Sunday, July 31, 2011

Holland among finalists for P.R. national team; Strong cut

By Craig Meyer/DFP Staff

Former Boston University men's basketeball forward and reigning America East Conference Player of the Year John Holland is among 17 finalists to make the Puerto Rico national basketball team.

Though Holland is still contending for a spot on the team, his former BU teammate, guard Carlos Strong, did not make it through the recent series of cuts.

The Puerto Rican team will ultimately feature 12 players on the final roster, a roster that will compete in the FIBA Americas Championship in Argentina from August 30 to September 11 and will also attempt to capture one of two available spots in the 2012 Olympics in London.

Along with Holland, some notable players among the final 17 include Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea, Boston Celtics guard Carlos Arroyo, New York Knicks forward Renaldo Balkman, former Kansas State University guard Denis Clemente and guard Ricardo Ledo, a consensus top 15 recruit in the class of 2012.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bianco named Director of Basketball Operations

By Craig Meyer/DFP Staff

Joe Bianco, who has spent the last two seasons as an administrative assistant with the Boston University men's basketball team, has been named the team's director of basketball operations by new BU head coach Joe Jones, the school confirmed in a press release Thursday.

Bianco began his work at BU in 2009 shortly after Patrick Chambers was appointed as the program's next head coach. His duties as an administrative assistant included breaking down film, assisting with on-campus recruiting visits, as well as helping with film exchange.

"We are very fortunate to have Joey Bianco as our director of operations," Jones said in a statement. "In a short time, I have been very impressed with Joey's relationships with our players and his work ethic. I am really looking forward to watching Joey's development."

Before arriving at BU, Bianco served as a manager for the men's basketball team at Villanova for four seasons before graduating from the school in 2009.

Bianco replaces Adam Fisher, who left the program June 21 to join Chambers at Penn State University, and he becomes the third member of Jones' inaugural staff at BU, joining assistant coaches Curtis Wilson and Shaun Morris.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Holland, Strong participating in P.R. mini-camp

By Craig Meyer/DFP Staff

Former Boston University men's basketball standouts John Holland and Carlos Strong are reuniting after a year apart, albeit on a different stage in an entirely different venue.

Holland and Strong are two of 40 players that are training in a mini-camp for the Puerto Rico national basketball team. Puerto Rico will be participating in the FIBA Americas Championship in Argentina from August 30 to September 11 and will work to qualify for one of two available spots in the 2012 Olympics.

The 40 players invited to camp will be narrowed down to a 12-man roster by head coach Flor Melendez, who replaced former BU and current University of Louisville head coach Rick Pitino after Pitino opted not to continue with his duties as the team's coach. Holland and Strong will work to make a roster that is likely to feature such NBA players as Jose Juan Barea and Carlos Arroyo.

Holland finished his BU career by averaging 19.2 points and 5.8 rebounds per game en route to capturing the America East Conference's Player of the Year award. He culminated his BU career, one in which he became the program's second player to score over 2,000 points, by leading the Terriers to an AE Tournament title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Strong concluded a, appropriately enough, strong collegiate career as he averaged 10.9 points and 4.6 rebounds per game while shooting 47.5 percent from 3-point range his senior season, a season in which he helped lead BU to the semifinals of the 2010 College Basketball Invitational.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

An early look at BU's 2012 recruiting

By Craig Meyer/DFP Staff

After a busier-than-expected June due to the departure of former Boston University men's basketball coach Pat Chambers and the hire of new head coach Joe Jones, the summer recruiting period officially began July 6 with college coaches traversing the country to try to build the foundations of their respective program for years to come.

After Chambers hauled in two of the top recruiting classes in the America East Conference in his lone two seasons at the helm, Jones will look to build upon that success as he puts together his first recruiting class at BU, a 2012 class that will become especially important given the fact that the Terriers will graduate six players next year.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Jones tabs Wilson and Morris to fill assistant coaching slots at BU

By René Reyes/DFP Staff

New Boston University men’s basketball coach Joe Jones has chosen Curtis Wilson and Shaun Morris to join his staff as assistant coaches, the school announced Thursday.

Wilson spent the last 12 seasons at Yale University under Jones’ older brother, James, and served as an associate head coach of the Bulldogs for the past five years from 2006-2011.

“Curtis is a tremendous coach whose experience and knowledge will be invaluable to the program," Jones said. "He is a hard-working family man who will serve as a great role model to our players. I have known Coach Wilson for over 15 years and am thrilled to finally have the opportunity to work with him.”

Morris, on the other hand, worked at Division III powerhouse Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., the last two seasons under head coach Mike Maker. The Ephs advanced to the NCAA Final Four twice in Morris’ two-year stint at Williams and capped off the 2010 campaign as national runner-ups.

“Shaun is a rising star in the coaching world," Jones said. "He spent the last two seasons helping Williams College reach back-to-back Division III Final Fours. His energy and passion for teaching the game of basketball is exactly what I was looking for in a coach.”

Below is a link to the press release on the BU athletics website:

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Terriers to play Texas in Legends Classic Tournament

By Craig Meyer/DFP Staff

In the same week in which the university's athletic department unveiled Joe Jones as its new head coach, the Boston University men's basketball team has unveiled an opponent for its non-conference schedule in the 2011-12 season with the announcement that the Terriers will take on the University of Texas in the regional round of the Legends Classic on Nov. 13 in Austin, Texas, Texas athletics confirmed in a press release today.

The Longhorns' game against BU will be their season opener, though it is unclear whether the trip to the Lone Star State will open the Terriers' season.

Head coach Rick Barnes and the Longhorns are coming off a 28-8 season in which it finished second to the University of Kansas before losing to the University of Arizona 70-69 in the third round of the NCAA Tournament. Though Texas is bringing in a recruiting class that is widely-ranked among the top ten in the country, it loses several key players from last season's team, most notably forwards Tristan Thompson and Jordan Hamilton, as well as guard Cory Joseph, all three of whom were selected in last week's NBA Draft.

Texas joins a non-conference slate that reportedly includes such schools as Northeastern University, the University of Delaware, Cornell University and crosstown rival Boston College, among others.

Below is a link to the Texas press release:

Holland signs with French team

By Craig Meyer/DFP Staff

Former Boston University men's basketball standout forward John Holland has signed to play with Chorale de Roanne in France's Pro A Division, former BU and current Penn State University head coach Patrick Chambers announced on Twitter Saturday.

Holland's agreement with the French team comes just over a week after Holland was not selected in the NBA Draft, as was projected by many scouts and analysts.

Chorale de Roanne finished in fifth place in France's Pro A Division with a 18-12 record. The club's current roster features players like former Boston Celtic and NBA player Ricky Davis and former Vanderbilt guard and Boston native Alex Gordon.

Holland had previously been drafted by a professional team in Puerto Rico, but declined the offer to play for the team.

The signing comes months after Holland capped off his storied career at BU. In a benchmark senior season, Holland became the second player in program history to eclipse the 2,000 career point barrier, was named as the America East Conference Player of the Year, and additionally, helped carry the Terriers to an AE Tournament title and a berth in the NCAA Tournament, the program's first since 2002.

Friday, July 1, 2011

A stone untapped: The story of Patrick Chambers' tenure at and departure from Boston University

By Craig Meyer/DFP Staff

As he walked off the court and strode through the bowels and arteries of the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla., Patrick Chambers was content if not downright and outwardly satisfied.

The Boston University men’s basketball coach had been at the helm of and overseen one of the most accomplished seasons in the recent history of the program and was fresh off an NCAA Tournament appearance in which his Terriers were within single digits of the No.1 seed University of Kansas for a majority of a game played in front of a national television audience.

Even though his team ultimately lost by 19 points, it certainly didn’t feel that way for many close to the program; rather, there existed a prevailing sentiment of pride and accomplishment for an admirable performance and perhaps more than anything, a sense of excitement and anticipation for what laid ahead of the program with their perpetually-energetic 39-year-old coach leading the way.

But perhaps for Chambers, bliss derived from ignorance, for amidst all the joy and eagerness that had overcome the BU program in the aftermath of an America East title and a berth in the Big Dance rested a salient truth – Chambers has just coached his last game for the Terriers.

Just over two months and a two-year contract extension later, the school announced on June 3 that Chambers, the young up-and-comer who had turned around the program in just two short years, had left BU to accept the head coaching position at Penn State University.

“I looked at those kids at the end of that game in the locker room and I knew we were close to building something really special and we had to keep it going,” Chambers said. “That’s all I was thinking about.”