Sunday, November 29, 2009

BU loses to Harvard 78- 70: First Loss to the Crimson at Case Gym in 37 years

The last time that Boston Univeristy lost to Harvard at Case Gymnasium was December 13, 1972. Twelve years before I was brought into life on Earth. This was a disspointing loss. The Terriers were as flat as a 2 day old PBR keg. Instead of getting better they got worse.

Let's revisit my preview and the keys to the game I laid out.

  • Shoot better from three than Harvard. - Fail. The Crimson and the Terriers had the same exact stat line from three point range: 5-20.   There's no reason with as many great shooters as the Terriers have that they shouldn't be shooting better from three than the Crimson. 
  • Play a strong and consistent 40 minutes. - Fail.  They played well for maybe a 10 minute period in this game.  At 5:37 left in the first half they were down by 13 but somehow went into the locker room down only 2 at the half.  Then took the lead early in the 2nd by as much as 9 at the 13:25 mark. They would blow that and lose by 8.  The Terriers only seem to score in spurts, they had one big spurt in this game and that was it.
  • Play as aggressive as they have all season.  - Fail.  I think it was obvious to everyone there that the Terriers were getting dominated down low.  The stats from the game are kind of deceiving, the Terriers out rebounded the Crimson by one but couldn't finish any of their second chance opportunities.  BU's two big men Pelage and O'Brien combined for 8 rebounds, Holland had 9.
  • Neutralize Lin and McNally. Fail.  This was a big fail.  Lin had 19 points and McNally added 14 of his own.  Lin had 4 assists and 4 steals and went 7-8 from the line.
Other notes:

  • Player of the game: Jeremy Lin
  • BU Player of the game (if I had to name one): John Holland 18 points and 9 rebounds.
  • Carlos Strong looked really good, but only in the ten minute Terrier spurt.
  • Corey Lowe was forcing hail mary threes and went 0-7 from the beyond the arc, not his best performance.
  • The Terriers scored only 2 bench points.
  • The Crimson blocked 8 Terrier shots.
You really have to look at the stats hard to figure out why the Terriers lost this game.  But it's there, compared to the Crimson's 47%, the Terriers shot only 38.5% from the floor .  Even that number is deceiving; during the Terrier spurt they were making everything.

I can't pull any positives from this game other than John Holland.  He was the only consistent person for BU on the floor.  The defense for the Terriers was pretty bad as well.  Usually when you score 70 points and have 5 more offensive rebounds than your opponent you expect to win the game.  That was not the case tonight at Case. Terriers lose and lose bad.  They need to get better in a hurry if they want to at least be competitve with UConn on Wednesday.

One of Lowe's 7 misses from beyond the arc (I will get a digital camera soon I promise).

Next Up:
BU at UConn
Wednesday 12/2 7:00 PM at the XL Center in Hartford, CT
Listen: 1510 am
Watch: SNY, WCTX9, ESPN Full Court


Saturday, November 28, 2009

JC's Preview: Boston U v. Harvard (Case Gym 11/29 5 PM)

Before I begin the preview, is it me or does Coach Pat Chambers sound like a broken record? Look at the last paragraph of Dan Duggan’s recap of the Northeastern game:

“We got better today, we’re going to practice (tomorrow) and we’ll continue to get better,” Chambers said. “As long as we’re getting better and we’re headed in the right direction, we’re going to be OK.”

This is what Chambers has been preaching after every game this season. He just used the form of “to get better” three times. I have no problems with what the coach is saying; I want the Terriers to get better too, so do all Terriers fans. But it’s just stating the obvious. It’s like saying “I get better at my job every day.” I think Coach Chambers needs to say something a little more inspirational. For example what if he said this instead:

“We’ll be on the same level as UConn by the time we play them next week.” Or….
“This is a great team with determination, they won’t quit and neither will I, we could be down 50 to the Celtics and still not quit.”

Maybe, those examples are a little over the top, but I think you get my point. Also, I don’t like the last part of the last sentence: “we’re going to be OK.” As a fan I hope BU is going to be more than “OK,” I hope BU is going to be great. Pat Chambers may be doing well on the court directing his team but he needs to show a little more passion in post game interviews if he wants to attract students and fans to the game and recruit great talent to the program. He’s got my $10, but I don’t think he is convincing many more than that right now. Now, onto JC’s preview.

JC’s Preview

BU v. Harvard, Sunday 11/29 5 PM, Case Gym
Radio: 1510 AM


Harvard comes into this game fresh off of a 78 – 60 schlacking of fellow America East member New Hampshire. In that game and the previous game against Bryant, Harvard played 10 different players for 10 or more minutes and not one player was on the court for over 27 minutes. Look for Harvard coach Tommy Amaker to make frequent subs. Also, considering that stat, senior guard Jeremy Lin’s 18.1 points per game is pretty impressive. Harvard is a team much like the Terriers that likes to shoot the 3 often. Lin and sophomore guard Oliver McNally are 35% and 44% from beyond the arc respectively. They should match-up pretty well in the guard position with the Terriers. Look for Harvard to shoot a lot of shots from beyond the arc.

Boston U:

BU comes in fresh off of their 69 – 64 OT win over Northeastern. So far the Terriers have gotten outstanding play from their forwards sophomore Jake O’Brien and senior and leading scorer for the Terriers John Holland. Of course we could not forget, Corey Lowe’s remarkable performance against Northeastern, which was probably the most inspired of the season. He aggravated a foot injury in the last few minutes of the game and stays in the game. That’s the heart and will of a true leader and captain. The Terriers have an arsenal of shooters from beyond the arc, five players are shooting 30% or better from three (Holland, Lowe, Strong, O’Brien and Morris).

In their last matchup against Northeastern the main concern was their streakiness. BU’s fanbase (including myself), was put on the emotional rollercoaster versus Northeastern. The Terriers were down by 10 early in the first but battled back within 2 at the half. They then went on a 13 – 0 run and took an 11 point lead only to blow that and have to come from behind again to force overtime. Then after that my emotions took over and I blacked out.

BU Keys to the game:
  • Shoot better from three than Harvard. 
  • Play a strong and consistent 40 minutes.
  • Play as aggressive as they have all season.
  • Neutralize Lin and McNally

BU should beat Harvard extending their streak to nine consecutive wins against and not allow Harvard a win at BU since the 1975-76 season.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just thought I would drop a line before going to sleep.

I just read Julian Benbow's story about Pat Chambers.  Wow, what a great story.  I was rooting for Coach Chambers to succeed because he is coaching BU, but now I am rooting for him as a person.  I don't care if he leaves BU and goes to BC, I would probably still root for him to do well.

On an semi-related note, I will be in attendance at Madison Square Garden tomorrow for the #7 Duke v. # 13 Connecticut college basketball game.  This will be my first visit to the garden in my 25 years of life.  I am stoked not only to watch a game at one of the games most storied venues but to see this particular match up. As a Connecticut native I have been a Huskies fan my entire life.  Two of my best sports moments were when UConn beat Duke in '99 in the national final and then again in '04 to advance to the national final.

But I digress, how does this all semi-relate to BU Basketball?  Well, as most know the Terriers are going to the XL Center in Hartford the following Wednesday 12/2 to take on #13 Connecticut.  I've mulled this over for weeks, as a huge fan of both teams who do I root for?  I've gone back and forth a couple times, but I've finally decided that I am going to root for BU for three reasons:

  • If UConn won it would probably not mean a lot for their fanbase or school.
  • If UConn lost it would probably not have a major impact on their NCAA Tournament hopes.
  • If BU beat UConn, a nationally ranked opponent, it would be HUGE for BU and the BU fanbase. It's probably the best media attention a mid-major school could ask for.

I was going to wait until later in the week to write this post but I thought I would get it out now.  Finally, I still think BU will lose to UConn, but much more on that Tuesday.

Stay tuned tomorrow as I will be previewing the BU v. Harvard match up at Case.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

BU topples Northeastern in OT 69 - 64

Wow, great game (short recap). Very frustrating at times, very exciting at times, very similar to the BU v. Harvard hockey game I went to last night.

Quickly some thoughts:

  • Co-players of the game: Corey Lowe and Jake O'Brien
  • Most Frustrating part: BU went on an 13 - 0 run to take an 11 point lead to start the first 5:30 of the second half. The rest of the second half they only scored 13 points.
  • Most exciting part: John Holland's dunk in the last seconds of the game to seal it.
I have to go back to Connecticut now for Thanksgiving. More thoughts on the game later. In the meantime, I leave you with a few pictures.

Yours Truly

Jake O'Brien sinking a foul shot


Finally some time to sit down and write about this game.

It was probably one of the more exciting games you will see at Case Gym all year. The Terriers were down by 10 early in the first half but battled back to make it a 2 point deficit going into the locker room.

Pat Chambers must have said something at halftime to light a fire under these guys asses. When they came out they looked stronger than they have all season. In the first 5 minutes they went on a 13 - 0 run to take the lead by 11. I thought after we took the lead we might be in the midst of a blowout. But after a tactical time out by Northeastern, the Terriers cooled down and only scored 13 points the rest of the half.

Overtime was scary. The Terriers came out of the gate with two threes to make it a six point game and they even blow that. But after a few turnovers on both ends, but more turnovers for Northeastern, BU is able to grab the lead with about a minute left and keep it for good. The exclamation point was a sweet dunk by John Holland at the end of the game that could've made Sportscenter.

Overall, it was a great win against a bitter crosstown rival. However, the Terriers looked very streaky at times especially in the second half. They came out of the locker room very strong and then faded. It may work versus Northeastern but against Harvard and Connecticut they are going to have to stay consistent across the whole 40 minutes.

Other things I noticed:

  • There was more of a Northeastern following at the game than BU. Perhaps because of Thanksgiving break, but still I didn't like it.
  • Northeastern fans are assholes, they were screaming at Corey Lowe as he was limping off the court during overtime.
  • BU is still fouling a lot. Jake O'Brien had 4 fouls for most of the second half; as a result, he had less playing time and probably less points.
  • Tyler Morris fouled out again.
  • Did I already mention Corey Lowe and Jake O'Brien were amazing?
  • Coach Chambers has a weird way of coming up with set plays. Before that Corey Lowe jumper to tie the game with 18.1 seconds left in regulation, Coach Chambers had all of his players go to the bench while him and his coaches deliberated in the middle of the court for 75% of the timeout. Then he went back to the team and explained what the came up with in the span of 20 seconds. Shouldn't he have plays like this in his pocket before the game, just for these situations? Hey, I'm not complaining, it worked.

Next up:
BU v. Harvard
Sunday 11/29/2009 at Case Gym 5 PM Start
Listen to it on 1510 The Zone


Northeastern v. BU Preview (4 PM The Roof)

Today at 4 PM Eastern the Terriers (1-4) play their first home game at Case Gym, otherwise known as "The Roof." against their crosstown rivals the Huskies of Northeastern (1-1). It's still pretty early in the season to know what kind of game this is going to be. But if BU plays like they did in the Puerto Rico tip-off, I expect them to be favored and win big.

The Puerto Rico tip-off showed us that the Terriers can play up to the level of teams from major conferences (Kansas St - Big 12, Indiana - Big Ten, Georgia Tech - ACC). Three games in four days is very tough on a team, and it showed the Terriers just didn't have enough gas left in the tanks against a very athletic and physical Georgia Tech team.

Areas of excellence:
  • Rebounding - In the Indiana game alone they out-rebounded their opponent 52 - 32.
  • Aggresiveness - The Terriers are a more aggressive and physical team and it shows on loose balls and the amount of fouls committed during the game.
Areas for improvement:
  • Field Goal % - Plain and simple the Terriers need to finish baskets.
  • Avoiding Foul Trouble - In a few games (GW and Indiana) we have seen some key Terriers in early foul trouble. The Terriers need to find a way to be aggresive but not foul as much.
If the Terriers can improve their play, as coach Pat Chambers constantly preaches, and get the ball to John Holland (America East's player of the week), BU should hand Northeastern its second loss of the season today at the Roof.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Picture from the GW game.

Georgia Tech 85 - BU 67

Recap and another recap.

Game notes:

That is tough. I recorded the game and watched most of it. BU looked really good in the first half versus Georgia Tech. The Terriers went into the locker room only down by two, 42 - 40. But halfway into the Second half they got tired and fell apart.

John Holland is still the Terriers MVP eventhough he is not starting,

This kid Peacock for Georgia Tech was legit tonight, but I have a feeling he will do nothing the rest of the year. I think Derrick Favors will do well.

Final Note:

The Terriers played with the #19 ranked team in the country for 30 minutes. The last ten minutes they were too tired. Going into the Northeastern game I am satisfied with the BU team.

Next up:

BU v. Northeastern - 4:00 PM Eastern
@ THe Roof
Listen to it on 1510 the zone.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

BU 71 - Indiana 67

Recap. And another recap.

Wow. I was really pumped about this game. The Terriers beat the Hoosiers! BU cannot say that very often.

Notes from the game:

BU out muscled a team from a major conference. BU out rebounded the Hoosiers by 52 - 32. BU scored 19 second chance points. It's clear that this Terriers team is being more aggressive and more physical this year under Pat Chambers than last year under Dennis Wolff.

John Holland again has an unbelievable performance with 21 points. And Jake O'Brien recorded his first career double double.

The Terriers had some nine point deficits a few times during the game but never let the deficit grow to double digits. The Terriers always kept battling back and finally broke through in the final minutes of the game.

Momentum shifter: In the second half down by six Indiana's Devin Dumes commits an intentional foul. John Holland sinks both and then on the in bounds Tyler Morris drains a three. All of a sudden the Terriers are only down by 1 point. BU lost the lead on the next few possession but it definitely instilled some confidence that BU needed to win the game.

Overall, I am very excited to see the Terriers beat one of the most historic college basketball programs in the country. This is a win that this mid-major BU program can build off of. Now the Terriers play their first ranked opponent of the year in Georgia Tech. I look forward to another close game.

Next Up:
BU vs. #19 Georgia Tech 12:30 pm Eastern from San Juan, Puerto Rico
Watch it on ESPNU or listen to it on 1510 the zone.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Kansas State 80 - BU 70

Here is the recap.

I only listened to part of the game on 1510. I was impressed by how well the Terriers did in this contest against a team that they were outmatched by, both physically and athletically. The only problem so far is that their aggressive style of play is costing them a lot of fouls. Corey Lowe fouled out last night with 15 minutes left in the game.

So far three losing games into the schedule, John Holland is the the MVP. He is averaging 18.1 points per game.

Overall, I'm impressed by the level of play by the Terriers. They're playing up to their superior opponents, something that is tough for mid-major teams to do on the road. If BU can keep games close with teams from superior conferences such as the Big 12, then the Terriers should be able to dominate teams from equal or lesser conferences.

Next up, Indiana Today 11/20/2009 6 pm Eastern from San Juan. Listen to the game on 1510 the zone.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Format Change - BU Men's Basketball Blog

So after dabbling with a NY sports blog for a while I decided that I was beating a dead horse. With so many media outlets in NY and fans of NY sports teams with their own blogs there is too much coverage.

The other day before attending the BU v. GWU basketball game at Agganis Arena, I tried to find web content on Boston Univeristy Men's Basketball - I couldn't find a lot. So, as of today I am dedicating this blog entirely to BU Men's Basketball.

During the next year I hope to read every article I can read and go to as many BU Terriers Men's Basketball games as possible to give my readership the most informed opinions about the team.

I would like to give you a preview of Boston U's team but I think other media outlets have done a lot more research and could do a way better job than I ever could. Here are the best articles I have read so far:

  • ESPN's Dana O'Neill writes a story about Pat Chambers and his plans for BU's Basketball program under the new regime.
  • Boston Herald's Rich Thompson previews the Terriers upcoming season by writing an article about the five top questions the Terriers have to answer this season.
  • Scout's Inc. Michael LaPlante ranks Pat Chambers' 2010 recruiting class as tied for tenth among NCAA Division I mid-majors.

That is all for now. I will be listening to the BU v. Kansas State Game tonight at 7:30 Eastern through