble, playing only 18 minutes. We are only at our best when he is in the lineup. He did manage 10 and 6. Hart played his best game of the year at PG, 17, 6, 5. Zinn played only 7 minutes due to fouls. Our bench played well. Seldom used Inyo Robb played 20 good minutes. We had 13 turnovers.

Following the game Rebecca (Ms. Klein) and I went out for a late dinner. I informed her that I had considered the possibility of marriage and was very favorable to the idea. She actually laughed.

“Leland, you are so absolutely serious. I do love you but I wish I could teach you to relax a bit.”

I had no idea how to react. I am, it is true, a serious minded individual. On the other hand as previously stated, I do enjoy a comical movie. We frequently laugh loudly when watching same. I eventually stated that.

“Yes, Leland, that’s true, but I can’t imagine you laughing spontaneously or speaking in less than perfect English.”

“I am confused, Rebecca. I’ve no idea what to say. I am what I am”

“Yes, Leland, you are what you are.”

She hugged me and kissed my cheek.

“I promise I won’t try to change you too much, but I would like you to be able to relax just a bit now and then.”

“I am open to that, Rebecca. Please feel free to assist me.”

She laughed again, but in a friendly way.

We spoke further about a possible future marriage. We are not formally engaged, but we definitely have an understanding. We both feel it is important to discuss such things as children- do we wish to have them, how many, how do we wish to raise and educate them… Housing- what sort of domicile do we wish to reside in. Household duties and how to share them in an equitable manner. Budgeting and money matters in general. Rebecca’s career. Places where we would and would not be willing to move to in order for me to advance my career. Religion, morality, spirituality- our feelings in those areas, and how we would address them with any children we might produce.

We really more or less outlined the issues rather than speaking of them at any length. I do not feel we will have any insurmountable issues to resolve. We already know each other quite well and we are definitely kindred spirits.

We travel, not far, to play 3-3 Northeastern. The inside battle will likely decide the outcome. Sand must avoid foul difficulty. They handle the ball fairly well but do not rebound as well.

Dec. 8: 55-63. We shot 30% and gave up a dozen three pointers. Sand played only 7 minutes in the first half, due to fouls, but only wound up with three and played most of the second half. He had 15 and 10. He and Hank were the only players who rebounded, and we wound up even in that category. Hank had 19 and 7. No one else did very much. We had 14 TOs (+3). Not our best effort, we need to have more than two players playing well.

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2-4 Boston College is here. While they have not played well they are definitely a difficult opponent for us. They play in the ACC, one of the premier conferences in the nation. This is a down year for them however. They have played a weak schedule and have done poorly all the same. I remain wary and have encouraged my players to approach this game with the utmost concentration. This is the most challenging game that remains on our regular season schedule.

Dec. 13: 74-65. Cris Zinn at SF had a very good game, 22 points while holding a talented opponent in check. Hank had 16, 8, 4 while completely shutting down the SG. Sand, Hart and Walk all played well. A very strong effort.

We now go on the road for two games. We will be away for a week.

We begin at 2-7 Idaho ST. They have played very poorly against a weak schedule, which always frightens me. At some point they may put together a good game and it could well be against us. They neither rebound nor pass well.

Dec. 15: 60-61. Except for Bay Sand, 31, 7, everyone was awful tonight, simply awful. We did not rebound, we did not take care of the ball. We took only 35 shots for the entire game. Hank played only 10 minutes before fouling out. No one else had foul problems and we went to the foul line 17 times more than they did and still managed to lose. At the end they set a screen and their SF hit an absolutely wide open 12 footer for the win. This was a very bitter pill for me to swallow.

At 2-5 Northern Iowa. They are more talented than was Idaho ST, especially at SG and SF. They play 1-2-2, which we rarely see, so that is another difficulty. They beat Minnesota by 18 in their last game. Admittedly this was by far their best game of the season. Having said all of that if we play well we are the better team.

Dec. 19: 72-66. We trailed by as many as 13 before finally taking control late. Sand led the way with 15 and 11, playing excellent defense as well. Hank had 18, Walk 14, 4, 5. +10 RB helped greatly. We wanted this game badly as losing to two poor teams consecutively would have been a great concern.

We return home for three games.

8-3, RPI #87.

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We next play 2-10 Chicago ST. This team has simply not played well. They do appear to have some talent, especially outside.

Dec. 22: 73-50. 25, 6, 2 for Hank, 12, 8, 4 for Sand, 17, 1, 8 for Walk. 8 turnovers. The outcome was never in doubt.

Rebecca and I shared dinner on the holiday. She cooked a delightful dinner, salmon steak with a delicious salad and side vegetables, finishing with delicious apple pie. Neither of us eats mammals and we only rarely eat foul. We usually dine upon fish or vegetarian meals.

After dinner, presents, and clean up we had a long talk. We at least touched upon all of the topics we had put together earlier this month.

As to children we both want two. We’d like one of each but realize it may not work out that way. As to how to raise them again, we are essentially in agreement. We believe that children should be encouraged to follow their interests and not “molded” in any way. While we both believe that children need clearly set limits we come down on the permissive side. We do not believe in punishment but rather in consequences. If one does x, then one can expect y, because that’s the way the world works. We plan to limit such things as toys and games and clothing to reasonable limits and will absolutely not overdo celebrations and such. As to education we will investigate Montessori and other alternative schools.

Rebecca and I are both atheists. The idea of a creator and/or a redeemer seems utterly baseless to both of us. There is simply no evidence whatever for either.

We believe that inflicting religion upon young children is a form of child abuse. We very definitely believe that children must learn right from wrong and our children will be taught to do what is right, and further that one cannot truly be happy doing otherwise. Since we believe that religion and morality have little to do with each other we see no problem with our approach in this area.

We expect to be able to afford whatever type of housing we wish to live in. We have no interest in large, mansion type housing. We want something large enough to meet our needs but not larger. We do however want a home that is situated on a considerable amount of land, as much as possible. This is related to the “good fences make good neighbors” philosophy. Large distances make even better neighbors. As to pets, we are both partial to cats and horses so perhaps some sort of farm may be in our future.

We expect to hire a cleaning person for the major aspects of housework.

We will share the simple day to day chores in as much as that is possible. Given that I will certainly work 60-80 hours per week more of this will fall upon Rebecca than either rof would like, but reality is what it is. I will endeavor to do my part in as much as that is possible.

Rebecca will take charge of our finances. I will stay informed and will certainly have a voice but I have very little interest in finances and in this area Rebecca is definitely more practical.

The discussion was very fruitful and at its conclusion we felt even closer to each other.

I am considering when to formalize our engagement by proposing and presenting Rebecca with a ring. I think May or June would be an ideal time. She is very much on target to complete her doctoral work, including thesis, by a year from this May, so an engagement of approximately one year seems proper.

Our last pre-conference game is at home versus 6-3 Wofford. They do not seem as strong as their record would indicate.

Dec. 26: 51-41. Excellent defense won this game, along with 22, 6, 2 from Jon Hank. It was a strange game. Wofford never went to the foul line. We were 8-11.

We end the pre-conference season at 10-3. Considering last year we were in the midst of a very long losing streak at this point we have high expectations heading into Ivy League play. The League appears strong this year with only 5-6 Yale showing a losing record.

RPI #57.

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8-5 Brown is here to begin the conference season. Their strength is outside. They take good care of the ball but do not rebound well.

Happy 1970.

Jan. 2: 67-39. I must say I was impressed with our defensive effort. 22, 6, 3 for Hank, 17, 7 for Sand, 8, 8 for Thom, 8, 5, 4 for Zinn. +16 RB.

AT 9-5, 0-1 Princeton. Yale just beat them to snap a six game win streak. Strong PG, good outside, but weak inside.

Jan. 5: 66-57. 22, 9 for Sand, 16, 4 for Hank, inside scoring was the difference. It’s nice to win on the road. That’s the true test.

Jan. 8: Matt Hall, #99 PF, agrees to come here next year. He’s a junior college transfer.

9-6, 1-1 Penn is here. Some strength at 2, 3, 4 but we think we’re better.
Jan. 9: 79-67. We led all the way. 31, 10, 2 for Bay, 17, 4 for Zinn. A good game for Hart at PG. We had 8 TOs for the game.

Doc student Arnold Stern has done some wonderful work for us. His statistical analysis has helped us to make some excellent decisions regarding both personnel and offensive and defensive alignments versus specific opponents. He sees tendencies in key situations and allows us to adjust accordingly. We feel we are always prepared and I have no doubt that this has led us to victory in many close games. This is his last year with us and he will be missed.

First year doc student Randall Koss has shown little interest in and, at least so far, less aptitude for data and statistical analysis as it relates to basketball. When working on his own projects he does very fine work. He came to me when Rebecca was reassigned and in fairness to him, he should go back to his prior advisor. I am trying to arrange for that even though I need the help his work provides, mediocre as it is. I know for a fact that two incoming doc students are coming to Harvard specifically because they wish to work with me and with the basketball program. Hopefully all of that can be worked out.

We travel north to face 11-5, 2-1 Dartmouth. They should provide a challenge. They are very strong at SF and PF, and have a very solid bench. Their SF is nursing a bruised calf though and will likely not be at more than 75-80%. We need to pressure the ball against this team.

Jan. 12: 76-72, overtime. We worked very hard for this victory. Sand, Hank and Hart all battled foul trouble throughout with Hank fouling out in minute of overtime. Sand had 23, 14, including the final six points of the game to lead us to the win. Thom had 11, 10 and they were much needed. Walk had 11, 2, 4 from the bench. The Dartmouth guards, including two substitute guards, shot very well, and they very nearly did us in.

We are alone in first place, one game ahead of Columbia and two or more over everyone else, after four games.

We are at 14-3, 4-0. RPI #18.

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8-9, 2-2 Yale is here. They have not played to their potential and are a definite threat. We will need to pressure the ball and stop their outside game. Their 3-2 can be confusing and our offense will need to find the open shooter. Again, ball pressure is the key. We feel we can turn them over. If we also control the inside we will be fine. But it may not be that easy.

Jan. 16: 67-54. 23, 4, 3 for Hank, 22 for Zinn, 13 RBs for Sand.

10-8, 3-2 Cornell is in. Won their last three.

Jan. 19: 86-75. 26, 11 for Sand, 25, 5, 5 for Hank, 15, 3, 6 for Zinn. 5 TOs for the game!

Jan. 22: Ranked! #23, RPI #14.

The only conference opponent we have not yet played is 2nd place Columbia, 15-4, 5-1. We travel to their place. They are a good team and this will not be easy. Their 1-3-1 is a defense we have yet to see this season so that adds a complication. We’ve been working against it in practice so hopefully that will help. They played a weak pre-conference schedule. Their weakness is ball handling so we will pressure their guards. If we can also hold our own inside we have a good chance but this will not be easy.

Jan. 23: 49-59. Our defense was good, theirs was better. Their guards greatly outperformed ours and that was a deciding factor. While our inside players easily outscored theirs, we were outrebounded 25-28. Not a good night. The regular season title will likely come down to the rematch in Cambridge in the last regular season game.

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At 9-11, 1-6 Brown, the bottom of the conference. We won by 28 at home.

Jan. 26: 62-55. Much more of a challenge than expected. Sand fouled out in 24 minutes and their C had a field day. We were outrebounded again, 27-29. Greg Walk had a good game from the bench which was much needed since PG Ben Hart also fouled out, in 20 minutes. We won but I am far from impressed.

Jan. 29: We lost a recruit who had committed to us. He didn’t hit our SAT score. Luke Weis, #196 SG. We’ll offer to someone else.

11-10, 2-6 Princeton is here. They have not been playing at all well.

Jan. 30: 69-58. Sand and Hank led us. 10 TOs.

It has become a two team race. We are tied with Columbia, three ahead of the field.

At 13-9, 5-4 Penn. We won by 12 in Cambridge but they play much better at home.

Feb. 2: 81-84. This was the worst defense we played all season. We were also outrebounded badly, 26-33, worst margin of the season. There was nothing wrong with our offense. 81 points should win. Bench play was easily the difference, 42, 10, 12 to 10, 2, 6. There is work to be done.

Two minor injuries. Starter Asa Thom tweaked a calf muscle. Day to day but he will not be at 100% for our next game. Little used Inyo Robb strained abdominals. Out about a week.

Columbia was defeated as well so nothing has changed. An opportunity lost.

Feb. 5: 18-5, 8-2, Ranked #19, RPI #12.

13-10, 4-6 Dartmouth is here. We won by 4 in overtime there. 2-6 in their last 8. This appears to be a challenge despite that. We must play well.

Feb. 6: 58-38. Sand had a huge game, 20 and 16. 16, 7 for Hank. Terrible shooting by both teams, 33.3% for us, 26.2% for them. Second half was even worse. 12 TOs.

Two of our last three are on the road then home with Columbia.

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At 12-12, 6-5 Yale. We won by 13 at home. Their SF is their best player, and the 3-2 is not a defense we see often. They are not good with the ball and we need to take advantage of that. They have won their last four.

Every game is important at this stage.

Feb. 9: 53-64. We simply fell apart in the second half after a very close first. We couldn’t make a shot but worse, people were not working to get open. This will be addressed at once.

Columbia lost so nothing has changed and again, an opportunity lost.

At 12-13, 5-7 Cornell. We won by 11 at home. They have lost 4 of 5. This is a team we should beat.

Feb. 13: 68-58. The starters and Greg Walk all contributed. +12 RB.

And so it comes down, as expected to the final game. We are #18, RPI #14, 20-6, 10-3. Columbia is 20-6, 10-3, #24, RPI #15. Both teams are injury free. Their weakness is ball handling. They won by 10 in their gym. Our SG and C need to be better than their PG, SG, SF, and our bench needs to match theirs. We need to turn them over and hold our own inside. Hopefully home court advantage will help. We expect a sellout.

Feb. 16: 66-54. We rose to the occasion. We started strongly and never trailed after the first few minutes. They narrowed the margin to as few as three upon occasion but we were able to counter each time. 29, 5 for Hank, 12, 9 for Sand, 11, 6, 4 with 1 TO for Hart, as good a game as he has played for us at PG. -4 TO, +6 RB.

Bracket Breaker with 14-11 Milwaukee here. This looks like a rather even match up. I think controlling the inside will likely be key. They have won 5 of 6.

Feb. 19: 59-58. A real battle. We won on a three by Ben Hart at the buzzer. We wanted an inside shot but nothing opened up so Ben launched a 24 footer And it went in. We had only 9 TOs but were out rebounded 37-42 in a poor shooting game by both sides. I was very happy with the fact that we never gave up.

And we head for the postseason with a record of 22-6, 11-3, #18, RPI #12. What a turnaround from last season. We will definitely be invited to the NCAA tournament with our RPI of 12. We hope to win the Ivy League tourney, or at the very least get to the final game.

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We play 10-17, 2-12 Brown in the round of eight. This is a team we should beat.

March 3: 68-56. Never in doubt. 23, 8, 2 for Sand, 18 for Hank, good play by the others. 11 TOs.

15-13 Yale in the semifinals. We beat them by 13 then lost by 9 there so this is one we will need to work for. We simply didn’t do what needed to be done last time. They are 7-1 in the last 8. We knew we needed to pressure the ball in New Haven and we were not successful. Hopefully we will be this time.

March 4: 59-41. Shooting was the difference, 46.7%-26.2%. All other stats were about even. All five of our starters had between 10 and 12 points. 11 RBs for Sand.

As expected it’s #24, 22-8 Columbia for the title. Not much new to say. Both teams are healthy so let’s see what happens.

March 5: 59-65. Close all the way, never more than a 7 point differential. In the end they were just a bit better. Their bench had 21, 8, 5, ours had 2, 6, 6. We were +3 TO, +4 RB. 17 fouls called on us, 9 on them.

On to the NCAA tournament. It’s a question of where seeded and how high. A win here would have helped.

March 12: Selection day. Not in the East.

Not in the Midwest.

#6 in the South vs. Boise ST.

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March 14: Penn won in the first round of the CHI.

March 16: Columbia won in the first round of the NCAA.

Boise ST is 19-11. They won their tourney after finishing third in the regular season. They lost the three games immediately preceding their tourney. Their conference is stronger than ours. They lost their starting SG to grades in Dec. Their big guys score more than their guards.

March 17: 58-43. Great first half defense put us into an early lead and we never trailed. 20, 11, 2 for Sand. -8 RB but it didn’t matter. We held them to 29.2% shooting.

#10 ranked, 24-7 UCLA is next. This will be a huge challenge. They play in a premier conference and played a very strong pre-conference schedule. SG is outstanding but they are good at every position, and deep. We will need to be at our very best to have any chance of winning. We didn’t come here to lose though. We’ll give it our best.

March 18: Columbia loses in the NCAA.

March 19: 69-76. We played well against a very good team. The down side is that we blew a 17 point lead. They just kept coming at us and they wore us down in the second half, scoring 50 points- the most we’ve given up in a half all year. We couldn’t stop their SG- 31 points. 20, 13 for Sand. 19 TOs (-9) hurt. +16 RBs was great but not quite enough,

A very successful season comes to an end. It would be difficult not to be happy with the way we played this season.

March 22: Penn loses in the CHI.

March 26: Two recruits agree to come here next year. #135 PG Mike Tubb and #50 SF Adam Long. Still going after two, #156 PG Jean Tyl and #157 PG Vya Seir.

I debate going to the Final Four but decide against. Next year I will definitely go.

April 1: UConn and Butler win and will play for the title.

April 3: UConn by 24 for the title.

April 4: Awards: And again, I get the error message so no idea who wins the awards.

April 9: Job offers: Some interesting offers but none are interesting enough to even consider a visit.

April 16: No assistant coach vacancies. I am very happy with my staff.
Tyl and Seir sign.

April 23: Going for budget dollars. Got $10,000!

I get an $8,000 raise.

End of season. Team Prestige jumps from 33 to 42. My numbers: 40-24, .625.

Off.- 20, Def.- 29, Recruiting 79, Scout- 91, Player Dev.- 32, Reputation- 42. Oh, I was conference Coach of the Year.

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