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.