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.”