Ivy Basketball has suffered perennially from two serious drawbacks: only mild undergraduate interest and a consequent reluctance on the part of good high and prep school players to go to universities where the sport is treated so lightly. Both conditions are undergoing a change for the better. Certainly, YALE'S showing in the NCAA tournament last year, when the Elis played North Carolina to a standstill for three-quarters of the game, gave the whole league a shot in the arm. This season PRINCETON will carry the Ivy banner in the Big Eight holiday tournament in Kansas City, December 26-30, and the Tigers should give a good account of themselves. In the league itself, Princeton is the consensus choice of rival coaches for this year's title, with Yale second and DARTMOUTH third. These choices make sense. In returning regulars Carl Belz and Captain David Fulcomer, Coach Cappon has two superb scorers and rebounders up front. Supporting them in the backcourt are two-year regular Fred Perkins and reserve Art Klein, plus three other juniors. Top sophomore prospect is Jim Brangan, who averaged 16.3 points per game last year for the Tiger freshmen. Cappon's celebrated weave offense should be matched point for point by the high-scoring redheads from Yale—Johnny Lee and Larry Downs—but Yale will not have the rebounding of Ed Robinson this year and that will hurt. Coach Vancisin also has regular Guards George Thompson and Tom Sargent back, but no real help from his sophomores seems likely. Graduation took all of Dartmouth's squad but two fine court men, Rudy LaRusso and Dave Carruthers, but a flock of excellent sophomores will move up. These include Guards Ed Soznowski and Chuck Kaufman and Forwards Bryant Barnes and Gary Vandeweghe, brother of ex-Knick star Ernie Vandeweghe. The Indians have speed and will play a fast break; lack of experience is the problem. Lou Rossini will be rebuilding at COLUMBIA this year, with Rudy Milkey and Ted Harvin as a base and anticipated help from transfer student Jim Iverson (from North western), but cannot be figured better than fourth. Rossini hopes to play a great deal more possession ball and change to a three-in, two-out offense, depending on the talents shown by the host of sophomores who will be battling for positions. The rest of the league will be scrambling to stay out of the cellar, with BROWN the best prospect to make the jump from the bottom to the top half in the standings. In Co-captains Joe Tebo and Gerry Alaimo the Bruins have proven scoring talent, but their real hopes rest with the improvement of 6-foot-8 Allan Poulsen, one of the few really big men among the Ivies. If Coach Ward can go with Poulsen at center, instead of a less-experienced sophomore, and if the team can overcome its startling inability to win on the road (they have 17 consecutive away-from-home Ivy losses over a three-year period), Brown could at least enjoy a spoiler's role. At HARVARD, George Harrington has a fine touch and Dick Woolston is a steady hand, but that's the extent of Crimson experience. A look at the squad indicates better average height than can be found around the league, but only one sophomore—Mike Donahue—who appears to have a starting spot nailed down which is hardly a hopeful sign. CORNELL has six men back from last season's last-place squad, but Coach Green's own estimate of his problem—lack of experience—is the tip-off that he will be depending largely on sophomores. Two of the best are 6-foot-7 George Farley and 6-foot-5 David Zornow. Lack of a single big man is PENN'S insuperable problem. They're set at center with Captain Dick Csencsitz and up front with Joe Bowman and George Schmidt; the backcourt and the bench spots are up for grabs. The overwhelming trend in the league is to more and more use of the zone defense; on offense, the fast break (when the talent is available) is coming into favor increasingly. Growing undergraduate and alumni support will one day make the Ivies a strong factor in the national picture, but there is still a long way to go. Game attendance is one reliable indicator. At Harvard, for example, the capacity of the football stadium is 38,000-plus; the gym seats all of 1,600.
Man to watch: YALE'S JOHNNY LEE