Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Big Green black and blue

Dartmouth hobbled by run of injuries


Seven of Allen Fieldhouse's best seats were unoccupied Tuesday - blue and padded, right on the floor.

Dartmouth's men's basketball team didn't have enough of a traveling party to come close to filling them. To the right of the vacant chairs was a depleted Big Green bench, worn and overwhelmed from all the ineffective playing time in a 83-32 loss to Kansas University on Tuesday.

There were almost as many empty courtside seats as full ones on Dartmouth's bench. And that counts four coaches.

Five players stayed in Hanover, N.H., while Dartmouth was beaten down by a more athletic, more talented Kansas team. All five are victims of random injuries that have made a bad team even worse just weeks into the season.

"When you schedule games like this," coach Terry Dunn said, "you hope to bring your entire team in."

It didn't happen, and Dartmouth - ranked 331st out of 336 Division-I teams in the latest Sagarian ratings - was the victim of a beatdown that was almost painful to watch.

The Big Green (0-6) had trouble even getting shots off thanks to KU's size and athleticism. And when they did, they clanked off the rim, backboard or neither more often than not.

KU's defensive intensity led Dartmouth to shoot just 25 percent from the field. It seemed a lot worse than that, even.

"It was what we expected," said guard Alex Barnett, who watched on television as Kansas beat No. 1 Florida on Saturday. "We just didn't counter like we were supposed to."

No. 5 Kansas (6-1) led 18-2 nine minutes in, 54-15 early in the second half and did seemingly whatever it wanted - both offensively and defensively - against a team that couldn't do anything to stop it.

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2006-07 Nov. 28 KU-Dart Hoops

Those facts factored together led to one thing - a massacre.

"In the first half, it was extremely tough to get good looks," Dunn said. "When we did, we might have rushed it."

Thankfully, the Big Green doesn't have any more challenges even near to the caliber of KU on its remaining schedule. The next closest probably is a road game at Vermont on Dec. 21. Soon after, the Ivy League schedule begins with Harvard on Jan. 6.

The soft-spoken Dunn, a former Colorado assistant, was asked what he thought of KU's thoroughbreds - as if the scoreboard didn't do enough to relay the message.

"It's scary to imagine," Dunn replied, "how good they'll be come February."

By then, Dartmouth will be long gone. For the children's sake, it's probably better that way.


JayCeph 13 years, 1 month ago

That Dartmouth team never stopped trying. Kudos to them and their coach. They are another class act. I'm glad they didn't get mad at the blowout and turn things ugly just like I am proud of the Hawks for not showboating and being sore winners.

For what this game was, the sportsmanship was tops in the land.

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