Monday, January 16, 2012

Snap Judgments: 1/16 vs. Albany

By Shep Hayes/DFP Staff

Gerardo Suero had a bad night . . .
Suero shot 1-for-10 from the field before he was benched by Albany coach Will Brown with 11:54 remaining in the second. Suero is one of the leading scorers in the nation, and it was an odd experience for him to miss shot after shot. He made none of his four shots from beyond the arc. His one basket came after a drive to the hoop, a simple layup.

Brown said he decided to bench Suero as a “learning experience.” Brown noted Suero has not had a performance similar to Monday evening all season long, but that he knew Suero’s bad game would come one day. Even BU coach Joe Jones was a bit surprised with how Suero shot, calling him “one of the best players in the league” who has not and will not have many nights like Monday.

. . . the rest of the Great Danes were not that much better.
Collectively, they made only 19-of-62 field goal attempts, including a 10-for-28 performance from beyond the arc. Besides Suero, a few other Albany shooters had bad nights on the stat sheet. Logan Aronhalt did have a number of deep, clutch 3s, but he was 7-for-21 overall. Co-America East Player of the Week Mike Black was only 4-for-13. No Great Dane made an exceptional number of their shots and it did not work out well for them in the end.

“D.J. Irving is the best player on their team”
Before he said the above, Brown paused for a moment to consider the consequences. There are two Terriers who, at least on paper, look like the best Terriers on the court almost every night. One is Irving, who shoots less, but makes more of his baskets. The other is senior Darryl Partin, who will take shot after shot after shot. As a natural result, he leads the Terriers in points per game.

Brown decided to call Irving the best player on the Terriers, though he quickly tabbed Partin as BU’s best shooter, a title that is indisputable. But Irving is most certainly the Terriers' finest player when he steps onto the court. Part of Irving’s success originates in Partin. In BU’s past two games, Partin has had woeful first halves, but has returned for the second and performed as one of the top scorers in the nation that he is.

But Partin struggled Monday in both halves. He had a slightly more commendable first, shooting 2-for-7. But his second half was as impressive as it had been as of late. Partin was only 3-for-7, not quite lights-out. That is where Irving steps in, however. Irving can distribute the ball to other members of the BU offense or take a shot himself. He can hang around the perimeter, to use his size to drive to the hoop. While Partin’s love of shooting can keep BU afloat through every game, Irving is always available to bail BU out, just like Monday.

BU continues to struggle on the glass.
The third factor listed in Dean Oliver’s essay “Roboscout and the Four Factors” is offensive rebounding. “If a team can get back its missed shots, it can partially make up for a problem with that first factor [shooting the ball],” Oliver writes. “It still eventually has to put the ball in the basket, but giving itself multiple opportunities allows a team a chance when its gunners from the outside are misfiring.”

The Terriers had only five offensive boards against the Great Danes, who picked up 22 defensive rebounds. In the opposite direction, the margin was much smaller. BU had 26 defensive rebounds to Albany’s 18 offensive. The difference in rebounding allowed the Great Danes to make 20-second chance points, while the Terriers had a mere two.

Jones has been unimpressed with his team’s rebounding after almost every game this season, and he was no different on Monday. “It’s an area of major concern for me because I think if we’re going to have success in this league, we’re gonna need to defend and rebound at a high rate, much better than we did tonight, in terms of the glass,” he said.

Agganis Arena is a terrible place for BU to play basketball.
The 6,221 seats of Agganis Arena were designed for fans to watch hockey. The banners on all four sides of the arena are hung to celebrate hockey. The Jack Parker Rink was built as a place to play hockey. Agganis Arena is a building made for hockey. It is a fine place to watch a hockey game. It is a horrible place to watch basketball.

The problem isn’t really with the arena’s layout, to be totally honest. For the most part, the seats, the banners and the rink all do a fine job of accommodating the occasional basketball game. But there are rarely any fans to be accommodated. 852 people settled into the scarlet and black chairs on Monday night, a game that was nationally televised on the CBS Sports Network. Agganis is an empty cavern for basketball, and reflects poorly on the program as a whole. 852 people would have half-filled Case Gymnasium and made for an entertaining and exciting environment. Instead, 852 people were disconnected from the game at Agganis. It is a nice building, and a place BU should be proud of. But it’s not nice for basketball. Case Gymnasium should be the Terriers' home.

Malik Thomas was:
Silenced by fouls. 1-for-3 shooting, 0-for-2 in free throws, four rebounds, three personal fouls, one assist, block and steal and zero turnovers.

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