Thursday, December 29, 2011

Post-La Salle Interview with BU coach Joe Jones

By René Reyes/DFP Staff

Q: What are your general thoughts on your team’s 70-53 loss to La Salle tonight?

“I was pleased with our effort for the most part. La Salle’s a very good team, very well coached, very talented team. I felt we played hard, and I’m happy with the effort. I thought we went through a span again where we failed to score and they went on a run. Again, we couldn’t muster up a run. We had some opportunities, especially early in the second half. Some shots hit the basket, tough shots. We just didn’t convert when we were trying to close the gap, and I thought that really hurt us. I was happy with the effort. I couldn’t have said that after the Bucknell game [back on Dec. 22].”

Q: You made some noticeable changes to your starting lineup by inserting sophomore guard Mike Terry Jr. and leaving senior co-captain Patrick Hazel on the bench. What went into your decision-making?

“I wanted to definitely recognize some of the effort that guys had provided in practice. I wanted those guys to get recognized. I just felt like that lineup was the one I felt deserved the most to be out there.”

Q: What was your overall impression of your team’s defensive performance?

“We were better defensively tonight. I thought their athletic ability allowed them to score just because they were a little bigger and stronger, so they were able to make some plays. But I was happy for the most part in our defense. I thought there were some opportunities we could have taken some charges and gotten to loose balls, some box-out situations where we didn’t do a great job boxing out. But they were less than they were on Thursday against Bucknell last week.”

No brotherly love: BU falls, 70-53, to La Salle in Philly

By René Reyes/DFP Staff

In its third and final trip to Philadelphia this month alone, the Boston University men’s basketball team dropped its fifth straight decision Thursday night, losing 70-53 to La Salle University at Tom Gola Arena. BU hasn’t won since notching a 75-61 victory at Boston College back on Dec. 3.

Redshirt freshman Malik Thomas continued to impress in just his sixth collegiate game, recording a career-high 17 points and eight rebounds to pace the Terriers (4-9). Senior guard Darryl Partin, who played two seasons at La Salle before transferring to BU at the end of the 2009-09 campaign, struggled from the offensive end once again, shooting 4-of-16 from the field for a mere 12 points, eight points below his season average of 20.8 points per game.

For the Explorers (9-4), guard Tyreek Duren led all scorers with 23 points and dished out a team-high five assists. Guard Ramon Galloway chipped in 13 points and forward Jerrell Wright added 10 points and eight boards, as La Salle posted its eighth win in a row at home – a program record at the facility.

Both teams were without the services of star offensive players with La Salle’s Sam Mills and BU’s D.J. Irving out due to injuries. The Terriers seized an early 5-3 advantage but it was all downhill from that point on. By halftime, the Explorers found themselves ahead, 43-29, and their lead reached as many as 25 points in the second half.

BU will look to break out of this winless slump Saturday afternoon when it travels to Hamden, Conn., to face Quinnipiac University with tip-off set for 12 p.m.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Irving-less Terriers taken down by Bison, 75-61

By René Reyes/DFP Staff

If mired in a three-game losing streak weren’t bad enough for the Boston University men’s basketball team during the holiday season, news broke that BU would be without the services of its star point guard – sophomore D.J. Irving – for Thursday’s matchup with Bucknell University due to a concussion he suffered 10 days ago.

Yet, senior guard Matt Griffin filled in admirably for Irving in the starting lineup against the Bison (8-5), posting team highs of four rebounds and five assists, the Terriers (4-8) committed a season-low nine turnovers and to top it all off, they shot 50 percent the field and 55 percent from 3-point territory for the game.

Still, forward Joe Willman and reigning Patriot League Player of the Year Mike Muscala – two-thirds of Bucknell’s lengthy frontcourt – proved to be too much for BU (4-8) to handle, combining for 39 points on 13-of-21 shooting and 13 total rebounds in their team’s 75-61 win at Case Gymnasium.

Sitting in an empty coaches’ dressing room afterward, BU coach Joe Jones told two reporters that he was satisfied with his squad’s efforts on the offensive end, especially since it was missing its second leading scorer in Irving.

But it was Willman and Muscala’s domination of the paint and the Bison’s 34-17 edge in rebounding, a stat Jones said he had never seen before in his 17 years in the coaching business, that did the Terriers in last night.

Injury Update: D.J. Irving (concussion) day-to-day

By René Reyes/DFP Staff

Sophomore point guard D.J. Irving is listed as day-to-day with a concussion, Boston University men’s basketball coach Joe Jones said after BU’s 75-61 loss to Bucknell University Thursday at Case Gymnasium.

The speedy floor general from Philadelphia, Pa., was blossoming in his second collegiate season, averaging 12.6 points, 4.9 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game through 11 contests. But Irving suffered a slight head injury back on Dec. 13 against Villanova University and was unavailable for the Terriers’ matchup with the Bison last night.

“He got hit in the Villanova game," Jones said. "He was fine obviously during the game. Then after the game, he got a little bit of a headache. And then the next day, when we got back, he had to go see the trainer because he had the headaches. That’s when it started.”

Irving gradually improved over the course of this past week. But he began experiencing concussion-like symptoms again on Thursday and was downgraded to out prior to the 7 p.m. tip-off.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Jones Interview following BU's 75-61 loss to Bucknell

BU vs. Bucknell Live Blog

Starting lineups:
Bucknell University Bison

F Joe Willman
F Mike Muscala
G Steven Kaspar
G Bryan Cohen
G Cameron Ayers

Boston University Terriers
F Dom Morris
F Travis Robinson
F Patrick Hazel
G Darryl Partin
G Matt Griffin

Final Score: Bucknell 75, BU 61

Team leaders:
Bucknell: Mike Muscala, 20
BU: Darryl Partin, 17

Bucknell: Mike Muscala, 11
BU: Matt Griffin, 4

Bucknell: Cameron Ayers, 5
BU: Matt Griffin, 5

Irving out Thursday vs. Bucknell

By Craig Meyer/DFP Staff

Sophomore point guard D.J. Irving will not play for the Boston University men's basketball team in its game against Bucknell University Thursday night due to a concussion, according to Irving's Facebook page.

"Game Tonight vs Bucknell! I won't be playing due to a concussion. My Boys Still Going To Get The Job Done!!!!" the status said.

Irving has made serious strides in his second collegiate season, ranking second on the team in scoring with 12.6 points per game to go along with 4.9 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game.

More details to come after tonight's game.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Villa-no-fun: Terriers thumped, 68-43, by Wildcats

By Shep Hayes/DFP Staff

Despite leading Villanova University 26-23 at the end of the first half, the Boston University men’s basketball team scored only 17 points in the second, falling to the Wildcats, 68-43, Wednesday evening at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

The Terriers (4-7) scored the opening basket and held the lead through the entire first half and all the way into the second, holding a nine-point advantage over the Wildcats (6-4) at one moment. When his team headed into the locker room at the half, BU coach Joe Jones said the Terriers “felt good.”

“I thought the guys were confident we could play a good second half,” Jones said by phone after the game.

In reality, however, BU struggled from the beginning of the second half. The Wildcats came out of the locker room on a tear, jumping ahead of the Terriers just a few minutes into the half and not looking back the rest of the way. Villanova dropped 41 points in the half alone and ended up dominating every statistical category for the game, making 37.3 percent of its field goal attempts, 73.3 percent of its free throw attempts and 25.9 percent of its 3-point field goal attempts.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Terriers meet their (A)maker, fall to Harvard, 76-52

By Shep Hayes/DFP Staff

In the middle of the toughest nonconference stretch of its 2011-12 schedule, the Boston University men’s basketball team was saddled with a 76-52 loss to the No. 24 Harvard University Crimson on Saturday afternoon at Agganis Arena.

For the first 12:17 of the game, the game was not a blowout. The Terriers (4-6) and the Crimson (9-1) went back and forth, the teams exchanging the lead every few possessions. The largest margin either team was able to hold over the other in that span was three points, a feat Harvard did twice and BU accomplished once.

BU was on defense and up by one when senior forward Jeff Pelage fouled Harvard senior Oliver McNally, sending the latter to the free-throw line to shoot twice. McNally sank both his free throws, and the Harvard didn’t look back.

The Crimson went on a 21-3 run to close out the half, entering the locker room up 37-21. Between a shot made from the charity stripe from senior guard Darryl Partin with 6:07 left in the half and a jumper from senior Patrick Hazel with only a second remaining, Harvard dropped 18 unanswered points on BU.

“I thought we locked in pretty well,” said Harvard head coach Tommy Amaker.

Offense, well, offensive in blowout loss

By Craig Meyer/DFP Staff

As senior guard Matt Griffin, along with seldom-used players like sophomore guard Mike Terry, Jr., senior center Jeff Pelage, freshman guard Zach Chionuma and freshman forward James Kennedy, waited at the foot of the scorers’ table to check in, a white flag of sorts for the Boston University men’s basketball team, a daunting figure hung above the heads of the players on the Agganis Arena scoreboard under the heading ‘Terriers’ – 39.

With just under six minutes remaining in BU’s game against No. 24 Harvard University, the 39 was not the Terriers’ field goal percentage or number of rebounds up to that point.

Rather, in front of a rare crowd of 3,010 at Agganis Arena, that was the number of points BU had scored in the game’s first 35 minutes.

Though many things went wrong for the Terriers in their lopsided 76-52 loss Saturday to the Crimson, it all began on the offensive end where BU was routinely held in check, searching for answers.

“Harvard’s going to take you out of your offense,” BU head coach Joe Jones said after the game. “That’s what they do.”

BU-Harvard Slideshow

All photos by Junhee Chung/DFP Staff

BU-Harvard Press Conferences

Saturday, December 10, 2011

BU vs. Harvard Live Blog

Starting lineups:
Harvard University Crimson

F Kyle Casey
F Keith Wright
G Brandyn Curry
G Oliver McNally
G Christian Webster

Boston University Terriers
F Dom Morris
F Travis Robinson
F Patrick Hazel
G Darryl Partin
G D.J. Irving

Final Score: Harvard 76, BU 52

Team leaders:
Harvard: Kyle Casey, 20
BU: Darryl Partin, 12

Harvard: Kyle Casey and Keith Wright, 9
BU: Patrick Hazel, 9

Harvard: Brandyn Curry, 7
BU: D.J. Irving, 5

BU to take on ranked Harvard University Saturday

By René Reyes/DFP Staff

On Saturday, the Boston University men's basketball team returns to Agganis Arena, the sight of its program-defining win in last year's America East Championship game, for a late afternoon tilt with a ranked opponent from across the Charles River.

BU (4-5) will have its hands full when it welcomes No. 24 Harvard University (8-1) to the Greek with tip-off scheduled for 4 p.m. The heavily promoted game will be televised live on NESN.

Darryl Partin will lead the Terriers in their first game against a ranked team since they hosted St. Joseph’s University back on Nov. 25, 2003 at the Roof. The senior guard is averaging 23.9 points per game, good for second in the country, and has tallied 20-plus points in his last seven games. He scored a team-high 24 points for the Terriers last Wednesday.

Sophomore guard D.J. Irving stuffed the stat sheet with 13 points, seven rebounds and five assists, but it wasn’t enough as BU fell to St. Joseph’s, 75-68, snapping its four-game winning streak.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Birds of war: Terriers come up short against Hawks

By Craig Meyer/DFP Staff

Entering Wednesday night’s game against Saint Joseph’s University, the Boston University men’s basketball team was looking to continue a run, one that began after starting the season 0-4 and extended over nearly two-week span in which the Terriers didn’t lose.

However, BU was not able to break the .500 threshold for the first time in the young season as it was not able to recover from a late first half scoring drought as it fell to the Hawks 75-68 at Michael J. Hagan Arena in Philadelphia.

For all the strides the Terriers (4-5) made in their four-game win streak, they were not able to maintain many of these improvements and momentum gained in that time.

“We didn’t do a good job tonight,” BU head coach Joe Jones said in a phone interview. “We have to make sure to do a better job of sharing [the ball] – we held it too long, we didn’t move it, we let them lock in on us, we could have gotten better shots. It was a tough game and they’re a good team.”


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

From the FreeP: Bird is the word: Terriers prepare for Hawks

By Shep Hayes/DFP Staff

Fresh off its first win against Boston College since 1974 and finally out of the hole dug with a season-opening four game losing streak, the Boston University men’s basketball team will begin what is arguably the toughest stretch on its 2011-12 schedule. The Terriers (4-4) will make two trips to Philadelphia in the next week, sandwiched around a home game against a ranked opponent in Harvard University at Agganis Arena.

The challenge begins Wednesday evening, as the Terriers make their first trip to Pennsylvania, this time to play the Saint Joseph’s University Hawks. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Michael J. Hagan Center.

Speaking in the lobby of the Walter Brown Arena on Tuesday, senior forward Patrick Hazel was still impressed with the team’s 75-61 win over BC on Saturday afternoon.

“It was huge,” Hazel said. “You don’t like to make a big deal about things like that, but it really does mean a lot to our university.

“I was telling my teammates when I went to class, I was surprised because my classmates were clapping for me, cheering for me.”


Monday, December 5, 2011

Soaring with the Eagles: Men's basketball gets historic win

By Craig Meyer/DFP Staff

CHESTNUT HILL – As first-year Boston University men’s basketball coach Joe Jones addressed reporters in a lobby outside his team’s locker room at Conte Forum, he was very adamant about one thing from the start – that the final score of the game was not a reflection of what he saw as a hard-fought contest.

Jones’ sentiment notwithstanding, there was a simple, coherent truth that came with the score under question – it made history as BU was able to do something it had not done since Gerald Ford was president.

Behind a 44-point second-half, the Terriers went on the road and knocked off rival Boston College 75-61, marking the first time since 1974 that BU had beaten the Eagles.

Senior guard Darryl Partin led all scorers with a game-high 27 points, his second-straight 27-point performance, but made his biggest mark when he scored seven consecutive points midway through the second half to extend BU’s lead from three points to 10, putting a game that had been largely back-and-forth firmly in the Terriers’ (4-4) control.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Hot-shooting Partin the difference

By René Reyes/DFP Staff

CHESTNUT HILL – Darryl Partin has an undeniable scorer's mentality.

He's known primarily as a perimeter shooter, who has the forte to slash apart defenses. As the Boston University men's basketball team's No. 1 offensive weapon, the 6-foot-6 senior swingman is averaging 23.9 points per game, which ranks him fifth in the nation, by raining in contested jumpers from all spots on the floor and converting layups in traffic – a lethal combination for any college player.

He's led the Terriers (4-4) in scoring in seven of their first eight contests and netted 20-plus points in six straight games, all coming against rigorous competition in BU's non-conference slate, including a season-high 29-point outburst at Cornell University on Nov. 20.

Yet, Partin's greatest strength can also be his greatest weakness, admits BU coach Joe Jones.

Partin is attempting a team-high 18.5 shots per game – nearly eight shots more than sophomore point guard D.J. Irving is averaging – and can fall into the bad habit of forcing up shots when he's blanketed on defense, as he did on Wednesday in BU's 73-67 win over the University of Delaware when he missed a total of 14 shots.

Grading the Terriers: 12/3 at Boston College

By Shep Hayes/DFP Staff

Offense: B
For the first time since 1974, Boston College and Boston University faced off in men’s basketball and the Terriers won. BU scored a season-high 75 points en route to victory and played one of its best games of the season as a team. Offensively, Darryl Partin continued to assert his position as one of the top scorers in the country, posting 27 points. After playing for few points but many assists on Wednesday night against Delaware, D.J. Irving bounced back to his normal scoring level, dropping 17 points. Though the lead changed 13 times, the Terriers were able to begin pulling away with about 12 minutes left in the game, closing out better than they did at the start of the season against Northeastern University and Cleveland State University.

Dom Morris had a double-double in one of his best performances of the year, with 11 points and 11 rebounds. He made all four of his shots in the paint, and even his lone 3-point attempt fell into the basket. At one point in the second, Morris was able to get an offensive rebound and then pushed the ball back up into the air for two. How he did it is anyone’s guess.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

BU-BC Slideshow

All photos by Junhee Chung/DFP Staff

BU-BC Press Conferences

BU @ BC Live Blog

Starting lineups:
Boston College Eagles

C KC Caudill
G Gabe Moton
G Matt Humphrey
G Lonnie Jackson
G Patrick Heckmann

Boston University Terriers
F Dom Morris
F Travis Robinson
F Patrick Hazel
G Darryl Partin
G D.J. Irving

Final Score: BU 75, BC 61

Team leaders:
BC: Lonnie Jackson, 11
BU: Darryl Partin, 27

BC: Gabe Moton and Dennis Clifford, 4
BU: Dom Morris, 11

BC: Patrick Heckmann, 4
BU: D.J. Irving, 7

Friday, December 2, 2011

Party like it's 2004: Terriers and Eagles take to the hardwood

By Craig Meyer/DFP Staff

Separated by just four miles of Commonwealth Avenue pavement, the men’s basketball programs at Boston University and Boston College share a distance far greater than a quick ride on the Green Line – seven years to be exact.

Coaches have been fired and taken other jobs, players have passed through the respective schools’ classrooms and locker rooms and the programs hardly resemble what they did even less than a decade ago.

But on Saturday afternoon, for the first time since 2004, all that will change as the natural rivals will take the court at Conte Forum for a scheduled 2 p.m. tip-off.

The matchup pits two teams heading in relatively opposite directions as the Terriers (3-4) have recovered from a slow start to win their last three games, while the Eagles (2-5) have lost five of their last six games.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

BU-Delaware Slideshow

All photos by Audrey Fain/DFP Staff

Created with flickr slideshow.

From the FreeP: Terriers send Blue Hens back to coop

By Shep Hayes/DFP Staff

Sophomores D.J. Irving and Travis Robinson posted career-highs Wednesday night as the Boston University men’s basketball team earned its first home win of the season against the University of Delaware, 73-67.

Both teams entered the game at Case Gymnasium having won their last two games – Delaware (2-3) owning wins at home against Cornell University and Lafayette University, and BU (3-4) having won two-of-three in Kingston, R.I. as part of the TicketCity Legends Classic.

In the end however, BU prevailed over its old America East foe for its third straight win.

The Terriers moved away from the Blue Hens, with whom they had traded the lead a total of 13 times, after a Robinson 3-pointer with 6:30 remaining in the game.


From the FreeP: Here’s to you, Mr. Robinson

By Craig Meyer/DFP Staff

Seemingly from the moment he stepped foot on the Boston University campus, things have not exactly gone according to plan for Travis Robinson.

With the two separate broken nose injuries restricting the kind of playing time and chance for development that fellow then-freshmen D.J. Irving and Dom Morris enjoyed, Robinson, once the highest-rated player in a banner seven-player 2010 recruiting class, seemed to be behind the proverbial curve.

But even in a brief career where so many breaks and opportunities have gone the wrong way, on Wednesday night against the University of Delaware, everything went right for Robinson.

Capitalizing on an increase in playing time he has gotten the past several games, the sophomore forward went off for a career-high 16 points on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting performance from the field in the Terriers’ 73-67 win over the Blue Hens.


Grading the Terriers: 11/30 vs. Delaware

By René Reyes/DFP Staff

Offense: B-
Seventy-three points are nearly 10 points above what the Terriers have normally averaged during the course of the 2011-12 campaign (64.33 points per game entering Wednesday night). Darryl Partin dropped a game-high 27 points and outscored the nation's leading scorer in the Blue Hens' Devon Saddler by seven points. Yet, Partin did jack up a total of 26 shots to reach those 27 points, and on any other night, his 14 misses – he shot 12-of-26 from the field – could have proven to be BU's downfall. Luckily for DP, Travis Robinson picked up some of the scoring slack and had himself a career night with 16 points on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting, including four made 3-pointers and a rim-rattling two-handed flush. Speedy point guard D.J. Irving dished out a personal-best 11 dimes, but did seem rather hesitant pushing the ball up court and driving it down the defense's throat. Why the B-? Partin and Robinson were the only Terriers to score in double figures, while other players (Patrick Hazel, Dom Morris, Matt Griffin) hardly contributed on the offensive end.

Here's to you, Mr. Robinson: Sophomore forward goes off for career high

By Craig Meyer/DFP Staff

Seemingly, from the moment he stepped foot on the Boston University campus, things have not exactly gone according to plan for Travis Robinson.

With the two separate broken nose injuries restricting the kind of playing time and chance for development that fellow freshmen D.J. Irving and Dom Morris enjoyed, Robinson, once the highest-rated player in a banner seven-player 2010 recruiting class, seemed to be behind the proverbial curve.

But even in a brief career where so many breaks and opportunities have gone the wrong way, on Wednesday night against the University of Delaware, everything – quite literally – went right for Robinson.

Capitalizing on an increase in playing time he has gotten the past several games, the sophomore guard went off for a career-high 16 points on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting performance from the field in the Terriers’ 73-67 win over the Blue Hens.

“I wasn’t really expecting it,” Robinson said with a grin after the game. “I’ve been working on my jump shot all summer and coming into the season, we knew they were going to focus a lot on DP [senior guard Darryl Partin], so it was going to leave a lot of people open. I guess I just had the hot hand.”