Tuesday, November 17, 2009
GAMEDAY: George Washington University vs. Boston University
Tonight, the Terriers return to a more favorable setting, a familiar second home, albeit one with some less than pleasant memories. BU has enjoyed very limited success at Agganis Arena, partially due to the generally high quality of the opponents scheduled to play there, but also due to some uncharacteristically poor performances at The Greek. Tonight's game, Chambers' first at the more palatial of BU's two venues, constitutes an opportunity for the Terriers to establish an increased comfort level at Agganis, not to mention level their season record.
Most of the current Terriers remember last year's season-opening overtime loss to the Colonials. The nemeses from that defeat, Rob Diggs and Wynton Witherspoon, are noticeably absent. So, too, is Noel Wilmore, a deadly 3-point shooter who converted more than 40 percent of his attempts last season. George Washington is looking to replace significant portions of its 2008-09 scoring and improve on a season that left the Colonials outside the 12-team Atlantic 10 Conference tournament bracket. The Atlantic 10 coaches and media are skeptical about the program's ability to rebuild -- the Colonials were picked to finish 13th again this season.
Chambers, of course, has no personal memories of last year's home opener. Nor does he have any personal connection to the Terriers' well-documented struggles at Agganis. More relevant are memories of Friday's unpleasant result, positive signs mixed in with a slew of more negative outcomes. Few expected BU to exhibit solid rebounding ability, and in that respect the Terriers have surprised through one game; fewer still would have predicted poor ball-control and generally subpar shooting from the Terrier guards.
Playing at home against an opponent that typically prefers to employ a slower pace, further exposure of the Terriers' still-thin bench is somewhat less likely. Sloppy play, however, is a good way to get into trouble. The Terriers committed 22 turnovers against Iona; that number has to decrease. BU also has to contend with talented scorer Damian Hollis, a 6-foot-8 forward with athleticism and range. Hollis and the Colonials may be far removed from the A-10 elite, but at this early stage of the season, undisciplined play is not one of the risks the Terriers can afford to play. Better decision-making and more typical shooting performances from Corey Lowe and John Holland, on the other hand, would go a long way toward putting Chambers and his depleted team over the first-win hump.
Expected starting lineups:
G Tyler Morris, 21 PPG, 2 RPG, 2 SPG
G Corey Lowe, 16 PPG, 7 APG, 6 RPG
G Carlos Strong, 12 PPG, 11 RPG, 2 APG
F/G John Holland, 17 PPG, 6 RPG, 12 FTPG (free throws per game)
F Jake O'Brien, 7 PPG, 4 RPG, 2 BPG
G Tony Taylor, 10 PPG, 5 APG, 4 RPG
G Tim Johnson, 11 PPG, 2 RPG, 1 APG
G Lasan Kromah, 8 PPG, 2 RPG, 2 SPG
F Damian Hollis, 8 PPG, 1 RPG, 5 FPG
C Joseph Katuka, 2 PPG, 5 RPG, 1 SPG
Don't forget to check back at 6:30 PM for the live blog of tonight's game.
Link: Men's basketball to play home opener against GW