Ivy Interview: Harvard's Frank Sullivan

October 6th, 2006
Jon Teitel chats with Harvard head coach Frank Sullivan as part of an interview series with all eight Ivy League coaches.


1. What are your team’s goals for this season?

A: The same as every other team: win the Ivy League title.


2. What facet of the game is most important to your team’s success this season?

A: We need to develop a better level of consistency this season.  We were very good throughout our non-conference schedule last year (8-5), but did not do so well in Ivy play (5-9).  Every team but Penn seemed to be up and down last year, so if we can remove our deficiencies, we will be competitive all year long.  Our field-goal defense needs some work: contesting shots, causing more deflections, etc.  Additionally, we need to improve our assist-turnover ratio.


3. Who do you think will be your team’s most improved player this season?

A: Andrew Pusar has worked really hard over the summer, so keep an eye on him.


4. Which non-conference opponent do you think will be your biggest challenge this year?

A: The Big East and Big 10 are always difficult, so Providence and Michigan will be very tough.


5. Which of your 6 incoming freshmen (Pat Magnarelli, Tommy Balcetis, Doug Miller, Jeremy Lin, Darryl Finkton, and Alek Blankenau) do you expect to make the biggest impact this season?

A: It is always hard to figure out the rookies in advance, so we will just have to wait and see.


6. Do you consider this season to be the usual two-team race between Penn and Princeton, or do you think another team can win the conference title this season?

A: It definitely used to be a 2-horse race, but the past decade has seen a lot more parity, so I think that the chase for the title is wide open.


7. With a nucleus of 3 returning double-digit scorers (Brian Cusworth, Jim Goffredo, and Drew Housman), are you more concerned with getting role players to fill in the gaps or focusing most of your offense through these 3 guys?

A: It all starts with these 3 guys: they are all proven scorers, and have showed that they can handle the rigors of playing on back-to-back nights.  We will be fairly young this year, and need a stronger bench, but we have a lot of athleticism and enthusiasm, which should help a lot. 


8. Why did Cusworth decide to use his last semester of eligibility this fall rather than this winter, and how do you expect to do without him during the final 10 games of the season? 

A: He has 4 classes left before he graduates, and he has to take them all during the same semester.  It was his decision, so it is the right decision for him.  If he decided to play in the winter, then he would have gone 9 months without getting into an actual game, which is quite a long stretch.  It is good that we know the decision in advance so we can plan ahead. 


9. How much of a loss will Matt Stehle be?

A: A lot of our offense went through Matt, so he will be a big loss.  I think he will go down as 1 of the best basketball players in school history.


10. Who do you consider to be the favorite for Ivy Player of the Year?

A: Ibby Jaaber of Penn