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


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