Wednesday, December 12, 2012

From the FreeP: BU suffers 3rd buzzer-beater loss

By Michael Bagarella/DFP Staff

Since its home loss against George Washington University on Nov. 17, the Boston University men’s basketball team was only a last-second bucket from senior guard D.J. Irving away from a four-game win streak.

Instead, the Terriers fell to Harvard University on the road Tuesday night and lost after its three-game winning streak.

The strong play from BU came after their loss to George Washington University, in which the Terriers were embarrassed in front of their home fans. BU traveled to New Brunswick, N.J., to take on Rutgers University and fought until the last possession. After a flagrant foul on BU, the Scarlet Knights (7–2) pulled out the close game, 81–79.

Four days later on Nov. 24, BU lost another close game at George Mason University, 48–45. Even after an 0–5 start, the first win for the Terriers was imminent.

In their second home game of the season, the Terriers played host to a very good Coastal Carolina University team. Eager for the first win of the season, the Terriers defended the Chanticleers (2–5) to the brink and held the high scoring team to only 44 points. The Terriers were able to put up 74 points and defeated Coastal Carolina to get their first win of the season.

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From the FreeP: Terriers fall to Harvard on road

By Christopher Dela Rosa/DFP Staff

The Boston University men’s basketball team took the short trip over to Lavietes Pavilion in Allston to take on Harvard University Tuesday, and fell to the Crimson 65–64.

The Terriers (3–6) entered the game looking to pick up their fourth victory in a row and continue their hot streak as the first half of the season nears its end. Meanwhile, the Crimson (5–4) were trying to rebound following a tough 57–49 loss against the University of Connecticut.

The Crimson scored after winning the tip with a tough shot from senior guard Christian Webster. The Terriers followed with a score of their own as junior forward Dom Morris backed his way into the paint to tie up the game.

With a little less than 13 minutes remaining in the first half, both teams were knotted up at eight, due to a high amount of turnovers and simple mistakes.

From then, the teams went into a stalemate, missing shot after shot on top of fouls and traveling violations, which ultimately led to a three-minute scoring drought.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Live Blog: BU @ Harvard 12/11

From the FreeP: Terriers look to continue hot streak in battle with Crimson

By Christopher Dela Rosa/DFP Staff

Tuesday night, the Boston University men’s basketball team will take the two-mile trip to Allston to take on Harvard University at the Lavietes Pavilion.

Freshman point guard Maurice Watson Jr. has been among the Terriers’ top performers, scoring 10.1 points per game.

The Terriers (3–5, 0–0 America East) are coming in hot after traveling to Conway, S.C., and defeating Coastal Carolina University, 69–63, to increase their win streak to three games.

BU’s streak started against Coastal Carolina (2–5) when the Chanticleers came to Boston and were blown out by the Terriers by a score of 74–44.

From there, BU went on the road to take on St. Peter’s University in Jersey City, N.J., where it recorded another quality victory.

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

From the FreeP: Terriers travel south for rematch with Chanticleers

By Michael Bagarella/DFP Staff

Only eight days and one game after defeating Coastal Carolina University, 74–44, for its first win of the season, the Boston University men’s basketball team will travel to Conway, S.C., to play the Chanticleers for the second time this season at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

Entering the first contest at Case Gym, Coastal Carolina (2–4) was averaging 77 points a game with most of its offense coming through senior guard Anthony Raffa, who is second in the nation in scoring with an average of 26 points a game.

On the other hand, BU was a young team struggling for its first win of the season. On paper, it seemed like the matchup would result in the Terriers’ sixth loss of the season.

However, the opposite happened.

The Terriers took it to the Chanticleers in the first half and found themselves up 31–18 at halftime thanks to 12 points off Coastal Carolina turnovers.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

From the FreeP: Terriers take down St. Peter’s, begin 2-game winning streak

By Michael Bagarella/DFP Staff

After starting the season 0–5, the Boston University men’s basketball team extended its winning streak to two games after defeating St. Peter’s University, 74–66.

The 0–5 start is not yet behind BU coach Joe Jones and the rest of the Terrier team, but the valuable experience it provided is definitely not forgotten.

“You talk about a team that returned only four guys with any experience — no one else has any experience on this level,” Jones said. “No matter who these guys are, unless you’re Kentucky, you are going to struggle. Anybody else that plays the schedule we play with inexperienced guys like us it’s going to be hard.”

The Terriers (2–5) finally got their first win of the season against Coastal Carolina University, blowing out the Chanticleers 70–40. BU looked to build upon that when they traveled to Jersey City, New Jersey, to play St. Peter’s (3–4) on Saturday.

BU was clearly the squad ready to play and got out to a quick lead against the Peacocks (3–4). Thanks to a few early misses by St. Peter’s and strong all-around play from BU, the Terriers found themselves ahead 13–4 only 5:28 into the game.

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Struggle for first win comes to an end

By Michael Bagarella/DFP Staff

The Boston University men’s basketball team could breathe a sigh of relief after defeating Coastal Carolina University Wednesday night, 74–44, as the victory ensured it would not go winless in the 2012-13 season.

Prior to their first win of the season, the Terriers (1–5) were on a five-game losing streak that featured three last-second losses and a handful of road losses due to their lack of defensive presence.

“We were poor defensively and that cost us some games early,” said BU coach Joe Jones. “We could say we played a hard schedule, and it was on the road, but those are just excuses … It was more about our defensive effort that we did not have.”

The Terriers opened the season at Northeastern University, where they fell to the Huskies (4–2) by a score of 65–64, courtesy of a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by guard Demetrius Pollard.

BU then traveled to Buffalo, N.Y., on Nov. 12 to play a Canisius University team that was a dismal 5–25 last year. The Terriers did not lead once in the game and lost, 83–75.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

UPDATED: BU routs Coastal Carolina 74–44; Earns first win of the season

By Christopher Dela Rosa/DFP Sports

Wednesday night the Boston University men’s basketball team faced Coastal Carolina University at Case Gym and earned its first win of the season in a 74–44 victory.

It was the first of two meetings between the Terriers (1–5) and Chanticleers (2–4), and the series marks the first time BU will face a non-conference opponent more than once since the 2006–07 season.

“We have a lot of respect for Coastal Carolina,” said BU coach Joe Jones after the win. “I thought they were a team coming in that was very dangerous.”

BU got off to a nice start after junior forward Dom Morris won the tip-off for the Terriers. On the opening possession, junior forward Travis Robinson missed an open 3-pointer, which Morris was able to salvage with an offensive rebound.

After the offensive rebound, a series of turnovers ensued for both teams.

BU vs. Coastal Carolina Live Blog

Monday, November 26, 2012

From the FreeP: Men’s basketball suffers loss to George Mason on buzzer beater

By Michael Bagarella/DFP Staff

The Boston University men’s basketball team’s Thanksgiving break ended when it fell to George Mason University 48–45 on a buzzer beater Saturday night in Fairfax, Va.

The Terriers (0–5) entered the game looking for their first win of the season against a George Mason team (4–2) that is currently tied with Northeastern University for first place in the Colonial Athletic Association.

Prior to the game, BU coach Joe Jones stressed playing strong team defense. He told his team that if it held the strong George Mason team to 60 points, the Terriers would have a chance to pull out their first win of the season.

The Terriers played tremendous defense, holding the Patriots to their lowest point total of the season.

“We hadn’t been defending very well, but we really did a great job [against George Mason],” Jones said. “To hold that team under 40 percent on their floor was huge for us — a major step in the right direction.

“We played really hard and then it came down to the last few possessions and we didn’t do a great job putting the game away.”

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Terriers fall just short, lose to Rutgers 81–79 on road

By Christopher Dela Rosa/DFP Sports

The Boston University men’s basketball team knew it would be a challenge to travel to Piscataway, N.J. and take on Rutgers University at the Rutgers Athletic Center. Last year, then-No. 10 University of Florida made the trip, and lost to a young and inexperienced, but hungry Rutgers team on the very same court.

However, the Terriers fell just short of an upset, dropping the contest 81–79.

“I liked our toughness,” said BU coach Joe Jones. “But we have got to be able to play for 40 minutes. We have got to defend. Those things have got to change.”

After the opening tip, it seemed as if BU (0–4, 0–0 America East) was going to play well against the Scarlet Knights (3–1, 0–0 Big East ). The Terriers applied constant pressure on their first defensive series, forcing Rutgers to turn the ball over. Despite BU’s tenacious defense to open the game, it failed to capitalize on turnovers.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Terriers fall to George Washington 72-59 in home opener

By Tyler Lay/DFP Staff

The most obvious disadvantage endured by the Boston University men’s basketball team when it matched up with George Washington University was a lack of size.

Junior co-captain Dom Morris did not start the game thanks to what BU coach Joe Jones called a “coach’s decision.” With Morris on the bench, BU’s starting forwards were 6-foot-5, 6-foot-6 and 6-foot-7, whereas GW’s were 6-foot-8, 6-foot-9 and 6-foot-10. The disparity in height was an obvious factor in the 72–59 BU loss

Though Morris played off the bench against the Colonials, he managed to lead the Terriers with 14 points, while also grabbing five rebounds.

Morris said pure effort was what led to his success against the height-advantaged Colonials.

BU vs. George Washington Live Blog

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

From the FreeP: BU winless after tough 2 games

By Michael Bagarella/DFP Staff

The Boston University men’s basketball team has gone winless in its first two games, dropping a last-second thriller to Northeastern University before losing to Canisius College 83–75 on Monday night.
“A lot of the times you have to look at the teams you play more than anything,” Jones said. “We played two of the better teams in their leagues. We could have played two lesser teams and be 2–0 right now and what does that mean? We are playing a schedule that’s more challenging than anybody else in our league.”BU coach Joe Jones said while those two teams do not boast a national ranking, they are each extremely tough opponents.
The competition will remain tough when the Terriers play George Washington University (0–1) this weekend and then travel to New Brunswick, N.J., to play Rutgers University (1–1).
For a team that has no seniors on scholarship, the Terriers have relied heavily on the play of their freshmen thus far.
Freshman guard Maurice Watson Jr., ranked 92nd in ESPN’s top national high school basketball recruits of his class, has started both games at point guard for the Terriers. He currently leads the team in assists with 11.
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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

From the FreeP: Terriers fall to Canisius, lose second straight game

By Michael Bagarella/DFP Staff

In its second game of the 2012–13 season, the Boston University men’s basketball team had a difficult first half against Canisius College and never found rhythm as the Terriers lost to the Golden Griffins, 75–83.

“There were a lot of little things in this game that we just didn’t do,” said BU coach Joe Jones. “We have to make the plays late and we have to get bigger contributions from guys that we are dependent on. That’s the bottom line.”

Despite the lackluster 5–25 record put up by Canisius during the 2011–12 season, Jones said he and his team knew better than to expect an easy victory from Monday’s matchup.

“They are a much different team than they were last year,” Jones said. “They got three transfers that are all starters, and they got a kid on the bench who was a starter last year and their second leading scorer. They are a much different team, a very talented team and a better offensive team than Northeastern. They are not what people are going to think. They are a very good offensive team.”

Canisius (1–0) started strong, opening the game on an 11–2 run in which it outplayed the Terriers both offensively and defensively. The Terriers (0–2) cut the deficit to four midway through the first half thanks to six points down low from junior forward Dom Morris.

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Northeastern completes comeback, sinks BU 65-64 in season opener

By Christopher Dela Rosa/DFP Staff

The Boston University men’s basketball team lost its season opener in dramatic fashion at Northeastern University Friday, falling 65–64 thanks to a last-second 3-pointer by Huskies’ guard Demetrius Pollard.

Terrier fans saw some new faces on the court to begin the game. Second-year coach Joe Jones started the freshmen Maurice Watson Jr. and Nathan Dieudonne at point guard and power forward, respectively.

Friday night’s game started off as any other contest between the Terriers and Huskies. with each team scoring after one another.

“[It was a] typical BU vs. Northeastern game … scrappy,” said BU coach Jones.

With about 10 minutes remaining in the first half, the Terriers began to break away.

Junior guard D.J. Irving got the team going with scoring by making a fade-away jump shot from the baseline.

BU vs. Northeastern Live Blog

From the FreeP: Men’s basketball to rely on Irving, Morris in 2012-13 campaign

By Tyler Lay/DFP Staff

For the second consecutive year, the Boston University men’s basketball team will be forced to begin anew after having graduated the America East Player of the Year.

This may be the year that having the Player of the Year on the roster is crucial for the Terriers. Because of BU’s decision to switch to the Patriot League for the 2013–14 season, most of the university’s athletic teams has been banned from the America East postseason tournament. This means the Terriers will have to be regular season conference champions if they wish to have a chance to participate in March Madness.

“A goal of ours is definitely to work toward winning a regular season championship,” said BU coach Joe Jones. “It was last year [as well]. We were out by two games last year and we’re going to try to improve on that this year.”

With former Terrier guards Darryl Partin and John Holland both getting looks from NBA programs (Holland played on the Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat Summer league teams, whereas Partin has been signed by the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA D-League), Jones will be forced to seek new weapons to put up big points for his team.

This year’s co-captains are junior guard D.J. Irving, junior forward Dom Morris and junior forward Travis Robinson. Each of them started in at least 27 of BU’s 32 games last year.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

BU releases 2012-13 schedule

By René Reyes/DFP Staff

On Tuesday, Boston University men’s basketball coach Joe Jones announced his squad’s entire 2012-13 schedule and it sure is a daunting one.

The upcoming campaign features 12 home games for the Terriers – with the other 19 matchups being on the road – and nine against schools that saw postseason action last year.

For the third time in as many years, BU will open up its season against crosstown rival Northeastern University on Nov. 9 at Matthews Arena. The Terriers’ home opener will be six days later when it hosts George Washington University on Nov. 17 at Case Gymnasium.

Since BU was banned from the America East Tournament this year due to its decision to switch to the Patriot League, a verdict agreed upon by the other conference schools, Jones’ club will enter its only two-day tournament called the UCF Holiday Classic near the end of December.

Here is a link to the rest of BU’s schedule:

Monday, July 9, 2012

Live Blog: John Holland's NBA Summer League Debut

Former exceptional Boston University men's basketball player John Holland will make his debut with the Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday afternoon against the Boston Celtics in the NBA's Orlando Summer League. Though Holland does not have a spot on the Thunder's formal roster, the Orlando and Las Vegas leagues (OKC will not participate in the latter, however) are a chance for undrafted players to show their stuff to scouts and team officials, in a kind of extended tryout format.

We'll be watching on NBA TV and live bloging for you right here. You can find live stats over at if you desire and be sure to read BU Athletics' official press release and One-Bid Wonders' extensive story on Holland. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

BU athletics banned from America East championships in 2012-13

By Tyler Lay/DFP Staff

Following Boston University’s decision to transfer its athletics from America East to the Patriot League, the America East has made a decision of its own.

According to Jenifer Barsell, BU’s associate athletic director for marketing communications, the America East schools who shall remain in the athletic conference voted to exclude BU from competing in conference championships during the 2012-13 seasons.

“Unfortunately it is [true]. America East made the decision not to allow [BU] to participate [in America East Championships],” Barsell said.

America East Director of Communications Sean Tainsh said that while BU will be ineligible for America East Championships, BU student-athletes will be eligible to receive all awards.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Boston University To Join Patriot League In 2013-2014

By Shep Hayes/DFP Staff

The conference realignment bug has been sweeping the nation lately, with schools abandoning historical and local sparring partners in favor of conferences where there might be a little more money on the table. On Friday morning, Boston University became another program to make a change, with the Patriot League announcing in a statement that the school will leave the America East conference after next season and join the League for the 2013-2014 academic year. The news was first made widely known by Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports.

Both Robert A. Brown, President of Boston University and Daniel H. Weiss, President of Lafayette College and Chairman of the Patriot League Council of Presidents cited compatible academic and athletic standards between the two groups as the reasons behind the move in the statement.

"We are very impressed by the academic quality of the institutions in the Patriot League and by the League's commitment to student-athletes while effectively competing at the NCAA Division I level," said Brown. "We believe that the philosophy of the League is a good match for Boston University and that the schools in the League will give our athletes a rich competitive environment."

"Boston University is an outstanding addition to our membership as a private institution with a robust academic reputation and prolific athletic history," said Weiss. "This decision to add Boston University to the Patriot League mirrors the Presidents' commitment and vision to the stability and long-term positioning of the League."

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

From the FreeP: Transfer Griffin makes name for self as team leader

By René Reyes/DFP Staff

Matt Griffin mulled over the options in front of him.

He considered going to community college. He looked at several Division I and II schools. He even thought about taking a year off to hone his skills, namely his dribbling, free-throw shooting and trademark 3-point shot.

Griffin needed a change of scenery. Rider had posted a 34-24 record in his two years at the Lawrenceville, N.J., school, but his name had fallen well below where he wanted it to be on the Broncs’ depth chart.

He no longer fit into coach Tommy Dempsey’s offensive system at Rider.

“My game was more tailored toward running an offense and being a pass-first [point guard],” Griffin said. “Their system was more of scoring one-on-one. In order for me to play, I had to score more. It just wasn’t my style. I didn’t feel comfortable. So I knew in order for me to reach my potential, I’d have to try a different system in a different place."


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

From the FreeP: Pelage, O’Brien go through unique coaching experience

By Craig Meyer/DFP Staff

When Jeff Pelage and Jake O’Brien arrived at Boston University almost four years ago, they were no different than any other players getting ready to start their college basketball careers.

There were the same aspirations – improving their respective games, growing as players and, hopefully, experiencing a championship and the bright lights of the NCAA Tournament. Maybe more than anything, they were there to play for a coach who convinced them to come play for him rather than anyone else in the country.

But now, three and a half years, 132 games and countless hours of practice later, the pair can no longer say their careers have been average. Indeed, among thousands of Division I college basketball players, they are unique, as BU’s two-man 2008 recruiting class has had the bizarre if not downright dubious distinction of having played for three different coaches in their four-year college careers.

“It was just tough, it was just tough,” Pelage, a senior center, said.

While O’Brien and Pelage’s experience with coaching turnover has been far from typical, coaching changes aren’t all that strange. In fact, in the world of modern college basketball, they’re something of a necessary evil.


Mike Terry leaves BU, desires to be close to family

By Shep Hayes/DFP Staff

Boston University men’s basketball coach Joe Jones confirmed Mike Terry Jr. has been released from the program and intends to transfer at the end of the academic year, hoping to move closer to his hometown of Philadelphia.

The move was first reported by Sam Perkins of One-Bid Wonders.

“He asked for his release,” Jones said. “We granted him the release. He’s got an ill family member at home, so he’s hoping to get back closer to home.”

Jones said he stands fully behind Terry in his decision to move from BU and that the desire to be closer to his family was the major reason for the request and approval.

“I think that’s the major reason why,” Jones said. “He was looking to get closer. Anytime you have a family member you want to be closer to that’s going through a tough time, I totally understand. I support him 100 percent.”

Terry played in 27 games this past season for the Terriers, starting two and averaging 9.3 minutes per game. The 6-foot-0 guard shot 17-for-48 from the field and 8-for-16 from the free throw line. With 44 points, he was the fourth-lowest scorer for BU. He had nine offensive and 20 defensive rebounds, 13 turnovers and 13 steals.

In his freshman year at BU, under former coach Pat Chambers, Terry played in 29 games and started five. He totaled 27 points on 27.5 percent shooting, but recorded 44 rebounds.

Jones did not have any indication on what schools Terry is considering.

Terry is the second player to leave the team this offseason, following redshirt freshman center Mat Piotrowski’s departure last week. Terry's departure means that BU will have two open scholarships for next season. Jones was indecisive on his plans to fill the spots, though he did have a general direction of thought.

“I just want to make sure we’re doing what’s right for the program,” Jones said. “We’ll make a good choice, whether it’s going to be a transfer or hold off. It all depends on how we see young men fitting into our program.”

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

From the FreeP: MEYER: Gonzaga of the East? Not so fast

By Craig Meyer/DFP Staff

The following column is the fourth in a series of columns written by former Daily Free Press sports editors. Today’s column is written by Craig Meyer, who was the sports editor during the Fall 2011 semester.
In life, there are times when you’re so taken aback by something you’ve heard that you’ll never forget it. For some of us, it’s a piece of shocking news, like the death of a loved one or a similar tragedy. It could also be a statement that seemingly comes out of nowhere to grab you by the throat, be it offensive or outrageous in nature.
I’ve had my fair share of these moments in my lifetime, with one of them occurring my freshman year here at Boston University in the Agganis Arena Premium Club. It was there – as one of only a few students among a crowd of reporters, family members and BU Athletics officials – that a routine introductory press conference turned into something else entirely, courtesy of Patrick Chambers.
“I look at BU basketball like the Gonzaga and Xavier of the Northeast,” the newly-hired Chambers enthusiastically told the crowd.
It was a statement that would be bold and ostentatious for any low-major coach to utter, let alone one who had never been a head coach at the Division I level, but it undoubtedly set a tone for Chambers’ tenure at BU.
Indeed, with Chambers at the helm, BU basketball would be daring. It would be full-throttle and fast-paced.
But it would ultimately be built on a false pretense, for what he aimed to accomplish was something far easier said than done, something that can’t simply be accomplished in the matter of a few years or even a single coaching tenure.
At the risk of stating the obvious, BU basketball is not on the same level of Gonzaga University, Xavier University or any other elite mid-major program in college basketball. In fact, it’s not even close.
This isn’t a shot at the BU program because it’s not one that’s in a bad place. It’s routinely one of the best in the America East Conference and is just a year removed from appearing in the NCAA Tournament. Rather, this is a chance to re-evaluate Chambers’ statement, three years removed from the initial hysteria and excitement that surrounded it.
When Chambers said what he did, whether he intended to or not, he set a bar for the Terrier program, not only for his time at BU, but also for the future of the program. It’s an ambitious goal and one that every mid- or low-major program should hope for deep down, but it’s an utterly unattainable one for most anyone that tries, especially in such a brief period of time.
What has been accomplished by the likes of Gonzaga, Xavier, Butler University and Virginia Commonwealth University, among others, flies in the face of conventional college basketball wisdom. Not only that, but it is also the product of many years and even decades of hard work, diligence and perseverance.
Gonzaga is the original bracket-buster to many, the cuddly underdog that has sported the likes of Ronny Turiaf and Adam Morrison in the last decade. But it’s also the same school that, despite measured success and the efforts of players like John Stockton, took decades to make the school’s first NCAA Tournament.
Since its appearance in the Big Dance, of course, the Bulldogs have made the tournament every year since 1999, with five Sweet 16’s and one Elite Eight. But the point here is that it took more than 20 years and the work of three coaches for Gonzaga to become, well, Gonzaga. The same anecdote can be applied to any other top mid-major program – these things take time to build and grow.
It’s also something that has to survive turbulence and change, most notably with head coaches. Understandably, if a coach experiences a high level of success at a smaller school, he moves on to bigger and better opportunities. It’s something these mid-majors routinely have to deal with, and many falter when trying to replace an elite coach. But there are some that don’t, and that is the true mark of what differentiates the likes of Gonzaga and Xavier from the rest.
Gonzaga replaced Dan Fitzgerald with Dan Monson, then Monson with current coach Mark Few. VCU went from Jeff Capel to Anthony Grant and now to Shaka Smart. Butler went from Barry Collier to Thad Matta to Todd Lickliter to Brad Stevens. Xavier went from Pete Gillen to Skip Prosser to Matta to Sean Miller and now to Chris Mack.
It’s a point you probably could have understood after the first couple of examples, but it’s a good one to emphasize – success cannot begin and end with one coach. What we see from these schools is something that transcends the men on the sidelines, and that’s simply having a winning culture and a supportive administration. Again, not exactly something that can just be created on the spot.
It may go without mentioning that there’s a financial component to all of this, as many of these schools stay competitive and elite by ponying up to successful coaches. Both Stevens and Smart were rewarded with contract extensions that pay them north of $1 million a year and coaches like Few aren’t far behind that mark.
Taking all of this into consideration, it has to be asked whether BU has any of these necessary characteristics. Frankly, at this moment, it doesn’t.
In order for BU to get to that Gonzaga or Xavier level, the head coach will have to be paid more. Chambers made about $250,000 a year, which didn’t even make him the highest paid America East coach. Upping the salary for an accomplished coach is a tall task for an athletic department that already devotes significant resources to the hockey program, but it’s something that would have to be done.
Coaching turnover has also proven to be a problem for BU. It hasn’t been a matter of BU failing to attract top-notch young coaches, because they have, but it’s been that they have never been able to replace them. For all the momentum that was generated at BU under Rick Pitino and Mike Jarvis, it quickly fell flat once they left.
And while BU’s been one of the America East’s best teams for seemingly the past 30 years, the Terriers have made the NCAA Tournament just three times since 1991. Programs like Butler, Xavier, Gonzaga and VCU make Elite Eights, Final Fours and even national title games, so it’s hard to get too excited about a program whose claim to fame the last 12 years was losing to Kansas by 19 in the NCAA Tournament.
Perhaps for now, then, it’s good to temper expectations for this basketball program.
It’s important to remember that Chambers was in the business world before he got into coaching. Just by saying what he did, it doesn’t necessarily mean he felt it could be accomplished in a short period of time. Rather, he was making a sell to a new group of people and he did a damn good job of it, for with that remark, he went from an unknown commodity to the eager and giddy up-and-comer who dreamed of taking BU to mid-major greatness.
For now, BU trying to be Gonzaga or Xavier is a far-off fantasy and not something they can accomplish any time soon. I guarantee Joe Jones would acknowledge as much.
Instead of aiming to be the next great mid-major, try making the NCAA Tournament in consecutive seasons, something it hasn’t done since joining the America East in 1979. Then go for multiple bids to the Big Dance in a five year period. Then try to win a game. Perhaps then a conversation can begin about the progress of this program and how far it can go.
BU has a lot in place to one day become a power program at the mid-major level. It’s an elite school in a major city with a large student population and a top-notch facility in Agganis Arena to sell to recruits.
The pieces are undoubtedly in place and the potential is certainly there for BU. But, much like anything ever worth accomplishing in this world, it will take some time before we ever see Chambers’ dream fully come to fruition.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mat Piotrowski leaves BU program

By Craig Meyer/DFP Staff

Redshirt freshman center Mat Piotrowski has left the Boston University men's basketball program, team official Scott Ellis confirmed to The Daily Free Press.

The departure was first reported by the website One-Bid Wonders.

Piotrowski, a 7-foot-1 center from Port Republic, N.J., averaged just 0.3 points and 0.5 rebounds in two minutes per game in the 2011-12 season. He was recruited and signed by former BU head coach Patrick Chambers.

While BU head coach Joe Jones did not comment on Piotrowski's future plans, noting that it's a decision that's "kind of personal" for his former center, he noted that playing time and style of play are things that are important for any player, just as they were for Piotrowski.

"For him, style of play, all of those things are going to be very important for him and every kid deserves to have a career where they’re getting an opportunity to get on the floor," Jones said. "Every kid wants to do that. He’s making a decision that’s best for himself to have that chance to go to a place that has a style of play that more fits his skill set and his abilities.”

Jones said that he and Piotrowski had talked throughout the season about what Piotrowski wanted to get out of his career and Jones said that he supports his departing player's decision and hopes for the best for him going forward.

"He and I had a very good relationship, a very open and honest relationship, and we had been talking throughout," Jones said. "I wish him the best. I want to see him have a great career.”

Monday, March 26, 2012

From the FreeP: Men’s basketball experiences plethora of changes during 2011-12 campaign

By Craig Meyer and Shep Hayes/DFP Staff

If anything and above all else, the 2011-12 season was one of change for the Boston University men’s basketball program.

For a program that did not experience a coaching change for 15 years, the Terriers adjusted to their third head coach in four years as Joe Jones took over the program from Patrick Chambers, who unexpectedly left in June to become the new head coach at Penn State University.

Gone was leading scorer and 2011 America East Conference Player of the Year John Holland, the player who single-handedly willed the Terriers to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2002.

It was expected to be a challenging season for BU, even though it was not-so-surprisingly selected as the preseason pick to win the America East Conference for the fifth season in a row.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Transcript of end-of-season interview with coach Jones

By René Reyes/DFP Staff

On expectations coming into the season

“Coming in, the goal is always going to be to get to the NCAA Tournament. I don’t think that’s ever going to change. To be honest with you, I really wanted to, at the end of the year, feel like we played as good as we were capable of playing. That’s really what you want to get to. I felt like we had hit our stride in the middle of the conference season. We’re probably playing our best ball. The last stretch, I felt we were inconsistent down the stretch. That’s what you hope wouldn’t happen and that we’d be playing our best ball by the end of the season.”

On the progression of the team in general

“You can’t put your finger on it. If you look at your body of work and being logical about things, we probably had one of the tougher non-conference schedules in the country for where we are. We had the 79th hardest schedule in the country, as compared to Vermont that was 212 and Stony Brook was in the 300s. There was a crazy distribution between who were playing and who our counterparts were playing. I really thought we held together through a touch stretch of games. D.J. being injured going into the Vermont game didn’t help us. We weren’t at full strength the first game of the conference season at Vermont, which is a big game obviously. We got it going and played pretty well during the stretch. I don’t think you can put your finger on one thing why you didn’t achieve what you wanted to achieve. The bottom line I though when we really broke it down was we didn’t get timely stops when we needed them late in the game against New Hampshire, late in the game against Stony Brook and late in the game against Hartford. At Hartford, we didn’t get the timely stops and we didn’t really execute down the stretch or score late in games.”

Monday, March 5, 2012

From the FreeP: Partin falters in second half against Hawks

By René Reyes/DFP Staff

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – The America East Tournament quarterfinal wasn’t particularly kind to Darryl Partin.

Resembling every bit of the 2011-12 Player of the Year he is, the senior swingman torched the University of Hartford for 11 points in the tilt’s opening half on an array of fadeaway jumpers and free throws.

He scored just six more points in the second frame.

At 10:54 p.m. on Saturday night, Partin gingerly walked into Chase Family Arena’s media room, looking dazed, and sat to the left of Boston University men’s basketball coach Joe Jones at the podium.

From the FreeP: Hartford squashes BU’s chance at back-to-back America East titles

By Luke Coughlan/DFP Staff

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. — In its first America East postseason bout since it secured the conference championship in 2011, the third-seeded Boston University men’s basketball team saw its title defense stall out early as it fell, 53-49, to sixth-seeded University of Hartford.

Playing in the last of four America East quarterfinal games on Saturday, the Terrier (16-16, 12-5 America East) loss was the only upset of the day and sent the Hawks (9-21, 8-9 America East) to the semifinals against second-seeded University of Vermont on Sunday.

“I thought it was a very physical and hard-fought game,” said BU coach Joe Jones, who finished his first year as Terrier bench boss with the loss. “We are pretty shaken right now by the loss, but a lot of respect for [Hawks coach John] Gallagher and his kids. I thought they played very hard.”

Despite holding a six-point lead at the half, the Terriers succumbed to a late 15-6 Hawk run that turned a five-point lead with 6:14 remaining into a four-point loss. Terrier sophomore guard DJ Irving’s 12 points and five assists complemented senior guard and America East Player of the Year Darryl Partin’s game-high 17 points on 5-of-17 shooting, but the effort was not enough to out-do a double-double by Hawks freshman forward Mark Nwakamma (13 points, 16 rebounds) and a 5-of-10 shooting performance from freshman forward Nate Sikma.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Live Blog: No. 3 BU vs. No. 6 Hartford -- AE Tournament Quarterfinal

Starting lineups:
University of Hartford Hawks

F Mark Nwakamma
F Nate Sikma
G Andres Torres
G Yolonzo Moore II
G Clayton Brothers

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

Final Score: Hartford 53, BU 49

Team leaders:
Hartford: Nate Sikma, 16
BU: Darryl Partin, 17

Hartford: Mark Nwakamma, 16
BU: Patrick Hazel, 7

Hartford: Andres Torres, 5
BU: D.J. Irving, 5

Vermont-Maine Slideshow

All photos by Junhee Chung/DFP Staff

Vermont-Maine Press Conferences

Catamounts narrowly escape Black Bears' trap

By Shep Hayes/DFP Staff

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – The second-seeded University of Vermont Catamounts came back from an early scare posed to them by the No. 7 University of Maine Black Bears to win 50-40 and advance to the semifinals of the 2012 America East men’s basketball tournament.

Vermont scored only 14 points in the first half, eight less than Maine. The Catamounts made only six of their 25 shots in the first, while the Black Bears went 10-for-30. Maine sophomore forward Alasdair Frasier led all scorers in the first half with eight points. He also had four of the Black Bears 16 first-half rebounds.

Maine only managed to grab one offensive rebound in the first half. Vermont did slightly better, as three of its 22 total first-half rebounds were offensive. However, the Catamounts had 11 first-half turnovers, six more than Maine. The Black Bears were able to score 11 points off of turnovers in the opening frame.

It was the second half, Vermont turned around to put Maine away. The Catamounts erased the turnover differential, handing the ball to the Black Bears only twice while Maine gave it back nine times. Vermont scored 18 second-half points off of turnovers, while limiting the Black Bears to only three in the same category. Maine scored a grand total of 18 points in the second half, while Vermont dropped a more normal 36 to pull away with the 10-point win.

Live Blog: No. 2 Vermont vs. No. 7 Maine -- AE Tournament Quarterfinals

Starting lineups:
University of Vermont Catamounts

F Luke Apfeld
F Brian Voelkel
F Matt Glass
G Sandro Carissimo
G Brendan Bald

University of Maine Black Bears
F Alasdair Fraser
F Mike Allison
G Raheem Singleton
G Andrew Rogers
G Justin Edwards

Final Score: UVM 50, Maine 40

Team leaders:
UVM: Matt Glass, 14
Maine: Alasdair Fraser, 10

UVM: Brian Voelkel, 9
Maine: Mike Allison, 8

UVM: Brian Voelkel, 8
Maine: Raheem Singleton, 4

Albany-UNH Slideshow

All photos by Junhee Chung/DFP Staff

Albany-UNH Press Conferences

Great Danes maintain first-half lead over Wildcats to advance

By Shep Hayes/DFP Staff

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – The No. 4 University at Albany Great Danes jumped to an early lead over the No. 5 University of New Hampshire Wildcats, and maintained that lead through the second half to win the second quarterfinal game of the 2012 America East men's basketball tournament.

By the end of the first half, Albany jumped to a nine-point lead, 30-21. In the second half, the great Danes again scored nine more points than the Wildcats, to close out the 63-45 victory. Though the game was tied five times and the lead changed twice, Albany was firmly in control of the game from midway through the first through the end.

The Great Danes went from making 11-of-34 field goal attempts in the first half to a paltry 10-of-24 in the second half. Albany also improved in 3-point territory, shooting 35.4 percent in the first frame and then 50.0 percent in the second. Only three of the Great Danes' 16 free-throw attempts missed the basket in the entire game.

Junior guard Gerardo Suero was the focus of Albany's offense, scoring 24 points grabbing nine total rebounds, and assisting on four other baskets. He led the Great Danes in all of those categories, as well as turnovers, which he had five. Suero shot 8-for-24 from the field, and 3-for-8 from beyond the arc.

Live Blog: No. 4 Albany vs. No. 5 New Hampshire -- AE Tournament Quarterfinal

Starting lineups:
University at Albany Great Danes

C Blake Metcalf
F Jayson Guerrier
G Jacob Iati
G Mike Black
G Gerardo Suero

University of New Hampshire Wildcats
F Patrick Konan
F Ferg Myrick
F Brian Benson
G Alvin Abreu
G Chandler Rhoads

Final Score: Albany 63, UNH 45

Team leaders:
Albany: Gerardo Suero, 24
UNH: Patrick Konan, 12

Albany: Gerardo Suero and Blake Metcalf, 9
UNH: Brian Benson, 13

Albany: Mike Black and Gerardo Suero, 4
UNH: Chandler Rhoads, Patrick Konan, Ferg Myrick, Alvin Abreu and Jordon Bronner, 1

Top-seeded Seawolves hold off Bearcats, 78-69

By Shep Hayes/DFP Staff

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – The top-ranked Stony Brook University Seawolves survived a scare from the No. 9 Binghamton University Bearcats Saturday in the first quarterfinal match-up of the 2012 America East men’s basketball tournament.

Stony Brook was up 34-28 at the end of the first half, shooting 11-of-28 from the field. SBU senior forward Dallis Joyner led all scorers in the first with 11 points, five of which came at the free-throw line. Freshman center Ben Dickinson had nine points for Binghamton in the first, followed by junior guard Jimmy Gray with eight.

Though the Bearcats were down by six, they shot 42.1 percent from the field in the opening frame, on 8-for-19 shooting. Stony Brook shot only 39.3 percent from the field and 22.2 percent beyond the 3-point arc.

The Bearcats were able to trim the Seawolves' lead in the beginning of the second half, and were up by four with 12:17 remaining in the game. But Stony Brook would not let the two-win team finish, and the Seawolves regained the lead over the final ten minutes of the half to emerge with the victory.

Stony Brook-Binghamton Press Conferences

Stony Brook-Binghamton Slideshow

All photos by Junhee Chung/DFP Staff

Live Blog: No. 1 Stony Brook vs. No. 9 Binghamton -- AE Tournament Quarterfinals

Starting lineups:
Stony Brook University Seawolves

F Al Rapier
F Dallis Joyner
F Tommy Brenton
G Dave Coley
G Bryan Dougher

Binghamton University Bearcats
F Ben Dickinson
F Taylor Johnston
F Javon Ralling
G Jimmy Gray
G Chris Longoria

Final Score: SBU 78, Binghamton 69

Team leaders:
SBU: Dave Coley, 14
Binghamton: Ben Dickinson, 20

SBU: Tommy Brenton, 11
Binghamton: Omar Richards, 5

SBU: Dave Coley, 4
Binghamton: Jimmy Gray, 9

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Partin to be named America East Player of the Year

By DFP Men's Basketball Staff

Boston University senior guard Darryl Partin will be named the America East Conference Player of the Year Friday in West Hartford, Conn., according to sources close to the team.

Partin, playing in his second season with the Terriers after transferring from La Salle University,is averaging a team-high 19.7 points per game this season, which ranks him 20th in the nation in scoring.

Additionally, sophomore point guard D.J. Irving will be named to the all-conference second team and senior center Patrick Hazel has made the all-conference defensive team, according to the same sources.

More details to come after tomorrow's official announcement.

From the FreeP: Top-5 Terriers will need to be on ‘A’ game against Hartford

By René Reyes/DFP Staff

With the third-seeded Boston University men’s basketball team set to take on sixth-seeded University of Hartford in the quarterfinals of the America East Tournament, here are the top five Terriers who will need to step up on Saturday night:

1. Senior guard Darryl Partin
Arguably the team’s regular-season most valuable player, Partin possesses the scoring touch that could catapult BU pass the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds of the America East Tournament. It would be unfair to compare Partin to former Terrier John Holland, one of the greatest players in BU basketball history, but Partin is the type of shooting guard who could will the Terriers to victories with his offensive production. Labeled as a streaky shooter throughout his career, he finished first on the team with 19.7 points per game, which was also good for second in the conference. BU will need major contributions from Partin on the offensive end if it wishes to go far in the tournament.

2. Sophomore guard D.J. Irving
A great debate unfolded among media members in the middle of the season as to who was the Terriers’ most important player of the 2011-12 campaign. The consensus pick was the 6-foot-0 Irving, who could not only control the pace of the game from the point guard position, but also score some timely buckets by penetrating into the lane with his blazing speed. BU coach Joe Jones didn’t hesitate in mentioning that Irving’s presence was sorely missed when he was sidelined for three games with a concussion in late December. Not surprisingly, BU went 0-3 in those contests without its floor general. There’s no doubt that Irving’s the straw that stirs the drink for the Terrier offense, as his 148 total assists speak for themselves.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

From the FreeP: Seniors add 38 points in win

By Craig Meyer/DFP Staff

For some, the Boston University men’s basketball team’s game Saturday against the University of Hartford would seem moot. The Terriers were playing a team they had already throttled earlier in the season and, more importantly, they had already locked up the third seed in next week’s America East Conference Tournament.

Good luck trying to tell that to BU’s seniors.

Playing the last regular season home game of their college careers, the Terriers’ five seniors contributed 38 points to help carry BU past an energized and resilient Hartford team 64-55 Saturday at Case Gymnasium.

With the end of the Terriers’ season quickly approaching, first-year BU coach Joe Jones used the moment as a chance to stress how important this senior class has been to the program.


From the FreeP: Terriers edge out resilient Hartford squad

By Shep Hayes/DFP Staff

Ahead by 10 points at halftime, the Boston University men’s basketball team survived a series of attacks from the University of Hartford in the second half to win its final regular season game of the year on Saturday, 64-55.

The Hawks (8-21, 7-9 America East) built a four-point lead during a slow beginning, but the Terriers (16-15, 12-4 America East) brought the game close midway through the first half.

A jumper from freshman guard Zach Chionuma put the Terriers ahead 20-18 with 4:56 left in the half. The basket began a 13-3 run for BU, a run that closed out the first half of Senior Day.

The lead did not mean BU had won the game yet. Hartford responded to end the first by putting 11 points on the board, answered only by one 3-pointer from sophomore forward Travis Robinson.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Know Thy Foe: No. 9 Binghamton Bearcats

By Shep Hayes/DFP Staff

Welcome to
Know Thy Foe, a new feature appearing twice daily this week in advance of the America East men’s basketball tournament. Know The Foe will help you, an undereducated fan of America East basketball, become an expert on every team in the conference. It's also possible you'll know less than when you began reading this. A 50-50 proposition, to be honest.

What is the name of this university? Binghamton University. It is a member of the State University of New York system and--unlike Albany and every one of the smaller campuses featuring a jumble of letters prefacing their locations--it doesn’t have an awkward name. It does, however, have a lie in its name, which we’ll get to in just a moment.

Where is it located? Moment is up. Binghamton is not actually in Binghamton. The university is located across the river, in Vestal. No one has ever heard of Vestal, however, while at least a few people have heard of Binghamton in their lives. Much easier to commit a little fraud and just say the place is in Binghamton. And believe me, by the time this exercise is over, a little toying with the name will seem like nothing.

How many people go there? Binghamton boasts 11,787 undergraduate students and 3,108 graduate students. About the size of most other America East schools.

How big is the campus? 887 acres on a hill above the Susquehanna River. They have a 190 acre nature preserve, a science complex, a 1,200-seat theater, and six residential communities “modeled after Oxford University.” We call that a #Humblebrag

Are there any famous alums? There are a number of noble people listed on Wikipedia’s list of alumni, including a Baldwin brother. But one stands out more than others, and that would be Tony Kornheiser, co-host of Pardon the Interruption. Here’s video of him picking Binghamton to beat Duke. Shocker: Duke won.

Now that you mention it, I remember Binghamton going to the NCAA Tournament a few years ago. That must mean they are good this year, right? In the hunt for the title? I’m sorry to break your heart, imaginary person invented for these posts, but you would be wrong. Binghamton went 1-27 this year. The Bearcats lone win came over the Vermont Catamounts, who were in a fight for first place in the conference at the time. It might be the upset of the year.

So, what happened? How did they go from March Madness to the worst team in the country in the span for just three years? It’s really hard to explain in this space, so I’ll direct you to Pete Thamel’s reporting at the New York Times. The gist: Binghamton went down a deep, dark road and never turned back.


Know Thy Foe: No. 8 UMBC Retrievers

By Shep Hayes/DFP Staff

Welcome to Know Thy Foe, a new feature appearing twice daily this week in advance of the America East men’s basketball tournament. Know The Foe will help you, an undereducated fan of America East basketball, become an expert on every team in the conference. It's also possible you'll know less than when you began reading this. A 50-50 proposition, to be honest. 

What is the name of this school? The University of Maryland, Baltimore County. The whole name really rolls right off the tongue. But, they’re nice people, and they do not mind if you just refer to their school as UMBC. In fact, they would consider it an honor if you would simply refer to them as UMBC in the future. They don’t even roll out the whole “University of Maryland, Baltimore County” name on their website. UMBC works fine for them, and it should work fine for you. And, given the number of different, confusing ways the New York state schools name themselves, UMBC works perfectly fine for me.

When was it founded? 1966. I thought UMBC was young, but wow. UMBC is a teenager in the higher education world. They’re going through high school now, experiencing a growth spurt. Things are kind of awkward and they aren’t sure about that girl in the corner, but they’ll make it through the rough parts and move onto the big world soon. They might need a pat on the back and some words of encouragement every now and again, but they’ll get there. 

Where is it located?  In a surprising twist of Maryland geography, Baltimore County does not actually include Baltimore. Instead, Baltimore proper is an independent city, the largest of its kind in the United States. Baltimore County is the area surrounding the city limits of Baltimore, and UMBC is located in Catonsville. On the facts page of their website, however, they don’t tell you that. They would prefer to just tell you how close they are to the Inner Harbor and the airport. 
It has not yet been determined if a “not from Baltimore” chant would be appropriate. I mean, they aren’t really lying by adding the Baltimore.

How many people go there? 13,199 total. There were 1,426 members of the freshman class of 2011, 74% of whom live on campus. The average freshman SAT score was 1206. All important information.
How big is the campus? 500 acres, a figure that may or may not be rounded. They do have a nice-sounding 41-acre research and technology park next door featuring a start-up incubator, and that makes up for a fake campus size. 

Randy Monroe is the greatest.

Who or what is their mascot? True Grit, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever. I originally thought it was a golden retriever, and UMBC’s website doesn’t explicitly state it isn’t a golden retriever, so I’m going to go ahead and link this video anyway. It’s Matt Ufford of SB Nation at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show trying to develop a football lineup with dogs. He begins with Air Bud, the classic golden retriever.

Excellent. Also, the pekingese should not have won. Bad call by the judge. I'm sure Randy Monroe would make a great Westminster Kennel Club.

Who is their coach? Randy Monroe, who has held the position since 2004. He is the greatest, and that is all you need to know. 

Where do they play? The Retriever Activities Center, which seats 4,024. It is the 260th largest gymnasium in Division-I, according to KenPom.

Who would be their basic statistic leaders? Sophomore forward Chase Plummer (15.3 points per game, 7.5 rebounds per game, 1.3 steals per game), junior guard Ryan Cook (1.7 assists per game, 0.4 blocks per game)

What are some of the notable wins this team has? vs. Towson, 62-58; at New Hampshire, 82-76

What are some of the notable losses this team has? vs. Loyola (Md.), 73-63; vs. Maine, 77-76; vs. Hartford, 76-70

How did they do against BU? Lost both times, first at BU 83-48, and then at the RAC in Baltimore County, 73-52.

Do they have a win against a token non-Division-I opponent? No, UMBC did not play a team in a lower division. It’s kind of too bad, because they actually could have used the win. An exemption to my usual hatred of teams that pull this trick would be granted to both UMBC and Binghamton. Maybe next year, guys.

Do you have some statistic from KenPom presented without any context whatsoever? 19.5 offensive turnover percentage in conference play 

What about a random factoid from the game notes?
They legitimately offer tips on the whole name thing. Follow these guidelines wisely:
  • The full name of our institution is University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • We prefer to simply be called UMBC.
  • Please use our full name only on first reference if you must use it at all.
  • Our full name has a comma between Maryland and Baltimore; please do NOT use a hyphen.
  • Please do NOT call us Maryland-BC, UM-Baltimore County, Maryland-Baltimore, Maryland-Balt. Co. or Maryland (Baltimore County)
  • Randy Monroe is the greatest.

Know Thy Foe: No. 7 Maine Black Bears

By Shep Hayes/DFP Staff

Welcome to 
Know Thy Foe, a new feature appearing twice daily this week in advance of the America East men’s basketball tournament. Know The Foe will help you, an undereducated fan of America East basketball, become an expert on every team in the conference. It's also possible you'll know less than when you began reading this. A 50-50 proposition, to be honest. 

What is the official name of this school? The University of Maine. There is no Orono tagged onto the end, officially, but everyone in Maine adds one anyway because it is entirely possible to confuse UMO (see it in the acronym?) with the other fine campuses of the Maine university system: Farmington, Augusta, Machias, Presque Isle, and Fort Kent. Also, make sure you don't confuse it with the University of Southern Maine, located in Portland and Gorham.

Also, congratulations! You now know the names of more Maine cities than you ever wanted to!

Yeah, but there’s this other city in Maine that I’ve heard of, and I think it’s near where this school is located and it has a really funny name . . . Oh, you’re referring to Bangor, the second largest city in Maine, and which Orono is essentially adjacent to. You probably call it Banger, because, well, tee-hee. It is pronounced Bang-OR, however, like the city is offering you a choice: You could be mature and call it by its real name OR you could act like a fifth grader. It should be noted I choose to act like a fifth grader every time. 

While we’re on the location of Orono, it should be noted that everything north of there is trees. Try driving to the end of Interstate-95 in Houlton and you’ll see nothing but trees for two hours. The exact opposite of Boston.

How old is this place? UMaine was founded as a land grant school in 1862. Going back to the trees thing, that’s why it’s at the end of the world. There were only 12 students and two members of the faculty when it first opened, so we invite you to imagine what it must have been like to have classes that small. 

What interesting things were you able to find on their admissions website? Well, there’s the FAQ page that begins, as you do, with a joke about the weather. There’s also the page with every type of campus map you could possibly want. And then there’s this lovely television advertisement, which seems to run before every YouTube video you will ever watch while residing in the State of Maine [UPDATE: I just saw it before a promo for an SB Nation video in Boston. I hate this ad]. You should Come Up To Maine!

How big is the campus? In the ten minutes I spent poking around the university’s website I could not find the official size of the campus. A half-second look at Wikipedia gave me the size almost immediately: approximately 660-acres. Another Fun Fact from Wikipedia about UMaine: It’s the only land-grant university on an island. You should really work on promoting that, Maine, perhaps even above your jokes about the weather. 

How many people go there? While the size of the campus is not listed on its website, the University does have a department with a staff of four people dedicated to quantifying every little numerical detail about UMaine: the Office of Institutional Studies. According to their Fall 2011 Snapshot, 11,168 people attend the University of Maine, three-quarters of whom are full-time students. 

Who or what is their mascot? Bananas the Bear. He has his own Facebook profile, headlined by a picture of him with Wally the Green Monster. Cute.

Who is their coach? Ted Woodward, who has led the Black Bears since 2004. Tim Whitehead is the men’s hockey coach, so Maine clearly has a fixation with TW initials for their coaches.

Where to they play?  Alfond Arena, which was built for hockey. The basketball team originally played in Memorial Gymnasium, but reasons that aren’t entirely clear to me have forced them to play in Alfond for years. Surprisingly, no one seems to have many complaints about the fact that both teams must walk through the public seating bowl to get down to the court at Alfond. 

How did they do this year? 12-16, 6-10 in the America East

What is their rank in the tournament and who will they play? No. 7. Maine will play No. Vermont on Saturday in the quarterfinals. 

Who would be their basic statistic leaders? Senior guard Gerald McLemore (17.0 points per game), sophomore forward Alasdair Fraser (7.8 rebounds per game), senior guard Raheem Singleton (3.4 assists per game), junior guard Mike Allison (2.1 blocks per game)

What are some of the notable wins this team has? vs. Holy Cross, 72-60; at Rhode Island, 76-74; vs. New Hampshire, 71-58

What are some notable loses this team has? At Notre Dame, 87-78; 

How did they do against BU? 0-2. The Terriers handed the Black Bears their first home loss of the year, 77-68, on a large BU second-half comeback in mid-January. BU then cruised to an easy home victory against Maine, 67-54 a month later. 

Who was their token non-Division-I opponent? Will the University of Maine at Machias please stand up? To open the season, the Black Bears went all #BEATEMDOWN on the Clippers, winning 113-49. Way to go UMaine, beating a school with eight sports total. I congratulate you on your win. 

Do you have some statistic from KenPom presented without any context whatsoever? 18.1-percent defensive turnover percentage in conference play

What about a random factoid from the media guide? The section about Maine’s academics is entitled “Wicked Smart.” Maine: breaking linguistic stereotypes every day.

Know Thy Foe: No. 6 Hartford Hawks

By Shep Hayes/DFP Staff

Welcome to 
Know Thy Foe, a new feature appearing twice daily this week in advance of the America East men’s basketball tournament. Know The Foe will help you, an undereducated fan of America East basketball, become an expert on every team in the conference. It's also possible you'll know less than when you began reading this. A 50-50 proposition, to be honest. 

What would be the name of this school? The University of Hartford. Much like New Hampshire, simple and to the point. I can get behind this school. 

Where is it located? Hartford, Connecticut, a lovely city. And I’m not just saying that because I’m going there this weekend for the America East tournament and I don’t want to offend the locals in advance. I’m saying that because I truly mean it. No other city has such a definitive insurance company named after it, and I think that reflects well on Hartford, a great city to live and visit. 

When was it founded? 1957, when three schools in the Hartford area merged.  The university has a timeline up on its website so you can find out about all the major dates in it’s history. Very technologically savvy, these Hartford folks. 

How large is the campus? 350 acres total, in a location that’s actually in three different towns. Hartford leads the acreage count at 193, with Bloomfield behind at 133 acres and West Hartford eating dust with a mere 24 acres. So sorry, West Hartford. Better luck next time. 

How many people go there? 7,025, mostly undergraduates. A pipsqueak of a school in America East terms, but I’m sure they have a large heart or another cliché that makes up for the small student body.

Who is their coach? John Gallagher, in his second season. During Saturday’s game, our own Craig Meyer said Gallagher looks a little like Bill Simmons of ESPN, an idea I can be one board with.Their voices are a little different, however. Both are a bit nasally, but Simmons has a little more of that while Galleger speaks in a scratchier tone. It may also have been the fact that I usually hear one while he’s doing a podcast with important people and the other right after he’s finished yelling as a basketball coach, but I think there is a true difference.

Where do they play? Chase Family Arena, home of the quarter- and semifinals of this year’s America East men’s and women’s basketball tournament. According to KenPom, it seats 3,508 and is the 274th largest arena in D-I. Again, because I’ll be there this weekend, I’m sure it is the nicest arena in the America East. There must be no better place to hold a basketball tournament. Seriously, no place like Chase place. 

How did they do this year? 8-21, 7-9 in America East.

What is their rank and who will they play in the conference tournament?  Hartford is the six seed, and will face No. 3 BU on Saturday.

Who are their basic statistical leaders? Senior guard Andres Torres (11.6 points per game, 4.1 assists per game, 1.8 steals per game), freshman forward Nate Sikma (4.2 rebounds per game), freshman forward Mark Nwakamma (0.7 blocks per game) 

Does this team have any notable wins? We’re in the bottom half of the conference, where notable wins are harder to come by. Their best win was probably at Maine, 64-49. 

Does this team have any notable loses? at Brown, 59-52; at Central Connecticut, 92-58; vs. Binghamton, 62-60

How did they do against BU? The Hawks lost at home to the Terriers in their first meeting of the year, 65-46. Darryl Partin had 22 points and Dom Morris contributed 12 boards, nine defensive and three offensive. The second meeting of the year between the schools was BU’s senior day and the final game of the year for both teams. The Terriers emerged with a 64-55 win.

Do they have a token non-Division-I opponent? No, although perhaps they should have one. The Hawks lone non-conference win came in BracketBusters against St. Peter’s, 67-51. Hartford went 0-12 in its regular out-of-conference schedule.

Do you have some statistic from KenPom presented without any context whatsoever? 23.2 defensive turnover percentage

What about a random factoid from the game notes? Freshman guard Yolonzo Moore is a “II,” not the more typical “Jr.” I salute his originality.