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?