Friday, February 11, 2011

Grading the Terriers: 2/10 vs. Albany @ MSG

By Luke Coughlan 

Offense: A-

One of Boston University men's basketball coach Patrick Chamber's favorite lines following a positive offensive night for his basketball team is: “when you make shots, this game is easy.” Well, the Terriers have found their groove on the offensive end in the past few games, and truth be told, the fact that their shots were falling from all over the court made their victory over the Great Danes on Thursday look like a walk in the park.

BU's offense started and ended with senior forward John Holland, who was sharp in his first career game at Madison Square Garden. Despite foul trouble that limited his minutes in the first half, Holland still finished with 25 points on 8-of-14 from the field and 3-of-4 from beyond the arc in just 29 total minutes.

When Chambers was forced to sit Holland with two quick fouls at the 8:50 mark, junior forward Darryl Partin and junior guard Matt Griffin picked up the slack, scoring 14 and 8 points, respectively. Freshman guard D.J. Irving pushed the ball on offense and junior forward Pat Hazel was there to clean up missed shots under the basket for easy put-backs.

Freshman forward Dom Morris finished with five points on 2-of-5 from the field and was unable to secure an offensive rebound. Although it may have been an off day for the big man, he did score the first basket of the game for the Terriers on a layup 59 seconds in to break the ice at the "World's Most Famous Arena."

Ultimately, a 45.8 field goal percentage, including a 52.4 percent clip in the first half alone says it all for the Terrier offense. The Terriers have scored over their opponent's scoring defense average in each of their last three games, and all resulted in wins. Because of their recent success in getting the ball into the hoop, BU has risen to third in the conference in field goal percentage with a 41.4 clip.

Defense: B+

Although Albany may be eighth in the America East Conference in scoring offense with 57.8 points per conference game, the fact that the Terriers managed to hold the Great Danes to just two more than their season-low of 42 points is impressive.

However, Albany didn't put up much of a fight. As much as BU's shots continued to fall, the Danes' shots just weren't. Even when the Terriers went on a 17-0 run toward the end of the game, many of Albany's shots were open if not wide open. It had trouble getting the ball to fall through the hoop.

The result was that the Terriers held the Great Danes to 34 percent shooting from the field and top scoring senior guard Tim Ambrose to 13 points on 5-of-13 from the field. Still, BU fouled more than the Great Danes, 18-14, and lost the offensive battle of the boards, 13-10.

Albany was simply unable to capitalize on either statistical advantage, shooting 6-of-12 from the charity stripe and earning 10 second chance points to the Terriers' 10-of-11 mark and 14 points. While the Danes were unable to capitalize on some defensive mistakes by the Terriers, more offensively potent teams in the conference may be able to turn rebounds and fouls into points, making a blowout of a game much closer down the stretch.

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