Sunday, December 12, 2010

Grading the Terriers: 12/11 @ Harvard

By Luke Coughlan/DFP Staff

Junior forward Jake O’Brien: C
In a game where the Terriers’ leading big man found a way to contribute offensively, O’Brien took a step backwards defensively, and took a while to get going at all. The junior forward missed his first three shots of the game, all short jumpers in or around the paint, before hitting his first three point attempt of the night. It would take O'Brien three more tries down low before he could get his first layup to fall.

On a night when the Terriers lived and died by the three point shot, O’Brien’s 20 points on 8-for-17 shooting may seem respectable. It is, except for the fact that 12 of his points came from beyond the arc, and BU desperately needs a consistent player who can take the ball to the hoop and have a solid low post game. Give O’Brien credit for changing his strategy when he wasn’t finding the basket inside the arc, but as coach Patrick Chambers said after the game, by not driving to the basket as much, the Terriers are missing out on easier shots and/or free throw opportunities. BU had only eight free throw attempts to Harvard’s 29.

O’Brien’s performance on the defensive side of the ball was also lackluster, as he committed five personal fouls, two more than any other player in the game, and was out-hustled for rebounds throughout, contributing to a 40-28 Harvard blowout in the battle of the boards.

Junior forward Patrick Hazel: C-
Hazel had the best shooting percentage of any player that attempted more than one shot in the game, going 3-for-4. All of his shots came close to the basket, and he visited the free throw line for three shots, a small amount, but still more than any other BU player. For these reasons, Hazel was the team’s subtle big man who worked the low post, backed down defenders, and went for close shots, and he was mildly successful.

However, Hazel is one of three captains for this Terrier squad, and was selected for the job before even playing a game at BU. Chambers picked Hazel for a reason, but he has not yet had a game in which he has proved himself a consistent leader, calling for the ball, and making shots by example. Because of his success in the low post, Hazel should have had the ball more often—maybe his 1-for-3 clip from the FT line on the game and 17-for-40 on the season is the reason for why he did not. Had Hazel called for the ball more often, he may have been able to open up a new scoring threat for the Terriers.

Defensively, the side of the ball on which he has performed well this season, Hazel put up pedestrian numbers, pulling down four rebounds, recording two blocks, and committing 3 fouls in 20 minutes.

Junior guard Darryl Partin: C
Partin followed one of his strongest performances of the year against his old team in La Salle University with an uninspiring game in Allston. The junior guard did contribute 15 points, but they came on 6-for-17 shooting. Partin also committed a team high three turnovers while playing 35 minutes, tied for the team high with Holland. He had a tough time from beyond the arc, shooting 1-for-5.

Junior guard Matt Griffin: D
The fact that the Terriers scored 71 points and had only three players in double figures is troubling. Chambers has expressed the importance of sharing the ball and getting everyone involved on offense throughout the season so far. Griffin went 2-for-6 from the field on Saturday and both of his made shots came from three point range. Griffin has proven himself to be a capable ball handler and scorer, putting in 21 points against Marist in the team’s home opener and running the Terrier offense well enough to earn back a starting job. But, he shied away from shooting against Harvard, and only registered two assists. The Terriers will need Griffin to assert himself offensively if they are going to be successful.

Of the Terriers’ three captains, Griffin is the most vocal, shouting from the bench after a shot clock violation, fighting for jump balls and turnovers, and keeping his young teammates in the game. If he can lead by asserting himself consistently offensively as well, he will be invaluable for the Terriers once conference play starts.

Freshman guard Mike Terry Jr.: B
Terry played only 11 minutes in the game while starting in place of Holland for the second time in a row and the first time on the road. While he did not fill up the stat sheet, he still managed a key assist to Griffin that gave the Terriers a slim lead towards the end of the first half, and he converted his only shot attempt, a layup at the end of the game that had little effect on an already lopsided score.

Despite his marginal effect on the game, Terry Jr. is one of the less touted newcomers to the team, and Chambers has given him a very difficult job in the last two games, asking him to remain poised as the only freshman starter in place of the team’s undisputed star in Holland. Terry Jr. has performed admirably, doing his job while not trying to do too much.

Freshman guard D.J. Irving: C+
Irving, the Terriers’ speediest option to cut to the basket, had a hard time against a tough Crimson defense. While he tried for points in transition and by using darting moves to the basket and along the baseline, he consistently found himself blocked or mismatched down low against defenders. As a result, Irving went 0-for-4 on the day and had to resort to finding other players for open shots.

The freshman was mildly successful in that respect, recording a team high four assists, although his speed never proved to be the lethal weapon that is can be in the game. Despite the Crimson’s ability to neutralize Irving offensively, the freshman maintained a high level of hustle throughout the game. In one play, he dove to force a turnover after the ball was stripped from his control moments before.

Freshman forward Dom Morris: C-
Morris, who has proven himself a capable scorer for the Terriers, played only 14 minutes on Saturday and went 0-for-1 from the floor. He did pull down five rebounds, which ties for a team high, but he also turned the ball over twice in limited minutes and committed three personal fouls. As one of the other capable big men on the team, his talents were sorely missed when he was out of the game.

Senior forward John Holland: C
In Holland’s second consecutive game off of the bench, he looked like he was going to carry his team throughout the game, hitting four consecutive three pointers at one point in the first half and keeping the score close. However, 14 of his 21 total points came in the first half, as he struggled to find his shot in the second. The overall result was a 7-for-15 shooting mark, three assists, one steal, and two rebounds. While Holland paced the Terriers on the offensive end, his struggles in the second half allowed the Crimson to pull away without much resistance.

Chambers has talked about Holland showing more “leadership” in games and during practice. He cited that lack of leadership as the reason for why he has come off of the bench recently. Holland lead by example in the first half against Harvard, but ran out of gas at the halfway mark.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Boston College RULES!!!!
And so does LUKE!