Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Live Blog For Tonight's Terriers v. Dayton Game.

Since I didn't write a preview this week I am writing a live blog. Listen along at 1510 the zone.

7:20 PM - They are just under way in Dayton. So far the Terriers are not doing too well. I am listening to the Terriers go to Dayton on the radio, I am watching Hartford play The #1 ranked University of Kentucky. Both teams are doing horrible in the easy going. Dayton leads 17 - 7, 11:09 left to go in the first.

7:25 PM - Ugh, right after hitting a three we give up an easy uncontested three. Not good guys, you have to get back and play defense. I'm beginning to think that BU's defense is not great. If you look at the point totals of the opposing teams in the last three games, you realize that we give up too many.

7:29 PM - Dayton is getting too many dunks in this game. And BU is trying way too many threes, 9 of their 14 shots have been threes. Corey Lowe at the line shooting 3, first free throws of the game for BU. Commercial break Dayton leads 27 - 13.

7:33 PM - Carlos Strong with three threes BU pulls to within 8, 6:30 left in the first. The Terriers with a late surge.  Commentators make a good point, John Holland needs to wake up, he is the best player on the team.  So far 3 shots no fields goals.

7:39 PM - Holland doing well on defense but very poor on offense.  He took a charge, and has blocked a shot but has put up three air balls.

7:40 PM - Not a good stat.  The Terriers have turned the ball over 9 times.  With 3:12 to go Dayton still leads 33 - 23.

7:44 PM - Whenever BU plays superior opponents they play a streaky game.  So far the Terriers have been up and down.  Started the game horrible, climbed to within 7. Then go down by 15 again.  All the work they made in the last 7 minutes was just erased.

7:45 PM - John Holland with the steal at half court breaks away with an easy one handed slam.  The commentator put it very well: "The Dayton crowd is used to seeing dunks, but I don't think they like it so much when it's the opposing team."

7:49 PM - Three steals in a row for BU.  Tyler Morris gets called for traveling, then on the inbounds Rob Lowery drains a 30 footer as time expires. Dayton goes into the locker room up by 12; Dayton 41 - 29.  A crazy couple of series for BU there, would've been nice to go into the half down by single digits..

Halftime - The Terriers need more consistent play from a few of their players.  John Holland has been really good on the the defensive end of the court but on the offensive end, where he really excels, he has not been doing that great this year.  A one handed dunk is exciting, but not exactly the hardest play.

Keys to the second half

  • Rob Lowery for Dayton has hit four three pointers in the first half.  Those 12 points are the difference in the game.  The Terriers need to take away those shots from the Flyers to have any chance in the second half.
  • The Terriers have double digit turnovers in the first half.  They just need to take care of the ball better.
Second Half

8:06 PM - A three off the first possession, a turnover and another three. "It's a six point game kids." Just like that.

8:09 PM - Rob Lowery for another three, lead is back to 11.  Obviously my first key to the second half was not something Coach Chambers emphasized enough.

8:12 PM - Lowery hits another three...

8:15  PM - Terriers within four points of Dayton!14:10 to go.

8:18 PM - I know there is still a lot of time left in the game.  To begin the game it looked like Dayton was going to blow BU out.  Ever since the beginning of the second half the Terriers have looked solid.  A win against Dayton would be big for the Terriers.  Keep in mind Dayton was ranked to start the season and is still receiving votes in both polls.

8:23 PM - Ugh, the Terriers are starting to look bad again.  Get back and play DEFENSE!

8:25 PM - The crowd in Dayton really picked up the Flyers after they lost a good chunk of their lead.  Dayton has some great fans.  There are more Dayton fans at this game than there were UConn fans when BU went to Hartford.  Who knows why NCAA attendance is what it is.

8:29 PM - Dayton goes on an 11-2 burst after the timeout, and take a 13 point lead.

8:32 PM - The flow of this game is definitely a lot more smoother than the Mount Saint Mary's game.  There are definitely not nearly as many fouls (only 3 so far in the second half).  This has been a pretty entertaining game to listen to, especially if you are a BU fan.

8:37 PM - I just looked up to my TV  Hartford is losing by 40 to Kentucky, no surprise there really.  In a week and a half, I'll be going to my first Terriers away game at the University of Hartford.  I am looking forward to it, I should have a similar live blog / diary for that game and trip.

8:42 PM - 2:12 to go, BU still trails by 12.  I guess it was not meant to be.  Great effort though versus a really good Dayton team.  Dayton's star Chris Wright is projected to go in the NBA draft.

8:48 PM - Final - Dayton wins by 14 points. Dayton 74 BU 60.

Final Thoughts - The Terriers played a good game.  They need to do better on defense.  I don't know what the final stats are yet but Dayton shot way too well in the second half.  Dayton's Rob Lowery, only had 6 threes this season prior to theis game.  He put up 7 in this game and scored 23 points, that can't happen if you expect to win a game.  A strong showing but a loss is a loss.  This was an alright way to wrap-up the Terriers non-conference schedule.  I will write more on this game tomorrow.


    Friday, December 25, 2009

    Merry Christmas

    To all of my loyal readers, Merry Christmas! Now enjoy this video.

    Thursday, December 24, 2009

    Terriers dominate The Mount 86 - 77

    This is a game that I really don't want to spend that much time writing about.  BU jumped off to an early lead and never trailed in this game, they led by 20 at one point during the second half.  It really surprises me that the score was so high because of how inept both offenses were in the first part of the second half.  One of the cons of going to a live game; there is no button to change the channel.  You can't tune into a more exciting game and then switch back at the end of the game.  This felt like a game I would much rather listen to on 1510, while watching a much more exciting game on TV. 

    The game did have it's exciting parts, don't get me wrong.  The thing that killed it was the pace.  For every one or two dunks there were ten fouls.  Combined there were 59 team fouls in this game.  In both halfs the two teams were in the bonus within the first ten minutes.  This killed the last ten minutes of the game.  Everytime there was the slightest bump the ref was calling it.  Then all of the players had  to walk at a snails pace to the other end for free throws.

    I have to say though BU's brand of Basketball is a lot more exciting than most mid-major teams and huge improvement over last year.  The most impressive play of that game to me was when I saw John Holland hustle for a loose ball near the scorers table.  The whole crowd, and probably coach Chambers knew that he was not going to get it.  He dived anyway, it ended up being off of the Terriers.  But to see that kind of hustle on a routine play was like watching Derek Jeter run out a ground ball.  No matter what the cicumstance you are going to see John Holland give it his all every night.  John Holland averages almost 20 points per game which is enough to put him among the top 40 in the nation in scoring.  That's no fluke, the junior from the Bronx (coicidentally the same city where Derek Jeter plays home games) is a great player and has a legitimate shot to be the America East Player of the Year.

    During the game, the Terriers utilized a trap full-court press early in the first half that was very effective.  They forced many turnovers and held The Mount to one field goal in the first nine minutes of the game.  BU struggled almost as much, scoring only a few field goals and wasn't really able to pull away until the second half.

    (Halftime came and the Newton fifth grade boys team came onto the court.  For a bunch of little kids, some of them played pretty well.  They went up and down the court pretty quickly and made some impressive passes.  It was almost more exciting than the game itself).

    I was hopeful about the second half.  And as mentioned before, this game did have it exciting parts.  The first ten minutes of the second half was probably the most exciting of the game.  The Terriers were making some clutch threes. John Holland made a couple of pretty spectacular dunks. And Jake O'Brien had some pretty sweet plays inside the paint. Both Holland and O'Brien ended the game with 21 points.  After the first ten minutes both teams were in the bonus, the game struggled to find any real flow the rest of the way.  There was a foul and foul shots every 30 seconds.  If the Terriers were up by 20 like they had been earlier in the game I probably woul've left.  But somehow The Mount stuck around by making more than 80% of their shots at the charity stripe (compared to the 56% the last game).

    A deceiving score to an awful and worse game than I anticipated.  The Mount was never in this game.  They fell behind early in the game and could never find the energy to catchup to a very strong Terriers team right now.

    With their first winning streak of the season the Terriers have to feel pretty confident about their performance thus far in the young season.  Dayon on Tuesday will be a real test.  Dayton is a better team but unlike the Georgia Tech, Kansas State and UConn games, I think they have a great show to win.

    Other Notes:

    • MVP of the game: John Holland, no surprise at all.
    • The Mount Saint Mary's MVP: Shawn Atupem's hair (see my previous post).  He looked like one of those rappers fom the early 90's or the main character from house party.  Maybe the most exciting thing about the Mount Saint Mary's team.  I don't know how this team was picked first in the NEC, they are bad. 
    • Coach Chambers was screaming at his team early in the game for fouling the The Mount.  The funniest part was how he said it "Stop fouling! They only have one field goal!"
    • Like a dumbass I forgot to bring the camera.  I promise I will have pictures for the Stony Brook game.

    Next Up:
    Boston U v. Dayton Flyers
    12/29 - 7 pm ET
     Listen: 1510 AM

    Wednesday, December 23, 2009

    My Thoughts on "The Mount" Game to Come Later...

    The Boston U Terriers knocked down Mount Saint Mary's Mountaineers 86 - 77.  Here's the recap on the BU Website.

    When the performance of the night for Mount Saint Mary's goes to Shawn Atupem's hair, that's not good. I probably could've taken a way better picture, but like a dumbass I forgot to bring the camera.  More on this game later, after work I am going straight to the train station to go back to home for the holidays.  It needs to be said now, this was an excruciating game to watch both teams combined for 59 total personal fouls.  The game started off slow and never found a fluid flow.

    House Party 2?


    Monday, December 21, 2009

    JC's Preview: "The Mount" vs. Boston U

    After over a week hiatus because of exams the Terriers are back in action tomorrow at Case Gym against the Mount Saint Mary's Mountaineers, or the small school located in the Maryland Appalachians that refers to themselves as "The Mount." That is a pretty hilarious name.  Why can't other school's have nicknames like this? For example because of BU's diverse student body; fans, students and alumni could refer to BU as "The World."  Or because BU is a very expensive private university in a conference with a bunch of state schools, BU could refer to itself as "The Upper Class." I could see the headlines in the Daily Free Press now: "The Upper Class beats Vermont" in other news "BU raises tuition another $10,000 per year." Onto the preview....

    JC's Preview  

    Last time out
    • Boston University (4-6) went to Poughkeepsie and beat the Marist Foxes 88 - 72 in a game that was almost no contest.  Corey Lowe scored 27 points and John Holland added another 21 of his own.  The big story, however, was the Terriers program record-tying 15 three point field goals on 60% shooting from beyond the arc.
    • Mount Saint Mary's (3-7) went to Pitt and lost their fifth straight game to the Pitt Panthers 66 - 48.  The Mountaineers were horrible shooting from the floor in the Pitt game making only 31.6% of their shots from their field and 56.3% from the charity stripe.   In their last two times out The Mount scored 48 and 38 points against lower tier major school Pitt and mid-major Old Dominion respectively.

    Both teams were in a very similar place at the beginning of the season --both picked to win their conferences.  However,  entering the conference slate, the teams could not be on more opposite sides of the spectrum.  BU is coming off a dominating win over a mid-major opponent in which it tied a program offensive record but still gave up a lot of points on defense. For BU, it's 15 three-pointers was a huge confidence booster.  Fans and conference opponents are beginning to see the team that was picked to win the America East.

    On the other side Mount Saint Mary's, "The Mount," is still on a five game losing steak coming into the matchup tomorrow.  During that stretch they have had trouble on offense, only scoring above 60 points once. However, they have limited some good teams, from major conferences, to low point totals (Pitt scored only 66).  Their inability to score points and adeptness to turn the ball over has some scratching their heads about the team that was picked first in the NEC preseason poll.  The Mount have already started conference play and are already in the cellar with disappointing 0-2 record versus conference foes.

    On paper it looks like an easy game for the Terriers.  The Terriers are on the up and up and starting to play to their potential as a an experienced and talented team. The Mount is seeing why preseason rankings mean nothing and are beginning to become frustrated with their performance.  However, The Mount still have the same talent that they started the year with, it could at any moment awaken, all it takes is that one motivating pep talk or team meeting. The Mount is going to be anxious to end their 7 game road-trip with a win over a non-conference opponent.  I think Mount Saint Mary's will be a tough opponent, this has the feeling of a trap game for the Terriers.  Ultimately, I think that the Terriers are more of a well-rounded team at this point in the season and will win the game, but it will be close. The Terriers take it in a close one 63 - 58.

    "The Game"
    Boston U v. Mount Saint Mary's
    12/22 7 PM at Case Gym
    Listen: 1510 am

    Other Housekeeping Items

    • I'm borrowing my roommates digital camera tomorrow for the Mount Saint Mary's game, so get ready for some much higher quality pictures than the ones I have been taking on my crappy cell phone.
    • I am planning out my posts for 2010.  I want to incorporate more weekly/daily features into the blog.  I plan to do some top fives, maybe a mailbag. If anyone has questions, comments, or suggentions for me please send a message to jim@terriersbasketball.com.


    Saturday, December 19, 2009

    Finally, A New Post

    Sorry, I know I have not been keeping up on the blog.  I hope that you my devoted readers can find it in your heart to forgive me.

    The Marist Game
    I was not able to watch or listen to the game, but I did read about it afterwards.  I think the most encouraging thing was the score.  Finally we blew out an inferior opponent.  When I first looked at the score I knew John Holland and Corey Lowe each scored more than 20 (I actually made a bet and won some money because of this).  There's really not that much to write about this game.  I wasn't there so I can't give you anymore insight than the recap on the BU website.

    I promise I will write a preview and a recap of the Mount Saint Mary's game.  Especially if my publicity stunt works tonight.

    UMass v. Memphis Tonight 6 PM ESPN2
    Look for me in the stands tonight. I will be in attendance with a "UMass: 0 Final Fours, Memphis: 0 Final Fours" sign to try and create some publicity for my blog.

    And yes I do agree with Coach Knight's comments the other day.  As a fan of the sport, I know not every coach is perfect, but I think it's disgraceful that a coach who had to vacate two final four appearances at two different programs is still allowed to coach and does not have any blemish on his NCAA record.  If you think that John Cal didn't know anything in either situation you are being naive.


    Friday, December 11, 2009

    No Preview of the Marist Game This Weekend

    I realize the Marist game is on Saturday, but unfortunately I am not going to be around to write a preview or listen to the game.  It's off to New Hampshire in just a few minutes.  However, I will read about the game it when I get back on Sunday and write my thoughts. I know, it is a disappointment, but sometime you just have to roll with the punches.

    Unrelated thought: With Harvard barely losing to UConn and going to BC and beating them, the Terriers loss at Case doesn't look so bad now.  I think it'll be pretty cool to think back a year or two from now and say that I saw Jeremy Lin play at The Roof before he moved onto the NBA, which in her column ESPN writer Dana O'Neill thinks is a possibility.

    Wednesday, December 9, 2009

    Terriers Basketball Right Now: Attendance

    I thought with a long lag in between games, I would address an issue that is pressing to Terriers Basketball right now.  One of the biggest issues now and in recent years has been attendance, especially students and recent alumni.  Why do the Terriers continue to rank almost last in attendance in the America East Conference?

    The last three seasons the Terriers have had the preseason number one team in the America East conference, yet continue to draw very little support.  This is a dissapointment that baffles me.  I went to a lot of games as an undergraduate and so far all of them this year as an alumni.  Attending a game, even a game with two mid-major teams involved, is an awesome experience  The only thing lacking for me, as a fan of the sport and BU, is that in your face home court atmosphere that you find at other schools.  Some people think that this only happens at major program schools like Kentucky and Duke. No that is completley false, even mid-major teams, teams in our conference, draw packed gyms for conference games.  Why not BU?

    Here are a couple arguments for poor attendance and why I think they are wrong:
    • BU is not big enough for two winter sports.  BU Hockey is a major program in the country.  BU students come out in very large numbers to see a team that is ranked on a national level.  I know students have school spirit because they sell out hockey games. How come BU fans cannot spread their school pride to the basketball team? Programs like Vermont provide a corollary to this two sports argument. Vermont also has a nationally recognized ice hockey program and a smaller student body, yet they continue to pack gymnasiums in basketball while playing in the same exact conferences as BU in both sports.
    • BU is in a small time conference, the quality of basketball is worse than on TV.  This is perhaps the argument that I think is the most absurd. Mid-major Division I College Basketball games are just as exciting games in major conference games.  Mid-major conference games have all the same glitz, glamor and flair as major conference games have.  Mid-major team have the same rivalries, dunks, alley-oops, great shooters and exciting  buzzer-beater finishes the major conferences have.

    Here is the most valid argument for poor attendance:

    • BU never wins a conference tournament, they never go to the NCAA Tournament.  It's true, the Terriers have not been to the big dance since 2002.  The current generation of students and young alumni have never seen a conference champion. There have been many times they have come really close, but have not finished it out.  I can see why this would be discouraging, one of my first BU basketball experiences was also my most disappointing.  The Terriers entered the 2003-04 postseason tournament as regular season conference champions and the favorite to receive the America East automatic bid to advance to the NCAA tournament.  After a first-round bye, they lost to the lowest seeded team in the tournament, Stony Brook, in overtime.  This one single game probably should've turned me off to BU basketball for a while. But I endured a half decade in hopes that they would finally one day triumph.
    So how does BU boost attendance? No amount of marketing and promotions is going to get students and alumni alike to show up in large numbers to BU basketball games. I think there is only one solution, and it's simple: win a conference tournament and return to the NCAA tournament.  This will give students and alumni something to be proud about once again.  It will encourage supporters to show up the next year in hopes they can repeat.  The student body has only known teams that have been dissapointments in past years, it's time for them to know a team that wins. 


    Sunday, December 6, 2009

    Boston U beats Bucknell 63 - 53.

    Read the BU recap.

    In what looked like a blow out in the first half turned into a close game later.  However, the crowd still left happy as the Terriers scored over 60 points (Right: Strong hits a foul shot to make it 60), beat Bucknell and got a two for one deal at Raising Cane's after the game.

    Boston University played high quality basketball in the first half.  They scored 32 points with 43% shooting and held the Bison to 16 points and 19% shooting.  Everything indicated that this would be a blowout.  Wrong.  Bucknell had a very strong second half  -they pulled to within three at one point-  but were not able to completely erase the Terriers early lead.

    During the past few weeks there have been two Terrier teams.  The First Half Terriers and the Second Half Terriers. I refer to this as the "First and Second Enigma." The First half Terriers are aggressive, play hard, don't sit on an early lead or get discouraged when they are behind, they keep battling.  The Second Half Terriers show an early effort, then fade.  They sit on a fat lead and then lose it.  I'm not sure why this happens, it may have to do with injuries and foul trouble.  The Terriers continue to show signs of greatness but cannot play a complete game.  This team is still not living up to preseason expectations.    All Terrier fans hope that the team can find a solution to the enigma by the January 2nd matchup against Stony Brook, their first in-conference game.

    Game Notes:

    • Player of the game: Jake O'Brien led the Terriers with 17 points.
    • Corey Lowe was back and hit a really long three in the first half.
    • I attended this game with a few friends, we all got free tickets from a student outside the of the arena.  Apparently there were a few promotions that were designed to lure more people to the game.  This was all a part of a "final project" for a  marketing class, they had to get as many people to attend the game as possible.  I don't think they received an A.  The attendance at Agganis games continues to be disappointing.  Pat Chambers promised better attendance when he interviewed for the job, I am not seeing it so far.
    •  I felt bad for the Dance Team, they were having really bad luck with the PA system a couple times.
    • One guy mentioned UConn football, I tried to high five him but was denied because I was wearing a Yankees hat.  
    • Also, when I got my picture taken next to the BU Hockey National Championship trophy I think the person purposely cut my hat out of the picture because I made a snippy remark about not caring about the Red Sox and Celtics tropy (judge for yourselft, see the picture below).

    Yankee hat cut out purposely?

    Next Up:
    Boston U at Marist
    December 12, 2 PM
    Listen: 1510 am


    Thursday, December 3, 2009

    UConn 92 BU 64: BU gets clobbered.

    Recap from the BU website.
    Recap from the UConn website.

    Boston University will have to wait another year to break their 50 year winless streak when facing ranked opponents.  UConn beatdown BU like a 2 seed playing a 15 seed.

    There is not much to write about this game.  You could read the preview that I posted yesterday and think it was was a recap.  Yesterday I guessed the score would be 90 - 64 UConn. The actual score was 92 - 64 UConn. I was off by two points!

    The game played out exactly as I expected.  UConn was way too physical for the Terriers, they out rebounded BU 54 - 29 and blocked six Terrier shots..  BU tried a lot of three pointers to try to keep up with UConn, but no amount of threes could've kept the Terriers in this one.  When all was said and done a more athletic UConn team was just better than the Terriers. The Terriers didn't play as awful as they did in the Harvard game, it was just a mismatch.

    Random thoughts from this game:
    • John Holland and Jake O'Brien are legit and could probably be pretty decent if they played for a school in a major conference. Right now they are the best two players talent wise on the team.  Holland had 23 points and O'Brien added 18 points and 10 rebounds for his first career double-double.  That's pretty impressive especially against a team of UConn's caliber.
    • Why did coach Pat Chambers take his players off the floor before the half was over?  Yes, there was only .2 seconds left on the clock, but seriously you can't wait?  The ref should've allowed them to stay in the locker room, it would've been funnier if BU came out of the locker room and UConn was up by three more points than they remembered.
    • The Terriers were banged up tonight and didn't have a very deep bench. In addition to Valdas Siruitis and Scott Brittain being out, Corey Lowe sat out his first game because he is suffering from plantar fascitis. As a result, O'Brien led the team with 39 minutes played, Morris played 38 and Holland added another 37.  When your players log that many minutes they are going to be very tired. The Terriers need someone to get healthy soon.
    Next Up:
    Boston U v. Bucknell
    Sunday 12/6 2:00 PM Tip at Agganis Arena
    Listen: 1510 am


    Tuesday, December 1, 2009

    JC's Preview: Connecticut v. Boston U (12/2 XL Center 7 PM)

    As I watch a rematch of the 2008-09 national championship game, I'm thinking the same thing everyone else is thinking. When will a team from the America East or a mid-major conference finally win the National Championship?  It has to happen eventually, right?  In College Basketball there is tournament so every team has an equal shot once they get there, right? What if a team like BU made a George Mason like run to the Final Four?  No, wrong, it will never happen, don't get your hopes up.

    JC's Preview
    Here is the preview from the BU website. Also, see my post about why I am rooting for my alma mater (BU) over the team I gre up rooting for as a kid (UConn)

    I don't think there is any question who will win this game.  This is a match up nightmare for the Terriers. The Connecticut Huskies will win and win big.  

    What did the Harvard game show?  BU still has a lot of work to do.  Pelage and O'Brien combined for only eight rebounds, that worries me.  Versus UConn's more physical and more athletic forwards (Stanley Robinson, Gavin Edwards, and Alex Oriakhi) that is not going to cut it. The Terriers inability to be consistent in any game they have played all season, that worries me.  They do not have a complete win all season. 

    The strength of BU's team is undeniably their guard play.  But BU does not have any advantage in this aspect of this game.  Jerome Dyson and Kemba Walker are quick and talented, they will go right by you.  The two players that matchup against Dyson and Walker the best are probably Lowe and and Strong. 

    How does BU stay competitive with a more athletic, physical and bigger team? I don't know, it's probably not possible. I really don't see any phase in this game which the Terriers can exploit, especially since they are so poor from the field and from three so far this season.

    Terrier Keys to he Game:
    • Have an outstanding game shooting the three
    • Take advantage of loose-balls and turnovers
    • Don't commit a lot of turnovers
    • Make all of your free throws
      If they can do that they might have a chance.  It's basically the four things that any coach at a mid-major school tells their players, "if we make very little mistakes and we can force them to make a few, we can win this game."

      So to reiterate, BU has little to no chance.  This game will not even be close.  The question is not if BU will lose, it's by how much.  I predict UConn 90 - BU 64. UConn will clobber BU.
      • The game will be broadcast on espn360.com.  Anyone with comcast internet can go online and watch for free.
      • The last time BU beat a ranked team was in 1959. 
      • Calhoun used to coach for the Northeastern Huskies when they were in the same conference as BU.