By René Reyes/DFP Staff
For Boston University men’s basketball coach Patrick Chambers, it sure is a luxury having two of the America East’s top 10 scorers in senior forward John Holland and junior guard Darryl Partin.
University of Maryland-Baltimore County coach Randy Monroe went as far as saying that the tandem of Holland and Partin is the best duo in the nine-team conference.
“They weren’t only effective tonight,” Monroe said. “They’re effective every night. That’s a very good one-two punch. That’s probably the best one-two punch in our league, Partin and Holland.
“They both can play on the wing. They’re both strong enough where they can get in and post up. They have a lot of intangibles. They’re hard matchups. I just see those guys being effective as they finish up their season going into the conference tournament.”
On Tuesday night at Agganis Arena, Holland finished with a game-high 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting, while Partin added 23 points, connecting on 9-of-17 shots he attempted from the field in BU’s 85-53 victory over UMBC.
After throttling the Retrievers to finish with a perfect 7-0 home conference record, the Terriers have now extended their season-high winning streak to five straight contests and have not lost since dropping a 60-48 decision to the University of New Hampshire on Jan. 29.
The two-headed monster of Holland and Partin has played a huge role in BU’s recent surge down the stretch heading toward the AE Tournament.
In wins over University of Maine, Stony Brook University, University at Albany, University of Hartford and most recently UMBC, the duo has combined for 41 points, 36, 39, 43 and 47, respectively.
As of late, Holland hasn’t settled for contested jumpers or NBA 3-pointers, instead deciding to use his strength and quickness to knife through teams’ interior defense.
“It’s what we’ve been working on in practice, not relying so much on 3s and finding other ways to score against the zone and against different defenses,” Holland said. “There’s been more of an emphasis on not settling so much on 3s after you take a couple in a row, to try and score in other ways – getting the ball inside and do other things.”
After playing minimal minutes at La Salle University and sitting out last year due to NCAA transfer rules, Partin has progressed throughout the season and become more comfortable in the Terrier offense. He’s second on the team with a 14.3 points per game average and is a dependable scoring option behind Holland.
“He’s great,” Holland said. “I imagine it must be rough sitting out a year. During the year, he’s just gotten better and better and better. Now he’s playing at a higher level right now.”
When asked if this is the most fun he’s had playing college basketball in his career, Partin was quick to give his response.
“Definitely,” Partin said. “No question. I love the coaching staff. It’s just one big family. I love the coaching staff, every player, managers, just Boston. It’s great.”
The one-two punch of Holland and Partin is Chambers’ ace in the hole.
“It’s a nice compliment by Coach Monroe,” Chambers said. “There are some really good duos out there, though. There are some really good teams in this league. There are some very good players in this league. The good thing about John and Darryl right now is they’re mixing it up. They’re not jacking up a ton of 3s, but they’re getting inside.”