Friday, November 12, 2010

The Beginning: BU vs. Northeastern, Tomorrow, 7 PM, Be There!

Let me start off with an email (edited) I sent to some friends who are all going with me to the game tomorrow:

Dear College Basketball Fans,

I am writing to you because you love mid-major college basketball just as much as I do (well, that's probably not possible). We're going to go see the BU Terriers play the Northeastern Huskies at Matthews arena tomorrow night. Here's the plan:

  • I get off of work at 5:30 (maybe earlier I will see what I can do).
  • I will book from work and meet ya'll at Pour House for some pre-game beers. Hopefully I will arrive there at 6.
  • After 45 minutes of pounding 22 oz. beers we'll head over to Matthews (about 0.6 miles)
  • I think tickets will be $10 maybe $12, it definitely won't be sold out.
  • Then we will watch the BU Terriers and their talented and very young team beat the Northeastern Huskies!

If you have any questions you can email me or phone/text (203-687-6907) me anytime tomorrow (I'll be working, but it will be slow, I'll be able to field some calls)

For a preview of some sorts you can visit my blog.

Looking forward to an awesome night of College Basketball.

Feel free to suggest any post-game activities.

-Jimmy C

THE RAMBLING PREVIEW (I'm not previewing the game or the season just the facts that we all care about).

This is it finally it's the start of another BU Terriers Basketball season.  To my surprise BU was voted the pre-season number one to win the America East conference (unfortunately these days that means a play-in game unless we only lose4 or 5 games all year).  Let's not get ahead of ourselves though, this is the fourth year in a row that BU has been named that honor and it has not turned out very well in that span, no NCAA appearances since 2002.  We all know that BU does not do well with high expectations (see 2004 America East Tournament).

I think this year can be different though.  This team is mostly Pat Chambers now.  The only key Wolff recruits remaining now are Holland, O'Brien, Pellage.  The rest of the team is transfers and freshman, very talented freshman (a group of freshman that I am going to name "Villanova North."  Why? Pat Chambers was the associate head coach under Jay Wright at Villanova before becoming the rookie head coach of BU last year.  And on top of that 6 of the freshman recruits are from the city of brotherly love).  It's a new and younger era.  I'm looking forward to players who are talented and have got swagger and hustle.  All indications are that this will be a different team "High Expectations" team than in previous seasons.  Plus (and I know I have previously been a critic) Pat Chambers is the fucking man.

You know who else is the man?  Senior John Holland.  He's coming off of a year that he was the America East Conference leading scorer.  This is a talented kid who in my opinion could've easily played in a major conference for a good team (plus he's from the mecca of MLB Baseball - Bronx, NY).  It will be very fun to watch him play at MSG in February versus Albany.

In conclusion I think the two biggest keys to this season will be how well the Pat Chambers recruits do and how well John Holland can do this year.  I think both will win coach of the conference and player of the conference honors.  Lock it up.    

Tomorrow is the first game of the regular season for the Terriers, they face the crosstown and former conference rival Northeastern Huskies at Matthews Arena.  It's going to be a great game.  Last year the Terriers beat the Huskies in OT, this year who knows. I can't wait to see all of the new faces and make some evaluations. finally the coolest part about the Terriers Huskies game tomorrow: this is the first time in 60 years that both of these teams have met each other in the first game of their respective seasons.


Anyone who reads this post and is excited as I am should come to the game.  I really don't care who you are (as long as your not Marqus Blakely, you are not invited).  See my letter above for info.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Jimmy C: BU Basketball Season Ticket Holder

This year I decided to buy season tickets to entice me to go to every home game and more importantly save some money. I am very excited as this is my first ever season ticket holder experience.  Below is the Letter I received.

I should post a short preview later tonight or tomorrow detailing the things that I am looking forward to this year.  There will definitely be a lot of new names and faces to memorize.

T minus 2 days until the start of the Boston University Terriers 2010-11 Men's College Basketball season.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Corey Lowe Situation: Update

My theory is almost 95% correct.  The only difference is that I believed that Corey hired an agent, when in fact he only had contact with an agent, which is not illegal according to NCAA bylaws.  Today's Daily Free Press has a great investigative article that describes in great detail the course of events that led up to Corey Lowe's removal from the active roster prior to the Morehead State game. 

In short, Corey had been in "contact" with an agent on Saturday 3/20 but claims he did not break any NCAA rules.  Coach Chambers found out about the "contact" and removed him from the team before the Morehead State game.  Chambers could not know for sure exactly what happened on Saturday, so he took the precaution of removing Corey from the team to avoid any investigations into possible NCAA violations that could affect the future of the program.

This was a smart move by Coach Chambers.  If Corey was going to be in direct contact with an agent he should've consulted with Coach Chambers especially if he wanted to remain on the team for the rest of the postseason run.  I don't fault Corey that much though, he made a small mistake that in the long run is going to have almost no affect on his BU legacy.  I am going to remember the four years he poured his heart and soul into this program, not the two games (which he wasn't going to play in anyway) he missed at the end of his final season because of a small mistake.  Corey you still my boy


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Season Wrap Up Part 1 of 3: The Corey Lowe Situation

The BU Terriers season was probably one of the more eventful and dramatic in recent history.  Before the season began it looked like BU was poised to to make it's first NCAA tournament appearance since 2002. However, BU returned 9 seniors all Dennis Wolff recruits, but did not return their head coach and commandant Dennis Wolff.  Before the season, in an unexcpected move to shake things up, BU got rid of their most winningest coach and hired the associate head coach for the Villanova Wildcats, Patrick Chambers.  In his first year as a head coach of any team, he took over a very experienced and talented squad that his predecessor almost entirely constructed.  So many story lines, so many moments, what a season the Terriers had.  In the last  three games they beat Oregon State, they lost Corey Lowe, the third highest scorer in BU history, beat Morehead state in overtime and lost to Virginia Commonewelath in the CBI semifianls, what a dramatic end to a very fulfilling and eventful season . As fans we can only hope that the Terriers put out an even better product to play under The Roof and within the walls of Agganis Arena in the years to come.

The Corey Lowe Situation
I think this came as a shock to everyone who was BU fan.  After BU slaughtered Oregon State in the first round of the CBI, Corey Lowe unexpectedly left he team before the Morehaead State game.  I didn't learn about this until the Morehaead State game,  And I like a lot of other fan discovered this when I went to the Morehead Sate game on Monday.  I watched the game, and I saw a lot fo our stars from this year out there but within almost five minutes I noticed Corey Lowe wasn't on the floor and he wasn't on the bench.  He could've been in the stands but I didnd't see him the entire night, where was he? My first thought was that something happened to either him or his family, I was concenred.  I learned after the game that he "moved onto the next chapter of his life."

I really wasn't sure what this meant at first.  Why would the third highest scorer in BU history (that is 101 years of BU Basketball) just leave unexpectedly? In the coming days it became apparent that the "next chapter" meant playing pro ball in Europe.  Still, why leave the team?  You are one of the best players in BU history (again that's 101 years of BU basketball).  Pat Chambers (for all purposes of my upcoming theory we will give him the benefit of the doubt) said that everyone involved with the team supported Corey's decision to leave.

So my theory is this.  Corey was not expecting to play this far into the postseason.  He didn't know what his chances were of playing on a professional level. As an NCAA player he is not allowed to receive advice from scouts or agents about going pro. Corey was anxious and he knew that if he got injured in the the final games of his at BU it would severely hurt his chances of a pro career.  What did Corey do, he hired an agent but kept it quiet, he wanted to see out his last games in a BU uniform but wanted to get advice about his future.  In a sense Corey wasn't thinking about the present he was thinking about the future. 

On the plane ride back to Boston from Oregon State, Corey approaches coach Chambers who is studying the scouting report for Morehaed Stat (wishful thinking Coach Chambers probably didn't have a scouting report printed out yet, but I like to thnk that my team's coach had a scouting report in his hand withing minutes of knowing who his next opponent would be).  When he speaks to Coach Chambers he explains that he is already thinking about a pro career but he would like to remain with the team. Chambers gets suspicious and eventually finds out that Corey has in fact hired an agent. Chambers and Lowe go back and forth for about 15 minutes.  Lowe wants to remain with the team but wants to have a limited role.  Chambers says no, he either plays with a full role or not at all.  Also, he says to Lowe, "if you have already hired an agent, maybe it's best if you stayed away from the team, we don't want to have any future sanctions against us."

Corey was BU's third highest scorer (the third time I've said this), he just got a little too anxious.  I guarantee if BU was one and done in the NCAA tournament that this would not even be as big of a story as it is.  I cannot fault Corey and I cannot fault Coach Chambers. They were both looking out for their best interests.  However, Corey's best interests may have been slightly selfish and Chambers's best interest were all about the team.  I'm disappointed in Corey but I'm not one to hold a grudge for long.  Corey's career is going to be defined by what he did in four years not what happened in the last week.


In the next two parts of my season wrap up:

  • BU beats Morehead State at The Roof .
  • BU is defeated by VCU.

Also to come in the offseason a recap of the year and a preview of next.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The 2010 CBI Invitational: BU beats Oregon St. and Morehead State

I have not kept this blog completely updated in the last week, and a lot of stuff has happened in Terrier Nation.  BU has won not one but two CBI games and advances to the semis and of couse the "Curious Case of Corey Lowe."  I plan to make up for lost time right now.

3/17 - BU vs. Oregon State - Gill Colliseum - BU wins 96 - 68.
I did not get to listen to a lot of this game, I was watching something on TV this particular night.  But from the looks and sound of it, I did not miss that much.  The best thing about this game was that a BU win meant that there would be at least one more game at Case Gymnasium this season.

Other stuff:
  • Th score.  BU scored a season high number of points versus a BCS conference team.  A mediocre one at best, but I still think it's somehting to get a little excited about.
  • John Holland led the team with 26 pints.  Remember the America East's leading scorer is only a Junior, we still have another year of the JH show.
  • Senior Carlos Strong only needed one more postseason game to top the 1,000 points mark.
3/22 - BU v. Morehead State - Case Gym - BU wins 91 - 89.
On the Sunday before this game I got the following email from a friend of mine:

  • "I think Kulp's fantasy just came true. Soul Fire BBQ is offering all you can eat wings for $9 Monday nights from 5-10pm (see below)"
Perfect, I thought to myself.  We can go to the game and after it ends we can go to Soulfire for a bunch of wings, the perfect way to spend my Monday.  I dropped a few hints, I asked if anyone wanted to go to the game, all of my attempts were futile.  As long as BU Basketball is not ranked and they  are in the America East no one, even my friends who are BU alumni are not going to want to go to see BU play Baskeball, next year I probably won't even bother trying to recruit people.

During the game, I was hoping for a blow out or early ending so I could meet up with my friends in time to enjoy the all you can eat wings. When BU had three chances to put it away in the final 30 seconds of the game with the scored tied, I was honestly thinking "damn you Jake O'Brien, you don't want me to have $9 all you can eat wings do you."  There's always next week, $9 all you can eat wings...

The Game
Because I had some guests the night before and they trashed my place, I had to go home first to vcean up my place before going to the game.  As a result, I didn't make it to the game until ten minutes into the first half and just caught the tail end of BU's comeback. 

The game as a whole was really good from beginning to end.  The thing that excited me most was the crowd; the biggest student crowd I have seen all season.  Rightfully so, this was BU's first ever home postseason game (excluding the America East Tournament final). I am going to add some photos and videos later. 

In the second half, it looked like BU was going to run awaya with it.  But in true Terriers fashion they let their opponent hit a few threes and get right back into the game.  The Terriers had real troubles with Morehead State's fullcourt press. The Terriers led by 11, then by 4, then it was tied and before you know the game was in OT. The Terriers scored the first five points in OT and never looked back.  The advance to the Semis.

Good Stuff:
  • Carlos Strong was on fire from three point range.
  • Jake O'Brien and John Holland are going to be a great core for next year's team, behing Strong they were the team's other two highest scorers.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

One Last Thought - NCAA Tournament teams I am following

Just because BU is not in the Big Dance, does not mean that I won't be blogging about the Tournament. During March Madness check back to get my opinions and thoughts on some of the most exciting games of the tournament.  Also, I plan to follow two mid-major teams in the first round or as long as they are in the tournament; the first, the America East tournament champions Vermont; the second, the Wofford Terriers (only because they share a nickname with the BU and I figure maybe because of my domain name I might get some site traffic from people curious about Wofford's first NCAA appearance ever).  Other than those two teams the rest of it will be random, and mostly the games I get the pleasure of watching.

In the end I am not just a BU fan, I'm also a College Basketball fan.

(13) Wofford v. (4) Wisconsin - 3/19 - 2:50 pm* on CBS
(16) Vermont v. (1) Syracuse - 3/19 - 9:30 pm* on CBS

*All times approximate



Wait...BU's season isn't over?

That's right after losing to Vermont in the America East final, the Terriers travel to Corvallis Oregon to take on the the Oregon State Beavers in the first round of the CBI Tournament. Tipoff is tonight at 10 PM Eastern.  Not sure you can watch it on TV but I'm pretty sure you'll be able to listen as always on 1510 the zone. Here is the preview on the BU website.

My first impression of this game was indifferent.  Over the weekend I was disappointed about our loss to Vermont in the final, but not I've come to recognize that this was s successful and great season for the BU Basketball team and the 9 seniors have worked hard and they deserve to play some postseason basketball.  It's not the NCAA or the NIT but it's something.  A win versus a Pac-10 team would be cool.

Over the past few days the one thing I have been thinking about this game is if President Obama will be listening or watching or following.  For those who don't know the coach for Oregon State, Craig Robinson, is Michelle Obama's older brother and brother in law to our country's leader and chief.  If he is listening tonight at 10, I wonder where and if he yells at the radio like I do.  As a player on the Oregon State team or one of the teams that plays Oregon State I think it would be pretty cool knowing that the President of our country could be listening or watching.  He actually showed up to a game when Oregon State visited George Washington earlier this year.

That brings me to my next point, I looked at both teams schedules.  The two teams only had one common opponent this year, the same George Washington.   Oregon state beat them by a narrow margin, whereas BU lost to them in a relatively close contest.  That's the only real comparison I have. 

Also taking a look at Oregon State's roster, there did not appear to be any stars on their team their highest scoring averaged just over 12 points per game, and the rest would spread out pretty evenly with a few players just averaging in the single digits.

Bottomline, if BU plays well on defense, they should be able to score enough to make this a competitve game.  That's the cool thing about these postseason turnaments that are not the NCAA, usually they include a mediocre or bad major conference teams and really good mid-major teams that have legitimate shots to beat their Major conference opponents. What the major conference opponents take for granted, the mid-major teams will capitalize on, just ask UConn who narrowly beat Northeastern last night and UNC who narrowly beat William and Mary.

Prediction: BU bearly edges out the Beavers, the Terriers may not be as talented but they have the will to win no matter what tournament they are in. Final score 65 - 62.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Rapid Reaction: Vermont beats BU, 83 - 70 in the Championship

It was a rollercoaster season for the BU Terriers and it all came to an end on Saturday.  BU went out and they did not play the same brand of basketball that they played in Hartford just a week earlier.  On defense they looked flat, they did not have an answer for Marqus Blakely and they did not get their two point baskets to fall.

This didn't pan out as I predicted it but, I definitely predicted the two x-factors and the other thing to watch:

  • Marqus Balakely had an amazing game, that dunk in the last two minutes was awesome and likely a top ten highlight on Sportscenter.
  • John Holland, the leading scorer in the America East did not play like it in this game or in the first two games of the tournament.
  • Corey Lowe hit some nice threes but it was not nearly enough

Congratulations to Vermont! More to come later today or tomorrow


Quick Haltime Thoughts - BU v. Vermont - America East Championship

At halftime BU is losing to Vermont 42 - 31.  How did we get here?

  • Corey Lowe has been almost half of our scoring and they've been mostly three and foul shots.
  • Marqus Blakely is too much for BU to handle, he is dominating the paint.
  • BU can't make a two point field goal to save their life.
  • John Holland did not show up.
  • BU's defense did not show up.
  • Vermont is matching BU's threes with threes of their own to widen the lead.
Eleven points is a large lead for BU to overcome, but if the Terrier defense plays better and they can get some two point baskets to fall, then they can get back in it.  I'm hopeful, but right now these Terriers are not the same Terriers that beat Stony Brook and killed Hartford, 42 points against is just discouraging.  Coach Chambers' needs to light a fire in the locker room at halftime.  We'll see what happens in the second half, BU needs to come out of the locker room with more intensity on both sides of the court, if they fall behind early even more, Vermont will march on.

And John Holland, please finish those dunks, I'm begging you.


Friday, March 12, 2010

Prediction - BU v. Vermont - Tomorrow Noon ESPN2

Cool moment of the day. I'm a follower of New York Daily News beat writer of the NY Yankees, and BU Alum, Mark Feinsand (@bloggingbombers) who writes a blog on the Daily News website. This is how it played out (I also have problems recognizing other people's sarcasm in real life as well not just on twitter):

@BloggingBombers: Luis Tiant? RT @JoeandEvan Please...can people stop referring to Tomlinson as LT!! There is only ONE
@thejimmyc: @BloggingBombers haha Lawrence Taylor, c'mon Mark
@BloggingBombers: @thejimmyc Clearly I was kidding. Hey, at least I didn't say Lawrence Tynes, right?
@thjimmyc: @BloggingBombers haha I'm still having problems recognizing sarcasm on twitter. GO BU BASKETBALL!
@BloggingBombers In honor of tomorrow's America East championship, one last #FF @AnthonyDiComo @PeterBotte @stephsamps @gcf123 @thejimmyc #GOTERRIERS
@thejimmyc: @BloggingBombers thanks Mark! #ff #GOTERRIERS. I'm also thinking of blogging the bombers from beantown - "Yankees fan in Boston"

It's cool that he replied to my tweet and clearly I used this as a chance to publisize BU Basketball and my blog to a recognized blogger. Thanks Mark!

Prediction BU v. Vermont noon ESPN2
I rarely make predictions on the games that I preview.  I made a really accurate prediction back when BU played UConn, hopefully I can have some of that luck rub off on this preview, so here it is.

BU wins in a very physical and grind it out game.  They trail for most of the game but in the last five minutes they pull ahead of Vermont and go the NCAA Tournament. Final score - Terriers 65, Vermont 62.

Player of the game: John Holland
Player of the tournament: Corey Lowe
Apology of the year: Me, for doubting BU and Coach Chambers, obviously I was wrong and should not count on a position in the BU Athletic department anytime soon..

Please check the blog at halftime tomorrow and after the game tomorrow, I will try to blog my thoughts during and right after the game. And as always follow me on twitter (@Terriers_Hoops) during the game for some quick one-liners


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

BU v. Vermont - The 2010 America East Championship Game

I am really excited for this game, It's the first time the Terriers have been to the championship since 2003 and they are playing for their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2002. How big is this game to me?  Bigger than the Super Bowl. Actually, since Burlington is about six hours from Boston (correction a Vermonter says 3 - 3.5 hours, still pretty far), I am going to have a "Super Bowl" like party, complete with red and white balloons, champagne on ice, and a victory cigar (note to self: download a copy of the BU fight song). I've asked a couple people if they are interested, so far I have not had a favorable response. I sent out an email yesterday pitching the idea to some BU alums and no one has responded so far. Am I the only one who cares? 

So to the 10 people who read my blog in the Boston area, I am inviting you to my apartment on Saturday to watch the game.  We'll probably do some tailgating a couple hours before the game. Email me ( for more details.

On a side note, I also pitched this to a friend who is a Vermont alum, the conversation went down like this (I will protect her name, so we'll refer to her as "T"):

Me: I'm having a party for the BU v. Vermont game on Saturday are you interested?
T: I would but I have yoga at 1:30 pm.
Me: That's lame, I had yoga at 1 but canceled this week because of the game
T: hahahaha
Me: I don't really have yoga, I am just trying to make a point
T: I know, thanks for making me feel like an idiot.
Me: Sure, no problem. BU fans, such as myself, like to point out their intellectual superiority whenever possible
T: die.

Later in the day her Facebook status had something to do with Vermont:

T's Facebook Status: "How long do I have to live here before I'm no longer a Vermonter?"
Me: Vermont sucks, GO BU!
T: Wow Castignoli. Now I really hope UVM beats your foo foo dogs on Saturday.

Some might look at this as harassment, but in sports fandom almost anything goes (violence isn't cool).

3/13 - BU v UVM - Patrick Gym - Noon ESPN2 or

The Facts:
  • The Terriers last reached the title game in 2003 and last won the title game in 2002.
  • Vermont has been the team to beat in the America East ever since, They beat BU in the title game 2003 and also won in 2004 and 2005.
  • Rookie head coach Pat Chambers makes his first appearance in a conference championship game.
  • By beating Stony Brook on Sunday the Terriers have beaten every team in the America East this season except UVM.
  • Vermont blew out the Terriers at Patrick Gym in the first meeting and narrowly edged the Terriers at Agganis in the second.
  • Year after year these two teams are close to the top of the America East and since the beginning of the '00s have become big rivals.
What Vermont needs to do to win: Dominate the paint on both sides of the court and limit BU to three points.  With a strong forward like Marqus Blakely, reigning America East defensive player of the year, Vermont will look to get the ball to him to dominate the paint, get easy twos, lots of rebounds, and a few blocked shots.  In any Vermont win over BU, I definitely see Blakely being the player of the game.  They also have to pray that the Terriers have a bad game from beyond the arc.
Vermont's X-factor: Marqus Blakely, the most dominant player on their team needs to have a dominant game.

What BU needs to do to win: Find a way to neutralize Blakely.  It won't be easy because his presence can easily go unmatched at times, but a combination of Jake O'Brien, John Holland and Jeff Pelage will hopefully be able to get it done.  BU's defense has been outstanding lately, if they can continue to play great defense and get most of their three-pointers to fall (Corey Lowe that especially means you), BU should have a great shot to win this game
BU's X-factor: John Holland, so far he has not had John Holland-life performances in the tournament.  He was first team all-conference and the conference's leading scorer, if he performs like he did in the regular season the Terriers are going to be hard to stop on offense.

Other exciting thing to watch: Corey Lowe is having a dominant tournament performance.  In the Hartford and SBU games he was making almost everything from three-point range.  In the Hartford game he scored 28 and versus SBU he scored 26.  If the senior puts up a similar performance in the championship, he will win player of the Tournament regardless what the outcome is.

If this game was a 90's action movie: Die Hard, Exciting from beginning to end, a physical battle between good (John McClain - BU) and evil (Hans Guber - Vermont) the hero comes off the court exhausted from a vicious dogfight.

Prediction: Stay tuned, I'm going to keep you waiting until Friday (this is a BU blog you can probably guess).

Random Note
  • I don't want this season to ever end, I have had a lot of fun writing in this blog.  But all good things must come to an end, and after it does end I'll have very little to write about.  When I started writing this post I was watching the celebrity gossip show Extra;  maybe in the offseason, I can write about celebrity gossip.  Does anyone have other ideas, what do you want to see me write about?


Video: BU Terriers Basketball celebrates win over Stony Brook

YouTube Video I just uploaded of the celebration on the court after BU beat Stony Brook, we didn't have a lot of students at the game so the BU Dance Team decided to storm the court.


Monday, March 8, 2010

AE Tournament 2010: BU stuns SBU, advance to Final at UVM

3/7 - BU v. Stony Brook - America East Semifinal #1 - BU wins 70 - 63

BU Recap
Boston Globe Recap

I have not been more excited for a game all season than this one, and I was never disappointed (except for maybe the first five minutes of the second half, but I will get into that later). BU is in the final two, they went into Hartford and did what they needed to do - win two games.

The Atmosphere

Let me describe the atmosphere to give you the full flavor of the game.  I went into this game, like I had the day before with my father Vito and in the same BU Basketball shirt I wear to almost every game.  This time instead of sitting behind the basket, we sat at half court about four rows up, surrounded on three sides by UVM fans.  Before the game we went to this tent in the southwest corner of the Gym for a coupe of beers.  (This actually surprised me that there was a beer tent on a college campus connected to the game.  They roped off an area and you could not bring a beer outside of that area, they had TV's set up, some pretty fancy food and a place where you could make your own signs, with very limited profanity retrictions).

Once the game started I started rooting and shouting for the BU Terriers like any BU fan would. But I noticed something else; the Vermont fans were also rooting for BU (not quietly rooting, they were pretty loud for most of the game, they were doing cheers, clapping, standing up and screaming at the ref).  I was shocked.  I immeidiately resented all of the Vermont fans surrounding me, they're BU's biggest rival and they are rooting for us? Then I realized why, because of the format of the America East conference tournament, if BU beat Stony Brook and UVM beat UNH, UVM would host the championship in Burlington, VT, because they would be the higher seed.  Even after realizing this, I still resented UVM fans, I wanted UNH to win in the next game but I wasn't rooting for them.  It's like being a Yankees fan and for some reason, some odd situation happens, where Red Sox fans start rooting for the Yankees because it somehow benefits the Sox if the Yankees beat another team (there has to be some made up word or term for this situation, if not I am fielding suggestions).  This is completely unaccepteable.  They are rooting for something that their team cannot control, it's idiotic and I hate it.  Hopefully, come Saturday at noon on ESPN2, every one of the UVM fans who was rooting for BU will come to regret it.

Another person rooting fervently for BU was my father. As per usual when he came to one of these events he bought a hat of the team he was rooting for. I appreciated the support, it felt like I was watching the game with another BU alumni or BU fan.  He was actually getting more heated than the BU alumni occupying the one side of us that was not UVM fans.  He even got more heated than myself on occaision.  A couple of times when the ref called a bad foul that went against BU, he stood up and started screaming at the top of his lungs at the ref.  And we were four rows from the scoreres table, the ref definitely heard him, a couple of times I had to tell him to calm down.  When Coach Chambers got his technical foul, I was convinced that the ref was T-ing up my dad for something he said not the coach of BU.  This I had nothing against, I loved this, I was so glad he came with me.

Then there were the people that were rooting for SBU.  They came in force.  At one point during the game I tweeted a twitpic (see below) of the SBU student section, the word "Seawolves" all nine people who spelled out the plural form of their teams mascot outnumbered the total BU student section, if you read my blog post on Terriers Basketball attendance and why it was so poor, especially among students, this seemed to be on par.  It was more of a home game for Stony Brook and an away game for the Terriers.  The easiest way to recognize who has more fans at the arena when a game is played at a neutral site, listen to the noise during foul shots.  When BU was taking their shots from the charity stripe the arena was significantly louder than when SBU took their shots (surprisingly though, BU held the advantage in foul shots made, SBU missed more than half of their chances, maybe this was the difference in the game).

Stony Brook Student Section

BU Student Section (to be fair there might be a few more this was taken during the horn malfunction in the first half)

The Game

The most exciting game I have seen all season.  The atmosphere was electric and I found myself actually being nervous for all of the players and coached involved.  This was the biggest game Coach Chambers has ever coached and the biggest game BU's seniors have ever played.  Keep in mind, BU has not been to the conference championship since 2003 and has not won the conference tournament since 2002.  A win in this game would bring BU to a game they haven't been to in over half a decade.

I'm dividing this game into five parts.  I'll write a paragraph on each:

  • The first 3 minutes of the game
  • The rest of the first half
  • The first 5 minutes of the second half
  • The middle of the second half
  • The last 4 minutes of the game
In the first 3 minutes of the game I was discouraged. Right away I was thinking "oh no."   It's going to be one of those games.  I am coming into the game all excited and pumped up and right way the team is deflated, Muhammad El-Amin, this year's America East player of the year hit three straight from the beyond the arc.  He needed to be stopped.  It was evident in order for BU to stay in this game El-Amin needed to be nuetralized for the rest of the game and to a certain degree he was.  in the remaining 37 minutes he only added 11 and finished the game with 20.

The rest of the first half was the Core Lowe Show.  He was making deep deep three-pointers.  All around me I was listening to UVM fans just saying "WOW, how did he make that shot?"  Coach Chambers knew what Lowe was doing, the fans knew what he was doing.  I just smiled and knew, like I mentioned in my preview, if Lowe and others could stay hot from three the Terriers will win this game.  But that was not the only story of this portion of the game, BU's defense did a fantastic job, limiting SBU to only 15 points in the last 17 minutes. I was hoping they would carryover both their defensive and offensive performances over into the second half.

At halftime BU led 37 - 24.

The first five minutes of the second half punched me in the gut.  I was twice as deflated when BU allowed SBU to go on a 16 - 0 run to start the second half and give up the lead that they spent so much time building in the first half.  I and every fan in the Arena was in panic mode, completely in shock that they allowed this to happen and so were Terriers. 

At the start the middle of the second half Coach Chambers decided that he had enough. He called time out and got pissed.  For about a minute, between when the time out was called and the band started playing, one entire half of the arena could hear Coach Chambers yelling at his players, he needed to start a fire or BU was going to see this one slip away.  Whatever he did worked, BU didn't take the lead but they kept it within at least 5 points the entire time.  Still they were getting frustrated, and so was I that we were not able to pull closer. 

In the last five minutes of the game, all of that frustration culminated with a stupid foul called against BU.  Coach Chambers got emotional and got a technical foul right away.  He was saying to his team" "I'm doing everything I can to win this game, I want it bad, how much do you guys want it?"  The players responded, they went back to finishing the easy baskets and playing great defense.  To end the game they went on a 9-0 run to lock up the win, and advance to the final Saturday noon ESPN2 at Burlington against the only America East team they have not beaten so far this season: The Vermont Catamounts.

Random notes and thank yous
  • Thank you to the Albany fan who sold us his $300 worth of tickets for $20 because Albany made an early exit, the seats were awesome, I even ended up selling one for $10. 
  • During the Stony Brook game, Tina Charles of the UConn Huskies women team, came in halfway through the first half, just after her Huskies beat Syracuse for their 70th straight win an NCAA women's record.  Thanks for your interest in America East basketball Tina!
  • Thank you to my father Vito, for providing me with transportation to and from all of the games this weekend.
That about wraps up this post.  I'm going to add some pictures to this post later tonight.  Also, stay tuned later this week for mor posts leading up to the much anticipated BU v. UVM face-off on Saturday.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

AE Tournament 2010 - BU beats Hartford to play SBU in the Semis

3/6 - BU v. Hartford - Terriers win 87 - 46.
In the program people will forever wonder why BU played Hartford in the quarterfinal instead of Binghamton.  On Monday night, apparently after all of the AE 2010 Tournament programs were printed out, Binghamton withdrew from the tournament because of their off the court issues.  So instead of playing Binghamton like initially planned BU played Hartford.  This seemingly odd but very understandble event sparked a couple of thoughts in my mind:

  1. What happened to all of the Binghamton fans who bought tickets to the men's tournament?  Did they get a full refund? Did any of them already have the hotel booked so they decided to go anyway?
  2. BU will now have to play the University of Hartford in the quarterfinals, seemingly a worse matchup than Binghamton, who just a week and a half earlier we beat by 43 points.  The last time we played Hartford we won by only 3 points on the back of a Jake O'Brien three pointer.
My concerns about the matchup were unfounded.  The Terriers were led by not just one three pointer, but a very strong performance from Jake O'Brien who scored a career high 28 points.  The Terriers continued to hit threes galore, setting yet another three point related record in Reich Family Arena, most threes in one half of an America East Tourament game (the other was the BU program record for most threes, which they broke again later in the season when they played Albany at Agganis).  The Terriers dominated Hartford from beginning to finish and won by an astronomical differential of 41 points.

This win seems to continue the trend of how BU has performed thus far all year.  Versus the lowly teams in the conference they will dominate play from almost beginning to finish. Very rarely have they been in a close game and they always win versus the inferior opponent.  As a fan tracking BU all season, I noted many times that they are undefeated versus teams below them in the standings and 1 - 5 versus opponents above them in the standings (the only win coming against Maine on senior day).

3/7 - 5:00 PM EST - BU v. Stony Brook - Reich Family Arena 
Today they can completely negate that 1 - 5 record versus superior opponents by knocking off the best team in the conference: The Stony Brook Seawolves (which is not an actual animal).  The Terriers have been mandhandled by the Seawolves both times they have played.  The Terriers were never able to find a rhythym in both games and would go prolonged periods of the game without scoring a field goal.

The big stat in both of the previous BU v. SBU contests and what I expect to be the huge difference in this contest is how hot the Terriers can get from 3 point range.  In the first game they shot about 35%, shooting 12 of 37 from beyond the arc.  In the second game they made a paltry 4 of 22 from beyond the arc about 18%.  Both of these percentages are unusually low for the Terriers.  If they can shoot like they did yesterday in the Hartford quarterfinal, the Terriers will win this game and upset Stony Brook to advance to the AE Final for the first time since they won the tournament and advanced to the NCAA tournament in 2002.

Random Notes:
  • If BU wins hope for a New Hampshire upset of UVM, that will put the AE Title game either in Agganis Arena or Case Gym, which is guaranteed to be a huge event for the BU Basketball program.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

The 2010 America East Tournament

Right now I am on a Peter Pan bus writing this post on my phone, please pardon the brevity. I could write a couple housand words about all of the storylines but here are the mains ones to look out for.

  • An 8 team tournament? Binghamton withdraws decides to stay home because of all of their off the court problems.
  • Who is the best player in the America East, Marqus Blakely of UVM or John Holland of the Terriers?
  • Will Stony Brook continue it's regular season dominance in the postseason?
  • Will BU continue to stay hot and finally live up to it's lofty preseason expectations?
Like the last season of Lost, all questions will be answered.



Last 2 weeks in BU hoops - part 3 of 3 - Maine

BU v. Maine

Ah senior day. I was excited to go to this game, but got too lazy and didn't end up going. I regret not going. When I watched this game on NESN it looked like this was the highest attended home game of the season. It was my chance to go to a REAL college basketball game atmosphere at Case Gym and I missed it. That sucks.

I did, however, get to watch this game on TV and like the 2 games prior this game was a blowout the Terrriers dominated the current America East 3 seed from start to finish. BU is on a roll right now hopefully they can bring this momentum into their game today 3/6 versus the tournament hosts Hartford, who they have beaten twice this year in two very different games.

Win today and they most likely play Stony Brook the tournament favorites...

Last 2 weeks in BU Hoops - part 2 of 3 - Delaware

BU vs. Delaware

Who knew people live in Delaware?

Weeks before this game I was asking around if anyone knew someone who lived in Delaware. I couldn't find anyone. Delaware as a state intrigues me, what is in Delaware? Say what you want about Iowa at least they have corn and caucusing. To be honest I've never been in the state for more than one hour, and there is no reason to, if I -95 didn't go through Delaware I likely would've spent 25 years of my life without ever stepping a foot in the state. Right away I wanted to go to this game and do something in Delaware, maybe even spend the night.

It wasn't until after the game that I met someone who lives in Delaware; Julia's sister Emily currently attends the U of D. Damn, why didn't I know this earlier? It wouldn't have mattered, Emily was in Boston that weekend anyway. At least now I will have one reader of this blog from Delaware.

The game itself can be summarized in one sentence: John Holland scored 42 points as BU trounced Delaware. I think It would've been an awesome performance to see live. I can't wait to see Holland next year. Does he become one of the rare America East talents that attracts NBA scouts to gyms that hold less than 2000 people?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Last 2 weeks in BU Hoops - Part 1 of 3 - Binghamton

These are designed to be short, but maybe some of my best posts ever.

BU v. Binghamton

I went with my friend Cliff after getting hooked up with free tickets. FREE TICKETS (the tickets to a BU game are only $10, but it is sweet to have an in). Cliff and I met up at Sunset Cantina before the game, watched Olympic Curling and had a few beers. We left the bar before the Curling match ended and went to the game. Once at the game, sat really close to the court and watched BU kill Binghamton by 43 points. Which made me wonder, should we have stayed at the bar and watched Curling? NO. Curling is more boring than a college basketball game where one team wins by 43 points.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

This is the John Holland blog post

Best BU Basketball player ever? Maybe, maybe.

John Holland went to Delaware and he dominated the blue hens. 43 points. YES!

I think that BU was waiting for a performance like this. Which is more important right now, JH's 43 point Delaware Saturday OR BU's 42 point Binghamton Wednesday?

More to come later....


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

JAAAKE OOO'BRIEENNNN leads BU past Hartford.

2/13 - Boston U. v. U of Hartford - The Roof -  BU defeats Harford 58 - 55
I could only imagine how the Roof erupted in cheers when hearing Jake O'Brien's name shouted over the PA system after he hit a tie-breaking, game winning, three pointer with five seconds left in regulation.  Well, there probably weren't that many people in the stands, so maybe it didn't erupt, but I like to think it got moderately loud at the very least. But for what, a buzzer-beater versus a conference bottom-dweller?

I followed this game closely on my phone between 4 and 6 on Saturday.  It was a close game throughtout, too close for my liking.  But one question lingered in my mind, how in the hell were we playing a close game with Hartford?  BU's MO this season has been to lose narrowly to better teams and blow out the bad ones.  This one was too close.  BU blew Hartford out at Reich Arena in January, but when they come to the Roof we barely slip by them?  It just doesn't make any sense.  This season has just been an up and down rollercoaster, for the playters, for the fans, and for the coach.

The Vermont game, even though the Terriers lost, was probably one of the strongest games BU has played all season. The Hartford game, even though the Terriers won, was probably one of the worst games they have played all season.  That is the enigma that is the '09-'10 Boston U Terriers Men's Basketball Team.  One week you are satisfied with a loss against a good team, the next you are unsatisdfied with a win to a bad team.

I saw this article on the America Least blog the other day.  They claim that it is a "bold" prediction that BU is not going to win the America East this year.  Umm, DUH!  I hope this is them being sarcastic.  BU's chances are good if all of their talent performs well, but they haven't shown us that in a single win this year.  They have been the embodiment of inconsistent, they have been sloppy, they have been really good at times, they have been really bad at times.  This team has about 50 different faces and every time you see the Terriers play you never know which one is going to show up (I'm willing to take the Jekyll and Hyde analogy that America Least uses a step further and say that they have many different personalities, not just two).

2/17 - Boston U. v. Binghamton - Agganis Arena - Preview Here
Considering the hardships and controversy the Binghamton team faced before the season and in the previous seasons, I am very impressed with their in conference performance this seasonThe Bearcats have beaten Stony Brook and UVM, the two teams on top of the conference and then lost an OT thriller to Maine, the third place team.  They enter this game on a 3 game road skid so they will be desperate.  They certainly won't be a pushover for the Terriers or will they?  I really don't know, I am done trying to predict the Terriers performance.

Quck Random Notes: 
  • I will be attending this game with a Northeastern alum, weird I know.
  • I'm getting hooked up with free tickets from a BU employee (you know who you are, thank you!). 


Thursday, February 11, 2010

BU loses to Vermont in a Nail-biter

2/9/10 - Boston U v. Vermont - BU loses 76 - 75 

Despite the 9.4 seconds left this would be the final score


This was an awesome game to watch up until the last 9.4 seconds of the game.  BU played their best game all year, but they lost.  The way that they lost makes this a very hard loss to swallow and write about.

With a little more than a minute left BU was leading by four points, they would never score again and lose by one.  With 24.1 left on the clock Vermont races the length of the court and scores with 9.4 seconds left.  Coach Chambers calls a timeout and sets up a play that would not even a produce a single shot.  Because at the 4 second mark Corey Lowe would bounce the ball off of his foot out of bounds to give it back to UVM.  The Catamounts inbound the ball and BU fails to commit the foul that they need to keep the game going.

This is the most heartbreaking BU loss in recent memory.  What if anything can the Terriers take out of this? I really don't know, nothing positive.  The way they played was very good but they way they lost seems to negate everything positive.  BU needs to win out to have a decent chance of being in the top 4 of the conference.  The odds of them hosting the conference championship are almost zero.  There is really no excuse this time, most of the Terriers were healthy.  It's been a season full of bad breaks after bad breaks.

Is it too early to be looking forward to next year? Yes, if the Terriers want to win the conference tournament and go to the tournament, they have to do it this year.  Next year's team, except for Holland and Jake O'Brien, will be too inexperienced to make any sort of serious run.  This year was supposed to be THE year and still can be, everyone is equal in Hartford (unless your the 9 or 8 seed in which case you have to play an extra game).

Game Notes:

  • True to his word my friend Eric came with me to this game and said it was an exciting game.  He doesn't understand why the Terriers don't draw more people.  I am still wondering the same thing.
  • I was one seat away from being on the jumbotron, I did get my hand in there. Damn.
  • I think this was my best game in terms of pictures, check them out below.
Next Up:
2/13/10 4 pm - Boston U v. Hartford - Case Gym
Listen: 1510 am

  Siriutis free throw

I think John Holland playing defense

Great shot of Agganis Arena

The Terriers last lead


Sunday, February 7, 2010

My issues with Comcast and BC v. Duke

2/4 - Boston U v. UNH - Agganis Arena - BU wins 69 - 47
Let me start out my thoughts to this games by first telling you why I was not able to watch this game.  Thursday evening I wanted to go out after work to celebrate a co-workers birthday (happy birthday Tara).  Originally it was supposed to be Wednesday but she moved it.  Okay, fine, the BU game is being televised on CSN, I will just record it on my DVR and watch it with a little bit of a delay.  And they are playing UNH a team they should bury anyway, which they did by an embarrasing 22 points.  I set my DVR and go out of my way that night to not pay attention to the score (which failed when I accidentally saw the halftime score on ESPN's bottomline, which I hate with a passion.  In college I had to duct tape over it on occaision when watching tape delayed games. It makes no sense to show a delayed game but then have the final score of the very game you are watching scroll across the bottom of your TV).  When I get home I put on the DVR recording and what do I find? Because I recorded the HD channel and not the regular channel the entire broadcast is pixelated and the sound is meesed up. The entire telecast is unwatchable. I cursed out Comcast and CSN for about five minutes.  This would never fly for a Celtics game.  They televise about 3 - 4 BU Basketball games per year and they screw one of them up, big time.  This is unacceptable in my eyes, CSN get ready for a very angry letter from a very dissatisfied customer.

Onto the game. There are a couple of things I take from this game:
  • Tyler Morris is back and all indications are he is 100%.  He was one of three Terriers in Double figures.
  • BU continues to dominate the teams that are below them in the America East standings.
  • BU's attendance is very poor. Since I watched only a few minutes of a pixelated game I didn't catch a great glimpse of the crowd but it did not seem like a very exciting place to be on a Thursday night.
  • This is why free throws are important kids. The Terriers shot 39.6% from the field but hit 26 of 33 (78.8%) from the charity stripe.
  • I really hope we draw UNH in the first round of the America East confeerence tournament.
Saturday pre-BU vs. Albany game: A Terriers fan goes to see Duke vs. BC
It's always cool as a fan to see other teams play besides your own.  This year I saw Duke v. UConn at MSG (terrible game) and also went to UMass vs. Memphis at TD Bank Garden (great game).  Yesterday a friend and I went to the Duke v. BC game at Conte Forum.

On Friday night I was smoking some cigars and drinkng a scotch with my friend Eric at a fine establishment in the North End.  He mentions that he is a closet Duke fan and really wants to go see Duke play BC at Conte Forum the next day at 2 pm.  Knowing that I have a blog dedicated to being a fan of a college basktball team he doesn't waste any time recruiting anyone else to go with him, he immeidiately pushes the idea on me and no one else.  I make him a deal, he pays for $10 of my ticket and he comes with me to the Boston U. v. UVM game on Tuesday. He says good, he'll do it.  All of a sudden, in the span of 10 minutes I have committed myself to see two teams that I hate (this was not the first time I have seen a Duke v. BC game at Conte, I saw them a few years back with my friend Kyle on a nationally televised weeknight contest. I auditioned for Sox appeal but was not chosen, probably for the best). 

Saturday comes.  We are not prepared at all to go to the game, Eric buys the tickets off of some agency for $30 a head just before 1 PM, I print the tickets out at 1:15.  I get to his apartment around 1:50, he still has not taken a shower. By the time he is done the game has already started it's 2:10. Due to some unforseen incident we dont leave for the game until 2:45. We caught the last bit of the first half on his TV.  We park at a one hour metered parking spot hoping that we won't get a ticket.  We briskly jog to the game and get there for all of the second half.  I am very glad I am not paying full-price for my ticket at this point.

Once at the game we sit in the nosebleeds Section VV row 35 seats 8 and 9.  Eric is a very charming fellow so we snapped a few pictures with the security guard near our section.  If they sold booze at the game, which they don't, I have a feeling this security guard, who was an elderly woman, would have trouble throwing any unruly fans out of the game.  But who knows maybe she is a 10th degree black belt and can flip people over.

The game itself was a good contest.  BC surprisingly played Duke pretty tight in the second half.  They had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer, but didn't get off a great shot (if I was Al Skinner I would've used the last time out they had to set up a play and get off a better trey).  The place was packed and the crowd stayed until the very end, all of my skepticism was not justified.  It was a great College Hoops atmosphere and I enjoyed the experience.  Hopefully we ddn't miss that much in the first half.

Here's some pictures:

Eric and the security guard.

 A view from the nosebleeds.

2/6 - Boston U. vs. U of Albany - Albany, NY - BU wins 68 - 53
Solid showing on the road.  I'll update my thoughts about this game later as I read more about it.  I need to start getting ready for the Super Bowl party I am attending.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Boston U v. UNH Wildcats and some other stuff...

Let's start with the other (random) stuff first...

  • On a social media related note. I have decided after posting updates about BU Terriers Basketball on my personal facebook and twitter accounts to create dedicated accounts for each.  For facebook follow "Terriers Basketball Dot Com" and  for twitter @Terriers_Hoops. And if you have not joined twitter, please do it's one of the coolest things ever I promise, especially if you have smartphone.
  • Sometimes in the future, I might write a post specifically to friends of mine or people who know me and don't read the blog.  There really is no excuse not read this blog.  Even if you don't like Basketball or BU I think there is some good material in here.  All of us have been a close to die hard fan of some team.  If you have not I dare you to tell me you don't like some kind of sports. 
  • I listened to Mark "The Shark" Titus on his blog today.  He recorded a podcast with his friend the Electric Wolf.  One of the topics was nicknames.  Which got me to thinking I need a badass nickname. "The Jimmy C" is not badass enough anymore.  Maybe something that rhymes with my given name or my family name.  Any ideas?
  • Also, after listening to his podcast and several other ESPN podcasts I think it would be cool to have a podcast of my own.  I could have my own theme song and maybe I could add some cool sound bites of me getting really heated.  I could add a Coach Chambers sound board with a recording of him saying something like "We're getting better."  But the common theme I have noticed with podcasts is that it is usually a conversation between two people.  Usually they are just shooting the breeze trying to make each other laugh. So I am keeping this idea on hiatus until I can find a color commentator.  If you are interested in becoming my color man please let me know.
  • And also as much as I bashed Coach Chambers for being boring, I think he has picked it up a little bit recently.  He is giving us the inside look.  I like his behind-the-scenes videos, even if they are kind of short.
  • On a news related note: as decided by the powers that be (ESPN), BU will travel to the University of Delaware on 2/20 (story) to take on the Blue Hens, again.  This will mark the third year in a row the two have played.  The Blue Hens have won the past nine meetings.  I want to know, why does ESPN decide that the Terriers play the Blue Hens if they are not even going to televise the game? Television networks have way too much power over the NCAA, this is just a really glaring example.  No one from Boston is looking forward to traveling to Delaware.  I wonder if I know anyone who went to UD...

2/4 - Boston U v. UNH Wildcats - Agganis Arena - 7 PM
This needs to be the turning point of the Terriers season.  That moment that everyone looks to and says, "that is when things turned around for Coach Chambers and the Terriers."  There are six games left and five of them are at home.  The Terriers beat UNH before and they should beat them again.  The Terriers really need a win here to bring them out of their recent funk.

Most of the previews and recaps that I have read on the BU Athletic site and elsewhere have all had one thing in common: they have all mentioned BU as being the number one scoring offense in the conference with 69.2 points per game.  That is no exception in the preview for this game.  This is the king of meaningless statistics, it only tells half the story.  Sure the Terriers have a good offense but where is the defense?  And more importantly where are the wins?  The last two losses were against better teams and the Terriers scored under 60 points. Versus worse teams, the Terriers scored over 70 points and blew out the other team.  The story all year has been beat the bad teams and blow them out and lose to the equal and better teams in games where you are not mentally prepared.

Thankfully this is one of those bad teams, so I think the Terriers can take this one easily, especially at home on military appreciation day. Do it for the troops!

Game Notes:

  • Show up early because the first 1,000 fans receive a camouflage BU t-shirt.  
  • The game will be televised on Comcast SportsNet and
  • The game will be radio broadcast on 1510 the zone.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Terriers lose a pair of away games.

1/27 - Boston U Terriers v. Maine Black Bears - Alfond Arena - BU loses 56 - 54
This game was a hearbreaker from the very beginning to the very end.  BU went through a few stretches where you thought there were going to break away. But then in usual BU fashion they went cold for extended period of time while Maine continued to play consistently.

Towards the end is where I got emotional.  I was close to turning the game off actually.  But I left it on and BU overcame a ten point deficit in just under 5 minutes to actually tie the game with 2.9 seconds left.  I anticipated that this would go into OT, if BU could play good enough defense to not let them get a good shot off the ball would bounce off the iron and fall short. Finally things would roll our way.

It would not be so.  For years to come I will wonder what Coach Chambers said during that last time out.  I don't want to pretend to be a coach but this is what I would be telling my team given the same situation:

"Keep your arms up, don't foul, keep them out of the lane, AND don't let them get off a high percentage shot."

Those last two points were somehow lost. The Maine Black Bears got off a layup at the last second to win the game.  Let me repeat a layup.  BU played the worst defense they have all season in 2.9 seconds.  It's embarrassing to lose on a layup off of an inbound play with 2.9 left.  There is no excuse.  The only positive I bring out of this game is that with a double digit deficit so late in the game this Terriers team did not give up.

Other notes:
  • Our eighth man and a key sub Tunde Agboola was injured during this game and it is not looking very good.  The injury could not have come at a worse time.
1/30 - Boston U v. Stony Brook Seawolves - Long Island - BU Loses 71 - 55
I did not get a chance to listen to or watch this game, I did look at my phone for occasional updates on the score.  BU went on their second game of a three game road trip and did what they seem to do best:  lose on the road to a team that is better than them.  This seemed a lot like the last time the Terriers played the Seawolves.

I hate using injuries as an excuse, so I never do and neither should Coach Chambers or the rest of the team.  I really don't care that the Terriers are dinged up. Our team needs to step up and our coach needs to prepare the team better for games. For the second time this year the Terriers looked really flat in the first minutes of the game and were never able to fully recover and find a groove (the other time was the Vermont away game).  When I checked the score for the first time it was 10 - 0 and Stony Brook led.  I checked several times and each time it looked about the same or worse than the first time I checked.  Eventually BU got bashed 71 - 66 after they played 40 minutes of mediocre Basketball.

This result infuriated me. Admittedly I was out to dinner and had a few beers so I may have overreacted.  The loss set off a series of tweets directed at Coach Chambers blaming him for blowing the season.  I think this might have been a little too harsh. When you are stuck in the moment you will say very irrational things.  But later it got me to thinking, what/who is responsible for the Terriers mediocrity this season? Who would be your scapegoat?

Was it the right move to fire Dennis Wolff and hire Pat Chambers?
This was a very surprising and controversial head coaching move during the offseason, and looking back right fully so.  The fresh look that that the Terriers were looking to get by making an unexpected coaching change just isn't there.  Here are a few things that have made this situation into a debacle.
  • Almost all of the starters returning and all of the seniors are Wolff recruits.  When you have that many returning key starters and seniors to a team it would make more sense to keep the same system and let the coach have one more chance to perform.
  • They hired a first-year head coach.  Coach Chambers has had zero head-coaching experience and only several years of coaching experience at Villanova. Now all of a sudden he is thrust into a head coaching position for a team with the highest expectations entering the season.  That is a tough position to enter into.
  • BU is still plagued by injuries.  I don't know what this is.  My theory was that they played games at the beginning of the season, the non-conference games, like they were conference tournament games.  Their non-conference schedule was way too ambitious.  Tough games against tough opponents will take their toll.  It's not great to see a senior captain break his hand in practice.
I don't think it is Coach Chambers' fault that BU has performed way below expectations this year. I think the athletic director his staff and the university are to blame.  They made the wrong decision by firing Wolff and hiring Chambers. It was the wrong year to do it.  Wolff would've been on the hot seat and coaching for his job. He spent three years with most of these seniors, he is the one who can motivate and get this current team to perform well when it counts the most under pressure.  Coach Wolff should have been given another chance. Coach Chambers is a first-year head coach and has no experience, with a team that has very high expectations. He was not being set up very well to succeed.  I say this emphatically, especially with players he barely knows, coming into a high expectation season and playing a  non-conference schedule that was way too ambitious.  The BU athletic department basically pulled the trigger too early on the coaching change.  They started to rebuild during a non-rebuilding year.

Hopefully I will be proved wrong in March.

Other News and Notes:
  • With the losses to Stony Brook and Maine earlier, BU falls to 1-4 versus the teams ahead of them in the standings and 5-0 versus the teams below them.  The Terriers are winning all of the games that they should win and losing all of the games that they should lose.  Right now they are the definition of a middle of the standings team.
  • The Bracket Busters matchups were announced today.  BU was not picked for one of eleven games televised on ESPN. BU will travel to Delaware to take on the Blue Hens on February 20.
  • I watched BU beat Northeastern in the Beanpot Semis tonight.  During the past week I have seen two BU Ice Hockey wins and two BU Basketball losses.  These two programs are run so differently, it's really baffling. How is it that the hockey team doe so well year after year yet the Basketball team always comes way short of expectations every year?


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

First Ever Epic-Ultimate Terriers Basketball Blog Post

So I have not written a blog post in over a week, sue me it's my blog.  I have been busy with work, weddings and the NFL playoffs.  But to make up for it I am writing an Epic blog post, one that will be celebrated as a historic moment in my short blogging career.

To kick it off I wrote a letter to Coach Chambers (@Coach_Chambers). And then I included my thoughts on the three games that I have not written about yet and finally a preview of tomorrow's game versus top bear in the conference Maine.  As always these are my thoughts as a fan not as a serious journalist or analyst.

Dear Coach Chambers,

You only seem to tweet before games and after wins. What about after losses?  I was waiting for a tweet after the UVM loss, which you could not have been pleased about. Nothing.  To be honest your tweets are actually pretty boring and generic. To save you some time I came up with a few templates you can use:

  • We had a good practice today we are getting ready for [insert team]. We are getting better!
  • We are on the bus to [insert college campus] to play [insert team]. It will be a big game for us!
  • A good win today against [insert team], we are continuing to get better.
Come on coach! I don't think you get this whole blogging or twitter thing at all.  We want to know what you are thinking.  We want to know what your team is thinking, We want to get inside your head. That's the whole point of Twitter. If I wanted know what you are doing I would just look at the Basketball schedule on the BU Athletics website.

I have to say I am bit disappointed so far about the level of excitement and enthusiasm you brought to the program so far. I thought you wanted to bring a young attitude and a fresh personality to this team.  Please materialize some personality soon. If not for me, do it for the program, do it for the fans.

Lastly, I apologize for being critical, and I love that you are the BU coach, but it needed to be said.  Coach Chambers please be less boring in your interactions with the public and with the media. That's all.

Your Fan,
Jimmy C

Onto some thoughts on some recent games past and future and the current state of parity in the America East.

1/17 - BU v. Vermont - Patrick Gym - BU loses 78 - 58

This was the last game I previewed about a week and a half ago.  Judging from what I wrote you could tell that I was genuinely excited about this game.  This was supposed to be the signature win of BU's young America East conference season.  I recorded this game on my DVR and was looking forward to watching it. Earlier in the season I talked about actually traveling to Vermont to watch this game live at Patrick Gym (and maybe I would've thought about this more seriously if the Jets didn't make it as far into the NFL playoffs as they did this year).  In hindsight, I am very glad that my plans to attend this game never progressed beyond the infancy stage.

This game happened on a Sunday as I was coming back to Boston from one of my best friend's weddings (Congratulations Kyle).  Sitting in the back of my friend's SUV I checked the score frequently.  With about 7 minutes left in the first half BU was down 28 - 3.  Was I reading this right?  When I went home and actually watched the first 13 minutes my nightmare was confirmed.

BU was spanked in this game by a Vermont team that looked like they would cruise to the America East title.  I was distraught. This was one of those losses that just punched me in the stomach.  If BU is going to play like this versus Vermont there is no chance that they will be able to win the America East Tournament Final, which at the time appeared it would take place at Patrick Gym in Burlington Vermont.

But then it happened, the stars aligned just like they had for my Jets a few weeks previous.  The rest of the America East started to beat Vermont. After beating BU and one more win versus the struggling Hartford Hawks, Vermont lost consecutive games to Stony Brook and Binghamton.  At the moment of this post BU is 6-2 and Vermont is 5-2, technically we lead the Catamounts in the America East standings. BUT, BU has played one more game than Vermont. I will touch on the parity in the America East later in this post.

1/19 - BU v. Albany - Agganis Arena - BU wins 79 - 59

I was pretty psyched to go to this game. No, not because the Terriers played Albany, I wanted a free Terriers  Basketball jersey.  As part of a promotion the first 1000 fans in attendance received a free jersey.  I did not get one and this upset me, I really wanted one.  I blame the T for being so damn slow.  I left my office at almost exactly when the whistle blew at 5:30, I did not arrive at the arena until 6:30, too late to receive a free jersey. They looked cheap but it would be cool to have one, maybe I will find one on eBay one of these days.

The game itself was not really that exciting.  To be honest for most of the first half I was sitting right next to the BU Dance Team, I was distracted by their snappy new uniforms.  The rest of the game was something we had seen earlier in the season, BU set a program record for most three-pointers in game with 16.  Previously, in the non-conference slate they set the record with 15.  To be honest I don't like so many three-pointers in one game.

I have this discussion with my father all of the time.  Is it really Basketball if all a team does is shoot three pointers and hope they make them?  Ultimately this is why the three-point line was moved back by a foot a year earlier. Teams recruited great shooters and unleashed fury from beyond the arc. What is more exciting a John Holland dunk or a John Holland three-pointer?  Exactly, 99 people out of 100 are going to say dunk. Check this out.

The only exception, is Corey Lowe's three-point attempts. They are actually really exciting. He will shoot NBA range three-pointers, four or five feet from beyond the arc, with a defender up close and personal, complete with a hand right in the face. Check this out.

The picture isn't that great but the shot he made was ridiculous.  Look at the arc on the ball and how far in the air that thing is, holy moly.  Corey Lowe is the only player in the America Easy who can make a three-pointer exciting.

The rest of this game was pretty boring. BU made a couple of exciting plays that were non-three pointers, most notably a Jeff Pelage dunk in the opening minutes.  Right away you knew if Pelage can dunk, then this was going to be all BU. If it weren't for the free jersey. I may have skipped this one like I skipped the UMBC game.  There's nothing more really to write, BU dominated a lesser team that they should've handled easily anyway.

1/23 -  BU v. UMBC - In Maryland - BU Wins 79 - 61

I would've been shocked if BU lost this game. I didn't watch the game, I didn't listen to the game, I just read about it on the BU Website.  The article itself is a lot of fluff actually.  How do you write about a game where nothing exciting happened whatsoever and one team beats the other team by 18 points?  You include a bunch of statistics. Three Terriers scored above 20 points, Lowe, Holland, and O'Brien, to lead the Terriers to their fifth win in the last six tries blah blah blah.

Who cares? It was UMBC who has won only one game this season.  I know there was an article in the Daily Free Press about UMBC being no cake walk, but really? Let's be honest with ourselves if the Terriers didn't win this game by 18 points I would be worried. I probably would have completely bashed this BU team on this blog.  A win is a win, that's enough about this game.

Parity in the America East Conference
Over the past week and a half something has happened.  Teams are beating each other.  There no longer is that one team or even two teams that rise above the rest as the heavy favorites.  Initially, after the BU v. Vermont game, I thought that team was Vermont. But then Vermont lost to Binghamton and Maine.  Stony Brook has lost to Vermont and Maine. Four of the nine teams have two losses or less and none are undefeated.  That means the only team with one loss at the halfway point is Maine, who the Terriers play in Orono Maine tomorrow night.

1/27 - Preview of Maine v. BU - Orono Maine
This is where we are, a win versus the Maine Black Bears would put the Terriers in first place in the conference.  At the beginning of this season season or even three weeks ago, I would not have believed that last sentence.  How does this game eclipse the Vermont game as a more important game for the Terriers in terms of the conference standings? And at this point in the season? I am baffled.

The University of Maine Athletics website has already posted a preview of the game, there is an even better preview on the America Least blog.  I am not going to say that Maine has been lucky so far and that this is a team the Terriers should beat.  Because I can't discredit what they have done.  They have quietly become the best team in the America East conference and have won 8 of their last 9 games.

BU should not be favored in this game.  Can BU win?  Of course.  Maine is historically in the middle of America East, they never suck but they are never the best. Right now they are enjoying their best start in conference play in a little over a decade since the 1999 - 2000 season.  They are on cloud nine in Orono.

I never thought I would be saying this but I would be excited and mildly surprised if the Terriers beat the Black Bears on the road.  A win over Maine would be what I thought a win over Vermont would've been, a signature conference away win.  A win would catapult the Terriers to their first spot at the top of the standings all season. Let's do it!

BU v. Maine 1/27 at 7 PM
Listen at 1510 AM


Saturday, January 16, 2010

JC's Preview: Away at Vermont - Televised on ESPNU

When I was going through BU as a student this was the biggest rivalry for the Terriers in America East Basketball.  BU was always at or near the top of the conference, but they were always second to Vermont.  When Vermont beat Syracuse in the tournament, BU was right at the top in the regular season. I was annoyed when Vermont beat the Cuse.  That should've been BU.  I will always be bitter.  To this very day I always thought "What if..."  No anymore, this is BU's best opportunity this season to establish themselves as the team to beat in the America East conference tournament.  This games is our season, an away date with Vermont.  This is a very big contest in terms of establishing home court advantage for the America East title game.  This battle is so big that ESPNU is televising it nationally to give the nation a peek into the excitement of a storied America East. The city folk versus the country folk, the North versus the South, private versus the state, anyway you look at it this is the premier rivalry of the America East. This is why I live for America East Basketball.

Coming into the game the Terriers are winners of four straight versus the inferior opponents in the America East (sorry UNH, Hartford, UMBC, Binghamton) Vermont is the biggest away test of the season.  The Catamounts are undefeated so far in conference play, the Terriers dropped only their conference opener to Stony Brook at Case.  These teams are one and two in the America East standings as of Saturday morning.   If the Terriers win, they control the conference.

Key to the the Game
  • Stay fresh. Vermont has something the Terriers don't: depth.  Coach Chambers has to substitute more often than in recent games.  Lowe and Holland cannot play 39 minutes each versus a team as deep and talented as Vermont. Lowe and Holland will get tired at the end and BU will lose.
  • Minimize the number of three point shots.  Vermont only has one major three point threat, senior guard Maurice Joseph.  He shoots 41% from beyond the arc.  The Terriers need to neutralize the number of attempts and the number of successful attempts he executes.
  • Keep the Vermont starting five off of the charity stripe.  Three of their five starters are shooting over 80% from the free-throw line.  The rest of the team is barely above 50%.
That's it really. In every other category these two teams match up pretty even.  It should be a great game and one definitely worth watching if you have access to ESPNU.

This one will come down to the wire.  BU wins in an OT thrilla, 80 - 79.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Boston U outplays UMBC at home, and outlasts Binghamton on the road

Better late than never.  The UMBC game happened on Tuesday at Case but I am just getting around to writing a few thoughts about now.  The Binghamton game happened on Thursday,  some fan I am I totally forgot BU was visiting Binghamton tonight.  This is quite the aggressive schedule for the Terriers.  Since Saturday they have played three games, two of which were on the road.  The Terriers are rolling though since dropping their home opener, they have won three on the road and one at home and will try to continue their four game winning streak at Vermont on Sunday.

The UMBC game was a no contest.  I was a 95% certain that BU would win.  However, with Binghamton's upset of Stony Brook anything is possible in the young America East season.  Here's the recap for the BU game UMBC game.

This was the first BU home game I have not attended this entire season, and rightfully so.  If the Terriers beat UMBC it's no big deal they accomplished what they were expected to.  If they lost to UMBC it would be the biggest disappointment of the year to date.  Thank you that it was the former.

I listened to parts of this game on the radio.  BU seemed to be in control for most of the game.  The biggest positive is that the Terriers won.  The second biggest positive is the Terriers defense.  I don't care if it is UMBC anytime you can play 40 minutes of basketball and hold your opponent to 63 points that's something to build off.  This is the type of defensive performance that the Terriers need to carryover to the Vermont game (I know I completely missed the Binghamton game), which will be one of the most higly anticipated games of the America East Conference slate.

I totally forgot about the Binghamton away game, so I don't have a lot to write.  I think maybe I will just take this time to bash the Binghamton program as one of the worst run division I college basketball programs in the country.  However, considering their history of criminals I was impressed that they beat Stony Brook on Tuesday.

The Terriers beat them by 8 in a 63-55 contest., here's the recap.  This is not a great win for the Terriers.  I think it means more to Binghamton.  They are sticking around in the conference and have overcome a lot to be competitive in conference play.  Come March, if they have a halfway decent season they will be a tremendous story and their coach will be America East coach of the year.

Moving on. I will try to write a preview to this weekend's Boston U v. Vermont game; however, if I don't it's because I am attending the wedding of my very good friend Kyle to his lovely fiance and soon to be wife Sarah, congratulations!

If I don't get around to writing a preview, I recommend you check out the America Least blog.  They have featured the nationally televised (Watch it on ESPNU) BU v. Vermont clash as their game of the week.

Next Up:
Boston U. v. Vermont
Burlington, VT
Watch: ESPNU
Listen: 1510 AM


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Holland-Lowe score a quality win versus the Hartford Hawks

BU wins what will forever be known as the "Holland-Lowe Show."  The junior and the senior put up a ridiculous display.  Holland scored 32 points and Lowe scored 31.  As the recap on the BU site notes this is the first time in the entire history of the Boston University Basketball program that any two players have scored above 30 points in one game.  The amazing part, BU scored 84 points which means everyon else on the Terriers scored only 21 points.  The Holland-Lowe dynamic duo had only 7 points less than the entire Hartford Hawks team.

Both Lowe and Holland were impressive, the rest of the team was pretty pedestrian (except for Carlos Strong who added 14 points).  With Tyler Morris out it's pretty apparent that the Terriers are going to rely on their two best players Holland and Lowe to carry the team when they are playing lesser opponents.  I was disappointed by Jake OBrien's no show in this game.  And the bench scored 3 total points when Valdas Siruitis hit an early three.  The thing that this team lacks the most is depth.  They've returned a lot of seniors but with injuries almost all of them are accounted for in the starting five.  It's terrifying to say this, but BU is just one more injury away from becoming a bottom-dweller in the America East.  When they are good it shows, but only versus the lowly teams, versus mediocre or good teams they struggle.

What It Means
  • BU wins it's second in a row versus a inferior opponent and doesn't show the kind of all around depth you would see from a champion
  • BU is still growing as a team, they are getting better and are a long way from the ever elusive NCAA tournament berth.
  • The schedule makers made it pretty easy for the Terriers to win three straight, next up is the worst team in the conference UMBC.
Random Notes
  • This was my first time going to watch a BU Basketball game on the road, I want to especially thank my roommate John Lewis for the ride there and my father Vito Castignoli for the ride back to my home in CT.
  • Reich Family Pavilion is a great place for a mid-major College Basketball game.  It should be a great place for the America East Championship, I can't wait.
  • This was the first time used my camera extensively in the game, see how the pictures came out below. Unlike last time there were no technical difficulties with the twitter.  I might even get up a video soon.

View from outside the arena

John Driving to the game

The empty Hartford student section

Corey Lowe brings it up the floor as Coach Chambers Barks out a play.

The Holland-Lowe duo leads BU to victory 84 - 70

Next up:
Boston U. v. UMBC
Case Gym 1/12/2010 7 PM
Listen: 1510 AM