Friday, November 20, 2009

GAMEDAY: Boston University vs. Indiana University

One down, and two to go. BU put in a solid performance against Kansas State University last night. Tonight's opponent represents a step up in name recognition, but the Terriers' slow start pales in comparison to what Indiana University dealt with last season.

Kelvin Sampson arrived in Bloomington as a big-name head coach ready to restore the Hoosiers to glory. Less than two years later, Sampson was fired; soon afterward, the NCAA imposed three years of probation on IU and a five-year show-cause order on Sampson, effectively barring Sampson from coaching at the Division-I level. The Hoosiers struggled to a 6-25 record in 2008-09, winning just one game in Big Ten play.

For an America East Conference team, Indiana is a marquee opponent, ranking alongside UConn as the biggest "name" opponent BU will face this season. Get past the potential for awe, however, and tonight's game ranks as decidedly winnable.

The Terriers have had trouble with turnovers on offense; their best friend is a team willing to give the ball right back. Indiana is that team. The Hoosiers have committed turnovers on more than a quarter of their possessions. BU has gotten better in this category every game, dropping from 22 turnovers against Iona down to 16 last night. If BU can hang on to the ball instead of giving its opponent easy baskets, the Terriers should be in good shape, barring one item.

That item is shooting. Given that the goal of any basketball team is to put the ball in the basket more than its opponent, shooting is a big deal, and the Terriers have been missing too many shots to win games. Indiana, on the other hand, has posted an effective field goal percentage above 50 percent. The Hoosiers are not an upper-echelon power-conference team by any means, but if Indiana players are granted open shots, they will most likely make them.

The Terriers have made a habit of being competitive in games without posing a serious threat of winning. The next step is to make a serious run at winning one of these games. Tonight presents a good opportunity -- with a capable but beatable opponent occupying the other bench, keeping the outcome in doubt until the very last second, if not winning the game outright, would be another step in the right direction.

Expected starting lineups:
Boston University
G Tyler Morris, 15.3 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 1.7 SPG
G Corey Lowe, 13.7 PPG, 4.3 APG, 3.3 RPG
G Carlos Strong, 9.3 PPG, 9.3 RPG, 1.7 APG
F Valdas Sirutis, 0.7 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 1.0 APG
F Jake O'Brien, 7.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 2.3 BPG

Indiana University
G Verdell Jones III, 13.0 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 2.0 SPG
G Jeremiah Rivers, 7.3 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 4.7 APG
G Maurice Creek, 16.3 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 2.0 APG
F Tom Pritchard, 7.3 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 1.0 APG
F Christian Watford, 12.0 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 1.0 BPG

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes Yes Yes !!!

Congratulations Guys!!!