Team preview: Harvard

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: October 20, 2004, 3:29 PM ET
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Last season was no question the most difficult of coach Frank Sullivan's 14-year tenure in Cambridge. In some ways, Sullivan knew it wasn't going to be easy, but after winning at least 12 games nine straight years, losing 23 of 27 games was painful to say the least.

"We're not particularly proud of what happened last season and we feel an obligation, as coaches and players, to get back to where we were," Sullivan said. "Only Princeton and Penn has won more league games than we have the last nine years and we're proud of that. But, after a disastrous season, you have to start small."

Harvard should be much improved. Heck, it almost has to be. The team shot below 40 percent in 2003-04 and barely broke 30 percent from 3-point range. However, its record is somewhat deceiving, having included a pair of overtime losses and numerous close defeats.

The Crimson also showed signs of life in the second half, too, with three Ivy League wins, including at Cornell and against Yale. It also lost in double-overtime to Ivy League champion Princeton. It would have been easy to mail the campaign in after starting the year with 11 straight losses.